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Coming Up: November 4 and 5

Council meets on Monday. The agenda includes:

  • Delegations: Updates on the GPRC students association, supports for veterans, and the energy industry

  • Land Purchases

Additionally, Council Committee of the Whole will be meeting on Tuesday to discuss an Affordable Housing Strategy.

Following is more information and my take on agenda items.

As always, any mistakes or opinions belong to me and me alone, not to Council or City staff.

While I express my current views below, I work hard to go into meetings ready to listen and with an open mind. I learn new information and participate in debate. This always informs, and sometimes changes, how I vote on issues.

If you would like to watch the meeting or read any of its supporting material for yourself, you can do so by clicking here. The City will post the highlights of Council’s decisions here.


DELEGATIONS

Whenever Council meets, members of the public are invited to come an address us on any topic. At 3:00pm, we have an opportunity for anyone to address us, whether or not they have given us notice. There is an additional opportunity to address us at 6:00pm, but that requires submitting a Delegation Request Form.

This week, three delegations have told us they intend to present. They are:

  • A representative of the Oil and Gas industry to give us an update on industry challenges and opportunities.

  • A member of the public who has done extensive volunteer work on behalf of veterans. She will is giving us an update on the Veterans Memorial Gardens and asking for a referral to a Council Committee to discuss preserving supports for veterans.

  • Representatives of the GPRC Students Association to share their priorities and initiate dialogue on how their organisation can create closer collaboration with the City


LAND PURCHASES

It has been recommended that Council approve the purchase of two pieces of land that will help the City accomplish some of its goals. I intend to support his recommendation.


AFFORDABLE HOUSING COMMITTEE

A proposed Affordable Housing Strategy was presented at the October 7 City Council meeting. At that time, Council decided to refer it to Committee of the Whole for further and less formal conversation. This will be taking place on Tuesday.

If you want to learn more, I’ve written in depth about the proposed Strategy here.

There are a few topics I intend to raise on Tuesday (unless a colleague beats me to them):

  • Targets. If met, the targets in the Strategy wouldn’t see us making headway on the challenge of Affordable Housing. They’d just see us not letting the problem get any worse as Grande Prairie grows. I’d like to see us have more aspiration than that. We should aim to have more affordable housing units in our community than this strategy proposes.

  • Housing development corporation. The proposed Strategy calls for the formation of a Housing Development Corporation. This could be a useful tool for our community if properly formed. But it could also be an expensive and ineffective undertaking if not properly formed. Further discussion and definition is needed before I can support a plan that calls for a Corporation.

  • Affordable Housing Task Force. If we form a Housing Development Corporation, it will have a board made up mostly of public members with relevant expertise. This group could play a very important role in advocating for and advising on Affordable Housing initiatives. We shouldn’t wait to pull a group like this together. If Council chooses not to move forward with a Corporation at this time, it should form a Task Force to help guide implementation of the Affordable Housing Strategy.


That’s what is on our agenda for Monday. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

You can comment below. Or, you can contact me at dbressey@cityofgp.com or 780-402-4166. I'm happy to talk online or over the phone. I'm also always willing to setup a time to meet for coffee.

We also always have great conversation in the GP Round Table group on Facebook.

After Council meeting, you will be able to find highlights posted by the City here.

Thanks for reading!

-Dylan