The Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI)
The Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) helps support local infrastructure priorities and build strong, safe and resilient communities. Municipal Affairs has allocated almost $9.6 billion to municipalities since the program launched in 2007. This has meant communities across Alberta have been able to build and rehabilitate their roadways and bridges, water and wastewater systems, public transit facilities, and recreation and sport facilities, and address other key local priorities.
Municipalities can now submit their 2018 Statement of Funding and Expenditures (SFE) for both MSI Capital and Operating. SFEs for the 2018 program year are due by May 1, 2019.
Guidelines for the 2018 MSI Capital and Operating programs are available on the Program Resources webpage.
Budget 2018 provides $668 million in MSI Funding:
- $638 million in MSI capital funding (which includes $344 million from the former Basic Municipal Transportation Grant (BMTG) program); and
- $30 million in MSI operating funding.
In addition, $800 million of MSI funding was reprofiled in March 2018 from future years. The re-profiling of $400 million from each of 2018-19 and 2019-20 as grants to 2017-18 provides greater flexibility in meeting capital plans.
The $668 million under Budget 2018, combined with the earlier access to funding ensures municipalities are able to fund the infrastructure and services Albertans use every day, now and into the future.
Due to the release of the March 2018 allocations late in the fiscal year, the March 2018 allocations will follow the program delivery and reporting requirements outlined in the Addendum to 2017 MSI Capital Program Guidelines, and will be combined with the new Budget 2018 allocations for program delivery purposes.
All MSI documentation, including MSI Capital project applications and amendments, Operating spending plans, and Capital and Operating SFEs, must be submitted through the Municipal Sustainability Online (MSIO) system. These documents will no longer be accepted through email, fax or post.
Access to MSIO is available through MAConnect, the web portal that provides Government of Alberta staff and external stakeholders secure access to Municipal Affairs' key business applications. MAConnect can be found at http://www.maconnect.alberta.ca.
Municipalities that need to update their MAConnect user accounts will have to submit new Stakeholder Agreements before requesting access to MSIO. To request a Stakeholder Agreement, or for MSIO support, please contact MSIOaccess@gov.ab.ca or call 780-644-2413 (toll-free by dialling 310-0000 first).
Future of MSI
Government has introduced the City Charters Fiscal Framework Act, which, if passed, would tie funding for capital projects in Edmonton and Calgary to changes in provincial revenues and fuel sales.
The proposed legislation is part of ongoing city charter conversations and would provide Edmonton and Calgary with a baseline of $500 million per year, split between the two cities. This new agreement would replace the cities’ Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding when the program is complete in 2022.
A regional fund of $50 million, designed to foster collaboration and economic development, will be provided to the Edmonton Metropolitan and Calgary Metropolitan Growth Boards and regional entities. A long-term transit investment plan, and amendments to the City Charter Regulations are also included.