Wednesday, 5 December 2018

Dec 5th Update - MD Budget Discussion, Millarville Waterline Good/Bad News and Sheep River Health Trust Avenue of Trees/Pictures with SANTA

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MD Council Budget Discussion

Today, MD Council had their second round of budget discussions.  There is still a lot of work to do.  Discussions will continue in the New Year and a final decision will not be made likely until March after the Provincial Budget is released.  At that point, Council will have an idea of just what the Provincial School Requisition will be so the Mill Rate can be set.

Generally, approximately 40% of the property taxes the MD take in is to go directly to the Province to help cover this school requisition.  It is used by the province to fund the education system.

Millarville Waterline Good/Bad News

The good news is, construction of the Millarville waterline is complete!  I believe the system has even been flushed.  The bad news is two fold.  First, the contractor informed the MD that in order to service the extension to the school, there is a pump upgrade required.  Unfortunately, this pump is not an off-the-shelf item and needs to be custom fabricated.  The company that does these is back logged and stated it could be 4-6 months until it is completed.  I am hoping that is a worst case scenario and it will be sooner.

The second bit of bad news is that Alberta Environment has thrown some other curve balls that will hold up putting water through the line.  MD staff is working through this and has been meeting with Environment almost weekly in order to find alternate solutions.  What this means is it pushes back the date the line can be used.  I am hopeful that this will be resolved before the new pump is installed so that it does not further delay the line.

I assure you that everything that can be done is being done and I will continue to keep you informed.

Sheep River Health Trust - Avenue of Trees

As I have mentioned before, the Sheep River Health Trust is currently doing their Avenue of Trees event.  There are 40 trees on display at the Okotoks Recreation Centre that are currently being auctioned off and they are beautiful!

If you are looking for a tree, this is a great place to get one!  

I am happy to say that the MD's tree has been, once again, chosen as one of the 10 Live Auction trees that will be auctioned off on December 15th at 12:45pm at the Rec Centre.  

PLEASE VOTE AND SHARE! Here is an image of the MD's entry into the Sheep River Health Trust's Avenue of Trees. The MD is in the running for the "Fan Favorite" but they need your help!

Please CLICK HERE and then "LIKE" the tree to vote for it (if you do like it that is) and comment letting them know what you think (if you just like my post, it will not count towards the voting).

If you LOVE this tree and would like to own it, you can bid either in person on December 15th at the Okotoks Rec Centre at 12:45 or online HERE.

A very special thank-you to the MD of Foothills No. 31 staff members (Kristine Bencharski, Toni Groeneveld-Sheep River HealthTrust MD of Foothills TreeBouvier and Kelsey Kilborn) that did such an absolutely BEAUTIFUL job on putting this tree together. I know how much effort must have gone into it and I'm sure it will find a well deserving home!




Pictures with Santa!

While you are attending the Sheep River Health Trust's Avenue of Trees, be sure to have your picture taken with Santa as he will be making a special visit to the Okotoks Rec Centre also!  Dates and times can be found HERE!

Wednesday, 28 November 2018

Nov 28th Update - Rural Municipalities of Alberta Fall Convention Highlights from Premier Notley, Environment Minister Phillips, Finance Minister Ceci and Amanda Lindhout

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Rural Municipalities of Alberta (RMA) Fall Convention Highlights

Last week Council was up in Edmonton for the RMA Fall Convention.  It is a time when we get together with all 69 rural municipalities across the province to discuss issues and potential solutions.

Premier Notley (@:27)

Discussed how the price differential is costing Albertans $80 million/day.  Announced $1 Billion that is going into petrochemical upgrading.

Shannon Phillips - Minister of Environment and Parks (@1:42)

Announced $200 million from the Carbon Tax over the next 20 years is to be allocated to support locally generated renewable energy projects.

Joe Ceci - Minister of Finance on the 2019 Budget (@2:27)

Shared that the estimated deficit of the 2019 Budget is proposed to be only $8.6 billion and stressed how they still planned on having a balanced budget by 2023.  It is better than the $10.8 billion deficit but sure has a long ways to go to get to balanced.

RMA Member Resolutions (@3:00)

The resolutions session is where the member municipalities are able to put resolutions forward to have the RMA work with and lobby the provincial government on certain items.  There were 24 resolutions this year.  I won't go through all of them but will provide a few highlights below.  I discuss them further in the video above. 

If you would like to see them all and the details of each, you can get them by clicking HERE:
  • 3-18F and 4-18F Federal and Provincial Funding of Municipal Broadband Projects (@3:40)
  • 8-18F Restricting the Consumption of Cannabis based on Regulations for Liquor Consumption (@5:00) 
  • 11-18F Rural Municipalities of Alberta Represents Municipalities on Water Act Approvals (@5:24)
  • 24-18F Review of Education Funding Formula (@5:48)

Amanda Lindhout - Keynote Speaker - Journalist Kidnapped in Somalia and held captive for over 460 days WATCH THIS! (@6:24)

Amanda shared her incredibly inspiring story and message for all of us and provided some extremely pertinent and powerful perspective that is important for all of us to hear! 

Be sure to watch this portion of the video above! 

For more information on her story, visit http://amandalindhout.com/.


Wednesday, 14 November 2018

Nov 14 Update - Sheep River Health Trust events, Rothney Astrophysical Observatory Dark Sky Night, Millarville Water Line update, Square Butte Meeting Update & MRAS

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Sheep River Health Trust (SRHT)

A lot of things are coming up with the SRHT!  For those of you not familiar with the organization, they raise funds for a number of different health initiatives in the Foothills. They do a lot of great things and are a fantastic organization to support.  Here are a few opportunities you have coming up!
  1. Pictures with Santa - Start on Saturday, Nov 17 and run on specific days from then until Dec 15th.  To book your time, go to SheepRiverHealthTrust.ca.
  2. Points of Light - December is the time of year when we remember those who have made a difference in our lives. Remember or recognize someone special today through Points of Light trees at Oilfields General Hospital and the Okotoks Health & Wellness Center.  To purchase a Point of Light please call our office at 403-995-5400.  (Information from SRHT website).
  3. Avenue of Trees - Do you need a new Christmas Tree this year but don't have the time or effort to creating your own?  No problem!  The Avenue of Trees is for you!  Businesses within the community come together to build trees that are auctioned off to the highest bidder to raise funds for the SRHT.  Trees on display at the Okotoks Rec Centre.  Visit, SheepRiverHealthTrust.ca to bid or vote for your favorite tree!

Rothney Astrophysical Observatory - Dark Night, Star Light Open House November 17th 8-11pm (@2:10)

Celebrate dark skies with the RAO and their partners in Conserving the Wilderness of the Dark Sky. Maureen Luchsinger and Laura Griffin will be sharing how the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area is a stellar nocturnal preserve. Roland Deschesne will be sharing his research on the effects of light pollution on songbird populations.

The RAO will be sharing how they are not afraid of the dark and how you can be a part of our dark sky country initiatives.

We are joined by our partners - ...the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada - Calgary Centre (RASC) - Page. They will have their telescopes setup for observing along with the University of Calgary's research telescopes.

This is an indoor and outdoor event so please dress for the weather.  The entrance fee is $30 per car.
All proceeds go towards RAO educational programming.

Please see their website for details on this event. www.ucalgary.ca/rao


Millarville Water Line update (@3:30)

The contractor is currently completing the rural connections to the line.  Most of the work within the hamlet has been completed.  The MD is still waiting on Alberta Environment for details on the water license transfer.  Once that is in place, the line will be able to be commissioned.


Square Butte Meeting Update (@3:58)

We had a great turnout for the Nov 8th event held at the Square Butte Hall.  Thanks for all of you that made it out.  We had the following present:
  • S. Sgt. Dwayne Helgeson - Turner Valley RCMP
  • Block Talk Community App Founder Michael Murray
  • Sean MacNeil - Wildfire Operations Officer & Kevin Dwyer, Incident Commander for the Champion Lakes Wildfire
  • Cody Zebedee - Foothills Fire Department
  • Clayton Terletski - Director of the MD's Foothills Emergency Management
  • And myself, Division 3 Councillor and Suzanne Oel, Division 4 Councillor and President of the High Country Rural Crime Watch
Watch my website at www.JasonParkerMD31.com and my Facebook page at www.Fb.me/JasonParkerMD31 for future updates on other events we look to host with regards to the FireSmart program.  

Millarville Racing and Ag Society - Christmas Market (@5:56)

This past weekend was the MRAS' annual Christmas Market.  Thanks to all of those that attended and all the vendors that participated!

I hope you had a chance to check it out and see the new arena!  What a beautiful facility that we are so blessed to have.  However, it is not done yet!  The MRAS are still in need of funds to fully complete the project.  If you can, be sure to donate. 

The MD of Foothills is still accepting donations to go towards the project on behalf of the MRAS.  If you are interested in donating, CLICK HERE for the form or call the MRAS directly at 403-931-3411.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Important Message

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This Message is a MUST WATCH!








Thursday, 18 October 2018

UPDATE - Millarville Rink

Hopefully Some Good News!

As I was driving past the Millarville rink this morning, I saw that Volker Stevin was on site. That should mean they are about to complete the paving! The weather looks good, so they should be able to get it done! The next step after it is completed will be re-installing the boards.

Keep your fingers crossed everyone that we will have ice at the Millarville rink again this year!


If you haven’t registered your children for pond hockey, be sure to visit the Millarville Sports Association website at https://www.millarvillesports.ca/.

I believe registration is closed but imagine they might still be able to squeak you in!

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Oct 17th Update - FUNDS for MRAS Arena Project, Cannabis Bylaw, Millarville Water Line Update and Square Butte Meeting

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Funds for MRAS Arena Rebuild Project

As I mentioned last week, MRAS President, Brent Foster and Treasurer, Nancy Seaman came before MD Council.  They brought Council up to speed on the vision, direction, and progress of the new arena currently being built at the MRAS along with all the incredible ideas for funding and new opportunities at the site.


Council discussed the presentation at authorized support of the MRAS's arena project by way of an interest free Debenture in the amount of $150,000 and a Grant in the amount of $50,000.  Terms of the interest free debenture are still to be negotiated and will come back before council.  The Grant, however, does not need to be paid back.

This is great news and Council is happy to support the MRAS as they realize how important the facility is to not only the Millarville, but the whole of the MD.

As I mentioned previous, I was able to visit the facility under construction and am very excited about the direction it is taking and how amazing a facility it will be upon completion.

Be sure to come out for the Millarville Christmas Market, Nov 8-10th!  It is a great start to the Holiday Season!

Reminder, the MD of Foothills is still accepting donations to go towards the project on behalf of the MRAS.  If you are interested in donating, CLICK HERE for the form or call the MRAS directly at 403-931-3411.

MD Cannabis Bylaw (2:47)

As many of you are aware, today the Federal Government's Bill C-45 (Cannabis Act) came into force.  Back in June, the Government of Alberta made amendments to the Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Act, prohibiting use of cannabis in certain places.

To ensure residents and visitors are able to continue enjoying public places throughout the Municipality, the MD of Foothills has developed it's own Bylaw.  Today it received 3rd reading and has passed.

Details of the Bylaw can be found of the MD's website HERE.

Millarville Water Line Update (Bad News @5:47)

Staff just informed Council today that for the EXTENSION of the line to the Millarville School, there are updates required for the water treatment plant. The bad news is, the parts required are back-ordered and it is estimated to be 4-6 months before they will be in stock.

This set back does not affect residents between Turner Valley and Millarville that are connecting or residents of the Millarville Crossing but DOES affect residents between the Crossing and the school.

I will keep you posted here and on my Facebook page (FB.me/JasonParkerMD31) so stay tuned.

REMINDER of Nov 8 Meeting at Square Butte Hall (7:43)

I will continue to remind you about the above meeting as it will be a valuable one.  We have confirmed:
  • Foothills Fire Department's Fire Inspector & SCO - Cody Zebedee
  • Foothills Director of Emergency Management - Clayton Terletski
  • High Country Rural Crime Watch President & Division 4 Councillor - Suzanne Oel
  • And of course, myself, Jason Parker - Division 3 Councillor
We are awaiting confirmation on a few other presenters and I will let you know as I have further attendees.

Some of the topics of conversation include:
  • The MD's new Enhanced Policing Pilot
  • The Maclean Creek Fire this past summer
  • Update from the Turner Valley RCMP
  • and more
Mark your calendars Nov 8th at 7pm for Square Butte Hall. If there are specific items you would like to have on the agenda, feel free to let me know.

Check back here on my website or at www.FB.me/JasonParkerMD31 for more details as I have them.

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Oct 10 Update - EXCITING NEWS MRAS Arena Rebuild Project, Square Butte Meeting and DarkSkyCountry.ca Project

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EXCITING NEWS - MRAS Arena Rebuild Project

A big thank you to MRAS President, Brent Foster and Treasurer, Nancy Seaman for coming before MD Council today.  They brought Council up to speed on the vision, direction, and progress of the new arena currently being built at the MRAS along with all the incredible ideas for funding and new opportunities at the site.



I was able to visit the facility under construction and am very excited about the direction it is taking and how amazing a facility it will be upon completion.

There was some exciting news that came out of the meeting before Council but unfortunately, I cannot share that news until next week when the meeting minutes are ratified.  So STAY TUNED and be sure to check back next week for that!

The MD of Foothills is still accepting donations to go towards the project on behalf of the MRAS.  If you are interested in donating, CLICK HERE for the form or call the MRAS directly at 403-931-3411.

Square Butte Meeting - November 8th IS confirmed (@2:14)

The meeting I discussed last week at the Square Butte Hall in conjunction with the High Country Rural Crime Watch IS CONFIRMED for Nov 8th at 7pm.  Some of the topics of conversation include:
  • The MD's new Enhanced Policing Pilot
  • The Maclean Creek Fire this past summer
  • Update from the Turner Valley RCMP
  • and more
Mark your calendars Nov 8th at 7pm for Square Butte Hall. If there are specific items you would like to have on the agenda, feel free to let me know.

Check back here on my website or at www.FB.me/JasonParkerMD31 for more details as I have them.

DarkSkyCountry.ca (@3:53)

Our Dark Sky Initiatives Stakeholders Working Group has a new initiative being launched in the community.  The following postcard will going out to residents in the area to help bring more awareness to the importance of the MD's Dark Sky Initiative.  If you would like more information on it, visit DarkSkyCountry.ca




Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Oct 3 Update - Enhanced Policing, Snow Removal, Possible Square Butte Meeting & Ag Services

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Enhanced Policing

The MD's new Enhanced Policing Pilot Project is a GO.  There is a new officer that will be STRICTLY allocated for the MD to help with rural crime, gathering intelligence for the Southern Alberta Crime Unit, Enforcement, etc...

Like I mentioned previously, this is a 3 month pilot project that staff and council will revisit to see how effective it has been and re-evaluate.  We are hopeful this project will have a very positive impact for our residents of the MD.

Snow Removal (@ 52 seconds)

It sure has been quite the start to Winter (I mean Fall, it is Fall right?)  As a reminder, the MD has a policy where the target goal for snow removal is having all 2,400 km of MD roads cleared within 72 hours of the COMPLETION of a major event. 

If you have not been plowed out yet, please be patient.  Public Works has done a good job of getting equipment ready for a situation like this and has 75% of its fleet turned over to snow removal.

Be safe out there!

Possible Square Butte Meeting - November 8th (to be confirmed) (@1:54)


We are looking at having a meeting at the Square Butte Hall in conjunction with the High Country Rural Crime Watch.  Some of the topics of conversation include:
  • The MD's new Enhanced Policing Pilot
  • The Maclean Creek Fire this past summer
  • Update from the Turner Valley RCMP
  • and more
Pencil into your calendars Nov 8th at 7pm for Square Butte Hall.  We should have the location firmed up shortly.  If there are specific items you would like to have on the agenda, feel free to let me know.

Check back here on my website or at www.FB.me/JasonParkerMD31 for more details as I have them.

Ag Services in Contact with the Province (3:42)


See video for details.

Recap (4:44)


Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Sept 26 Update (4min) - Federal Livestock Tax Deferral Program and Millarville Waterline

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Federal Livestock Tax Deferral Program

It was brought to my attention by a resident that the MD of Foothills is not currently included in the current map put out by the Federal Government for drought affected areas therefore, ranchers in our area do not currently qualify for this program.

I have discussed this issue with numerous people and some MD staff was able to reach staff at the Federal Government to voice our concerns and was not able to get much information.  What he did learn was the map is purely a preliminary map and it will be updated as forage numbers are evaluated.  They would not tell him where the received their data on what areas suffered drought conditions.

See the above video for more information.

Millarville Waterline

The line is nearing completion.  MD staff stated that they would be doing a flush of the line later this week.  They have stated that they are currently on track with construction projections of completion to the water treatment plant by beginning of October and still are hoping for the beginning of November for the extension to the Millarville Community School.

There may be some traffic interruptions in the hamlet as they start work on the distribution line for the hamlet but as I receive information, I will do my best to keep you up to date.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

REMINDER - RAO Howdy Neighbour BBQ This Thursday, Sept 20th!

It is that time of year again!  Get to know more about the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory and meet some of your neighbours.  

This is a great event to get to learn about a number of initiatives going on at the RAO.  Also, a great event for families.

If you are interested in attending, be sure to RSVP!