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New city council sworn-in

St. Albert's new city council opened the first meeting of their term on Monday night with a blessing from Alexander First Nation elder Tony Arcand.
FRONT New Council DR342
Newly elected city council poses for a team picture following the inaugural meeting of the new city council in council chambers in St. Albert on Monday.

St. Albert's new city council opened the first meeting of their term on Monday night with a blessing from Alexander First Nation elder Tony Arcand. Earlier in the day, with most of council present, Arcand led a smudging ceremony to cleanse the council chambers and the Douglas Cardinal boardroom. During the council meeting, Sharon Morin from Michif Cultural Connections gifted the new council with a sash on behalf of the Métis nation, as well as individual gifts. The city has also added the Treaty 6 flag and the Métis flag to council chambers. Mayor Cathy Heron said the new council wanted to be informed about Indigenous relations, adding this term will see some important decisions made by council in regard to recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. "I think every community in Canada is starting to really recognize that they need to take an active role in the Truth and Reconciliation report," she said. "We're going to be getting some feedback from our staff because there's 95 recommendations in that report and a lot of them fall on the shoulders of municipalities." She added the council will be doing cultural sensitivity training. The meeting continued with each councillor being sworn-in by the Hon. B.R. Garriock and affirming the Code of Conduct. The meeting itself covered organizational matters, including the schedule for regular council meetings, committee of the whole meetings and governance, priorities and finance meetings; council start time; and the deputy mayor roster, which begins with Coun. Wes Brodhead.

Council start time changed

In the future, council meetings will begin at 3 p.m. instead of 2 p.m. A motion from Brodhead to amend the start time passed unanimously. Coun. Natalie Joly said a later start time would allow more people to attend meetings. Brodhead and Coun. Jacquie Hansen suggested the council also look at changing the composition of the agenda, prompting Heron to ask administration to bring a recommendation forward for that in the future. Hansen said she wants to see the public part of the meeting pushed even later so people who work can get to council chambers. "3 p.m. for me is still pretty early, but as long as the public portion of the meeting is later, that's what matters," she said. Also sworn in were Councillors Sheena Hughes, Ken MacKay and Ray Watkins.


April Hudson

About the Author: April Hudson

April is the editor of the St. Albert Gazette
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