When we asked you to join the conversation and get involved in the development of the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (SSRP) for southern Alberta, you took the invitation seriously.
More than 1,300 engaged Albertans showed up at 20 community sessions eager to talk. Most impressive, perhaps, were the 15 or so people who ventured out to our session in Vulcan. That number seems small but those hardy souls braved a driving snowstorm of the first order to get to the Legion Hall and tell us what they thought about the regional advisory council’s advice.
And that’s what these 20 community conversations were about – gathering input about the RAC’s advice for the development of SSRP. We heard a lot of well-informed input and many insightful questions.
I had the pleasure of speaking with a number of Albertans in Airdrie and Okotoks. A good contingent of MLAs also made it out to the sessions, along with my Cabinet colleagues, Tourism, Parks and Recreation Minister Christine Cusanelli and Municipal Affairs Associate Minister Greg Weadick.
We sat opposite landowners and farmers, elected officials, municipal planners, irrigation experts, and individuals from conservation or recreation groups and other Albertans who had lots of good ideas.
You told us your views on what the advice said about water, conservation, recreation, agricultural land, ranching and farming, urban sprawl and land fragmentation, rural development and infrastructure and more.
You still have an opportunity to have a say – online workbooks will be accepted until December 21.
I would like to thank everyone who took the time to come out to a session or provide feedback online. This government believes that responsible, long-term land-use planning is essential for our busy and growing province’s future. Your participation will ensure this plan is a success.
But we’re not done yet. In fact, we’re only half way there.
The next step is to take the advice and input we have received, and use it to develop the draft South Saskatchewan Regional Plan. We hope to have this ready by spring.
When the draft is ready, we will return to many of the same communities to get your feedback once again. After the plan is finalized, I will ask that the report be given approval for implementation.
I urge you to remain engaged in this conversation as we move through these final steps. You can keep up-to-date on the process by visiting our website: www.landuse.alberta.ca.
Thanks again for taking part.
– Diana McQueen