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Letter: Voices needed in CMRB fight

Letters to the editor

Dear Editor,

Recently, Pat Stier voiced serious concerns about the Calgary Metropolitan Regional Growth Plan. CMRGP is a mouthful indeed, and as drafted, near indigestible to residents of the County of Foothills, along with other rural municipalities surrounding Calgary.

If you have not read Pat’s article, please do so. It’s in the June 2nd Opinion section of the Wheel. Why bother? It's quite simple. If this Plan is adopted without change, it will hit your pocket ~ and BIG!

This anti-democratic plan was pushed through by the majority of urban municipality Board members. If accepted and without modification, it will result in critical decisions being dependent on the will of a bunch of urban councillors who have minimal real interest in the future of Foothills County. Decisions will invariably be to the benefit of Calgary and outlying towns, given their overriding 7-3 vote advantage! Designed by a US consultancy with a distinctly pro-urban bias, this Plan will invite expensive and ill-suited projects within Foothills that you will end up paying for.

Pat is well informed and clearly understands the danger if this Plan is unamended. He served as a Foothills councillor, then two terms as an MLA . Importantly, his portfolio included responsibility for Municipal Affairs. If you want to familiarize yourself further with this deeply floored Plan, and I suggest it is in your interest to do so, have a look online at a recent letter from the Foothills County Reeve:

This plan will substantially hamper and discourage larger residential growth opportunities as has been typical of the past and will hamper light commercial and industrial developments significantly. It does not invite any projects at all; it greatly hinders them. The fact is in terms of planning, economic growth is vitally important. Light commercial and some industrial projects assist in providing local commerce, employment and leads to great places to live and generally assists in helping communities to prosper.

It is thus essential that Foothills County maintains the necessary degree of freedom to avoid this situation. Otherwise, funding sources will dry up, forcing the County to increase residential taxes.

It is not too late to modify this Plan. Ric McIver, Minister of Municipal Affairs has the authority to either accept the existing Plan or modify it to allow rural municipalities a continuing degree of autonomy, which is vital.

Do your part, contact Ric McIver now to voice your concern.

Nicholas Worthington