Regional Tri-Council Notebook

May 23, 2019 meeting
Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The regional tri-council meeting consisted mainly of sharing of information between the three parties – those being the Town of Slave Lake, M.D. of Lesser Slave River and Sawridge First Nation. Slave Lake Mayor Tyler Warman served as chairperson.

Health committee

Town councillor Joy McGregor represents the tri-council on this committee. She said Slave Lake is short of doctors, but a new one could be here as soon as September. If you haven’t been to see a doctor in 24 months, you are considered a new patient, she said.

Warman pitched in with some additional information; he said a doctor recently reached out to the town via social media to ask if there is any work in Slave Lake. Apparently her husband has been transferred here.

Other cases are tougher; immigrant doctors have to face a new test by the Alberta Medical Association (on top of all the other stuff they have to go through), and it’s proving to be quite a bottleneck, Warman reported.

Affordable housing

Councillor Julie Brandle provided the latest on the Slave Lake Regional Housing Authority’s scheme of putting a new multi-unit building in the northwest part of Slave Lake. There is some uncertainty due to the recent change in government, but “there’s no indication it’s going to be cut off,” she said.

The build could affect the scheduled re-paving of 5th Ave. NW.

“We want to do sewer tie-ins (for the new building) before it’s paved,” Brandle said.

FireSmart education

Educational programs on FireSmart developed right here in Slave Lake are gaining prominence provincially and beyond, tri-council members heard. The educators’ contract has expired, and they provided a wrap-up report for council members.

“People wanting to do programs are being directed to us,” said Patti Campsall.

“Nobody else is doing what we’re doing,” said M.J. Munn-Kristoff, “and that’s why this has become so popular.”

Funding from the tri-council for the program is over, but help could be coming from another direction

“If FireSmart Canada wants to take this and run with it,” said town councillor Darin Busk, “that’s the direction it should go. I look forward to seeing your successes.”

Highway conditions

M.D. councillor Brad Pearson asked for this topic to be added to the agenda.

“How long do we have to live with holes in our pavement that are taking out front ends of vehicles now?” he asked.

Pearson’s suggestion was to send some letters off to people in government on tri-council letterhead. Maybe we can get somewhere, he said, “if we stick together and yell a bit.”

Crime

It wasn’t on the agenda, but perhaps it was inevitable that crime would be discussed, since it’s so much on everyone’s minds. It was mentioned that the previous government had earmarked $30 million to fight rural crime. Can we get some of that?

“It seems like a crime wave,” said councillor Brian Rosche of the M.D. “It’s probably another case where tri-council should send letters.”

“What can we do about it?” asked councillor Pearson.

“More regulations on scrap dealers?” said Busk.

Rosche recalled that the Rural Municipalities Association had passed a resolution calling for a registry for scrap metals.

Warman said the town is trying to arrange a meeting with the Solicitor General.

“Let’s just make it happen,” he said.

High Level evacuation

Warman provided an update on the role Slave Lake was playing as a reception centre for evacuees from High Level. The details were pretty much the same as what appeared in last week’s Leader. The M.D. reiterated its commitment to help where needed.

“Has the new MLA been involved?” asked Pearson.

“He visited Tuesday with the minister of Municipal Affairs,” Warman said. “They’re dialed in.”

The next tri-council meeting is on Sept. 19.

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