Rural Transportation News. Alberta 2018. No. 6: Advocating for Rural Transportation in Northern Alberta
By Betty Sewall, Fairview
Like rural people in communities across Alberta, people living in our northern rural communities contribute to the economy and wealth of this province. We are the backbone of agriculture, oil and gas, forestry and all the support industries and services.
The needs of rural Albertans are equally as valid as the
needs of Albertans in Calgary and Edmonton.
From Grande Prairie to Peace River to High Level, there are many, many towns, villages and real rural areas full of Albertans who have no public transportation that truly meets their needs.
When an individual is required to pay $100 to go 100 km round trip, this is not an affordable solution to public transportation. When another scheduled service does not go into Grande Prairie but requires additional expensive taxi service, this is not an affordable solution either.
Although we have the highway infrastructure across Alberta,
we need creative, innovative, affordable public transportation
services for all the people of our province.
Many elected officials and municipalities are ready to collaborate and try new ideas, but the needs of all Albertans need to be acknowledged and included in government initiatives and trial programs.
Far too often, and for far too long, the rural communities surrounding Calgary and Edmonton are given financial support in new initiative considerations.
We rural people live and thrive in our communities because we have an inter-connected and inter-dependent spirit that runs through our people and our communities.
We can be model pilot programs for all rural Canadian communities. We need door to door individualized public transportation for medical appointments in urban centers AND we need scheduled inter-community services for access to goods and services.
Inter-municipal planning is here to stay. For details, you can read the new Municipal Act HERE .
You can also inquire with your elected municipal officials about your needs and specific plans for your area.
Our local community leaders are eager to work together to develop ruralpublic transportation for the 21st century. Please hear our voices and give us the opportunity to participate in innovative public transportation.
Betty Sewall, Advocate for Community Social Justice, was born in Calgary, educated in Lethbridge, and spent 30 active career years as a teacher in northern Alberta. She is also a cattle farmer and mother of four who contributes deeply and knowledgeably to innovations for change in rural life. Participants at RuralTransportation Information Day II-2017 were privileged to learn more about ruraltransportationadvocacy from Betty and her Fairview colleague, Kathleen Nalagawa.
When asked why she is so committed to community, Betty says she is just doing what her mother taught her to do. She lives on the banks of beautiful Peace River.
You can learn more about Betty Sewall Here and Here
RuralTransportation News. Alberta 2018 is produced by ALL of Alberta (Association for Life-wide Living of Alberta). Contributors and people in RuralTransportation Team Alberta are committed to changes that contribute to the quality of life for everyone in rural Alberta. We value your feedback and ideas.
Appreciation is extended to contributors, organizations and other stakeholders for their help in moving the Alberta RuralTransportation efforts along, and to the Alberta Weekly Newspaper's Association for helping to circulate this column.
Cathie Bartlett is Editor for Rural Transporation News. Alberta 2018. She is a former journalist, and now an active member of the Battle River Writing Centre.