Press Release by the Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers Association – Feb 14, 2013
2012 was a very busy year for the Ratepayers Association of the Crowsnest Pass. Concerns of how our community was being governed were presented to council but fell on deaf ears. On October 4th and again on the 11th, 2012 we informed the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Doug Griffiths of these concerns and that the electorate wanted to petition the Minister to intervene.
We informed the Minister of the bullying that went on with our volunteer fire departments, the miss-information council was giving out regarding Thunder in the Valley, that our community wasn’t enjoying the Alberta Advantage and that we couldn’t continue to absorb increases in fees, spending and hiring. We informed the Minister a petition from the people was forthcoming.
On November 1st, 2012 we delivered a petition signed by 2510 voters here in the Pass. Since the petition was delivered it’s been three and half months and now we understand why those of us that delivered the petition were treated so poorly at the Legislative Building in Edmonton. The Department of Municipal Affairs continues to drag their feet in picking an inspection team and the Minister’s Chief of Staff indicated it would probably be summer time before the inspection takes place. At that point I informed the Minister’s Chief of Staff that wasn’t satisfactory. The damage being done to this community has to stop and the disrespect council is showing toward the electorate that signed the petition has to be addressed.
To add to our many concerns the Department of Municipal Affairs is giving a Regional Collaboration Project grant to our municipality. This $257,000.00 grant will cover communication upgrades, training of fireman and paying of personnel. We had four volunteer fire departments that in total cost us $285,000.00, now we have one fire/rescue department that needs training and from the Community and Protective Services Director down to the Fire Chief, Deputy and three paid firemen that will cost the taxpayer $500,000.00. The best part of this grant is retroactive to last year and it doesn’t even include the present volunteer fireman or the cost of fighting a fire.
The citizens if the Crowsnest Pass don’t deserve this type of bullying from our council and especially not from the Department of Municipal Affairs.