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M.D. council finds AHS request puzzling

Posted on October 22, 2014 by Taber Times

By J.W. Schnarr
Taber Times
jwschnarr@tabertimes.com

Municipal District of Taber council will be holding off on responding to a letter from Alberta Health Services regarding a request for information about local healthy living initiatives – at least until they know what it is exactly AHS is seeking.

During their regular meeting on Oct. 14, council addressed a letter from Christine Couture, a member of the AHS strategic planning and policy division, requesting information on how council has implemented policies for a provincial government initiative titled “Changing Our Future: Alberta’s Cancer Plan to 2030”

Examples of the requested information include efforts by the M.D. to develop walking and biking trails, establishing recreation programs, and efforts to discourage smoking.

“To help us meet our reporting deadlines, it would be very helpful to receive the requested information as soon as possible,” Couture indicated.
Reeve Brian Brewin said he found the request strange.

“Odd that they are asking us what we’re doing to support their plan,” said Reeve Brian Brewin.

Krizsan said one of the issues which made this request irregular is that there were no partnerships of grants handed out to help the M.D. pay for projects they might have been involved with related to this initiative, though he added the M.D. budget makes room for projects every year which support healthy and active living.

“We have lots of reasons in our budget to show how we support recreation,” said Krizsan.

“And yet, when we ask for raffles, or something, to build one of these (projects), we’re turned down for various bureaucratic reasons,” added Brewin.

Division 2 Coun. Tom Machacek said several years ago there was a request from the provincial government to help with plans for active living, but nothing ever came of those requests or the answers provided.

“Typically when we are asked for information like this, it is because there is a plan in place,” said Krizsan. “And it’s not unreasonable to expect funding to follow our efforts to support their initiatives.”

“Somebody wants us to do their job, is what that sounds like,” said Brewin.

Following discussion, Brewin asked for a motion instructing administration to contact Couture and ask her to come meet with council in order to better explain what AHS is requesting.

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