The first stage of DRAS will be available for public use on June 21, 2021
Alberta Environment and Parks(AEP) continues to modernize its regulatory system to reduce red tape, create efficiencies, and enhance transparency while still maintaining high environmental standards. One initiative to support modernizing Alberta’s regulatory system is the creation of the Digital Regulatory Assurance System (DRAS), which will become the only system for submitting and trackingWater Actapprovals, applications, amendment applications, and Code of Practice notices. DRAS is designed to provide clear, upfront expectations to applicants and will be used to manage the entire lifecycle of a project, from application to authorization, monitoring and compliance reporting, to remediation and closure.
DRAS will provide applicants:
The ability to track the status of their applications in real time
The ability to apply for one project with multiple activities via an integrated application
AEP has created aninformation page on DRAS that includes links to register for upcoming virtual information and training sessions.
Decommissioning of EAS OneStop
On June 14, 2021, Environmental Approvals System (EAS) OneStop access will be terminated for both applicants and regulators. There will be a seven-day pause to transfer submitted and approved applications as well as data from EAS OneStop to DRAS. At that time, any draft applications that have not been submitted for regulatory review will be permanently deleted.
Effective June 21, 2021, DRAS will be the only system applicants will use to submit Water Act approval applications, amendments, and Codes of Practice notices.
The hub is intended to support both incumbent and new candidates in accessing information on campaigning and election requirements, as well as short videos from RMA and AUMA board members on “need to know” topics related to running for office and preparing for your first weeks as an elected official if your campaign is successful.
The hub provides answers to the following common candidate questions:
What is it like to be a municipal elected official?
What is the process for running a municipal campaign?
Where can I find more info?
RMA members are encouraged to review the hub to ensure they have the most current election-related information, and rural municipalities are encouraged to link to the hub through their local candidate support resources.
RMA has also developed a series ofMunicipal Election Position Statementsthat focus on the unique issues impacting this year’s municipal elections, including recent changes to the Local Authorities Election Act, the introduction of referendums and senate elections into the municipal election process, and the possible impacts of COVID-19 on campaigning and voting.
2021 - 2022 funding open for Watershed Resiliency and Restoration Program
TheWatershed Resiliency and Restoration Program(WRRP) was established in 2014, in recognition of the importance of improving natural watershed functions to build long-term resiliency for floods and droughts. The WRRP is administered byAlberta Environment and Parks (AEP). It provides grants to municipalities and organizations for the design and construction of projects that enhance watershed resiliency to impacts from flooding and drought and help to ensure public safety is protected.
Applications are being accepted for the WRRP for the 2021 - 2022 funding. AEP has provided additional documents for further information on the grant:
Municipalities have a role to play in controlling the spread of Dutch Elm Disease
Alberta has the largest stand of Dutch Elm Disease (DED) free elms in North America valued at $2 billion. These elms are found in municipalities, rural properties, shelterbelts, and provincial parks. The pathogens, the vectors, and the European and native elm bark beetles, are all regulated under the Agricultural Pests Act (APA). Under the APA, municipalities must appoint inspectors to carry out the requirements of the APA and its regulations. Alberta has DED Prevention / Control Measures in place that are enforceable under the APA.
After many years of being DED free, two trees tested positive in Lethbridge in 2020. Fortunately, the trees were on public property and the city removed and disposed of the trees quickly and eradication was successful. Rapid detection and control is necessary to continue to protect Alberta’s elm trees, and is facilitated by municipalities through their regulated pest control powers under the APA. For many RMA members, agricultural fieldmen fill the role of pest inspectors.
The Coal Policy Committee has launched an engagement webpage
In March 2021, the Government of Alberta (GOA) announced the establishment of aCoal Policy Committee, an independent group to develop and lead a widespread and comprehensive public engagement to inform Alberta’s long-term approach to coal development. The committee is expected to finish their final report, which will provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Energy, by November 15, 2021.
The committee is responsible for ensuring the views of all Albertans are represented. To aid in this, the committee has launched their engagement webpage and is calling fortechnical submissions. The topics of the technical submissions can be:
Other (please specify)
There is an opportunity forAlberta Energy to publish responses to the public facing document library hosted on the engagement webpage with the permission of the author. Responses will be updated on the site on a weekly basis and are posted to allow the public to view the issues raised by Albertans about coal development.
RMA staff will inform members of more opportunities to provide input as the engagement process progresses.
Theworkshop agenda will feature presentations on several topics, including:
Asset Management in Selkirk – a presentation from the City of Selkirk, Manitoba, a leader in asset management among smaller municipalities in Canada.
Owning Your Asset Management System – an overview of how to develop an asset management governance structure and build a culture of asset management, presented by Public Sector Digest.
Principles of Asset Management and Sustainability Course – information on a new asset management-focused course offered by the University of Calgary.
Infrastructure Down Under – an opportunity to learn about asset management challenges and changes in New Zealand and how they can relate to Alberta, presented by representatives of the Tararua District Council in New Zealand.
Breakout discussions on topics such as levels of service, total cost of ownership, and preparing a new council to embrace asset management.