May 23, 2023 meeting
The May 23 council meeting was held at the Red Earth Creek Community Hall. It was chaired by deputy reeve Brendan Powell, reeve Marcel Auger being absent. So were councillors Leo Alook and Larry Cardinal. That left Louis A. Cardinal, Cheri Courtorielle, Robin Guild, Darlene Jackson, Gerald Johnson, Tahirih Wiebe and Roy Yellowknee to take care of business.
Powell called the meeting to order at 10:03 a.m. Three items were added to the agenda, those being Alberta North Central Alliance meeting, gravel sales and something called ‘gator.’
Chipewyan Lake emergency preparedness
Stella Noskiye of Chipewyan Lake appeared as a delegation before council. She asked about an emergency plan for her community. The M.D. fire guard and the FireSmart programs aren’t enough, she told council, adding that there should be a siren.
The community also needs emergency responders, Noskiye said. Lastly on the emergency prep topic, Noskiye said residents should have fire extinguishers, cameras and first aid kits in their homes.
Moving on, Noskiye said it would be good if a doctor was able to visit Chipewyan Lake once or twice a month.
Grants policy amended
Council approved an amended version of the M.D.’s policy on grants. The changes were mainly housekeeping issues – definitions and clarifications – that sort of thing.
One of the changes makes it pretty clear the M.D. doesn’t want to be handing out more than the budgeted amount. It goes as follows:
“Once the annual budget is exhausted, grant applications will not be accepted until the next fiscal year and/or a denial letter will be mailed out to applicant.”
Following up on the previous item, council approved a motion to establish a ‘grants committee.’ Its job will be to “review, evaluate and make recommendations” on grant applications. Appointed to the new committee are seven members of council, plus two M.D. department heads.
Request from Sandy Lake
Further on the grants topic, an organization in Sandy Lake had requested $70,500 in funding from the M.D. to provide “quality structured programs with a cultural base and supervised events.” The funding would also cover an additional salary position, says the report in council’s agenda package.
The organization is called ‘TJBSC Community Learning Centre.’ The report says it has “been a huge success” so far.
Council accepted the report as information.
Bigstone to use arena
Council had no problem with the Bigstone Cree Nation using space at the M.D. arena in Calling lake for a course. The upstairs space will be used for a life skills course lasting six weeks. Rental will be $300, plus a deposit of $500.
The report says this will be the third time the course has been held. Bigstone was hoping to get the space for free, but was willing to pay rent if need be.
Help for food bank fundraiser
A Wabasca food bank had asked the M.D. for a contribution to its golf tournament fundraiser, happening on June 24. The Neepinise Family Healing Centre Ka-asiniskasik Foodbank asked for $6,000, which would cover the cost of putting on the tournament. Door prizes would be appreciated as well, says the letter from the organizers. Not only that, feel free to enter a team or teams, for a fee of $600 per.
Council voted in favour of a motion to provide the $6,000; council also authorized the M.D. to register two teams for the tournament at Wabasca’s Eagle Point Golf Course.
Calling Lake berry patch
Council was asked to consider the idea of designating a berry-picking area of Calling Lake as conservation reserve. It’s already protected in the M.D.’s area structure plan for Calling Lake.
The benefits would be the protection of the lands, says the report. On the other hand, if the M.D. decided it had a better use in the future, it would have to go through a procedure with a public hearing. The recommendation was to go ahead with the conservation reserve designation.
Council gave all three readings to the required bylaw change.
Future MLA visits
Scott Sinclair, the United Conservative Party candidate for Lesser Slave Lake, sat down to chat with council at 11:50 a.m. He started by introducing himself and providing a bit of his background for council.
The conversation lasted until 12:16 p.m. Council thanked him for his attendance.
(Six days later, Sinclair won the election, but without much help from Wabasca voters, a majority of whom went for the NDP candidate.)
Re-grade contract for Red Earth Creek
Waymor Construction wasn’t only the lowest bidder on the Red Earth Creek Transportation Road re-grading project. It was the only one.
Council voted in favour of awarding the contract to Waymor, in the amount of $1,061,195.
Gator purchase okayed
Council authorized the purchase of a ‘gator’ for up to $20,000, for the Wabasca Lions Campground. The money is to come from the fleet capital budget. The gator is apparently a type of utility vehicle.