Executive Regionalism

Consultation is necessary to manage regional issues and leverage opportunities.  Meaningful discussions are needed among leaders to develop a neighbourly understanding on important matters. Officials do not sit idle when another government’s action, proposed action, or inaction has the potential to impact their constituents.  Interdependencies lead to important discourse as officials at various government levels work through public issues. 

Executive Regionalism is the act of getting things done in a regional context using professional relationships and political capacity.  It is the art of local collaboration.  Executive Regionalism describes the collective actions of local officials and stakeholders who seek to advance public good in a regional setting.  Regional services such as recreation and emergency management are prime examples of shared service responsibilities and mutual benefits.  

Local governments are not mere underlings of the province. They are interdependent government partners serving society.  The agility and responsiveness of local governments is strengthened by the close proximity to street-level networks on the home front.  Stakeholders are consulted, and collaboration begins at the important information sharing stage leading to quality decision-making. 

Government interdependencies are inherent and will persist amid formal boundaries and jurisdictions.  Intermunicipal collaboration is now mandatory in Alberta following the October 2017 amendments to the Municipal Government Act.  Local officials who are serving during this council term have the responsibility to formalize shared services and the opportunity to address challenges with innovative and creative solutions.


Shari-Anne Doolaege, MPA, Q.Arb, CLGM

President, Sage Analytics Inc.


*This Blog is based on excerpts from the Executive Regionalism article written by Shari-Anne Doolaege and published in the Municipal World magazine in October 2013.  The full article is available here:  Executive Regionalism Article MW Oct 2013

Municipal New Year’s Resolutions

It is a new year with new rules. On the municipal front, 2018 rings in with many legislative changes rolling out through amendments to Alberta’s Municipal Government Act.  Here are some Municipal “New Year’s” Resolutions that are certain to hit the radar and agendas in every Alberta municipality this year.  This handful of governance changes barely scratches the surface on the scope of legislative changes.  I welcome municipal officials to comment and add other noble resolutions to this list! 

Intermunicipal Collaboration:  We will review shared services and costs and develop meaningful agreements with municipal neighbours to manage growth (s. 708).

Council Conduct:  We will develop or update our Council Code of Conduct Bylaw (s. 146.1) and abide by these shared expectations to promote healthy interactions.

Financial Planning:  We will develop a 3-year operating plan and a 5-year capital plan (s. 283.1).  The operating plan will show the impact of capital projects, such as operating costs and amortization.  The capital plan will reflect strategic priorities and show how capital projects will be funded.

Communication:  The Chief Administrative Officer will ensure that information provided to one elected official is provided to all elected official as soon as practical (s. 153.1).  We will develop a public participation policy (s. 216.1) to establish clear and consistent public participation opportunities in the governance process. 

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