Skip to content

Cold Lake council voices concerns over Bill 20, requests meeting with MLA

COLD LAKE - The City of Cold Lake council has expressed concerns about Bill 20, the Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act, 2024.
The City of Cold Lake council has expressed concerns about Bill 20, the Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act, 2024.  

COLD LAKE - The City of Cold Lake council has expressed concerns about Bill 20, the Municipal Affairs Statutes Amendment Act, 2024.  

On May 3, City administration received a request from Scott Cyr, MLA for Bonnyville-Cold Lake-St. Paul, to provide the community’s feedback on Bill 20. Council unanimously agreed to request Cyr attend a future council meeting to discuss the bill and its potential impact on the community.  

At the May 14 regular council meeting, CAO Kevin Nagoya introduced the discussion, emphasizing the importance of voicing concerns directly to the MLA.  

Coun. Chris Vining provided a detailed perspective, drawing parallels to past legislative actions. “I was reading and kind of getting justifications from MLAs that were very upset and were really having a time with government bringing in legislation that they didn't campaign on and didn't take out for consultation until after it was put in, and with a very short time window to get into consultation before it was passed,” said Vining. 

"And so, I was reading through all these things, and it was interesting because it had absolutely nothing to do with Bill 20. It was in 2015, it was Bill 6 that the NDP had brought in the Farm Safety Act where Wildrose MLAs, which our MLA at the time was sitting in the House, at that time were absolutely apoplectic that a government would bring in a bill that would fundamentally change how institutions would operate with no forewarning, without campaigning on it, and then without an expanded scope to take in consultations before passing a bill.” 

Vining further emphasized the need for direct communication with the MLA. 

“I would still like us to invite MLA Cyr to come to council to discuss his stance on Bill 20 and how he is going to represent our concerns when this is back in the House,” added Vining. 

He further expressed his frustration with the government's approach, saying, “I think that's quite disturbing how this government's running this one.” 

Mayor Craig Copeland agreed with the points raised, highlighting the thoroughness of council’s feedback that was put into the letter.  

“I think it summarizes everything pretty good.” 

The letter stressed the principle that local government should listen to the people directly to make decisions. 

“We have based our feedback on our principle that local government should respond directly to the electorate and that local decision-making should be robust, democratic, and respected by residents and the province as an expression of the local electorate’s will,” the letter stated.  

It also pointed out specific issues, such as the proposed changes allowing provincial government to overturn municipal bylaws, which could undermine local governance. 

“In some cases, we feel that proposed changes threaten to weaken the status of local government or, at best, to involve Members of the Legislature in local decision-making,” the letter continued.  

“The proposed changes to allow Cabinet to overturn municipal bylaws, for instance, will likely encourage residents unhappy with local decisions about land use, or zoning issues, or even dangerous pets in the community, to contact their local MLA about the matter.” 

City council agreed to request MLA Cyr’s presence to discuss Bill 20 at a future meeting. 

Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

About the Author: Chantel Downes, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Chantel Downes is a graduate of The King's University, with a passion for writing and storytelling. Originally from Edmonton, she received her degree in English and has a minor in communications.
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks