Newsletter - Winter 2020
2020 Winter Newsletter
Your Board of Directors continue to advocate on your behalf to ensure our provincial government and other municipal associations understand and recognize that summer villages are a sustainable and recognized municipal level of government, one that is not only well governed but great stewards of our Alberta lakes and rivers.
The change in provincial government this past spring meant that your association had to work to build new relationships. Under President Mike Pashak’s guidance the Board continues to communicate and meet with representatives from the province to discuss summer village priorities. This includes:
The ASVA continues to emphasize that MSI funding for summer villages should be consistent with all other municipalities. Over the last 6 months, your President has met with Minister Madu and Deputy Minister Paul Wynnyk on several occasions. A big part of the discussions included helping these new leaders understand that summer villages have the same infrastructure needs and challenges as do other municipalities. The Board has also sent a letter to Minister Madu requesting that the ASVA be part of the new Local Government Fiscal Framework (LGFF) funding formula dialog. Other items communicated to the department:
· our support for the new MGA changes that recently came out and other red tape reductions.
· priority levels in the Water for Life program: currently waste water projects are priority two, we believe waste water projects for communities adjacent to lakes should be changed to priority one because of their impact on lake health and recreation. This will also be communicated to the department responsible.
· while not under this department, we discussed the financial impact of the new police funding model
Alberta Environment and Parks:
One of the primary areas discussed with the Honorable Jason Nixon, was the need to open up public consultation on the Provincial Disturbance Standards (boat mooring & dock placement). The new Temporary Field Authorization (TFA) program could generate 1,000’s of permit applications into the department. The summer villages and other municipalities adjacent to lakes are closer to the issues affecting lakes and are therefore better positioned to over see the activities on their shorelines.
Ice hut removal is another major issue communicated with the Minister. The department has recognized the tremendous hazards that can affect our lakes if ice huts are not removed prior to the spring thaw. With no registration process in place, there is no way of knowing who is responsible for their removal or potential clean up costs. We also want to recognize the work of the Sylvan Lake Management Committee on this issue. We understand that the department is considering the inclusion of ice hut ownership identification in this year’s Alberta Guide to Sportfishing Regulations. Please watch for confirmation to this new approach.
Other Advocacy Efforts:
One of the requests that came from this year’s AGM was asking the ASVA to investigate who is responsible for monitoring and regulating what types of bird and mixed flower seeds are sold in Alberta. Many of these packets contain noxious weed seeds and this is a contributing factor to the weed problems we see at many of our lakes. We will continue to keep you updated on the status.
As you know, Mike Pashak is the Summer Village representative on the AUMA Board. Mike is happy to advise that he has been appointed to the AUMA Small Communities Committee. Mike is committed to ensure the interests of summer villages are brought to the table and will strongly advocate on your behalf.
Part of our continued advocacy efforts is to also dialog with our rural neighbors. Vice President, Duncan Binder attended last year’s RMA annual conference. This setting provided a great opportunity for him to share concerns and interests and to raise the profile of the ASVA.
In 2019, your board continued to work on a number of provincial committees.
· Director Morris Nesdole sits on the AEP Fisheries Stakeholder Committee on behalf of ASVA. In 2019, this committee finalized their third-party review of the North Central Native Trout Recovery Program. This report was circulated to all members and is posted on the ASVA website.
· Directors Marlene Walsh and Brenda Shewaga continue to sit on the Aquatic Invasive Species Committee. To date there has been 10,819 inspections done on boats entering Alberta and this resulted in finding 19 mussel fouled boats.
· Director Dennis Evans sits on the Municipal Sustainability Strategy Advisory Committee. He provides input from a summer village perspective on viability reviews and municipal sustainability.
· Director Pete Langelle represented the ASVA on the Septage Variance Transition Work Group. This committee work has concluded.
· Past President Peter Pellatt has been reappointed to the Forest Resources Improvement Association of Alberta. For more information on this committee’s projects, visit: https://friaa.ab.ca/who-is-friaa/
Your Board spent time reviewing the 2019 provincial government budget and how it impacts municipalities. MSI infrastructure grant funding was a topic of great discussion. The Board will do so again this spring when the 2020 budget is presented. The Board also undertook a detailed review of AUMA’s Red Tape Reduction report. This is a welcome approach and the ASVA has submitted a recommendation to the province that they implement a general authorization program that continues to include municipal approval for boat mooring and dock placement rather than going through the government’s TFA program.
The Conference Committee worked hard to deliver an informative conference this past year. We hope those who participated felt it was a great opportunity to learn and network. The Committee would like to thank all those who donated to the silent auction this year. The silent auction raised $4,643; $1,000 more than last year. This event and your contributions go a very long way to keeping the conference registration fee affordable.
The ASVA Board has passed their 2020 budget; it included an increase of $2,044 over last year. The cost to advocate and represent the interests of summer villages continues to increase. The annual membership fees were increased slightly to help cover this increase. In 2020, the membership fee is $.0262 x equalized assessment / 1000 (the flat rate fee from previous year’s was eliminated). The maximum membership fee is $975.
Recently a number of ASVA Board members as well as other members participated in the AUMA President’s Summit. This summit included AUMA members from around the province to discuss the impact of the recent Alberta government budget. Attendees got to hear first hand how the 2019 budget was impacting communities and what others are doing to manage with reduced government support. A special thank you to Mayor Don Davidson from the SV of Grandview for representing summer villages on one of the panels.
We continue to update the website and regularly circulate information to our members on a variety of topics or as things are updated or changed. We offer fan-out support by sending out questions and queries to your fellow CAO’s. Job postings are sent out to members as well as posted on our website.
The ASVA is very proud to state to the provincial decision-makers and all other stakeholders that our membership is supported by 100% of the summer villages. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please never hesitate to call or email our Executive Director, Deb Hamilton at 780-236-5456 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Newsletter - Spring 2019