If you follow us on Twitter, you might have seen calls this past spring for applications to serve on a very special advisory council. This is the Regional Advisory Council for the North Saskatchewan region.
At the start of each regional plan, one of the first things we do is put the call out for Albertans to sit on the Regional Advisory Council (RAC) for the region we’re working on. A Regional Advisory Council is pretty much what it sounds like: a group of experts and experienced individuals who give advice about regional issues for a specific part of Alberta.
We’re pleased to announce that a council has now been appointed for the North Saskatchewan region. You can view the list of members here.
Why we have Regional Advisory Councils
Regional planning covers a huge number of different topics and priorities. Every region is different, and everyone has a slightly different vision for what it should become. Rather than applying a one-size-fits-all approach, we think it’s a better idea to ask people who know each region really well what we should focus on.
That means getting ideas from people who work or specialize in different areas – including industry, conservation, agriculture, recreation, academia, and municipal governance. Our goal is to create advisory councils representing all of these different perspectives.
To achieve this, we put out a call for applicants, and then choose a representative council from the applications that we get. Each person who sits on the council commits to bringing their own expertise and views – rather than those of their employer – to the table.
What happens now
- Based on the general goals we want to accomplish in each region, government provides the appointed council with the same Terms of Reference for the plan that Albertans are currently providing feedback on.
- The council meets to discuss the main issues facing the region throughout the summer and fall. After those meetings, the council provides us with draft advice for the plan.
- Albertans provide feedback on this advice through an online survey.
- Based on the advice of the council and the feedback Albertans have provided, we produce a draft regional plan.
- During the next phase of consultations, we ask Albertans what they think about that draft plan.
We’ll be announcing updates about the North Saskatchewan Regional Plan on Twitter as they happen. Our Phase One community consultation sessions have wrapped up – you can check out what we heard here – but you can still fill out the online workbook until July 31st.
If you’d like to read more about where we’re at with regional planning, you can check out the status of each region right here.