Blackfalds encouraged by visit with Service Alberta Minister

Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish listens to local representatives in Lacombe on Thursday, Aug. 22 to discuss registry services, rural internet and the Mobile Home Tenancies Act as part of a province-wide tour. Ashli Barrett / Lacombe Globe

Share Adjust Comment Print

The Town of Blackfalds are hoping some positive news will soon come their way regarding a registry in the community following a recent meeting with Service Alberta Minister Nate Glubish recently.

Glubish made a stop in the town on Thursday, Aug. 22 to meet with local officials as part of a province-wide tour focusing on three areas – rural internet, the Mobile Home Tenancies Act, and registry services, the latter of which has been something the town has been lobbying Service Alberta for nearly a decade.

“He’s (Glubish) guaranteed that Blackfalds is one of his top three files. He said he can’t give us an answer (right now) and he won’t promise he’ll come back next month or the month after, but he did say they are going to put it on review very qucikly and from that review he will get ahold of us as soon as possible,” said Blackfalds Mayor Richard Poole.

“We’re very appreciative that he’s taken the time to make a tour and hear all the important information from the municipalities.”

Glubish said Blackfalds is the largest community in Alberta that does not have a registry location in their community.

Last November, the Town of Blackfalds chose to take the issue into its own hands and embarked on creating a municipally-controlled corporation to open a town-operated Alberta registry office within the Civic Cultural Centre. The process would have allowed them to bypass an 18-month Request for Proposal (RFP) process, but council put the decision on hold in February after registry agents in nearby Red Deer and Lacombe estimated the venture could see the town faced with a million-dollar deficit in just a few years, especially as the former Alberta NDP government chose to take control of traffic fine payments, which resulted in reduced transactions.

Glubish, in speaking with media after his stop in Lacombe the same afternoon, said it made registries less economically viable, something he wants to change by ensuring the government is not in competition with such businesses, enabling them to offer online services themselves.

Such a change would alleviate the immediate need for a physical location within Blackfalds, at the same time make opening such a service in the community more attractive to prospective business owners.

“Wouldn’t it be great if you were really busy during the day and couldn’t make it to the local registry during bankers hours or just couldn’t afford to wait in line for for half an hour to get something done and you’re at home in your pajamas at midnight and go: ‘I need to renew my licence – I can just do that on a mobile app on my phone or on my computer.’ These are the kinds of things that would really transform the experience for Albertans in interacting with registries,” Glubish said.

“My goal with this tour is to assure registries that we will not compete with them. We want to work with them to modernize, to deliver better services to all Albertans and the feedback I’ve been getting from them so far has been very, very positive.”

 

Comments