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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Transmission Line Battle

The proposed 500 kV transmission line is this community’s greatest challenge. If  built, these lines will stand 20 stories high. That is approximately the same height as the CN and Epcor buildings in downtown Edmonton.

The transmission line issue was one of the issues that concerned Strathcona County residents brought to my attention time and time again as a Councillor, during the election campaign, and now as Mayor. I promised the residents that I would fight for them and that, at the very least, I would do everything in my power to have these lines buried if the regulator determines that the lines are to be built within Strathcona County.

There are many elements that factor in this Transmission Line battle such as, health, economy and environment. We are now moving forward.

Our overriding consideration in expanding our original motion to do what is in the best interest of our residents.  The evidence points strongly to the Alternate West Route as having the least impact on Albertans.  We believe we have a strong case on which to challenge the preferred route.

Why should we, the residents of Strathcona County, accept putting our children, elderly and ourselves at risk when there are several alternatives? Why not look at all of these?

I heard you loud and clear. Strathcona County Council heard you loud and clear!

Strathcona County has intervener status with the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC). This is our opportunity, through legal Counsel, to express our case on behalf of County residents. 

Minister Ron Liepert stated, during the Cabinet Tour stop in Strathcona County, that he did not want to interfere with the AUC process. This is understandable but the government also needs to listen to the people.

Strathcona County residents and ALL Albertans have until March 4, 2011 to sign their names to the Heartland Transmission Project petition to bury the lines.

While focused on having the line buried, the petition is also useful in demonstrating a high level of community concern for the potential health impacts of these lines.  I encourage you to get involved, either by signing the petition, or contacting your MLA directly. Petitions are available at Millennium Place, County Hall, Strathcona County Library, Ardrossan Rec Complex, Glen Allan Rec Complex, and Heartland Hall Contact Office.

“…progress, in whatever form it takes, should never be allowed to trample the rights of the community or the broader culture.  Progress, in all its forms, should serve us, not us it.”   –Joseph Boyden, author


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Day to Celebrate!

Today is a day in history to celebrate. Bold, inspiring steps have led to the announcement of  the North West Upgrader in the Industrial Heartland.  As Mayor of Strathcona County, I am excited and honored to be able to host with my fellow colleagues for breakfast and a dialogue session, the Premier of Alberta, eight Ministers including our own Minister Iris Evans and our MLA Dave Quest. In this session of the Mini Cabinet tour we had the opportunity to talk about issues like transmission lines, health, the Anthony Henday, the opportunity of partnership, economics, jobs, but most importantly: A quality of life for Strathconians!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Building a Legacy: What does it take?

February is heart month and the start of the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese calendar. It is mid-winter, a good time to reflect over on the last three busy months and to peer into the future. Record snow fall this winter has tested all of us. Two priority 4 (residential) clearing have beens initiated and a third one is most likely to be needed before the winter is over. Softening of snow through warm temperatures has accelerated the need for fast windrowing. Our crews have been working extremely hard to keep up. I ask for your patience as we tackle this challenge from Mother Nature. The cost of  this year's snow clearing could be as high as $6 million dollars, but . Ssnow clearing is a must and must be budgeted Your government is responsive.

Throughout the election, I personally heard along with others Councillors that the sign bylaw needed to be revised. I am pleased to say we have listened. In consultation with businesses, Chamber members and residents, we have worked hard to come up with the best solutions for all. It is important to have an "open for business" approach in the County. We have also started created an economic development committee comprised of public members with various business background, elected officials, Chamber members, and administrative an admin support. This committee will fPurpose is to focus on fostering and supporting a strong economic climate in Strathcona County. Your local government supports business and commerce.

Your Council and I have worked hard to set the framework for a very important governance policy for Council that will provide the rules of conduct, along with clear roles and responsibilities. This policy will be complete done by the end of March. Your government provides leadership.

Our hospital has received renewed life with an the recent injection of $69.1 million from the province. We are watching closely as the first phase is constructed. Completion of Phase 2 has been promised - with beds - by 2013. 
The next challenge fight for our community is the proposed 500kv transmission lines. If built, these lines will stand 20 stories high.  That is almost 6 times the height of the CBC radio tower on Wye Road and the same height as the Edmonton CN building. If the regulator determines that the lines are to be built within Strathcona County, we are asking that they be buried. We need your help to take this message to the province.  Petitions are available in County Hall, Strathcona County Library,  Millennium Place, Ardrossan Recreation Complex, Heartland Hall Contact Office and Glen Allan Recreation Complex. You can also download it and print it at: 

Let's rally together! Your municipal government is a people government that supports its residents' needs.

We are also in the process of developing an identity and brand for Strathcona County. We will be coming to you for your input. This is very timely and is important for building community pride, as well as supporting the economics, history and environment of our community. These activities, is alongside  with a new Community Center, an awesome library, great events such as the Festival of Trees, Christmas County appreciation luncheon for County staff, New Year's Eve celebration, Mayor's first New Year's LevĂ©e, and memorable Remembrance Day, have been incredible with more on the horizon.

Your government, together with you, will continue to  ignite our community spirit!

Strathcona County is a vibrant, exciting community. Together, we will build a legacy that provides hope, is caring and builds community.

Mayor Linda