Bow River Alberta Riding Member of Parliament Martin Shields and Wheatland County Reeve Amber Link hosted roundtable discussions to connect with residents, and answer questions regarding municipal and federal issues.

The discussions took place April 4-5 in Gleichen and Namaka respectively. During the discussion, copies of the county’s strategic plan, annual report, 2022 agricultural report, and 2021 fiscal report were made available for attendees to read and take home. 

Link opened the discussion in Namaka, clarifying the county has not yet completed its latest annual report, though it will be made publicly available before summer. 

Contained in the documents, as well as discussed during her presentation, was basic information about Wheatland County’s community profile, government structure, and county committees.

Following Link’s presentation regarding much of the county’s activities, departments and reports, the floor was opened to questions from attending members of the community. 

One of the first questions brought forward was regarding when the estimated start date for the development of the De Haviland aircraft campus and CGC’s wallboard manufacturing plant would be.

“Our administration are meeting weekly with CGC right now, and then we meet about every two weeks with De Havilland,” said Link. “Both are complex projects … CGC are looking to put 70 acres of solar within their rail loop … (and) De Havilland has federal approvals that they need to get.”

Link did not provide a concrete answer as to when shovels will hit the ground, as she explained De Havilland still has several barriers to get through, both municipally and federally before development can begin.

One concern regarding the development of the new campus is in regards to the potential impact it will have on adjacent landowners and farm families who have resided on the land for generations. 

“Our sector is not going to be sustainable if we do not diversify, so we are trying to … funnel that development into that corridor along Highway 1 and into the industrial park in Carseland so that we can keep life as we know it and the rest of the county the same,” said Link. “What we do try and do is find ways to mitigate that impact on adjacent landowners. De Havilland is working closely with the family who will be most impacted … so that they are minimizing the impacts of that airstrip.”

The information provided during Link’s presentation and in the printed documents made available during the round table is also publicly accessible online via the County website.

By John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Apr 13, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   Strathmore Times   Strathmore, Alberta

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