|13 Strange Canadian Laws You Never Knew Existed
- A Toronto businessman found that to sell edible underwear in his ‘Adult Entertainment’ store, he’d need a food license.
- It's Illegal To Whistle in Petrolia, Ont. A Petrolia city
rep says this unusual law simply aims to limit excessive noise between
11 p.m. and 7 a.m., but according to Article 3, 772.3.6 on the town’s
website, “Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing is prohibited
at all times.”
- Keep Your Booze At Home. According to the Importation of
Intoxicating Liquors Act (which dates back to the time of prohibition
and bootleggers), you can only legally move a bottle of booze from one
province to another with the permission of the provincial liquor control
board. The situation changed on May 28th, 2012, allowing you to legally
move wine, but little else.
- It's Illegal To Attach a Siren To Your Bike in Sudbury, Ont. Since
1973, the only noise-makers Sudbury cyclists can attach to their bikes
are bells and horns. Breaking noise bylaws in Sudbury can lead to fines
up to $5,000.
- It's Illegal to Skinny Dip in Bancroft, Ont.
- According to Canada’s Currency Act of 1985, there are limits to the
number of coins you can use in a transaction. If it’s nickels,
vendors can say no to any purchase over $5, while the loonie limit is
- Taxi Drivers Can't Wear a T-Shirt in Halifax, N.S. According
to Halifax’s Regional Municipality Bylaws for Taxis and Limousines,
number 42 a) stipulates drivers must wear shoes and socks, keep their
attire in neat and tidy condition at all times, and absolutely cannot
wear a t-shirt.
- It was illegal for non-dark soft drinks to contain caffeine. Sprite,
Mountain Dew and other non-dark soft drinks couldn’t contain caffeine,
but that all changed in March 2010 with the advent of “energy drinks”
like Redbull. Now you can have caffeine in soft drinks like orange and
grape soda, however there is a limit, and it’s still lower than colas.
- It's illegal to build big snowmen in Souris, P.E.I. A local law warns residents against building
monstrous snowmen. If you live on a corner lot it’s against the law to
built a snowman taller than 30-inches.
- Thanks to lobbying by dairy farmers it was illegal to sell
butter-coloured margarine in Ontario until 1995. In fact, margarine was
altogether banned in Canada from 1886 to 1948 (there was a brief
reprieve during WW1).
- Keep Out of the Water in Toronto Harbour. According to the
Toronto Port Authority, you can’t swim anywhere in the harbour that
hasn’t been designated a swimming area by the City of Toronto.
- Keep Your Comics Clean. The way Canadian law currently stands, “Everyone commits an
offence who… (b) makes, prints, publishes, distributes, sells or has in
his possession for the purpose of publication, distribution or
circulation a crime comic.”
- Clotheslines Were Banned. Many Canadian communities long restricted the use of clotheslines
because they just didn’t like the look of them. Now because of increased
energy consciousness the provincial government has stepped in with a
ruling that overrides neighbourhood regulations.
- Keep Your Kids at Home in St. Paul, Alta. St. Paul residents
don’t have to worry about their kids sneaking out late at night. It’s
against the law for anyone 15 or younger to loiter in a public place
without supervision of a parent or guardian between 12:01 a.m. and 6
And you thought we had it bad!!!
A home-owner, here in the Crowsnest Pass, is making history. He is apparently the first ever person to sell a home, for an online currency called Bitcoin. Taylor More has listed his two-bedroom Coleman bungalow for approximately $405,000 in equivalent Bitcoins. Bitcoin's current exchange rate in Canada puts Taylor More's property cost at about 5786 Bitcoins.
This is a virtually untraceable online digital currency typically used for all kinds of small online purchases. It has also been used to make purchases, in person. There are a few stores in the US, that accept the currency, in store.
Pizzaforcoins.com made headline's in 2012 when a man ordered and then payed for his pizza using Bitcoin. It is also being accepted by a Toronto office space rental company.
Bitcoin was created in 2009 and is now quite a popular currency. Bitcoins are a futuristic concept, foreign to many people. It is a crypto-currency that exists only electronically. To explain it better, you can 'mine' Bitcoins using your computer as part of the network that supports them. When a transaction happens on one part of the network, it gets
sent to a person on another node and they can verify that. They then collect a small transaction fee which creates new value of
In turn, you can use these Bitcoins to buy goods and services, without using paper money.
For more information on Bitcoin, you can check out this link: Bitcoin
Taylor More, who inherited the Coleman family home, plans on using his Bitcoin for future planned projects. He mentions that even if someone wants to partially pay in Bitcoin that would be alright too. He is currently accepting offers and also making history.
Who will buy his house and have enough Bitcoin to do so. Stay tuned Crowsnest Pass, I'm sure we have not heard the last of this.
One must wonder though, is this Bitcoin our future in the making?? It is likened to the currency used in Neal Stephenson's 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash. Though it seems moreover "a peer-to-peer electronic currency uncontrolled by central bankers or
politicians and a perfect object for the anxieties and enthusiasms of
those frightened by the threats of inflation and currency debasement,
concerned about state power and the surveillance state, and fascinated
with the possibilities created by distributed, decentralized systems".
However, it makes me think that this just may be more of a start down the path to our own Brave New World.
Well, folks it's official. The Municipal Inspection is set to begin.
Russell Farmer & Associates Consulting Ltd. has been appointed to conduct the inspection of our Municipality. They will be inspecting the management, administration, and operations
of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.
Look out council!!
The inspection process is expected to take a couple of months. A number of consultants with the firm will be conducting the inspection. As well as inspecting the operations of the Municipality, they will also be conducting interviews with people around the community. In particular, key representatives of various groups and interested community members.
Russel Farmer was quoted as saying that anyone wishing to send them information or documents they feel relevant
to the inspection, or anyone wishing to be interviewed, can email them
The Ratepayers Association will be holding a General Public meeting onThursday March 21st, at 7:00 pm in the Coleman Legion. They will be discussing numerous topics including:
- Logo Issue
- P/R people
- Fire Plan
- Inspection update
- Open Discussion
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend.
I attended the new Crowsnest Pass Branding Unveiling Public Open House, tonight at the Elk's Hall (6:00 pm - 8:00 pm).
It seemed to be a very quiet affair. There were a few councillors milling around the room and several key Municipal higher-up's. I did not see the Mayor. He must have been gone by the time I got there, at 6:30 pm. Other than that, in the time that I was there, I could count on my two hands the number of the general public who turned out for the event.
Is this a sign of indifference or apathy? Or is it a sign of something bigger? Are people around here just finally fed up with how things are going!?!? Do they just not give a damn? Or are they protesting in their own way by not attending? The event was advertised, so I know it was not because they did not know it was happening.
Of course, you know that the Municipality media will put a very different spin on things. "It was a tremendous turnout!! Very well attended!!" -- Just you wait and see!! The pictures will show lots of people there. But those pictures will most likely be of the pre-public Gala. Key members of our community were invited before-hand for a very special Wine & Hor d'oeuvres Presentation.
If you didn't get a special fancy invitation, then you were not important enough.
I must say that the new Brand looked interesting enough.
The graphic is unique but fairly simplistic.The explanation behind it does make sense, in it's own way. I have posted a picture of it below this post. The Catch Phrase is appealing. I am sure some people will love it.
However, I must say that by the time I got home, I had forgotten what it was. It was a good thing I bought home the printed material because I have had to refer to it a couple of times, to remind myself what it is. In fact, as I sit here writing this post, I had to glance at it again to refresh my memory. That can not be a good sign. Either I am getting old and losing my memory or the slogan they picked just isn't catchy enough.
Maybe it's a bit of both.
Well, I'll let you decide. Have a peak below. Soon enough it will be everywhere and on everything Municipality related. It is our New BRAND!!! It is "Naturally Rewarding".
For more information on the new branding go here
OR: Click on Picture's Below to Enlarge and read explanation.
|Monthly Ratepayer's Public Meeting
Wednesday January 23rd, at 7:00 pm
Location: Coleman Legion - Upstairs
New members encouraged to attend. Memberships will be available for $5.00.
Topics of discussion:
- Update on Crowsnest Pass Municipal Inspection
- December 21st Meeting with CAO Myron Thompson
- Contractors & Consultants Costs
- Municipal Master Fire Plan
- Open discussion and Q & A to follow
This is a good explanation of Bill C-45. Click on the photo below to see it enlarged.
Cliff” put in a much better perspective.
* U.S. Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
* Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
* New debt: $1,650,000,000,000
* National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
* Recent budget cuts: $38,500,000,000
Let's now remove 8 zeros and pretend it's a household budget:
* Annual family income: $21,700
* Money the family spent: $38,200
* New debt on the credit card: $16,500
* Outstanding balance on the credit
* Total budget cuts so far: $38.50
Got It ??
Lesson # 2:
way to look at the Debt Ceiling:
Let's say -
You come home from work and find there has been a
sewer backup in your neighborhood....
and your home has sewage all the way
up to your ceilings.
What do you think you should do ......
Raise the ceilings, or remove the crap?
Hoping your Holidays with your Family and Friends is a Healthy and Happy one.
May all the Blessings of the Season be upon you!!
NEWS RELEASE | Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Mayor and Council Welcome Minister's Involvement
Inquiry will help to confirm practices and policies of Crowsnest Pass
(Crowsnest Pass, AB.) Yesterday, in a letter sent
to Crowsnest Pass Mayor Bruce Decoux, Alberta's Minister of Municipal Affairs
Doug Griffiths advised that he will conduct a municipal inspection of the policies
and practices of the municipality in response to a petition received by his
office. According to the Minister's letter, the objective of the inspection was
"to support the role of Council and administration in providing local
government services in the community."
"We welcome Minister Griffith's review of our
community's practices and policies and appreciate the inspection's importance
in clarifying the value of the services and decisions that we make each and
every day to support Crowsnest Pass," said Mayor Bruce Decoux. "We
value the fact that the Municipal Government Act within this province allows
for checks and balances in the operations of local governments so as to protect
communities and individuals. Having an oversight system in place strengthens
democracy and helps to build strong and vibrant communities," said Decoux.
Mayor Decoux and Council are determined to ensure
that community members feel confident in their local government and the
decisions that are made on behalf of our citizens. According to the Minister's
letter, an inspector will be appointed who will have broad access to any matter
connected with the management, administration or operation of the municipality.
Once complete, the inspection report is generally presented in an advertised
"Council and our administration will continue
to serve in an open and transparent manner and we will continue to be
accessible to the community we serve and to make decisions that will strengthen
our community which we all value," said Mayor Decoux. "We will do
everything in our power to support the Ministry of Municipal Affairs as it
moves forward with its inspection."
For more information contact:
Thompson, Chief Administrative Officer Municipality of Crowsnest Pass email@example.com |
I was forwarded this letter today and asked to post it. It is written by Marilyn Milley. It's a bit long, but well worth the read. Here it is in it's entirety.
In my opinion
Let’s talk about change
Change is only a good thing if it evolves responsibly, at
an even pace and involves participation by the people who will be
affected by change. This describes positive change. Change, which is
introduced for change’s sake alone soon becomes unacceptable and
negative and no one benefits from it. The changes put forth by our
mayor and council and administration over the past 24 months are
described as changes for our own good whether we agree with them or
not. This all began with the new hiring policy. Council hired Kevin
Robins as an interim CAO who was going to change the Crowsnest Pass and
create a utopia for the citizens. To help his quest on its way the
municipality hired Mr. Robins business partner of Transition Solutions
to re-write our antiquated bylaws. ( a direct conflict of interest).
This venture alone cost us $204,000 and when the contract between
Transition Solutions was up and Ms. Tona left the area there were still
bylaws which needed clarifying. CAO Gord Lundy hired a works
superintendent who began changing the department by purchasing equipment
which was very costly and (a back hoe) unnecessary. When Mr. Robins as
interim CAO left his position here, mayor and council promoted the
works superintendent to the position of CAO. Myron Thompson began his
mission to restructure the Volunteer Fire Department. Mayor and council
acting upon the CAO’s direction began following a new organizational
chart which involved new positions within the administration. Within a
few short months we were introduced to the nouveau consultants, none of
which were selected locally. We now have a Director for this, a
Director for that, an assistant for the Director for this and an
assistant for the Director for that, followed by a new fire chief as the
very experienced volunteer fire chief was fired. Next came the two
peace officers. The positions filled by these strangers became evident
when their rules and regulations were introduced and imposed upon the
existing work staff and the taxpayers who were there to pick up the tab
for these changes. To top it off the new fire chief is not qualified to
conduct a fire safety inspection and that has to be contracted out.
At least 90% of these bureaucratic positions are held by
persons who are described as experts in their field and because they do
not own property in the community they don’t contribute to our taxes.
The Director of Community and Protective services is an old hat
firefighter with 37 years of experience in firefighting and he does not
hold any certificates for Facilities Management, or Law enforcement
training. What we have here are a network of consultants who are
working here following their own personal agenda and don’t have our best
interests at heart. All of these changes have cost us dearly and
there’s more to come. The peace officers are supposed to pay their own
way and so far that is just a pipe dream. We now have to pay for
contracted firefighters who earn an exorbitant fee. Why inflict this
change upon us when we had a very efficient, very proud and committed,
experienced and highly trained fire department which cost us pennies in
relation to what we have to fork out now.
Incidentally if one does research on the nouveau
consultants one finds that the majority have a checkered background and
that council is scraping the bottom of the barrel in employing these
Mayor Council and Administration have raised every fee, permit and
service cost squeezing every nickel they can out of us. For example:
Our permits and safety code fees have been raised by, in some cases over
400%. This kind of change is hard to swallow. Even our dog licenses
are going up by 300% in January 2013.
Look around the community. There is only one library left
and the citizens who do not have travel access to it from Bellevue are
left without a favorite pastime they had enjoyed for many years. There
still remains the Business at Hand left by the previous council. The
Crowsnest Centre stills remains in derelict condition, River run
property is a disaster. Coal slack pile hazardous materials exposed to
the elements and an eyesore to the passerby. The car dumps and the
empty stores tell of citizens giving up and leaving the area (350 this
year alone). We have lost our oldest industrial tax base when Devon
closed the plant and moved on. Our revenue is dwindling but council
feels that they can keep on raising the fees, taxes, services and things
will keep on running, the money being squandered upon our bureaucrats
and their ideas. I resent the high franchise fees on my electricity
bill which now costs me $470.00 a year and this money from my retirement
fund is not being used wisely. Eg: $45,000 municipal donation to Rum
Runner Days, a party thrown by this community to entertain people from
Southern Alberta. For whose benefit, certainly not mine. This is
lauded as change and progress. Before you can have progress you must
have growth and that is a situation which do not have.
I have no faith in this mayor, council or bureaucratic
administration and the sad fact is that that does not matter for they
are staying the course no matter what the cost and because they have the
power and resources we are told that the Strategic plan is for our
benefit. Put up, shutup and payup. That explains the strategic plan as
it is being pushed through in a matter of three years by this council
and not spread over the ten year period it was designed for. Joseph
Stalin had a strategic plan in Russia and he referred to it as a five
year plan. If the citizens disagreed with it, or spoke out about it
then they were whisked off to a Gulag in Siberia.
The only thing lacking in this administration is the fact
that they don’t have a paid washroom attendant. They obviously are
enjoying everything else, excellent pay, excellent benefits and they
don’t even have to pay taxes as they don’t own property here. These
people have a stranglehold on the residents of this community and the
mayor and council accept and approve of the fact. They just don’t get
it. How’s that for change?
CROWSNEST PASS RATEPAYERS MEETING
To be held on
WEDNESDAY DECEMBER 5 @ 7:00 P.M.
In the BELLEVUE LEGION
Progress report on the
Discussion of G&P
There is power and strength in numbers
Letter of Acknowledgement that the Ratepayers Association received from the Honorable Doug Griffiths, Dated November 19th, 2012.
November 19, 2012
Mr. William Kovach Petitioners Representative
PO Box 46
Hillcrest Mines, AB T0K1C0
Dear Mr. Kovach:
Thank you for the submission of a petition,
which I received on November 1, 2012, requesting that I conduct an inquiry into
the affairs of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.
The Municipal Government Actrequires that I appoint a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the purpose of
determining the sufficiency of the petition. Attached is a copy of Ministerial
Order No. L234/12, appointing Faye Sheridan of Municipal Affairs as the CAO for
The CAO has 30 days from the date the petition was received to
report back to me on the sufficiency of the petition.
Once I receive this report, I will advise you of the findings.
Doug Griffiths Minister
Legislature Building, Edmonton, Alberta T5K 2B6 Canada Telephone 780-427-3744
ALBERTA MUNICIPAL AFFAIRS
Office of the Minister
MINISTERIAL ORDER NO. L:234/12
I, Doug Griffiths, Minister of Municipal Affairs, pursuant to Section
220 of the Municipal Government Act, make the following order:
That Ms. Faye Sheridan is appointed to carry out the duties of a
Chief Administrative Officer with respect to the petition received on
November 1, 2012, regarding the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.
Dated at Edmonton, Alberta, this 19th day of November 2012.
Minister of Municipal Affairs
History of Daylight Saving Time
Why do we change the clocks to Summer Time?
The idea of a better use of daylight originates with
Benjamin Franklin, one of America's Founding Fathers:
Benjamin Franklin in a letter to the editors of the Journal
of Paris in 1784 wrote:
"I was the other evening in a grand company, where the
new lamp of Messrs. Quinquet and Lange
was introduced, and much admired for its splendor; but a general inquiry was made, whether the
oil it consumed was not in proportion to the light it afforded, in which case
there would be no saving in the use of it.
No one present could satisfy us in that point, which all agreed ought to
be known, it being a very desirable thing to lessen, if possible, the expense
of lighting our apartments, when every other article of family expense was so
I was pleased to see this general concern for economy, for I
love economy exceedingly.
I went home, and to bed, three or four hours after midnight,
with my head full of the subject. An accidental sudden noise waked me about six
in the morning, when I was surprised to find my room filled with light; and I
imagined at first, that a number of those lamps had been brought into it; but,
rubbing my eyes, I perceived the light came in at the windows. I got up and
looked out to see what might be the occasion of it, when I saw the sun just
rising above the horizon, from whence he poured his rays plentifully into my
chamber, my domestic having negligently omitted, the preceding evening, to
close the shutters.
I looked at my watch, which goes very well, and found that
it was but six o'clock; and still thinking it something extraordinary that the
sun should rise so early, I looked into the almanac, where I found it to be the
hour given for his rising on that day. I looked forward, too, and found he was
to rise still earlier every day till towards the end of June; and that at no
time in the year he retarded his rising so long as till eight o'clock. Your
readers, who with me have never seen any signs of sunshine before noon"...
He calculated that the citizens of Paris, France were
burning 127 million candles per year unnecessarily each year.
Benjamin Franklin proposed:
A tax: "on
every window that is provided with shutters to keep out the light of the
"Let guards be placed in the shops of the wax and tallow chandlers and no
family be permitted to be supplied with more than one pound of candles per
A curfew after dark: "Let guards also be
posted to stop all the coaches that would pass the streets after sunset, except
those of physicians, surgeons, and midwives."
clocks: "Every morning, as soon as the sun rises, let all the bells in
every church be set ringing; and if that is not sufficient?, let cannon be
fired in every street, to wake the sluggards effectually, and make them open
their eyes to see their true interest."
The ideas lie dormant for 120 years...
120 years after Benjamin Franklin wrote a letter to the
editors of the Journal of Paris in 1784.
Daylight Saving Time, or Summer Time as it is known in
Britain, was proposed by William Willett
(1857 - 1915), who was a London builder living in Petts Wood in Kent.
In 1907 Willett's circulated a pamphlet to many Members of
Parliament, town councils, businesses and other organizations, he outlined that
for nearly half the year the sun shines upon the land for several hours each
day while we are asleep, and is rapidly nearing the horizon, having already
passed its western limit, when we reach home from work before it is over.
His proposal was to improve health and happiness by
advancing the clocks twenty minutes on each of four Sundays in April, and by
reversing this idea by the same amount on four Sundays in September. He
reckoned that it would not only improve health and happiness but it would save
the country £2.5 million pounds, that was also taking into account the loss of
earnings to the producers of artificial light.
Though the scheme was ridiculed and met with considerable
opposition, a Daylight Saving Bill was introduced in 1909, though it met with no
success before war broke out.
The idea of daylight saving time was first put into practice
by the German government during the First World War. In an effort to conserve fuel Germany and
Austria began saving daylight at 11 p.m. on the 30th of April, 1916, by
advancing the the clock one hour until October 1, 1916.
Britain (UK) began 3 weeks later, on 21 May 1916. This was
immediately followed by other countries in Europe, Belgium, Denmark, France,
Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, and Turkey.
Sadly, William had died the previous year so never saw his
idea put into effect.
In 1917, Australia, Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, Canada
On March 19, 1918, the U.S. Congress established several
time zones (which were already in use by railroads and most cities since 1883)
and made daylight saving time official (which went into effect on March 31) for
the remainder of World War I. It was observed for seven months in 1918 and
Most countries abandoned Daylight Saving Time after the war
had finished , most reintroduced it eventually, and some even began to keep it
throughout the year.
In 1968 to 1971 Britain tried the experiment of keeping BST
- to be called British Standard Time - throughout the year, largely for
commercial reasons because Britain would then conform to the time kept by other
European Countries. This was not good for the school children of Scotland as it
meant they had to always go to School in the dark. The experiment was
eventually abandoned in 1972, Britain has kept GMT in winter and BST in summer.
Information courtesy of Daylight-Saving-Time.com
Well, the petition has made it's way up north, to Edmonton, yesterday, Thursday November 1st, 2012. The petition has just over 2500 names of concerned Crowsnest Pass residents, asking for the intervention of the Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Honourable Doug Griffiths, into the Municipality, including the CAO, CFO, Mayor and council.
A delegation, made up of several of the Executive of the Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers, tried to present the petition the Minister of Municipal Affairs himself. However, Mr. Griffiths was unavailable to meet with this Crowsnest Pass contingent, in person. Instead, his Press Secretary met the group and accepted the petition on his behalf. The Press Secretary talked briefly to the group while the media filmed this meeting.
Back here in the Pass, rumors and questions abound.
The big question being: "Will the Minister intervene?"
Time will only tell.
CTV Lethbridge and Global have the story. You can watch them below:
There are over 1.5 million accidents involving deer per year.
Deer accidents send 10,000 people to the hospital. Every year as many as 200
people are killed in deer related car accidents. Imagine how many deer are
injured and left to die after being struck by a vehicle.
As we encroach further and further upon wildlife habitats, man
and wildlife are both struggling to co-exist; each with as few as casualties as
It is especially difficult here in the Crowsnest Pass, with Highway 3 traversing the valley's corridor. More and more collisions are
occurring and both death to these wildlife and damage to personal property is a
There is a saying I once heard when I first moved here.
are two kinds of people. There are those who have hit a deer and those who have
yet to hit a deer.
As of last Thursday, I am now one of the former. This deer
just came out of nowhere. It actually was in mid-flight when it jumped into the
front passenger corner of my car.
Luckily, damage to my car was minimal. The head
light came partially off. The front fender is crumpled in and the passenger
door was pushed under the fender, preventing it from opening. The deer did get
up and stumble off, only to run in front of an oncoming train. It was not that
deer’s day. I am fine, my car can be repaired and my nerves are recovering.
What I can offer to you is some well heeded advice:
Obviously the best advice is to try to avoid coming in contact
with a deer while driving. You can help make this happen by making it a point
to slow down when you see a deer. Deer can be unpredictable. Even if it has
already crossed the road, it could suddenly dart out again.
When you see one deer, it usually means there are others close
by. Be ready to drive defensively and to react to avoid an accident. Deer are
nocturnal animals and tend to begin grazing at dusk. This is the time that you
should be paying closer attention when you are driving.
If you are about to hit a deer, it is not a good idea to try
to swerve off the road or into oncoming traffic to try to avoid it. Hitting
another car or a tree head on could cause even more severe damage. If you hit a
deer, you should then pull over to the side of the road, as soon as possible, if possible.
After the Crash:
Here are some other things to do:
First of all, stay calm.
Avoid contact with the deer, its hooves or
Call 911 or ask another driver to do so.
Set up road flares if you have any in your
emergency kit or put on your four way flashers (hazard lights).
Contact your insurance policy provider.
Once you've done this and the dust settles, hopefully both you and the deer can
survive the crash with little to no injury.
CTV Lethbridge shared a story yesterday about how some
concerned citizens in Southern Alberta are taking steps to improve the safety
of both wildlife and drivers.
You can watch the story here:
It's great to see a local business celebrating such success. The Stone's Throw Cafe is celebrating it's ninth year in business, here in the Crowsnest Pass.
There was a great article in this week's publication of Shootin' the Breeze.
Congratulations Steve and Jessica!! Here's to another successful 9 years!!
Check out the article below:
Nine years, Baby!
a decade ago, Blairmore became home to Steve and Jessica Atkinson. Only
a month after they arrived, the couple opened Stone’s Throw Cafe, and
this weekend they’re celebrating nine years of business.
in Saturday between 2 and 5 p.m. for some free coffee and cake, and
don’t forget to bring along whatever you are willing to share with
Crowsnest Pass Food Bank.
spring, Steve and Jessica put together a food drive that attracted 370
pounds of goods from their friends and customers. They’ll be accepting
donations until Nov. 9, and hope to triple the previous haul with extra
traffic generated by the anniversary party.
“Our customers have become great friends of ours, and we know they’ll contribute to the success of the drive,” Jessica says.
and Jessica moved to the Pass from Jasper. They had a vision for their
business, but the idea had already been done there. So, they pulled out a
map and looked for a mountain town with appeal. Jessica vividly recalls
their first visit to Crowsnest Pass in April 2003. “It was in the
middle of a snowstorm and you couldn’t see the mountains at all,” she
says. After a few more visits, though, they knew they had found their
the Atkinsons are involved community members who have created a
successful business. Their family has grown with the addition of sons
Avery and Miles, and a third child is on the way. “This is the place for
us, and it feels like we’ve always lived here,” Jessica says.
and Jessica both work full time, and over the years the balance between
work and life has improved. Once working 70 hours per week, Jessica
says it’s now just over 40 thanks to their great employees. “Our staff
are reliable, and we have 100 per cent trust in them,” she says. “It’s
difficult to find people who will work hard, love their job and take
pride in a business like an owner would.”
you check out the cafe’s Facebook page, you’ll see the majority of
posts are related to community events and information. If you follow the
cafe on Twitter you may find yourself salivating over the daily lunch
Throw Cafe had a soft opening in November 2003.
“We didn’t even have a
sign, but enough people came,” Jessica says. “They told their friends,
and through word of mouth we’ve been able to evolve and grow.”
the menu you’ll find all-day breakfast, desserts, homemade soups,
sandwiches and salads. You can wash this down with a cup of fresh coffee
roasted by Crowsnest Coffee Company or Cupper’s of Lethbridge.
Throw Cafe is open Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and
Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. You can find them across from the gazebo
on Blairmore’s main street.
Steve and Jessica Atkinson are
celebrating nine years in business with Stone’s Throw Cafe – and
supporting Crowsnest Pass Food Bank at the same time.
Story and photo by Shannon Robin
This article was taken from the Oct. 31 print edition of Shootin’ the Breeze.
The following is the CTV news story update on the Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers petition, reported on October 30, 2012.
It includes an short interview with our mayor Bruce Decoux.
More than 40% of the eligible Pass residents have signed the petition. The petition has 2485 signatures.
Watch the news story below:
I was sent a link to a recent article, in the High River Times, about the Lost Lemon Mine. It puts a very interesting spin on the tale. Enjoy the article below:
Pawlitzki's People: Lafayette French and the lost Lemon Mine
By Amanda Pawlitzki, High River Times - Tuesday, October 30
I thought it would be fitting for this week’s Pawlitzki’s People to
profile someone from the town’s past and a person who is no longer with
us. Someone who may or may not have been a part of a curse.
Chances are if you grew up in High River or by the Crowsnest Pass
area, you have heard of the lost Lemon Mine. Legend has it that a
prospector named Lafayette French hired two men by the name of Black
Jack and Lemon to find a mine presumed to be full of gold.
I met with Pat Markley for the Museum of the Highwood and with
Markley’s help I came up with some questions and answers using
information on French and the lost Lemon Mine. Happy Halloween everyone!
When did you first come to High River?
French: I was born in 1840 in Pennsylvania and was a buffalo hunter, trader and prospect.
I came to Canada and operated a trading post at Blackfoot Crossing. I
was asked to leave by the Northwest Mounted Police, I was not running a
100 per cent legit business.
When I came to High River, I knew I wanted to be an upstanding businessman and be legitimate.
My business partner O.H Smith and I opened up the first stopping house in High River. That was in 1879.
What else did you bring to High River?
French: My business partner O.H Smith and I not only started the
first legitimate business in High River with the stopping house, we also
had the first herd of cattle, we broke the first sod, raised the first
grain and vegetables, dug the first irrigation ditch and owned the first
pig in Southern Alberta.
I was an entrepreneur and loved to make money.
We also ran a post office out of the stopping house and people could drop letters off and pick letters up there.
Tell me how you fit into the story of the lost Lemon Mine?
French: There was a lot of interest in my day to find gold, everyone was going up into the hills and looking for the big strike.
I decided to bankroll two prospectors to go into the hills for me and
look for gold. Those prospectors where Black Jack and Lemon.
Lemon told me they found the motherload but he lost his mind and killed Black Jack with a pickaxe.
After realizing what he had done, Lemon buried Black Jack. The next day Lemon took off towards the United States.
I arranged to meet with Lemon but the closer we got to where the mine
was suppose to be, the crazier Lemon became, and finally he had a
complete breakdown and ran off, never to be seen again.
What was your demise? Did you ever find the mine?
French: I could not give up in my pursuit of finding the lost Lemon Mine.
Every summer I would leave my business partner O.H Smith to run the stopping house while I looked for the mine.
In December of 1912 I was on my way back from one of my trips and I
sent a letter to Dan Riley who gave me money to look for the mine that I
had great news to tell him.
I stopped at George Emerson’s cabin, close to High River and during
the night the cabin was burnt to the ground, I was severely burnt but
walked all night in the snow until I passed out in a bunk in bunk house
and some cowboys heard me moaning and took me to the High River
I died before Dan Riley had a chance to see me.
They say my death, Lemon’s craziness and the death and misfortune of
so many others that tried to find the Lost Lemon Mine was a curse.
Apparently members of the Stoney Band witnessed what Lemon had done
to Black Jack and then altered the site by moving rocks around.
The Stoney Chief did not put a curse on the area, but told people that the site was cursed and should stay away.
I guess no one will know what really happened and if there is a curse
or a lost Lemon Mine. As for my final resting place, I am buried in the
High River Cemetery under the road. If you go to Range G Plot 1 that is
where I am buried.
No headstone for me just a marker by the grave of
John Schwoob. A rather sad ending to such a fascinating life.
The facts about the
action item in the Community Strategic Action Plan — The Crowsnest Pass does not need 2
The Library Board presented a
recommendation to Municipal Council in June 2011, to close the Bellevue
Council made a motion at this
meeting to accept the Board’s recommendation. Council voted 3 in favour, 3 against so the
motion was defeated. Three of the Board
members handed in
letters of resignation. The following
week Municipal Council called a special meeting to have
another vote. The vote this time was unanimous to accept the Board’s recommendation
to close the Bellevue
Why did three councilors
change their minds? The Board members
were then asked to withdraw
their resignation, and they did.
The Bellevue Library was closed on June
The Library Board did
a press release on June 3/2011 that stated “there are no plans to change
On August 17/2011, I
received a hand delivered letter from the Chair of the Board. “This letter
serves to confirm that my
employment with the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Library, and all benefits,
is TERMINATED WITHOUT
CAUSE, effective August 17/2012. This
termination is considered “working notice”.
Imagine how I felt,
that in a years’ time, I would no longer be working in my profession that I had
been employed in for 20
To add insult to injury the Board had provided a false press release to
the public about staffing.
Press release on August 26/2011, states, by
the Chair of the Board, “that a Library Technician is being sought for a term position.
Library Board hired a full time Library
Technician on October 3/2011.
Her position, Senior
Library Manager of the Crowsnest Pass Library. A full time position is not a term position.
How has this action
affected the community?
Is the service
more efficient, more effective, and more
These questions can only be answered by the
public who are using the public service, or by the public who
are no longer using the public service.
Paid memberships were down in 2011. However, was it more cost-effective?
The Library Board is no longer maintaining two
libraries and are employing one less full time staff (approx. $28,000/year).
Fact -- The
Library Board requested an increase in budget for 2012.
The Board received $98,304.00 in 2011 from
The Board requested $112,500.00 for 2012 and Municipal
Council approved this increase.
Crowsnest Pass Library still needs work done to make it wheelchair accessible. There will still be costs to the
taxpayer (whether through grants or more budget
increases) to make the
Crowsnest Pass library wheelchair accessible. Currently there is no wheel chair access to the
basement, the bathrooms and there is no automatic door opener at the main door
of the Library.
The Library Board also
receives funding from the Provincial Government based on per capita. The amount received for 2012 was
The structure of Alberta
Library Service by the Public Library Services Branch
supports four principles for equitable public library service. Access is one of these principles and states
“Albertans have an equal right to access information regardless of economic,
I would hope that the
Library Board is planningdon providing a book mobile service for the community knowing
that much of our population are seniors and based on the geographics of the
Please note that there
is council representation on this Board so Municipal Council and administration were all aware of the changes that have taken place and the
Boards false press releases.
I did not
notice any commentary by the Municipal Council in their “As a matter of fact” report
to the community about there structuring of
public library service.
There was also no
mention about the library in the Municipality’s audit on facilities or any
mention of the library in the triennial budget.
Fact - In 2012 the Library will
serve 10% of the population at a cost of $143,832.00 to the
taxpayer (municipal and provincial funding).
These facts about
library restructuring were not mentioned in the Municipal Council’s "As a Matter
of Fact" that was submitted in
the local newspapers.
Payers Response to the Municipal Advertising of October 22,2012
First of all we would like to thank the
Municipal Administration and Council for releasing to the media and the public
the financial information that we have been requesting for the last three
months. Obviously, the Municipality has access to much more information, plus a
dedicated paid administrative staff with the time to work on putting together a
very informative response, to the rate payers flyer that was released to the
public last week.
Let’s review our comments of last week and
see what the municipality confirmed or corrected:
Taxes are climbing every year,
this year we the taxpayers will pay $387,331
more in property taxes than we did in 2010 this was confirmed by the municipal
Utility bills with previous
information we had, we showed our utility bills jumping from $182,054 per month
in 2010 to $201,945 per month a jump of $238,700 per year. Administrations
numbers show us going from $180,176 a month to $196,037 in 2012. For a total
increase of $190,343 for 2012 versus
2010, thankfully the 4.5% increase was only for the second half of 2012.
Franchise Fees in 2010 were
bringing in $295,551 today we are
paying $569,749 a difference of $274,198. Administration did in fact
confirm this number to be correct. They also shared some additional information
with us they answered the question, “Are
Franchise Fees a tax? No”.
These three numbers above we
previously stated added up to a difference of $900,029 per year thanks to the clarification provided by
administration the increase came to a total of $851,872. Administration also confirmed that Franchise Fees are
projected to increase $336,945 next
year plus an additional $35,224 in
property taxes. Which means in real terms instead of transferring $1,400,000 from the taxpayers pockets
next year versus 2010 it will be a more palatable $1,224,041.
Municipal hiring there as been
much debate about exactly how the numbers break down between Administration,
Office, Outside etc. Finally we have had clarification on October 2010 there
were 49 staff employed (Administration/CUPE) versus 57 today. An increase of 8 employees, which will be covered of
later when we show the municipal payroll numbers.
Consultants fees were incurred
during the recruitment of administration staff and to fill roles while the
recruitment was underway. We look forward to administration providing a more up
to date breakdown of Consultants/External Contractor costs in the near future.
Debt we have a very difficult time
pin pointing from the municipal press release exactly how the municipality funded equipment
purchases from 2007-2010 hopefully administration can clarify this for the
The ratepayers have other
concerns which we will be discussing further with our membership, in the
meantime we would like to thank everybody that has given their time, support
and efforts to allow a very large group of concerned rate payers the
opportunity to be heard.
This letter was forwarded to me. I encourage more people to send similar letters, email, or call the Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Honourable Doug Griffiths, about what is going on here in our community.
Dear Mr Griffiths;
It is with great concern that I am
writing to you about the high handedness of the Council, mayor and
others in power here in the Crowsnest Pass. The letting go of the
Volunteer Firemen is just the icing on the cake! There are so many
problems with this Council that I am sure you have been advised by the
Rate Payers Association and many others. I have lived in the Pass for a
number of years and always felt very proud to tell people where I am
Recently, that has changed and not for the best.........
My son was
looking to buy a home in the Pass but due to all the negative happenings
and ever increasing taxes with all the spending council has done, he
proceeded to purchase a home in Pincher Creek, home prices being more
reasonable, taxes lower and most of all when he inquired about what he
could or could not do with the property he was about to purchase, was
very pleased with the answers. Everything being very positive, not like
it would have been being refused this or that which he wanted to do
with possible property in The Pass or facing large charges for permits
etc. Please take our problems seriously and help us to get control of
this Council before it is too late to recover.............
I remain, respectfully yours............
Barbara A Corkum,
I was just reminded tonight, from someone who I deeply respect and admire, that sometimes I need to think before I post.
have happily made references, or even direct quotes, from other
people's Blogs, online news sites, and other printed material, here, on
my own Blog. Most often I am very good at giving credit to the person or
place that I got the information from.
Usually I will place a link, or direct link, to the source of the information. I will quote who said it or post where I got the information from. I may copy parts of the story and then provide a link to the entire story. I may even post an entire article with the author or source provided.
However, every once in awhile, I fall short. I forget to give credit where credit is due. I leave out the source of the information that I am posting.
really do not do it intentionally. In fact, I think we have all done it
more than a few times. We hear or see a great quote or saying and use
it without thought or consequence of who said it or where it came from.
They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
I know that I can say that I have personally flattered a few people, during my life, with my imitation of sorts.
But back to the specific issue at hand.
I quoted a fellow Blogger, here on my own Blog, on a couple of occasions. Only I did not credit him for this information.
As many of us do, I copied and pasted the information.
I have to say in my defense that I did not sign it, or take credit for it. Nor, did I put myself the author of it. However, I also did not credit this person for it, as I should have. I just copied and pasted it on my Blog.
A simple thing really. Just copy and paste. No thought about it.
However, it is really a such dangerous ability.
Many of our children are doing it each
and every day. They do it without thinking or consequence. They go
online, research the information, copy and paste it, and then write the
essay and call it their own.
Similar things are happening all over North America, in Universities everywhere. Students are paying for other people to do their work and then they sign their own name to it and turn it in as their own work.
They give no thought to the person who spent countless time and energy researching and writing the information.
Picasso once said "Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal".
My interpretation of what he probably meant by that is that every person is influenced by what has been said and done before. If not directly, then it is influenced by their exposure to other people, the media etc. We are all the product of our environments and what happens around us each and every day. We expand upon our own knowledge and have the benefit of those who have done similar things before us to draw from.
We all borrow information because most of what we know comes from other sources that have already done the preliminary work before us. To merely copy something is to take an existing interpretation and not run away with it, but give credit to where we got it. To steal an idea, is to take something of value and to make our own.
But I digress away from my original point; giving proper credit where credit is due.
I have fell short on this, on a number of occasions. For this, I am truly remiss. I sincerely apologize to you, my readers, for failing to give proper credit where this credit is due.
I promise I will endeavor, in the future, to always note the author or source of my information. It is only fair to everyone.
To the source of some of my recent information, I sincerely apologize to you, for failing to give proper credit. I will do so, from now on. Please accept my humblest apologies. I hope that you will forgive me, and understand it was not to slight you in any way. It most cases, it is nothing more than an oversight on my part. My being in a hurry to post and not taking the time to stop and think.
There are always consequences in everything we do and say. We should always take the time to think about those consequences before we act or put our name on something. I know that I will from now on.
To the person who reminded me of my indiscretion, and doing so, by giving me a good swift kick in the arse, I appreciate it. Thank you, my friend.
Sincerely, Sasha JaegerBaird
|There was a great article in Today's Pass Herald regarding the petition that the Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers have been circulating.
Petition Exceeding Expectations
by Lindsay Goss
petition that was distributed on Thursday, October 11th by the
Ratepayers Association received more signatures than the Association
The petition received between 1,200 and
1,300 signatures within the first week of releasing it to the public.
After it is collected back from the public, it
will then be presented to Minister of Municipal Affairs Officer Doug
Griffiths in hopes that he will intervene and open an inquiry into the
municipality, with focus on the actions of the CAO, CFO, Administration
and Mayor and Council.
The petition’s goal was to reach 1500 signatures.
You can read the entire article here
At the time of my posting this, there are now well over 2000 signatures.
In Today's Pass Herald there is a Letter to the Editor from Ratepayer Melody Michalsky.
It pretty much sums up what many people in the Crowsnest Pass are thinking and feeling.
As copied directly from the Pass Herald, here it is in it's entirety:
Without respect for the members of this community you are not leading
The following letter was sent to Mayor Decoux and council.
I am a Rate Payer, a mother of a Fireman and a wife of a Fireman. Most
importantly, I am a citizen of the Crowsnest Pass. I have heard your CAO
speak on the radio and have read documentation of your responses to the
Rate Payers in your special meeting of Oct. 9, 2012. I have concerns
regarding your leadership, your vision and most importantly your
implementation of that vision.
I recognize change is difficult for everyone at every level of life. How
change is implemented is the critical element that determines how well
people accept and embrace change. You are currently under a great deal
of criticism due to the methods you have used to bring about change.
It is well known within any organization that the process by which you
bring in change is more critical than the change itself. Companies,
individuals, and governments can make wonderful changes but if not done
right will not have the backing and support of people.
Your process has left this community angry, hurt and bewildered. Your
lack of attention to a good change process has led many citizens of this
community to feel under-valued, bullied, and hurt. This is not the
fault of the citizens but of the leadership.
As I said before I am a mother and spouse to Firemen. Your CAO refers to
them as employees and due to their protest expressed justification in
sending them termination letters. He has portrayed them as
unprofessional and discredited their countless years of committed
service to this community.
I have in the past 17 years watched my family members leap out of bed in
the middle of the night, stand for hours on a roadside flagging traffic
in brutal conditions and attack structure fires. They deliver food
hampers, host activities for charities and go to schools to teach
youngsters Fire Safety. Yes, they were provided a pittance of income for
some of these efforts but in their minds they were doing it as
volunteers and the funds provided to them was of no consequence. The
pride they felt at serving their community was immense. They met each
challenge with professionalism and commitment.
Your CAO took the opportunity of a demonstration to strip them of that
pride and devalue their incredible contributions as volunteers. I found
it intriguing that the Reporter of CBC repeatedly and accurately
referred to our Firemen as Volunteers and your CAO repeatedly referred
to them as employees. This diminished their contribution and implied a
Master/Servant relationship. Despite his insistence that the Firemen
were employees the local paper now has an ad "recruiting volunteer Fire
Fighters." Where is the honesty, integrity, and ethics in our
Members of the Pool Board have as well received termination letters. More volunteers devalued.
You speak of a master plan, moving to the future, bringing the Crowsnest
Pass into the 21st century. Is that a lofty enough goal to destroy the
community spirit in the process? Truly the end does not warrant the
Your devaluation of Volunteers within this community has caused the
anger and the opposition. You cannot lead people by force. A good leader
sets out a course, engages people and encourages and supports along the
way. A good leader recognizes the strengths and contributions of those
they are leading. You, as a Mayor and Council need to learn how to lead a
change process if you want it to be successful and if you wish to
remain in a leadership role.
Lastly I must comment on your remarks that you were voted in to bring in
change. Yes, change was needed as we previously had a Council that was
very divided. You have achieved unity within Council but to agree with
each other yet not be connected to the community, what good is your
unity? Without solid communication, on going consultation, and respect
for the members of this community you are not leading.
There will be a Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers Association General Public Meeting, Wednesday October 24th, in the Blairmore Legion, at 7:00 p.m.
Everyone is welcome and strongly encouraged to attend.
Topics of discussion:
- Update on the petition
- Budget information
- Open discussion
There is power and strength in numbers
FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICES UPDATE
most of you know, RCMP and the Explosives Regulatory Division of
Natural Resources Canada removed 640 kilograms of explosives from a
storage room in the Blairmore fire station early Tuesday morning. The
Municipality now considers this matter closed. An audit is being
conducted by an outside agency into the station’s operational processes
and finances. The Fire Services Master Plan will be rolled out in the
very near future and will enhance the operational capacity and training
for the local firefighters. A joint training session for all stations
was held on Wednesday evening, October 17 at Station 24
where approximately 25 fire service personnel were in attendance.
Equipment from all stations participated in the training exercise.
Crowsnest Pass Fire Rescue current staffing compliment is 45 fire personnel as of October 18,
2012. We can respond to any incident with a minimum of 15 personnel
which surpasses industry best practices. We are committed to provide
the level of service expected by our citizens. More information and
updates will follow on our progressive plan to move forward.
INTERESTED IN BECOMING A PAID-ON-CALL FIRE FIGHTER?
part of a progressive and dynamic team that is working for the safety
of our residents and protection of our community. We offer competitive
training, wages and benefits.
Please submit your resume with cover letter to:
Steve Munshaw, Fire Chief
Municipality of Crowsnest Pass
PO Box 600, Crowsnest Pass, AB T0K 0E0
October 15th, 2012
Honourable Alison M. Redford, QC
Office of the Premier
10800 – 97 Avenue
Dear Premier Redford:
This writing comes on behalf of the “users” of Highway #3 that is our
municipal citizenry, commercial travelers, visitors and tourists who
utilize the narrow corridor of Crowsnest Pass year round.
During the past decades use of this corridor has expanded
exponentially to a point where all who utilize the highway and those who
are located nearby fear numerous hazards such as: multiple speed zones,
abrupt turnoffs into our small communities, an adjacent high school
entry, homes less than twenty yards from the highway, wildlife
crossings, etc. Suffice it to say the problems and issues surrounding
Highway #3 have been documented in several studies completed over the
past decades by various departments of the government. With up to 10,000
vehicles daily traversing a 27 kilometer roadway we experience an
average of one death per year, numerous collisions, hundreds of animal
strikes and countless “near misses”. During peak periods residents can
wait up to twenty minutes to enter the highway and minor accidents or
roadwork can back up traffic for several kilometers.
A recent government document indicated Crowsnest Pass may become an
“iconic tourist destination”. Within the same time frame this Council
initiated “The Mayor’s Task Force on the Economy of Crowsnest Pass” and
utilizing the report in a subsequent “Community Strategic Plan”
identified tourism and light industry as major focal points. As such we
now have a new hotel, restaurant and truck stop development which will
begin in the spring of 2013. Currently we are negotiating with a light
manufacturing company to locate in our Municipality and currently we are
in discussion with a heavy industry which is investigating Crowsnest
Pass as its base. We are also pursuing other business ventures to
alleviate the pressure on our residential tax base.
Notwithstanding the current traffic, this highway in short order,
will not be able to withstand the increased tourist, commercial and
manufacturing traffic that will develop over the upcoming years and
sooner or later we will unfortunately, face a disastrous consequence.
Premier Redford, we have waited some forty years and would very much
appreciate your and this government’s commitment to rectifying a
situation which has existed for too long and which we will all regret
when a catastrophic happening occurs, as it surely will.
Mayor Bruce Vernon Decoux Ph.D.
Municipality of Crowsnest Pass
cc Honourable Doug Griffiths, Minister of Municipal Affairs
cc Honourable Ric McIver, Minister of Transportation
Municipality of Crowsnest Pass
NEWSLETTER # 65 October 15th, 2012
It’s October and fall is here: Clear, bluer than blue skies, trees
turning yellow and frosty crisp mornings. Your Council is pressing hard
to continue the progress and change we promised.
This month we have had an unfortunate occurrence which resulted in a
number of our firemen leaving their positions. However our
administrative team managed the situation professionally and we are
assured of our safety. I understand some firemen are currently
re-applying for their position. Our head of Protective Services and our
new Fire Chief inform us that the restructured fire service will be
smaller, more efficient in its use of equipment and ultimately more cost
effective contrary to some opinions expressed.
We also met with the ratepayers group. Personally I found it to be an
enjoyable civil discussion in which there was an exchange of facts
versus rumor, the clarification of Council objectives versus
misconceptions, and a discussion of long term Council goals. Perhaps
most importantly we discussed the philosophical lens through which we
both view the current and future status of our community. It was
determined that Council has a “glass half full” philosophy as opposed
to the ratepayers “glass half empty” outlook. It was a good discussion
and we agreed to disagree on some points. At the conclusion of our
discussion Mr. Kovach surprised us (after such excellent discussion) by
requesting that the administration reverse their decisions regarding the
fire service and that the Council resign?
After such an excellent
productive discussion we all gave our heads a shake of consternation.
I note that once again some individual is instigating another Council
recall and our ratepayers group is requesting government intervention.
This seems to be becoming a habit. If with every Council you disagree
with the elected representatives – petition the government and throw
them out. Can you imagine what would happen across this province if
this occurred in every community? I wonder what kind of impression we
are creating with the government?
It appears one of our newspapers is unhappy with us and has contacted
the newspaper association regarding our approach to advertising. At
this time I am unaware of the details but I expect we will find out in
Now on to more positive items. Please note elsewhere in this issue
the various locations in which our newsletter can be picked up. We are
receiving an amazing number of requests for the newsletter and many
requests to publish it twice a month. I don’t think we can handle that
but we will look into it. It seems like people like to have the facts.
I am pleased to announce that after months (and months) of hard work
we have as promised, resolved the problem surrounding the Crowsnest
Learning Centre and “old” hospital facility. The new hotel restaurant
truck stop complex - is a go! The last few legal details are being
ironed out and early next month we and the developers are looking
forward to holding a public session to gather your input as to what you
would like to see happen. Watch our website or the upcoming newsletter
On the manufacturing plant status, I phoned them last week. They have
confirmed that we are the location they wish to locate in. This plant
produces a lot of clean hot water which needs to be cooled before it can
be put back in the environment and apparently this is proving a major
problem for them and delaying their decision. The moment I know what
their decision is I will inform you.
We are currently in discussion with an international heavy industry
which is considering Crowsnest Pass as its base.
A week ago another
Canadian heavy industry contacted me by phone and will be setting up a
meeting with us shortly. I wouldn’t get too excited over these latter
comments just yet as I believe these industries are just in the
As previously indicated your Council is working steadily on all
issues. Following Mayor’s Corner you will find a letter sent directly to
the Premier regarding our ongoing concerns over Highway No. 3.
In conclusion for this month I note that rumor and misinformation is
still being propagated by a small minority. This suggests we need to
intensify our efforts to bring you the facts and the truth. Please don’t
hesitate to contact our municipal administration, our councillors or
myself for the facts and the truth.
- Mayor Decoux
Article in today's Lethbridge Herald:
Wednesday, 17 October 201202:01
There won't be a criminal investigation after hundreds of kilograms of
explosives were found improperly stored at a Crowsnest Pass fire hall.
A federal agency was called in to remove 602 kilograms of improperly
stored fireworks from the Blairmore fire hall Tuesday. The Explosive
Regulatory Division of Natural Resources Canada, along with an RCMP
Explosives Disposal Unit out of Edmonton, began packing up the large
store of fireworks Tuesday morning and planned to safely dispose of
A van was being loaded full of fireworks - some of them
unstable - during the process, according to Crowsnest Pass RCMP Sgt.
Keith Bott, who said the fireworks were being kept inside a storage room
in the fire hall and that there was black powder residue on the floor.
"With static electricity, that could quite easily ignite," he said.
When asked if he was concerned that the improperly stored fireworks
might present a danger to public safety, Bott said he couldn't offer an
opinion and that the police must maintain their relationship with the
The detachment will not pursue a criminal investigation, Bott said.
A representative from the Explosive Regulatory Division of Natural Resources Canada could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The fireworks were discovered last week after the municipality of the
Crowsnest Pass came under fire for dismissing Blairmore's 34-year
veteran fire station chief.
Most of the community's volunteer
firefighters - more than 80 - turned in their pagers en masse in
protest, demanding the chief be reinstated.
The municipality has
refused, saying that it is working on restructuring fire and emergency
services in the area, which it says haven't changed much since before
the Crowsnest Pass communities amalgamated more than 30 years ago.
Crowsnest Pass Chief Administrative Officer Myron Thompson didn't respond to calls for comment.
The firefighters' discontent, which culminated in an unsuccessful
request for the resignations of mayor and council from the local Rate
Payers Association, surfaced six months after the municipality faced
criticism for cancelling Thunder in the Valley, a fireworks display
started by volunteer firefighters that had been attracting thousands to
the area each summer for 18 years.
See article here with comments:
|Fireworks in Crowsnest Pass - CTV Lethbridge - Oct.16/12
The following insert was included in today's copy of the Pass Herald.
Are Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers concerned?
We ask all taxpayers
of the Crowsnest Pass
to look at what has happened over the last two years. We are now gathering names on a petition requesting municipal affairs
to take a look at the issues raised by the Taxpayers of the Crowsnest Pass if
you are equally concerned please contact us at the numbers listed below.
- Taxes are climbing every year in 2010 (Bylaw 794)
showed the municipality collecting
$6,432,821 in General Municipal Taxation in 2012 (Bylaw 851) that
number is $6,820,152 an increase of $387,331
Bills in 2010 our utility bills were providing the municipality $182,054
per month today we are paying $201,945 a difference of $19,891 per month
or $238,700 per year
Fees in 2010 were bringing in $295,551 today we are paying $569,749 a
difference of $274,198.
Those three numbers above come to a total of $900,029 per
year more. Right now council has a proposal to increase Franchise Fees another
$336,945 next year plus an additional 2.5% in residential taxes. That will
transfer $1,400,000 more a year from the Taxpayers pockets to the Municipality
versus 2010. This does not include all the other Fees, Fines and charges that
have been increased by a council and administration that are focused on
- Municipal Hiring: Council would have you believe that
the Municipal workforce has not increased in size. At the date of the last
election there were 19 employees in the municipal office (Administrators
and Staff) Today that number is 25. In addition we are concerned about the
never ending turn over at the administrative level. From June of 2011 to
July of 2012 we had six changes at the administrative level.
- Consultants: Do you feel like every week there is
another consultant determining the future of our community. Up to April
5,2012 $19,000 to Abiocon Strategies, $49,000 to Friesen Tokar, $102,447
to Park Enterprises, $43,570 to All Fire Investigations, $13,055 to Inn
Heaven Bed & Breakfast, $203,545 to Transitional Solutions. Now we hear about consultants being used
for Branding and Fire Hall location studies. Where does it stop?
- Debt: Prior to 2010 previous councils had a policy of
putting money aside to purchase new equipment, 2011 $550,000 was borrowed
to finance equipment that is barely ever used. (Almost $300,000 on a track
hoe alone), 2012 $140,000 was borrowed to finance the two community Peace
Changes: Let’s look at what else as happened over the last two years.
Cleanup eliminated for the vast majority of the public.
- April 2011 Bellevue Library
2011 announcement regarding consolidation of Blairmore/Coleman shop does
not happen until a year later.
- September 2011 Mayor
Decoux informs Chamber of Commerce that the municipality will be hiring
another Peace Officer at “no cost to the Taxpayers”
- September 29,2011 fire and rescue services will be amalgamated to
facilitate a more efficient Emergency Response model
- December 2011 Tax Penalties
increased from 20% to 52%.
- Feb,2012 Census results show Crowsnest Pass population drops 3.2%
- March 2012 Council makes
decision to “defer Thunder in the Valley”
- April 2012 Devon Gas Plant
- May 2012 Mayor announces request
for proposals going out on the Crowsnest Centre Site
- May 2012 Tender for demolition
of the Crowsnest Centre put out with a closing date of August 30
- June 2012 Town Hall
meeting Mayor Speaks about Centre being gone before first snowfall and the
building process beginning next spring. Discusses approaching the Province
and the MD of Ranchlands to share tax revenues.
- June 2012 Mayor
releases first “Mayor’s Corner” Very critical of coffee talkers and people
that write letters to the editor or on web sites.
- June 2012 Rate payers
organization revived, meetings with the public begin.
- July 2012 Water/Sewer
rates increase by 4.5% electrical increases by 6%
- July 2012 Community
Peace Officer Trucks arrive ($140,000)
- July 2012 Despite
predictions of huge turnouts Rum Runner Days takes place with very poor
attendance at most events
- August 2012 Pass
Promoter runs story about Municipality hiring gopher hunters despite
denial at previous town hall meeting.
- Sept 2012 Community
Peace Officers are introduced at Council meeting
- Sept 2012 Announcement
that Chinook Pipelines is suing the municipality
- Sept 2012 Safety codes
Fees are going up 120%
- Sept 2012 Mayor
interviewed on Alberta Primetime regarding potential Quebec Manufacturer
- Sept 2012 New Fire
Chief and his new pickup show up
- Sept 2012 Debate on
Municipal Franchise Fee Increases begins.
- Sept 2012 Final report
on Rum Runner Days “deferred” to Oct 2 then again to Oct 16.
- Sept 2012 Community Branding Town hall meeting.
- October 2012
Municipality relives Blairmore
Fire Chief of his position.
ratepayers association requested information regarding the three year budget,
we were informed that this information would be given to us by the middle of
September and released to the public on the Municipal Web site. At our meeting
with Council on October 9,2012 we were finally presented with a pile of papers that
are suppose to answer the questions asked.
joining the Ratepayers or signing our petition contact the following:
William Kovach 564-4709 Gail Montgomery 564-4077
Troy Clark 563-0381 Sasha JaegerBaird 563-6073
564-0184 Marilyn Milley 562-2719
562-8180 Larry Ruzek 564 4384
Please check out our
Facebook Page a:
|As posted in the Pincher Creek Voice:
Fireworks issues in the Crowsnest Pass
RCMP Press release
Crowsnest Pass RCMP are advising that the RCMP Explosive Disposal Unit
has been requested to assist the Explosives Regulatory Division of
Canada in the removal of a large cache of fireworks from the Blairmore
Fire Hall in Crowsnest Pass Tuesday, on October 16, 2012 at 7:00 am.
The RCMP's role in this is provide expertise in the area of managing
these types of explosives and to provide safety to the public during the
extrication of the them. Transportation and destruction of the
fireworks and any investigation into the matter will be managed by the
Explosive Regulatory Division of Canada.
|PLACES I HAVE BEEN
I have been in many places, but I've rarely been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone.
I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there.
I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work. I live close so it's a short drive.
I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.
I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.
I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.
Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.
One of my favourite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the old heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!
And, sometimes I think I am in Vincible but life shows me I am not.
People keep telling me I'm in Denial but I'm positive I've never been there before!
I have been in Deepshit many times; the older I get, the easier it is to get there. I actually kind of enjoy it there.
So far, I haven't been in Continent. I don’t even remember what country it is in, but that's just an age thing. However, they tell me it is very wet and damp there. My travel agent tells me that I might be on my way there very soon.
I just wanted to pass this story along.
Tonight on the news was a story about a woman named Allison Tate.
Who is she you ask?
Well, she is a mother, like so many of us women are.
She is a mother who suddenly got a huge wake up call, at a party that one of her children was invited to attend. At this party was a photo booth. Her young son excitedly tried to drag his mother over to get their pictures done together.
However, like so many of us who are or have been a mother, Allison hesitated because she did not feel that she looked good enough to be in the pictures.
Allison, like many mother's do, has spent years being the one behind the camera, as the one taking the photos of her family. And also as many mom's do, she has avoided the camera altogether because she felt that her hair was not perfect, her makeup was not done or that her double chin might show.
Then something began to dawn on her. She went home and looked through all of the photos that she has documented of her children's lives and one person was very conspicuously absent from all of those photos. Her.
She realized that one day, when her children go through those photos, there will be no photographic evidence of her existence. Then hit her. Her children do not care that she was not wearing any makeup, or that her hair was askew. They would not care if she had not lost that baby weight that she had gained having all her beautiful children. They would only see that she was not in those pictures.
It was right then and there she knew that it no longer mattered what she "felt" she looked like. She would be in those pictures from now on.
She states: "Our sons need to see how young and beautiful and human their mamas were.
Our daughters need to see us vulnerable and open and just being
ourselves -- women, mamas, people living lives. Avoiding the camera
because we don't like to see our own pictures? How can that be?"
And she is so very right. How many of us avoid the camera when it comes out? We worry more about how we "think" we are perceived, than how we really look to others, especially family. Our family love us for who we are, not what we think we should look like. We all have imperfections.
As mother's we usually are the first one to get up and the last to go to bed. How many time's do we really stop to throw on make up Christmas morning before coming down to see what "Santa" has left for our children. We hide ourselves behind our camera's to avoid what "we" think of how we look. Really though, it is what our children feel about us, that matter's.
Allison goes on to say: "Too much of a mama's life goes undocumented and unseen. People,
including my children, don't see the way I make sure my kids' favorite
stuffed animals are on their beds at night. They don't know how I walk
the grocery store aisles looking for treats that will thrill them for a
special day. They don't know that I saved their side-snap, paper-thin
baby shirts from the hospital where they were born or their little
hospital bracelets in keepsake boxes high on the top shelves of their
They don't see me tossing and turning in bed wondering if I am
doing an okay job as a mother, if they are okay in their schools, where
we should take them for a vacation, what we should do for their
birthdays. I'm up long past the news on Christmas Eve wrapping presents
and eating cookies and milk, and I spend hours hunting the Internet and
the local Targets for specially-requested Halloween costumes and
birthday presents. They don't see any of that."
And she is right!!! We need to be documented for our children and our grandchildren and their children, too. We need to be seen sitting right there beside them.
After all, we are the women who, as Allison says:
"gave birth to them, whom they can thank for their ample
thighs and their pretty hair; the woman who nursed them all for the
first years of their lives, enduring porn star-sized boobs and leaking
through her shirts for months on end; the one who ran around gathering
snacks to be the week's parent reader or planning the class Valentine's
Day party; me, who cried when I dropped them off at preschool, breathed
in the smell of their post-bath hair when I read them bedtime stories,
and defied speeding laws when I had to rush them to the pediatric ER in
the middle of the night for fill-in-the-blank (ear infections, croup,
We, mom's, can all learn a lesson through Allison's heartfelt revelation.
As Allison so eloquently puts it:
"Someday I won't be here -- and I don't know if that someday is tomorrow
or thirty or forty or fifty years from now -- but I want them to have
pictures of me. I want them to see the way I looked at them, see how
much I loved them.
I am not perfect to look at and I am not perfect to
love, but I am perfectly their mother."
I am one of those mother's have has spent many years lurking behind the camera. I, too, have suddenly taken to hiding when a camera is taken out. However, after reading Allison's story and seeing the broadcast on the news tonight, I will now be right up front and center when the camera comes out. I will be sitting beside my children and with my grandchildren from this point forward.
To Mom's everywhere - "We need to get out from behind those camera's and be in the moment!!!!"
You can read Allison's entire article here:
Or watch the online CTV News Story here:
Consider yourselves forewarned: Here is another long-winded report.
If I missed something, I am very sorry. I have tried to be as thorough as possible. Thank you for taking the time to read it.
Tonight, Thursday October 11th, 2012, the Executive of the Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers Association held an open public meeting, at the Hillcrest Miners Club, to discuss recent issues within the community of the Crowsnest Pass.
The meeting was scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. but by 6:20 p.m. it was already standing room only. Concerned taxpayers filed through the doors into an already packed building. Hundreds of people stuffed themselves into the room, with many others filling the gaming room side, as well. In fact, the crowds spilled out the doors and onto the surrounding property. By the end of the night we had a good count of well over 400 people who attended this meeting.
Most of the Ratepayers Executive were in attendance, with only Ed Strembicki and Doreen Glavin absent. Elsie Linderman, Sasha JaegerBaird and several other volunteers, manned the petition tables at the front door, while people crowded around the tables to sign the petition. They were lined up long outside the doors, waiting for their chance to get in and sign. Marilyn Milley was assigning people to the various areas around the community, to take the petitions. Marlene Anctil was busy getting the canvassers to swear in their affidavits.
The meeting commenced at 7:00 p.m. with President Bill Kovach welcoming everyone in attendance and thanking them for being there. Sasha JaegerBaird filled in for secretary Doreen Glavin, and took the minutes of the meeting. The sound system was provided courtesy of Earl Scott.
Bill mentioned right away that anyone who was interested in taking around a petition, could come over and get sworn in by Marlene Anctil.
He then went on to give an update about the Ratepayers meeting with Pat Stier, last Thursday October 4th.
He discussed the letter to the Mayor asking for a meeting or if not then requesting for Bruce and the rest of council to step down. He let everyone know that the Mayor finally granted us an audience with himself, council, and administration, the afternoon of Tuesday October 9th.
Bill let everyone know that an email, with a follow up letter, has been sent to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, the Honourable Doug Griffiths, explaining our situation and asking him to intervene on our behalf.
Then the discussion turned to the volunteers of this community. He said that the volunteers are the backbone of this community and it is their hard work on which the foundation has been built. This was met with a huge cheer and acknowledgement from the crowd!! Bill brought up the firefighters, the swimming pool board, the ski hill volunteers, the museum and numerous other volunteer organizations that this community depends upon.
He then discussed the Ratepayers presentation and proposal to council on Tuesday October 9th. He recapped the meeting and then explained that council and administration gave us no more than lip service.
Bill then read the report from Volunteer Alberta for the Alberta Fire Chief's Association. This report covered Local Initiatives, including context and objectives.
The report is as follows:
Local support for the fire department is an essential condition for success in recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters. It is therefore crucial to build support among employers, community groups and residents.
The level of local support is influences by the public perception of the fire department. Well-run fire departments that are seen as "professional" typically have more success in recruiting and retaining more committed and desirable volunteers.
local fire departments need to undertake a series of initiatives that improve the public perception of the fire department. (all things that we seem to already, up until recently, and have had a good grip on) This includes initiatives that raise awareness about the department; generate interest in volunteering for the department; and reinforce volunteer management operations in the department so that the department is "walking the talk".
Individual fire departments should use the Department Self-Assessment Tool to determine which initiatives are appropriate for their department.
- Increase awareness of volunteer firefighting among target audiences, including non-traditional firefighter demographics such as women, immigrant populations and First Nations populations;
- Undertake local public relations that promote a positive and realistic image of volunteer firefighting;
- Attract more volunteer firefighter applicants, including those from non-traditional firefighting demographics;
- Increase retention through tactics that ensure current volunteers continue to feel valued and supported by the fire department; (boy - the Municipality sure is NOT doing that one!!!)
- Inform current volunteers about the department's recruitment campaign and engage them into contributing to the recruitment campaign;
- Facilitate and smooth relations with local municipalities and other key stakeholders. (Really!?!? Has the municipality even read this???!?!?!?)
Then the discussion turned to the recent fireworks issue and accusation by the Municipality.
Bill explained that the fireworks were in fact stored properly, by certified pyrotechnicians and that the Municipality was aware of these fireworks. They were even bought by and paid for, by the Municipality. He went on to say that the accusations were entirely false, the Municipality was fabricating things and grasping at straws.
Bill then mentioned that at the meeting with the Mayor, council and administration on Tuesday, the Mayor stated that he didn't care if they had to tear down the foundations of this community and instead build new one's.
It was then mentioned that Bill received a call today from the Ministry and they will do whatever they can to help with our petition. This news was met with some cheering from the crowd.
Bill then went onto to explain why we were not doing a petition up calling for the resignation of council and the Mayor. He explained that we only had 30 days to do the petition and that the Minister and the Municipal Affair's office had another 30 days to go over it. If we called for a resignation or of council and the Mayor the minister might leave them in place, as there is only then 10 months left until a new election.
He said that if we do the petition this way, asking for the Minister to intervene and check into our Municipal Finances, he could then do so right away.
At this point in time, Marilyn Milley was asked to speak on the petition. She said that it was a great turn out and thanked everyone for coming. She went on to explain how petitioning works, the map's of the areas that we need covering and that if anyone wants to help out by going door-to-door with the petition, that they would have to see Marlene and do the affidavit, then come back ans see her to be assigned an area.
Bill said that all next week and next Saturday, if anyone needed to sign the petition or if they wanted to get the petition to help fill out, that they could go to Gary's Barbershop/Marlene's Bookkeeping Services to do so.
He explained that in order to sign the petition, you have to be 18 years of age, a local resident of the Crowsnest Pass for the last 6 months, and entitled to vote within our Municipality only.
He also said that anyone taking the petitions around the community, needed to get the filled in one's back as soon as possible, as they need to be counted and we want to have plenty of time to do so.
The topic of discussion turned to the volunteer groups in our community. He asked if anyone had any more news regarding the volunteer firemen or the volunteer swimming pool board.
Several people got up to speak. It was told that as far as the firefighters are concerned "everyone" except 4 or 5, who still have their pages, have received letters of termination. All of the terminated firefighters have been told that they are "welcome" to reapply. However, they have been informed, that before they are rehired, they need to get a criminal check done, have a current driver's abstract (both at their own expense), undergo a medical exam and form filled in, go through an interview process and have all their training up-to-date and current.
This information was met with much booing and exclamations of surprise and disbelief from the crowded room!!
We were also told that as of tomorrow, all of the volunteers who have been terminated will not longer have any insurance coverage, which includes life, disability and any necessary bonding that they have had.
The 4 or 5 firefighters that still are on call and have not turned in their pagers have been in talks with the Fire Chief, administration and council. They have not received letter's of termination and have not lost their insurance coverage. They have been encouraged to try to convince the other firefighters to come back and reapply.
It was asked where the 5 paid firefighters have come from. We were informed that they have come from Charli Lake. This is the same place that the new Fire Chief has come from. The very same one who had the entire volunteer firefighters walk out on him, only to be replaced with paid firefighters. Some of which are now stationed in our community.
Fire Insurance coverage came up. It was suggested that people need to check with their own insurance agents/company's.
One lady who works for Western Financial Group, stood up and spoke on the fire insurance situation. She said that she deals with the three big insurance companies: Intact, Wawanesa and another one (I will post the name once I get it from her).
She stated that she has talked to the majority of the Insurance Companies about our current situation and was told that we are still covered and that it is status quo. They are watching the situation here in the Crowsnest Pass, however we are not to blame for our current state and therefore not our fault that we do not have the necessary firefighters and fire protection.
She welcomed anyone to come in and talk with her or anyone one of the other people in her office, whether you deal with Western Financial or not. She said that they would be happy to help with any questions.
We then had a series of Question's and Answer's from the crowd.
Question: How can we get the firemen back today!?!? Or speed up the process.
It was put out to the audience to see if anyone had any suggestions. One was that the firemen need to go and take
back their fire halls.
Bill said that the letter to the Municipal Affairs Office asked if the Minister could step in as soon as possible to help with our firemen situation.
He also suggested that the squeaky wheel gets the grease and that we should all write, email or call the Minister at Municipal Affairs asking for his help.
Bill said that the minister is building a file on the Crowsnest Pass. The more people who contact him about he issues the better!!!
It was asked where will the money come from to pay for all the new position's including the Peace Officer's.
Dean Ward got up to speak on this. He started by saying that a Peace Officer was sitting waiting down by the S.P.C.A watching all of the traffic coming to the meeting. He suggested that maybe the Peace Officer was waiting there to nab people after the meeting and going to write a bunch of tickets, to pay for himself.
This generated several comments and some laughter.
Dean then went onto the go over some of the numbers and discussing fees, including franchise fees and taxes. He said that at the time of the last election we all wanted change, and we got it. However, there is good change and bad change and we got the bad!!!
It was mentioned by an audience member, that if we are taxed to death, eventually many will move away and our house property prices will go drastically down and be worth nothing.
Bill then fielded more questions from the floor.
It was brought up about the Fire Chief and was it true that he was not certified to do fire inspections. This was confirmed.
It was also brought up about Devon and losing that tax base.
Bill then stated the Mayor and CAO constantly compared us to other communities in regards to our tax base, taxes and fees.The CAO said that we were at par or even less than other communities and should feel good about that.
Bill stated that you can not compare us to other towns. That it was like comparing apples to oranges. He said that we are drastically different that other towns, and we no longer had the industry that was contributing to that tax base, as was in the past.
One lady spoke up saying that we have a 50% - 60% senior population and are on limited or fixed income. So where is the money going to come from? It was stated that 83% of us pay for the tax bill in the Crowsnest Pass.
Another question: Has rescue been affected yet? No not yet, however many of them are just waiting for that hammer to fall.
Question: What is the minimum number of firemen needed to respond to a call. Answer: 5 minimum. - Currently we have 4 paid one's, who do not even know the area.
Question: Who owns the fire halls? Answer: The Municipality.
Question: Who bought the fire support vehicle's and equipment? Answer the firemen, and Jamie Margetek was instrumental in many of those purchases.
Question from "Cathy": In regards to "The List". Who is on "The List"? Who knows who is on "The List"? Can we ask who is on "The List" or if we are on "The List" how can we get our name off of "The List"?? This question was met with much laughter.
Sasha JaegerBaird (yours truly) was asked to answer that question. Answer: They never told us who was on "The List". The mayor seemed to indicated that he, the CAO, the RCMP and the Peace Officer's all knew who were on the "Soon To Infamous List".
After this question, Lisa Sygutek asked to speak. She told us that in a recent series of question's directed to the Mayor, she asked how many firemen we have available. She was told 28. However when pressed by her, the Mayor could not tell her who they were.
It was the deduced that 14 of these had to be Rescue (however not trained for fire), and 14 firemen (4 of which must be the hired help from Charli Lake). So who are the other 10???
Question from "Tim": What about the rumor about the Swimming Pool board? Answer: All members have in fact been dismissed (or asked to resign). They have all received a letter in the mail dismissing them. They were told that they could reapply and are all welcome to join the new one big Super Board!!
Statement and question from one person in the crowd: We have way less people now in the Pass, than we did years ago. We did not need Peace Officers then, why do we need them now???
To which most people agreed.
Bill talked about the BIG companies the Mayor said are coming to the Pass. One of which will employ over 700 people.
Bill brought up Philips Cable. We were then told, by a woman in the crowd, that when it comes to these "NEW companies, until a development permit is issued, we will NOT know who or even if a business is coming into the Pass.
Another Question from a fellow in the crowd: He asked if the Ratepayers Association was prepared to get rid of council and if the Executive was ready to take over and run this town. This question was cheered by many.
Bill said that we can ask anytime, as an organization or group, to have our bylaws changed. However, if council will listen is another thing entirely.
Question from "Debbie": How can we get rid of the CAO before the next election??
Bill replied that council can do it anytime, but only if they think it needs to be done, which is unlikely. However, it can happen right away with the Minister of Municipal Affairs intervention.
Otto stated that the more people who sign the petition and the quicker we get the signatures, the faster we can get this taken care of.
Someone asked for the mailing address, phone number and email address of the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
We told everyone that we will post it online on our Facebook page.
However for those there tonight, the phone number was given out and is 1-780-427-3744.
The email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill thanked everyone for coming and to sign the petition if they had not already signed it.
The meeting concluded at 8:15 p.m.
Article Posted Online Today In: Shootin' The Breeze
Another take on controversy in Crowsnest Pass
An open letter to our community of Crowsnest Pass, Councillors, Media and Provincial Officials
are a group that have given calm contemplation to the discord
embroiling our community and wish to represent our views through this
letter to express our concern regarding what appears to be a lack of
confidence in our current elected body of municipal councilors.
vibrant community is made up of a number of opinions, the job of our
elected officials is to consider as many of those opinions as possible
and make decisions through due process within the parameters of the
Municipal Act, and the requirements of Provincial and Federal law. We
may not necessarily agree with those decisions, however we appreciate
that we could never have all the details that led to that decision
unless we ourselves were on council.
are confident we all share a common goal in seeing our community
prosper and move forward. The processes and procedures to accomplish
this are obviously complex and involve multiple issues of history,
legacy, legal and liability concerns and much, much more. We have
charged our elected officials with the mandate to move our community
into the 21st century while at the same time respecting the generations
that came before us. This is a tall order. It will only be accomplished
through an endorsement of support of the process of our duly elected officials and their compliance with good governance.
group wishes to provide our portion of that endorsement and confirm
that there are members of this community who agree changes are necessary
and changes are not always easy.
request however full disclosure and transparency of the process. We
understand full details cannot always be made public due to privacy act
legislation and confidentiality protocols. However, we do expect a
standard of professionalism and accountability by both our elected
officials and the administration they oversee.
have called for an external review of council and administration. We
would support such a review with the goal to reinstate confidence by the
majority of the community.
wish to see a focus on good old fashioned dialog. Conversations with
all stakeholders consisting of well thought-out, reasonable and
pragmatic opinions and the decisions to match.
Our future depends on it.
Warris, Deb McKinlay, Vern Harrison, Bern Sawatzky, Elaine Beaudoin,
Andrew Fairhurst, Tim Grier, Sheila Juhlin, George Machum, Pat
Pichurski, Charli Martens-Carpenter, Heather O’Bear, Erin Fairhurst,
Becky Pichurski, Penny Warris
Unedited press release
Ratepayers Meeting Tonight at 7 pm
There will be a Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers Association meeting this evening at the Hillcrest Miner's Club at 7 p.m.
All concerned citizens are welcome.
Topics to be discussed:
- Fire insurance issues due to firemen walkout
- Petition to Municipal Affairs by Ratepayers Association
- Discussion on ongoing tax increases
- Results of meeting with Wildrose MLA Pat Stier
|The Municipality posted the following on their Facebook page today, denying all responsibility regarding the knowledge of, purchasing of, and storage of the Fireworks that were found in the Blairmore Firehall.
The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass has never
purchased high explosive fireworks nor has it sold high explosive
fireworks to Thunder in the Valley (TIV) or the Blairmore Smoke Eaters
(BSE) or the Blairmore Fire Department (BFD). Thunder in the Valley-TIV
(Blairmore Smoke Eaters-BSE) members have always ordered and purchased
high explosive fireworks for their annual event since TIV was first
In 2007, TIV (BSE)
approached the Mayor and CAO to have the Municipality PAY for their
fireworks and REINVOICE the TIV (BSE) sighting the Municipality receives
100% of GST back on invoices and this saving would be passed onto TIV
On November 6, 2008 the Municipality issued a letter
to TIV (BSE) advising that this arrangement was not in compliance with
GST legislation and the GST on the 2007 invoices to TIV (BSE) for
fireworks was to be paid immediately to the Municipality for submission
to Revenue Canada as the fireworks were NOT a Municipal supply or
Up until 2011, TIV (BSE) members have continued to
purchase all fireworks for TIV and the Municipality has paid for these
TIV (BSE) invoices. The Municipality has in turn invoiced TIV (BSE) back
- inclusive of GST as the fireworks are NOT a Municipal supply or
product. This arrangement allowed the TIV (BSE) to pay the Municipality
for their fireworks after their annual (TIV) event as opposed having to
pay a Supplier before their annual (TIV) event.
members declared that their members are certified Pyrotechnicians who
are educated and responsible for the safe storage, handling and
functioning of fireworks and firework devices. TIV (BSE) members chose
to store these high explosive fireworks without proper containment in
the Blairmore Fire Hall without advising the Municipality of Crowsnest
Let me start this Blog entry by saying that today's meeting with council and administration, was a very long winded one and my report of it, is equally as long winded. Consider yourself forewarned. :-)
Today, October 9th, 2012, at 3:00 p.m., the Executive of the Rate Payer's Association met with the Mayor, Council and some members of administration, for a "special" meeting, at the MDM building.
Those in attendance were:
Council members: the Mayor - Bruce Decoux, Andrew Saje, Larry Mitchell, Brian Gallant, Jerry Lonsbury & almost an hour late to the meeting came Emile Saindon.
Councillor Siegbert Gail was conspicuously absent.
Administration in Attendance: CAO - Myron Thompson, CFO - Marion Vanoni, Director of Protective and Community Services - Albert Headrick, the New Fire Chief - Steve Munshaw and secretary/recorder - Carolee Ison.
Executive of the Rate Payer's Association: President - Bill Kovach, Vice President & Hillcrest Representative - Larry Ruzek, Coleman Representative - Sasha JaegerBaird, Hillcrest Representative - Rudy Pagnucco, Bellevue Representative's - Gail Montgomery & Troy Clark, Blairmore/Frank Representative's - Marilyn Milley & Marlene Anctil, Secretary - Doreen Glavin & Treasurer - Elsie Linderman. Absent was Coleman Representative - Ed Strembicki.
Media in attendance were: Pass Promoter - Joni MacFarlane, Pass Herald Reporter - Lindsay Goss, CJPR - Randy Spencer, Global Television Reporter - Quinn Campbell & Alternative Media - John Prince.
The meeting was originally scheduled for 2:00 p.m. It was changed to start at 3:00 p.m. due to some council members who could not make it for the 2:00 p.m. start time. The Rate Payer's Executive arrived at 2:35 p.m. and were asked to wait in the hallway, while council and administration conversed. The Media and the Rate Payer's Executive were asked to join the room at 2:50 p.m.
The "special" meeting commenced at 2:55 p.m.
The meeting started with the Mayor asking us to agree on an end time for the meeting of 4:30 p.m. (which later was changed to accommodate the list of issues not yet covered by this time).
The Mayor stated that we would run this "special" meeting like a normal council meeting, in that we would run our statements/questions through him to other members of council and administration and visa versa.
He then turned the floor over to the Rate Payer's President Bill Kovach, who represented the Rate Payer's Executive through this meeting.
Bill started with addressing the Triennial Budget. He made the request that council scrap the Triennial Budget and go back to the way it was before. He stated that this type of budget was made for a community which is both prosperous and growing, of which we are neither.
He suggested that a new budget be drafted up for 2013 (as an annual budget). He said that this was both realistic and economically feasible and one which the community can live with.
He then stated that council should enter into a referendum of agreement to cut spending that meaning, not being allowed to raise taxes, fees, levies and service costs to balance the budget.
This request was met with a response by both Brian Gallant and Marion Vanoni.
It was explained that this kind of budget was becoming the norm everywhere and that very soon Municipal Affairs would expect every Municipality to use this kind of budget.
Brian Gallant said that it was very normal nowadays for most places to utilize a 3-5 year budget and a 5-10 year Capital Plan.
Marion explained that this type of budget was a "Living Document" and could and would be changed and updated as necessary. She said that our Strategic Plan was also a "Living Document" and it, too, could and would be changed as needed.
She went onto say that until 2007 the Crowsnest Pass has run in a deficit position. In 2007 was the first time that this Municipality could take the surplus created, to pay down that deficit. She also said that the budget would be reviewed every year and be adjusted "as we go".
Brian said this was all part of a "Long Term Plan" for the Municipality.
Next issue addressed by Bill was the budget and financial information requested by the Rate Payers Association, from Myron Thompson, way back in the beginning of August that we still, as of today, not received, even though we were told that we would have it by Mid-September.
Myron jumped right in to explain that it had been on the internet.
Bill replied that those numbers were wrong and not broken down enough.
Myron then handed Bill a large stack of papers that, according to him, are the correct and requested information. Bill told council we would go through them.
Myron then offered to sit down with the Rate Payer's Executive anytime, and go over the numbers.
It was also suggested by Myron, that the Rate Payer's Executive be there on October 22nd, when council and administration go over the upcoming budget.
Bill then addressed "Excessive Spending" and that it should be stopped. He said that effective immediately Council and administration should get rid of the consultants and redundant staff and to begin to trim the bureaucratic fat.
The Mayor, Bruce Decoux, responded to this by saying that he and council were just preparing for success. He said that they liked to look at the glass as half full, rather than half empty.
Bill brought up the increased interest rate, taxes and levies.
Jerry Lonsbury jumped in by stating very vehemently that "his" Municipal Levy has not increased much in over the last 10 years. He provided us with a breakdown of his Tax Assessment. He said that in 2002 his Municipal Tax Levy was $2,276.53 and now, in 2012, it is $2,288,14, an increase of only $11.61 in almost 10 years.
Bill responded that Jerry was pretty lucky and that many of the rest of us taxpayers are not quite so fortunate.
Bill then brought up the increased interest rate that is supposed to be now imposed on off-site levies. He said that it was not a good way to encourage new people to the community by charging them so much.
Larry Mitchell then interjected by telling us that the interest on the offsite levies is no longer in effect. (a win for us)
Myron told us that the levies have not been addressed in over 12 years. He said that they were now either inline with other similar communities or even lower.
Brian then stated that the levies are currently paid for or subsidized by us, the taxpayers. He said that council has decided to shift the burden/responsibility back on the home owner and off of the taxpayers. He indicated that we, as tax payers, should be very happy with this decision.
Bill then went on to bring up the Peace Officer Program and the added expense that this program has put upon the taxpayers. He said that it was a major concern expressed by the public. He went on to say that council should cancel or opt out of the Provincial Peace Officer Program. He said that the majority of taxpayers agree that all we need is one very efficient Bylaw Officer. We need one that just enforces bylaws not spending all the time issuing highway speeding tickets. Bill went on to say that we already have substantial and free RCMP patrolling our area and doing it efficiently as well.
He said that the Enforcement pie on the chart on the Municipal website is $810,000.00. He said that we want to know where that money is coming from. He said that Protective Services is separate and is $650,000.00.
Bruce said that he would turn it over to Marion to explain, however there were good reasons for the program and then he would address this issue again later in the meeting.
Marion responded with several operational costs and numbers. She also said that the amounts included the Agriculture Program and Animal Control. She said that tax levies were are $320,000.000 and the mill rate was $1,000,000.00.
Brian Gallant also responded as to why we have a Peace Officer Program in place. He said that it is to make this a better and safer place in which to live and attract new people and business. He said that one person can not patrol this entire community. He said that some good news is that only 2 bylaw tickets have been issued in the last month. He said that most bylaw infractions have been handled by simple communication between the Peace Officers and the person involved, without the issuing of tickets.
He said that the Peace Officer Program is a great revenue generator for the municipality. He said that other communities that have them have more than paid for themselves and made money. He cited Longview and it being know as a place you better slow down or get a ticket. He said that we could be like them, making tons of money from the tickets issued on the highway, especially on long weekends by city people speeding.
Bruce went on to state that our long standing "Peace Officer" - Bylaw Officer that we have had for years, was "illegitimate". Bruce explained to us that these fellows who did the job over the past many years, were never approved to do Peace Officer duties, even though they applied to the program. This was due to a clerical/administrative issue that was never rectified with the Provincial Government.
Bruce said that our past Bylaw Officers were doing Peace Officer duties, but only had the authority of a Bylaw Officer. As a result, most infractions that they dealt with and decisions that they made, were continuously overturned by council. Then they would quit, because they had felt that they had no authority.
Bruce said that this decision to bring in a Peace Officer Program, was a long time coming and a good one for our community. He said that by having a Peace Officer, instead of a Bylaw Officer, all complaints, issues and tickets will now be handled through the court of Queen's Bench and not the Municipality.
He went on to say that a lot of our old bylaws were wrong. They were either worded wrong or just incorrect. He said that council and administration are now in the process of updating and correcting them.
He also went on to say that as of right now, there are 280 unsightly premises on the books, that need dealing with.
He stated that "We need to clean up the community!!! We need bylaws with teeth, to clean it up."
He said that it is also a safety factor. We need good protection to attract new people to this community, but he would talk more on that topic later in the meeting.
He said that we need two Peace Officers to cover both shifts, evenings and weekends.
Albert Headrick took a turn to talk, saying that proper safety affects our quality of life. He said we need enforcement in place to ensure things are okay once we push tourism. He said that our Peace Officers compliment the local RCMP. He said that the RCMP's priority is crime, not enforcment or writing tickets. He said that the Peace Officer Program is a joint venture with the RCMP.
Marlene Anctil asked why it seems like quite often we see the two Peace Officers in the truck together, if in fact we have two of them in order to cover all shifts.
Albert replied that is could be several things. He said that it might in fact be a RCMP officer with the Peace Officer doing a ride-along. He asked why send two trucks when they can ride together? He also said that sometimes the two go out together when they have a known "problem person" to deal with. He also said that the one was still training when it comes to several things and they will go together while he is training.
The Mayor finished by saying that there are several people on a special "watch list". He said that they are known aggressive people. He said that when this happens that the Peace Officer must deal with this person, then they quite often go together. He said that this type of call "needs" two people to respond to it. He cited the recent beating of our Bylaw Officer as an example.
Bill then addressed the Fire Budget, the Firemen Walkout Protest and the firing of Fire Chief Jamie Margetek. He strongly suggested that council and administration reinstate our Voluntary Firefighters and follow their departmental budget which was realistic and cost effective. He said that this will save a bundle as it would get rid of our new Fire Chief (whom we don't need) and the cost of the paid firefighters, which has currently been implemented. He asked if we keep it the way it is today, where exactly is this money going to come from, other than from us, the already strapped taxpayer?
Albert and the new Fire Chief, Steve Munshaw, were directed to reply to this.
Albert addressed the Fire Protection Issue. He said that Fire Protection and technology have evolved and changed greatly through the years. He said that the main concerns were now structure, operational guidelines and efficiency. He said that it was extremely important that these things need to be addressed and soon. He said that the current Fire Department Chiefs do not have the time and could not be expected to deal with these issues. Therefore that is why we need a Fire chief. That this change has been along time coming and that all four Fire Departments were aware of this needing to happen. He said that nowadays it is all about due diligence.
He said that the Master Fire Plan has been in the works for awhile now. As has the Fire Station Location study. He said that this Fire Station Location Study would be good for us because it would lead to cost effectiveness, better coverage, the elimination of duplicate services and provide a better level of services. He said that the firemen knew about this. It is no surprise to them. They have been consulted and included in the process.
Steve Munshaw said that he had a meeting with several of the firefighters on Sunday. He said that communication has been restarted with them and many of them are on board with the new structure, contrary to what is being said around the community.
Albert jumped back in to say that with the new program the firemen will be providing better service than what we have now.
Brian Gallant went on to say he has nothing against the current firemen. He stated that he respects them and thinks that they do a good job, but not the best job that they could potentially do. He said that they they need more training to be better. That they are not up to the current standards. They are the same today that they have been for a very long time. They need to move forward and get the proper training.
Albert said that when he sits down with the firemen, to go over the New Master Fire Plan, he would like to include the Rate Payer's Executive in that discussion.
Andrew Saje then asked what the budget was from the voluntary firefighters. He directed this question to administration.
Marion said that she did not have their figures and went on to change the subject. She asked the question about whether we really need an aerial ladder, if we need a new one or could we buy a good used one, in fact why do we even need to buy on at all??
Marilyn echoed this question and asked about the the platform that the Municipality currently has.
Albert said that we already have a 1976 King 80 foot platform, but it is not insurance worthy. He also addressed buying a used one, stating that we get what we pay for. If we buy a $250,000.00 used one, then we will have $250,000.00 worth of other people old problems. He said that a new one would run over a million dollars. He went on to say that the best idea was getting one through a joint purchase with another Municipality. This way they can buy in bulk saving much money and maybe even getting a new one for $500,00.00 - $600,000.00 instead of a new one for over $1,000,000.00. He then went on to ask, do we even need one? Do we even have the water capacity for one? He says that currently they are doing an equipment review.
Brian told us that Fire Department costs have not gone up as we think they have. He said that instead the amounts in the past have not be allocated into the right budget. The Municipality has currently allocated $225,00.00 this year and $225,000.00 next year, for a quint, but will not be able to buy one for this price. He said that we also have to replace our fire equipment. He stated that our fire fighters are under-trained and need to meet current standards.
Bill asked who is it that says that we need to replace the current equipment?
Myron then told us that even if we looked into a used quint we would have to set aside $225,000.00 this year and an additional $225,000.00 next year. He also said that we would still be in a situation where we would need to borrow the money for one.
Andrew asked if the information would be in the budget at the end of the month.
Brian said that everything was being paid for, but in different budgets. He said that now they are all under one budget. He said it only looks like a lot more money.
Albert was then asked by Marilyn Milley, with his 37 years experience of firefighting, why he did not apply for the position of Fire Chief? And also could our
voluntary fire chief could report directly to him?
Albert very strongly went on to say that we need a full time Fire Chief!!!! He said that it has been in the plans for many years. He stated that it is all very complicated. He says that everyone needs a life outside of their work position. He said that many things need to be done. He said that with his current position, he is too busy to deal with fire protection full time, andthat he was responsible to so many
other facilities and departments that he just didn't have time. He again stated that we need a full time Fire Chief to do all of these things that need doing!!
Myron said that there was to be many new things implemented regarding fire protection, such as public awareness and education and in house training to save costs, that the new Fire Chief would be doing.
Bill asked Steve Munshaw if he was certified to be a fire inspector. Steve replied that he pretty much had everything that he would need except that he has to apply for the license and take an exam.
The next subject that Bill brought up was the Chinook Pipeline's Lawsuit. He asked if the Municipality loses the lawsuit, where will the money come from to pay for it?
Bruce addressed that topic. He stated that "We will NOT lose it!!"
He went on to say "However, if we do, the Municipality's insurance will cover it".
Brian jumped in, saying that in his experience and judgement, the Municipality is NOT in the wrong!!
Bill then addressed the Devon Gas Plant Closure Issue. He asked if council has considered the cost replacement method (new tax base) now that the Municipality has lost Devon. Where will that tax base come from??? What will offset the loss??
Mayor Bruce replied. He again brought up the new light manufacturing plant that is expected to make the Crowsnest Pass its new home. He said that it will employ 70 people once it is up and running but abut 30 people to start. He said that we are the company's first choice for location. He went on to say that the only thing stopping it from moving ahead, at the current time, is an issue with how to put clean hot water back into the environment properly. He said that this business is trying hard to overcome this problem.
Bill addressed the River Run issue.
Bruce replied. He said that currently there are 285 lots coming back to the municipality and will be put out for public auction. However, the Municipality wants to sell the lots as a package and needs permission from the courts in order to do so. He said that we are waiting for an answer back and should have one by March of 2013. They want to attract another developer, that is why they want to sell the lots as a package, however they want to make sure it is done properly this time.
Bill brought up what are the plans for the Crowsnest Center?
The Mayor also responded to this one. He said that we are down to the last few legal problems. He said that the lawyer's have been working hard to make sure that everything is correct so that we don't have another River Run problem on our hands. He said that the Municipality is being very careful. He did go on to say that it will be done within the next two weeks. He said that the company that plans on developing where the old hospital is, wants to hold a session with the residents of the Crowsnest Pass, in order to get the publics input. Bruce expects to have some progress made by Christmas or by next spring at the latest.
Bill then brought up the Unsightly Premises Bylaw. Bruce told us that currently the Peace Officers are dealing with Traffic Issues, but it will balance out over time.
He said that once things have fallen into place, the Peace Officers will divide their time to 1/3 bylaw, 1/3 education and 1/3 traffic.
He stated that the current bylaws need redrafting.
Myron then jumped in to tell us that council and administration is currently going over the bylaws and making the final decisions and revisions.
Bruce stated that "We want to be prepared!!! We see the glass as half full!!"
He said that the Government has identified the Crowsnest Pass as a future iconic area and that this is very good news for us.
He then told us that there are "two" very BIG, heavy industries that have contacted the Municipality and are considering coming here. He said that one of them will employ as many as 700 people or more. He said that the Crowsnest Pass may very well become the next Fort McMurray (but not near on such a big scale). He said that our council is just preparing for this future and we will appreciate all the steps that this council has currently taken and that it will all make sense, once that time comes.
Bill then asked the council members if they were happy with council's direction and what has transpired by them. He asked if they could respond individually.
Jerry had his say first. He stated that he was extremely happy with how council was moving forward. He then stated that that much of what is currently going on within the community and on Facebook is just rumors. That he is tired of it and that people need to stop starting and spreading these rumors. They need to deal in facts.
The Mayor said that they can come to him, or any of the council or administration, for the facts, anytime!!!
Marlene Anctil stated that many people are intimidated by council and the mayor, that they are unapproachable.
Brian disagreed and said that many many people come to him all the time and he make the time for them. He said that he gets a lot of great feedback. People are constantly telling him that he should stick to his guns!! He told us that there are quite a few people that agree totally with council and what they are doing. However, they tell him that they and are afraid to speak up, for fear of being bullied by others within the community.
Emile jumped in and said that he can count on one hand how many people have approached him since he has got in on council. He says that he can walk down he streets and no one comes near him. He wishes that they would come to him. He said that he works at the landfill and his door is always open.
Bruce acknowledged that maybe Gail was right that council, including the Mayor, can seem a bit stand-offish and that maybe they need to work on that.
Larry Mitchell said that "We need to move ahead, not look behind us".
Andrew Saje asked why the Rate Payers Association even exists? What was it reactivated? Why with this council?
He suspects that it has to do with the lines of communication, between members of the community and council/administration. Andrew suggested that maybe we are not getting the information that we need.
Emile's comments were: "I do my research!! I do NOT speak out of turn. I get my information first."
He went on to say: "This council has done a lot of hard work. Everyone has done work in their areas of expertise. Council has worked together. The direction we are going is the direction we need to go!!"
As the councilor's finished, Bill then made his final point.
He told council that this community has seen no visible improvement since this council took over the reigns and it appears as though nothing will change, cost increases or not, because the profit from the increases are being totally wasted on projects and consultants that are going nowhere. He went on to say that the Strategic Plan which was to extend over a period of 10 years is being implemented in a community that the Plan was not intended for. He stated that it was intended for a successful and prosperous community of which we are not. He went on to say that in order to prosper, a community must have growth and anyone can see that we are stagnating and declining at a rapid rate and can ill afford to create the utopia suggested by the Mayor and his Strategic Plan.
Somehow then we got talking about protocols and policies.
Marion stated that there are new stringent protocols in place. All policies have to come before a Policy Committee. Then it has to have a wording developed and then back to the Policy Committee. Then it is presented to council. It might be thrown back to the Policy Committee for more work and then onto the G & P. ....
At this point, she was trying to tell us more, but Myron placed his hand on her knee under the table and she stopped talking.
It was brought up about the communication within the Municipality and their way of advertising and announcing issues & events. The Mayor said that they were doing it properly and soon most communities would be doing it the same way that we were doing it. He stated that newspaper advertising was going the way of the dinosaur. He said that it was just too bad that the newspapers had a problem with it, but it was the way of the future.
He stated that the Municipality's website provides the minutes of all meeting's, the morning after a meeting is held.
It was brought up by Bill that some things are not very clear. They are too vague.
Bruce made a note of that.
He said that when it comes to advertising and announcements, we actually have overkill, with how we inform the public.
He said that everywhere is now moving everything to the web, that we might as well get used to it!!
It was mentioned that this community is made up of many people including many senior's who do not own computer's or can not use one. Therefore they can not access this online information. They rely on the newspapers as a source for their information.
When the Mayor was asked about the swimming pool board and those volunteers, and if there was any truth to the rumor about them being "let go", Bruce very adamantly stated that this was the first that he heard of this new rumor. He then looked at Myron and said that he would have to "look into it". He also said the he doubted that it was any more than an ugly rumor.
We inquired about the ski hill. We were told that chair lifts and a few other things were planned for it to make it more viable and attractive to visitors, as a place to come and ski. Bruce then told us that all of this has been part of a plan that he has been in talks with Teck and Telus about. He said that there are no plans to shut it down.
After that there were a few random comments and then closing remarks by Bill.
He asked that council adhere to our requests or we are asking them to step down and resign from their positions. He said that we were still holding our meeting on Thursday night and will be circulating a petition to get Municipal Affairs to look into our council's spending.
Bruce warned us that we might want to do our homework first, because we may not want to go down that road.
Meeting adjourned at 5:40 p.m.
If I missed anything, I am sorry. I tried to be as thorough as possible.
I can tell you this, I wish I could be inside their heads, and privy to the secret looks that were being shot back and forth between our Mayor and the CAO.
|Crownest Pass MD Meeting - CTV Lethbridge News Story - Oct.09/12
See News Story
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|An article written by our very own
recently migrated Kimberly Massey, posted today in the Rocky view
Weekly, puts our current situation into a whole different perspective.
It is titled: "Troubles in other communities offer perspective on Rocky View County".
You can read it -
|The Municipal Government Act states that under general duties of councilors:
(a) to consider the welfare and interests of the municipality as a whole
and to bring to council’s attention anything that would promote the
welfare or interests of the municipality.
This could be interpreted as if only the councilor considers that which
would promote the welfare or interests of the municipality and the
taxpayer’s input would be meaningless.
There are two types of government, the irresponsible and the
responsible. We are currently being led by a group using the
irresponsible method. Anyone and I do mean anyone can balance a budget
by increasing fees, utilities, licenses, electrical, etc. etc. and
rewriting the bylaws which when violated carry a large fine the first
offense beginning at $250. Tally up the total increased revenue and add
2.5% to the property tax and voila you have a balanced budget even one
that would show a surplus. Such genius!
The second type of governing the responsible method takes some doing.
It is a method using common sense, restraint, cutting spending and if
needs be to obtain a balanced budget add a minimal amount to the
This method shows a governing body to be accountable and
fiscally responsible to the people it represents, the taxpayer.
By increasing everything from soup to nuts, have you considered the
burden you are placing upon the seniors of this community? What do we
do, email Stephen Harper or Flaherty and tell them that our municipality
is nickel and diming us to the extent that we might have to cut back on
our groceries, or perhaps cut out one of our prescriptions because our
rates went up and we are over budget? I’m sure that they just might
consider a $1.50 raise on our pension.
Let’s face the truth of the matter. You have hired a group of strangers
(experts) to come to our community and force upon us their ideas and
methods in order to teach us how we should live in our own domain.
We've been doing pretty well up until now, or so we thought so, but that
doesn't appear to be the case. Many people I have spoken with have
stated that this isn't Calgary and we do not have to deal with the
noise, pace and congestion which in order to curb problems arising from
this are forced to pass bylaws. This is not the case here, and if my
sidewalk isn't cleared of snow, then it’s because I cleared it and the
snowplow came along and covered it up. It seems that since Kevin
Robbins and Donna Tona have been on board we have a new bylaw to contend
almost every week, no ifs and or buts, it’s a done deal and we have to
live with it.
Also, why are you doing everything that covers a period of three years?
Has the thought crossed your mind that you won’t be in office then?
This council and mayor are suffering from the BIG FROG LITTLE PUDDLE
Get over it and start doing the job you were elected to do
instead of harassing your citizens and preying on us. If this is what
you consider having our best interests at heart then you certainly have a
misconstrued idea as to what good governing is all about. Start being
responsible, and show some Government Transparency and we will feel that
maybe we are not just cash cows living here for the hell of it.
(on behalf of the Ratepayers Association)