WESTLOCK – Although Westlock County policy doesn’t allow for it, the municipality will declare May 8-12, 2023, Economic Development Week, with the CAO calling it an “important” proclamation.
At the April 11 regular meeting, CAO Tony Kulbisky told councillors that International Economic Development Week was created by the International Economic Development Council in 2016 “to increase awareness of local programs that create jobs, advance career development opportunities and increase the quality of life.”
He further states that the Economic Developers of Alberta challenged municipalities to “increase awareness by having communities support the work that economic developers do by making this proclamation.” He also noted that the county is a participating member of the regional economic development committee with the Town of Westlock and Village of Clyde which is currently working on a regional marketing plan and that “adding a county voice to a proclamation in support of the important work everyone does in support of economic development, supports council's strategic plan and vision.”
And although policy 6.03, proclamation of special days, does not support the declaration, Kulbisky told councillors it’s an “important one to make” and they do have the authority to step outside of policies, noting the document will be reviewed at the June committee of the whole (COW) meeting. Ultimately, there’s no cost to putting the proclamation on the county’s website, while they’ll spend up to $200 for an ad in the newspaper — with no debate, councillors voted 7-0 to make the proclamation.
“We have a very dated policy from 2007 that says the county doesn’t do proclamations. So, we’ll bring this forward to a future COW meeting for review with a recommendation to do certain proclamations when they make sense for Westlock County,” said Kulbisky. “And that’s the key point, when it makes sense for Westlock County. I think there is a need to do proclamations as it just raises awareness … for the community at large.”