Vegreville CPC closes and still no answers.
(Vegreville) – It’s been almost two years since the Government of Canada announced the closure of the Vegreville Case Processing Centre without any notification or consultation with the town. The devastating decision has cost Vegreville more than 200 jobs and has left the Town with many unanswered questions.
“We fought hard to keep the CPC in Vegreville but the Government of Canada would not change their mind,” said Mayor Tim MacPhee. “We have illustrated to them the devastating effects this decision has on our Town and have questioned why they don’t see the impact these decisions have on rural Canada.”
The Mayor adds, “While disappointed we could not change this outcome, our community leaders are now working hard to secure new opportunities for our community.”
Vegreville Town Council and local business leaders have been working hard to develop strategies to attract investment including:
- identifying Vegreville’s economic strengths,
- researching industries which are both value-added and sustainable, and
- meeting with various companies and investors.
Mayor MacPhee notes that a particular area of opportunity is the processing of value-added agriculture products.
“Vegreville offers business some tremendous advantages including knowledgeable producers, access to major transportation corridors, a skilled workforce, and high-speed internet,” said Mayor MacPhee. “We are also home to Innotech Alberta’s research centre which is home to some of Canada’s leading agricultural research.”
Vegreville must be competitive with other communities that are trying to attract investment. In order to capitalize on the economic opportunities Vegreville is asking both the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta for resources and infrastructure to help create new jobs for our residents. The Alberta Government has already provided funds to help identify industry sectors we can target for investment.
“Our community needs financial assistance to build the infrastructure needed to attract and support new businesses,” Mayor MacPhee adds. “Vegreville is not asking both levels of government to solve our economic challenges, just asking for them to give us the tools so we can find the businesses who will invest here and create new jobs.”
Town receives funding thru the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI)
Vegreville Alberta August 22, 2018– On July 23, 2018 Council received a letter from Honorable Shaye Anderson, Minister of Municipal Affairs stating the Town of Vegreville’s projects submitted under the MSI capital program were accepted.
The projects are as follows:
Industrial Snow Blower
50th Street Water and Wastewater Line Replacement
49 Avenue Alley Upgrades.
Councilor Brodziak quoted that “The Town of Vegreville thanks the Government of Alberta for the Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funds received to complete the 2018 approved capital and infrastructure projects. Municipalities have relied on predictable MSI funding from the Provincial Government to Fund capital and infrastructure projects since 2007. Municipalities across Alberta rely on this annual funding from the Province. We are working with the Province for the continuation for this sustainable funding.”
Town of Vegreville partners with Norquest College
The Town of Vegreville has partnered with Norquest College, Alberta Health Services and Covenant Health to bring a Health Care Aide program to Vegreville.
Economic Development Manager Christopher Robblee stated that “This started when we were notified of all the vacancies in the health care aid profession. All the partners, administration and council could see the need and huge opportunity here for Vegreville and region. I think this is the first step in a partnership with a great educational institution and I can see more courses evolve from this. The Economic Development and Tourism Advisory Board and the Town of Vegreville are trying to identify and meet these needs, I believe this partnership is a direct result of that vision.”
This is a great opportunity for the community, it will bring assured employment after completion and a great first step for a career in healthcare.
In order for the program to go ahead in Vegreville the minimum target of 16 students has been set. Potential student can currently apply though https://www.applyalberta.ca/. In the coming weeks there will be links on the Norquest College site.
CN Crossing Concerns
The Town of Vegreville has recently reviewed the public’s concerns in regards to the train whistle blowing at crossings within Town limits. During consultation with CN in regards to this matter, the Town has confirmed the following:
CN has stated that engine whistling requirements are controlled through the Canadian Rail Operating Rules (CROR). A municipality may work with rail companies to install alternate safety measures at at-grade crossings which meet Transport Canada guidelines to eliminate the need for train whistling. These alternative measures are designed uniquely for each intersection depending on the specific requirements deemed necessary to replace the safety function of the train whistle.
This process of whistle cessation generally takes 3-5 years to implement.
The cost of the safety upgrades to the at-grade crossings are the responsibility of the municipality. The average cost of a suitable crossing for whistle cessation is $400,000, and the Town has 4 crossings which it is responsible for.
At this time, Town Council is not prepared to spend over One Million Dollars for this endeavor.
Regional Recreation and Culture Master Plan Survey
Please take a moment to complete the Regional Recreation and Culture Master Plan Survey
To include your responses in the analysis it needs to be received by June 30.