Emily Plihal
Local Journalism
Initiative Reporter

Peace River town council has decided to apply for the Municipal Affairs Internship Program.

The decision was reached at council’s June 23 meeting.

The Town hosted a municipal intern through the program years ago, and its administration urged council to apply based on the value the opportunity would bring to the municipality, if successful in its application.

“This is at least the second time that the Town will participate in the program if this application is successful,” says Mayor Elaine Manzer.

“Municipalities must first be successful in their application to host an intern in the Municipal Affairs Internship Program. Peace River is applying for an intern through the Administrator Stream.”

According the Municipal Affairs website, the program can help introduce interns who will bring knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm to help build capacity and rejuvenate the municipal government sector.

“The intern will bring new knowledge and perspectives to our administration and both the intern and town administration will benefit from the interaction with someone who is learning the world of municipal government,” explains Manzer.

“The application deadline for the program is Oct. 1, 2024.

The next step will be Municipal Affairs evaluating the municipal applications and deciding on those approved for this intake.

If successful, council will be supported by a grant from the Alberta Community Partnership program to assist with the costs of hosting the intern. Total funding for each successful municipality will be $60,000, the total split between intern compensation and expenses accrued.

“The program is important for young people who are interested in working in municipalities in all types of roles within municipal administration,” says Manzer.

“Some may use the information to enter politics, but the purpose of the program is to expand the possible employee experience for those who eventually want to work and have a career in municipal offices.”

Manzer says host municipalities and planning service agencies are not permitted to hire an existing or recent employee as their municipal intern. The only exceptions are if the employee worked as a summer student, casual employee (employee on a call-in basis or irregular hours), or a co-op student.

“It looks like the municipality is involved in the selection process of the eligible interns,” says Manzer.

“In the administrative stream that the Town is applying under, the intern will be focused on building their skills in and knowledge in policy, management and operations.”