Blink and you would’ve missed it.
The public portion of the RMWB Council’s last “council in exile” meeting was done in a flash Wednesday afternoon at Edmonton City Hall. A light agenda that didn’t require much discussion was passed and the meeting adjourned within 20 minutes.
Council heard a brief presentation from Chief Legislative Officer David Leflar on passing a bylaw that would allow the municipality to control access to Abasand, Beacon Hill, and Waterways. The measure would take effect on June 30 when the provincial state of emergency is set to be lifted, giving the RMWB the authority to set up security checkpoints at the entrance to the neighbourhoods.
The first reading of the bylaw didn’t afford for much debate, and was passed unanimously. The public will have a chance to speak on the matter at next week’s council meeting back in Fort McMurray.
Council also unanimously approved a 60-day review for the hosting of the 2018 Alberta Winter Games. The review allows administration to examine the damage to trails and facilities that are set to be used in the games. An assessment as to the municipality’s preparedness to still host the games will also be completed.
Administrative officials say Alberta Sport Connection is being very supportive on the matter, and that they will understand if the RMWB has to step aside as hosts.
Lastly, council approved a motion to have a bylaw crafted that would create a “Wood Buffalo Recovery Committee” and task force that would work to help the region get back on its feet. Councillors McGrath, Vinni, and Germain are the proposed municipal representatives on the committee. The bylaw will be brought forward for first reading in next week’s meeting.
That bylaw proposal stemmed from the in-camera portion of council’s meeting, which began at 9 a.m. Councillors were discussing matters subject to the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. The items included discussions surrounding temporary accommodations, site cleanups, and possible land use bylaw changes. Council is not permitted to make any decisions regarding bylaw changes out of the public’s view.
One item on the in-camera agenda that caught people’s attention was “2016 Canada Day Parade and Festivities.” When asked why such a light agenda item would be hidden from the public, a councillor responded by saying administration thought it would be better to keep some of the celebration plans as a “surprise” for McMurrayites.