Village of Big Valley council voices support for RCMP’s ‘call to action’
July 29, 2022 By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
July 28, 2022, Big Valley, Alta. – Big Valley village council will support the RCMP’s bargaining unit’s efforts to remain Alberta’s primary provincial police force. The decision to support a “call to action” was made at the July 14 regular meeting of council.
Village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Elaine Macdonald presented councillors with a document somewhat similar to one they’d already read at a previous council meeting on a request from Mayor Dan Houle.
Mayor Houle asked that councillors reconsider a “Call to Action” request from the RCMP’s bargaining unit, the National Police Federation (NFP), that the village voice support for the RCMP amidst the provincial government’s quest for a provincial police force.
Houle explained the village originally did not support the letter because councillors thought it came from the provincial government.
Houle stated he supported the RCMP and wondered, with changes to community peace officers and sheriffs, if Alberta actually needs another police force.
CAO Macdonald noted the RCMP will still have to remain in Alberta anyway for certain federal investigations.
Councillors unanimously approved putting their support behind the RCMP.
The village held a public hearing for Bylaw 869 Electronic Transmission of Documents, which was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Houle. The CAO noted there were no members of the public present for the public hearing, so it was closed.
Material included in the agenda package showed the bylaw allows residents to receive certain information through electronic means such as email, and also included an email authorization form that it appears residents would be required to fill out.
Later in the meeting councillors approved all readings of the bylaw to bring it into effect.
Councillors examined and approved two documents related to emergency management, Bylaw 870 Regional Emergency Management and the Stettler Regional Emergency Management Partnership Agreement.
CAO Macdonald noted the bylaw is mandatory under the MGA, and defines how such actions as the declaration of a state of local emergency will be conducted.
Mayor Houle asked how such things are handled if village councillors are out of town or otherwise unable to respond.
Macdonald noted the bylaw states the declaration has to be made by a specific committee of the mayor with one councillor or two councillors so that should cover the problem.
Councillors then looked at the agreement; they discussed requirements such as liability insurance.
Houle noted that so much insurance is needed now that it seems nobody wants to have fun anymore.
Councillors discussed tabling the agreement to see if any other partners had concerns about it, but Macdonald noted any revised agreement would have to come back to members’ approval anyway.
Councillors unanimously approved all readings of the bylaw and approved the partnership agreement.
They also asked the CAO to explain to them their insurance coverage at a future meeting.
– East Central Alberta Review
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