The City of Grande Prairie and Town of Sexsmith have gotten a $100,000 grant from the province to help them put together an Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework.

Bill 21 was passed last December, and it requires municipalities that share a boundary to create an outline partnering on land use planning, services, and funding for those services. The intention is to cut down on duplication and competition on things like transportation, water, wastewater, and waste, emergency services, and recreation that are used by residents in more than one community.

“This grant allows us to undertake essential work, with the assistance of a consultant, that will be
required later on,” says Sexsmith Mayor Claude Lagace. “It’s beneficial to work with the City of Grande
Prairie and we hope other municipalities participate in our deliberations as a regional partnership.”

Although Grande Prairie and Sexsmith aren’t next door neighbours, they’ve decided to use their grant to hire the consultant to help with framework negotiations. The City says they’ve also invited the County, Beaverlodge, Wembley, and Hythe to join the conversation, but so far they’ve reportedly declined to take part.

“We are pleased to partner with the Town of Sexsmith on this project,” says Grande Prairie Mayor Bill Given. “Preparing a framework will be a complex process so it’s important to begin work as soon as possible to make sure our communities are prepared.”

It’s expected that regulations for the Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework will be passed this fall, and then communities will have two years to create their own. Negotiations between GP and Sexsmith should start after the election in October. Sexmith and the County have also gotten a grant.