Infrastructure Canada is now accepting applications for the Planning and Design Projects stream of the Rural Transit Solutions Fund
The Rural Transit Solutions Fund is a federal program intended to support the development of transit solutions in rural and remote communities. This fund supports the development of locally-driven transit solutions that will help people living in these communities get to work, school, appointments, and to visit loved ones.
Under the Planning and Design Projects stream, eligible applicants can seek a grant of up to $50,000 to support projects to plan and design new or expanded transit solutions for their communities, including public engagement, needs, feasibility, and viability studies.
Applications for the Planning and Design Projects stream will now be accepted on a rolling intake basis through the Applicant Portal, which can be accessed on Infrastructure Canada’s webpage.
On Friday, December 1, 2023, the RMA Board of Directors appointed Duane Gladden as the Executive Director of the association. The board thanks former Executive Director Gerald Rhodes for his many contributions to the organization over the last 20 years.
Duane has been with the RMA since 2007, growing the association’s business services tremendously over the years. This change is a reflection of his commitment to the organization and recognition of the excellent service he and his team have provided to member municipalities throughout the province.
The Board of Directors is confident that Duane’s expanded role will lead to further success for the association as it continues to grow.
The Government of Canada is seeking comments on the addition of three migratory bat species to Schedule 1: the Federal List of Wildlife Species at Risk
The Species at Risk Act (SARA) establishes Schedule 1 as the official list of wildlife species at risk. It classifies those species as being either extirpated, endangered, threatened, or of special concern. Once listed, measures to protect and recover a listed wildlife species are implemented. On October 18, 2023, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) submitted status assessments of three migratory bats: the Eastern Red Bat, Hoary Bat, and Silver-haired Bat to the federal Minister of the Environment.
All three of these species are assessed as endangered. This means that if one or more of these migratory bats are added to the list as an endangered species, where they occur on federal lands and on First Nation Reserves, it would be prohibited to:
Kill, harm, or harass them.
Possess, collect, buy, sell, or trade them.
Damage or destroy residences, such as a den or a nest.
The Government of Canada is inviting and encouraging individuals, communities, businesses, and organizations to share comments concerning the addition or reclassification of these three types of migratory bats. Submitted comments will help Environment and Climate Change Canada gain a better understanding of the benefits and costs of these potential bat listings, and will inform the Minister’s recommendation on whether to:
List the three migratory bats under the SARA,
Not list the three migratory bats under the SARA, or
Refer the three migratory bats back to COSEWIC for further consideration.
Comments will be accepted until May 16, 2024. Comments can be provided by email to the Species at Risk Registry at SARAregistry@ec.gc.ca with the subject “Comments on potential listing of 3 migratory Bats.”
The RMA is seeking member representation on the Safety Codes Council’s Private Sewage Sub-Council and Building Sub-Council. The RMA is seeking up to two nominees for each sub-council to be forwarded for consideration by the Safety Codes Council. Members who would like to be nominated for one of the sub-councils should be experts in the discipline and actively engaged in the safety codes system. Sub-councils typically meet four times per year.
In your application or nomination, please indicate which sub-council you are applying for and provide a brief profile that lists your background, experience, and contact information.
Please note, the positions can go to either elected or non-elected members of a municipality.
Within their disciplines, the technical sub-councils are responsible for the following:
Reviewing, formulating, and recommending safety codes, standards and principles of barrier free design and access
Establishing competency requirements for Safety Codes Officers
Developing standards and compliance monitoring criteria for accredited organizations
Assessing the effectiveness and quality of Safety Codes Officers’ training courses
Hearing and deciding appeals of orders and written notices.
As these are volunteer positions, members are not paid but the Safety Codes Council will reimburse its members for all expenses incurred. Per diems are paid for by the nominating municipality. More details on the role are available in the position descriptions for the private sewage sub-council and building sub-council.
The Council is an equal opportunity organization and values diversity of all kinds. For more information about the Safety Codes Council, please visit www.safetycodes.ab.ca.
Please forward your nominations to RMA Manager of Policy and Advocacy Wyatt Skovron at wyatt@RMAlberta.com by January 19, 2024.
The comment matrix includes 25 specific questions developed by the AUC related to reclamation, agricultural land preservation, electricity generation projects on Crown land, and viewscapes. The RMA provided a response to all questions, with a focus on ensuring industry accountability to landowners, adequate consideration of local input and municipal plans in project siting decisions, and a recognition that renewable energy is a key emerging industry in Alberta and the regulatory regime should not unnecessarily inhibit industry growth.
The RMA’s written submission supplemented the comment matrix by emphasizing the need for changes to the AUC project approval process to enhance industry and regulator recognition of municipal land use plans and perspectives. The written submission built on many of the themes and recommendations in the recently released Quasi-Judicial Agency Member Committee (QJAC) final report.
The RMA is also pleased to see that many member municipalities have provided written input or completed the comment matrix. As the AUC inquiry process continues, a strong municipal voice will be crucial to ensuring the renewable energy industry expands in a strategic and positive way.