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Alberta Throne Speech vows new deal for Edmonton and Calgary

Alberta Premier Alison Redford reacts to seeing members of the legislative assembly before the Throne Speech at the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on March 3, 2014.

JASON FRANSON/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Premier Alison Redford is promising to deliver on a pledge to strike a new deal with Alberta's two big cities.

"Your government recognizes the unique challenges faced by our two largest cities and will finalize the Calgary and Edmonton city charters," Lieutenant-Governor Don Ethell read from the Throne Speech on Monday.

The intent is to find a better way for the two cities to manage issues unique to each metropolis rather than falling under the one-size-fits-all parameters of the Municipal Government Act.

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The project, first outlined in June, 2012, was delayed last year when the province had to deal with widespread flooding in Calgary and other parts of southern Alberta.

The Throne Speech said there will be help for other municipalities as well. The government plans to renew a multibillion-dollar long-term municipal sustainability initiative. The program delivers lump sums to municipalities to spend on roads, community buildings and sports facilities.

And funding for a program that grants money for public transit projects is also to be renewed. The current budget allocation for GreenTrip is $200-million.

The Throne Speech says Alberta will meet its obligations to build flood mitigation projects in southern Alberta and to undertake new flood hazard mapping. The government is also promising changes to make public more information on children who die in government care.

The speech outlined the priorities and plans for Ms. Redford's government as it reaches the mid-term of a four-year mandate.

Details of the municipal financing will be unveiled when Finance Minister Doug Horner delivers the 2014-15 budget on Thursday.

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