Business Retention and Expansion (BR+E) Strategy Update – The Committee received the final summary of the 2022 BR+E Triage Project from Deloitte LLP who completed the annual program for the County from 2018 to 2022. The project provided a picture of local business health through year-over-year survey and interview data and has aided the County’s Economic Development department in creating a business directory and programs and supports for the business community, including the County of Grande Prairie Business Support Network, the Service Excellence Blue Pin Certificate, and various information workshops and networking opportunities. The project’s concluding action plan highlights key areas of focus for the County going forward, including supporting expanding and struggling businesses and the issues of workforce availability, with an eye on improving access to health and medical services and cell and broadband infrastructure.  

Parks & Event Permit Program – The Committee provided feedback and directed Administration to draft a Parks and Event Permit Program to bring back to a future Committee of the Whole meeting in 2023. The program will provide a framework for managing commercial and community activities within County public spaces, such as permitted activities, liability and risk management considerations, community safety, and scheduling. 

Request to Host Ice Race on Clairmont Lake in 2024 – The Committee received a request from the Wapiti Off-Road Association (WORA) for permission to host the annual ‘Numb Bum’ 24-hour ice race on Clairmont Lake during a weekend in February 2024. The Committee directed Administration to bring back further information to the Council meeting on January 16, 2023. The sponsored event expects to attract approximately 100 teams of motorized bike and quad riders from across the province and beyond, and typically brings 100 to 200 spectators and related economic and tourism revenue. The provincial authority, Pembina Dirt Riders Association (PDRA), requires proof of an event permit along with a letter of support from the County.  

Grande Prairie Accessible Transportation Program Update – The Committee received an update from the City of Grande Prairie Transit Manager on the Grande Prairie Accessible Transit (GPAT) program and ridership of the door-to-door service. The Transit Manager confirmed that the County’s three-year funding agreement with the City of Grande Prairie under the Intermunicipal Collaboration Committee is adequate to provide accessible transit to County residents who reside within a maximum five-kilometer radius of the City of Grande Prairie. The program is open to residents of the Hamlet of Clairmont and the Lakeview Seniors Housing Complex, where trip requests continue to rise. The Transit Manager confirmed that the City provided a bus to the Peace Area Riding for the Disabled Society (PARDS) in 2019 and would be open to providing driver service to the society if needs have changed. The City has recently implemented ‘On Demand Transit’ and will be exploring the feasibility of using their on-demand fleet to supplement GPAT service delivery.  

Support for Rural Airports – The Committee will recommend that Council send a letter of concern to Premier Danielle Smith and the Ministers responsible for Transportation, Public Safety, and Health, for keeping rural airports open for fixed-wing air ambulances.  

Stompede Association Proposed Roadside Attraction – The Committee of the Whole will recommend to Council to direct Administration to re-engage with the Stompede Association to find options for a suitable location on Evergreen Park grounds. 

Review of Tasks – The Committee recommended that Administration provide a quarterly in-depth review of Council and Committee of the Whole task lists and include a completion timeline for each task.  

Review of Upcoming Agenda Items – The Committee reviewed topics scheduled for upcoming Committee of the Whole meetings. 

The next Regular Council Meeting will take place on January 16, 2023. The next Committee of the Whole Meeting will take place on January 27, 2023. Council and Committee meetings are available to the public via live stream. Find connection instructions and meeting agendas through the events calendar on the County website.