M.D. of Lesser Slave River Council notebook

June 12, 2019 meeting

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

Signs in Flatbush

Councillor Sandra Melzer was approached in the post office one day recently, by a person who thinks there should be more stop and yield signs in and around Flatbush.

“We’re aware of this,” said M.D. director of transportation Bill Klassen, and working on a plan. He added that ‘oral history’ has it that such a plan was once proposed and shot down by people in the area that did not want more stop and yield signs.

Athabasca Regional Waste

The carbon tax portion of the invoices has been knocked off, reported councillor Melzer, to the tune of 1.5 per cent. The fall appliance ‘round-up’ goes from Sept. 6 – Sept. 16.

Athabasca Watershed Council

Brian Deheer was re-elected as chair of this organization, but it took three votes to do it, reported councillor Esau. The first two resulted in a tie.

Turnout was very high for the meeting, Esau said.

Peace Library System

“I don’t know why, but they like me over there,” said councillor Brad Pearson.

The PLS has 46 member libraries in its region, serving about 175,000 people. Internet bandwidth is better at some libraries than others, Pearson reported. The PLS doesn’t have money for improvements.

Homeland Housing

The office of this organization is in Morinville, but the board is willing to listen to proposals from other towns to have it relocated, reported councillor Melzer.

In other news, the board wants to put in more supportive housing in Westlock, but it’s “quite a few years out.”

Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Alberta elected officials turned out in big numbers at the Quebec City conference a few weeks ago. They came prepared to promote Alberta oil. According to councillor Pearson, plenty of lobbying was done, but as far as he could tell, no minds were changed.

“We agreed to disagree,” he said.

The leaders of Canada’s four main political parties were there and made presentations. Reeve Murray Kerik said Conservative Party leader Andrew Scheer got a warmer reception than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, by which he concludes “a blue wave” is rising in the country. On the other hand, Green Party leader Elizabeth May also got an enthusiastic reception.

Inter-municipal meeting

This time it was a meeting between councils of Westlock and Athabasca Counties, along with MD of LSR.

“We’ve got a lot in common,” said Melzer.

“There seemed to be a desire to work together,” said councillor Jeff Commins.

If there’s one thing we should work together on, said Pearson, “it’s the pounding of our roads.”

The issue there is energy companies seeking relief from municipal road permit costs, via provincial intervention. If successful, this could produce a cascading effect, with other heavy haulers lining up for the same sort of break. It could become “a free-for-all,” said Kerik.

The situation is not clear yet, said Winarski.

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