Friday, May 10, 2013

Political Manipulation

For the most part, I would suspect the typical Edmonton and area residents have not paid much attention to the Capital Region Board. According to the Government of Alberta's website, this board was set up to "enable the 25 area municipalities to develop a long range plan to manage growth over the next 50 years", and seems to have been started in the spring of 2008.

This board falls under the jurisdiction of the Alberta Municipal Affairs office, and as stated, "the boards immediate priority is to create a long range plan on regional land use and infrastructure such as roads and transit". .. Whoa! Hey, what a great idea, yes? Sounds to me like a concept where Edmonton's smaller communities can work together with the City, so things like connecting roads or sewer and water facilities and such can be expanded. At least in theory, this would seem like what this board would be all about.

Municipal Affairs falls under the umbrella of Minister Doug Griffiths and the Mandate Letter dated June 4th, 2012 starts off with

Albertans have given this government a clear mandate — change how government works to better reflect their needs and the realities of the province in today's world. Delivering that change will require listening to Albertans, increasing transparency and accountability, and building strong collaborative relationships with all our partners. This letter outlines my expectations of you as Minister (completed in original) and a member of our Cabinet team in serving Albertans so they can reach their full potential.
 and ends with
We can achieve great things for our province if we work together with Albertans, delivery agencies and the private and nonprofit/voluntary sectors. I welcome you to Cabinet and look forward to working together with you to deliver the results that help Alberta and Albertans reach their full potential.
Note the part about "private and nonprofit/voluntary sectors".

So tell me, just how the hell does a downtown arena that is literally 100% taxpayer paid, and every penny of profits of any kind (concerts, games, food, parking, etc) going into the private pockets of a billionaire... qualify? Private for profit corporate welfare...

Every where along this road, the rules of the items setup by this Government to deal with "things" have been twisted and turned away from the original intentions. This CRB clearly seems to be one of them, and the other is the CRL (community revitalization levy). Here in Edmonton we have the Fort Road CRL, a very small area designed to bring people to live within a few feet of the train tracks and LRT station (yea I mean... who would want to live there right?) plus the Quarters CRL (there are a lot of questions on that idea too) and now the downtown arena CRL. The one where the City Administration folks have skewered every possible report to say how much this will bring in, when historically throughout North America, every other report has shown the original reports to be completely wrong. And to boot, the City has already implied it will be using the funds for the arena and not for "everything else" it was supposed to cover.

But hey, we are Edmonton, we can do it when no other place around has been able to achieve. I mean, we must be able to right, because after all our civic politicians and administration have said so! ... *cough*

And now it seems like the rules have been manipulated once again with the CRB,in addition to the CRL, and the Minister just says "it is within the rules". And to that all I can say is the rules are flawed. The entire purpose of both the CRL and the CRB are being manipulated by technicalities and as long as the technicalities are complied with then everything is fine.

Really? Are you kidding me? OH MY GOD!

To the Minister... please... get back with the spirit of the programs. There are things in all of this that CLEARLY violate the spirit of the intentions. I've asked on several occasions for "stuff" to be fixed within the MGA, some really bottom line common sense ideas. If you have not noticed, the social media world is really REALLY mad right now. Ya ya, we have a few people forming a group that has been saying, or perhaps even demanding tax dollars be GIVEN to a billionaire. And of course no one seems to be objecting to the complete conflict of interest with the City Manager being a prime part of this lobby group. The Premier has dictated that the Ministers are supposed to listen to the people, the needs of the people. The every day common people.

Not to the needs of the rich.

So my question is, when will you and your government start to do this?

Taxpayer dollars are for essentials.. Roads, hospitals, education... Not for making the rich richer. You must deny both the CRL (because the application is based on fallacy and wishful thinking instead of truths) and the CRB, because the downtown arena has nothing to do with inter-community roads and utilities needs.

Yes, the rich will complain. But you will end up being the hero for the normal people... And the normal people could use a hero right about now.


  1. Funny how little we are hearing about the little junket to Brooklyn to take in the Barclay's Center. Never mind who paid for it. Never mind the motives. The bottom line is the reality found doesn't fit the narrative of transformation and renewal. Barclay's Center was supposed to be private money. Turns out it used massive amounts of public money and cost 1 BILLION dollars to build. The project had an impressive surrounding development schedule for housing, local shopping, etc, etc. As soon as the arena opened, the schedule was amended from 10 years to 25 years. The development is not happening as touted or as directed.

    All the ancillary agreements are supposed to cover this in Edmonton as well and all are open to revision, delay or even cancellation with "mutual agreement". So, they mean nothing in reality. Of course the overwhelming majority of media chooses not to cover the failure of the Brooklyn mission, because it doesn't promote the shiny dream.

    1. So much more "proof" that once again projects like these are nothing but lies designed to make the rich richer. It never ends, they are all the same. I pity the people who don't stand up to make this right. And as sure as the sun will shine on a daily basis, those politicians that continue to support ideas like this will face the wrath of the voters, in a major way. Rightly so... The people ARE madder than hell, and they will not take it anymore.