M.D. of Opportunity Council notebook

Oct. 24, 2023 meeting

Joe McWilliams

Lakeside Leader

Council’s Oct. 24 meeting was held at the community hall in Chipewyan Lake, with Reeve Marshall Auger and nine of the 10 councillors present. Leo Alook missed the meeting.

Four items were added to the agenda: Red Earth Creek Library, firewood, Santas Anonymous and the marketing and branding campaign by the firm Unfussy.

MMIP Family Matters

An organization that provides services to families of missing and murdered people had made a presentation to council on Oct. 11, asking for a letter of support and a financial contribution from the M.D. The matter was back before council for a decision.

According to the written report in council’s agenda, the organization provides – among other services – licensed private investigators.

“There are four cases in the Wabasca area,” says the report. “Support is vital to their ability to raise funds for this very worthwhile and much-needed project.”

Councillors were unanimous in their support of a motion to provide the letter of support and a $10,000 donation.

Calling Lake

Council discussed the state of local emergency that is in place in Calling Lake; specifically how long it should remain in place. The decision was made to leave it be until after the Rural Municipalities of Alberta convention, at which council hopes to meet with various government ministers. After that a decision will be made on the state of emergency.

Later in the meeting, council decided to have administration look into the cost of providing a security contractor for Calling Lake.


Councillor Robin Guild made a motion to have M.D. administration draft a letter or letters to logging companies, asking them to “bring loads of dry wood that can be made accessible for residents to use for firewood.”

Santas Anonymous

Councillor Darlene Jackson made a motion to approve a request for $10,000 from the Wabasca Lions Club. The money is for the Santas Anonymous program. The motion further requested permission to us the Eagle Point Golf Course banquet room for wrapping gifts and preparing hampers. This would be from Dec. 18.

The motion was carried.

New signs

The consultant working on rebranding and marketing the M.D. had come up with some samples for new M.D. entrance signs. Council had a look at some of these and then directed admin. to set up meetings with Unfussy, by hamlet, to talk with residents about what sort of signs they want.

Policies chucked

Per an administration recommendation, council made a series of motions to rescind half a dozen M.D. policies. The reason for doing this was because the policies were either “duplicated, contradicting or obsolete.”

Rescinded are the Out of School Policy, Child Care Policy, Recording of Council Resolutions Policy, Recording of Council Minutes Policy, Reservation/Accommodation Cancellations Policy and the Use of Municipal Vehicles by Elected Officials Policy.

Reserve bids

Council approved the appraised values and reserve bids for a public auction of land. Four parcels were to be auctioned off on Nov. 16 – three residential and one non-residential. The report does not say, but perhaps implies these are properties the M.D. is selling to recover unpaid taxes.

The cost of getting the properties appraised will be added to the property tax accounts.

Two of the properties are in Red Earth Creek; one is in Calling Lake and one in Sandy Lake.

Neither the appraised values or the reserve bid amounts were included in the report or in the minutes.

Preliminary budget discussions

On Nov. 2, council held its first meeting to discuss the 2024 M.D. budget. The meeting was held at council chambers in Wabasca, again with 10 council members present.

The minutes on the meeting are sparse, and the agenda package even sparser. One thing that made it into the minutes was that council reviewed the five-year capital plan, including the fleet list. Some projects were deferred to another year.

Also reviewed was the 2024 capital budget.

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