ROCKY VIEW FORWARD
The Residents' Perspective
Key Election Issues
There are a lot of important issues that residents should consider before making their decisions about which candidate to support. If we are going to elect a council that truly represents Rocky View residents, it is important to understand key issues that, in the past, have separated those councillors who have worked to reflect residents' concerns in their decisions from those who have not.
The issues included here are ones that have illustrated this divide. We will be updating the issues covered as the election campaign progresses, so check back to see what has changed. We will also be posting our election advertisements - click here to see them.
The majority on Rocky View’s Council strongly opposes the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB) and has argued loudly for its dissolution, going so far as to hire a lobbyist to help in its efforts. While the CMRB isn’t perfect, we believe an accurate assessment of its role and impact on Rocky View is much less ominous than our Council majority would like us to believe.
Rocky View residents have been inundated with misinformation about the Calgary Metropolitan Region Board (CMRB). Residents deserve better. Here are some facts to put the various claims into perspective.
Sustainable development has become a catch phrase – many who say they support “sustainable development” frequently provide no context or explanation. What do they really mean? To decide between candidates in the upcoming Rocky View election, knowing the answer to that question is critical if we are going to elect a council that truly represents residents’ interests.
Gravel is not scarce in Rocky View. Its abundance means that we can easily have good policy to ensure that gravel pits are located and operated in a responsible manner that minimizes negative impacts. Unfortunately, Rocky View’s current council majority has failed miserably to address the issue. If you’d like to see better gravel policy, there are some key questions you should ask candidates.
If residents want a council that truly represents their interests, we need a council that is both accountable and transparent. All candidates will undoubtedly say they support these concepts, some going so far as to use them as slogans. You need to ask candidates what they really mean. As the current council majority has repeatedly demonstrated, not everyone is truly committed to these – many are willing to ignore them when convenient.
In 2005, Rocky View’s long-term debt was $347 per person. In 2020, long-term debt was $1,199 per person – the second highest in the region. Only Calgary has more long-term debt per person. The scary part is that these numbers include only external borrowing. They don’t include the growing amount that has been “borrowed” from residents, both to reduce external long-term debt and to finance new capital projects. They also do not reflect the additional long-term borrowing approved by this council in 2021.
The current council has proven itself to be the least tolerant in Rocky View’ living memory. Six councilllors refused to listen to criticism or to questions on proposals they wanted to push through. They held a clear majority; but simply dominating with their votes was not enough. They also silenced anyone who attempted to questioned them. The real question is – why?
Early in their term, the current council prepared a Strategic Plan that supposedly outlined their priorities and objectives for governing Rocky View. If they had actually delivered on those commitments, the last four years would have been dramatically different. Unfortunately, the council majority forgot about their commitments almost before the ink was dry.
If you want a council that values your interests and represents you effectively, you need to evaluate your choices carefully. During the campaign, candidates say things they think you want to hear. Some of them mean what they say, others don’t. To decide which candidate is worthy of your support, you need to ask questions.