Monday, 28 January 2008

Crowsnest Pass, Specialized Municipality

Council received good news from the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Ray Danyluk. The provincial cabinet passed an order in council granting the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, Specialized Municipality status. This is the same status granted Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, Strathcona County, M.D. of Mackenzie and Jasper. This unique status recognizes the urban rural composite of Crowsnest Pass. We will now be able to join the Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties as well as retain our membership in the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association the two largest lobby groups in the province.

Weed control has always been one of our most difficult areas of responsibility. Rural municipalities receive provincial grants to be used for the control of noxious and other weeds. Our municipality has not been eligible for these same grants because of our status as an urban municipality. We have been dependent on the good graces of the MD of Rockyview to help us with funding for weed control in Crowsnest Pass. The municipal district has been good enough to share a small portion of their grant money for weed control with us. With this change in our status to a specialized municipality we will now be eligible to apply for those same grants. This is a very real benefit to our community.

The Honourable Minister, Ray Danyluk, recognized the urgency of our application and is to be commended for his swift action on our behalf. Our mayor, John Irwin, can take the lion's share of credit for this significant change in our municipal status. This approval came about because of what one letter writer in the Pass Promoter last year described as "a junket to rub elbows with Edmonton's elite at the tax payer's expense". Hope the writer will now be happy to know the mayor's "junket" worked out in the best interests of us taxpayers.

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