All 13 municipalities in the Edmonton area have signed on to create a new collaborative initiative to advance economic growth in the region and rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The mayors of the municipalities in the Edmonton Metropolitan Region agreed to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) last week and committed to the Collaborative Economic Development (CED) initiative. This new model is intended to advance economic opportunities across the region through projects targeting non-residential growth and jobs beyond individual municipal boundaries.
In a Tuesday morning news release, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson said working together as a region through the joint model will strengthen the economy and achieve more growth than as individual municipalities. By working as a collective, the initiative will look to boost the region’s competitiveness, increase investment and create jobs.
“In order to compete as a region, we need to make it easy to do business here. This new model will allow our region to better align in order to attract new kinds of investment, essentially increasing the size of the proverbial pie, rather than simply dividing up the existing one,” Iveson said in the release. “By leveraging existing research and recommendations, with local regional expertise, we can shape what types of investment the partners should target, but also address challenges and barriers to create more opportunities for all.”
Now a framework will be developed to flesh out the details of the CED with the 13 mayors serving as an oversight committee. A steering committee of chief administrative officers from each municipality will be formed as well as a working group to work under the committee.
In terms of costs, if a municipality wishes to participate in building a focus area under the framework, they will enter into a separate agreement on a project by project basis that would detail all financial contributions. The municipalities will share tax revenues proportionate to level of investment in the initiative, the MOU notes.
“Collaborative Economic Development (CED) is intended to reduce red tape and advance borderless economic growth for participating municipalities across the Edmonton region,” reads the MOU. “The intent of this MOU is to develop a framework for municipalities to improve the attraction of new non-residential investment and produce a model to directly share in the financial benefits.”
The 13 municipalities making up the Edmonton Metropolitan Region are: Edmonton, St. Albert, Fort Saskatchewan, Leduc, Beaumont, Spruce Grove, Stony Plain, Devon, Morinville, Strathcona County, Sturgeon County, Leduc County and Parkland County.