Letter to the Editor
We are not the fringe minority! We are a powerful majority!!
Our prairie provinces, local councils, board members, municipalities, counties, Special Areas, and provincial and federal bodies are deciding we need more control, more surveillance, less money, less food, less property, more personal accountability, more leaders, more local groups and committees living off of taxpayer grants and funds for survival/job security, less healthcare, more pharma, less privacy, more scrutiny and less and less rights as individuals.
The worst part is we are letting them!
Here in Hanna, a proposed new Land Use Bylaw is approaching its third reading and possible enforcement if the votes go in favour of the CAO and CEO and Palliser Regional Planning way. All Special Areas and the landowners within are previewing new proposed Land Use Orders.
I really, really struggle with the “why” of all these new limitations, prohibitions, etc. Why can’t the 200-page documents be broken down so council and community members can learn and understand (we have the right to ask questions and governing bodies have the obligation to teach us) in smaller increments?
What is the rush?? Money? Where should our focus be right now? When after all this work, rules, processes etc. are done, it’s still all about who you know. Go to the right people and you get your way, rules broken, 4-6 volunteers have the power to make it all go away. Small-town ways and no harm done; we will do it right next time mentality.
I’m going to quote George Glazier and his recent article in the ECA Review. I hope he takes this as a compliment as that is how I intend it. “It’s more fruitful to connect with your local core of small businesses and help them develop their weak spots, connect them with experts to coach them forward to growth, and give them hope they’re not on their own.” Brilliance!
He was writing about how Battle River communities handled the distribution of wealth that our federal and provincial governments handed out starting in 2016 to assist communities through the loss of local coal industries.
I suggest the exact same could be said again after many lost livelihoods because of the illegal shutdowns and restrictions since 2021. Small businesses, farmers, ranchers and citizens need help now more than ever. Yet that’s not what these proposed changes to our rural communities are about. Instead of recognizing people and families for the years, generations even, for all they provide us, our governments have chosen to literally “lay down the law”!
We will be told how many trees we might be allowed on our property, whether a new shed is needed or a bigger barn, what vehicles can be on the property, what kind of and how animals may live within your confines and the taxes we will pay.
Folks don’t travel here because of what our signs on the highways say (have you noticed our identities are slowly being erased), but on the reputation and participation and serious dedication that local businesses have achieved.
We have a local builder that did work for NASA, can’t get any better advertisement than that. Instead, his control over what he does on his property has gone from 80 per cent down to below 40 per cent.
That’s a kick in the teeth, not a thank you for years of service here and around the world and for choosing to stay in this community as business expanded. Nope, Zip!!! Shame, shame, shame on the fringe minority that choose to restrict and punish instead!
Generations of farmers and ranchers are being told they no longer are the experts on their animals and land. Small minority bodies will tell them how, when, where, what and why!
Since 2018 the Town of Hanna has been planning major downtown infrastructure work. If government (taxpayers) money comes through, the 100 and 200 block on 2nd Ave. W, it’s my understanding that, at separate times in 2024, will be closed for all vehicle traffic for up to six weeks at a time.
Please go to the town office and council meetings to learn more and express opinions. Will small businesses along those streets survive another forced project? Will their taxes jump significantly because there is a new tree or another bench close by? Who decided this was okay?
Small Alberta rural communities have been so lucky (?) as to have heavily funded, foreign-invested green energy projects sneaking in under the guise of “look at the wonderful money we will bring to you” proposals, from mainly small developers, to save us all!
Money, investments, carbon tax subsidies, carbon credit subsidies, tax subsidies, biased approval processes….just follow the cash. That’s what’s at stake here for these developers, not our energy supply or deadly emissions or warming/freezing climate threats or claims of deadly C02!
These companies could give two hoots about the communities! A big reason rural communities have become such beautiful prospects is because Alberta is waking up and saying NO, leave our agricultural lands alone! Will the moratorium be extended? Will enough voices put an end to these monstrosities that are destroying our landscapes?
There are a multitude of ways to help our environment. Hydro energy? Biowaste facilities? We are not limited to the first salesman to the door! Net Zero? Right next to the deadly virus hoax in the list of biggest scams in our times!
So, their promises of wealth, security, saving the climate and community benefits alliances are just as empty as my rain barrel!
Be careful of who is waving the big cheque in front of your face, who is creating new rules for security and protection.
If it all leaves a terrible taste in your mouth and an ache in your belly, trust your instincts! We will come out on top!
Elaine Wasdal, Hanna, Alta.