Last week + GPFC April 8, 2019
Last week highlights
Museum tour: Thanks to Anne Ramsden, the Executive Director of St. Albert Arts & Heritage, and her staff for the tour of the Musée Héritage Museum. It was interesting hearing about Douglas Cardinal’s original plans for our museum, the history of museum space in St. Albert, and the limitations of the current space.
Recreation Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework meeting: Municipalities in Alberta are required to submit an agreement with neighbouring jurisdictions about how we will collaborate on regional recreation initiatives. This was our first committee meeting (which also includes Councillors McKay and Watkins as members) with Sturgeon County.
Chamber of Commerce Lifestyle Expo: The annual Lifestyle Expo at Service Place is open! It was great seeing so many community-builders at the opening ceremonies and reception. I also quite liked the opportunity to pet baby goats!
Art Gallery of St. Albert Opening receptions: St. Albert resident (and long-time friend) Kim Ohman is presenting some of the pieces from her MFA graduate show, Charionette. Cynthia Fuhrer’s Splendid Spring is also showing through a solo exhibition. I’m familiar with Cynthia’s beautiful work because she is represented by The Front Gallery, the same gallery that represents my partner. Cynthia’s show will be running until April 27.
GPFC Agenda highlights
Parental Leave for Councillors
Last term, Council passed a motion to “That the City Manager bring forward proposed bylaw amendments enabling parental leave for Council Members…”. This is our opportunity to weigh in and decide if we want to move forward with a policy that could provide paid leave for “part-time” councillors or the full-time mayor who are new parents. The bylaw being recommended to us is on par with the Edmonton and Calgary bylaws, which have full-time Councils, and is in addition to our ability to miss up to 7 meetings in a row (for any reason) without penalty. Based on my personal experience as Councillor and a mother of young children, having children is not remotely a barrier to participation; My kids often attend events, they sit in meetings, and I’m largely able to work around our family schedule because I can work at all hours of the day/week. I would welcome any babies to Chambers, just like governments in Alberta, Canada, Iceland, and Australia have done.
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 (1pm 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.