Letters to the Editor

Keeping informed



In their May 2011 newsletter the RDEK, and by association, Area A says that “Prior to either a vote or a petition on the West Fernie Servicing and Restructure Project this fall, the RDEK is committed to providing all the information the community needs to make an informed decision.” But have they?

Have the West Fernie residents been informed that the law firm the City consulted in the 1990s regarding the legal agreements took three pages to explain why they needed to negotiate their way out of them? Have they been informed that in 1996 the Ministry responsible for local governments would not allow the West Fernie Waterworks District to follow through on a unanimous vote at 50 plus residents to tax the residents to pay for legal advice on the legal agreements? The Ministry must approve every tax of improvement districts. Have they been informed of the precedent set by the Mayor who signed both agreements when he funded City workers to extend the Burma Road water main up to some homes that wanted to be serviced? Having negotiated the agreements he clearly understood the City was responsible for capita costs along with everything else.

Have they been informed that the only way the City can bill West Fernie residents is through the legal agreements unless the City can negotiate a replacement arrangement like joining the City? Since the three branches of government are already committed to oppose West Fernie residents none of their representatives can negotiate for West Fernie residents so the residents must be provided experienced counsel of their choosing. Have they been informed that the Ministry dissolved the WFWD in 1996 because the Chair was several days late in scheduling the AGM then had to rejuvenate it so the City could legally charge West Fernie residents for the services, thereby totally confirming the long term validity of the agreements? Or that a situation of dependency has been established that a responsible democratic government cannot casually forsake, or that government officials can not terminate a legal agreement? Have they been informed they have a right to negotiate and the negotiation of the legal agreements sets a precedent as do the other obligations established in the text of those agreements.

Have they been informed that the petition method of approving what the RDEK have decided to do with the residents of West Fernie, requires the residents organize, draft and get well over 10 per cent of residents’ signatures on the petition in 30 days in order to reject the decision? You can thank Christy Clarke’s Liberals for that legislation.



Peter Ross





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