MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - County council is calling on the provincial government to ensure rural municipalities are thoroughly consulted before any decision is made regarding the possible replacement of the RCMP with an Alberta provincial police force.
During the recent regularly scheduled council meeting, councillors approved a number of one-page summaries calling for action from various government ministries.
The summary being sent to the minister of Justice and Solicitor General calls on the ministry to “commit to a comprehensive engagement of municipal leaders during their review of the feasibility of a provincial police force and the impact that decision may have on local issues.”
It also calls on the ministry to “provide a firm commitment that financial contributions from municipalities for policing will not be increased regardless of the province’s decision on a provincial police force.”
The background note accompanying the summary states, in part, that the county “through it’s payments to the municipal policing contract has a direct interest in the value that local residents, businesses and stakeholders receive from either the RCMP or the proposed provincial police force and therefore requests to be consulted on its position on the most effective solution for the municipality.”
The UCP-government-appointed Fair Deal Panel has provided a recommendation that the province create an Alberta police service to replace the RCMP, which currently provides policing service for much of rural Alberta.
Minister of Justice and Solicitor General Kaycee Madu has said a provincial police force would give the province more autonomy over policing.
Dozens of municipalities, including Mountain View County, have sent letters to the minister of Justice and Solicitor General calling for the RCMP to be retained as the police force in rural Alberta.
The province announced last week that Madu plans to meet with rural municipal councils to gather input into the proposal to form a provincial police force.
Other issues addressed in the summaries approved by council on July 14 included rural broadband, renewable energy funding, provincial floodway mapping, and diversifying the agriculture sector.
The summaries have been prepared by the intergovernmental communications committee for submission to various provincial government departments.
In the summary being sent to the minister of Agriculture and the ministry of Environment and Parks, the county is asking the ministry to “coordinate to ensure the sustainability of the agricultural plastics recycling group to allow full realization of the potential of ag plastic recycling in the province with a focus on enhanced responsibility among the producers of the products.”
The county is also calling on the ministry of Agriculture and Forestry to “review and support innovative industries such as hemp production and other opportunities as alternatives to plastics, creating an ag-based solution for an ag industry challenge.”
In the summary being sent to the ministry of Education, the county calls on the department to “advocate on behalf of rural municipalities in partnership with the minister of Service Alberta to the federal government to provide additional, on-going funding for broadband funding for rural municipalities to ensure that rural residents and students have access to a service that meets the minimal CRTC standards.”
Another summary to the minister of Environment and Parks regarding provincial floodway mapping calls on the ministry to “ensure that affected residents receive sufficient support during the Upper Red Deer River Hazard Study consultations and once the mapping is released to the public to adequately understand the impact on their property and the provincial strategy to assist them.”
The background note accompanying the summary states, in part, that, “Mountain View County has long maintained that a provincial floodway development standard is needed to help guide municipal decision making in the floodways and the flood fringes identified by provincial mapping” and the county is “taking a proactive approach to bring forward policies to guide appropriate zoning, subdivision and development on land that will be affected by the study’s finalized flood hazard maps.”
The complete summaries are available for viewing on the county’s website.