Agenda, minutes for meeting still not released

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

It has been almost two weeks and the Town of High Prairie has still not responded to a request to produce an agenda and approved minutes from an April 22, 2023 meeting.

Council discussed at that meeting a decision to not purchase the old High Prairie Health Complex land, but a record to prove the meeting existed has still not been produced, or posted on the Town’s website.

South Peace News sent requests to the entire council and CAO Bill McKennan April 5 and April 7 but received no response.

At its April 9 meeting, council did approve minutes from the March 12 and March 26 regular meetings of council and the March 18 and March 23 special meetings of council.

However, no mention of the April 22, 2023 meeting came forth from council or administration. Until council can provide minutes and approve them, it brings into question the existence of the meeting. At the very least, the agenda and minutes remain a secret almost one year later.

Alberta Health Services offered the land to council for $148,000 in April 2023. On May 18, 2023 McKennan wrote AHS telling the offer was refused.

However, without a proper motion, which council cannot provide, some of the public still wonders who actually made the decision. Council is supposed to make decisions by resolution (motions), not discussion.

All council’s actions were done in secret without the public knowing what was going on. It was not until September 2023 that South Peace News broke the story when the land was put up for public bid.

Today, there are still no minutes or motions from council meetings presented to the public to back councillors’ claims.

South Peace News has asked council to provide a motion to not purchase the land for months and never received a response.

Also, the next regular meeting of council after the April 22, 2023 meeting was May 9, 2023. It was when the minutes of the April 22 meeting should have been approved. Council did approve minutes from the April 25 regular meeting but there was no mention of the April 22 special meeting, thus no approval of the minutes.

The May 9, 2023 meeting minutes do appear on the May 23 agenda. The minutes were approved as presented with no mention of the April 22 meeting.

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