For the Lakeside Leader
Big Lakes County has joined several northern Alberta rural municipalities urging the federal government to consult municipalities in the Species at Risk Act to protect caribou.
At its May 9 meeting, council approved a request from the Alberta Northwest Species at Risk Committee to present a resolution at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference in Halifax.
“We understand that federal and provincial Acts of Parliament, such as the Species at Risk Act, include decision-making authority that can supersede municipal authority, which can enable the protection of lands directly impacting municipal operations without meaningful support,” said reeve Ken Matthews in a letter to the committee. It calls on the FCM “to urge the Government of Canada to endorse municipal involvement as recognized partners in the exploration agreements under the Species at Risk Act.”
The resolution is sponsored by Mackenzie County, along with six northwestern municipalities in Alberta, including the towns of High Level, Manning, Rainbow Lake, Clear Hills County and the County of Northern Lights.
In March, the Government of Alberta suspended caribou conservation efforts, pending a comprehensive economic-impact analysis. and further support from the federal government.