M.D. of Smoky River notebook

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

NAEL survey completed

The M.D. of Smoky River has identified the need for family doctors in the region as its top priority.
Council was asked to fill out a healthcare survey by the Northern Alberta Elected Leaders at its March 15 meeting. The overwhelming and ongoing need for physicians topped council’s list.
Other concerns were mental health services, cancer care, the need for an anaesthetist and an oncologist.

Council hires bill collectors

T&S Collectors is entrusted with trying to collect unpaid M.D. of Smoky River accounts.
Council approved hiring the company at its March 10 meeting.
Despite best efforts to collect all bills, it is inevitable some are not paid.
“We try our best [to collect],” said CAO Rita Therriault.
It is not uncommon for municipalities to hire companies to collect bills.

Council concerned with use of quads

McLennan RCMP detachment commander Mark Hall attended the meeting on other matters but heard council’s concern regarding the potential use of quads by RCMP.
Reeve Robert Brochu suggested Hall talk to and keep in contact with ag fieldman Norman Boulet regarding fields infested with fusarium to keep it from spreading. Police sometimes do use quads in the apprehension of potential criminals.
Currently, the M.D. has identified seven sites.
Hall heard the M.D. can’t put up signs on the infested properties due to privacy issues.
However, at least one councillor didn’t think much of the suggestion.
“Moose and elk are carrying it. There’s too much regulation,” said Councillor Andy Trudeau.

Golfing donation passes

The M.D. has again agreed to donate $5,000 to the Smoky River Regional Golf Course.
Each year, the course asks Smoky River municipalities to sponsor the club in return for memberships.
The M.D. participated last year. Anyone who wants a golf membership only needs to attend the M.D. office in Falher to get one.
The M.D. gave 111 memberships last year.
Last year, McLennan, Donnelly and the M.D. of Smoky River participated in the program.
“It’s a good thing,” said Councillor Donald Gosselin.
The motion passed 4-2.

Green plan adopted by council

Council adopted its Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Pan 2021 which allows climate change coordinator Emily Plihal to apply for grants.
The plan was first refused and sent back for adjustments, which Plihal did to the satisfaction of council. Councillor Luc Levesque helped Plihal with the plan.
CAO Rita Therriault told council some of the grants Plihal could apply for.
“If anything does become available, we need a plan,” Therriault reminded council.

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