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I’m sorry 

“A nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself,” — U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
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Our farmland matters. Once our farmland is gone, it’s gone forever.


I’m sorry to report council’s pending decision to expand Sherwood Park north of Highway 16 into Cambrian Crossing and Bremner, was not supported by its Urban Systems’ 2001 Future Urban Feasibility Study or Stantec Consulting’s 2013 report Evaluation of Urban Growth Options, which both concluded that: 
  • transportation into Bremner would be expensive,
  • distance makes it hard to connect with amenities,
  • the cost of duplicating services would be substantial, 
  • given the presence of Class 1 agricultural lands, Bremner should be eliminated as a Future Urban Area, and
  • urban growth across Highway 16 would contravene the County’s AgricultureMaster Plan“that prime agricultural land should only be used for urban expansion… as a last resort.”
I’m sorry that over the past 11 years, I was unable to encourage enough tax-payers to go for a drive north of Highway 16 to view the proposed Cambrian Crossing project located east of RR231 or to observe the immense size of the Bremner project located east of Highway 21 to RR222 and north to Township Road 534. 
It was my hope that after viewing these massive prime farmland areas, residents would contact their council to express their dismay that over 21.6 square miles, or 13,786 acres, of irreplaceable farmland would be destroyed and that urban growth at any cost was not a price they were willing to pay. 
I’m sorry that county councils do not appear to have viewed soil expert Dr. Brad Stelfox’s YouTube video The Loss of Alberta’s Agricultural Soils to Competing Land Uses, at in which, at minute 15:20, he predicts that given the current rate of conversion of productive farmland to non-agricultural uses, Alberta will become a net importer of food by 2055!    
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I’m also sorry that many taxpayers did not take the opportunity to watch the March 22, 2016 council meeting webcast agenda item 9.1 starting at 1:05:00, to gain an understanding of why council of the day chose Bremner as the future growth node.  Viewers would find the summative opinion offered by former Mayor Roxanne Carr most enlightening! 
I’m sorry that when council received a revised Financial Viability Assessment (FVA) that reduced the original $4.5 billion cost projection for Bremner by $2.4 billion to 2.1 billion dollars, that council did not provide tax-payers with a reasonable explanation of why such a large discrepancy had occurred. Unfortunately, a quote by a county councillor in the local newspaper that the original cost for Bremner “had been debunked”, appears to have been the only explanation for the massive cost reduction that the public received!  
I’m sorry that my two motions to place a question on the upcoming municipal election ballot to afford voters the opportunity to indicate whether on not they favour urban growth on farmland across Highway 16 were both voted down. However, I remain hopeful that council might still choose to hold a binding plebiscite to establish once and for all, if taxpayers agree with council’s impending decision to expand urban growth across Highway 16. 
Finally, I’m sorry our county’s population has only grown by an average of 168 new residents in each of the last four years. However, I maintain that Summerwood, Hillshire and Ardrossan will meet our county’s residential growth requirements for the foreseeable future and until our county recovers from the devastation caused by the COVID-19 epidemic. 
Linton Delainey is the Strathcona County Councillor for Ward 6 and invites all residents to contact him at or 780-464-8206.

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