In And Around The Crowsnest Pass
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.
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
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.
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.
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,
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
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.
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
|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
|Crownest Pass MD Meeting - CTV Lethbridge News Story - Oct.09/12
See News Story
|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)
|Call us naive, but we thought we were living in a democratic country,
however, the way we see it, absolute dictatorial government is alive and
flourishing in the Crowsnest Pass.
While taking part in the peaceful demonstration on Thursday October 4,
we had many mixed feelings. On one hand we were elated to see over 100
concerned citizens turn out to finally begin to take their power back.
On the other, we watched with great sadness and compassion on Thursday
evening as a column of our firefighters filed by the door to the
Municipal Office to drop their pagers in a box. Earlier that day we were
left with a feeling of absolute disgust as the mayor, council, and
administration hid behind covered windows at MDM, and called three RCMP
vehicles to assure that we restrained ourselves before they would exit
The mayor and council could have negotiated to reinstate our volunteer
Blairmore fire chief, but instead, in their usual manner, chose to
ignore the wishes of the people, and chose to hire a number of outside
firefighters, and again in their usual manner, at great cost.
They obviously have never heard the phrase “If it ain't broke, don’t fix
it.” We have had a fire department that ranked among the most
efficient, highly trained, and dedicated anywhere, costing a fraction of
what this “new” plan is going to cost. Again, unbelievable.
This mayor and council seem determined to bring the Pass to its knees,
both economically and in terms of morale. Are none of the councillors
willing to stand up to a dictatorial mayor and represent us in a way
that indicates they are hearing us?? We know we are not the only ones
who are tired of financial decisions being made arbitrarily, without any
attempt to first communicate with the public, or to listen to the
people. We see the hiring of outside consultants at exorbitant costs,
who in turn implement solutions to non-existent problems, again at great
cost. To quote the president of the Ratepayers’ Association, “while our
tax base, and our population is declining, they are spending money like
we just won the lottery.” Sadly, this administration will leave us with
a legacy of deep debt. It could take us years to recover.
On October 4, we were so gratified to be among those who refuse to be
demoralized, bullied, and bankrupted. People want their power back. The
way we see it, citizens of the Pass WILL prevail. This administration
has to go, and one way or another we can all be part of the initiative
to remove them as soon as possible. Then, hopefully, we can all begin
the job of rebuilding a vital and spirited community where there is hope
for the future.
This administration has been invited to resign, but considering their
dismal record of refusing to acknowledge valid concerns of the voting
public, that is unlikely to happen. In any event, we are gratified to
know that there will be a petition circulated, requesting that the
Department of Municipal Affairs intervene in matters concerning policy
making and performance of our mayor, council, and administration. At
last, those who want to be part of positive change here will be able to
actively make their wishes known.
Again, to the firefighters, we deeply acknowledge your history of dedicated professional service to all of us.
Dick and Susan Burgman
The Calgary Herald just posted this online:
More firefighters protesting dismissal of Blairmore fire chief
Update as of 9:00 p.m. tonight:
Tonight at 7:00 p.m., the Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers Executive met with most of the firefighters, at the Bellevue Fire Hall.
Hillcrest Fire Chief, Jerry Newman, told the gathered crowd, that he and his fellow firefighters at both Bellevue and
Hillcrest fire halls will be turning in their pagers, in protest for the
dismissal of the Blairmore Fire Chief Jamie Margetak.
He made it quite clear that they are not resigning. They are only going "off-duty" until such time the situation is resolved.
He stated that the firemen are not giving up on the community. A skeleton crew of approximately 5 men will remain on active duty with their pagers, and rotate with the other firemen, who agree to do so, as needed. This is to ensure continued fire protection to the residents of the Crowsnest Pass.
“We’re just taking ourselves out of
service until the situation is resolved." Jerry said.
Several of the media were in attendance, again tonight, to report on this situation.
I will post further updates as they become available.
Today at 2:00 p.m. there was a peaceful public protest held at the Crowsnest Pass Municipal Office, calling for the resignation of the mayor, council, CAO and senior administration.
Over 100 people showed up this afternoon for what had to be the
biggest protest this community has seen in decades, according to many long time resident's.
The protest was then moved to the MDM in Bellevue, when it was found out that the CAO and council were not at the Municipal Office, due to renovations. Instead they were in a meeting at the MDM.
Once there, the
Crowsnest Pass RatesPayers President, Bill Kovach, had a very brief
meeting with the mayor, council, and
administration. He informed them that the citizens of the Crowsnest Pass
were asking for their resignation. He also mentioned that a petition
the works, and that Municipal Affairs had been informed as to
what was going on in our community.
and council have agreed to a meeting with the executive of the RatePayers Association. This meeting will take place next Tuesday October 9th at 2:00 p.m. A gathering of concerned CNP citizens will gather outside, while this meeting takes place. More details to follow.
Another protest gathering is planned for this evening at the Municipal Office for 7 p.m. as a show of solidarity. It is anticipated the Hillcrest and Bellevue firefighters will be most likely handing in their pagers tonight.
The executive members of the RatePayers Association has been requested, by the Firefighter's, to attend a meeting with them, at the Bellevue Firehall at 7:00 p.m. tonight, before the firefighter's make their decision.
See pictures of the protest below. Click on the smaller thumbnail picture to see a larger view of the photo.
Municipality of Crowsnest Pass press release - Oct. 3/12
Fire Service Discontent
At 10 p.m. on October 3, 2012, the Municipality
of Crowsnest Pass received word from Station 25 Chief Wayne Robutka,
that effective immediately, 17 of 19 members of Station 25 have turned
in their pagers and will not be responding to disaster and fire
incidents. Their position is they will only return to service upon the
reinstatement of the Station 24 Chief and he further stated "that it was
time for action with no more waiting."
The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass is extremely disappointed by the
actions of Station 25 fire service members in the lack of
professionalism and disregard for public safety relative to the time of
day and short notice that was received.
In response to Station 25's deliberate disregard for the safety and
protection of 1,654 residents in the Coleman area, the Munipality has
deployed its modified response which includes fire service members of
Station 22, 23 and 26 on alert standby to respond to any incident.
Further to this modified response, the Municipality has retained
external qualified services to bolster public safety as the Municipality
has been requested by Station 22 and 23 to consider a comprise of the
reinstatement of the Station 24 Fire Chief as of noon October 4, 2012.
The Municipality is aware that we have existing fire service
personnel that have the best interest of the community at heart and
would like to thank them for their continued service and commitment to
the residents of our community.
As an employer, the release of Station 24 Fire Chief followed strict
internal and external labour protocol and required processes.
This extreme action taken by the paid/volunteer firemen of Station 24
and 25 has initiated the Municipality to undertake an external
examination of the operations and activities of the Municipal Fire
For further information please contact Myron Thompson, Chief
Administrative Officer, Municipality of Crowsnest Pass 403-562-8833 or
Unedited press release
FIRE SAFETY CONTINGENCY PLAN - Station 24
Crowsnest Pass Fire/Rescue
The Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Fire & Rescue Services falls
within the Protective and Community Services Department. Fire &
Rescue Services are deployed from five stations positioned in core areas
of the Community. Each station has a Station Chief who is responsible
for that station and the Station Chief’s in turn report to a full time
Fire Chief. There has been a recent termination of a Station Chief and
with this action response plans have been modified for an interim period
to allow a transition process to take effect. Fire protection within
the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass has not been compromised and remains
at a high standard. Residents and businesses can be confident that there
safety and protection is being upheld.
Municipal Population 5,565
Number of Total Stations: Fire -4 Search/Rescue 1
Station Response Distance:
Coleman to Hillcrest 14.99 km from East to West
Coleman to Blairmore 6.73 km
Hillcrest to Bellevue 3.65 km
Blairmore to Bellevue/Hillcrest 7.92 km
Distances are calculated following the closest and most direct route.
Response times will vary pending time of day, environmental conditions
Station: 22 (Hillcrest) Personnel 21
Station: 23 (Bellevue) Personnel 18
Station: 24 (Blairmore) Personnel 21 – 11 = 10
(Recruitment & interviews scheduled)
Station: 25 (Coleman) Personnel 19
Station: 26 (Rescue Blairmore) Personnel 14
Total: 93 original members from 5 Stations
11 resignations YTD from Blairmore.
Total strength remaining - 10 members Station 24 (Blairmore)
72 personnel remaining other stations.
The Municipality has a full time Fire Chief that is
actively engaged with all stations and is ensuring that public safety
and protection will remain a top priority. Emergency Call Dispatch
protocol has been alerted to page out all stations until further notice
for any incidents occurring in Station 24 area including remaining
personnel from Blairmore Station 24.
Municipality of Crowsnest Pass has a long standing Mutual Aid
Agreement with the Town of Pincher Creek and is consistent with industry
best practices. This agreement engages the reciprocal provision of fire
and rescue services to each municipality.
Unedited press release copied from Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Facebook page
The following was posted on Facebook yesterday:
"I just wanted to get the attention of the Sun (Facebook friends the CNP
too) on an issue in the Crowsnest Pass today. A 34 year volunteer
firefighter (Fire Chief) was fired for reasons other than just cause.
Reasons that are completely seemingly fabricated. After the municipal
council made the decision to cancel the Blairmore Fire Department's 19th
Annual Thunder In The Valley fireworks display they have been looking
for ways to remove the head of the Blairmore Fire Department and anyone
who is not willing to be bullied by the current Mayor and his puppets.
Tonight municipal officials called a meeting with Station 24 (Blairmore
Fire Department) explaining what has happened. All 11 members to were
able to make the emergency meeting turned in their pagers, quitting the
department at the disgust of which a 34 year volunteer was treated."
Followed today by the "Official" Announcement from the Municipality.
Municipality of Crowsnest Pass
Effective October 1st, Station Chief Margetak has been relieved of his
active duty. This action has prompted conclusion of additional fire
service members from the Blairmore Station. The Municipality of
Crowsnest Pass wishes to advise the public that a contingency plan is in
place and a protocol has been established to ensure the ultimate safety
of the public while the transition takes place. The Municipality of
Crowsnest Pass wishes to thank Chief Margetak for the years of
dedication and service and wishes to thank also those fire fighters that
remain on active duty.
Update: Read Pass Promoter Article Online. Take the poll at the end of the article.
In a recent Crowsnest Pass Herald story, Margetak expressed concerns about organizational changes to
Emergency Response services announced by the Municipality. “I think
it was poorly handled,” he reportedly said.
See article in Crowsnest Pass Herald:
It awfully coincidental that Jamie Margetek was interviewed, stating his opinion, and then he was fired. I wonder if Doug Cox, who also was interviewed, will be next? It seems as if anyone who does not agree with council is "let go", fired, or soon relieved of their position.
All of this stupid decision making, is just another nail in this councils coffin!!
I hope all the Fire Departments stand in solidarity and follow suit. Maybe then council will have to sit up and take notice. It happened once before and things got better.
But with this council, who knows. They seem to be making weirder and weirder choices. It's almost like they have gone mad!! Or maybe it's just their leader who has gone mad!! Whatever it is, it is scary because we, the people, are at his mercy and every strange whim that he has.
Global Lethbridge Interview:
Quote "According to John's source from yesterday, today all but two (who couldn't be reached) firefighters in our Coleman Fire Department and all of our Hillcrest Fire Department firefighters have turned in their pagers today, as well. They've all walked out. No word yet on Bellevue."
Well, now the sh*t really is hitting the fan!! Will council finally realize the error of their ways? They are being forced into a corner. Will they back down or come out still fighting against the rest of the Pass population?
I think it's time for them to hang their heads in shame and admit their mistakes. Time for them to save even a small amount of face and man up to the reality of what they have been doing to this community and try to at least salvage what is left.
Community Branding Open House
September 26th, 2012 6:00-8:00pm
Elks Hall, Blairmore
Copied from Facebook the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass Page
The Municipality invites residents to be a part of the development of
the brand for Crowsnest Pass. This initiative is well underway and we
need your assistance in reflecting the needs and values as well as
economic opportunities and priorities for our community.
A Open House
will be held on September 26 at the Elks Hall in Blairmore from 6:00 to
8:00. This Forum is open to everyone and will serve to provide a
summary of the background research conducted as well as to gain your
impressions and feelings about the thematic areas emerging from the
research. These themes and your impressions will form the foundation of
the creative branding work to follow. Please come and join us and be
part of this process.
An interesting bit of news to share.
Apparently the Crowsnest Pass may soon be a "manufacturing hub", or so our Mayor wishes to believe.
In an interview with Alberta Prime Time - Talk of the Town, that aired on September 11, 2012, Mayor Bruce Decoux was asked about the mystery manufacturing company that is considering putting down roots in the Crowsnest Pass.
Our Mayor was quite clear that he could not tell us anything about this company. He stated that the name of this Quebec based company was being withheld as per the company's wishes. He stated that it was a "secret", and that even he was having a hard time keeping this secret.
He went on to say that he had been asked to keep it all in house, until such time the company decided on the location that they were planning on. He also stated that the "BIG secret" (emphasis mine) would be made in the form of an announcement with the next two weeks.
The next day, in the September Municipal Newsletter, in the Mayor's Corner, Bruce also talked about this "mystery" industry.
What I want to know are three things:
First, if this is supposed to be a mystery (a secret), and he has been asked by the company to not talk about it, then why is he talking about it so much?? I mean, so far we know several key things about it, that he, himself, has told us.
It is a company based in Quebec. It is a large manufacturing company. It is looking at opening up a plant in the western provinces.
It seems to me that armed with this knowledge (that we are not supposed to have knowledge of - Wink Wink ... Nudge Nudge) and a bit of time on the internet, I am sure I could narrow it down to one or two potential companies.
So much for a secret.
The bigger question begs to be asked:
Just what does this secret company think of our mayor (not) telling us this information?? I think I'd be pretty choked if I knew that had happened. Especially when he had been asked not to say anything.
The next question is:
When is this BIG secret life-as-we-know-it changing surprise supposed to be announced? According to the interview, it is supposed to be within two weeks.
Well, guess what folks, as of today, it has now been two weeks. He did tell us it would be within two weeks.
Have you heard anything? I know I haven't. Yet.
Maybe the Mayor is just keeping us in suspense until the last possible second (that would be midnight tonight). Maybe this is all just a BIG pipe dream. Maybe the company found someplace else to go. Maybe this company is just a tad bit upset that our illustrious mayor did not (tongue in cheek) tell us "anything" as requested by them. Anything is possible. Maybe......
Well, we will see what today brings.
I know that I will be waiting with baited breath!!
Wow!! A Manufacturing Hub!!! We could be the next Fort McMurray!! Attracting people from all over Canada, to the manufacturing capital of Alberta!! It IS the Mayor's Dream!! Or is it just more wishful thinking??
Recently a host of lawsuits seems to be plaguing the Crowsnest Pass. Some have been initiated by others and some by the Municipality itself.
On July 20th, 2012, a statement of claim citing the plaintiffs
as Chinook Pipelines Inc. (Chinook) and the defendant as the
Municipality of Crowsnest Pass was filed with the Court
of Queen’s Bench in Lethbridge.
Apparently Chinook Pipelines Inc. is suing the Municipality of Crowsnest
Pass for $420,000 worth of lost profits and damages to its reputation. Further allegations include
$30,000 for wasted time in preparation of a bid for the 2011 infrastructure improvements, interest, cost of the action and further
relief, that the court may permit.
Just what the Crowsnest Pass needs, a lawsuit. Yet another way to waste our taxpayers dollars.
But does the insanity and waste of money stop there? Not a chance.
Apparently the Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass is suing a certain former consultant turned
interim CAO (and his firm) for "Breach of confidentiality". Who in turn, is counter
suing the Municipality.
Oh what fun!!!
We all know who will be getting rich from all this. It will be all of the lawyers involved in the lawsuits. Can you believe all of this nonsense, at the you, the taxpayers, expense??
If you think this is bad, you have not heard the rest of it.
A reliable source has informed me that a certain entertainment group, hired to do a performance during Rum Runner Day's, was not paid in full for their agreed upon contract. After repeated requests, to Emile Saindon, Chairman of the Rum Runner Committee, to provide the money in full, and not hearing back from him or the committee, this group has decided that a lawsuit may be in order.
They have included the Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass, the Rum Runner Committee and especially the chairman in their grievances.
A bit of background on this issue:
This particular group was hired to perform. A contract was signed and agreed upon. Half was paid in advance with the balance due upon their arrival to perform. They arrived as scheduled. Unfortunately, they got rained out.
Now, as most entertainment contracts go, when someone is hired to perform, the entity who contracted them, is required to either have all arrangements in place, prior to the event. This includes an alternative arrangement, if this is an outside performance and it ends up raining. This is called a contingency (or backup) plan. Everybody has them.
Oh, wait!! The Rum Runner Committee did not have one. No surprise there. Except for the fact that one member of this committee mentioned that maybe they should have one in place. In fact, it was brought up twice by this member. What was this member told?? Oh, it won't rain!! We don't need to have an alternative place to hold the event. The weather will be just fine!!
Do you and I live in the same place?? This is the Crowsnest Pass. It's the Rocky Mountains. The weather here changes constantly. What were they thinking??
Obviously they were not.
So what did this all end up meaning for all involved parties?
Well, either the show must go on, get moved to somewhere else inside or if the hired group is told that the show is called off on account of rain (severe weather, etc.), the group still gets paid anyway. It is just how it is done!!
Instead, the chairperson decided that he did not want to pay this group all of their money and handed them less than half of what was left owing.
Now for those of you who say, well if they didn't perform they shouldn't get paid. Ideally in a perfect world this might be nice for the person paying the money. However, that is not how it works. It is not like the group cancelled or did not show up.
This group came over 1000 kilometres to perform. They paid their own gas, paid for their own meals and stayed overnight in a hotel at their own expense. They have families to feed, mortgages or rent to pay. They are entitled to a certain level of assurances. They arrived ready, and willing to perform. They were on time and prepared. It is just too bad Mother Nature was not in agreement that day. However, they are still entitled to that money. It is in their contract. It is the industry expectations.
So why should one man make a decision that affects their lives like that??
At the time, they were so shocked that he would do that, they took what he gave them and left. It was not enough to get home. They had to dip into their own funds to pay for the trip.
Once home, and upon reflection and discussion within the group, and obtaining proper advice, they emailed their dismay at this situation and asked for the rest of the money. After repeated emails and eventually only one response from the chairperson and in a negative manner, they decided that other ways to collect this money may have to be taken. This was now almost a full month after Rum Runner Day's.
Fast forward to the end of August:
The Rum Runner Committee met on Monday August 27th, to discuss the 2012 Rum Runners Days budget, successes and issues raised this year and whether or not to pay this particular entertainment group. After asking the question of the committee, everyone, except one person, seemed in agreement that payment was to be withheld.
At the time of this posting, this entertainment group has still not heard anything back from the Rum Runner Committee or the chairperson.
Wow!! Again, sadly no surprise. After all, the chairman and his committee know what's best for everyone.
So this group is now contemplating their next move, but they have mentioned lawsuit a couple of times. They just want their agreed upon money. Who can blame them??
However, we do know who to blame, if they end up filing a lawsuit.
Update: Since the posting of this Blog article, the group mentioned above has finally been paid in full.
CNP Ratepayers Meeting tonight 7:00 pm Hillcrest Miner's Club. Public welcome. Memberships will be available - $5.00.
Crowsnest Pass Branding Survey
The Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass has put a survey online, for the residents to fill out.
They are asking for input from we, the people of this beautiful mountain community.
They say that our input is important, as part of the development of the brand for Crowsnest Pass, in order that itreflects the needs and values as well as economic opportunities and priorities of the entire community.
You can find the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YXHXPZQ
One really wonders how much of our input they will really take into consideration, especially considering how much lack of attention they have paid to our voices and concerns up to now.
Seems like it is just a formality and may be a way to garnish some of the already lost support back from the community. An election is only just over a year away. Has campaigning already started?
My thoughts on council over spending
the performance of council over the past 18 months it is time to address the
issue of overspending. One can
understand that some costs have to go up but they should be kept in line with
the rate of inflation not impose 6% cost in our electrical distribution, a
significant increase in fees, permits, fines, offset levies, taxes and service
costs to the point that these increases become a cash cow to enable council to
balance their overspent budget figures.
Never once have any of them considered just what these increases are
doing to our residents especially those on a fixed income. Many of them live in fear that they will lose
their homes. Consider the 1.123 million
dollars spent on hiring high paying consultants and outsourcing service
contractors. Most people will admit that
costs do increase but if they are held at the inflationary rate and not
squandered upon wants instead of needs within our community then perhaps we can
live with responsible increases. Given
that this community has at least 180 homes for sale, and that we have a
dwindling population and dwindling tax base, how are we expected to absorb the
further tax burden left when these people move away?
council must consider their direction they are attempting to take us. We are not Calgary residents expecting the
same amenities they enjoy and we can only enjoy what we can afford. Council will have to go back to the table and
begin revisions to their 3 year budget which is one of the worst concepts that
they have put into place. They haven’t
been able to stay within the 2.5% increase this year let alone spend an
additional million dollars each consecutive year and expect us to absorb it
all. A well known American senator gave
a very enlightening speech in congress when the mortgage companies Fanny Mae
and Freddy mac were bankrupt and the banks were collapsing said, “That this
kind of spending only results in their businesses “hitting the wall” with
nowhere else to go.
mind set for council to do some damage control is to base their policies and
revisions on a community need basis and not a community want basis. This must be accomplished within a short
frame of time and hopefully we will be able to turn our economy around but we
cannot and must not be forced to continue on the downward spiral.
council will consent to a referendum of agreement to cut spending, the
conditions being that if they are going to be over budget they cannot raise
taxes, fees, permits, service costs, utilities etc. in order to balance the
budget but they MUST CUT SERVICES to bring costs back in line. This is now being practiced by our provincial
government as well as the Federal
Conservative Party. You cannot bring in
$1000 and turn around and spend $1500.
big issue under the overspending umbrella is the Peace Officer program which
has been implemented by council and administration which when first presented
by Mayor Decoux that according to the solicitor general’s office a peace
officer could be appointed at no cost to the taxpayer. Well that is the biggest falsehood issued to
date. We have already spent $140,000
dollars to outfit two enforcement vehicles containing all the bells and
whistles that make them operational for service for example in Harlem New
York. If we don’t have to pay their salaries
then the fines they issue to us (the money being taken out of our left pocket)
will pay for them and those of us who don’t get fined will still have to pay
them out of our right pocket through our taxes.
It definitely is not a win, win, situation for the residents. Consider that they don’t recoup their
salaries we will spend at least $250,000 the first year alone that they are
operating within our community. Add two
peace officers to the RCMP 9 member detachment means that we have law
enforcement for approximately 500 people per officer. I don’t know about anyone else but I consider
this as overkill. All we require in this
community is a qualified, responsible, intelligent, common sense by law officer
who will do just that. Enforce our
bylaws. Oh an afterthought…now and then
the Sheriffs come to town to do their road stop checks. The RCMP have been enforcing the laws both
federal and provincial for many years and as we have no drive by shootings, no
gang wars, murders, and riots to contend with they have done an ample job of
keeping the peace.
should take a look at their track record and face the reality that they are not
working in our best interests and seem to have established themselves as an
elite group who do not have to report to anyone. They work for us, which seems to have been
forgotten and they must work within the parameters set by the population.
have no input whatsoever into decision making especially if it concerns a large
expenditure, (usually a ¼ or ½ a million dollars) and we don’t know the money
has been spent until it is already a done deal and the equipment or policy is
must establish a two way line of communication between the council and the
taxpayer or we will find ourselves at the Chapter eleven door if we continue on
this roller coaster spending spree.
are asking for responsible fiscal government,
Transparency (keep us in the loop before decisions are made)
workable two way communication with the taxpayer and council
to our budget that will bring taxes back in line with reality.
Endorsed by the Crowsnest Pass
Crowsnest Pass Rate Payers Association
Kovach, President of the Crowsnest Pass Ratepayers Association is very
pleased to provide an update on the progress of the Association. What
began back in June has a number of taxpayers getting together and
voicing numerous concerns about the direction our community is heading.
In a few busy months of public meetings being held in each community, to
determine if there was interest in revitalizing the Ratepayers
Association and hearing the concerns of the ratepayers it was
determined very quickly that the public is very interested in having a
Ratepayers organization in place.
The decision was made to move forward
to elect an executive comprised of residents from all areas of the
Crowsnest Pass. President William Kovach is very pleased to announce
that the Association has in a very short time frame already signed up
over four hundred members. He encourages anyone interested in joining
the organization to contact any of the following executive board members
(Cost of $5).
William Kovach 564-4709
Gail Montgomery 564-4077
Troy Clark 563 0381
Sasha JaegerBaird 563 6073
Ed Strembecki 564-0184
Marilyn Milley 562-2719
Marlene Anctil 562-8180
Larry Ruzek 564 4384
Rudy Pagnucco 562-8147
In line with the concerns raised by ratepayers at those meetings the
executive created a mission statement for the organization one that
states the following:
“The Association monitors municipal
decisions to ensure that responsible and accountable governance is
being provided for the people of the Crowsnest Pass."
Ratepayers Association wishes to achieve these goals by working in
cooperation with the municipal administration and council. To that end
the Association has requested the following, a meeting with council and
administration to introduce themselves and share the goals of the group
(August 21, G+P meeting). A request for information from the CAO,
regarding the concerns raised by the taxpayers at the public meeting
(Taxation, spending, hiring, use of consultants etc) . The vast majority
of which should be readily available as it is contained in the
triennial budget put in place by council several months back.
Additionally President Kovach would like to announce that to keep the
public better informed of how the ratepayers efforts are proceeding, the
group will very shortly have it’s own Facebook page, they will also be
holding their next executive board meeting September 20 at 7pm in the
basement of the Coleman Legion. All members or prospective members are
more than welcome to attend.
Well, I'm not sure if the Blairmore Fire Department is making an official statement, or not. But as of Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, reported in both papers, (the Pass Herald and the Crowsnest Promoter) the Blairmore Fire Department is officially selling their new and most likely last ever, T-shirts for Thunder in the Valley.
These limited edition T-shirts depict a larger than life, dark, foreboding man stomping on (or crushing - open to interpretation here) the grave of Thunder in the Valley. A hand reaches from the grave holding unlit fireworks. The hand very obviously belongs to a buried fireman wearing a Fire Department hat.
Also open to interpretation are seven dark ominous figures, in the background, wearing gangster hats. A lynch mob perhaps? Some could say that they look more like tombstones, with gangster hats sitting on top of them. Either way, this scene conjures up a dark and sinister image of the death of an era.
Could this man in the picture be our mayor? Could the seven dark figures be our six members of council, CAO and/or Interim Manager of Enforcement Services??
Only the Fire Department knows for sure. I'm sure they are happy with whatever rendition we, the general populace, wish it to be.
According to the papers, the T-shirts are on sale at Sears in Blairmore and in Coleman at the Crowsnest Museum. The T-shirts are $20.00 and the proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts will be donated to help the Crowsnest Museum. A very worthy cause, if you ask me.
In the Pass Herald's's article, the Blairmore Fire Department decided upon the T-shirts, after the huge public response and outcry, due to the cancellation of Thunder in the Valley.
Apparently hundreds of emails and phone calls from locals and strangers alike, prompted the creation of this limited edition T-shirt, in memory of Thunder in the Valley. A spokesperson was quoted as saying: "It is metaphorical to the death of Thunder in the Valley. Fireworks are dead!!"
Thunder in the Valley is a family event put on by the local Fire Department. It started as a way to thank the local people for all their many years of support. It continued to gain momentum and popularity, through the years. Thunder in the Valley brought in tens of thousands of people to the Crowsnest Pass from all over the world. People looked forward, every year, to the event. Many people planned their whole summer around their coming for Thunder in the Valley. Locals had their households filled to capacity, with family members and friends, who came just to see the annual fireworks show.
The Blairmore Fire Department has expressed concerns and disappointment toward the cancellation of the Thunder in the Valley, an event that has taken place for the past 18 years.
They expressed their disappointment, in an announcement on the Official Thunder in the Valley website, when the decision was made by council in March of this year. You can read it here: http://thunderinthevalley.ca/
The Herald reported that the T-shirts are in limited quantity and will most likely be the last t-shirts that the Blairmore Fire Department will make.
So what does this mean for the future of Thunder in the Valley?? Well, with the statement that these will most likely be the last t-shirts that the Blairmore Fire Department ever make, I think that too, is open to interpretation. Or maybe it just shouts loud and clear, that they want nothing more to do with it any more. Especially after how they were treated by council. After all, who can blame really them??
If you are a resident of the Crowsnest Pass and have something to say about how the Mayor and council has been governing this community since being elected, in October of 2010, then now is the time to come out and have your say.
A Town Hall Meeting is planned for this Thursday (tomorrow) June 21st at 6:30 p.m.
Are you happy with the direction that things are going? Do you support our elected official's decisions? Or do you think that they are completely out-to-lunch?? Is council's spending in line with what you expected? Or do you think we are being taxed to death? Just where are our tax dollars going?? Does the Crowsnest Pass have anything to show for it??
Come out tomorrow, in support, or not, of our Mayor and councilmen. Tell them what you think and how you feel about the job that they have been doing for us?
Town Hall Meeting - Thursday June 21, 2012
Council extends an invitation
to the Public to attend a Town Hall Meeting, Thursday, June 21st at 6:30
pm at the Elks Hall.
Located at 2025 – 129 Street Blairmore.
Beef on a
Bun will be served prior to the meeting in the Elks Hall parking lot
commencing at 5:00 pm.
I'd like to cordially invite you to the official launching of York Creek Lodge's and the Crowsnest Pass Senior Housing website.
We have now entered the 21st century!!
Drop by and see what the Crowsnest Pass has to offer our Senior's. See what is happening in and around the area for Senior's.
York Creek Lodge and other Senior's activities and events will be posted monthly.
See our Vision Statement and Mission.
Find local contact information for York Creek Lodge, Tecumseh Mountain Manor and Westwind Apartments.
Come and check out our building's history and see what the future holds for our Lodge.
Check for available accommodation and employment opportunities.
Find Meals on Wheels information and how to volunteer your time to our senior's.
See how our fund raising is going or make a donation toward our building's future.
Browse our photo section.
Meet the management and staff.
Sign the guest book.
The website will be updated monthly, or more, as needed.
Well, it's official. Plans are well underway for this years Rum Runner Day's. It going to be bigger and better than ever!! That is of course, except for having no fireworks.
Anyone who has been out to the regular weekly meetings at the Municipal Office on Wednesday's @ 6:30 pm, (Note: open to the public at all times) knows what's been going on behind the scenes. If you haven't been there, maybe you have seen the tentative flyer?
If not, let me give you a run down on the plans.
First, the new rules and guidelines:
- No random camping allowed. At all!! That is "no random camping" within the boundaries of the Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass. It WILL be strictly enforced.
- Camping will be allowed only in designated camping areas around within the Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass. If you allow camping in your own yard, that is your business, within reason.
- Out-of-town parking will not be allowed in Blairmore, on the Saturday July 21st, 2012, from abut 9:00 a.m. until about midnight. All out-of-town vehicles will be directed to one of several designated parking spots, East and West of Blairmore. A shuttle bus service will be provided to take people into Blairmore on the Saturday. There will be at least four buses running round trips to take people back and forth from the designated parking spots.
- Local people, living and residing within the Municipality of the Crowsnest Pass will be issued permits, to enter Blarimore, in order to facilitate shopping, work, etc. Each household will be allowed a set number of permits. If you live here, you will get a permit.
- This is a family oriented event. There will be a zero tolerance for alcohol outside of designated areas: Legion, local bars, Lion's Hall, beer garden's. This will be strictly enforced by the RCMP and Peace Officer's.
- Most tickets for events will be sold online, on the Rum Runner Day's website. CLICK HERE for a list of events, times, tickets, camping, etc.
Okay now onto the list of events:
Thursday July 19th, 2012
- Big M Shows & Carnival to set up on main street green space, as in years past.
- Early Vendor set up on main street green space.
- 8th annual Green & Gold Bill Fukami Memorial Golf Tournament @ CNP Golf & Country Club.
- Crownest Wine and Food Festival, 8:00 p.m. - 11:00 p.m. @ Elk's Hall Blairmore. Featuring local food, wine, musical performers and a display of art from local artists. Advance tickets available online (Rum Runner Day's website) and at the door. Limited amount available, so get yours online fast.
Friday July 20th, 2012
- Vendor set up main street green space.
- Blairmore Main Stage ISS Field and main stage:
- Afternoon children and family
- Karaoke fun, 4:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
- Beer Gardens - back corner ISS Field - 6:00 p.m. to approx. 12:30 a.m.
- Evening concert - The Paxton Bachman Band (son of Tim Bachman and nephew
of Randy Bachman of BTO and the Guess Who fame). From 8:30 p.m. - 12:30 a.m.
Tickets available online soon on the Rum Runner Day's website.
- RBC Sole Survivor Foot Race. Registration at Elk's Hall 7:30 p.m. Race at 8:00 p.m.
- Blairmore Legion Branch #7. Friday night supper and 50/50 draw.
Saturday July 21st, 2012
- Blairmore Lion's Club Pancake Breakfast 8:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. @ Lion's Hall main street Blairmore. $7.00 plate. Everyone welcome!!
- Vendor set up, main street.
- Midway rides and games, all day & evening.
- Rum Runner Day's Parade - Main Street Blairmore. Judging at 10:00 a.m. Parade @ 11:00 a.m. on main street.
- After the parade: Annual Show ‘n’ Shine main street Blairmore.
- "Who's Yer Daddy" will be playing classic rock in Gazebo Park after the parade.
- Other potential ideas to happen on Main street: pie-eating contest, log-sawing contest, nail-hammering contest and a barrel rolling contest
- Also after the parade - Blairmore Legion Branch #7 Hamburgers, Hot Dogs & snacks.
- The Ducks are back!!! Rum Runner Day's 2nd Annual Duck Race. Center Access Bridge in Blairmore @ 1:00 p.m.
- Afternoon Hillcrest Ball Diamonds: Co-Ed Slo-Pitch Tournament:
- Saturday evening at the Blairmore Legion, Pure Power Wrestling.
- ISS Field & Main Stage:
- 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. - Kid’s activities, fun for all
ages! Our very own Charli Jaenta - Facepainting, Tarot Card and Crystal Ball Reading, Balloon Animal Making, Food and Fun, Petting Zoo, dunk tank and much more.
- 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Main Stage Entertainment - Rainbow the Clown
Sunday July 22nd, 2012
So dear readers, there is plenty activities afoot.
For those of you who think that it is all going away because council cancelled the Fireworks portion of the weekend festivities, well, I guess you are wrong.
The Rum Runner Day's Committee is committed to making this a fun filled family event, for everyone!! Hopefully local residents will embrace this revised version. It was, after all, originally supposed to be, an event, put on for the families of the Crowsnest Pass.
I will continue to update, as more information becomes available.
|So who said it best?? Bon Jovi or Gareth Gates?? Does it really matter??
"Say It Isn't So" - Bon Jovi
I just can't believe
It was all a lie
No man in the moon
Just a big light in the sky
I hear Disneyland
Might lose Mickey Mouse
In some giant hostile corporate shake-up
Tell me it's a nightmare
Please wake me up
(Say it isn't so)
I found a book of matches
From someplace we've never been
How come you hang the phone up
The minute I walk in
Last night I had this dream
That I was losing you
I woke up in a cold sweat shaking
Rescue me my heart is breaking
Say it isn't so (tell me it's not true)
Say it isn't so (I believe in you)
Tell me it's a lie (I don't need no proof)
Say everything's all right (couldn't be, not you)
Say it isn't so
Superman don't fly
They did it all with strings
Elvis Presley died
They deep fried the king
Like some tacky cheesy bathing beauty
Dancing on the beach in a bad b-movie
Say it isn't so (tell me it's not true)
Say it isn't so (I believe in you)
Tell me it's a lie (I don't need no proof)
Say everything's all right (couldn't be, not you)
Say it isn't so (don't give up on me)
Say it isn't so (don't give up on you)
Get me through the night (we'll make it through)
Make everything all right (couldn't be, not you)
Say it isn't so...
Say it isn't so (tell me it's not true)
Say it isn't so (I believe in you)
Tell me it's a lie (I don't need no proof)
Say everything's all right (couldn't be, not you)
Say it isn't so (don't give up on me)
Say it isn't so (don't give up on you)
Get me through the night (we'll make it through)
Make everything all right (couldn't be, not you)
Say it isn't so
"Say It Isn't So" - Gareth Gates
Skies are dark its time for rain
Final call you board the train
Heading for tomorrow
I wave goodbye to yesterday
Wipe the tears that hide your face
Blinded by the sorrow
How can i be smiling like before?
When baby you don't love me anymore
Say it isn't so
Tell me your not leaving
Say you changed your mind now
That I am only dreaming
But this is not goodbye
This is starting over
If you want to know, I don't want to let go
So say it isn't so
Ten to five at least we tried
We're still alive but hope has died
As they closed the door behind you
Whistle blows the turns of steel
Shake the ground beneath the wheels
As I wish I never found you
How can I be smiling when your gone?
Will I be strong enough to carry on?
Say it isn't so
Tell me your not leaving
Say you changed your mind now
That I am only dreaming
But this is not goodbye
This is starting over
If you want to know, I don't want to let go
So say it isn't so
Miles and miles to go
Before I can sing
Before i can lay my love for you to sleep
Oh darling, no
I got miles and miles to go
before anyone will hear me laugh again
Say it isn't so
Tell me your not leaving
Say you changed your mind now
That I am only dreaming
But this is not goodbye
This is starting over
If you want to know, I don't want to let go
So say it isn't so
Say you changed your mind now
That I am only dreaming
But this is not goodbye
This is starting over
If you want to know, I don't want to let go
So say it isn't so
If you want to know, I don't want to let go
So say it isn't so
I heard another rumor today. More bad news. Just say it isn't so!!!!
Is this really the last year for the Kananaskis Indoor Pro Rodeo?? Really??? It can't be!!!! Yet another casualty in this community. Whether it is a casualty of apathy, lack of volunteers or council's recent actions and decisions, does it really matter why?? All that matters is that it is happening all over the Pass.
Once again it looks as if we will be losing another big attraction here in the Crowsnest Pass.
In fact, other than local historical sites (like the Frank Slide, Leitch Collieries - which has been closed for a year, and the Underground Mine Tour, etc.) the Rodeo was the second biggest draw to bring in crowds to the Crowsnest Pass, next to Thunder in the Valley.
So what does that leave us with??
I really hope this is just a really bad and really late April Fool's joke. Either way, I'm not laughing.
Lately, quite a bit has been written and talked about regarding the number of Municipal employees we have, what we are currently paying them and where all the money is going.
I am the first to say that I have not directly looked into the matter. I guess I should take the time to be more informed.
It is glaringly apparent, that up until now, the Mayor and council have been very silent to the questions being posed by numerous members of this community.
However, the other day councilor Brian Gallant decided to breach the silence and break down the numbers for us. Thank you Brian for having the gumption to step up and make your voice heard. We really have been waiting for some answers.
Now after reading it through several times, I ran all the information through my mind. There was definitely some clarification made. However there were still obviously some glaring discrepancies between what we had a year ago and what we have now. All the numbers just don't seem to add up.
Now I must say Brian that if you did in fact stand up and voice your opposition against some of the decisions that council proposed and consequently made, then I sincerely thank you. We should all thank you. We need more of that.
I do also understand that not all of us can grasp or comprehend the complexities of it all. After all council is privy to more information than what the general public knows. We would really have to be in your shoes to be "in the know".
So I guess the general public will
have to be content to take your word for it. You are our council. You do,
after all, know what is best for all of us.
Another thing that disturbs me is the lack of transparency that seems to plague this council, like it did the last. Maybe that just goes with the territory? I mean, what really does go on behind closed doors or "in camera"? I know what types of things that are supposed to go on in camera. But that does not mean that is exactly what happens.
Something else that really worries me is the continued absences of the same people from council meetings. First, they do not get to "have their say". Second, they knew what they were getting in for when they ran. If they can not commit to something as important as attending a council meeting, as a council member, then maybe they should have not run or maybe instead now bow out and we can find someone else to replace them. It's been done before.
However, I guess we will have to make do with who does attend and be grateful for it.
The few council member's who are speaking out, are desperately trying to put a positive spin on everything. I don't blame them. I for one, am all for being positive. I will say that I am positively going to run for council next election.
Then I can positively say that I am privy to "all the information" that the privilege of the position holds. Then all of my unanswered questions positively will be answered.
Well, Dear Readers, I have something to get off of my chest!!
Recently one of my fellow Bloggers wrote a blog titled:
Where have all the Volunteers Gone?
It was linked to a well written article in the Crowsnest Pass Promoter, on March 21st.
Joni had written a tongue-in-cheek list of guidelines, pertaining to the cancellation of Thunder in the Valley, that affect community support and volunteering within this beautiful community.
Several letters poured in after that, echoing the sentiments of the original article. One such letter to the editor stated that it should have been titled "13 Ways to Kill a Community."
On this aforementioned blog many people voiced their opinions on council and how councils decisions are affecting us all. Some talked about the "hand-picked" committees and how council spins it's own version of facts and figures to suit their own needs and what is said in the public eye.
Well, I just want you to know that I am one such person who currently sits on one mentioned committee. It is the Rum Runners Days Committee.
Just some background before you rush to blast me. The council ran ads for several weeks asking for community support and volunteers for this committee. They requested a resume with related experiences attached.
First point: If you want volunteers, why are you asking for a resume? Is this to scare everyone "unqualified" away??
I sent in my application. I guess I was the only one not "scared" away. Mine was the only reply to help.
I then waited for council to "find" more volunteers. Councillor Emile Saindon was asked to head up this committee. Several council members then hand-picked suitable business people and friends. A committee was finally formed. The committee was comprised of these key business people, council members, and friends and family members of council members.
Oh yes, and me.
I must note here: This was much before the cancelling of Thunder in the Valley. We still thought at this point that it was happening.
Council, the RCMP and C.P. Rail asked for several key issues to be addressed before they would approve the continuance of this event.
The committee complied the best we could. Everything that council was asked for we provided to them. Obviously it was not enough. Councillor Emile Saindon even abstained from the voting, when it came time to make the "decision" to hold TITV or not. He wanted to remain neutral. Good for him!! Sadly council did what many of us in this valley are now not happy about. They cancelled the main event, the fireworks show!!
Funny thing is, it set off a whole new set of fireworks, of a whole different kind.
Wow!! Over the next few weeks everyone and his dog had an opinion. Everyone was asking: where were "we the people" when the decisions were made and why were "we the people" not consulted?
It seemed to wake up this valley. Letter's to the Editors of both papers poured in. Everyone had something to say!!
But this article written by Joni MacFarlene on March 21st, seemed to best sum it up.
Well, since then I have worked with the Rum Runner Committee to try to make the best of a situation and to try to put on a fun, family -oriented event. Now remember, I was the only one who originally stepped up and volunteered for this committee. I offered my experience and training in several key areas to help make this event successful. I am not trying to blow my own horn here. I only make a note of this point because of what is seeming to be happening now on this "volunteer" committee.
We wonder where all the volunteers are going?? If they are being treated like I have been treated, since becoming part of this committee, then it is no wonder at all.
The following are some excerpts from an email that I just sent to the committee chairperson, Emile Saindon and his wife Candace, who is our secretary, entertainment & events coordinator and advertising, publicity & communications coordinator.
So here is part of the email:
I just got the email/contact list. Thank you.
I noticed something on this list and I just wanted some clarification please.
Am I no longer on as the municipality coordination that I volunteered for? I am just feeling shuffled around a bit.
first applied for the Rum Runner committee in November (when no one
else did) and was willing to take on several different things. I waited
to see who would be joining me.
After some time, a committee was
formed from some of the council members and members of the community,
who were directly asked, as no one else seemed to want to do it. At that
time, I volunteered to do the website, advertising and/or marketing; as
I have experience and schooling in all those areas.
meetings went on, I again volunteered my time for any of these things
and was told that these things had now been filled by other people who
had been (hand picked) asked, after I had volunteered to do them.
Then when we had
that meeting in February, and Emile asked who wanted to head up what
committee positions. I volunteered for the finances, municipality
coordination and/or as the Chairperson, as Emile mentioned he wanted to
hand it over to someone. I was put down for finances and municipality
coordination. That was acceptable to me. Emile said he would get the
information together for me. (He still has not, as of yet, and it is well into April.)
At the next meeting you had Carol
there to take over the finances. I deferred to her experience, she is
best qualified for it. I am happy to do that.
I again mentioned
to Emile about doing the chairperson job if he was still not wanting do
it. He told me at that meeting that he and I could work together on the
Chairperson position. I was not sure how that would work. He seems to be
handling it well himself. That is fine with me, I only offered my
experience to such a position, but am happy to have him continue with
what he has done thus far.
I did not offer myself for
entertainment, nor was this something that I was interested in doing. I
did, however, offer to call Rainbow the Clown, as the committee said we
would like to have one. You let me run with that one. Thank you.
I came up with the T-shirt contest idea and you let me run with that one, too. Thank you. I will see it through.
on this contact list you just sent out, you now have me listed as
Entertainment/Events Coordinator. I was under the impression that
Candace and Valerie had volunteered to do that. Candace, I just want you
to know that I truly feel that you have been doing a great job too!! It
is amazing!! You are amazing!!
Anyway, I guess what is bothering
me is that I offered in the various areas that I had experience and
training, and in areas that I would be physically able to do the work
needed and the time to do it.
A lot of the people you now have on this committee have been specifically chosen (again I point out: hand-picked) for their areas of expertise.
I really feel very shuffled around. I feel that my experience has
not been a consideration in the areas of where you have chosen to place
me. No one likes to feel unappreciated or underutilized. Sadly, I am feeling both.
this point, I will continue to be a voice of the people. As that seems
to be the only area that I am seemingly doing that I volunteered for.
So I ask you this, Dear Readers:
Is it a wonder why we have a hard time finding volunteers, if this is how they are treated? Why would we volunteer if we feel unwanted?
Are we going to continue to let council "handpick" our volunteer committees and boards based solely their qualifications (or lack thereof) and relationship to council?
Is this what our future looks like?
Will you sit idly by and let this happen?
Will our committees be made up of the elite, the educated and the entitled?
Will you stand up and let your voice be heard??
Do you want the choices made for you, or do you want to actively be a part of that choice? Get out and make your choices known.
We ALL have something valuable to offer. Whatever education we do or don't have, whatever experience someone else thinks we have or do not have to offer, the greatest thing we can offer is our time!!! Our time is our greatest resource!! Don't be afraid to offer your time. Don't be put off by what others say or think. YOU are our most valuable asset!!!!
Get out and volunteer. We need you!!
As a side note:
I will continue to be a part of this Rum Runner Committee, no matter how much they seem to be pushing me out in favor of more "desirable" people . I will not be undervalued or ignored!!
I listen to what the people of this valley have to say. I hear what you are saying. I will continue to try to represent you the best I can.
You have a voice in me. I will be heard!! I will not back down. You can count on it!!
|This is a reposting of one of my posts from back in October of 2010, with updates of some of the things that we have lost, changed or gained to date, indicated **.
Sasha JaegerBaird: Posted on Thursday, October 14, 2010 8:48 AM
the election looming and the past actions or inaction of the current
council weighing heavily upon us, there has been a lot of negative talk
lately about the Crowsnest Pass. Today I want to talk about all the positive that the Crowsnest Pass has to offer. We
live in one of the most beautiful places in Canada. It boasts majestic
mountains and pristine rivers. The Pass has numerous beautiful lakes and
awesome camping. It has great fishing and numerous other outdoor
recreational opportunities. We
are lucky to live in the Rocky Mountains, in a place that hasn't been
turned into a National or Provincial Park. The plus side of this, is
more freedom and we actually own our land/property. We have a right to
vote, to make decisions regarding our town and land. (** <-- Note this last point: I am beginning to wonder if we really have any say regarding the decisions about our town and land, or if the current council just thinks that we are just too stupid to think for ourselves and only they know what's best for us. So far what they seem to think is best for this valley, has caused a lot of negativity and stirred up a lot of dissension. **)
Other things we have that we should be thankful for, include the following -
We have many outdoor pursuits, such as:
ATV/Quadding (Quad Squad)
Cross Country Skiing (Crowsnest Pass Cross-Country Ski Assoc.)
Snowmobiling (CrowsSnow Riders Association)
Swimming (community pool, lakes and rivers) (Pass Piranhas Swim Club)
Baseball/Slo-Pitch (Minor Ball & Pass Slo-Pitch League)
Soccer (Minor Soccer)
HorseBack Riding (Turtle Mountain Riding Club)
Rifle/Gun Range (Crowsnest Gun Club)
Lacrosse (Minor Lacrosse)
White Water Slalom
Ball Hockey ** unable to confirm continued existence
Track & Field (Passtrak) ** unable to confirm continued existence
And Indoor Activities:
Ice Skating - Indoors and Out
Figure Skating (Skating Club)
Ice Hockey (Minor Hockey, Ladies & Old Crows Recreational Hockey ** unable to confirm the latter)
Curling (Crowsnest Curling Club)
Indoor Rock Climbing ** future uncertain
Pottery (Pass Pottery Club)
Bowling ** future uncertain
Martial Arts Weight Training & Fitness Gym
Women's Gym** no longer available
Indoor Pistol Range (Pistol Club)
We are fortunate to have the following programs and events in place:
Adult Education Program
Adult Literacy Program
The Literacy Foundation
Women's Resource Centre
Parent Link Centre
Community Health & Mental Health Services
Boys & Girls Club
Three Senior's Centre's ** Now only one
Citizen's On Patrol
Crowsnest Conservation Society
CNP Allied Arts Association
CNP Weight Lifting Club
Communities In Bloom
Rum Runner Days
Thunder In The Valley ** Cancelled indefinitely
Crowsnest Pass Symphony** future uncertain
Mason's (Sentinel Lodge)Shrine Unit
Hillcrest Miners & Literacy Club
Kananaskis Pro Rodeo Society
Knights of Columbus
Meals on Wheels
Elk's Lion's Club
Order of the Royal Purple
Road Watch in the Pass
Royal Canadian Air Cadets
Sole Survivor Foot Race Society CNP
Taoist Tai Chi Society
NIT (Nippon Institute of Technology)
Amature Radio Club
Cancer Support Group
We also have the following facilities:
Albert Stella Memorial Arena (Blairmore) ** Facing permanent closure and the wrecking ball
Allison/Chinook Cross-Country Ski Trails
Ball/Soccer Complex (Hillcrest)
Bellevue Community Campground
Blairmore Elk's Hall
Climbing Wall (Blairmore)** future uncertain
Coleman Museum ** reopened for now, but future uncertain
Frank Slide Interpretive Centre
CNP Art Gallery
Rocky Mountain Lane's - Bowling ** future uncertain
CNP Community Swimming Pool ** future uncertain
CNP Golf & Country Club
CNP Municipal Library (Blairmore)
CNP Sports Complex (Coleman)
Dairy Road - SportsField
Hillcrest Ball Diamonds
Hillcrest Fish & Game Hall
Lion's Hall (Blairmore)
Pass PowderKeg Ski Hill (Blairmore)
Lost Lemon Mine Campground
Allison /Chinook Lake Campground
Random Camping ** no longer allowed
Orpheum Movie Theatre ** recently ungraded
Food Bank ** NEW location
Two Veterinary Clinic's ** one is part-time Thursday's only
Three Optometrists **now only two
Two Doctor's Offices (one in Blairmore and one in Bellevue - with about 7 doctor's) ** Now Walk-in clinic in Coleman
Three Dental Offices** Now only two
Long Term Care Centre
York Creek Lodge
Tecumseh Mountain Manor
Two Second Hand Stores (Bagatelle & Women's Resource Centre)
Four Day Care Centre's ** unable to confirm exact number but no longer four
Bellevue Mine Tour
Four Fire Hall's ** Now only two districts, East and West
And the list goes on.......
The point being that we have a lot of great things to do and be thankful for. The
Crowsnest Pass people are a special breed of people, as well. They are
kind and generous. They are willing to lend a hand and help each other
out. We have a great volunteer base.
We have some awesome and unique local businesses. (** Sadly there have been quite a few closures of local business's to either go elsewhere or shut down permanently. On the positive side we have had several new places open up that are a huge asset to our community. **) We are lucky to have a couple of good developers, who have put a great deal into this community. Our
hospital is efficient and the staff friendly. We are lucky to have no
line-ups or long wait times in emergency, or for certain procedures.
The Crowsnest people take pride in our valley and it's rich history. The
people who live here are hard working and equally hard playing. We
enjoy life and all this place has to offer. We know that it is a special
place to live and raise a family. We respect nature around us and enjoy what it has to offer. We are proud of our heritage.
Crowsnest Pass is a very special place. It has a lot of good to offer.
Let's never forget that. Let's work together to make this place even
are still many more things that we can improve upon. Things that can
make this place an even better place to live. Things that can attract
the next generation to stay and raise a family.
The Crowsnest Pass depends upon it's people and it's leader's to ensure a bright and hopeful future. Remember this, when it comes time to vote, on Monday October 18th. Who do you want to lead us into the future?? (** Well, it is more than apparent who we have leading us into the future now. What is scary is what our future is beginning to look like. The people we voted in should be of the people, by the people for the people. Sadly the last part of that statement is not true. Well folks, there is 18 months left of the present council's term. Let's see what else they have in store for us. **)
I had an email sent to me and was asked to publish it for you to read and think about. It is as follows:
wrote a letter to the editor for both the Crowsnest Pass Herald and the
Pass Promoter, but unfortunately missed the deadlines for both (as I
was only recently made aware of the issue I write about below). I would
like to get the word out about a decision that is to be made by Council
on April 17 and am hoping that you might find the content of my letter
appropriate for sharing with the readers on your blog. (Or at least for discussion with your family, friends and colleagues!) Thank you in advance for your assistance.
name is Dana Tartal, and my father-in-law is Matt Tartal, owner of
Frankslide Liquor in Frank, AB. I am writing to ensure that the
residents and business owners of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass are
aware of the potential consequences of a decision that is set to be made
by Council via Public Hearing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17, 2012.
These consequences will impact not only my father-in-law and his
business, but also the other residents and business owners of Crowsnest
approved, Bylaw No. 844, 2012, would allow a liquor store to be built
along Hwy. 3 in Frank, adjacent to the current locations of the Fast Gas
and A&W restaurant… and less than 500 metres east of an existing
liquor store in a community of only 263 residents (many of whom are
I encourage you to ask yourself whether or not the approval of Bylaw
844 would be a good idea for your community and your family. As a
small-town mother and business owner myself, I would propose that it
would be reckless and irresponsible for several reasons; to be fair,
let’s look at both the positive and negative impacts of this decision.
owner of the proposed liquor store would enjoy his or her share of
profits, and the municipality would receive increased tax revenues (at
least until the weaker of the two liquor stores closes down). While a
certain amount of competition is healthy and vital to a free market
economy, there is a threshold at which point the supply outweighs the
existing demand. In this case, there are some significant negative
impacts that could result.
The collateral damage
proximity and density of liquor stores in an area should be of
particular importance to a community. There are many influential
municipalities (including Edmonton, AB) who have already imposed bylaws
specifically limiting the proximity of liquor stores in order to protect
the wellbeing of community members as well as competing businesses.
High densities of liquor stores in a particular area could result in
increased Gaming and Liquor Act offenses. With greater competition
comes an increased risk of selling liquor to minors in order to maintain
approval of Bylaw 844 is akin to placing two A&W restaurants right
beside each other. First of all, the franchise would never allow it
because it simply doesn’t make sense; secondly, the two businesses sell
the exact same products from the same distributors. In Alberta, the
Alberta Liquor and Gaming Commission strictly regulates and controls all
liquor products available for resale in the province. This means we’re
not talking Teen Burgers versus Big Macs. Both liquor stores only have
access to identical products, completely inhibiting the opportunity to
differentiate oneself from the competition.
proposed liquor store is also less than a 30 second drive from the
existing liquor store in Frank. This is the gateway to the municipality
for all westbound traffic into the community. How will this impact the
perception of the travelling public and tourists alike? The
municipality is currently reviewing the popular Thunder in the Valley
event because of the risk to public safety; however, approving Bylaw 844
would create an image that this is a ‘party’ community.
and perhaps most importantly, approval of Bylaw 844 would be in
non-compliance with numerous policies outlined in the Crowsnest Pass’
Municipal Development Plan (MDP). Bylaw 844 requires a Land Use Bylaw
amendment because a liquor store is not a prohibited use on a C-2 zoned
lot; however, MDP Policy 9.4 states that “when land use bylaw amendments
are proposed to accommodate new commercial uses, consideration shall be
made to existing and adjacent land use patterns in the area.”
Accordingly, having two liquor stores practically side-by-side should
not warrant an approved amendment.
MDP policies state that the municipality will “support existing local
businesses”, “protect existing (commercial) developments”, and “attempt
to manage adverse impacts on adjacent activities”. It is clear that
approving Bylaw 844 will set dangerous precedence by conveying that the
municipality will contravene its own policies, putting all local
businesses at risk.
this new liquor store serve a need in the community that currently
isn’t being met by the five liquor stores already operating throughout
the municipality? Whether or not you agree with the statements I’ve
made above, it’s important that you talk about this upcoming decision
with your family, friends and colleagues. Evaluate the implications it
may have on the social and business environment of the community, and
how it may impact your family. Have your voice heard on April 17.
We may have narrowly escaped a tax increase to our Municipal Property Taxes...
Good People of the Crowsnest Pass, we have been given a false sense of security.
The Crowsnest Municipal council passed a 10% Utility Fee hike, that was approved as part of the 2011 budget.
Currently Municipal Utility bills are produced and billed every two months.
A two month bill looks something like this:
Recycling Levy $5.00
Garbage Levy $35.64
Sewer Levy $32.10
Water Levy $46.00
Current Charges $118.74
That breaks down into $59.37 per month per household.
A 10% increase would see that amount go to $65.31 per month.
That may not seem like a lot but the projected revenue for the 10% fee hike will mean an additional $95,000 ++ a year for the municipality.
So technically we may not have been hit in the wallet with a Property Tax increase, but we have been hit in the pocketbook with this new 10% Utility increase.
Which, incidentally, is effective retroactively for the January and February billing period. So be prepared to see the extra added onto on your March bill.
My question is: What is this extra revenue that will be collected, going to be used for???
Something good I hope. Something that this community can use.
What are your opinions?
This is the Question being asked, according to an article in yesterday's The Townsman's online news feed, The Bulletin.
Stetski, Manager of the East Kootenay Conservation Program is lobbying
local governments to approve and establish a local conservation
Several communities have already approved of this project.
"There are eight projects currently receiving funding," Stetski said.
Projects range from planting trees for
fish and wildlife habitat in riparian areas, to money for restoration of
Limber Pine from Canal Flats to Spillimacheen. The distinctive twisted
dead tree on Highway 3 just east of Crowsnest Pass is a Limber Pine.
My question to you is:
Would you, the taxpayer, agree to paying an extra $20.00 a year to support these conservation
projects?? Do we really need to pay an extra $20.00 a year to do such
things as continued restoration of our famous Burmis Tree?? Are we not
already doing that as a local community? Do we need to do this on a
provincial level?? And if so, we we willing to cough up the extra money
to do so??
Thoughts and opinions anyone???
|It is great sadness that I inform you that Merle Sandau, of the Crowsnest Pass, passed away suddenly on Thursday January 6th, 2011. The memorial services were held on Wednesday January 12th.
Merle ran for a position on council, in the last Crowsnest Pass municipal election, in October 2010.
My thoughts and prayers are with his family at this sad time.
|Where do you do your Christmas shopping?
Do you try to shop locally? 60% of the people polled said that they shopped locally.
Do you do all your shopping locally? 0% said that they did all their shopping locally.
Do you do mail order? 17% said they used mail order to shop.
Do you shop from Ebay? 24% said that they used Ebay to shop.
Do you go to Pincher Creek to do your shopping?54% go to Pincher Creek to shop.
Do you do some of it in Lethbridge or Calgary?71% go to the city to shop.
Do you do all of it in the city?6% of the people who voted do all their shopping in the city.
Do you do a combination of local and city shopping? 60% do a combination of local and city shopping.
Do you do a combination of "other" places for your shopping? 24% shopped in a combination of "other"places.
Is it important to you to shop locally? Of all people polled, 36% feel that it is important to shop locally.
If you do not shop locally, is it because there is not enough choice? 47% feel that there is not enough choice in order to do all their shopping locally.
If you could have more selection, would you do all your shopping locally? 60% of the people polled felt that if there was more selection, they would do ALL their shopping locally.
I was really surprised that 60% did their shopping locally. That is a good sign. Just over half of the community go to Pincher to shop (Wal-Mart). That seems such a shame, as we could have had Wal-mart here. Imagine the jobs it would have provided and the convenience.
71% of the people polled do their shopping in the city. It is too bad that we have to leave out community to find what we need.
I was very pleased to see that 60% tried to do their shopping locally however did have to leave the Pass for the rest of their shopping needs. This same 60% felt that if there was more choice and selection, they would do this same shoppoing locally.
is blind faith? What does complete trust mean to you?
people have never experienced either. There are people who will tell
you that they have. It can be a spiritual concept. It can be a soul
touching occurrence. It can be a mind-changing or life-altering
experience. It can also be quite a tangible thing. Whatever it is to
you, just know this, many people have never had an opportunity to
experience either. And sadly many have, but don't even know it.
have a story to tell you.
I was twenty years old, my husband built me my very first car. I
remember this car well. It was a little old Datsun 510. He had built
it from three wrecked Datsun 510's that he had found, in several
different locations, around the city of Calgary. Each car had been a
different year, but all were compatible with each other. We were
never really sure what year the car officially was, but it was a
combination of 1969 – 1971.
had the body from a standard. The tires, rear end and transmission
were from an automatic. My husband somehow converted it to a
standard. Once it was finally finished, boy could that thing go from
a dead standstill!!
took him many months to build it. He had borrowed the neighbor's
garage in order to work on it, as we did not have one of our own. He
would go out every night, after he had worked for 12 hours or more,
and work on my car. I would make his supper and bring it out to him.
Then I would help him for hours, handing him whatever tools he might
need. He spent his whole weekends working on it.
could barely wait!!
came together piece by piece, fender by fender. It wasn't very pretty
to look at, but it was to be mine. I remember it had a black painted
wood four by four for a back bumper. It had five different colors of
primer on it; black, grey, blue, rust colored and white. It stayed
this way, until we finally sold the car. I always said it was for
conflicting eye-witness reports. lol
the day came, after several false starts, that my husband got it
going for the first time. That sound was music to my ears!! I wanted
to jump in and drive it right away. My husband had other thoughts. It
wasn't quite done yet. I had to wait.
I didn't have to wait long.
evening, I was in the house cleaning the dishes and he came in the
front door of the house. He told me to come outside; he had a
surprise for me.
it was, sitting out front of our house!! My first car!!! I was so
told me to get in and take it for a drive around the block.
got in to have my first test drive. There was only the driver's seat
in it at this point. I climbed in and got ready to take off. However
he neglected to tell me that the driver's seat was not yet bolted
down and I ended up head over heels in what was where the back seats
should have been. It was both funny and embarrassing. I suppose it
could have been a lot worse. At least I wasn't driving at a high rate
told me to wait and went back to get a couple of bolts.
he had tightened them, I got to try it again.
was the most exhilarating feeling. I was so happy, I was grinning
from ear to ear.
to say the car took a few more days to finish. The seats were finally
installed, the mirrors attached, and the gear shift knob put on. The
finishing touches were made. I had my car!!
you might ask what do the two questions, at beginning of this post,
have to do with this story??
this is where I will answer:
is blind faith?
was a young bride. I had only been married for a few months. My
husband, who I had only known for two years, build me my very first
car. When he brought those three wrecked cars home and told me that
he was going to make them into my car, I believed him. Even though I
had never seen him build a car before. I had no idea if he could or
not, but I believed him.
was blind faith.
does complete trust mean to you?
got into that car, and I had absolutely no doubt that it would get me
where I had to go. Really I had no idea if it was put together right
or not. I never questioned it though. I drove it around Calgary for
three years. I even had my baby boy with me, in a baby seat, in the
back. I was certain that my husband knew what he was doing and would
never put me or our baby in harms way.
was complete trust.
what do you think blind faith is? What does complete trust mean to
you? Have you ever experienced either?
Some people here in the Crowsnest Pass have blind faith in our newly elected council, that they will do for the CNP what they say they are going to do??
Others have complete trust in them, that they will do what they promised to do?
Do you think that there is a difference between these two statement's?? Can you see the difference?? Which one are you, if either?