Council opts out of highway membership

By Jessica Dempsey

March 29, 2018 1:28 PM

File Photo

Lloydminster City Council has decided not to renew their membership with the Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway Association.
On Monday, city council members choose to leave the association, after being part of it since 1992 with an annual membership fee of $5,000.
The mandate of the non-profit association is to engage in advocacy for the development, maintenance and enhancement of the Yellowhead Highway and promotion of its benefits and assets to industry, tourists, governments, and communities.
“I’ve had a chance to look at the strategic plan … it has some great value, but at the same token is the value still there today? And they have done a lot of great work if it wouldn’t be for that organization, I don’t think 16 Highway would be twin today between here and Saskatoon,” said Mayor Aalbers.
With many larger cities opting out of the association such as Saskatoon and Edmonton, the value and the future of the association was in high discussion among city council members.
Coun. Aaron Buckingham was not in attendance at the meeting, so he could not vote, but Coun. Ken Baker and Coun. Michael Diachuk both voted against not renewing.
“It’s a pay to play scenario, right? So, if you want to have a voice on what goes on in terms of that development of the organization, you pay then you play. Right now I think one of the things you saw is we focused on the money part of it in terms of what we pay to play,” said Diachuk.
The discussion city council members had also revolved around if there were enough people part of the association, will it be around long term and what type of impact does it really have?
“You can’t just be a fair weather member of any organization. If you believe in what the intent of that organization is, then it’s incumbent on you to lead somewhere down the road … from that standpoint, I wish we would have held onto the decision, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change our mind down the road,” said Diachuk.
While they may not be renewing their membership this year, city council isn’t opposed to it in future years.
The association includes members from Manitoba all the way the British Columbia.
“Where it’s going to go in a year? We will see where it’s at and we will take another look at it,” said Aalbers.

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