Thursday , 17 June 2021

Vermilion Town Council decides $500K in stimulus; to lobby on gun ban

Town picks sewer project with $500K in funding.

With application deadlines fast approaching, the Town of Vermilion had to deliberate what shovel-ready projects they were going to submit for $493,000 in provincial stimulus funding.

They also discussed the federal gun regulation process last week, and heard public commentary on racism.

The stimulus funding supports the creation of jobs and economic growth so the Town of Vermilion came up with three options – a sewer collection main, broadband, or Beckie Scott Trail project.

“To upgrade the sewer trunk main some of the preliminary work has been done, so the build would be doable in the time given and has a potential to create local jobs,” said Derek Young, Director of Transportation and Utilities.

The town identified the need for the project over 10 years ago with sections of pipe being undersized and causing issues. Originally scheduled for 2022, if it is completed now, money could be moved to support the ice plant or broadband.

A motion to add the $500,000 (from stimulus funding and reserves) sewer project to the 2020 budget was carried.

Town getting vocal about feds gun ban

An emergent item included the federal changes to gun regulations. The Town of Vermilion was previously sent a letter from the City of Cold Lake and with local public interest they discussed it further at a public safety committee meeting.

Councillor, Robert Pulyk, said they will be submitting their own letter to the federal government in opposition of the legislation.

“It’s my understanding that without consultation the federal government is impacting people in this area who legally are able to participate in the local gun club and farmers who look after predators. Trying to take that right way is not the way to do business,” said Pulyk.

“This is overreaching. I think we have to reach out as rural communities throughout Canada because at the end of the day it’s not a firearms issue – the heart of the issue is a lack of proper process,” said Councillor Richard Yaceyko.

“It’s about seizure of property and the far-reaching implications,” said Councillor Greg Barr.

Vermilion Unites for Equality

During public commentary, members of Vermilion Unites For Equality addressed Town Council about racism.

The group meets weekly and is associated with groups in Edmonton, Wetaskiwin, and Red Deer.

“Racism exists here in Vermilion and we encourage the town to make a formal commitment to work actively against it,” said Tigra-Lee Campbell.

“We ask the town of Vermilion to create a bylaw to ban the confederate flag from display, and to ban the sale of it,” said Campbell.

She went on to invite council to a KAIROS Blanket Exercise, an education program that teaches about indigenous history.

Mayor Caroline McAuley said that she and some of the councillors have attended in the past and would check their schedules.

About Angela Mouly

Angela comes to Lakeland Connect after leaving traditional newspaper where she spent the past four years reporting on community events. Her repertoire includes writing about history, politics, agriculture, sports, entertainment and art. She was the third place recipient of an AWNA General Excellence Award for “Best Front Page” during their 2016 Better Newspaper Competition. Angela has lived in rural Alberta all her life and in Vermilion for the past 15 years. She looks forward to continuing to serve and inform the Lakeland community by joining in people's many adventures and sharing their stories.