Resolutions Database

Resolution ID
10-17S
Year
2017
Convention
Spring
Title
Modernization of Alberta Registry Agents
Vote Required
Simple Majority
Category
Community Services
Type
Requires Endorsement
Majority Needed
Simple
Current Status
Sent To Government
Vote Results
Carried
Sponsor List
  • Cardston County
District
  • 1 - Foothills-Little Bow
Preamble

WHEREAS the Government of Alberta regulates the registry industry through the Registry Agents’ Regulation by capping the fee amounts (as per Registry Agent Product Catalogue. Jan. 8, 2017, Alberta Government) for the largest volume of services provided by the Alberta registry agents, but these fees have not been adjusted in 11 years to reflect increases to the minimum wage or cost of living and inflationary increases in Alberta; and

WHEREAS Alberta registry agents offer essential professional, personalized, and secure over-the-counter and online services to clients near their homes, a fact of significant importance to aging rural Alberta clients with distance restricted driver’s licences and/or without the ability to use the internet; and

WHEREAS registry agents are eager to develop a modernization plan to enhance services to Albertans in conjunction with Service Alberta and other stakeholders;

Operative Clause

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties request that the Government of Alberta recognize the vital role of Alberta registry agents in the delivery of essential government services to all Albertans; and

FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Government of Alberta recognize the positive impact in rural Alberta communities, and work to strengthen their partnership with the Association of Alberta Registry Agents and local municipalities by:

  • Supporting the modernization of the registry agent industry;
  • Expanding existing online services directly to Albertans through registry agents; and
  • Ensuring the long-term sustainability of rural registry agents, including a fair and equitable fee model.
Member Background

Alberta registry agents have been the authorized delivery channel for over 200 products and services on behalf of four government departments – Service Alberta, Justice, Health, and Transportation – for the past 22 years. There are 206 agents located in 150 Alberta communities (32 or 21% are in large urban centers and 118 or 79% are in rural and small urban jurisdictions).

Agents have been offering online registry services to Albertans for over 10 years through their association with the Alberta Association of Registry Agents (AARA).

Importance to Albertans

Virtually every city and town has an authorized registry agent, forming a network that collectively employs close to 1500 Albertans. Registry staff are qualified, trained, and certified to meet high customer expectations. Registry agents have continued to invest in the industry to meet new technology requirements, population growth, etc. The industry is prepared to and needs to continue to modernize and expand online services to keep pace with market, economic, and political conditions.

Albertans themselves value access to in-person registry services. 92% indicated it was important to have access to government services in their communities and over 90% of Albertans felt that it would have a negative impact on their communities if their local registry agent were to close.

Importance to Independent Registry Agents

A healthy registry agent network is best positioned to serve the diverse needs of all Albertans. A sense of financial stability with long-term assurance of sustainability underpins the agents’ ability to make solid business decisions. Registry agents have not received a much-needed capped fee increase in 11 years. This fact limits agents from keeping pace with cost of living increases and the ever-changing world we live in, and threatens the ability for rural registry agents to keep their doors open.

A collection of a sample of financial statements from rural agents the end of 2015 shows that the average rural agent is losing just over $4,000 annually by providing registry services. Registry agent fees have not been adjusted since 2005.

Importance to the AARA

The AARA provides important member services that improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the registry agent network and, by doing so, improves service to all Albertans. These services are dependent on a portion of the revenue derived from online registry services.

Importance to Service Alberta

Having a secure healthy private network to be the delivery of Government Services in each community is key to the ease of access for Albertans. The health of the registry agent network is threatened if they are kept out of online service delivery and agents cannot earn revenue from these high-volume services.

AARA Modernization Plan and requests

AARA seeks government’s support in modernizing the registry agent industry, expanding online services to Albertans through the registry agent network, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of rural registry agents, including a fair and equitable fee model.

AAMDC Background

The AAMDC has no active resolutions directly related to this issue.

Government Response
 
Development
 
Federal Ministries and Bodies
 
Ministries
  • Service Alberta
Provincial Boards and Organizations
 
Active/Expired
Active