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Canmore, Kananaskis agree to emergency services framework

The Town of Canmore and the Kananaskis Improvement District agreed to a framework to help one another in case one requires the other municipality’s emergency services.
Canmore
The Town of Canmore's IT department has prevent 25 cyber-attacks in the past few years. RMO File photo.

CANMORE – The Town of Canmore and the Kananaskis Improvement District agreed to a framework to help one another in case one requires the other municipality’s emergency services.

Under the Municipal Government Act (MGA), all municipalities with a boundary to another region have to prepare and adopt an intermunicipal collaboration framework (ICF).

The plan formalizes any billing procedure for a term of up to five years.

Sally Caudill, the Town’s general manager of municipal services, told council it’s a requirement of the MGA and one has already been established with the MD of Bighorn.

The framework was provincially legislated to be in place by April 1 2020, but the Kananaskis Improvement District asked for an exemption from the province. They were ultimately denied one and the framework has to be in place by April 1 this year.

“We’re coming in right at the deadline,” Caudill said at the quick council meeting on Tuesday (March 30).

Kananaskis ID (KID) has since agreed to the framework negotiated between staff from both municipalities.

In Canmore’s Municipal Development Plan, specific direction to do so is outlined for cooperation with municipal neighbours.

A staff report noted Canmore approved an ICF with MD of Bighorn, which was adopted in March 2020.

The Town has a recreation agreement with the MD of Bighorn, but not a similar one with Kananaskis due to its small population size. Kananaskis residents can still access Elevation Place, but as a non-resident.

“The KID does not have the population around recreation the MD has," Caudill said. "There are very few folks who are actually residents of the KID, so we do not have a recreation services agreement with them at this time.”

The Town has a water and wastewater memorandum of understanding for the Canmore Nordic Centre – which is technically in the Kananaskis boundary – but the agreement is with Alberta Parks.

Canmore and Kananaskis also have a mutual aid agreement for fire-rescue services, but historically the Town has not had any formal agreements with the KID, the report stated.

The Alberta Bow Valley Mutual Aid Agreement was signed in 2017 and the Alberta South Central Mutual Aid Agreement was completed in 2019.

The two agreements allow Canmore and Kananaskis to bill the other for any fees if helping with a mutual aid emergency service.

The Town still has to negotiate a first response agreement since Canmore has been providing some services without payment, the report noted. If an agreement is not in place by Aug. 30, the two municipalities will begin a dispute resolution under terms of the ICF.

Under the province’s outlines, the framework has to be reviewed at least once every five years.