Suzanne Oel Councillor
Black Diamond/Turner Valley/Longview Local Political News Priddis/Millarville/Red Deer Lake

Councillor Update – Suzanne Oel – MD Foothills – Jun 2021

Infrastructure Projects announced for Foothills in the 2021 Provincial Capital Plan: We are very grateful for these projects slated within Foothills County. On Hwy 22, the Fish Creek Bridge at Priddis Valley Road is in the design phase (AKA, the Priddis Bridge, as mentioned in my April article). On Hwy 22 between Hwy 540 and 541, 18km of repaving is in the design phase, and through Black Diamond south to Hwy 541, 17km of repaving is in the construction phase this year. On Hwy 2A, there’s 10km of repaving in the design phase between Highway 2 and Highway 552. On Hwy 2A between Hwy 2 and Hwy 7, there’s 1km of repaving in the design phase. On Hwy 7, the signalization project at 16 St./Big Rock Trail has gained permission from Alberta Transportation – this is a joint project between the Town of Okotoks and Foothills County that will now be under way. Also, on Hwy 543, there’s a bridge replacement scheduled near Hartell. Thank you to the Department of Alberta Transportation, the AT Minister, our MLAs who supported these projects and to any other departments that are responsible!

SWCRR: This summer will be busy on the Southwest Calgary Ring Road. Don’t forget to check on their website for the flurry of construction and detour details:

Foothills County to host Meeting about Northwest Wildfire Mitigation Strategy and FireSmart: You are invited to attend a Zoom Public Meeting to learn more about this study and FireSmart community action. Our meeting is scheduled for 7pm on July 12, 2021. You can join in by phone or computer. Representatives from our Foothills Fire Department will attend to share a presentation and for a Q&A session. I will write a reminder in the next July HCN, share the Zoom Meeting link via the High Country Rural Crime Watch Facebook page, the County’s website and FB page, and via HCRCWA email Fan- out. Meanwhile, you can check out the report linked at:

Volunteer Firefighters needed: On another Fire Department-related note, Foothills County is looking for Volunteer Firefighters to serve areas in the County. If you are interested, please contact our Foothills Fire Chief: Rick.Saulnier@

The Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB) – Growth Plan Update: Thank you for your response to our Call- to-Action. We are grateful that many residents sent in letters and participated in the third round of CMRB online public engagement, sharing your strong sentiments towards to this Growth Plan. Although these results have been disregarded by the urban members of this Board, we hope there will be consideration given to the rural perspective and those who voiced their opinion, at least by the Minister of Municipal Affairs. This information has not yet been posted to the CMRB website. Please watch for it, hopefully soon, so that you can see the overwhelming response of concern that you provided. We will make sure this gets to the Minister’s desk as well.

During the month of May, Foothills County worked diligently to prepare our case and request changes to policies that restrict rural development. However, the voting structure, as you know, is such that we were voted down on many of the items we were asking to change. On May 19, our MLAs Miranda Rosin, Roger Reid, RJ Sigurdson joined us during our Council Meeting for a presentation from the Planning Consultant and the CMRB Staff. Our Council and Admin shared our numerous concerns and put forward resolutions to direct our next action. At the CMRB Meeting on May 21, we voted in OPPOSITION to this Regional Growth Plan, Servicing Plan and the Regional Evaluation Framework. Despite the opposition of the three rural members, the plans were voted in.

Foothills County Council fundamentally disagrees with the guidance and policies within Section 3.1. of the Growth Plan. This section of the Growth Plan generates substantial red tape, limits economic opportunities in rural municipalities and promotes municipal conflict. These policies demand a tremendous amount of additional work be undertaken that Foothills feels will have no benefit to our ratepayers and will not create better outcomes for the region. The Growth Plan gives significant power to an entirely new level of government with primarily urban interests to control development in rural Alberta.

We will keep you informed as these plans now move to the Minister of Municipal Affairs for approval. There is still time for you to send in a letter of concern to your MLA, MA Minister, Premier and whomever you wish to copy. The decision from the MA Minister is apparently a few months away. Check out our website for details, draft letters and contact info for provincial representatives:

Best Regards, Councillor Suzanne Oel
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