Website aims to share information on a provincial police service
The Government of Alberta has launched a website that provides information on a potential provincial police service. While the website provides information in a new format, it does not provide any additional details in response to the RMA’s earlier concerns and questions as to how a potential transition from RCMP contract policing to a provincial police service would impact costs, levels of service, and local input into policing for municipalities.
Three seats on the RMA Board of Directors are up for election at the RMA 2022 Fall Convention
The RMA 2022 Fall Convention will take place November 7 – 10 with the following three seats on the Board of Directors being up for election. All positions will serve a two-year term (2022 – 2024):
District 1 Director
District 4 Director
RMA Board Elections Policy and Procedures
Based on recommendations identified by the 2021 Board Governance Review, the RMA has adopted a Board Elections Policy and related procedures, which guide the process for all elections.
Complete eligibility requirements for members of the RMA Board of Directors are outlined in section E of the RMA Bylaws, including that the individual must be a duly elected official for a full RMA member municipality. For the position of district directors, individuals must represent a municipality that is within the district that is up for election.
RMA full members interested in joining the Board of Directors are requested to review the Fall 2022 Board of Directors Elections Information Package for detailed information on board roles and responsibilities, the commitment required, and related RMA governance policies. The RMA also encourages members interested in pursuing an RMA board seat to contact a current board member to gain a full understanding of the responsibility and commitment required.
A survey of members indicates that the AER is not effectively engaging with rural municipalities on energy-related matters, including Directive 067. The communication gap between rural municipalities and the AER needs to be addressed.
In spring 2022, the RMA requested that members complete a survey related to their experiences in engaging and communicating with the Alberta Energy Regulator (AER). The survey results have been compiled into a report which indicates the following:
Very few members have regular contact with the AER or specific contacts within the organization to answer questions or concerns related to companies in their jurisdictions.
The AER has not reached out to municipalities to better understand the challenges related to unpaid taxes, despite members being the stewards of most land which hosts oil and gas infrastructure.
RMA members welcome a stronger relationship with the AER and would like to see increased communication.
The RMA is concerned with the lack of interest on the part of the AER in working with municipalities to gather unpaid tax information, as relying on industry to self-report unpaid taxes carries a high risk of incomplete or misleading information being provided. The RMA will use the survey results to engage with the AER and advocate for increased communication with municipalities.
Access to emergency financial assistance, such as emergency support for domestic violence victims and relocation assistance for human trafficking victims
Increase the 45-day limit on applications to two years
Increase counselling services to $12,000
Provide extended medical health benefits to victims with serious injuries
Provide additional financial supports to victims with severe injuries
Provide victims with court attendance reimbursement
Reimburse families of homicide victims for funeral expenses
In addition, program delivery will shift to a zonal approach that aligns with the RCMP’s districts. These recent updates speak in part to RMA resolution 12-18S: Victim Services Unit Funding. The RMA is conducting a full review of the changes and will determine next steps.
Draft policy regarding GST on transfer payments open for comments
The Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) is seeking feedback on a draft policy to determine whether a transfer payment is consideration for a supply. This memorandum explains how and when the GST / HST provisions of the Excise Tax Act apply to transfer payments. It sets out the CRA’s administrative guidelines for determining when a transfer payment provided by a grantor is consideration for a supply made by the grantee. This is important for municipalities as, in the past, a transfer between two municipalities as a result of an intermunicipal collaboration framework (ICF) agreement was charged GST by the CRA.
It’s hot and everyone needs to cool off. The first place most people head is to water: lakes, rivers, pools, or spray parks. Pools and spray parks are specific facilities you have direct control over, and your residents expect you have ensured they are safe.
The first step is to ensure your facilities are in good condition. If there is need to repair, consider fixing prior to opening or ensure you have a solid plan for repairs while open. Ensure all chemicals and lines to the pool are clear and in good order. The best thing to do is create a daily monthly and yearly checklist. RMA Insurance has created a sample checklistfor you to use. Whether you choose to use the one provided or develop your own, your checklist should include:
Walls - Any water damage that could indicate a leak?
Floors - Are they even? Could they cause someone to trip or slip? Do you need a new nonslip coating?
Ceiling - Is there water damage?
Doors - Are they locking properly? Could a foot get stuck between the bottom and the floor? Is there glass in the door?
Gates / security systems - Pools are desirable especially after they are closed, so what measures do you have in place to keep people out?
Water treatment - Water safety and chemical levels. Temperatures should be checked and recorded regularly and be available if any issues arise. Testing all equipment should be done regularly and recorded.
Lifeguards - Ensure all training is up to date and that there are alternatives, so you have back up in case a lifeguard is unavailable.
Rules - Make sure that you have the rules posted and your staff enforce them.
You can also contact the RMA Insurance team to help you review your protocols. There is also the Lifesaving Society, which provides a helpful, complex assessment that can aid you to ensure everything is up to date. You may also want to reach out to your local emergency authorities and update your emergency response plans, including your facility’s escape routes and protocols on when to call an ambulance or local rescue.
Very similar to the outdoor facilities, you should be reviewing spray park areas and making note of anything major. Conduct a daily walk around to see if there are any potential issues that may cause injury, keep a record of the water temperature, maintain a record of the environmental temperature, and note how many people are around. Be sure to also note if the spray park has signs for contacting administration if there are any issues and it’s unsupervised. Some spray parks are on a timer and don’t have a person supervising daily, so it is important to ensure a team member is doing a check and walk through every couple of days.
It is also important to review and confirm that the water storage of these parks is inspected for any public health risk. Some questions to consider are:
Is this storage underground?
Is there any leaks or seepage of ground water?
Are you running the water from water a local treatment facility? If you are unsure, it’s a good time to check and review.
If you have any questions, please email risk@RMAinsurance.com or contact one of the RMA Insurance risk advisors.