Some very disturbing observations

Tuesday, Apr 24, 2012 06:00 am

Re: Property rights

In the March 20 edition of area newspapers, the Government of Alberta placed a three-quarter page advertisement which stated they’re taking action on property rights. Their advertisement says they’ve made positive steps by creating a Property Rights Advocate and are ensuring consultation, compensation, and access to courts.

A March 27 quarter page advertisement in the Mountain View Gazette by the P.C. provincial election candidate Mr. Darcy Davis said the same thing.

I attended the Property Rights Task Force “gong show” at the Olds Cow Palace on June 11. The overwhelming majority of participants told the facilitators that the contentious land bills 19, 24, and 36 should be repealed.

A couple of times I’ve heard Keith Wilson from the Alberta Landowners Council speak on these bills, especially Bill 36.

Bill 36, or ALSA, overshadows other legislation, gives cabinet unprecedented and supreme power, and now even more power over municipalities.

The Wildrose Party says that one of their first orders of business will be to repeal these bills.

Re: electricity

A quarter page advertisement, placed by the Government of Alberta in the March 20 edition of area newspapers, states they’re stabilizing power costs and keeping power affordable for all.

My last three monthly power bills have each increased by $100 per month. In this province that’s ridiculous and projected to get even worse!

When Bill 50 was passed in November 2009, cabinet now approves the components of the electricity system.

The two north-south DC lines are projected to cost $16 billion and ATCO and AltaLink will benefit financially as a result.

The lines were approved without a needs assessment or a cost benefit analysis being done.

This will triple the cost of industrial power. Major industries are expected to pay 61 per cent of the projected costs and commercial users are expected to pay 27 per cent of the projected costs.

The cost of power for each and every county, town arena and small business is expected to triple and the end users - the taxpayers - will be paying dearly.

This is a massive and unnecessary overbuild. Every consumer will be paying to export our cheap power to the U.S.

Wasn’t the half page advertisement in the April 3 edition of the Mountain View Gazette disturbing, where multinationals are buying Rural Electrification Associations (REAs) with customer money as investments?

Again, only the profits of big business are being heard and not the voices of the consumers.

Re: Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA)

I trust everyone took note of the quarter page advertisement in the March 20 edition of area newspapers which states “it’s time for a new relationship between municipalities and the province.”

The AUMA represents 85 per cent of Albertans, which includes the towns in Mountain View County.

Our councillors inform us about various programs and revenue streams being cut or reduced which affects all of us.

By centralizing power with cabinet, the government has undermined local decision-making and taken control away from municipal governments.

This has to be reversed!

Re: Fracking

Since November I’ve been attending meetings, including Sundre Petroleum Operator’s Group (SPOG) meetings, to garner information about hydraulic fracking.

It has certainly negatively impacted a number of landowners. You should hear their impassioned pleas for help, but they are falling on deaf ears.

It’s awful when landowners become so desperate that threats are made and charges are laid.

This has happened because there’s very little recourse for us.

The Energy Resources Conservation Board (ERCB) has lost credibility in the eyes of the landowners. It’s now regarded as a promoter and facilitator of the oil and gas industry from whom they receive the majority of their funding.

At the March 12 SPOG meeting at Harmattan Hall, the ERCB told us there are at least seven different government departments that regulate the industry.

This bureaucracy and red tape has been put in place so we’re powerless to fight it.

I, along with many others, feel that only with a new Wildrose government, will action be taken on our concerns.

Ron Vogel

Harmattan area of Mountain View County


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