For anyone who watched the Committee meeting last week where we made our final recommendations for the various bylaws that will be brought forward to further limit smoking and regulate retail cannabis stores, you already know that we were pressed for time and the ability to enter into debate regarding the handful of straw votes was limited. I expect there to be amendments proposed when the bylaws are brought back in May and June, with the opportunity for public presentations and Council debate. These were the straw votes that occurred to modify the recommendations brought forward by administration (paraphrased):
- By Cslr Hughes: That the setbacks from daycares/preschools be reduced from 150m to 50m. (Rationale is that it's not great to have alcohol stores next door, but having them a couple doors down isn't a big deal; Passed unanimously.)
- By Mayor Heron: That the setbacks from daycares/preschools be eliminated. (Rationale is that daycare kids aren't allowed in stores and can't see inside them, so it makes no difference if they're near or far; Failed/tie with Cslr Hansen, Mayor Heron, and I in support of the motion.)
- By me: That the setbacks don't apply when they're across a road. (Rationale is that roads are a natural barrier; Passed, with only Cslr Hughes against.)
- By me: That setbacks from Provincial Health Facilities only apply for outdoor storefronts. (Rationale is that malls should be able to use their discretion when leasing to businesses; Passed unanimously.)
Homeland Housing Board
I attended the Homeland Housing board meeting in Westlock, where we are all eagerly awaiting the opening of the new seniors' facility in Northridge in the next few weeks.
Internal Audit Committee
Although Mayor Heron, Cslr Hughes, and I attended the meeting, we had to delay discussing anything because the meeting was not publicly advertised as required; The updated date will be listed in the City advertisement in the Gazette on Saturday.
There is no Council meeting next week because it's the 5th Monday of the month, but I still expect to be flat-out busy; I'll provide updates next week.
Around town next week:
Block Party Boot Camp: Want to know about the support the city can offer in hosting a block party? Check out the information session on Monday, April 30 or May 5 for more information.
Dig-In Festival, May 1-6: Do you like good food? Yeah, me too. Free & ticketed events.
Cultural Kitchen - Ghana: Good food and a fantastic opportunity to build community. Check it out on Tuesday, May 1.
Jane's Walk - Free Walking Tour: Want to know more about DARP, the MDP, or municipal planning? This'll be interesting, on Friday, May 4.
This is a brief high-level overview of highlights from our meeting agenda, with my personal comments sprinkled in - In no way are my opinions representative of the official direction of council or the City of St. Albert. Please let me know of any typos or errors. As always, I also encourage everyone who is able to tune in the the live-stream of the meeting (3pm here) or attend in-person (3rd floor of St. Albert Place, hang a right getting out of the elevator). You can also register to speak if you have information to present to council. Full agenda packages can be found on the stalbert.ca website.