Saturday, 19 April 2008

The Centre of Debate

A few weeks back council passed a motion to approve this year's budget temporarily excluding the Crowsnest Centre's grant request excepting an allowance of $25,000. A far cry from the $105,000 grant needed to insure continued operation of the facility. In the ensuing debate I argued the motion was nothing more than a subversive attempt to shut the Crowsnest Centre down, to shut it down without having to make the motion to accomplish that feat in an upfront and honest manner.

At our last regular council meeting administration brought to council the outstanding request of the Centre and some repairs that should be done to the building. My motion to approve the grant request of $105,000 agreed to by the budget committee (all of council) on January 15th was defeated by a 4 to 3 vote. Councilors Ward, Cole, Macleod, and Salus voting against. In favour of the motion was myself, Councilor Mitchell, and Mayor Irwin. As council was informed that the centre was critically short of cash it was painfully obvious there was a plan to force the centre into bankruptcy. After the defeat of that motion I made another that council explore the feasibility of replacing the old part of the centre with a new building to be added to the newer part of the centre. The purpose of the motion was to insure some planning take place for the future provision of municipally important services from that site and further that there is no disruption in the provision of services from that facility. Council passed the motion 5 to 2 Councilor's Ward and Cole voting against. So council does have a vision for the future. All we need now is to handle the present in a fashion that brings us to that vision.

Let's make no mistakes. Shutting the facility down or forcing it into bankruptcy will not bring that collective vision to reality. Council will have another chance, when the milrate is set on Thursday, to do the responsible thing. I believe they will take that opportunity. I don't believe any councilor would vote to send our post secondary institution back to Lethbridge.


  1. Gary, just because your illustrious leader is a 'master' in the 'politics of fear', does not mean you have to be. Pitting one group against another does not unite and build a strong community.

    There is no shortage of space for the Educational Consortium to go to (including the Albert Stella Arena), and I don't believe for a minute that they will leave this community, when there is so much 'obvious' need in this area for them. Think positive! Where there is a will there is a way!! Find the will and the way will be clear.

  2. John I am sure you are able to tell that I was leary to post anything about the Centre and haven't for the longest time. The reason being I did not want to engage in an online debate on the issue but I have received many emails asking for one.

    You must of read in the post of the motion made to look toward a new building. Will we end up with one? Who knows but at least now council will have a chance to discuss what they feel is important about that site and plan for the future in meetings where all of council is together. Nothing in that motion pits anyone against anyone. In fact it should accomplish the opposite. Yes even if council decides after that to just shut it down a plan is still needed on how that is to be accomplished.

    Unfortunately by posting this blog post I did get away from the whole purpose of my blog which was to paint a positive picture of the potential of Crowsnest Pass. As such it will unlikely stay here and be replaced by a more positive one.

  3. Gary, your blog and you personally are 'true' ambassadors of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass.

    Having said that, I (and I believe many others within our community) would like to see you follow-up on your successful motion of council to '… explore the feasibility of replacing the old part of the centre with a new building to be added to the newer part of the centre…’ by ‘spearheading’ the building and construction of a new Community Centre on the site of the old one.

    You can do it! Where there is a will there is a way!! Find the will and I believe this community will support you ‘all the way’! But first, you and some others within our community must let go of the past and get on with the future, with respect to the replacement of an ‘old hospital’ with a new multi-purpose Community Centre. Be the future!!!