Minister visit signals ID 349 discussion for Lakeland communities

Kaycee Madu, Minister of Municipal Affairs. 

The Minister of Municipal Affairs Kaycee Madu is meeting with council members and administration from Bonnyville, Cold Lake, and the M.D. of Bonnyville separately this week.

Although the agenda is not established a press secretary from Municipal Affairs said, representatives from the Lakeland are anticipating discussions surrounding the ID 349 agreement.

“Others want to talk ID 349. It was an agreement that was put in place between ourselves and the province back in 2011 and it had a lot of entities associated with the agreement back in 2011,” said Mayor Craig Copeland on The Morning After.

The Morning After with the Mayor of the City of Cold Lake Craig Copeland.

Posted by Lakeland Connect on Tuesday, September 17, 2019

The ID 349 agreement changed in late 2017 giving $4 million a year to the Town of Bonnyville, $1.2 million to the M.D. of Bonnyville, Fishing Lake and Elizabeth Metis Settlements will receive $1.2 million a year, the Village of Glendon will receive close to $500,000, and the City of Cold Lake receives $16 million, after previously getting $25 million.

“We started funding industrial taxes and it’s been a gamechanger for our community and it’s allowed us to really invest in our infrastructure. We have a huge deficit in the city, but also for the city to be sustainable for the long-term. We have a big conversation with the Minister tomorrow no doubt,” he said.

A $6 million regional pot of money was established by the province with each community at the table to put forward projects.

The regional committee met in camera late last year and there was appetite by the M.D. of Bonnyville and City of Cold Lake to make those conversations public, Reeve Greg Sawchuk said in 2018.

It is believed that money has not been released by the Government of Alberta.

“This thing has been around the province’s neck for a long time. We’ve seen them in a number of different directions. Historically, once ID 349 belonged to the M.D. It’s a new government and they are opening it up for fresh conversation,” said Sawchuk.

“I think with this government, almost anything is on the table. They are being very pro-active in getting out there and engaging with municipalities so it’s a good sign.”

Deputy Mayor Elisa Brosseau from Bonnyville said on The Morning After last week that ID 349 will be discussed.

“I know the new government wants to learn a little bit more about the history of ID 349. Where we’re at, how we got there, what the future looks like on that…I would assume the conversation would be around those topics,” said Brosseau.

Madu meets with these municipal governments on Thursday.