M.D. of Opportunity Council notebook

May 11, 2022 meeting

Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

This report is based on the draft minutes of the May 11 council meeting. It’s fair to assume the information is accurate, but keep in mind none of it is official until the minutes are approved by council.

Tax rate bylaw

Council gave all three readings to the tax-rate bylaw. That means administration is free to send out property tax notices, which by now has probably happened. The total levy comes to $60,694,886, which the M.D. will collect if everybody pays their taxes. Of that, $12.6 million is earmarked for schools, seniors’ lodges and such. The rest goes towards regular M.D. business.


Also approved at the meeting were the M.D.’s operating and capital budgets for 2022. On the operating side, the anticipated expenditure is $75,054,249. Revenue is expected to be about $68.5 million, leaving a deficit of $6.5 million.

On the capital side, two aspects are highlighted in council’s agenda. First there are projects carried forward from 2021. This category is in turn broken down into the $13.5 million already allocated in 2021, plus $3.191 million needed (or estimated to be needed) to finish those projects off this year.

The second category is new stuff for 2022, and it amounts to $6,295,114-worth of capital projects.

Some of the bigger capital projects are the Sandy Lake lagoon, at $4.5 million, Calling Lake seniors’ complex at $2.8 million, Wabasca north bridge ($1.2 million) Red Earth community hall ($1.4 million), vehicle fleet purchases ($1.1 million) and something called ‘gasification’ for Sandy Lake ($1.1 million).

Counselling services looking for space

Council heard from Eileen Hoffman of The Dragonfly Centre, on the services that organization hopes to provide in the Wabasca area. They hope to set up a satellite office in Wabasca, to provide counselling to people affected by sexual violence.


Council awarded the Wabasca Community Beautification contract to Sherry Jackson, at a price of $15,000. Part of the deal is the M.D. will provide all the flowers.
Councillor Darlene Jackson declared a conflict of interest and did not participate in the discussion or vote.

Golf-related stuff

Council authorized M.D. admin to enter into a contract with Zachary Rathbone-Zabot to offer “golf-related events” at the Eagle Point golf course in Wabasca this summer. No details were given in the minutes about what these events might be.

Council also gave the thumbs-up to M.D. admin to enter a couple of teams in a golf fundraiser, happening on June 18 to benefit St. Theresa School. The donation of $500-worth of merchandise for prizes was part of the deal.

Community celebration

A committee with representatives from several organizations is planning a community celebration for Aug. 1 in Wabasca. It will consist of a barbecue to honour first responders, among other activities. Involved are the M.D., Lions Club, RCMP, Bigstone Fire Department, Wabasca Fire Department, and Forestry. Organizers are looking for someone to sponsor the food for the event, but no council decision was recorded in the minutes.

Nolan Hockey School

Another discussion with no decision had to do with a hockey school scheduled for Wabasca in late August. Besides the on-ice stuff, the plan includes an evening event with motivational talks; possibly also with dinner and dancing.

A golf tournament happens to be scheduled for the same weekend, hosted by Bigstone Men’s Health.

More cash for fire guards

Council voted in favour of a Brendan Powell motion to grant an additional $550,000 to finish off the Red Earth Creek and Wabasca fire guard projects. No details were provided in the minutes, since the discussion on the matter took place in a closed session.

Funding for Peekiskwetan

Council approved three years of funding for the Peekiskwetan ‘Let’s Talk’ Society for $170,000, per year. This is the same amount the M.D. had provided for 2021.

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