‘Headed in the right direction’

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

The weird saga of the Town of Slave Lake vs. Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn continued last week. Mayor Tyler Warman referred to it as a “circus,” but sounded optimistic.

Rehn, meanwhile, confining his announcements to social media, had some good news about public housing and an admission of errors in his expense claims last year.

At the Jan. 19 town council meeting, Mayor Warman had a few comments on the town’s strained relationship with the Lesser Slave Lake MLA and the prospects for provincial assistance under the circumstances.

Warman noted that Rehn has been “looking for support in different corners of the region and hasn’t seemed to find it yet.” (This was since being asked to resign by Slave Lake town council and subsequently being expelled from the UCP caucus by Premier Jason Kenney).

Warman said the government, meanwhile, has reached out and offered to help.

“I’ve got a meeting with the Premier tomorrow,” he said, “with other mayors and reeves from this constituency.”

For the time being, Warman said, “I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

Warman confirmed that impression on Thursday, following the meeting with Premier Kenney and interim Minister of Municipal Affairs Ric McIver. M.D. of Lesser Slave River Reeve Murray Kerik took part in the meeting as well and liked what he heard.

“They told us we don’t have to worry about being ignored,” he says.

Warman also mentioned the latest round of TV and radio interviews (and general ‘silliness’) prompted by council’s call for Rehn’s resignation.

“We want the circus to end,” he said. “But we want our voices to be heard.”

Rehn, on the meal expense claims, said an assistant had made some errors he wasn’t aware of. He’ll be paying closer attention in future, he said, and won’t be making any such claims for the entire year of 2021 “as a sign of my sincere regret for this.” He was subsequently advised by the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly he would have to pay back meal claims that were “not submitted appropriately.”

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