A Senate nominee election this fall would have cut municipal election costs in Red Deer by more than a third.
But the Alberta government announced it would not ask municipal election voters on Oct. 18 to also choose Alberta nominees for the Canadian Senate.
Elaine Vincent, Legislative and Administrative Services Manager, said the City of Red Deer would have welcomed the extra cash to offset municipal election costs.
The province would have paid $.90 per capita for holding the vote at the same time as the municipal election.
The last municipal census was 89,891, so the city would have received just over $80,900.
The city has budgeted $217,300 for the municipal election, and its Red Deer partners, Catholic and Public schools, would have footed another $100,000.
Mayor Morris Flewwelling said he believes the government’s decision this week to not hold a Senate vote is counterintuitive because Alberta has been the bastion of Senate reform for elected, equal and effective representation.
“We agreed that we would be able to include the Senate voting with our municipal election on Oct. 18,” Flewwelling said.
“And indeed, that provides us with some revenue. They pay for us to do their work.”
While in Calgary on Thursday, Premier Ed Stelmach said the cost of holding a Senate vote during the municipal election would have cost anywhere from $5-6 million.
Alberta already has three senators in waiting, he added.
Stelmach’s government extended their terms by three years.
Mike Deising, spokesperson for International and Intergovernmental Relations, said the province’s cost to hold a Senate vote in conjunction with the municipal vote would be $3 million more than holding one during a provincial election.
“It comes down to resources,” he said.
If a Senate vote was held, the top three candidates on the ballot would have become senators in waiting.
A total of 105 Canadians, including six from Alberta, are responsible for passing, amending or vetoing bills.