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Province offers mediation to CRP, rural municipalities

By: Dawn Smith

  |  Posted: Monday, Mar 04, 2013 11:28 am

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Rocky View County has been invited to accept the mediation solution to become part of the Calgary Regional Partnership (CRP) presented by Doug Griffiths, the minister of municipal affairs.

Griffiths penned a letter in late January, outlining the terms in a bid to bring the rural municipalities of Rocky View and Foothills back into the CRP fold.

Pending agreement by the rurals, mediation is set to begin in March and is expected to be completed by the end of June, according to a CRP blog post dated Feb. 22.

When Rocky View voted to leave the CRP in 2009, it was over concerns about governance, density and water.

Reeve Rolly Ashdown said the County is looking forward to the mediation process.

“Usually what happens when we get together with the CRP is they have already decided what will work for Rocky View,” he said.

“This is the first time we will actually sit down with them. We don’t have a problem getting together with people, it’s great.”

CRP Chair and Cochrane Mayor Truper McBride is also optimistic about the process.

“We have tried to resolve the outstanding issues with the rurals in the past, (but) we weren’t able to come up with a resolution ourselves,” he said.

“What has changed is the Province has decided to take a lead on this.We are very pleased the minister has stepped forward.”

McBride said the CRP is waiting to hear from the rural municipalities, but said he suspects all the parties will want to take part in the process to ensure the success of the CRP’s long-range growth plan for the Calgary region, entitled the Calgary Metropolitan Plan (CMP).

He added the minister told him the “process will not be allowed to fail.”

Jerry Ward, public affairs officer for Alberta’s municipal affairs department, confirmed the letters had been sent to all CRP partner municipalities, as well as Rocky View County and the Municipal District of Foothills.

“It was basically to move the process forward,” he said, adding the letters were penned Jan. 28. “The (CMP) is a priority of our government and the Province has supported the partnership in developing the plan.

“Failure to include the rurals, which represent a large majority of the residents in the Calgary area, is a big concern for the effectiveness of the plan.”

The CMP was approved by the CRP in 2009, and has been awaiting the Province’s approval for nearly four years.

“We need everyone working together to prepare for the more than three million people (double the current population) expected to live in the Calgary Region over the next 60 years,” stated the blog post, located online at www.calgaryregion.ca


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