I am sure by now most people have read the response from municipal affairs to a friend of John’s after that individual had wrote a letter to Municipal affairs regarding the present situation in the Crowsnest Pass.
How will Municipal affairs respond to the concerns raised by residents of the
On an individual basis I expected nothing less than what you see in the letter on Mr Prince’s Blog. From my reading of the
there is no legal requirement for the minister to do anything unless the
threshold of 20% is reached.
There is a difference between an individual complaint to Municipal Affairs and the petition that will be delivered to the minister’s office. First of all if Municipal affairs looked at what was going on in a community every time somebody complained they would need a staff of hundreds. That is why there is a process in place that requires a substantial number of voters to speak up before they do take a look at a municipality. Let’s face it even if one hundred individual complaints came from the
to the government that sounds
like a lot but it’s less than two percent of the population. Crowsnest
We all recognize that municipal politicians have to face the test of the public every three years, for the most part that process should be respected and it is. There are very rare occasions where governments do not represent the wishes or direction of the people that put them in office, at provincial and federal levels you have official oppositions to keep government accountable and to point out when they are misleading the voters.
In Alberta Municipal politics you do not have official oppositions to make government accountable, councils are made up of seven individuals that are suppose to have their own minds, be willing to speak up and represent all the members of their communities. Again for the most part this takes place but for when the system fails or a substantial part of public has a clear disagreement with the direction their community is being led, then under the
MGA you have the right to start a
petition. It is not an easy feat you must collect 20% of the populations
signatures on a piece of paper in 30 days maximum.
Only then will you get municipal affairs to look at what’s going on in our community, first of all they will validate that you have 20% of the population, we all remember a petition failed previously because it could not reach that number. There will not be a problem there, with over 40% of the population signed in just 20 days. It would be hard to believe that just this fact alone would not catch the attention of Municipal Affairs. Then I believe they will take a closer look at what is going on here, I think they will talk to the Council, administration and the Ratepayers executive.
Will anything happen from there? That’s the million dollar question that only municipal affairs can answer. Is there any guarantee’s that Municipal affairs will do anything? None at all. I do know for sure that they will not look at our issues based on one or even a hundred taxpayers letters, complaints or phone calls.
If the petition fails, we could have done nothing but the people of the Crowsnest Pass choose to use part of the democratic process provided to them by the Alberta government under the MGA. "53% of the eligible voters choice to exercise that right"
At a minimum to have 2500 people sign a petition in less than three weeks should send a message to somebody.