Southern Alberta is a busy place. Agriculture and ranching are important industries in the region, which has the most intensively developed and productive irrigation network in Canada. Energy production – conventional oil, natural gas, hydroelectric and wind power – is also vital to the region’s economy, along with recreation and tourism.
Its growth and success underlines why our government decided to make completing regional plans under the Land-use Framework one of our key priorities. In such a diverse setting, we believe it’s vital to develop a plan that balances the needs of industrial and municipal development, agricultural production, recreation and conservation.
South Saskatchewan Regional Plan
We know and understand that this part of Alberta is unique…deeply rooted in tradition, yet looking toward the future. Development of a regional plan will respect those roots, and will assist in defining the path to tomorrow.
Water and population growth are the key issues that will drive change in southern Alberta. The region has the largest population of any of the seven regions under the framework – about 45 per cent of the population of our province, in fact – and the most challenging water issues. Part of the region is semi-arid and all of it is subject to drought. The Eastern Slopes provide most of the region’s water, but they also support tourism and recreation, grazing, forestry and oil and gas operations.
You have a role
This is where you come in. We want to know your thoughts to ensure that we develop a regional plan that everyone can be proud of.
This fall, we’ll be in your area, to discuss the work of the regional advisory council’s recommendations for the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan, and to ask for your opinion. We asked this council – made up of people who live, work and play in the region to give us their expertise and provide government with advice for developing the regional plan.
Join the conversation
Now we want to hear from you. I want to invite you to attend a public session and tell us how you see regional planning for the future. If you can’t make it in person, I encourage you to complete the online workbook before December 21.
This is one of the most important aspects of this process…your input and your expertise. And let me assure you that the ideas and thoughts that you put forward will be given very careful consideration. And, we will come back to you with the draft regional plan to make sure we got it right.
Watch for advertisements in your local paper and listen for updates on your favourite radio station for a time and location near you.
Remember, this is Your land…Your plan…Your time!
The advice document, workbook and much more information about regional planning is available at www.landuse.alberta.ca.
I’m looking forward to our next conversation.
– Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development
News Release: Albertans invited to provide input on next regional plan