Training may be ‘hard’ for new councillors

Chris Clegg
South Peace News

It’s becoming a “necessary evil” if you win a municipal election.

First thing they do is send you to school!

The matter of elected officials taking courses was the subject at three Smoky River local government meetings recently.

On Dec. 14, 2020, Town of McLennan Councillor Dwayne Stout caused a bit of a stir when he said Alberta Municipal Affairs can “kiss my ass” regarding a mandatory emergency services training course.

Stout, who has served over 35 years on council, threatened he may resign over the matter.

At the time, he added Municipal Affairs was turning a volunteer position into a job, and that he heard a lot of “grumbling” about the course at a recent conference.

At the M.D. of Smoky River meeting Jan. 13, the subject was brought up regarding the election of new councillors. Councillor Donald Gosselin asked CAO Rita Therriault if potential candidates in a municipal election were made aware that training was mandatory.

“Every candidate is made aware,” she said.

She recognized the fact it may be “hard for the person” who has served a long time to adjust since the training was not mandatory until recently.

The Village of Donnelly also discussed the matter at its Jan. 13 meeting. Mayor Myrna Lanctot reminded councillors they had to complete the emergency services training course by Jan. 30 – the same one Stout opposed.

Councillor Kyle Heyn said he recently completed the course. He said it was about 90 minutes long and anyone could pass it with one eye closed.

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