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  • Writer's pictureSamanntha Wright

November Bearspaw Beat submission

First, the bad news. As many of you are already aware, the Aggregate Resource Plan (ARP) was recently quashed. My motion to create a steering committee comprised of residents and industry was defeated 5-3, gaining support from only Councillors Kissel and Hanson. Councillor Kamachi was absent.

My motion reflected the feedback Deputy Reeve Gautreau and I received during an open house at Rock Pointe Church earlier this year. There, after lengthy debate, the vast majority of those in attendance stated that while they didn’t like the document, they did not want to see it discarded. Given the time and effort residents had put into the process, they believed a committee of residents and industry would be the best way to move it forward.

The majority on Council chose to ignore this direction. Instead, in a decision of 5-3, with Councillors Hanson, Kissel and I in opposition, Council opted to support an alternate motion from Deputy Reeve Gautreau. Gautreau’s motion directed Administration to rescind the ARP’s Terms of Reference and create a new policy that only covers application submissions and performance standards – effectively eliminating the public from the process altogether.

On a more positive note, the firearms’ bylaw received third reading, making Bearspaw a no-shooting zone. The bylaw was stalled at second reading as Council awaited approval from the Minister of Municipal Affairs.

In September, the County received confirmation from the Minister that he supported the bylaw. The bylaw passed with all but Deputy Reeve Gautreau in favour.

The bylaw is designed to create public safety in areas of higher densities. However, it does recognize that on larger parcels the need for pest control remains. For those who reside on parcels within the following agricultural land use districts: Ranch and Farm, Ranch and Farm Two, Ranch and Farm Three, Agricultural Holdings and Farmstead; the ability to discharge a weapon for the purpose of pest control is still permitted.

In addition, the County’s firearm bylaw does not supersede the Province’s Wildlife Act which permits bow hunting during bow season. However, the rule of not being able to shoot a bow within 183m of an occupied dwelling still applies. The 183m can be relaxed if all affected home owners within a 183m radius of the intended hunting area grant permission for someone to hunt within 183m of their dwelling. Without this consent, a hunter would be in violation of the bylaw and subject to penalty.

IMPORTANT NOTE - the County Office has moved – we are now located at 262075 Rocky View Point. I’ll be sure to update you about the new building in my next report.

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