Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake City Council passed the 2019 Operating and Capital Budgets with just over $65.1 million in total expenditures, forecasting an average municipal tax increase of about 3.07 per cent.

The 2019 operating budget was passed at about $52.2 million, including a transfer to the Capital Budget of about $9.3 million. Inclusive of the transfer, the Capital Budget sits at just over $22.3 million. For the seventh year in a row, due to an ongoing dispute with the Government of Canada over payment in lieu of taxes for CFB Cold Lake, the city has budgeted a significant allowance for uncollectable taxes. The 2019 allowance sits at $1.8 million, up $100,000 from previous years.

“With our ongoing dispute with the Government of Canada and the province’s decision to no longer abide by the intent of the city’s Air Weapons Range Agreement, our council faced a difficult budget,” Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said. “The 2019 budget finds a balance between staying the course in hard economic times, tackling our infrastructure deficit, and making progress in areas our community will need to accommodate growth when our economic times turn around.”

Recycling rates will increase by $0.68 per month, or 8 per cent, to bring the service to cost recovery. Water rates will also increase by 4 per cent, with sewer rates rising from 60 per cent of water costs to 70 per cent, to better capture the operating cost of water services. In total, the average household can expect a $6.98 increase to its monthly utility bill.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake is working to understand recent comments surrounding the future of the Aerospace Engineering Test Establishment (AETE) on CFB Cold Lake.

“We have heard comments from the federal government and the official opposition in regards to the future of AETE and, while we do not have all the answers, we are working to understand the situation and any potential impacts,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Up to this point, the federal government has not reached out to us on this matter and, as far as we know, our local representatives have not been briefed on the situation.”

A recent economic impact study commissioned by the Northeast Alberta HUB noted that AETE, which is located on CFB Cold Lake, brings approximately 165 military and reservist jobs and 22 civilian jobs to the area.

“When you hear the number of high-paying jobs that could be at stake in a community of our size, it is concerning, but our first order of business has to be to collect all of the information we can,” Copeland said. “Because the military base is in our community, decisions made in Ottawa can have a big impact here: We are already engaged in a drawn out dispute with the federal government over its Payment in Lieu of Taxes, which is costing the residents of our community a significant amount of tax revenue.”

The City of Cold Lake has contested the Payment in Lieu of Taxes – or PILT – which the federal government pays to the city for the military base. Since 2012, the city has maintained that the federal government has shorted PILT payments to the city by about $1.8 million a year. In 2015 the City of Cold Lake won a decision at the PILT Dispute Advisory Panel in regards to the 2012 tax payment, but the federal government continues to dispute its payments for 2013 onward.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake’s annexation of lands from the Municipal District of Bonnyville will be official on January 1, 2019.

In June 2017, the M.D. of Bonnyville and the City of Cold Lake submitted a joint agreement to the Municipal Government Board (MGB) for the annexation of 11 quarter sections of land to the City of Cold Lake. On November 27, 2019, the Lieutenant Governor in Council signed an Order in Council to bring the annexation into force.

“This has been a long process but we are finally here,” City of Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said. “We feel that everyone’s interests were respected throughout this journey and we know that the region will benefit from the final result.”

Municipal District of Bonnyville Reeve Greg Sawchuk says the annexation agreement will provide the opportunity for the City of Cold Lake to expand and grow. “The negotiations were a long process. The final agreement protects the M.D.’s former residents until 2069 and will offer new opportunities to provide services to everyone in the region.”

The annexation began in late 2013 when City of Cold Lake Council passed a resolution to begin negotiations with the M.D. of Bonnyville to work towards a joint annexation submission. The resolution was initiated by a number of needs, including the need to accommodate growth over the next 50 years, the need to allow the City of Cold Lake to grow into a unified and sustainable urban community, and the need to gain the land necessary for the delivery of urban services to current and future residents in a cost-effective manner.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake City Council has passed a motion to ask the Government of Canada to consider the effects that Bill C-69 will have on the Canadian Energy Sector and the Canadian economy.

“Our energy companies have a long history of responsible resource development and they have provided Canadians with well-paying, meaningful work for decades,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “The energy sector is wavering because of uncertainties in the market place and Bill C-69 is serving only to increase that sense of uncertainty. This is a time when we need to stand by our industry, not throw additional hurdles in its path.”

The City of Cold Lake is a bedroom community for many workers in the oil patch and has suffered – and continues to suffer – the effects of a deep and prolonged downturn in the economy.

“There were billions of dollars of projects ready to go in our area but these are being shelved or scaled back due to companies’ forecasts,” Copeland said. “The approval regime that C-69 outlines is not increasing confidence – rather, it is further weakening the outlook for the oil patch. Broken promises and inaction on pipeline projects are only piling on an already grim situation.”

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – With cannabis legislation around the corner, the City of Cold Lake has implemented one new bylaw, and updated three others.

“We took a lot of time to go over the bylaws we wanted to implement in the city,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We took a more restrictive approach, to keep cannabis use out of public areas.”

The new Cannabis Use Bylaw covers consuming cannabis, and the restrictions in doing so. People within the city limits cannot consume cannabis in any way in public places, but can use it on private property.

A public place is considered to be any of the following, where cannabis cannot be consumed. A full list can be found within the bylaw on

Monday, October 15, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake’s award-winning transit system is set to hit the road with two new buses on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

“It’s an exciting time for Cold Lake Transit,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We have been building this service for the last three years, and to see these new buses come onto the streets of Cold Lake is a proud moment for us.”

The two new buses are kneeling, low-floor models from Nova Bus Montreal, designed specifically for Cold Lake Transit. Each has 35 seats, or space for 29 seats and two wheelchairs.

The buses will be on display at the Tri City Mall parking lot at 11:30 a.m. before entering into regular service at noon. The public is invited to come out and browse the new buses at this time, as well as hop on for the inaugural runs.

“Public transit has proven to be a necessary amenity in Cold Lake,” said Copeland. “I’m thankful to staff for all the hard work they have put in to making these new buses a reality. Everything from the Cold Lake Transit logo and colours, to the details of the insides is due to many hours of dedicated work.”

At this time, Cold Lake Transit remains free of charge to use, though this topic will be revisited during City Council’s upcoming budget deliberations. Funding for the purchase of the buses was provided by the federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund and provincial GreenTRIP grants.

In March 2017, Cold Lake Transit won the Minister’s Award of Excellence for Transit/Accessible Transportation Innovation during the 20th Annual Tri-Party Transportation Conference.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake was honoured with two awards this week for its Public Works achievements.

The Kinosoo Beach Enhancement Project was awarded “Project of the Year” by the Alberta Public Works Association in the $1 million to $5 million category.

“The amount of planning, dedication, and hard work that has gone into Kinosoo Beach is outstanding,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “And the crowd of people at the beach all summer shows how important this is to our community – it’s a focal point for major celebrations and a family gathering spot every day of the summer. It’s one of Canada’s best beaches and the word is getting out.”

Two phases of the Kinosoo Beach Master Plan have been completed, with all of the major work completed on time. Work has included a new multi-purpose court, a new promenade, traffic calming measures on the roadway, a transformed and improved storm water drainage, a splash park, grandstand, extensive landscaping and new trails and lighting.

The awards were presented to city representatives General Manager of Infrastructure Services Azam Khan and Transportation Services Manager George Urlacher at the American Public Works Association’s Alberta Chapter conference. At the same conference, they also accepted an award for the city’s National Public Works Week events – for the third year in a row.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

With full funding for the project confirmed, the Cold Lake Regional Utility Services Commission (RUSC) is set to award the contracts for the Bonnyville water line in the coming days.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – Pieces are falling into place for the Alberta 55 plus Winter Games being hosted in Cold Lake in 2019.

A volunteer board has been working with representatives from the city, organizing individual activities, marketing, finances, volunteers, and the entertainment that goes along with the opening ceremonies.

“We’re putting a Cold Lake spin on the opening ceremonies,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We want the participants to come to our city and leave with memories that will not be easily forgotten.”

The games will be taking place in Cold Lake from March 1 to 3 next year, with registration taking place on Feb. 28.

Though the volunteer board is up and running, there is still a need for volunteers for the games themselves.

“The organizing committee is doing an amazing job so far. As things come together, we are going to need a lot of volunteers to help out the weekend of the games,” said Copeland. “People can sign up now, even if they’re not quite sure if they will be free at the time.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake Parks and Recreation Department has a busy few weeks ahead with fall weed spraying and marina weed cutting lined up.

Weed cutting will be taking place at the Cold Lake Marina on Wednesday, Sept. 19, where a contractor will be cutting and removing weeds from the boating lanes between the docks.

"It's important to keep the weeds down in the Marina, and we have received approval from the government to start pulling up weeds," said Craig Copeland. "Because the Marina is part of a larger ecosystem, there are some pretty strict guidelines that we need to follow."

The Marina weed cutting is expected to take the full day. Boaters are asked to be aware of any workers in the area, and thank them for their patience while work is taking place.

Weed spraying will also take place in the city, starting Sept. 17, and running until Sept. 21. This spraying includes city-owned parks, playgrounds, green spaces, and public utility right-of-ways. 

Spraying will begin in Cold Lake South, and the contractor will work their way north between those dates. Signage will be posted in the area 24 hours prior to spraying beginning, and residents are encouraged to stay out of the area until 24 hours after the spraying has been completed. Specific dates will be posted on the signage for each area, and there will be a phone number on the sign if any residents have questions. The schedule may alter due to weather.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – With cooler weather around the corner, Cold Lake is ready to strap on their skates.

The new arena at the Cold Lake Energy Centre is scheduled to start developing ice next week, with an official facility opening in the near future.

“We’re planning a community open house for the public to come out and see how things look in there,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “I think the community is going to be very impressed with the expansion and the new amenities. There’s a lot of much-needed space being provided, and the new rink will get a lot of use.”

The Imperial Oil Place Arena is already open, giving the public a taste of drop-in shinny and public skating last weekend; amongst the various hockey training camps being offered. The drop-in schedules will continue to be posted on the city’s social media from week to week.

In addition to the Energy Centre locations, the North Arena will be open for the season under limited hours and a commitment with Cold Lake Minor Hockey.

“There were some concerns over ice time, so council agreed to keep the North Arena open for a limited schedule this year,” said Copeland. “Keeping it running comes with some complications though, as the building and equipment is aging.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – Imperial’s Cold Lake Expansion Project has cleared its regulatory hurdles.

“We are happy to hear that this project has been approved by the Alberta Energy Regulator,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “While we understand that Imperial still needs to consider the economics and business environment before announcing whether the project will go ahead, AER’s approval gives our community cause for cautious optimism.”

After concern over the project was raised to council, a series of letters and inquiries from the City of Cold Lake were made to the Government of Alberta.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The Cold Lake Energy Centre will be expanding its Child Mind Program on a trial basis to see if demand can sustain the service.

“We’ve had a lot of requests to extend the program’s hours and so staff have put together this pilot project to see if the demand is there,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “This program is intended to allow parents with young children a chance to make it to the Cenovus Wellness Centre, so the new hours are tailored to the times most gym programming is happening.”

The Child Mind Program will run Mondays through Thursdays, from 5 pm to 8 pm. It will accept children ages 4-10, provided the parent signs a waiver and consent form and stays in the building at all times while their child is attending the Child Mind Service. It is being offered at a cost of $5, including tax, in the Husky Energy Children’s playroom on the first floor of the Energy Centre. There is a maximum space for 18 children at any given time, so parents are encouraged to call the Energy Centre ahead of time.

The expanded service will begin on Monday, Sept. 10 and run until the Christmas season, when it will be reevaluated.

Thursday, August 2, 2018


COLD LAKE – A blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) bloom has been identified in areas of Cold Lake. At the time of issuance of this advisory, the bloom is localized to the marina. Residents living near the shores of this lake, as well as visitors to this lake, are advised to use caution if a bloom is noted elsewhere in the lake. Weather and wind conditions can cause algae blooms to move from one location in the lake to another.

The public is also advised to take the following precautions:

  • Avoid all contact with blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) blooms. If contact occurs, wash with tap water as soon as possible.
  • Do not swim or wade (or allow your pets to swim or wade) in any areas where blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) is visible.
  • Do not feed whole fish or fish trimmings from this lake to your pets.
  • Consider limiting human consumption of whole fish and fish trimmings from this lake, as it is known that fish may store toxins in their liver. (People can safely consume fish fillets from this lake).
Monday, July 23, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – Work to finish an important link in the city’s storm water management system will begin this week.

The project will see a 1.2 metre pipe tunneled under Highway 28 at 55 Avenue. The pipe will accommodate storm water that flows from the east of the highway into palm creek, which drains storm water from the Meadows and Brady Heights areas. The project’s completion will improve storm water management and will ultimately allow for further development in Cold Lake South.

Although the project is designed to minimize impacts to traffic, motorists are advised that lane closures and the closure of service roads in the area will be necessary to complete the work safely. Traffic accommodation may vary from day to day and the contractor will sign the roads appropriately. The public’s patience with any delays is appreciated.

“Construction crews on our roadways are a common sight and we know that the delays that construction can cause are an inconvenience,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “But we also know that significant progress is being made – progress that will allow our city to grow, extend the life of our infrastructure, and provide better service to our residents. Thanks to our staff and contractors for their work, and thanks to the public for their patience and understanding.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The Capital Road Improvement Program is hitting the ground running for 2018, with a few full reconstruction projects.

“As we continue moving forward with the program, we focus on streets that see a fair amount of traffic, or that can no longer wait to be repaired,” said City of Cold Lake’s Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Nagoya. “This year we have a few streets that require full reconstruction, so they took priority.”

The Capital Road Improvement Program is governed by road analytics software that analyzes the surface distress index of roadways and degradation curves to assist in making decisions on pavement resurfacing.

“Some of these projects required additional upgrades, such as sanitary and water systems, or storm drains and that was a big reason in why they were chosen,” said Nagoya. “Rebuilding a road in tandem with other infrastructure work allows us to get the most value for the money spent.”

The following areas are included in the 2018 Capital Road Improvement Program:

  • 53 Avenue (58 Street west) – full reconstruction with sanitary and water upgrades
  • 54 Avenue (55 Street to 54 Street) – full reconstruction with storm upgrades
  • 61 Avenue (47 Street west) – full reconstruction
  • Highway 28 (34 Avenue to South City Limits) - overlay

Construction on these areas is expected to be completed mid-September by E Construction.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake will take steps to remove a noxious and prohibited weed from public property in Cold Lake.

Common tansy is defined as a noxious weed under the Alberta Weed Control Act. The Act requires control measures to be incorporated to reduce the spread of the weed throughout the province. Common tansy is considered to be extremely invasive, with a single plant capable of producing upwards of 5,000 seeds. Though unpalatable to most creatures, if consumed in large quantities, the plant can be toxic to livestock.

The City of Cold Lake will be combatting the weed to prevent its spread from the currently infected areas: just north of 54 Avenue and 44 Street, near Brady Heights, and in the Tri-City area east of the mall.

The areas will be sprayed between July 3 and 6. Residents are advised to stay out of treated property until 24 hours after the last application. Signage will be posted to alert residents of a recent application.

The spray being used will be ClearView Herbicide, which is a selective herbicide for post-emergent control of annual and perennial broadleaf weeds. It has no grazing restrictions, should any type of animal eat the vegetation after the application. Should anyone encounter the spray before it has time to settle, there is a chance it may cause either of the following: moderate eye irritation, or skin irritation with local redness.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Council set the tax rate at its regular meeting this week, establishing a rate that will increase the municipal portion of the average property owner’s tax bill by about 4.94 per cent.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

With the summer construction season here, work on the Highway 28 twinning project from 50 Avenue to 43 Avenue will begin this week.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

At its regular meeting, Cold Lake Council decided to submit two projects to the Honourable Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson’s regional ID 349 grant.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Work to open the Cold Lake Marina has been completed ahead of schedule and the facility is now open for regular operations.

Friday, May 18, 2018

This is a notice that the Cold Lake Marina is expected to open Monday, May 21. For the safety of divers who are working on the slips and launch ramp, the boat launch will not be accessible until the marina is fully opened. In the case that the work is completed ahead of schedule, we will notify the public if an earlier opening is possible.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – After nearly a year of research and debate, Cold Lake City Council passed a Mobile Vending Policy to regulate the operation of mobile vendors in the City of Cold Lake.

“We wanted to strike a balance between regulating the business, and having no restrictions on mobile vendors,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “We allowed for plenty of time for staff to do research, for vendors to tell us about their concerns, and for council to debate the policy. In the end, we reached a balanced policy that takes everyone’s views into account.”

The policy outlines the criteria required for mobile vendors to operate on public lands, outlines the fee schedule for various types of mobile vending permits, establishes a need for mobile food vendors to have a safety codes inspection, and establishes a 50-metre setback for a mobile vendor from a business that sells a similar product or service.

The 50-metre setback can be eliminated through an agreement with the existing business.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake will be hosting an open house so that the Organizing Committee for the Alberta 55 plus Winter Games can be established.

“We have had a tremendous reaction from the community so far for volunteers who have expressed interest,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “Now it’s time for an organizing committee to take shape so that they can begin to meet and take on the work of planning the games.”

The open house will take place at the Lakeland Inn on April 11 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm.

The open house will be geared towards volunteers interested in helping organize the event. Those interested in being “front line” volunteers, and who do not wish to join the organizing committee, are welcome to attend and gather information about the games and the various positions required. People who are unable to attend the April 11 open house, but who still want to join the organizing committee are encouraged to contact the City of Cold Lake at or 780-594-7926, so that their interest in a specific position can be considered as the committee takes shape.

The positions include: Chairperson, Transportation Director, Entertainment Director, Venues Director, Volunteer Director, Finance Director, Food Director, Publicity and Marketing Director; Games and Activities Director; and individual coordinators for each of the sports and activities.

Coordinators will be needed to help organize the following sports and activities: alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, badminton, pickleball, bowling (five pin), bridge – duplicate, carpet bowling, darts, euchre, ice hockey, ice curling, pool (snooker), scrabble, floor shuffleboard, as well as arts and crafts, creative writing, and photography.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake City Council voted to send letters of support for the Trans Mountain and Keystone XL pipeline projects.

“These pipelines continue to see opposition despite years of hearings, court cases, and impact studies,” Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said. “We know that the prosperity of our community, our province and our country is linked to their success. We wanted the companies behind these projects to know that their continued effort and their confidence in their investment is appreciated.”

Council noted that opposition continues from several governments at the provincial and municipal level, as well as from non-governmental organizations.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – Residents and contractors are now only one click away from finding underground utility lines.

The City of Cold Lake is now a member of Alberta One-Call, which is a private, non-profit corporation that provides communication between people or contractors who intend on disturbing the ground, and the utility operators that register their buried facilities.

“This is a great step toward safety for residents of Cold Lake,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “Joining Alberta One-Call means we’re matching the industry standard for utility locating, and it streamlines the process in getting someone out there to mark the utilities.”

Previously residents and contractors would make multiple calls to different organizations for line locates, including the City of Cold Lake, which looks after water, sanitary sewer, and storm water lines. The city also looks after some underground electrical lines associated with traffic signalization and city-owned street lighting. Through Alberta One-Call, all affected organizations will be contacted on behalf of the resident and contractors. After placing the request, Alberta One-Call will contact the city to send someone out to mark where any buried utilities are located.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – Marina slip holders will be seeing some changes in the renewal deadlines.

“Council debated the best way to make things fair, and the best deadline for renewals,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “In the end, we decided to allow for a short grace period that will be accompanied with a surcharge. The idea is to incentivize prompt payment while also allowing for a measure of flexibility.”

For the 2018 season, a grace period will extend to April 15, 2018. The grace period will come with a surcharge of 15 per cent of the value of the slip. The 2018 deadline for slip renewal was March 15.

In future years, the deadline for slip renewals will be April 1 with a grace period accompanied by a 15 per cent surcharge extending to April 15. Slips not renewed by that time will immediately be offered to the next people on the waiting list.

“There are circumstances that come up, and people sometimes miss the deadline. This way there is still a penalty for not paying on time, but if a person had an emergency and missed their renewal, they still have a chance,” said Copeland. “We needed a date that gives staff a chance to reach out to slip holders to make sure they do not want to renew, but still leaves enough time to fill vacancies from the waiting list and organize the marina to open for the boating season.”

The Cold Lake Marina operations are contracted out, but the waiting list and renewals are handled by city staff out of the Cold Lake Energy Centre. Demand at the Cold Lake Marina has remained strong over the years.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The Alberta 55 plus Winter Games are coming to Cold Lake in 2019 and the city is looking for people who can help make the games a success for all involved.

“We’re very excited to host the Alberta 55 plus Winter Games,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “With up to 1,500 participants, it’s a great way to showcase the community and give back to Alberta’s seniors.”

The games are hosted on a pay-to-play format, with athletes providing for their own entrance fees, transportation, and accommodations. The format allows for the games to be hosted without the large cash contribution that is often needed for similar events.

The games are typically held over three days, with two days of competition. As host, the City of Cold Lake has been asked to contribute by helping to provide the needed facilities, volunteers, coordinating opening and closing ceremonies, and hosting a banquet for the participants.

“What we really need now are volunteers to come forward,” said Copeland. “If anyone is interested in helping out, no matter the task or their experience level, we want to start making a list of people we can contact. We want to establish an organizing committee as soon as possible.”

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake is inviting citizens to sit on a quasi-judicial Assessment Review Board (ARB).

“The board doesn’t meet that often, and this is an excellent chance for residents to take part in the property assessment process,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “There’s no experience necessary, and we cover the cost of the training session.”

The Cold Lake ARB is an impartial tribunal that hears formal complaints from property and business owners who disagree with the assessed values of their property as determined by the City of Cold Lake’s assessor.

The board operates independently from the City of Cold Lake. In the case of a complaint, hearings are typically scheduled in the fall, where a panel of board members will hear information from the complainant and the assessor, then make an official decision. The time commitment for hearings varies each year, as it depends on the number of hearings scheduled. When it is time for a hearing, all the documents are prepared by an ARB clerk prior to the hearings, and hearing packages will be given to the board members.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – The Western States Hockey League (WSHL) is looking to expand from the United States into Canada and Cold Lake is being eyed as a possible home for a new Junior A team.

It is the City of Cold Lake’s understanding that the WSHL is working to establish the new Western Provinces Hockey League (WPHL) to facilitate the expansion for the 2018-2019 season, and is eyeing six to eight communities in Western Canada as homes for the new Junior A Tier-2 level teams.

“We have been approached by some people who are part of this proposed expansion,” Mayor Craig Copeland said.  “We are supportive of any organization who wants to call Cold Lake home and will work with them to help them see their plans become a success.”

The city’s understanding is that the new league is working with internal partners to establish an ownership structure for the new teams before arrangements for the final homes are made.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Cold Lake, AB – Residents in the Lakeland are eager for regularly scheduled, commercial flights that will provide seamless connections to destinations across Canada and throughout the world.

The City of Cold Lake’s commercial air services survey, conducted late in 2017, received more attention and support than anyone expected.

“We are thrilled with the results of the survey but, more importantly, we never could have predicted the level of interest it saw,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “The number of people who took the time to do the survey points directly at a strong need for this service in our region.”

A total of 3,539 people responded to the survey, with 3,051 of the respondents reporting that they lived within the catchment area. The survey, designed by the consulting firm AirBiz, focused on a 150-kilometre radius around the City of Cold Lake for its intended purpose. The number of respondents represents four per cent of the entire population within the catchment area.

Of the respondents in the catchment area, 98 per cent said they were likely to use CATSA-screened, regularly scheduled air service from the City of Cold Lake to a major airport. The study is accurate plus or minus two percentage points, over 95 per cent of the time. Detailed analysis of the responses will be used to market the city to air carriers. 

On average, respondents took 3.3 trips by air for both business and leisure in the 12 months prior to taking the survey. The vast majority of respondents – 88 per cent – had travelled by air at least once in the past 12 months.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

In 2018, the City of Cold Lake will spend just under $2.2 million in capital road infrastructure improvements as it moves towards a proactive stance that will keep pace with the condition of the city’s roadways.

“Staff have put a lot of research into the city’s road program and we are starting to see the full benefit of their hard work,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Maintenance projects are chosen based on what work will best extend the life of the roadways, and this allows the city to get the most mileage possible from our community’s tax dollars.”

Friday, December 15, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake’s 2018 Operating Budget will see a number of changes to user fees, and a number of user fee reviews across a variety of programs.

“Some of these changes are part of an annual review, others are due to reexamining fee structures that have not been changed over the course of several years,” Mayor Craig Copeland said.

Sewer rates will increase from 50 per cent of water use to 70 per cent of water use over two years. This change reflects the most current data surrounding real-world use of treated water, and how much water requires treatment after use. The impact to the sewer charge on a city utility bill will be from roughly $1.32 (on a minimum bill) to about $6.80 per month (on a flat rate bill) in 2018. The actual impact will depend on a household’s water usage.

Waste management fees, including tipping fees at the landfill and transfer station will also be adjusted to more accurately reflect the cost of service delivery. The changes include:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake City Council unanimously passed the 2018 Operating and Capital Budgets with just over $53.5 million in total expenditures, forecasting an average municipal tax increase of about 4.8 per cent.

The 2018 operating budget was passed at about $51.4 million, including a transfer to the Capital Budget of about $9.2 million. Inclusive of the transfer, the Capital Budget sits at just over $11.5 million.

“We balanced our city’s priorities of dealing with the pressures of continued growth and an infrastructure deficit, while also providing for the livability of the city,” Cold Lake Mayor Craig Copeland said. “At the same time, we had to do our best to limit the harm that the government’s new Cold Lake Air Weapons Range arrangement inflicted by cutting $10 million annually. It’s unfortunate that inaccurate information persists surrounding how this new arrangement was made. But we arrived at a well-rounded budget after being blindsided by a massive loss with no meaningful consultation or warning of the magnitude of the impacts. That is a testament to this council’s hard work from orientation straight through the budget process.”

The original Cold Lake Air Weapons Range Agreement, signed by the City of Cold Lake and the Government of Alberta, was brokered to ensure the sustainability of the City of Cold Lake. The agreement stated that: “The parties agree to maintain open and collaborative communications to achieve the principles and objectives setout herein. The parties agree to collaborate on public statements relating to the changes in the municipal boundaries and the revenue sharing agreements….This memorandum may be amended through mutual written agreement of the parties.”

“I don’t think anybody would think it’s reasonable to consider one meeting with the Mayor and one meeting with the CAO an exhaustive consultation process,” Copeland said. “The fact is, we live in the only growing urban centre in the Lakeland and we needed to pass a budget that deals with the challenges a young and growing urban centre faces. We did that as best as we could.”

Friday, December 1, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – Council will notify the Cold Lake Regional Utilities Commission (RUSC) that it foresees a number of challenges as a result of increasing calls for upgrades and expansions at the water treatment plant.

The upgrades and expansions are made necessary by the Bonnyville water line that will be servicing the greater Cold Lake region. The approximately $70-million project is funded by the Town of Bonnyville, the M.D. of Bonnyville, the Government of Alberta, and the Government of Canada, and was announced in the summer of 2016. The project will bring Cold Lake water to the town and beyond. It is well underway in terms of design and is preparing to break ground.

As the project has progressed, the scope of the changes required at the Cold Lake Water Treatment Plant has grown.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – City Council is asking the Government of Alberta for some clarity on why little progress seems to have been made on a major oil sands expansion project in the region.

“We have heard that there has been no movement on Imperial’s Cold Lake expansion project in the last year and a half,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “This project is vital to our region, which has been hard hit by the lingering economic downturn. We are asking for the status of the project and what our government can do to help this file along.”

It is the City of Cold Lake’s understanding that Imperial’s Cold Lake expansion project completed its environmental impact assessment in 2015 and has been awaiting regulatory approval since March 2016. Statements of Concern filed with the Alberta Energy Regulator must be dealt with before final approval can be given.

“We’ve heard that no statements of concern have been handled since early 2016, except for a couple that have been withdrawn by the people who filed them,” Copeland said. “With new, high-paying jobs at stake, we find it hard that so little progress could be made on this file. Our council is seeking a deeper understanding of why we are not hearing about any positive progress on this project.”

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – The Cold Lake Air Weapons Range Agreement remains the city’s top priority as council awaits meaningful discussions on the future of the agreement – and the future of the City of Cold Lake.

At its regular council meeting on November 28, 2017, council passed its list of strategic priorities. The Cold Lake Air Weapons Range Agreement sat at the top of the list, again. The city was notified it would lose approximately $10 million annually after Minister of Municipal Affairs Shaye Anderson made a unilateral decision to alter the existing agreement earlier this month.

“No one can say that the City of Cold Lake was consulted on the new arrangement, nor can anyone say we were forewarned about the impact these changes would have on the future of our city,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Unfortunately, we see this issue top our chart again. And, if we move forward under the present set of circumstances, our concerns will increasingly shift from the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range Agreement to the outright sustainability of our community. It is unfortunate that many misconceptions continue to cloud the public’s discourse: No one with a full picture of what happened would think Cold Lake was treated fairly.”

Monday, November 20, 2017

On Friday, November 17, the City of Cold Lake was notified, without warning or consultation, that it would suffer a $10 million annual reduction to its budget as the Government of Alberta will no longer honour the intent behind the original Cold Lake Air Weapons Range Agreement.

“The City of Cold Lake brokered the original agreement for its sustainability, and yet we were not given the benefit of any meaningful negotiations, consultation or forewarning that our taxpayers would be treated this way through a unilateral decision made by the Minister of Municipal Affairs,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “And yet, despite very strong and public promises from our neighbours that they were not seeking to take anything away from our municipality, this new arrangement has quickly been celebrated. I find it hard to believe how the City of Cold Lake – the largest urban center in the Lakeland, and the only one which continues to see growth in our region – can been treated with such disrespect.”

Although the original agreement outlined the need for collaboration between the City of Cold Lake and the Government of Alberta to transition all municipal revenue from the air weapons range to the city, the city was open for regional collaboration.

Early in 2016, the City of Cold Lake submitted a proposal for a new agreement to Alberta Municipal Affairs that would have respected the original intent of ensuring the city’s sustainability, while also bringing the Town of Bonnyville and the Village of Glendon additional revenue from the Cold Lake Air Weapons Range.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake is hoping to enlist community members in its efforts to land CATSA-screened commercial air services. By taking a short survey about residents’ air travel needs and habits, the city is hoping to bring valuable market research to the commercial air carriers that would consider serving this market.

“To have a CATSA-screened commercial air service is a crucial driver for our region’s economy,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “Once we have the necessary agreements in place, we will be looking to obtain commercial air service from a major western Canadian hub airport.”

CATSA screening will allow passengers to check their bags and board a flight in Cold Lake and then seamlessly connect onwards, if needed, to domestic or international flights from the destination hub airport. In 2015, the Federal Government made regulatory changes required for the City of Cold Lake and several other communities who were seeking CATSA screening in their airports. The changes allowed the communities to consider a new, cost-recovery option to establish CATSA-screening.

By taking a short survey about residents’ air travel needs and habits, residents of the region can contribute valuable market research to commercial air carriers. Links to the survey are available at and the city’s social media sites. The survey will be open from Tuesday, November 14 to Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On November 7, one of the City of Cold Lake’s internal IST servers experienced a critical hardware failure, bringing some services down. Affected programs and services relate to some financial functions and some web-based services, which will remain offline until the server is repaired.

While city staff are working with the hardware provider to remedy the situation and resume normal operations as soon as possible, some delays in issuing cheques may be experienced and Citizen Self Service will remain offline until server repairs are completed.

The City of Cold Lake is taking every effort to avoid delays and resume all services in a timely manner.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – A road project extending 54 Avenue to connect 49 Street and 45 Street in Cold Lake South is now open for use.

In the city’s transportation study, 54 Avenue east of Highway 28 was identified as an important collector road that will play an increasingly important role in moving traffic as Cold Lake South continues to grow.

“This project gives people living in Brady Heights an important new access to the downtown area,” Mayor Copeland said. “It’s a small but important stretch of road when you look at the overall vision in the transportation study. Not only will this have an immediate, positive impact in the area, but it moves us closer to that vision, and opens up new options in the area.”

Monday, October 16, 2017

COLD LAKE, AB – The polling station closed for the Cold Lake 2017 Municipal Election at 8:00 p.m. today, reporting that 1,814 out of 11,170 eligible voters cast a ballot.

The following are the unofficial results for the 2017 Cold Lake municipal election:

Friday, October 6, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake walked away with another award for its annual National Public Works Week celebrations.

“It’s amazing to see such recognition for the work that our Public Works staff do,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “They work extremely hard throughout the year, and National Public Works Week is a chance for the community to come out and see all the different tasks that Public Works is responsible for.”

The city was awarded the Community Celebration Public Works Week Award from the Alberta Public Works Association.

“We applied for the award after expanding our celebrations from last year,” said General Manager of Infrastructure Services Azam Khan. “To be named as the winner really goes to show how appreciated our staff’s efforts are in the community. A big ‘Thanks’ goes out to our staff, and to the community for celebrating Public Works Week with us.”

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – Work on the artificial turf field is underway, beginning with a substantial amount of earthwork to prepare the site.

“There is more top soil to move than expected, but we are hoping to see the earthwork and the site preparation done before freeze-up this year,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “This project has been planned for years and it will be exciting to see it take shape.”

The grandstand will include a building that will house a large team dressing room, four smaller dressing rooms, a concession stand, public washrooms, room for storage, a media and announcers’ room, and two fully equipped multi-purpose rooms.

The project also will include a digital scoreboard as well as an outdoor lighting and audio package. The field itself will be lined for football, soccer, and rugby. It is designed so that the infrastructure for an inflatable dome structure can be added as a possible Phase 2 to the project.

“The possibility of putting a dome over the field was very intriguing, so we designed the facility in a way that this can be considered in the future,” Copeland said. “We’ve heard that enclosed fields in other communities see heavy use by a wide range of recreational groups throughout the year – it’s an option we wanted to keep open.”

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – The city will be marketing a program to help businesses improve their property after council voted to extend the application deadline for 2017 projects until the end of this year.

“Staff noticed that businesses that had not applied for the City’s Business Retention and Attraction Incentive Policy (BRAIP) were undertaking renovations that would probably qualify for a municipal tax rebate under the program,” Mayor Craig Copeland said. “Council passed this policy to support our business community, and we want to make sure that owners who can take advantage of this are aware it’s available to them.”

The issue was first brought to the attention of the Economic Development Advisory Committee, which felt that the city needed to find a method to ensure businesses are reminded of the BRAIP program. The committee recommended that council extend the application deadline for 2017 projects to December 31, 2017 so that projects started this year can apply for BRAIP.

The program grants rebates based on commercial property taxes. In the case of new commercial construction, the rebate paid out over three years and is equal to one year’s worth of the increase in municipal property taxes resulting from the construction. In early 2017, the program was expanded to include projects that were primarily cosmetic in nature as would not necessarily result in an increase in assessment and municipal taxes paid. Such projects are eligible to receive a one-time grant equal to 10 per cent of the municipal property taxes levied in the year the project is completed.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – After a boost in the budget earlier this year, the Capital Road Improvement Program has taken off for 2017.

“The areas that we focus on are usually streets that see a lot of traffic,” said City of Cold Lake’s Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Nagoya. “We want to keep them up to standard, and the Capital Road Improvement Program gives us the opportunity to prioritize which infrastructure needs resurfacing.”

The Capital Road Improvement Program is governed under a road analytics program, which uses a software that analyzes the surface distress index of roadways and degradation curves to assist in making decisions on pavement resurfacing. This way the life of the asphalt can be extended before the pavement requires total replacement, which is a more costly procedure.

In May, it was announced that with funding from the Basic Municipal Transportation Grant, and the Municipal Sustainability Initiative, an extra $1 million was added to the budget for road improvements, increasing the total to $1.75 million.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – The Annual Residential Lane Construction Program is ready to see work commence for this year.

“Improving our laneways has been a steady task for the last few years,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We wanted to make sure that lanes are kept up to date, to prevent them from costing more in the long run if they need to be replaced completely.”

Since 2014, the program has improved or completed two or three blocks of rear lanes each year, bringing them up to proper standards, using a set amount of $200,000 each year.

“There is a process to determine which lanes get attention each year, and as we move forward, sometimes those priorities change if a lane suddenly needs more attention than originally observed,” said Copeland. “The lanes for this year have been chosen for a reason, and I’m glad to see them getting attention.”

This year’s targeted areas include 54 Avenue from 62 Street to 60 Street park; 62 Street from 52 Avenue to 54 Avenue, and Lakeridge Close on the north and east sides. While the 54 Avenue and Lakeridge Close areas are set to be completed this year, 62 Street will be completed in 2018, as it requires some winter weather for the wet material removal.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – Cold Lake Transit is about to see additional improvements through the Transit Enhancement Sidewalk and Trail Connectivity program.

“With so many residents using Cold Lake Transit on a daily basis, it’s important to make sure that the stops and shelters are accessible and easy to use,” said Mayor Craig Copeland.

Thanks to a successful application under the Government of Alberta’s GreenTRIP grant, the connectivity program covers a few portions of Cold Lake Transit, including new concrete pads at stops with additional shelters, new asphalt trails, and sidewalk construction in high-traffic areas.

“We wanted to enhance the accessibility to make sure the public would have safe and direct access to all current stops, especially where there was no sidewalk or trail,” said Copeland. “As well, we’ll be placing additional shelters at high-traffic stops, giving riders a place to hide from bad weather.”

Concrete pads and shelters are planned to be installed at the Energy Centre; 50 Avenue at 46 Street; JJ Parr; 54 Avenue, and 52 Avenue.

The sidewalk construction will be at 8 Avenue from 13 Street to 12 Street; a continuation of 16 Street from 14 Avenue to 16 Avenue; along 69 Avenue by Tim Horton’s to connect to the Transit Centre, and 57 Street from 50 Avenue to Veteran’s Way.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – The City of Cold Lake was named the winner of the Canadian Public Works Association Small Centre Award for National Public Works Week – again.

“A lot of hard work and dedication goes into our National Public Works Week events,” said General Manager of Infrastructure Services Azam Khan. “We want to connect with the public about what Public Works does, and it is always a great opportunity for the community to get involved.”

Typically taking place in the third week of May, National Public Works Week is celebrated across Canada. For Cold Lake, it’s a time of week-long celebration, including events for children, students, adults, and seniors.

“We’re always looking for ways to improve our celebration of National Public Works Week,” said Khan. “This year we had a special flag made, and did a flag raising ceremony to kick everything off.”

Friday, August 11, 2017

Cold Lake, AB – The second annual City-Wide Sale is leading up to be another great success.

With over 140 pins already registered, the sale is on track to be bigger than last year’s debut event. Business pins have been visible since the start of registration, and residential pins will become visible starting on Monday, Aug. 14, so that people can plan their treasure-hunting route for Aug. 19 and 20 when the sale is on.

Last year, the City-Wide Sale brought in shoppers from surrounding areas, as well as many local residents seeking a good deal.

New this year to the sale is the BIZ KID$ Program, bringing young entrepreneurs out to represent their businesses.

“The youth in our community are very outgoing,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “To see these kids working with mentors and creating a business is phenomenal to see. They should be really proud of their accomplishments.”

The BIZ KID$ Program entrepreneurs will be selling their products and services as part of the yardsale held at the Military Family Resource Centre Society location on 4 Wing, on Aug. 19 and 20.


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