Photo from

Sylvan Lake town council approves parental leave policy

Mayor and councillors eligible for up to 12 weeks of leave

Sylvan Lake is one of the first Alberta municipalities to adopt a parental leave policy for council.

Under the bylaw approved on Monday, a member of council is entitled to take up to 16 weeks leave before or after the birth or adoption of a child. Leave must start no earlier than 12 weeks before the delivery or adoption date and no later than 12 weeks following.

During parental leave, a councillor or mayor will receive 55 per cent of their base monthly honorarium.

In its preamble to the bylaw, the town says that “council recognizes that municipal government is enhanced when a diverse range of individuals pursue positions as councillors.”

Allowing for parental leave “reduces barriers to entry for council candidates who may become parents during their term of office.”

Town communications officer Joanne Gaudet said council was very supportive of giving those whose families are growing an opportunity to serve on council.

“We’ve got a young population. Over 50 per cent of our population is under the age of 35,” said Gaudet.

“If we can’t accommodate them on council, then we’re kind of shutting the door on a lot of opportunities and the potential skills and the potential talent out there.”

The door was open for legislated parental leave with recent changes to the Municipal Government Act, which sets the regulations for municipalities.

Prior to the provincial legislation changes, councils had the authority, on a case-by-case basis, to permit extended absences by councillors without them disqualifying themselves.

However, councils did not “have clear authority to establishing ongoing standards that would provide for extended parental leave on a system-wide basis,” says a report to council.

Since Sylvan Lake is one of the first municipalities to pursue parental leave, the proposed policy was run by its lawyers, who proposed only minor tweaks.

News tips

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Updated: Westlake home damaged in Tuesday afternoon fire

Woman and her cat escaped injury when fire hit home

Ponoka council to discuss labour contract

Town workers can serve 72-hour strike notice

Policy analyst to run for Alberta Liberals in Innisfail-Sylvan Lake byelection

Nick Jansen says health and education should be preserved

Sharing the road during motorcycle season

Being visible to other drivers is important

VIDEO: What separation from parents does to children: ‘The effect is catastrophic’

This is what happens inside children when they are forcibly separated from… Continue reading

Ten Humboldt Broncos bus crash survivors meet in Las Vegas for NHL awards

HUMBOLDT, Sask. — Ten of the 13 survivors from the Humboldt Broncos… Continue reading

Triathletes young and old prepare for weekend event in Red Deer

Woody’s Triathlon goes Saturday and Sunday

Driver knocks over metal barricade, rolls several times in crash near Olds

A man is in hospital after his SUV trashed into the QEII… Continue reading

In tit-for-tat, Trump threatens more tariffs against China

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has directed the U.S. Trade Representative to… Continue reading

Commons Speaker says no to Tory calls for emergency debate on Canada-U.S. trade

OTTAWA — The official Opposition is calling for an emergency debate in… Continue reading

Accused homeowner to testify in own defence in Hamilton murder trial

HAMILTON — A Hamilton-area homeowner accused of gunning down a suspected truck… Continue reading

Opioid death toll nearly 4,000 last year, new data shows

OTTAWA — New government figures show that nearly 4,000 Canadians died from… Continue reading

Smoking hits new low; about 14 per cent of US adults light up

NEW YORK — Smoking in the U.S. has hit another all-time low.… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month