County: Louis Bull Tribe must send us more info

County: Louis Bull Tribe must send us more info

In 2017, tribe requested county taxpayers build $11 million overpass

A process for the Louis Bull Tribe to add lands to their reserve has hit a snag after a letter to County of Wetaskiwin council was judged incomplete at their general council meeting July 23.

The tribe’s letter was presented to council by Assistant CAO Jeff Chipley. “Correspondence was received from Lorraine White, Project Manager, Louis Bull Tribal Administration advising that the Louis Bull Tribe is proposing to add lands to Louis Bull Band through the Federal Government Additions to Reserve policy, under the Community Additions category,” stated Chipley in his report to council.

“This category applies in situations where a First Nation with an existing reserve needs additional reserve land for purposes such as to accommodate community growth.

“An environmental assessment was completed to ensure the lands have no significant environmental concerns.

“Ms. White is requesting that Council provide a letter confirming that there are no issues with the proposal; or if there are concerns or questions to let her know as soon as possible.”

Chipley stated the item was sent to county departments for comment, and it was further noted that, “There are four stages to the Addition to Reserve process:

“1. Initiation: the First Nation submits a Band Council Resolution and Reserve Creation Proposal to the INAC regional office

“2. Assessment and Review: INAC reviews the proposal and advises the First Nation in writing of the results, issuing a letter of support to First Nations with successful proposals

“3. Proposal Completion: INAC and the First Nation work together to create and execute a work plan to complete the proposal 2

“4. Approval: the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs approves proposals by Ministerial Order or recommends approval by the Governor in Council for Order in Council proposals.

“Within the correspondence sent by the Louis Bull Tribe, details regarding the proposal are vague and lacking in substance for a matter of this scope. The last formal meeting regarding this issue occurred between Louis Bull Tribe Chief & Council and Administration representatives on Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

“At that meeting, a request was made by Louis Bull Chief & Council for Alberta Transportation and the County of Wetaskiwin to construct an approximately $11 million dollar overpass upgrade at our cost for the proposed Casino development, which was stated to be completely on the currently designated Reserve Lands of the Louis Bull Tribe. The County was asked to fund this upgrade, since the Louis Bull Tribe contributes a significant amount of property tax revenue to the County each year.

“Since this meeting, where the direction from Administration to the Louis Bull Tribe was to complete the Area Structure Plan process, no formal documentation has been received, nor has consultation occurred.

“Previous meetings held between administration and representatives of the Louis Bull Tribe focused on current Commercial reconstruction or resurrection of the Bear Hills Truck Stop and, at times, the potential of a Casino on the same lands without referencing “Additions to Reserve”.

Staff noted the lands which Louis Bull Tribe are interested in generate about $30,000 in tax revenue per year for the County of Wetaskiwin. “Losing these lands from the overall taxation of the County of Wetaskiwin would have a negative impact on the funds generated by the County and an agreement with the Louis Bull Tribe for reimbursement as stated in the Policy Directive should be developed,” stated the staff memo.

It was further noted the additions to reserve could result in county taxpayers having access reduced to certain lands. “Additionally, the moving of these Lands into the Reserve would take away the northern road access of six (6) quarter sections to the south of the proposed development as a portion of Range Road 260 would be now on Reserve Land and at the control and potential closure of the Louis Bull Tribe,” noted the memo.

There was also some confusion about the proposed casino site. An email from Lorraine White at the Louis Bull Tribe to county staff on April 18, 2019 stated, “The casino site has now been selected by Chief and Council it is situated on louis bull tribe KEDC (Kisipatnahk Economic Development Corporation) fee simple lands just south of province rest area.”

However, county staff noted later in the memo, “It should also be noted that during the first week of July, 2019, Administration was updated by the consultant (Robert Riddett) for the ASP and that the location of the Casino would not involve the SE 24-45-26-W4M (south of the existing Bear Hill Truck Stop and Rest Area). It would instead be located on the NE 24-45-26-W4M (location of the existing Bear Hill Truck Stop lands).”

Following staff advice, councilors moved to table the Louis Bull Tribe request until the following information was received: A copy of the environmental assessment referenced in the correspondence must be provided to Administration; completion of an Area Structure Plan addressing specific concerns regarding road access; completion of the process outlined in Section 9.0 of the Federal Government’s Policy Direction 10-1: Annex A, regarding Local Governments; consultation with the Government of Alberta; and the development of an agreement in the form of an ongoing share of assessment revenue between the County and the Louis Bull Tribe.

Stu.salkeld@pipestoneflyer.ca

Just Posted

file photo
UPDATE: Leduc RCMP, Millet Fire Department and more on scene at serious multi-vehicle collision

Traffic is expected to be diverted for several hours and alternative travel routes are recommended.

File photo
Leduc RCMP request assistance to identify armed robbery suspect

Leduc RCMP are searching for suspect involved in an armed robbery at the Leduc Giant Tiger.

Alberta is now below 3,000 active cases of COVID-19, as the province reported 2,639 Wednesday. (NIAID-RML via AP)
Red Deer below 100 active COVID-19 cases for first time since March

69.7 per cent of Albertans 12 and over have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

Premier Jason Kenney says the provincial government is doing everything it can to encourage Albertans to get vaccinated. (Photo by Chris Schwarz/Government of Alberta)
Travel prizes added to Alberta’s vaccine lottery

More than 40 travel rewards available for those who are fully vaccinated

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and U.S President Joe Biden shake hands during their meeting at the ‘Villa la Grange’ in Geneva, Switzerland in Geneva, Switzerland, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, Pool)
Biden says meeting with Putin not a ‘kumbaya moment’

But U.S. president asserted Russian leader is interested in improved relations, averting a Cold War

Most Read