The M.D. of Bonnyville was not bluffing when it comes to backing out of the national lobbying body for municipalities across Canada.
M.D. council unanimously voted to not renew their membership in the Federation of Canadian Municipalities on Wednesday.
Reeve Greg Sawchuk said he will speak on leaving the FCM at the Rural Municipalities of Alberta meeting next week.
“What we were really trying to do is create that awareness in the east and this was the only way we seem to be able to get across there and reach the media there. We’re hoping that eventually some calmer minds will hear it and start to recognize that,” said Sawchuk.
“What I would like to see from both municipalities and from our provincial government is some steps in the direction of making Alberta stronger…I think with Alberta and Saskatchewan working together, I think we’re a force to be reckoned with.”
Sawchuk said that Wexit, Alberta separation, is not the answer, but the M.D. of Bonnyville can still raise their voice.
After he said the M.D. was considering pulling out, the President of FCM called Sawchuk personally to discuss why.
“We had a long conversation about our membership. I spoke a lot about how I felt that they needed to be aware of the true feeling of alienation that the West feels right now…I talked about our region, about the oil industry out here and how I felt that as though oil has really been misrepresented on the national scene and I invited them to come out and have a look at what our industry looks like here,” he said.
Following that conversation, Sawchuk said that Bill Karsten, FCM President, will be going to RMA to speak to him in person.
Sawchuk thinks more municipalities could join them.
“I know that there was the comment made that if you guys pull out you could start an exodus of municipalities. The fear is that, do you weaken your voice? Or do you make your point to Ottawa because their office is right there in Ottawa,” he said.
“I know that RMA is going to be a lively one around this issue.”