Chestermere City Council Calls for Respect and Collaboration from Provincial Government

With looming deadlines for action City officials express frustration over the province's governance report and demand a genuine response

Chestermere, Alberta – City officials of Chestermere are once again in a standoff with the provincial government, demanding clarity and genuine engagement concerning the recent governance report that was ordered by the province.

The much-discussed municipal inspection report, the first of its kind in Alberta since 2018, outlined the city’s governance as “irregular, improper, and improvident.” This 215-page document led by George Cuff, an experienced municipal adviser, has since sparked controversy and drawn the ire of city officials, especially Mayor Jeff Colvin.

This recent report resulted in the province issuing 12 directives to the city, which could lead to serious consequences such as the removal of elected officials or city personnel if not adhered to. Yet, despite these potential repercussions, the city remains steadfast in its criticism of the report.

“It’s not just about the report. It’s about ensuring that Chestermere’s voice is respected and heard,” said Mayor Jeff Colvin. “We will not be marginalized.”

Key issues that the city wants to highlight include:

  1. Lack of Genuine Engagement: Despite numerous attempts by the city to initiate meaningful dialogue, the province’s response has been described as unsatisfactory.
  2. Demand for Real Collaboration: The city feels it’s time the provincial government genuinely acknowledges and respects the feedback from the communities they govern.
  3. Community First: Chestermere has vowed to keep its residents informed and ensure their concerns are both recognized and acted upon.

Despite the city’s criticism of the report, the provincial government has defended its actions, maintaining the legitimacy of the report and the process involved in municipal inspections. Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver has shown concern that the city has not fully satisfied the stipulated directives and that some deadlines have already been missed.

The province’s position was further solidified by a third-party official administrator, appointed amidst what McIver labeled as “increasing dysfunction.” This official encouraged the mayor in June to focus on the directives and move past attempts at discrediting the report.

McIver’s press secretary, Scott Johnston, reiterated the province’s aim. “Our primary goal remains to ensure that effective governance is returned to Chestermere. We are in regular contact with both the elected officials and the administrative leadership of the city, ensuring they are aligned with the minister’s directives.”

It remains to be seen how this ongoing tussle between the city and the provincial government will play out. With deadlines fast approaching, both sides appear to be firm in their respective positions.

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