Grande Prairie recently hosted the Alberta Mid-Sized Cities Mayors’ Caucus, with 20 city leaders from across the province getting to explore and learn more about the city. The caucus represents 23 Alberta cities with more than 20,000 residents with the exception of Calgary and Edmonton.
Leading the three-day event was Grande Prairie Mayor Jackie Clayton, who says it allowed her team to highlight our community and showcase things they are working on. She feels that went well and she’s looking forward to continuing to build those relationships in the future.
“We sat down as a caucus and started to build some strategic priorities and advocacy. We had the opportunity to speak with Minister [of Municipal Affairs Ric] McIver, Minister [of Finance Travis] Toews, and MLA Tracy Allard. Aquatera also came to speak to them as well. We not only highlighted our facilities such as the hospital and the Eastlink Centre, but we also showcased things and people from our region,” she explains.
“Hands down, they could not believe how incredible Grande Prairie was,” Clayton adds. “They went out to the Stompede, the art gallery, and the library. They saw a lot of different amenities we have to offer. Truly, it reinforced what we’ve been saying about Grande Prairie. Now, they see it too.”
The mayors reportedly were interested in a few amenities in particular.
“We spent a lot of time talking about the new Grande Prairie Regional Hospital and our Coordinated Care Facility. They also asked about the Eastlink Centre and the integration between education facilities and recreation facilities,” Clayton says.
Clayton believes that not only the amenities and community impressed the other mayors, but also the economic impact the Grande Prairie area makes on the province.
“I think they also took away what we provide to the province and the country in regards to health care, recreation, the economy, and the growth of the economy in our region is significant. I really feel that everyone attending understood that not everything happens in just big cities like Edmonton and Calgary. There are pockets of this province that truly provide everything people need.”
“In total, all 23 municipalities combined represent over one million people. It’s really important for our opinions and our conversations to be a part of decisions made federally,” she adds.