Athabasca Watershed Council Annual General Meeting 2019
AWC-WPAC, Events, and Governance | AGM, Hinton, and Members | June 2019
It was a lovely day in Hinton for our 2019 AGM. We were proud to host over 40 guests at the brand new Best Western Plus on Saturday, May 25. We had members from up and down the watershed; representatives of municipal councils, stewardship groups, Indigenous partners and a voyageur canoe tour operator! It was a diverse crowd that brought a lot of knowledge and care for the watershed to the table.
Field Trip to Solomon Creek
Many of our guests arrived in Hinton the night before, so we had planned some outings at local water features. Unfortunately, we were running out of time, so had to skip the Beaver Boardwalk (we’ll see it next time we are in Hinton on June 8), but we did make it out to the new Solomon Creek Paddle Craft staging area, close to Brule.
This new staging area is at the confluence of Solomon Creek and the Athabasca River. The Athabasca widens out at the feet of the mountains and forms a lake (Brule Lake). It then turns back to the east and that’s where it meets up with Solomon Creek.
The trail is foot access only and is an easy portage with your paddle craft. You can travel on the river from there to Hinton in about 2 hours (about 17.5 km) and enjoy the beautiful foothills landscape and fresh air along the way.
Annual General Meeting Re-cap
On Saturday, we all met at the Best Western Plus in Hinton for the AGM, lunch, presentation on the Integrated Watershed Management Plan by the staff, a round-table information gathering exercise and then some door prizes.
The AGM started with a prayer from Board of Directors Secretary Cleo Reece. There were then greetings from Yellowhead County, delivered by Mayor Gerald Soroka, and the town of Hinton, delivered by Councillor Trevor Hass. The Members then introduced themselves and let everyone know where they were from and their interest in the watershed.
The meeting was officially called to order and quorum determined by Board Chair Brian Deheer. Our Indigenous partners and their traditional lands were acknowledged.
Athabasca Watershed Council acknowledges that our watershed is located on Treaty 6, Treaty 8 and Treaty 10 territory and respects the histories, languages, and cultures of First Nations, Métis, Inuit, and all First Peoples of Canada, whose presence continues to enrich our vibrant watershed.
We then continued with the approval of the Annual General Meeting agenda and the adoption of the 2018 AGM Minutes.
Brian Deheer delivered his Chair Report and this was followed by the Financial Statements and Auditors report delivered by Treasurer Marcel Ulliac. Kingston Ross Pasnak LLP was designated as the auditors for the 2019-2020 fiscal year.
The committees then delivered their reports: Vice-chair Dan Moore for the Technical Committee, Treasurer Marcel Ulliac for the Finance and Fundraising Committee, Director Morris Nesdole for the Human Resources Committee, and Director Lavone Olson for the Communications, Education and Community Engagement Committee.
There was then a lively discussion regarding AWC Membership fees. At the moment, both Individual and Organizational Membership fees are $0. Some Members feel that a fee from $10 to $40 per year would help cover the costs of administering membership. There was no approved motion on the amount, but the staff have been asked to research appropriate fee structures and the issue will be re-visited at the next AGM or Special Meeting.
Elections of the Board of Directors
There were many seats up for re-election or appointment this year. All nominations that were submitted were un-contested and the motion to accept all Board Member nominations was carried. The following Board of Directors were accepted:
- Member at Large (Alternate): Bill Greive
- Indigenous: Cleo Reece, John Ritchie
- Industry Agricultural: Robert Mitchell
- Industry Oil and Gas: Janice Linehan
- Industry Forestry: Dan Moore
- Industry Mining or Utility: Andrew Hutchison
- Industry Mining or Utility (Alternate): Jamie Giberson
- Research or Academia: Robert Holmberg
- Health or Environment: Marv Fyten
- Health or Environment (Alternate): Joel Gervais
- Municipal (Upper Basin): Robert Esau
- Municipal (Middle Basin): Larry Armfelt
- Municipal (Lower Basin): Sterling Johnson
- Alberta Environment and Parks – Appointment – Dave Coish
- Alberta Environment and Parks (Alternate) – Appointment – Curtis Brock
Election of Board Chair
When it came time to vote for the Board Chair there was discussion around who would be considered a “voting Member”. The bylaws were consulted, and it was determined that all present would vote, but there was a motion that membership rules be clarified and addressed at the next Board level meeting and presented to the Membership at the next AGM or Special Meeting.
There were two nominations for Board Chair: Brian Deheer and Morris Nesdole. Both Directors addressed the crowd and then a motion for a ballot vote was carried.
After the ballots were counted, Brian Deheer was voted to be Board Chair for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. Congratulations, Brian!
Integrated Watershed Management
The AGM was adjourned and then Executive Director Janet Pomeroy and our Science and Outreach Coordinator, Sarah MacDonald gave a presentation on the Integrated Watershed Management Plan. Sarah has been working on compiling information and comments to complete the first draft. Once the first draft is ready to go, we will be providing our Stakeholders and Indigenous partners with an opportunity to comment and contribute to it.
To get the IWMP outreach started, the guests tables were switched up and were asked to answer three questions regarding the Athabasca Watershed:
- What do you feel is working in the Athabasca Watershed?
- What do you feel isn’t working in the Athabasca Watershed?
- What are some solutions?
Members spent time talking with each other on the questions and provided many interesting comments and a few running themes. This info will all be incorporated into the first draft of the IWMP and used to tailor the outreach to stakeholders and partners.
We finished off the day with a 50/50 draw, and the winner, Brian Coleman, generously donated the cash back to the AWC. Thank you, Brian! We gave out some great door prizes, too.
We’d like to thank all the Members who attended. Your participation was greatly appreciated. We’d also like to give a shout out to the staff at the Best Western Plus Inns & Suites and to The Old Grind for the fantastic lunch.
See you again next year!