Red Deer County declines to declare an agricultural disaster

Red Deer County council will not join two dozen other Alberta municipalities in declaring an agricultural disaster, despite the urging of a colleague.

Red Deer County council will not join two dozen other Alberta municipalities in declaring an agricultural disaster, despite the urging of a colleague.

Councillor Jim Wood unsuccessfully tried Tuesday to convince council to support a motion declaring a disaster. Wood said while recent rain provided some reprieve, the southeast part of the county is still facing drought conditions and hay crops are suffering throughout the municipality.

“For some producers, there is a disaster,” he said.

Wood said those farmers are looking for acknowledgement of their predicament and the county’s support would help.

“The rest of council did not agree with me,” he said after the meeting. “And that’s unfortunate. I’m very disappointed.”

Among those to declare disasters are Lacombe, Stettler, Camrose and Flagstaff counties.

County Mayor Earl Kinsella said there is no doubt that portions of the county are facing a drought, but other areas of the county are faring much better.

“We’re a long ways from declaring a drought,” he said.

Kinsella also pointed out that it is not up to municipalities to declare disasters — that’s the province’s job. Just because 25 other municipalities have taken that step it doesn’t mean Red Deer County needs to follow suit, he said.

The province has established a drought committee to review the situation and determine if any aid is required. That committee will give no weight to whether a county has declared a disaster when considering aid requests, he said.

“They won’t base it on that. The drought committee will base it on scientific data, how much rainfall, when did it occur . . . That’s what they will base it on, not whether or not the municipality said they had a problem.”

Red Deer County has already notified the province of area conditions and if there is a provincial declaration of drought the municipality expects its hardest hit areas to be included.

Councillor Reimar Poth said it was just a “soother” to suggest something was being done.

“I can’t support a declaration of disaster in Red Deer County when I believe it accomplishes nothing.”

Also skeptical of a disaster declaration was Councillor David Hoar. “I think this is just one of those things we get involved with because it’s neat to be involved in.”

Councillor Jim Lougheed didn’t see how declaring a disaster area will provide any help to producers.

If there was a real disaster the county would respond appropriately, said Councillor George Gehrke. But a majority of the county is in good shape.

Councillor Penny Archibald was absent.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

NDP won’t stop until Trans Mountain is built, says minister

Deron Bilous speaks at Red Deer chamber luncheon

Red Deer officials will allow Calgary to trial alcohol in parks

The result could determine if local rules are relaxed

Red Deer city council could provide more clarity around closed-door meetings, says review

Confidential matters were found to be handled appropriately by city

Special lift improves Lacombe patients’ therapy

A new mobility lift is helping physical therapy patients at Lacombe Hospital… Continue reading

Red Deer group is pushing to create a local ‘international village’ to promote unity

A city made up of immigrants has no place for intolerance, say group members

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

WestJet plane heading to Victoria slides off Edmonton runway, no injuries

EDMONTON — A WestJet plane has slid off an icy taxiway at… Continue reading

Sam Bennett scores twice, Flames beat Red Wings 6-4

Flames 6, Red Wings 4 CALGARY — Sam Bennett scored twice including… Continue reading

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Fashion Fridays: Inspirational gym outfits

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Company issues lifetime ban after man jumps from cruise ship

Nick Naydev posted the video last week showing him standing on the balcony of the Symphony of the Seas

Unruly passenger forces B.C.-bound flight to divert to Calgary

Police say charges are pending against a woman in her 40s

Inflation rises as higher airfares, veggie prices offset cheaper gas

Statistics Canada says inflation accelerated to two per cent in December

Canadian tattoo artist inks Toronto skyline on Blue Jays pitcher Stroman

Marcus Stroman found a way to show his appreciation for Toronto when… Continue reading

Most Read