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Bill 205 Debate Cut Short

Posted on November 29, 2011 by Richard Einarson

After a furious three minutes of debate squeezed in before 5pm on November 28, 2011, Bill 205 - the Municipal Government (Delayed Developments) Amendment Act, 2011 now sits in a period of stasis. Unless more time is scheduled before the house rises, on January 1, 2012, Bill 205 will die on the Order Papers.

Here is the Record of Debate on Bill 205 from Alberta Hansard:

Bill 205 Municipal Government (Delayed Construction) Amendment Act, 2011

The Deputy Speaker: The hon. Member for Calgary-Currie.

Mr. Taylor: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker. I hereby move second reading of Bill 205, the Municipal Government (Delayed Construction) Amendment Act, 2011.

We have very few minutes to talk about this today, and I hope that I'll be able to begin debate today and that we'll see this continue next Monday, when we can delve deeper into this bill. I'll quickly thank the hon. members of this Assembly from all parties for the interest they've shown in this bill, for their feedback, their questions, and their comments so far. Thank you for the opportunity to debate this bill in second reading, and thank you in advance for what I anticipate will be your participation in a week's time.

[The Speaker in the chair]

This is a simple and straightforward bill that seeks to serve Albertans and the best interests of the communities in which we all live by identifying a problem and providing a solution. The bill seeks to amend the Municipal Government Act to allow municipalities to better regulate construction within their own boundaries and to ensure that projects are not significantly stalled, suspended, or delayed for unreasonable lengths of time. This legislation will give municipalities clear authority to intervene when construction sites become significantly stalled, suspended, or delayed. In these cases, municipalities should hold the authority to require the owner of a delayed project to improve the appearance of a site within a specified time frame.

This bill comes as a response to a number of stalled, suspended, and delayed developments throughout the province, and it is my hope that this bill will allow municipalities to avoid similar situations in the future. Delayed sites hamper the vitality of a community and make the community less desirable for businesses, residents, and as a destination for visitors. This bill, if approved, would allow municipalities to protect the economic and societal interests of communities existing near to such construction sites. Specific examples of past stalled development sites which have significantly hampered the vitality and growth of their surrounding communities would include the Atrium Building in downtown Lethbridge and the Mission pit in downtown Calgary.

Mr. Speaker, one can make the argument that the Municipal Government Act already provides municipalities with the authority that they need, and I'm sure some from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs would like to make that argument, but I would point out that the genesis for this bill was a request by the city to myself to make a change because they felt they did not have...

The Speaker: I hate to interrupt the hon. Member for Calgary-Currie, but the time limit for consideration of this item has now expired for today.

5:00

Bill 205 continues to have strong multi-party endorsement and could still make a very big difference for many Albertans. The shortened Fall Session has hampered MLAs' ability to get some really good work done. Due to an obvious lack of time a half-dozen Private Member's Bills will meet the same fate as Bill 205 - bills that deserve to be debated.

Should debate on Bill 205 not be completed, I ask all those that have shown support to please contact the Minister of Municipal Affairs Doug Griffiths, comments@gov.ab.ca and ask that his department bring Bill 205 back as a Government bill in 2012.


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