The State of Eldorado
Several of our earlier blogs introduced the reader as to how Mayor Crouse and Councillors Heron and Brodhead milk taxpayers’ to support ICLEI’s program. Savvy Albertans also know the ties the provincial government has to this U.N. branch. Is it any wonder then that this city would turn against citizens to push their “smart city” agenda of congesting people into less space through?
A few facts:
- The City did not fight to keep the school reserves in Akinsdale, but is fighting to take away green space in Erin Ridge to have a school built.
- Mr. Draper, by his own admission, did not seek out an extension with the province so an alternate viable site, such as the Badger lands, could be found. Is he not working for the residents of St. Albert who pay his salary, or is this an example of his inability to do so?
- The Liberal Opposition stated that “last month, the government admitted it won’t be able to meet its target and build 50 new schools and modernize 70 more by 2016.” If this is the case, then Mr. Draper should have no problem going back to the province and actually do his job. And given the province’s statement, M. St-Jean (Francophone school board trustee) should then have no issue with the extended time period it will take to build this school in Riverside or the Badger lands as the time line could realistically be the same.
- Cathy Heron is now reneging her commitment to voters. During election season she said: “I would never support an infill project on land zoned as park (green space) or disrupted the areas current character.” Why is she now not supporting Erin Ridge residents during council meetings?
- Building a sole-sourced P3 school (ICLEI model) will cost taxpayers, students, parents and school boards more than the conventional model. The NDP noted that P3 schools are ” more expensive and leads to reduced school board control over the delivery of public education.”
- Will St. Albert property taxpayers see a reduction on the city’s part in order to accommodate the higher education taxes that will be foisted upon them through the P3 model? If the school is indeed built in Erin Ridge, will these residents’ taxes be adjusted to reflect the devaluation of their properties?
- If the City can so easily rezone land, imagine what it can do to your neighbourhood.
St. Albert residents have repeatedly been privy to green space land grabs or attempted land grabs throughout Mayor Crouse’s time in office. The Arlington “project” in Akinsdale and the bike skills park in Grandin are the two recent notable ones. And now Eldorado Park in Erin Ridge. Of course the City will go through some motions to try and appease those affected, but when push really comes to shove, quality of life in the affected neighbourhood will be tossed; traffic congestions will get a band-aide solution; and the safety of residents will be ignored so that those supporting this costly endeavour can help propagate the joke of “botanical” St. Albert.
If you have taken the time to read this, please support Erin Ridge residents by signing their petition. Details can be found at the top of this page.