LISA: This is Talk of the Town with Brooks Mayor John Petrie. Council was away last week at the
Alberta Municipalities Conference. At were some of the highlights.
John: Firstly all municaplites are facing a challenge of the lack of dollars for infastracture, so we were
happy to see a motion pass to ask the government to increase the MSI or LGFF funding up to $1.75
billion dollars. The Alberta Government wants to start it at $722 million. With the Alberta economy
going good, an increase in population and much needed housing every where, …will this listen, let’s
Lisa: You also had a chance to meet with Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver and you talked to
him about housing.
John: We told him the incentives we are doing here to attract developers and again, pointed out that
with Alberta’s population expected to grown by 1 million people in the next ten years, it would be nice
to have some of the increase come to Brooks an southeast Alberta. We have a lot of advantages from
land to a water licence where we could triple our population.
Lisa: You also met with the RCMP’s K Division.
John: We had a good discussion and again brought up the issue of police costs and wanting to know
ahead of time so we can prepare. Communication was another item we brought up, saying they have to
get the messages out quicker, other wise social media will create its own narrative. We also talked about
needing a new police station and that will be our responsibility.
Lisa: At the conference you also attended a session on rural doctors.
John: The session was called Code Blue…and talks about the lack of doctors and nurses in rural
communities. Medicine should not be a municipal responsibility, but it now has fallen into our lap. To
solver this, some communities are buying or building their own clinics and running them for the
doctors, to make it easier on them. Other’s are offering big incentives to attract nurses and doctors.
Lisa: Brooks presented a policy and it was approved.
John: Councillor Wardrop and Idriss worked on this policy which would not allow political parties to
be part of municipal elections. The concept is that municipal politicians should not be puppets of a
party, but should work for local constituents.
John: Yes, it was approved.
Lisa: And you also brought up SAWEA.
John: Council Juska, who is now chair of the Southern Alberta Waste to Energy Association, spoke to
McIver on this, plus the environment Minister Rebecca Shultz. We still believe it’s a great project for the
area, but we also know, we need government support. This project has been going on for a while, so
lets hope we see some activity in the near future.
LISA: Council approved a plan for an updated Regional Wastewater Study.
John: MPE Engineering told us about the $200,000 grant, and the study will gives us some
clarity regarding waste water treatment and discharge options. Also included in the study will be the
County of Newell and JBS Foods. Discharging waste water is not cheap, so if we can include more
partners, that certainly helps. The intention is that the study will also bring back some concepts and
Lisa: Council recently heard from the Week Inspector.
John: One thing I got out of it is, there are a a lot of weeds out there, and the public is not
familiar with them. In some cases, the weeds take hold and are hard to get rid of. We suggested that
maybe next year, there be an improved campaign to let residents know about the weeds,…which one
are really harmful and how to get rid of them.
LiSA: The City was busy planting trees this year.
John: Everyone once and while we have to cut down some trees for various reasons, but we also plant
trees. Ths year, we planed 60 new trees in the city, 32 of them at the Regional Ball Diamonds, 11 at Rose
Lea Park and 17 others throughout the town.
Lisa: A big weekend coming up, the Chinook Rodeo Finals are in town.
John: This is a big event, when ever you attract people from outside the area, it is good business for
the hotels, restaurants and stores. We welcome in town on the rodeo participants, their families and
fans.And since it a long weekend, the City will be closed on Monday and the pool will be on holiday
Lisa: This has been Talk of the Town, with Brooks Mayor John Petrie.