by Colin Smith
Morinville is looking into the possibilities of increased cooperation with Sturgeon County and other regional municipalities.
At its November 12 regular meeting Town Council unanimously approved jointly hosting a meeting with Sturgeon County in January to talk about shared efficiencies. This sub-regional meeting would also include inviting the Towns of Bon Accord, Gibbons, Legal, and Redwater.
“What we are seeing here is the merit of increasing the tempo of conversation between ourselves and our regional partners,” said Mayor Barry Turner. “I’m looking forward to carrying it on.”
Council also directed the Administration to investigate restarting the Sturgeon Regional Partnership, a body created about 10 years ago and long-dormant.
“It does seem like it would be prudent especially at the time with IAC talks and ICF that we have this partnership collaboration ongoing,” said Councillor Sarah Hall.
Councillor Stephen Dafoe suggested that cooperation may be the way forward since recent provincial government moves are going to result in tight times for Morinville and its regional partners.
“I know there is a desire in the broader community, communities perhaps, that we start looking at some of these things,” Dafoe said. “So I will definitely support trying to get this restarted.”
Mayor Barry Turner noted that the terms of reference for the Sturgeon Regional Partnership had only recently been rediscovered.
“Maybe our past councils were ahead of their time in terms of putting this forward,” said Turner.
He said that while some informal forums for discussion exist, such as the regional mayors’ committee, “I think this kind of kicks it up a notch.
“Pending the outcome of the investigation, it could be a tool and a forum for moving the regional conversation forward,” Turner added. “I’m looking forward to what the investigation reveals.”
The decisions follow recommendations made during an October 16 meeting of the joint Morinville-Sturgeon Intermunicipal Affairs Committee.
The recommendations were also presented to Sturgeon County Council, where they were approved unanimously.