Road Map to Sustainability

Introduction
The Government of Canada Federal Budget of 2005 delivered as part of the Government of Canada’s commitment to a New Deal for Cities and Communities a program to ensure predictable, long term funding. Under the New Deal, federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments will seek to work together with other stakeholders to develop long-term strategies for improving communities.

In combination with full rebate of the goods and services tax introduced last year, the measures announced in Budget 2005 will provide Canadian communities with more than $9 billion in funding over the next five years.

Cornerstones of Commitment

The cornerstones of commitment for the New Deal for Cities and Communities include:
  1. Providing municipalities with a share of gas tax revenues
  2. Renewing existing infrastructure programs as necessary
  3. Increasing contributions to the Green Municipal Funds
Government of Canada Provision
Over the next five years, the Government of Canada will provide $5 billion to municipalities to support environmentally sustainable infrastructure projects such as public transit, water and wastewater treatment, community energy systems and the handling of solid waste.

Goal of the Integrated Community Sustainability Plan
  1. Have a vision of 20+ years
  2.  Meet the content requirements for an Integrated Sustainability Plan as outlined by the Federal Government as part of the provincial gas tax agreement
  3. Define the Municipalities Mission, Vision and Value Statements
  4. Define goals for the municipality in the following areas:
    • a. Strategic Plan
    • b. Multi Year Infrastructure Plan
    • c. Inter-Municipal Development Plan
  5. Define sustainability principles for the municipality in the following areas:
    • a. Environment
    • b. Economic
    • c. Cultural
    • d. Social
  6. Assist in the procurement of grant funding
  7. Provide a guide to success on specific and broad sustainability initiatives within the Municipality
Current Municipal Status
The Municipal District of Taber is located in the central part of Southern Alberta, 80 kilometers from the United States Border lying between Townships 7 and 15 and Ranges 13 to 20. The municipality is served by the Crowsnest CPR line in the southern part of the municipality. Provincial Highways 3, 36, 513, 521, 524, 526, 845, 875, and 877 the municipality providing good transportation links with other major centers within the region, province, country and internationally.  The municipality has a total of 401,477 hectares.
Economy Overview
The economy is based around primary agriculture, oil and gas and agricultural processing. Its 6,714 citizens are mainly rural, however 3 Hamlets - Grassy Lake population 595, Hays population 110 and Enchant population 205 form the basis for localized urban centers which provide both labor and basic support services to the local economy.

The agricultural economy is aided by the presence of irrigation. Approximately 182,000 ha of the land is irrigated. The continual expansion and development of irrigation has provided a stable production and economic base upon which the food processing has developed. Industries such as potatoes, corn, beans and sugar beets have diversified the agricultural community and supported growth within local urban communities.

It is expected that between 2007 and 2020 agriculture, food processing, light industrial development, ‘green’ energy and the oil and gas industry will continue to drive economic growth.

Population Growth
Population growth within the municipality has been slow but stable. A positive growth rate of 1.2% per annum for the 1991-1996 period, a 1.3% per annum growth for the period 1996-2001 and a 1.6% per annum growth for the period of 2001-2008.

It is recognized that attracting a sustainable population base to reside within the Municipal District of Taber is essential in maintaining economic growth.

Keys for Growth
In order to provide sustained growth the Municipality as sought to:
  1. Provide sound land development guidelines through regularly reviewed Land Use Bylaws, Municipal Development Plan, and Inter-Municipal Development Plans
  2. Attract and retain business through balanced and fair taxation based upon the principle of effective and efficient government
  3. Provide a regulatory framework that encourages sustainable growth
  4. Develop and maintain municipal and community infrastructure that supports economic advance
Mission
The Corporate Mission of the Municipal District of Taber is to provide excellence in governance and service that will promote a healthy, diverse and dynamic community.

Vision
The Municipal District of Taber will be a community based upon the principles of trust and integrity, social and cultural vitality and economic and environmental sustainability.

Guiding Principles
  1. To provide good government
  2. To provide services, facilities or other things that in the opinion of council, are necessary or desirable for all or part of the municipality
  3. To develop and maintain a safe and viable community
Goal 1 - Accountability
The Municipal District if Taber will act with integrity by developing and maintaining valued community relationships with citizens, business, other levels of government and neighboring municipalities.
  • Strategy 1: Communicating with care and respect to encourage open and interactive government
  • Strategy 2: Work to develop and maintain positive community relationships with neighboring municipalities that will encourage community social, cultural and economic advance
Goal 2 - Economic Sustainability and Diversity
The Municipal District of Taber will seek to ensure economic sustainability of the municipality.
  • Strategy 1: Participate in regional economic diversification efforts with local municipal partners
  • Strategy 2: Encourage public and private sector projects that add value to local industry and residents
  • Strategy 3: Establish a climate that encourages responsible economic development through fiscal responsibility
Goal 3 - The Environment
The Municipality will seek to pass on to the next future residents an environmentally sound community.
  • Strategy 1: Demonstrate environmental stewardship by making municipal buildings and infrastructure models for the community to follow
  • Strategy 2: Preserve agricultural land by developing and following sound land use planning principles
  • Strategy 3: Support responsible solid waste management programs within the municipality to develop long term solutions to solid waste management as well as to reduce per capita landfill use by encouraging initiatives such as waste reduction and recycling
  • Strategy 4: Manage municipally owned lands to ensure long term agricultural and environmental sustainability
Goal 4 - Municipal Infrastructure
Develop and maintain municipal infrastructure to ensure viable, sustainable and fiscally responsible growth.
  • Strategy 1: Develop a multiyear capital plan for equipment and infrastructure construction and replacement
  • Strategy 2: Keep pace with advancements in technology that will assist in the management of municipal infrastructure
  • Strategy 3: Ensure that construction of new infrastructure is designed to meet projected future growth and demands
  • Strategy 4: Invest in infrastructure that contributes to economic growth and is economically sustainable
Goal 5 - Community Capacity
Develop and assist in sustaining community partnerships that will enhance the social and cultural vitality and diversity within the municipality.
  • Strategy 1: Identify community organizations integral to social and cultural development
  • Strategy 2: Identify projects that will forward community economic development and sustainability