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Amalgamation has benefits, too

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  |  Posted: Saturday, Jan 25, 2014 06:00 am

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Hats off to James Cumming of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce – cooperatively combining our needs and resources is the way of the future! The work is long past due! He is right. He also has every right to make these observations – he lives in the region too! What has changed significantly in the capital region since the meetings began of the Capital Region Board! The only major changes in St Albert are a significant growth in the size of bureaucracy, the desire to become more beautiful than Edmonton and the usual raises in taxes!

What is needed is a hard look at what we can we really begin to work on regionally. First transit – each week I am on the trail and see St. Albert buses either heading into or out of Edmonton saying “out of service!” If we were part of a regional system how could we combine the use? We have now the benefit of a regional ring road system. Why not have buses that utilize our roads efficiently? A service for those who are sick and disabled to get to appointments that works! Imagine rethinking how roads get cleaned in our long winter months.

Policing is another fascinating topic. Have you ever had the misfortune of being caught in a boundary dispute; in the jurisdiction trap between the RCMP and EPS. Then of course there are garbage issues – not just collection but where it all goes and sorting – if we need to rid ourselves of toxic materials – at the moment we either wait for the once a year round-up or go to, dare I say it Edmonton! We should be taking a long hard look at our utility systems too – water, sewage, and electricity.

What is all this talk about loss of identity and culture – we are Canadians of Alberta. I know people who live in St. Albert who go to Edmonton for entertainment and also use local amenities, they do not seem to be traumatized by their activities. It is also rumoured that St. Albertans work in Edmonton and other parts of the region and are no worse for wear!

It is time for us to wake up and smell the fearful cold sweat of the regional civic leaders, who start clinging on to their municipal podiums – when combining resources with other areas is mentioned! Let us ensure that we all get value for money in the region, there must be duplication of so many services. Do not be afraid Mayor Crouse, it will not be a revolution, but changes piece by piece. It should have begun yesterday but now is a good time to start.

Liz Allchin, St. Albert


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