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Derouin challenges Shaw

An Alberta’s Industrial Heartland resident says he will challenge Coun. Karen Shaw for her job this fall.

Sturgeon County resident Marty Derouin, 63, has announced that he plans to run for Division 6 councillor in this fall’s election.

Shaw is the incumbent and is running for re-election in Div. 6, which includes everything east of Hwy. 28/28A and north of Township Rd. 554.

A business owner who has started many companies in the county region (including Kicks Saloon in Redwater and Mainstreet Grill in Gibbons), Derouin said his business experience and lifelong residency in the county made him a good choice to represent Div. 6.

“That’s what I’ve done my whole life. I’ve started businesses, I build them, and I sell them, and they’re still around.”

Derouin said he saw a need for change on council after having the same person, Shaw, in office for so many years. (Shaw was first elected in 2007.)

“I don’t believe in career politicians.”

If elected, Derouin said he would move to limit councillors to serving a maximum of eight years in office.

Derouin spoke to council earlier this fall as one of the 18 Industrial Heartland residents that wanted a $50-to-$60-million buyout from the county due to the effects of industrial development on their land.

“Karen (Shaw), she’s been a councillor for eight years and this Heartland issue hasn’t been resolved. I intend to resolve it.”

Derouin said he was pushing for an $18 million “Heartland compensation package” for the 18 affected Heartland landowners, as the buyout didn’t appear possible. If elected, he said he would lobby his fellow councillors to support this compensation package but would abstain from any vote on it.

“There’s a lot of people I talk to that say (council) hears us but they don’t do anything; it’s all lip service,” Derouin said.

Derouin promised to listen to residents, and said he would call on council to make better use of technology to consult with residents.

“I really truly believe there is a need for my different way of thinking.”

Scholarships awarded

A county grant is giving two civic-minded students a financial leg-up this September.

Sturgeon County students Travis Brenneis and Shawna McLaughlin were announced as this year’s Dale MacMillan Scholarship Award recipients last week. Each received $2,000 and posed for photos with county council and a giant novelty cheque.

The scholarship, named after the late Dale MacMillan (a county resident known for his work with the Calahoo-Villeneuve Gravel Extraction Committee), goes to up to two post-secondary students who live in Sturgeon County and demonstrate leadership in their community. The cash for it comes from the county’s gravel levies.

Brenneis, 25, is a fourth-year kinesiology (human movement) student at the University of Alberta. He is an active volunteer with West Country Hearth and has participated in several community musicals.

“I think it’s important to give back to the community when they’ve given me so much,” he said.

McLaughlin, 20, has participated in 4-H clubs for eight years and is a frequent volunteer in highway clean-ups and tire recycling. She is a third-year commerce student at MacEwan University.

“I really like contributing to the community; you always get a lot of out it,” she said.

Brenneis and McLaughlin said the cash would help cover their tuition.

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About Author

Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.