M.D. of Smoky River notebook

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

Share for physician recruitment decreases

Council agreed unanimously at its Jan. 13 meeting to approve the 2021 Physician Recruitment Co-ordinator budget as presented.
The good news is each member, including the M.D. of Smoky River, will pay a bit less this year.
This year’s budget is $27,000 but $9,000 left over from last year will be applied making the total for each member less. For the M.D., the requisition decreases to $10,870.34 from $16,305.51.
The Smoky River Physician Recruitment and Retention Committee decided at its Jan. 4 meeting they would use $9,000 from reserves in the 2021 budget.

Victim Services agreement extended

An organization which aids victims of crime will continue to receive money from the M.D. of Smoky River.
Peace Regional Victim Services will receive $4,046 in 2021, which is $2 per capita population, and the same as in 2020.
Council heard not all local governments contribute to the organization; each is left on its own to decide.
CAO Rita Therriault says the region’s residents do make use of the service.
“There is a need there,” she said.
Some members of council expressed concern citing the Alberta government has $76 million in the budget.
“[And] they’re asking locals to contribute,” said Councillor Donald Dumont. “They got all this money there and not using it and asking locals to contribute.”
The motion passed 4-2.

Council prepares for election

Council appointed director of corporate services Kelsie Fournier as returning officer and CAO Rita Therriault as substitute returning officer at its Jan. 13 meeting.
The election is Oct. 18 but since nominations are now open the positions had to be declared.
Nomination packages are available at the office.

M.D. applies for 6 positions in Canada Summer Jobs

The M.D. is applying for six positions under the Canada Summer Jobs program.
Under the program, council is responsible to pay 75 per cent of wages up to $15 an hour.
In past years, the government and M.D. split the costs 50-50, but in an effort to put more people to work the government increased its portion. Or, as director of corporate services director Kelsie Fournier said, “stimulate the economy.”
CAO Rita Therriault added council can apply for the positions and later refuse them if they change their mind and/or no money is in the budget.

Guy drainage ditch proceeds

Council agreed to hire MPE Engineering to complete Phase 1 of the Hamlet of Guy Drainage Interception Ditch.
Director of operations Kevin Cymbaluk told council they asked four businesses for proposals and receive two replies.
MPE’s lower bid was up to $46,955 plus GST.
Phase 1 includes preliminary assessment, evaluation and grant application for the project.

Level of fire protection service depends on manpower

The Fire Department Level of Service Policy 916 was approved by council.
Director of protective services/fire chief Marcel Maure presented the policy to council for approval saying he virtually tore up the old policy and started anew.
Maure noted the key factor in the policy was that the level of service provided was tied to the number of members on the department.
“It’s a volunteer department,” he noted.
Other municipalities in the agreement were asked for a definite level of service to be defined.
“If I have no volunteers, I can’t run it,” said Maure.
As the service provider, council determines the level of service to be provided.

Fire Dispatch Agreement approved

It will cost council $5,462.10 to keep the Fire Dispatch Agreement with the City of Grande Prairie in 2021-22.
The price is a four per cent increase over the previous year and is based on a price of $2.70 per capita times 2,023 for $5,462.10.
However, council is actually paying less than in 2020 because director of protective services/fire chief Marcel Maure negotiated a lower fee on other areas in the agreement.
No other municipalities saw a decrease.

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