Ponoka County council discussed the RCMP versus provincial police issue during their regular meeting on Sept. 13.
Councillors Nancy Hartford, Doug Weir and Bryce Liddle attended an online meeting with Justice Minister Tyler Shandro regarding the RCMP versus provincial police issue.
Reeve Paul McLauchlin suggested that once the new premier was decided they would be sending a letter to Ottawa to withdraw Alberta from the RCMP.
The province would need to hire 3,000 officers to fulfill their promise to put 10 officers in each town/municipality. The majority of municipalities did not support the move with the main concerns being cost and staffing.
Liddle had attended a town hall meeting with the Bashaw RCMP regarding the provincial police issue. They will need a new detachment to house 10 officers.
Rimbey Outdoor Court Sports group
The county received a request for funding from the Rimbey Outdoor Court Sports.
The organization had raised over $200,000 and was looking for the county to share the cost of the boards for an outdoor court. The estimated cost is $44,296.
Council deferred their decision until the group could attend a meeting or until budget considerations in the spring of 2023.
Gull Lake Cemetery
Hall investigated the feasibility of installing a Columbarium at the Gull Lake cemetery. If the society could pre-sell some of the plots for $1,900 per spot, they could have the columbarium pay for itself.
Further discussion would be held with the society prior to a recommendation to council.
Chief administrative officer (CAO) Charlie Cutforth advised property rights aren’t entrenched in the Constitution of Canada even though they were proposed under the Prime Minister P.E. Trudeau leadership.
There is reference in the Municipal Government Act “Development” section that protects personal rights on private land, but there was no protection for the ability to retain your land.
Council discussed the expropriation of land occurring in the Netherlands, the excessive spreading of manure and the County’s CFO exclusion zones and watershed boundaries.
Council voted unanimously to have administration prepare a bylaw to amend the Municipal Development Plan to confirm that the county recognizes the right to enjoy “real” property unless as required by law.
Unpaid oil and gas taxes
McLauchlin noted that the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) had forbidden AlphaBow from purchasing any additional sites until all outstanding taxes are paid.
It was suggested that Darcy Allen with the office of the Farmer’s Advocate be invited to attend an upcoming meeting to discuss the operation of the AER.