Special Areas Advisory Council Spring Meetings Wrap Up

It's A Wrap!

The Special Areas Advisory Council finished up their first meeting of 2018 this week in Hanna, with the locally elected representatives spending two days together discussing emerging issues, reviewing organizational performance, and providing direction to the Board on work planned for 2018.  Topics of discussion included the Elected Advisory Council Code of Conduct, 2017 financial statements review, ongoing advocacy efforts with the provincial government on significant issues impacting ratepayers, and some potential future economic development projects.

The locally elected Advisory Council welcomed a range of presenters, from private citizens to Special Areas staff to the Hanna Climate Change Taskforce. The Agricultural Fieldmen reported on their 2017 activities and previewed their 2018 work plans. New tools developed in-house were shared with the Advisory Council, including an interactive data-rich map that integrated mapping information with historical weed control activities. The 2017 Assessment was discussed, and a round-table discussion held giving updates on the many external Boards & Committees Special Areas is represented on. Representatives were selected from the Advisory Council to sit on the Provincial Endangered Species Conservation Committee and the Consort Medical & Dental Board. 

Dale Thacker, the Chairman of the HALO Board of Directors, joined the meeting to express his appreciation for the ongoing support Special Areas provides to HALO’s medical air rescue operations. The Advisory Council recognized the importance of the service HALO provides for the people of the region, and thanked Mr. Thacker for volunteering his time to meet with them. Terry Duchcherer, from Netago Internet, was on hand to provide an update on Netago’s upcoming fiber optic project and to highlight some potential changes which could impact broadband internet for the region. The Advisory Council thanked Mr. Duchcherer for Netago’s support of local not-for-profit community groups and community centers in the Special Areas, highlighting his recent work setting up equipment and Wi-Fi at the new Consort Community Center at no charge.

At the end of the two-day meeting, the Special Areas Advisory Council passed resolutions supporting the development of a local business incentive policy, requesting a longer term for the Special Areas Board Chair’s appointment, and requesting the re-appointment of Jordon Christianson as Chair of the Special Areas Board after the current appointment expires.

The Special Areas Advisory Council is planning the next Advisory Council meeting early in the summer. The Special Areas Board meets bi-monthly throughout the Special Areas. For more information on this meeting, or to view the minute book of reports, contact your local District Office.