Council approves land for LAV III memorial site on rec centre grounds

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by Tristan Turner

The Morinville Rotary Club and veteran Jayson Wood received some good news from Council after they approved the use of a slice of Town land on their new recreation centre site to develop a new LAV III monument. The LAV or Light Armoured Vehicle is a popular vehicle that has been used by the Canadian military in many deployments globally and is familiar to many soldiers who deployed in Afghanistan.

Jayson Wood, a veteran who served at CFB Edmonton, has spearheaded this project to see a monument to the LAV III and the Afghanistan conflict, particularly, in Morinville. This local initiative is part of a larger national initiative lead by Canada Company and other partners to offer decommissioned real LAV III vehicles to be used in monuments across the country.

Council originally struggled with choosing a location for the monument on the rec centre site, with Councillor Giffin making a motion to allocate a space right next to Highway 642. CAO Andrew Isbister noted that there may be some difficulties with this site as far as accessibility and some potential conflicts with utility lines that travel underneath. Isbister also noted that another site proposed by Wood next to the rec centre itself poses other issues, including potential conflicts with construction.

In the end, Deputy Mayor Dafoe put forward a motion to amend Giffin’s, saying that there is no specific site selected, leaving the ultimate choice up to Administration to consider all factors as the facility is built and developed.

Councillor Sarah Hall made an earlier amendment to make it clear that this motion would not mean that the Town is making any financial contribution to the project, beyond the in-kind donation of the land, and that Rotary and other donors would be responsible for constructing the project.

Ultimately, only Councillor Boutestein has opposed the project.

“I have always believed that what you do for one, you have to do for all,” Boutestein said, adding the Town should instead create a monument that honours firefighters and police officers as well.

She also cited concerns about the lack of clear official communication about the project from Wood, and was worried about the Town being left on the hook for the project.

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