Conservative Members of Parliament Damien Kurek, Shannon Stubbs, and Jacques Gourde have reached out to rural municipalities, including Kneehill County, to inquire about issues the region faces for rural economic development.
The MPs believe the amount of support received from the federal government by municipalities with populations under 20,000 residents is unfair when municipalities with larger populations receive more support.
“They (the MPs) are asking what the top three areas where we can use assistance on, or where the whole of government can focus on to better help rural areas develop,” Kneehill County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Mike Haugen explained during the June 21 Committee meeting.
Kneehill County council discussed at length what they felt were the top three issues during the June 21 Committee of the Whole meeting, and the request was brought back at the regular Tuesday, June 28 council meeting for council direction.
Access to reliable high-speed internet, supports for labour including housing, social supports, education, and medical, and overall increasing business costs were brought forward by the committee as the top three concerns.
“When you’re looking at, even Three Hills with a population of 3,500--or whatever it happens to be--funding is going to go to Red Deer with 100,000 or more, and does not come to a place like Three Hills, or Trochu or Acme,” Deputy Reeve Ken King shared during the committee meeting.
Council unanimously directed administration to draft the letter to MPs Kurek, Stubbs, and Gourde outlining the top three concerns for economic development in Kneehill County.