Rezoning request approved following bylaw revisions

The amendment area in yellow along Highway 9 on the southwest corner of Hanna, Alta. known as Plan 7810 701 Block A Lot 2 & Plan 051 1341 Block A Lots 3-6 Inclusive for a fertilizer facility. ECA Review/Submitted
Written by Terri Huxley

The amendment area in yellow along Highway 9 on the southwest corner of Hanna, Alta. known as Plan 7810 701 Block A Lot 2 & Plan 051 1341 Block A Lots 3-6 Inclusive for a fertilizer facility. ECA Review/Submitted

A joint public hearing was held during Hanna council’s regular meeting on Tues. June 8.

This particular hearing encompassed two bylaws including a Land Use Bylaw amendment and Municipal Development Plan (MDP) Amendment.

The company, Green For Life (GFL) Environmental Inc. is interested in pursuing an industrial operation with the purpose of creating a nutrient-rich fertilizer that consists of 70 per cent elemental sulphur and 30 per cent compost.

All blending of compost and sulphur would occur onsite and outdoors.

Only finished compost would be brought to this site. According to the developers, if the compost has a strong odour it is considered a bad batch of compost and will not be used, limiting the amount of odour.

The location of this plant would be on the north side of Highway 9 near the west entrance where the KFC restaurant and ESSO gas station were previously located which was designated as Highway Commercial.

To accommodate this proposal the future land use for this area will need to be updated in the MDP. This would permit the subsequent rezoning of the land to an industrial district.

No letters in opposition or for the project were received but all adjacent landowners were contacted prior to the hearing to ensure they knew what was happening and to give their own input.

A developer with GFL, Don Francis shared he was in ‘full favour of the amendment as it will allow GFL to go ahead’, adding it will ‘benefit the community greatly’.

“It’s been a long road, longer with COVID and no one is looking more forward than the team. We are really excited about spending some time in the community and getting on with it and getting to work,” he said.

After a brief presentation from Palliser Regional Municipal Services, Chief Executive Officer Dan Diano on the situation, council left the public hearing.

Second and third reading of both bylaws were passed by council.

Code of Conduct complaint

Council reviewed an email from Ms. Terry Johnston dated April 13, 2021 regarding conduct unbecoming a councillor.

Ms. Johnston expressed concern regarding Coun. Olsen participating in an online bullying situation, however, she did not provide any evidence of bullying or that Coun. Kyle Olsen acted in bad faith other than her subjective opinion stated in her email.

Administration responded to Ms. Johnston, advising that all members of council reviewed the Code of Conduct Bylaw as she suggested in her email and at that point, the matter was considered closed.

Cory Ashley spoke to council at the May 11 regular council meeting voicing his concerns about people being bullied in Hanna, both online and in person.

Ashley stated that he feels he has been bullied by several people, including Coun. Olsen, which is disrespectful and against the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw.

He agreed that Ms. Johnston did not provide sufficient evidence that Coun. Olsen violated the bylaw and stated he would be supplying satisfactory evidence proving the councillor was violating this bylaw.

Ashley submitted a letter to administration on May 18, requesting that council discipline Coun. Olsen.

He also provided a copy of the bylaw indicating the applicable sections, as well as 74 pages of ‘bullying comments’ from various Facebook pages.

The purpose of Hanna’s Council Code of Conduct Bylaw 994 – 2018 is to establish standards for the ethical conduct of members relating to their roles and obligations as representatives of the municipality.

The bylaw includes a procedure for the investigation and enforcement of those standards which is done by RCMP.

Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Kim Neill shared that in his opinion the submission of evidence from Ashley was ‘disjointed’ and ‘difficult to follow in terms of comments from posts’ saying many of the comments provided were duplicates and few made by Coun. Olsen.

“At the end of the day, we are dealing with Coun. Olsen. I did not see anything in the material supplied that made me feel that Coun. Olsen may have violated the Code of Conduct Bylaw in any manner,” said Neill.

Coun. Connie Deadlock agreed with CAO Neill. “I didn’t see any bullying in the information provided.”

Neill added that these online pages are rant and rave pages where the premise of them is exactly for that – ranting and raving in the community and doesn’t reflect the true values and nature of the population although it can be frustrating.

Council passed a motion authorizing Mayor Warwick to respond to the complainant, stating they felt Coun. Olsen has not contravened this bylaw and now considers the matter closed.

 

Terri Huxley

ECA Review

About the author

Terri Huxley

Terri grew up on a grain farm near Drumheller, Alberta with an eye for the beautiful and uncharted. Living in such a unique and diverse area has helped her become the photographer and reporter she is today.

Coming from the East Central region getting this newspaper on her dinner table growing up, it helped her understand the community she now serves.

In May 2019, Terri was awarded Alberta Weekly Newspaper Association (AWNA) Canada's Energy Citizens Photographic Awards Sports Action – First Place as well as first for the same sports action image nationally with the Canadian Community Newspaper Association (CCNA). Fast forward to 2020, she has won second in the same category for the AWNA.