We have been alerting members about the Government of Alberta considering changes to the administration of DMFs as part of city charters for Edmonton and Calgary. AHLA President and CEO Dave Kaiser, along with AHLA Board Chair Leanne Shaw, met with the City of Calgary in September to provide City representatives with a better understanding of how DMFs operate, and the AHLA’s position on cities being given the authority to administer DMFs.
Last month, the City of Calgary issued a summary of the feedback they received from the stakeholders they consulted. We were surprised by a number of statements in the City of Calgary’s summary, because:
- The City of Calgary indicated there was agreement by all stakeholders for making structural changes to the oversight & governance of the DMF, and for making collection & remittance of the DMF mandatory. Both the Alberta Hotel & Lodging Association and the Calgary Hotel Association opposed such suggestions in the meetings we each had with the City of Calgary.
- All of the funding recipients consulted by the City of Calgary are boards, commissions, or committees of the City of Calgary. We believe this calls into question the credibility of the consultation, and makes clear that the City’s motive is to create a new revenue stream, controlled by the municipality, to support agencies they control.
In response, we asked the City to ensure the AHLA’s position was accurately reflected in their communications and noting the apparent conflict of interest in their consultation process.
The AHLA remains opposed to any additional fees, taxes or levies being applied to hotel and lodging businesses by federal, provincial, or municipal governments. We continue to discuss this issue with the Ministers of Municipal Affairs and Culture and Tourism, who understand that changes to the administration of DMFs would have a significant impact on hotels across the province.