MLA says COVID program addresses business concerns

Village of Clive’s concerns about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting small business have been heard by the local MLA, but it appears the province is already doing everything it can.

A few weeks ago Clive council issued a statement it was concerned about the future of local business as it suffers under the pandemic and asked the provincial government to look at doing more to help. 

The letter was sent to Lacombe-Ponoka MLA Ron Orr and many other municipalities.

Orr’s response was presented to councillors by village Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Carla Kenney.

“I hear your concerns but also must point out that the REP program [Restrictions Exemption Program] came at the request – full lobbying – of the Alberta Chambers of Commerce so that business could be fully open,” stated Orr’s letter.

The program offers business owners two options: implement the REP requiring proof of vaccination, negative test results or medical exemption for patrons 12-yrs-old and over, plus mandatory masking to continue operating as usual, or comply with all restrictions as outlined in public health orders.

“It is not mandatory and any business that doesn’t want to does not have to do it,” wrote the MLA. 

“They can just limit capacity. Yes, it has been a terrible time for everyone,” added Orr.

Councillors accepted the letter for information.

CAO report

Kenney submitted her regular report to council and noted it included mostly year-end work. 

However, she stated in her report that a home owner contacted the village of a high-consumption charge on their water bill, and it turned out to be a running toilet. 

The CAO stated that later in the meeting when councillors discussed their rates and fees bylaw she would suggest the village switch to monthly water billing instead of the current bi-monthly, which lessens to chance of a high-consumption problem.

Councillors accepted the CAO’s report for information.

Water commission

During the Public Works department report, staff noted the revised “onstream estimate” for the Hwy. #12/21 Water Commission’s pipeline to Clive is now May, 2022. 

The village council previously decided it would hold a town hall meeting for residents so they can learn more about how the commission will affect them, but a date for that meeting has not be selected.

Rates and fees bylaw

Councillors unanimously passed all readings to bring their new rates and fees bylaw into effect, after discussing water rates. 

While sewer and garbage rates were largely unchanged, water rates could be increased 12 or 13 per cent, depending on the approach councillors wished to take. 

Kenney also advised councillors switch the village to monthly utility billing from bi-monthly, which Coun. Sarah Fahey supported.

Councillors agreed to go with a 12 per cent increase in water rates.


Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative reporter

ECA Review

About the author

Stu Salkeld

Stu Salkeld, who has upwards of 28 years of experience in the Alberta community newspaper industry, is now covering councils and other news in the Stettler region and has experience working in the area as well.

He has joined the ECA Review as a Local Journalism Initiative Journalist.

Stu earned his two-year diploma in print journalism from SAIT in Calgary from 1993 to ’95 and was raised in Oyen, Alta., one of the communities within the ECA Review’s coverage area.