Community Development Advisory Board

A Community Development Advisory Board was appointed on January 22, 2009, to provide recommendations to government regarding the overall development plan of the Parsons Creek land parcel, including land use and cost implications. The Board will consult with the surrounding community and will work with the Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation to ensure there is a sufficient amount of affordable housing  units.  The Board will also provide recommendations on the speed of development.

Parsons Creek will provide over 8,000 dwelling units, accommodating a population in excess of 20,000.  Residential development will be complimented by schools, health facilities, and other public amenities necessary to ensure a strong, vibrant community. The first land parcels are expected to be available in 2011/2012.

Related Documents:

Business Plan

Code of Conduct

Mandate and Roles

Community Development Advisory Board

Mr. Friedel’s has professional background in business management and accounting.  He spent 5 years in banking, 9 years in public administration, and 18 years as an owner and operator of a building construction and land development company and 12 years as MLA for Peace River.  During his last term as MLA, he was Chair of the Northern Alberta Development Council from 2001 to 2004.  Mr. Friedel also served one term as School Board Chair in Peace River, one term as Town Councillor and two terms as Mayor of Peace River.  He retired in November 2004 and has served on two Advisory Committees for the Alberta Social Housing Corporation in 2005 and 2006.

Melissa Blake was elected Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo again in October 2007 after serving one term as Mayor and two terms as City Councillor.  Alberta Venture Magazine has twice named Mayor Blake as one of the 50 Most Influential People.  She was also named by Global Television as a Woman of Vision in 2006.  In addition to her council duties, Mayor Blake has served on numerous committees, including those related to development and affordable housing.  She also initiated Future Forward, a progressive community visioning exercise that charts a course for the region’s future based on collaborative public input.

Mr. Gourlay was a former City Manager for the City of Grande Prairie from 2000 to 2008.  During his term as City Manager, Grande Prairie adopted and implemented a very successful housing strategy.  Under his leadership and at a time of unprecedented growth in Grande Prairie, new housing opportunities were created.  The City was able to accommodate growth and still enhance the quality of life in the community.  Mr. Gourlay is a Certified Management Accountant and has previous board experience having served on the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association Environment and Sustainability Committee, Aquatera Utilities, Centre 2000, Grande Prairie Airport, Community Foundation of Greater Grande Prairie and Swan City Breakfast Lions Club.

Mr. Jenkins is the current Chairman of the Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation and a member of the Board of Directors for the College of Alberta School Superintendents. He is the Superintendent of Schools with the Fort McMurray Catholic Board of Education and has been with the Board for over 30 years as a teacher and School Administrator. In addition to contributing to several multi-stakeholder committees provincially, as a long time resident of Fort McMurray he has served as a volunteer on many boards, as well as dedicating time with sports and community organizations.

Mr. Maron is the President of the Urban Development Institute - Wood Buffalo.  He became President five years ago and prior to this, he was a director with the Institute for 15 years.  He is an engineer and is engaged in providing land development and municipal consulting services in Fort McMurray.  Mr. Maron also owns several businesses in Fort McMurray that serve the local area.


Lana Lougheed is the Assistant Deputy Minister of Homeless Support and Land Development for Housing and Urban Affairs, a Ministry of the Provincial Government of Alberta, whose mission is to provide affordable housing options and supports for homeless and low-income Albertans to reach and maintain their highest levels of independence. Lana’s career with the Provincial Government spans 30 years and includes several senior leadership positions with several different ministries including Treasury Board, Executive Council and Justice. Lana holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Athabasca University and is currently a member of the Board of the Institute of Public Administration of Canada for the Edmonton Region.