Sheep return for another summerNEWS/Entries/2020/7/9_Sheep_return_for_another_summer.html
August hearing for Land Use BylawNEWS/Entries/2020/7/9_August_hearing_for_land_use_bylaw.html
Retired firefighter rememberedNEWS/Entries/2020/7/9_Retired_firefighter_remembered.html
High river levels prompt closuresNEWS/Entries/2020/7/9_High_river_levels_prompt_closures.html

Volume 25, Number 27, Wednesday, July 8, 2020

$40 million line of credit for COVID-19

Black Lives Matter may seem to have little to do with Fort Saskatchewan, but the fight against racism is as important here as anywhere.

The history of Fort Saskatchewan is incomplete. There is an important gap in our records between the time the Mounted Police arrived in 1875, and local historian Peter Ream began a serious study of our community.

Back when Mary Inglis opened the first school in Fort Saskatchewan in the 1880s, more than half of her class was made up of Metis children. Our town therefore clearly included a large number of Metis residents at that time.

This was not true when I attended school here in the late 1960s. The town had little or no Metis population.

Some time in between these two dates, the Metis left, or were forced out of Fort Saskatchewan. It is a piece of history that deserves study.

We know that some Metis families ended up in Maskwacis. We know this because that is where descendants of Henry Norwest now live. Norwest, born in Fort Saskatchewan in 1884, was a decorated soldier in World War I, killed in action on August 18, 1918.

Despite having died for Canada, Norwest was not included on the Fort Saskatchewan cenotaph when it was first erected in 1923. This error was corrected by a more enlightened Royal Canadian Legion Br. 27 in 2004. The Legion canteen was also named in honour of this hero at that time.

We didn't have a lot of statues in Fort Saskatchewan until recently, and we still don't have many that honour actual historic people. But those statues now existing honour only those of us of European ancestry.

Statues help us remember our history. They also make a statement about who is important to us. Our founder, William Dummer Jarvis, is deserving of his statue. I would argue that Henry Norwest deserves the same.

Regardless of the person so honoured, Fort Saskatchewan could do worse than to erect a monument to a local First Nations or Metis person of note.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Break-in suspect arrested nearbyNEWS/Entries/2020/7/9_Break-in_suspect_arrested_nearby.html

Time to remember local Metis

Council approved a larger line of credit Tuesday for City of Fort Saskatchewan use in case of financial difficulties caused by COVID-19.

The new limit of $40 million is double that approved in April, but comes with new controls by City Council. Administration is now required to notify Council at a public Council meeting at least 10 days prior to any proposed draw on the line of credit.

“This mechanism ensures that Council will have the opportunity to vote on any borrowing for operating purposes prior to such borrowing being made,” Clayton Northey, Manager of Accounting and Reporting said Tuesday.

Administration also agreed to increased financial monitoring and reporting to City Council, including monthly updates on operating and cash flow forecasts. Restrictions have also already been put in place on non-essential spending, service levels have been reduced and a hiring freeze put in place, he added.

“With these spending controls in place and increased communication with Council, administration believes that the City will be aware of the need to draw on the line of credit several months beforehand.”

Councillor Brian Kelly, who objected to the proposal when first presented in June, praised the added conditions.

Only Councillor Ed Sperling voted against the move, saying $20 million would be sufficient. "I haven't been satisfied that we have the need," he said Tuesday.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020