Some join meeting, others decline

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

An invitation to Peace Country municipal councils from Alberta Health Services to attend a North Zone Community Conversation is being handled differently by each council.
AHS chief zone officer, Stacy Greenling, and zone medical director, Dr. Brian Muir, sent invitations in early April inviting members of councils to two virtual sessions, the first April 18, and second April 19.
“We have recently had a leadership change in the North Zone and would like the opportunity to introduce ourselves, and to hear from you,” Greening and Dr. Muir write.
However, given there are dozens of municipalities in the North Zone, and given the fact only one hour was allotted in each session, raises the question of just how much input and how many questions local council can ask.
However, the pair write: “AHS regularly engages with the public and our stakeholders, including elected officials, and we want to hear from you, whether you have concern about a particular program or service, or if you want or raise an issue or ask a question on behalf of a member of our community.”
Many communities are concerned over the temporary closure of services at hospitals in the region. Lack of doctors and physician retention are also key issues.
Area municipalities handled the invitation differently. Northern Sunrise County had the letter on its agenda April 12.
“It’s probably pretty important we go,” said Reeve Carolyn Kolebaba.
“It’s an important time to bring our concerns [forward],” added Councillor Corinna Williams.
Northern Sunrise agreed and encouraged anyone who wanted to register for the meeting to attend.
High Prairie town council received the letter but it did not make it way onto the agenda at council’s April 12 meeting.
The M.D. of Smoky River also received the letter and placed it on their agenda April 13. Council received the letter for information meaning no action was taken.
AHS’s letter was also not on Big the Lakes County agenda April 13. It is not known if they were sent a letter.

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