The Courier

City Hall in Cold Lake – File Photo

At its February 14, 2023 general meeting, City Council passed three motions recommended by administration to move the creation of Municipally Controlled Corporation (MCC) into its final phase. The MCC is being established to run a medical clinic in the hopes that the clinic can assist with physician recruitment.

The motions directed administration to formally establish the Municipally Controlled Corporation (MCC), to ratify a shareholder agreement between the City and the MCC, and to open a separate bank account and transfer $100,000 from the restricted surplus into the account.

“Getting more doctors into our community has been a top priority since 2006,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “Doctors are interested in coming to Cold Lake, but we seem to be only able to replace doctors who leave without making any additional headway. By establishing our own municipally controlled corporation with its sole focus of staffing and operating a primary care medical clinic, the City now has a seat at the table when it comes to recruitment and maintaining its focus on our residents’ best interests.”

The majority of Municipal Controlled Corporations (MCC) in Alberta are tied to utilities services. The Cold Lake corporation will focus on establishing a primary care medical clinic. It will operate just the same as many other medical clinics in Alberta, providing space and support needed for doctors to practice. The clinic will be run by a board appointed by City Council, which will consist of two elected officials and three members at large from the community who bring relevant experience to the corporation.

Administration provided Council with a draft business plan on December 13, 2022 and a copy of the final business plan was provided at a Special Meeting of Council on December 19, 2022 at which time, Council voted in favour of commencing the legislated process to form the MCC. Council then held a statutory public hearing during its regular January 24, 2023 meeting.

The City is designating unrestricted surplus funds for the purchase of the medical clinic, so that no debt will be incurred to start the venture and no tax implications will be felt by the community.

“There are still a few more steps that administration has to finish, before we can call this a done deal,” Copeland said. “But it’s exciting and there’s a sense that we will be able to make some very important progress on this issue for the first time in a long time.”

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