Local authorities will have until January 1, 2020 to meet the requirements of the regulation
Amendments to the Emergency Management Act came into force on November 19, 2018, which provided authority to create a new regulation to give clearer direction on emergency management practices for municipalities. The Order in Council was signed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council on November 27, 2018 enacting the Local Authority Emergency Management Regulation. The regulation provides greater clarification regarding:
Winter is once again upon us, bringing the sub-zero temperatures many dread. It is also the time when organizations with vacant or seasonal properties need to look at taking the right steps to protect their buildings from weather-related issues.
Water damage is one of the most common problems in buildings that do not see regular occupancy. Water can do a huge amount of damage to a building in a short period of time. It can severely damage floors, drywall, and electrical wiring. Water has a way of getting into every nook and cranny a building has.
The first step in preparing a vacant or seasonal building for winter is to turn off its main water supply and drain all the lines completely. These steps help prevent lines from freezing and bursting, plus prevent a large discharge of water should the plumbing fail in the cold. Once the main water supply is turned off, very little water can escape, limiting or outright preventing any damage.
Once the water is off, it is safe to reduce or turn off the heat in the building.
The next step is to unplug all appliances. This protects appliances in the event of power surges or lighting strikes, which, though rare, can cause costly damage. Depending on the building’s location and the availability of the shut off, it may also be worth turning off the power. This could be as simple as turning off all the electrical breakers.
The third step is to go through the building and ensure that all windows and outside doors are locked. This will deter trespassing while the building is unoccupied and deter animals who may see it as an attractive place to spend the winter months.
Finally, we recommend removal of all garbage in and around the building. This limits the chance of a fire in the event the trash contains combustibles.
We always suggest using checklists to make sure winter preparations for the building are complete and everything is done properly.
No one wants to come back in the spring to discover a building needs major repairs. Following the above steps will greatly reduce the risk of an incident during the cold winter months.
The Miistakis Institute, with support from the RMA and other key stakeholders, has developed the Least Conflict Lands: Municipal Decision Support Tool for Siting Renewable Energy
Alberta is investing in renewables as a key strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan aims to generate 30% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. A key challenge is to manage land use issues associated with the rapid growth in energy projects in the province. Many land use impacts can be addressed through proper siting and avoidance of areas important to ecology, agriculture, or culture and scenic resources. A key lesson from other jurisdictions supporting renewable energy development is the importance of siting renewable energy development to reduce impacts to other land uses.
Map provides information on underserved areas as identified by CRTC
The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) has released an updated map indicating areas of Canada served and not served by 50 Mbps download/10Mbps upload speeds, which have been set as the universal broadband service objective across Canada and will be used to determine funding eligibility under the CRTC Broadband Fund.
The map divides Canada into a series of 25km2 hexagons. If a hexagon is green, it includes at least one residence, and no residence in the hexagon has access to 50/10 speeds. If a hexagon is white, it either has at least one residence located within it with access to 50/10 speeds or has no residences of any kind located within it. This map will be used to determine eligible areas for project funding under the CRTC’s Broadband Fund. The first call for applications under the Fund will occur sometime in 2019. It is unknown if the current maps will be used to determine funding, or if the maps will be updated immediately before a call for applications is issued. In either case, the current maps provide a strong indication of areas in Alberta that will be eligible for funding. The map also includes information on areas with access to high-capacity transport infrastructure and long-term evolution (LTE) mobile wireless service.
RMA members that are considering applying under the Fund or working with an ISP or other partner are encouraged to review the map. Click here to view the map.
The maximum eligible rebate per project has increased from 25 percent to 30 percent of eligible expenses.
A first-time applicant bonus rebate of $0.25/watt is available to municipalities that have not previously participated in the AMSP for their first project.
AMSP funding is available on a first come, first served basis and municipalities are eligible to submit multiple applications.
Any municipality that has already received an incentive through the AMSP for a completed project or has signed an AMSP Implementation Funding Agreement for a project under construction is not eligible for the first-time applicant bonus.
The AMSP provides funding to Alberta municipalities that install grid-connected solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on municipally-owned facilities or land and complete public engagement for the project. Solar PV is a technology that converts sunlight into direct current electricity by using semiconductors. This technology allows adopters to independently generate clean renewable energy and reduce the costs on their electricity bills.
The popular program launched in 2016 and was approaching full subscription of its original $5 million grant. To date, the AMSP has supported 60 projects in 28 municipalities across the province, which combined will support 83 jobs and reduce more than 102,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions during their lifecycles.
Fee for services training sessions available through Brownlee LLP and Reynolds Mirth Richards and Farmer
Recent changes to the Municipal Government Act (MGA) include a requirement for Subdivision and Appeal Board (SDAB) members and clerks to undergo mandatory training before April 1, 2019 based on a standard program developed by Municipal Affairs.
Municipal Affairs hosted SDAB training courses in five locations over the summer, which were greatly oversubscribed. Based on this demand, RMA and the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) pooled grant funding received from Municipal Affairs for MGA Change Management projects to offer courses in an additional eleven locations. Many of these courses were offered in partnership with local municipalities, who applied to co-host sessions through an open application process. At this point in the project, there are no future workshop rounds planned.
Both associations have raised the need for further assistance to meet the new MGA requirements for SDAB training with Municipal Affairs. Municipalities may also want to consider forming a regional SDAB as some municipalities may not require a stand-alone SDAB, and a regional SDAB may improve efficiency for all municipalities involved. In addition, private law firms are also offering fee for service training options for municipalities. Brownlee LLP is hosting SDAB workshops in Calgary and Edmonton, please register to secure your spot. Additionally, some municipalities have contracted Reynolds Mirth Richards and Farmer to deliver training sessions directly.
We will continue to keep members apprised of SDAB training opportunities as they become available.