Dear Residents & Ratepayers,
There were three councillors in attendance at the Coffee with Council in Brant on June 8th. Residents from the hamlet came out to ask questions and discuss county business. For those interested, please stay tuned for the next Coffee with Council that will be held at the Mossleigh Community Hall in late October.
Reeve Schneider and I joined volunteers with the District 20 Fire Association (Champion) to provide a barbecue concession on June 24th in Champion. We were set up outside the community hall while staff from Vulcan County Protective Services were hosting a free Fire Smart session for interested members of the public. These events will be occurring across Vulcan County throughout the summer with the goal being to have one in every community. Those who attend will gain insight on how to fire-proof their property, as well as have an opportunity to sign up for a free home assessment. There are door prizes to be won and a chance to see some of the equipment used by our local fire protection service. Since 2017, the public education trailer has gone around Southern Alberta, containing a mock kitchen and childrens bedroom. This trailer can simulate various household fires, providing direction on the best ways to react in each scenario.
At the June 7th meeting, consideration was given to proposed Tarping Bylaw that would go above and beyond traffic safety legislation with the aim of ensuring that loads of aggregate and agricultural materials are sufficiently covered. The impetus for this bylaw has been numerous complaints regarding vehicle damage and close-call experiences on the road. The bylaw requires all motor vehicles to be tarped securely when transporting any loose material, such as sand, gravel, rocks, dirt, construction debris, silage or any other item which may become airborne. Under the proposed bylaw, full load hay haulers are exempt so long as there are no protrusions or loose hay on the top or the sides of their load. The exemption applies to hay haulers who are transporting hay from fields to storage facilities or for sale to livestock farmers, and all other transportation bylaws and safety legislation still apply. Violations fines are proposed to range from $300 to $600 to $1,200 for first, second and third offences. A public consultation survey will be forthcoming, and we want to hear what people think of the proposed bylaw.
AgriCan International is currently looking to make a significant investment in the Village of Champion for a new shipping facility. However, it has come to our attention that Canadian Pacific is often reluctant to part with rail siding parcels even when these parcels have been unused for decades. As such, Council Council has decided to send a letter to our Member of Parliament, Martin Shields, requesting him to advocate for improved rail access when it comes to shipping agricultural commodities. We believe that a comprehensive review of transportation legislation and regulation might be necessary to ensure fair and transparent standards while allowing rail access for smaller agribusiness operators.
Given the severe drought conditions we are experiencing, with 50 to 90 percent of cereal, oilseed, hay and pasture lands being impacted, County Council voted to declare an Agricultural Disaster. The aim of this declaration is to bring awareness to provincial and federal levels of government on the severe economic impact these conditions are having on our agriculture sector. Various conditions across the county will certainly be clear to council on a tour that we are undertaking of the municipality on July 5th.