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Wednesday , 6 July 2022

Town briefs: RCMP present 1Q crime stats, Dove Centre looking for businesses to hire employees

S/Sgt. Sarah Parke presented an overview of crime figures and community engagement initiatives the Bonnyville RCMP detachment has done from January to March 31. 

While largely there are no concerning upticks in trends, there have been two offences related to death in the first few months of 2022. 

S/Sgt. Parke made council aware of the new Alberta RCMP app. It can be used to receive news, report minor crimes that do not need immediate assistance, find out detachment locations, see crime mapping and statistics, and includes a map for initiatives like Project Lock Up.

She also discussed the body worn cameras that will enter a field test phase later this year in St. Paul. 

It’s meant to provide unbiased video evidence to capture interactions police officers have with civilians. 

“There isn’t anything that I saw that jumped out that was increasing as far as crime and in the area,” said Mayor Elisa Brosseau on The Morning After. 

The corporal position is still looking to be filled at the detachment and has been a struggle to recruit. 

“The reason that one is taking so much longer is because it’s a promotion,” said S/Sgt. Parke during council. 

“The promotion process can be painstakingly slow. Especially when it gets so far and there’s a hiccup for some reason and then you have to from scratch.” 

The Dove Centre Employment Agency also made a delegation to council asking if the municipality could consider hiring one of their clients for part-time or full-time work. 

Lynda Munro and Maureen Thurrott outlined the type of work they do for their clients who have developmental disabilities. They provide a venue to help with training from job skills to life skills. 

While they have been able to help a few clients get work, there are still gaps. 

“It’s frustrating for us because we have these individuals who want to work. Essentially what we’re trying to do is raise awareness in the community,” said Munro. 

Five clients of theirs are currently looking for work. 

“I can’t speak to any specifics, because that’s not really my department. So I don’t want to put any words in anybody’s mouth, but I’m sure there’s definitely an opportunity to kind of think outside the box and think of how we can best incorporate some of these clients into our workplace,” said Brosseau. 

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Council voted unanimously to revise the non-union staff and council remuneration policies. 

This represents a two per cent increase to financial compensation and mirrors the cost of living allowance. 

“It’s important to note that this was a collective bargaining year for the town staff. Our staff are unionized. And we have a policy in place that when there is changing remuneration, for the union staff, it also applies to non-management and council. So last night, we had to update the policies to reflect the increase for council because it mirrors that of the union employees as well,” said Brosseau. 

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As the regional committee with the M.D. of Bonnyville was shuttered, the town is creating its own Economic Development & Tourism committee. 

Council read all three readings of a bylaw to establish the committee. 

The town will be advertising for citizens to join the committee and would look to have either business owners, investors, or those with a passion for innovation to join. There is also a youth position on the committee. 

The objectives are to improve Bonnyville’s image and to attract new residents and businesses. 

Mayor Elisa Brosseau and councillors Neil Langridge and Phil Kushnir will sit on the board. 

“Marketing and promotion on what we currently have, but I think it’s also identifying key areas where we can focus on in town that gives back to tourism in a way,” said Brosseau about what the board may look to do. “So is it sports tourism? Is it the trails? I think there’s all sorts of opportunities, but it’s identifying some of those key aspects for tourism in our town.” 

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Seniors at Villa Ouimet will be getting some new barbecues and sheds to keep them away from prying hands. 

After receiving a grant from the FCSS, a funding request from Lakeland Lodge and Housing was sent for council’s consideration about purchasing two storage sheds for the barbecues. 

Council voted in favour of using $5000 for these sheds to ensure they don’t get stolen, along with tables and chairs. 

The Town is also sponsoring the Lakeland Centre for FASD Conference in the amount of $250. 

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.