Messages from our elected leaders

Message from MP Arnold Viersen

Arnold Viersen, MP, Peace River – Westlock

“2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Everything is in flux. I feel we are extremely blessed to live in Alberta where neighbours come together and help each other out. The pioneer spirit still lives. It is the Albertan can-do attitude and camaraderie that has made Alberta the beacon of freedom in comparison to other provinces in the country. As we celebrate Christmas remember the reason for the season – the birth of Jesus. Born in a stable amongst the animals and witnessed by shepherds who worked through the night. For Christians, we reflect on the hope, peace, joy and love found in the birth of Jesus Christ. We marvel at a Creator who does not abandon us or expect us to try to ascend to Him. We find great hope in a God who leaves the heavens to be with us. We see the goodness of a Father who sends His Son Jesus as a gift of love to us. And we joyfully await the advent of this King who will establish peace forever. This Christmas will be difficult for some. Please take some time to reach out to friends and neighbours and let them know they are loved. Drop off a meal or schedule a phone or Zoom call with elderly folks around you. Most importantly, hug your children and call your parents. From Aliyah, Seeley, Jillian, Daniel, Melissa and myself, we offer our very best wishes to you and your family at this special time of year. Merry Christmas and God Bless.”

Message from Northern Sunrise County

Carolynn Kolebaba, Reeve, Northern Sunrise County

“2020 has been a year that will go down in the history of our region and the world. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the downturn of our economy has been a challenge for all of us. As we move into the holiday season, one that will be incredibly different for each of us, I encourage you to take the time to reflect on the good that has come through these troubling times – for each of you it will be different. Recognize these things that are good, be grateful for them. As we move into 2021, I invite you to look forward to savouring the moments when we can come together again as family, friends and neighbours. On behalf of the Northern Sunrise County family [council and staff], we wish each and everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! May your Christmas season, although different, be blessed with lots of love, fun, peace, joy and happiness.”

Message from Big Lakes County

Ken Matthews, Reeve, Big Lakes County

“On behalf of myself, deputy reeve, councillors, and staff, I’d like to wish the residents of Big Lakes County a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. May you and your family experience peace, happiness, and good health throughout the Christmas season and in the coming New Year. We are incredibly grateful and privileged to serve this wonderful community, and we thank you for your continued support. Although this Christmas will be different, as we won’t be celebrating the holidays with our extended family and friends, I hope you can begin new traditions together with the people in your household. Gatherings may be cancelled, but the spirit of the holiday season is not. Merry Christmas, everyone – see you in 2021!”

Message from Village of Donnelly

Myrna Lanctot, Mayor, Village of Donnelly

“A challenging year, with so many changes on so many levels. We said goodbye to a long-standing employee and hello to a new CAO. The Village council also welcomed a new council member, Katie King. We wish to thank you for your patience through all of our transitions this year. We, at the Village of Donnelly, wish you and your family Seasons Greetings and a Happy New Year. We want to send a special thank you to all of our first responders and everyone working over the holidays. Stay safe, stay healthy and Merry Christmas.”

Message from Town of Peace River

Tom Tarpey, Mayor, Town of Peace River

“Well, 2020 was a tough year for the Town of Peace River, as it was for every municipality across Canada. I thank our lucky stars that we were able to host our 100th-year celebrations last year. Many of our traditional days of celebrations like Canada Day and the winter Light up the Park with their accompanying fireworks were cancelled to minimize the transmission of the C19 virus. But the end does appear to be in sight and I think we are all looking forward to when the public vaccinations start in April or so. Nonetheless, there were still a number of notable accomplishments in 2020.The opening of a brand-new medical clinic before the C19 virus came to town. The second highway bridge across the Peace River was completed early November. It has been pressed into use as the original highway bridge is being prepped for a $50 million redecking. The redecking should provide some great employment opportunities over the next two years. The Peace River Airport was transferred to a non-profit group with an agreement that they will run it as an airport for at least another 10 years. The dividend to the PR taxpayer will be a $240,000 dividend annually starting 2023 when our subsidy for airport operations will cease. And, our perennial Neighbourhood Renewal program continues to build upon success after success. The Neighbourhood Renewal program brings streets and lighting up to snuff and rejuvenates the underground infrastructure in local neighbourhoods. This year we completed the South End.”

Message from Town of High Prairie

Brian Panasiuk, Mayor, Town of High Prairie

“‘You can tell a lot about a person by the way they handle three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.’ – Maya Angelou. After this year you can add to that how they handle a pandemic. I am very proud of how the council and staff of the Town have worked together to ensure that the residents continued to receive the services they have come to expect from the Town. I would also like to thank our residents and businesses for all the precautions they have taken to help prevent the spread of the virus. On behalf of the High Prairie Town Council, I want to wish all the residents and businesses of High Prairie and area, a Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year.”

Message from Town of Falher

Donna Buchinski, Mayor, Town of Falher

“2020 has brought municipalities, provinces, countries and the world many challenges. I want to congratulate our residents for being diligent, thinking of your family, friends, and neighbours by adhering to restrictions. We are “Stronger Together” and have the positive results to prove this with our low case numbers. The Town of Falher saw many changes, first in our council. Resignations from Councillor Bell, and Councillor Roy created an opportunity for our newest member: Councillor Morin. In administration we welcomed a new Director of Community Services, and a CAO In-Training, as we are saying farewell to our CAO of 10 years: Adele Parker. She has guided us through the last decade with patience, grace, and experience. Capital projects were completed. In 2019, the marcite was replaced at our pool, and in 2020 we revamped the entire concrete pad surrounding the pool. We began work on asset management for continued sustainability for the community. While we may have missed out on many events in 2020 such as HoneyFest, we look forward to everything that 2021 has in store. I think everyone will be as excited as our council, for a big announcement coming very soon. The council and staff of the Town of Falher, extend Best Wishes to all residents for a prosperous new year.”

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