Olds College to provide training for rural planners

Olds College will be an Alberta training ground for rural planners starting in September.

Olds College will be an Alberta training ground for rural planners starting in September.

Right now, students with an education in rural planning come from out of province because Alberta has neither a planning technician program nor an undergraduate planning degree.

The new two-year rural land use planning major at Olds College will also help address Alberta’s shortage of land-use planning technicians and development officers.

“Every municipality we talk to says we have difficulty getting people to come to the rural area, to stay in the rural area and have people that actually understand the rural landscape,” said Murray McKnight, instructor with the School of Agriculture, Land and Environment at Olds College.

“Designing where stop lights go in downtown Calgary is quite different than making comments on intensive livestock operations and where they might go.”

People trained in rural land use know how to gather and research environmental data to assess how residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural developments interact with rural landscapes and ecosystems.

McKnight said up until now, land use planning has been much more focused on urban planning and a need for planners with a rural perspective actually exists across the country.

The Alberta Association of Canadian Institute of Planners anticipates a shortage of planners trained in rural issues since about 50 per cent of members are age 50 or older.

Olds College, which is very directed towards rural programs, is well suited to providing the education planners and technicians require, McKnight said.

It will give students an opportunity to get a stable job, make a good living and be based in a rural municipality, he said.

The college was approached four years ago by directors of planning with rural municipalities to develop the program.

Up to 20 students will be accepted into the program. Applications are currently being accepted.

szielinski@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Former firefighter with PTSD sues Syncrude over suspended benefits, dismissal

CALGARY — A lawsuit filed by a former firefighter and paramedic against… Continue reading

Call for tighter bail rules after Saudi sex-crime suspect vanishes

HALIFAX — Mohammed Zuraibi Alzoabi may have hoped to quietly disappear from… Continue reading

Democrats aren’t buying Trump’s shutdown-ending ‘compromise’

WASHINGTON — In a bid to break the shutdown stalemate, President Donald… Continue reading

Updated: Red Deer welcomes 2019 Canada Winter Games Team Alberta

About 250 Alberta athletes are participating in the Games

Syrian immigrants feel welcomed

Winter Social held at Festival Hall to promote multiculturalism

Students seen mocking Native Americans could face expulsion

One 11-minute video of the confrontation shows the Haka dance and students loudly chanting

Mexican pipeline explosion kills 71, leaves nightmare of ash

TLAHUELILPAN, Mexico — Gerardo Perez returned Saturday to the scorched field in… Continue reading

Tall timber towers taking root in Canada as builders look to go green

TORONTO — Six years ago architect Michael Green took the stage at… Continue reading

May plans next move in Brexit fight as chances rise of delay

Some say a lack of action could trigger a ‘public tsunami’

Group challenges ruling for doctors to give referrals for services that clash with beliefs

A group of five Canadian doctors and three professional organizations is appealing

Major winter storm wreaks havoc on U.S. travel

Nearly 5,000 flights were cancelled Sunday around the country

Quebec culture minister scolds Netflix over Lac-Megantic footage in ‘Bird Box’

MONTREAL — Quebec’s culture minister has penned a letter to Netflix’s CEO… Continue reading

Canadians across the country march to end violence against women

Women and their allies participated in marches across Canada on Saturday, from… Continue reading

Former Olympian Humphries files harassment complaint with Bobsleigh Canada

CALGARY — The national governing body for bobsleigh and skeleton has confirmed… Continue reading

Most Read