Rod is Mayor of Strathcona County in Alberta, Canada.
Learn about governance in Strathcona County at this site.
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Founded in 1893, Strathcona County has grown from its indigenous roots and a few hundred pioneers to an agricultural and industrial powerhouse with over 100,000 citizens. 40 world-class energy and pet-chem companies lead with us in economic growth and environmental responsibility. Our exciting story of achievement continues in the 21st century.
. . . when our family moved here in 1963. My parents were passionate and committed community builders. In 2001 my Dad was inducted onto the Millennium Place Sports Wall of Recognition.
As the County grew, I grew with it. I was the kid playing hockey on the neighborhood street and football on the local field. I delivered the newspaper to your door and worked at the grocery store. Hard work never bothered me.
I attended school and graduated here. I went to university with some of your sons and daughters, earning business and law degrees. I then became a corporate lawyer working in telecom, and competition and antitrust law. My wife and I raised our own family here.
I am honoured to serve as your Mayor. Since 2017, I have led a Council and Administration driven to make Strathcona County the best it can be for its 100,000 citizens. Serving as your Mayor is my only and full time position. I am passionate about and committed to my community, Strathcona County – the best in Canada.
In my first term as Mayor from 2017 to 2021, all of us together faced unprecedented challenges with a gripping recession, collapsing oil markets, a major crisis incident in our County Hall, and a once-in-a-century global pandemic. Your county governance met these challenges head-on through disciplined, calm leadership. Today, we all enjoy best-in-class municipal services, inclusive social progress, and the province’s strongest fiscal position.
Thank you for the re-election and mandate in October, 2021 to keep the momentum going together! I am more passionate and committed than ever to be your Mayor. I am using the lessons learned and invaluable experience gained in my first term to further solidify our community as one of the best places to live, work, play, and stay in the province.
Leading in 2021-25 with:
· Disciplined, calm leadership and evidence-based decisions
· Canada’s most livable community – in work, education, and recreation
· Best-in-class municipal services - Fire, Police, Ambulance, Roads, Water, Transit, Social Services, Recreation, Parks, and Culture
· Competitive, responsible taxes, financial responsibility and sustainability.
· An inclusive community.
· Jobs, prosperity and economic diversity to improve your quality of life. Promoting Hydrogen Hub, petchem and attracting new investment.
Our County has gone through unprecedented challenges since 2017 of a recession, collapse in energy markets, explosions, a 100-year pandemic, inflation, rising interest rates, and supply chain delays.
Disciplined, stable leadership has seen us emerge ahead of the crowd with excellence in municipal services, inclusive social progress, and the strongest fiscal position in the province.
My job is to continue to use all my education, experience and abilities in the current term to ensure our community leads the pack through the 2020’s and beyond.
Current Term 2021-25:
- Stable, calm, and disciplined leadership through COVID-19 Pandemic, inflation, interest rate hikes, recessionary pressures, and supply chain issues.
- 88 per cent approval ratings; Best-in-Class municipal services. In 2021, 88 per cent of residents rated Strathcona County as a good or very good place to live. Citizens rate Strathcona County very positively as a safe, welcoming community to raise children, and retire. Leading in Muni services: Fire, Police, Ambulance, Roads, Water, Transit, Social Services, Recreation, Parks, and Culture.
- Fiscal responsibility – Taxes lower than inflation. In 2022 proposed tax increase reduced to 4.6 per cent, lower than the rate of inflation at 6.8 per cent. This means in real dollars taxes have gone down from the previous year. On the average home, the increase meant $7/month, or $84/year. [2021 - 3.11 percent with inflation at 3.4 per cent.] Debt service ratio at 5 per cent, meaning 95 per cent of taxes are going to municipal services for citizens, not to banks to pay debt.
- Crime down: In Sherwood Park, crime has decreased by seven per cent and in the rural area, it has dropped by 11 per cent (2022).
- Rural – Agricultural opportunities. Administration directed to build a business case to attract agricultural investment in our sub region. The purpose is to invite value-add agricultural investment through focused, mission driven tactics.
- Seniors' Services. Seniors recreation, community grants, community hall space, Elder Abuse Line, Age in place, Heartland Housing Foundation; and additional budget monies of $200,000 annually over three years to enhance supports and services for seniors in the community.
- Jobs and Investment. Inter Pipeline’s $4 billion Heartland Petrochemical Complex launched 2023 - 2,600 construction jobs and 300 operational jobs. Imperial Oil’s $720 million renewalable diesel facility, 600 construction jobs.
- First hydrogen community in North America in Strathcona County proposal, $2 million ground-breaking study announced by the province and Alberta Innovates. We are proud to be part of preparing for a hydrogen economy that will contribute to clean energy and more jobs.
- Environmental Responsibility. Carbon capture technology and geology, hydrogen hub, co-generation, longest carbon capture pipeline in world, emission targets. Resolution to Alberta Municipalities (2022) passed at 98.4 per cent to increase commitment to support and resource projects to become leaders in the developing hydrogen economy.
- Ambulance and Emergency Services improvements. Community Response Unit implemented in Strathcona County. Ambulance service provided by Strathcona County has achieved a score of over 99 per cent under an independent third-party national accreditation assessment (2023).
- Transit Innovation. On-Demand Transit launched – 3C’s: more coverage, more convenience, less cost. Projected savings to be $450,000 annually. Bus Rapid Transit advanced to achieve more affordable and efficient service. Arc card for fares. In 2023, the county’s hydrogen fuel cell electric trial hit the road.
- McPherson Park Spray Deck open; River Valley Alliance Bridge action-ed. Using tax dollars for quality recreation.
- Social service non-profits empowered with more than $1 million annually in funding.
- Affordable Housing -Heartland Housing Foundation programs, including former Clover Bar site on Fir Street, supported for affordable housing.
- Record-breaking census: Hitting the 100,000-plus population mark as part of the 2022 Municipal Census!
First Term 2017-21:
· Stable, calm and disciplined leadership through major crises: the 2018 County Hall explosions, challenging energy markets, provincial austerity, recession, and the COVID-19 Pandemic
· Highest quality municipal services with citizen satisfaction over 87%; New Chief Commissioner hire for more positive change
· Taxes cut by 1.35 percent
· Crime down 11 percent
· Rural: Roads – additional $3 million in funding; Recreation – spray park, skate park; Water fill; Multimillion dollar Broadband initiative
· Social service non-profits empowered with an additional $1 million annually in funding
· Jobs and economy: over $4 billion in new investment
· Agricultural Master Plan implementation
We are all proud of Strathcona County’s achievements
Rod feels honoured and privileged in his work to make the County’s vision of Canada’s most livable community a reality.
Rod’s governance interests include:
· Leading with best-in-class municipal services,
· Supporting responsible commercial and industrial development to improve our citizens’ quality of life,
· Enabling the non profit sector for social advancement,
· Championing fiscal responsibility, and
· Following evidenced based decision making.
Rod is passionate in leading Strathcona County to a future of continued prosperity.
Strathcona County is an industrial and agricultural juggernaut. It is comprised of both rural and urban areas, including Sherwood Park, and has a population of over 100,000 citizens. Its best in class municipal services lead in policing, firefighting, transit, recreation, parks, culture, water and roads .
The County is home to over 40 world class companies in the energy, petrochemical and hydrogen sectors, with total investments of of over $40 billion.
The County's Beaver Hills Biosphere is an environmental oasis in the region.
The capital region that Strathcona County is a part of has a population of over 1.3 million people, produces 30 per cent of Alberta's GDP, and supports over 700,000 jobs.
Rod was elected Mayor of Strathcona County on October 16, 2017. He was re-elected for a second term on October 18, 2021.
Mayor Frank was raised in the County, after moving here with his family in 1963. Rod and his wife brought up their own family here also.
He earned business and law degrees from the University of Alberta. Before becoming mayor, Rod had over 40 years of experience in the business and legal worlds. As a corporate lawyer, Rod had a telecom, and competition and antitrust law practice .
Leadership credentials in the business world include co-leader of Legal Services at TELUS, and practice lead to the wholesale, business, and wireless divisions; as well as lead competition law advisor. Rod was lead counsel closing a $1.2 billion-dollar deal, one of the single largest telecom services transactions in Canadian history.
In the legal field he headed the Canadian Bar Association’s National Competition Law Section, comprised of over 1,000 expert antitrust lawyers. Rod is also a former member of the American Bar Association’s Compliance & Ethics Advisory Board.
In the non-profit sector, Rod was one of the original incorporators of the Elk Island Education Foundation (REAL Foundation), and a former President and General Manager of the Edmonton Wildcat Junior Football Club.
With two sons who grew up in the Park, Rod has also volunteered for more than 15 years in local schools, and “every sport out there – football, hockey, soccer, baseball, lacrosse”. Rod previously wrote a legal column for the Sherwood Park - Strathcona County News, "The Lawyer in Your Corner. "
Rod is committed to serving the citizens throughout term; working for the citizen in politics and current events. The core of his plan is to realize Strathcona County's vision, to provide first-in-class municipal services, to provide financial certainty for individuals and industry, and to foster a citizen-centered culture.
“I respect the trust citizens have placed in me. I dedicate my service to advancing the best interests of Strathcona County, and to this community being a leading light in Alberta.”
- Chief Elected Official, Strathcona County
- Chair, Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Association
- Board Member, Edmonton Metropolitan Region Board
- Vice Chair & Representative, Edmonton Metro Region Economic Development (Edmonton Global)
- Representative, Edmonton Regional Airports Authority
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