It’s finally here – the moment many Albertans have been waiting for. Last week, we announced the first draft of the South Saskatchewan Regional Plan (which has its own catchy acronym – SSRP).
This might sound familiar. In fact, you might be thinking that we just wrapped up consultation on this plan – and you’d be right. Our last conversations with Albertans wrapped up not even a year ago. So why, exactly, are we going out again?
Because regional planning is a balancing act.
A good plan balances between different land uses – like industrial growth, community development, recreational access, and environmental protection. Nowhere in Alberta is this more important than in southern Alberta. Almost half the province – 1.6 million people – live and work in this region, and some of our province’s biggest industries are based here. That many people in one area means a lot of different pressures on the land – and a lot of different opinions about how to best use and protect it.
Our job is to gather all those concerns and priorities, and then make a plan that balances between them. And over the past three years, that’s what we’ve done. Here’s how we’ve done it – and where you come in:
- At the very beginning of the process, we kicked off a conversation to find out more about what Albertans want for the South Saskatchewan region.
- A Regional Advisory Council made up of a wide variety of stakeholders was then asked to draft recommendations for the plan, and we brought those recommendations to you for feedback.
- We turned what we heard – from the councils and from Albertans – into a draft plan. And that pretty much brings us to now.
We need to hear from you.
We’ve tried hard to make sure the draft plan reflects all the ideas we’ve heard so far – and we think we’ve succeeded. But what we think isn’t nearly as important as what you think.
If you have a stake in the future of this region – and most of us do – then we want to hear from you. You can share your feedback on the draft plan:
- At one of 21 public consultation sessions we’re holding across the region and in three border communities (Red Deer, Edmonton, and Drumheller) throughout November;
- By filling out an online workbook; and/or
- Through a comment here on the blog or on Twitter. We’ll also be hosting a twitter chat with some of the experts behind the plan sometime in November – don’t miss it.