Programs: Alberta Election 2019

Overview

In the lead-up to the 2019 Alberta Election, the ARPA, in partnership the Alberta Association of Recreation Facility Personnel (AARFP), sent a letter to the major political parties encouraging them to include several concepts in each party's platforms.
You can read our platform recommendations here.

Together, our organizations' memberships exceed 3,000 professionals, practitioners, academics and businesses in all corners of Alberta, and they can be found in urban, rural and northern municipalities, indigenous communities, post-secondary institutions and other Not-For-Profit organizations. We believe that the concepts listed below are critical to improving the lives of all Albertans. 

If you have any questions about these concepts or our governmental advocacy in general, please contact Ramin Ostad, Communications Coordinator

Read the Alberta NDP's response to our policy recommendations

 

Platform Recommendations

Recreation and Parks in Alberta

Between 2015-2018, The APRA with the support of the Government of Alberta began a process that created a national discussion on the role of recreation and parks in Canada.

These discussions lead to the publication of the Framework for Recreation in Canada 2015 - Pathways to Wellbeing, the Parks For All - An Action Plan for Canada’s Parks Community and A Common Vision for Increasing Physical Activity and Reducing Sedentary Living in Canada: Let’s Get Moving, in association with the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, the Canadian Parks Council, and the Interprovincial Sport and Recreation Council, which were endorsed by the federal, provincial and territorial governments in Canada as well as the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

In accordance with the policies put forth in these publications, we have submitted the following platform recommendation to Alberta’s political parties:

That Alberta’s political parties include in their 2019 election platforms a commitment to collaboration with the ARPA/AARFP to actively pursue the implementation of:

         Framework for Recreation in Canada 2015 - Pathways to Wellbeing;
         
and Parks For All - An Action Plan for Canada’s Parks Community;
         
and A Common Vision for Increasing Physical Activity and Reducing Sedentary Living in
         Canada: Let's Get Moving


And that Alberta’s political parties support utilizing a multi-year funding arrangement to achieve appropriate outcomes and outputs.

 

Recreation and Parks Infrastructure in Alberta

The Canadian Infrastructure Report Card that was published by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) in 2016 identifies that the recreation and park infrastructure in Canada is in the worst condition of all municipal infrastructure (46 - 47% in very poor, poor and fair condition). The replacement cost of these facilities nationally is estimated to be $16 billion dollars.

Currently there is no accurate database of the state of Alberta’s recreation and parks infrastructure. Recreation and parks facilities are also huge consumers of energy and given the age of many facilities extremely wasteful consumers of energy. They are also the most numerous of municipal facilities. The solution is not just replacing what exists with a new version. Informed decision making would be responsive to changing demographics, life styles and community needs.

To that end, we have submitted the following recommendation to Alberta’s political parties.

That Alberta’s political parties include in their 2019 election platforms a commitment to collaboration with the ARPA, AARFP, Alberta Association of Agricultural Societies, RMA and AUMA to actively:

  • Develop an inventory of the condition of recreation and parks facilities; and
  • Reduce the energy demands of recreation and parks facilities.

That Alberta’s political parties support utilizing a multi-year funding arrangement to achieve appropriate outcomes and outputs.

 

Wellbeing of Albertans

Investments in health care are valid, necessary and popular. But investments at and after the emergency room doors cannot be the only measure or solution.  We envision recreation and parks as an element of an integrated preventative health care system. Investing in wellness initiatives has been proven globally to have positive effects on the health of the population and can bend the health care budget in the right direction.

Recreation and parks services are not the only answer to this increasing challenge but they are essential components of a better future for Albertans. ARPA/AARFP welcomes the opportunity to partner with others to continue to contribute to the wellbeing of Albertans.

To that end, we have submitted the following recommendations to Alberta’s political parties:

That Alberta’s political parties  include in their 2019 election platforms a commitment to collaboration with the ARPA and AARFP, to proactively use recreation and parks as a means of reducing current and future incidents of chronic illnesses and diseases: and

That Alberta’s political parties support utilizing a multi-year funding arrangement to identify and achieve appropriate outcomes and outputs.

 

Indigenous Albertans

The Truth and Reconciliation Report - Calls to Action 87 to 91 identify recreation and sport as the path forward to improving the quality of life in Alberta’s indigenous communities and for indigenous populations in Alberta’s municipalities.

ARPA has been engaged in reconciliation with indigenous communities and organizations prior to the publishing of The Truth and Reconciliation Report. ARPA currently has established working relationships/partnership a significant number of Alberta’s indigenous communities and organizations

To that end, we have submitted the following recommendations to Alberta’s political parties

That Alberta’s political parties  include in their 2019 election platforms a commitment to collaboration with the ARPA and others to advance the solutions identified in The Truth and Reconciliation Report - Calls to Action 87 to 91; and

That Alberta’s political parties support utilizing a multi-year funding arrangement to identify and achieve the appropriate outcomes and outputs.

 

Lottery and Gaming Revenues

The Alberta Lottery Fund was established through The Interprovincial Lottery Act (1989) with the expressed intention that the revenue from lottery ticket sales would be directed to community enrichment and to related community developmental purposes including sport, recreation and parks, arts, culture and heritage.

While the profits from gaming in Alberta have risen dramatically since 1989 the portion of these monies dedicated to those original purposes has declined in relative and absolute terms. In many cases those community based organizations best positioned to provide community enrichment and related community development initiatives have seen funding frozen or reduced since 1989.  Thus the competition for grants has increased and in many respects as a consequence grants are awarded on the basis of outputs and not outcomes. Outputs are a measure of activity not necessarily a measure of performance.

While accountability for tax dollars is essential, NGOs like ARPA/AARPF spend a disproportionate amount of their time and resources applying for funding and reporting on activity rather than achieving results. It is not uncommon for the majority of the fiscal year to be spent on applying for funding, waiting for funding to arrive and reporting on activity and a smaller portion of the year spent on getting results.

To that end, we have submitted the following recommendation to Alberta’s political parties:

That Alberta’s political parties  include in their 2019 election platforms a commitment to use a portion of gaming profits to support those provincial organizations responsible for sport, recreation and parks, arts, culture and heritage; and

That Alberta’s political parties support utilizing a multi-year “value for money” funding agreement and a multi-ministry “one window” approach to identify and achieve the appropriate outcomes and outputs.