Alberta briefs – August 7

Rimbey voters will find plenty of names to choose from when they go back to the polls later this month.

Aug. 24 Rimbey byelection called

RIMBEY — Rimbey voters will find plenty of names to choose from when they go back to the polls later this month.

The town has called a byelection for Aug. 24 to replace councillor Kathy Davies, who resigned her seat earlier this summer because she has moved out of town.

Seven people had filed papers by the time nominations closed at the end of June.

They include, in alphabetical order, Joe Anglin, Mark Cartier, Darren Jansen, Jim Moore, Steve Schrader, Allan Tarleton and Jack Webb.

The list of candidates represents a good cross section of different age groups, Mayor Dale Barr told the Rimbey Review earlier this week.

Barr expressed regret at that time that there are no women among the candidates.

Councillor David Huff told the Advocate that he was surprised to see so many people step forward for the byelection.

The town’s four-member council was acclaimed last election, said Huff.

That means there are more candidates for the one seat now available than there were for the entire council during the most recent municipal general election, held in 2007.

Huff said he could no think of any outstanding issues that would bring so many people to the polls.

An election forum is being arranged for Thursday, Aug. 13, with the time and location to be announced.

The next general election, during which all municipalities elect new councils, will be held on October of 2010.

Feds want sewage plants upgraded

Canadian municipalities will have to bring their sewage treatment plants up to snuff under new regulations to be unveiled by the Harper government later this year.

The new rules will set performance benchmarks, timelines and monitoring and reporting requirements for the country’s 4,000 wastewater facilities, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said Thursday.

The regulations will cover all wastewater systems operated by municipalities, the provincial and federal governments, and those on federal or aboriginal lands.

More details will emerge when the government publishes draft regulations in December, which are expected to be revised and finalized next year.

The Conservative government has been criticized for announcing only piecemeal projects instead of the national water strategy promised more than two years ago.

This spring, Canada’s environment commissioner told a House of Commons committee the Tories have made negligible progress on a national water strategy.

Scott Vaughan said the Tories have made plenty of announcements about the water strategy but they haven’t yet followed up with enough action to merit an audit by his office.

Prentice’s announcement drew a rebuke Thursday from Liberal MP Francis Scarpaleggia, the party’s water critic.

“The Harper government has no vision on this pressing issue,” he said in a statement.

Truckload of chickens flips off road near Olds

Traffic on Hwy 2 near Olds was reduced to a crawl after a trailer load of caged chickens was upset early Thursday morning.

RCMP Traffic Services from Innisfail said a southbound semi-truck pulling two trailers veered out of the driving lane just north of the Hwy 27 overpass and struck a highway sign. The driver was able to keep his truck and front trailer on the road, but the back trailer flipped, spilling the caged birds.

About 100 chickens were killed or had to be put down because of their injuries, said Const. Andy Methven of the Innisfail unit.

Traffic in both directions was reduced to one lane for about two hours as a result of the accident, which is still under investigation.

RCMP ask that anyone who witnessed the crash call the Innisfail detachment, 403-227-3342.

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