Thursday, May 18, 2017

Letter to the Editor - Fundamental freedoms

D. Gray

Dear Editor,

I appreciate E. Rob’s time and consideration in writing their letter. It’s time the Town of Pincher Creek began a community dialogue and begin to dismantle the commonplace ‘smoke and mirrors’.

Before I begin, I must point out for E. Rob, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms that our Veterans fought to uphold and many died for. This Charter pertains to mine, E. Rob’s, yours and every Canadian citizen:

Fundamental Freedoms
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion;
(b) freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication;
(c) freedom of peaceful assembly; and
(d) freedom of association

Perhaps E. Rob could review the Municipal Act as well as the Public Service Regulations in order to become familiar with current legislative requirements for ethical and integral professional practices, expected from government and public service workers. There are no “inside sources” as E. Rob referred to. It’s all public information. Please let me provide some more public information for E. Rob to contemplate.

Alberta municipalities are established under provincial authority and are required to follow provincial and federal legislation. The Municipal Government Act, Revised Statutes of Alberta 2000, Chapter M-26 (MGA) is a primary piece of provincial legislation to provide order, authority and direction to municipalities.

” The MGA is very specific on many governance aspects, including the basic purposes of a municipality as follows”:
The purposes of a municipality are
(a) to provide good government,
(b) to provide services, facilities or other things that, in the opinion of council, are necessary or desirable for all or a part of the municipality, and
(c) to develop and maintain safe and viable communities.

Under the Alberta Municipal Act, Town Councils and public servants “work within communities to represent the interests and goals of community members. Local governments will provide services to residents, or people who live in the community, and encourage them to make local decisions together, build positive relationships and learn from each other. This strengthens the community as a whole.”

Interesting subject with grants. As mentioned in my previous letter, there was a recent grant that would have supported a part time position PLUS funding for community partnerships and initiatives for 3 years. It was denied twice. I have had several interactions on this grant writing matter with clients and their attempts to obtain writing assistance from FCSS, Economic Development et al, as they wanted to follow due process and partner with them as per many grant requirements. To no avail. Due to FOIP, I am unable to elaborate. I respect those people who need confidentiality.

So, who does write the grants for the town, if agencies can’t obtain assistance from their public servants who have taken workshops on how to write grants that our tax dollars have paid for?

As far as the Conflict of Interest matter is concerned, I must point out that I have provided in my previous letters, government references to the legal definition for ‘Conflict of Interest’. It can’t get any clearer than that. Where are E. Rob’s facts/proof to illustrate there are NO Conflicts of Interests in our Town’s Administration departments?

In the matter of businesses, E. Rob referred to the Chamber of Commerce, so where is the Chamber of Commerce presently? Is it in someone’s home? If it is, how is that accessible to general businesses or potential new businesses? Where is confidentiality regarding the storage of business information? Have they done any assessments on their service provisions to the present business owners in order to define their advocacy, roles, responsibilities and resources?

Why does E. Rob only reference Main Street, downtown Pincher? What about all the other local business enterprises, home based businesses, non-profits, organizations and other philanthropists that help represent and sustain this amazing Town of Pincher Creek and area? Is E. Rob confirming there’s a problem with Main Street’s business district? Has this economic issue been going on for years? What has E. Rob done to promote prosperity for their neighbour like me?

Where is the Economic Development Committee in conjunction with the Town? Please refer to the Town’s current 2009 Bylaw # 1606 - Economic Development Committee. Would that committee say that their recommendations to Council and the Economic Development department have come to fruition? Where is proof? The outcomes? How many businesses have left the area? Was there an Exit interview done with them? Where are the Canada 150 plans to enhance economic development in Pincher Creek, especially for Main Street? Where is transparency with public engagement and communication? What happened to the Alberta Main Street Preservation grant that would have enhanced Main Street’s look? I provided the application and information to the Town and Economic Development Department.

E. Rob negates to emphasise that it is a mutually respected partnership which will embellish the success of our community. Not just one person.

Does E. Rob only support and enable dysfunctional and unethical public servant’s behavior?

For years, many other Pincher Creek community members have asked these same questions. My questions are not new. Tell me is this what happens in the Town of Pincher Creek, a response like E. Rob’s letter, if anyone dares to question actions of our elected officials and public servants? If E. Rob and community members did a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis, separate from Town Administration, what would be learned?

Inquiring minds want to know the answers to many of these questions... doesn’t E. Rob?

D. Gray
Proud Resident of Pincher Creek

1 comment:

  1. I agree with the letter by E. Rob. Inquiring minds do indeed wonder if D. Gray has some agenda, hidden or otherwise. Running in the upcoming election? Maybe. Sour grapes for some reason? Maybe. Who knows but the letters are completely negative and unproductive. Like E. Rob said, "put your money where your mouth is" and then we can sort it out. Respectfully, Patricia (I'm not afraid to publish my name) Warren


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