Sustainability Defined

Federal Sustainability
In 2005, the Federal Government of Canada introduced new funding sources for municipalities known as the New Deal for Cities and Communities (NDCC) or Gas Tax Funding. The objective of this funding was to achieve a higher quality of life and standard of living. The funding program encompassed the following 4 interdependent dimensions, or pillars:
  • Cultural
  • Economic
  • Environmental
  • Social
Every municipality is required to adopt a set of sustainability principles that addresses each dimension. With this funding came the expectation that all municipalities in Canada start planning for the future needs of the community by creating Integrated Community Sustainability Plans (ICSPs).

Provincial Sustainability
The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) began working on the challenge of developing a strategy for municipalities. AUMA also concluded that the four interdependent dimensions of sustainability outlined in the federal ICSP process had missed a very important component of what defines a sustainable community; as a result, the fifth dimension, governance, was added.

After two years of extensive work, the AUMA produced a resource binder and distributed some to all municipalities in Alberta to support their initiatives and start planning for the future needs of the community by creating Municipal Sustainability Plans.

Municipal Sustainability
The Hinton Town Council adopted the AUMA Comprehensive Guideline and the five dimensions to develop the Hinton Community Sustainability Plan. Mayor Glenn Taylor stated in a press release on July 20, 2009, that, “the community sustainability planning process will provide an opportunity for all citizens to engage and define their vision of Hinton in 30 years in order to collectively advance clear priorities and continue to progressively move forward.”