At the Grande Prairie airport this morning candidate for Mayor Bill Given announced that building relationships with the province would be a major focus for the city under his leadership.
“I believe that council needs to take an active role in lobbying the provincial government on behalf of our residents.” said Given. He noted that provincial government decisions can be positive in such areas as grants or can add additional expense to municipal budgets through increased regulations.
“When the province makes a decision we need them to know the impact it will have on our community.” stated Given. “I'm confident that we can do a better job of bringing our message to the provincial legislature.”
Given outlined a focused effort on building relationships with government officials through regular missions to the provincial capital. Given proposed that council should travel to Edmonton as a group at least twice a year to meet with government representatives.
“I feel as though we've been waiting for the province to come to us,” said Given “ and I know a more proactive approach is required to ensure our community's voice is heard at the provincial level.”
At the conclusion of the media event Given boarded a flight for Edmonton to make a presentation on behalf of the City of Grande Prairie to the provincial government's Standing Committee on Community Services. The committee is conducting hearings on proposed changes to the Municipal Government Act. More information on the committee hearings can be found here, the list of scheduled presenters can be found here and audio of the presentations is here.