The arrival of the new year marks the beginning of a renewed drive within the ranks of County Council, staff and management. Back to regular municipal business following the holiday season, we refocus our efforts on making the County an even better place to live, work and play.
Much has been achieved over the past year. As we kick off the new year, I’d like to provide a look back at some of the more noteworthy achievements of 2016. We made some much-needed changes to firefighting programs and facilities in order to better serve the County and better equip those who work to keep it safe. We completed a new Intermunicipal Development Plan that is designed to facilitate new growth and attract economic development to the region. We have strengthened our communications program in order to better engage ratepayers in a two-way conversation, and we have worked hard to introduce a new FCSS delivery model aimed at better meeting the changing needs of the community.
2016 was a year of positive achievements for the County, but it was not without its setbacks. We were all saddened by the passing of Councillor Dwight Davidson in October. Councillor Davidson will be dearly missed as a friend and colleague, and his many contributions to the County will endure as his legacy. Resourcefulness is one standard by which we measure our efforts at Lac Ste. Anne County. As stewards of County growth and prosperity, we continually look for more efficient and effective ways of doing business. I’d like to personally commend County staff and administration for the vital roles they have played in better steering the County through the ups, downs and economic uncertainties of 2016. Your enthusiasm, your commitment and your tireless efforts form a large part of what makes our region so resilient. We are all aware of the many reasons why Lac Ste. Anne County is such a great place to live. By continuing to pull in the same direction, we can make it even better.
In the words of the great industrialist, Henry Ford: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” I am confident that in working together, we will achieve many successes both large and small to the net benefit of the County.
Mayor Bill Hegy
Lac Ste. Anne County believes is it very important that all residents receive information about the boundary changes approved by Council to the divisional boundaries this spring. In addition to advertising in the Bulletin, on our website www.LSAC.ca and @lsacounty on Facebook, the County will be sending postcards to all those that have changed division. If you do not receive a postcard, you can confirm you division on our website at www.LSAC.ca/divisionfinder, where a new tool allows you to check the division of any address in the County. Please contact Lac Ste. Anne County at 1-866-880-5722, if you require any additional assistance.
The tool below will allow residents to simply put in their address and the tool will inform the user in which division the address is located. Polling station information will be available here in September, when nominations are final and polling information can be distributed.
If you are effected a letter will be sent out to each property that has undergone a change in division following the boundary changes made by Council. The letter is currently in the design phase and staff are refining the database so please check back before election day.
Electoral Division Boundary Changes
For more than ten years, Lac Ste. Anne County Councils have wrestled with the growing inequity of the current divisional boundaries due to population growth. Using the 2016 Federal Census Data to better reflect the current population, County Council has approved new boundaries that will take effect for the municipal election being held in October this year. Individual maps of the new County electoral division boundaries are available for download below in PSF format.
County Launches Municipal Land Corporation
County Council has initiated a process to establish a Municipally Controlled Corporation (MCC) to provide property development and facility management services desirable to the municipality and for the benefit to residents of Lac Ste. Anne County. This entity will be called Legacy Municipal Land Corporation, or Legacy MLC for short.
Projects that bring significant benefit to regional communities and residents may not always be seen by the private development sector as having sufficient return on investment. Recognizing this economic barrier, the County has decided to establish a Municipally Controlled Corporation (MCC) to provide property development and facility management services for community-focused projects.
Municipally controlled corporations (MCCs) are for-profit corporations where a municipality (or group of municipalities) holds more than 50 per cent of the votes in electing directors of the corporation. Controlled corporations are similar to other privately-owned business corporations, but must comply with specific requirements under the Municipal Government Act and the Control of Corporations Regulation. Although municipalities maintain the controlling interest in these corporations, day-to-day operations occur at arm’s length.
More information about Legacy MLC and the Municipally Controlled Corporation process can be found on the Legacy Municipal website.
Lac Ste. Anne County came under the provincial Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (FOIP) Act on October 1, 1995. The FOIP Act aims to strike a balance between the public's right to know and the individual's right to privacy with regard to records held by the municipality.
The FOIP Act is based on five fundamental principles:
- To allow a right of access to any person to the records in the custody or control of a public body, subject only to limited and specific exceptions;
- To control the manner in which a public body may collect personal information from individuals; to control the use that a public body may make of that information; and to control the disclosure by a public body of that information;
- To allow individuals a right of access to information about themselves which is held by a public body, subject only to limited and specific exceptions;
- To allow individuals the right to request corrections to information about themselves held by a public body; and
- To provide for independent review of decisions made by a public body under the legislation.
These principles are the building blocks of the Act, as well as a point of reference for the examination of other provisions. Information is often routinely made available through official publications and websites, or over the phone. Public bodies have policies allowing staff to provide certain categories of information on request, so you often do not need to use the process provided under the FOIP Act to obtain access to the vast majority of information held by public bodies in Alberta.
Before making a FOIP request, it may be helpful to contact the public body concerned for advice on the most appropriate method of obtaining access to the information you need. If other methods do not satisfy your needs, a formal request for access to information under the FOIP Act ("a FOIP request") may be the best way to proceed.
If you would like to make a request for information under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, complete the Request to Access to Information form and return it by mail or fax to the Lac Ste. Anne County FOIP Coordinator, Stacey Wagner.
If you are making a request for general information, the initial fee is $25. Additional fees may be charged for processing costs over $150. There is no fee for a request for personal information unless the cost of producing copies exceeds $10.
The FOIP Act requires public bodies to respond within 30 calendar days of receiving your request. The response will either provide the requested information or explain why the information is not being disclosed. In the case of a request for correction of personal information, the response will either state the correction has been made, or say the record has not been corrected but it has been annotated. The 30-day deadline may be extended if, for example, large volumes of records are involved or if third parties need to be consulted.
If you are not sure if your request falls under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, please do not hesitate to contact the FOIP Coordinator.
There are a number of records that can be released under certain circumstances. Examples include:
Building permit information and related documentation: The records requested would be reviewed to determine whether any of the exceptions to disclosure in the FOIP Act apply, and then all or part of the records would be released based on this review.
Drawings and plans: These documents can be viewed but are copyrighted and cannot be copied unless you have written permission from the company/person that created them. If the drawings are hand drawn and do not have a copyright, the document belongs to the person who created the drawings and their written permission is required. While the County can advise you of the name of the company you need to contact, it is the requestor’s responsibility to obtain the required permission.
Real Property Reports: Can a Real Property Report be released to a prospective purchaser of property, to a new owner, or to anyone else?
• The requested records would be reviewed to determine whether any of the exceptions to disclosure in the FOIP Act would apply and then all or part of the records would be released based upon the application of the Act.
• It is unlikely that the report on a residential property would contain personal information or commercial or technical information under section 16 of the Act.
Assessment Roll information: Assessment summaries for all properties are available on our website. An appointment can be made for inspection of the Assessment Roll at the County Office. Please note that it can be viewed only, and an appointment must be booked.
Tax and utility account information: Only registered owners are privy to their own information. If you are not the registered owner of the subject property, proper authorization is required from the registered landowner(s).
Contact information for landowners (i.e. for service of documents, collection of debt or other legal matters): Lac Ste. Anne County is only permitted to release information for the purpose for which it was collected (i.e. administering tax accounts). The information is not collected for the examples given and, therefore, the County is prohibited from in providing information to requestors by the Act. Under the Act, this information can only be disclosed if another piece of legislation provides for it (e.g. Maintenance Enforcement Act, Income Tax Act).
Release of cemetery records: Under the Act, disclosure of personal information is an unreasonable invasion of privacy if the individual has been deceased for less than 25 years. Although this can be considered on a case by case basis, the County’s practice is not to release personal information until the 25 year requirement is met.
Information regarding a complainant: The County’s practice is to not release the personal information of an individual who files a complaint against another individual unless this information is necessary to resolving the issue (e.g. required at trial). If the name of the complainant is to be released, the individual will be advised before having their name disclosed. Information regarding bylaw infractions: The County is unable to advise whether or not an individual or business has been issued a notice or offence ticket for violation of a bylaw. The County can only confirm that bylaws are enforced when individuals and businesses are found to be in non-compliance. Once a violation ticket or court appearance has been dealt with, interested parties should contact the appropriate courthouse with requests for information.
Contract information: Contract information can be released to the public but may be released in a severed form. Under the Act, information harmful to the business interests of a contractor and/or proprietary information must be protected.
Click on the link below to download a printable PDF version of the request form:
Personal information is managed and protected according to the FOIP Act, and we will retain your information only as long as is required for those original purposes. The length of time we retain information varies depending on the product or service and the nature of the information. This period may extend beyond the end of your relationship with us but only for so long as is legally necessary for us to have sufficient information to respond to any issue that may arise later. When your information is no longer needed for the purposes explained to you, we have procedures to destroy, delete, erase or convert it to an anonymous form.
When you send us an email or ask us to respond to you by email, we learn your exact email address and any information you have included in the email. We use your email address to acknowledge your comments or reply to your questions, and we will store your message and our reply in case we correspond further. We may also use your email address to send you information about other services of Lac Ste. Anne County that we believe may be of interest to you. If you don't want us to contact you with other service information by email, you may tell us so at any time. Remember, email over the Internet is generally unencrypted. As part of an application, Lac Ste. Anne County may request that you transmit confidential information to us over the internet. In these cases we will ensure the transmissions are encrypted. We recommend you use caution when forwarding freeformat email messages to us and that you do not include confidential information (for example, an account number) on those unencrypted messages.
Letters from residents normally include personal information like name, address, phone numbers, and possibly opinions and other personal information. In deciding whether to disclose the personal information of individuals at public council or committee meetings, municipalities need to balance the dual objectives of open government and protection of privacy. Under Section 197 of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) , meetings of a Council or a Council Committee must be conducted in public, except where there is authority to hold the meetings in the absence of the public. Under Section 198 of the MGA, the public has a right to be present at Council and Committee meetings conducted in public. Given the public nature of Council and Committee meetings, an individual writing to a Councillor or to the Administration of a Municipality may have a reasonable expectation that their correspondence, including their personal information, could be disclosed at a public Council or Committee meeting.