Ports-to-Plains Board Member
Chair, Eastern Alberta Trade Corridor
Hanna, AB T0J 1P0
Jay was born and raised on a family farm at Fleet Alberta. After completing High School at Castor he attended Olds College, graduating in1974 with a diploma in Agricultural Production.
He started working with the Special Areas Board in 1975 and has held various postings in Consort, Oyen and Hanna
Jay was appointed Chairman of the Special Areas Board in 1991, a position he held until January 2015 when he retired. During his 40 years with the Special Areas Jay has always had a keen interest in finding community solutions for community issues. With the support of the Special Areas Advisory Council he was an active leader in a project in the Oyen, Cereal, Acadia Valley and Empress area aimed at mobilizing these communities to work together to overcome issues of declining population and changing farm structures. Return to Rural has been expanded to the Consort, Veteran and Altario area.
Jay is currently representing the Special Areas Board on the Palliser Economic Partnership and was elected Chairman of the organization in June of 2015. He is also Chairman of the East Alberta Trade Corridor an economic alliance of three rural economic development authorities that promote economic development for 80 municipalities in Eastern Alberta.
Jay is a member of the Hanna Climate Change Task Force. This group is tackling the task of developing strategies to mitigate the impact of the early closure of a coal fired power generating station in his home community due to a recent climate change policy announced by the provincial government.
He has also been actively involved in investigating the feasibility of the Special Areas Water Supply Project, a large-scale plan to divert water into the Special Areas as a foundation for rural development. He was an active member of the Shirley McClellan Regional Water Commission. This is a large scale project has successfully brought treated water via regional pipeline to a large part of East Central Alberta.
He has been a proponent of developing water based recreation at Prairie Oasis Park, Blood Indian Reservoir and Gooseberry Lake.
Jay strongly believes in:
- building strong partnerships,
- finding regional solutions and
- building needed infrastructure in rural remote areas as opposed to the trend to centralize services in more urban centres