Mayor Gerald Aalbers is pictured in his office at City Hall. (James Wood, 106.1 The Goat staff)
Mayor Gerald Aalbers is congratulating the new premier of Alberta and our new MLA. Jason Kenney’s UCP has formed the newest Alberta government, and Garth Rowswell has been elected to repreent Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright under the party’s banner.
The recent election brings an end to Rachel Notley’s NDP government. Premier-elect Jason Kenney is expected to name his cabinet by the end of the month. Aalbers says he and the city are ready to work with the incoming premier, minister of municipal affairs and other ministers to meet the unique needs of Lloydminster.
“I want to say thank you, Premier Notley, for the service she provided our province and our city on the Alberta side. Certainly, the voters have spoken, and we are quite prepared as myself and city council to work with the next premier, and minister of municipal affairs when he or she are named, as well as an extensive series of other ministers that have a direct impact on our city,” says Aalbers.
Aalbers says he hopes to work closely with the new Alberta government on the city’s proposed wastewater treatment plant. He also believes the relationship between the two provinces is deeply important to Lloydminster. Open communication is something he hopes to see between the provincial governments, and Aalbers hopes to invite both governments to meet here in the Border City.
“I’m looking forward to putting an invitation out to both premiers to let them know their first bi-provincial meeting can be held here in Lloydminster if that’s possible. They’ll likely meet somewhere else, but if we’re going to sit down with two of them, we hope we can host it here in Lloydminster.”
Lloydminster’s status as a bi-provincial city has unique challenges to funding. School divisions, for example, receive part of their funding from each province depending on student residency. Capital funding for the Lloydminster hospital is also split between the two provinces. Mayor Aalbers has made it clear to each candidate throughout the election campaign that Lloydminster needs stable municipal funding, and hopes that Lloydminster unique needs are heard by the new Alberta government.
“We have that uniqueness, and as we’ve spoken to many ministers, they start to understand it when they come to our city. So we hope that opportunity exists that we can highlight that in person, so they understand how simple it is, but also how difficult it is.”