Timeline of Chestermere’s Governance Inspection


Here’s a comprehensive timeline of events related to the ongoing municipal affairs inspection into Chestermere’s governance.

January 2022

  • Concerns Raised: Former and current city staff, city councillors, and citizens express concerns about Chestermere’s governance to municipal affairs.
  • Communication with Minister: Former Minister of Municipal Affairs, Ric McIver, receives letters, calls, and emails expressing concerns until March 2022.

February 2022

  • Unionization Process Begins: Chestermere city employees start applying to join the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) to protect their rights.
  • Union Application: CUPE’s Lou Arab confirms the unionization application submitted on Jan 26, 2022.
  • Employee Concerns: Employees seek better treatment and respect for their services through unionization.
  • Union’s Role: The union aims to provide protection for city staff, outline employment contract terms, and negotiate pay and benefits.
  • Membership Drive: CUPE initiates a membership drive among Chestermere city employees.
  • Petition Submitted: Enough signatures collected to apply to the Alberta Labour Relations Board for certification; hearing scheduled for May 25-27, 2022.

March 2022

  • Preliminary Review: Municipal affairs launches a preliminary review into Chestermere’s governance based on concerns received.
  • Objective: The review aims to understand issues and assess the need for further intervention or action.

May 2022

  • Formal Inspection Ordered: Municipal affairs orders a formal inspection of Chestermere’s municipal governance after completing the preliminary review.
  • Independent Contractor: An independent contractor is appointed to inspect and identify legislative contraventions or improper conduct.
  • Issues Addressed: The inspection report covers various governance issues, including code of conduct infractions and improper council meeting procedures.
  • Duration: The inspection process typically takes six to 18 months to complete.
  • City Cooperation: The City of Chestermere welcomes the inspection and agrees to start in late May.
  • Expectations: Council hopes for a quick resolution and plans to share inspection findings with residents.
  • Union Application Disputed: City representatives claim the first union application predates January 2022 but cite confidentiality concerns.

July 2022

  • Unionization Approved: City employees vote to join CUPE, with a majority in favor of certification.
  • Negotiations Begin: CUPE starts negotiating a union agreement with Chestermere city employees.
  • Bargaining Process: The process can be lengthy, with proposals from both sides and a final vote by union members.
  • Codified Conditions: Employees gain codified employment conditions and can file grievances with union representation if needed.

September 2022

  • Review of Inspection Report: Municipal affairs reviews the inspection report submitted.
  • Council Input: Chestermere council receives an embargoed copy of the report for review and comment.
  • Minister’s Decision: Based on the report and council’s response, the Minister of Municipal Affairs determines the next steps.

November 2022

  • City Council’s Review: City council reviews the embargoed inspection report and has until Dec. 9 to provide feedback to the Minister.
  • Public Meeting Planned: After considering council input, municipal affairs plans to share the report with Chestermere residents at a public meeting.
  • Potential Actions: The report may lead to corrective actions under specific conditions of the Municipal Government Act (MGA).

December 2022

  • Report Rejected: The City of Chestermere rejects the inspection report, citing a “lack of evidence and a flawed process.”
  • Council Resolution: Mayor Jeff Colvin and select council members pass a resolution opposing the draft report.
  • Concerns Raised: Some councilors voice concerns about bias and breaches of natural justice and procedural fairness.
  • Municipal Affairs Response: Municipal affairs acknowledges the rejection and continues to uphold the process under the MGA.
  • Public Update Expected: Chestermere residents can anticipate an update from municipal affairs in early 2023.

January 2023

  • Report Rejected Again: City council disallows the previous rejection of the draft inspection report due to a time stamp issue.
  • Official Response: City Director of Corporate Services presents the city’s official response, highlighting breaches of the Public Inquiries Act and lack of evidence.
  • Meeting Requested: Mayor Colvin seeks a meeting with the Minister of Municipal Affairs.
  • City Director Charged: City director of corporate services, Kim Wallace, is arrested and charged with assault, pending a court appearance.

February 2023

  • KPMG’s Request: KPMG issues a letter requesting the removal of misleading information from the city website.
  • Audit Status: The city’s website falsely indicates KPMG completed the 2021 audit, which KPMG refutes.
  • City’s Response: The City of Chestermere remains unavailable for comment.
  • KPMG’s Requested Confirmation: KPMG asks for written confirmation from city council regarding the audit status.

March 2023

  • Directives Issued: Chestermere City Council and administration receive 12 directives to improve governance.
  • Action Plan: The directives include implementing recommendations, reviewing bylaws, and appointing an independent third party for complaints.
  • Council Responsibilities: Councilors are directed to cease performing CAO duties and report progress bi-monthly.
  • Minister’s Hope: Minister Schulz hopes for a collaborative council with transparent processes that align with legislative requirements.

August 2, 2023

  • Minister’s Meeting: Ric McIver meets with Chestermere City Council to voice concerns, setting a deadline for a written response by September 29.

October 18, 2023

  • Insufficient Response: The city’s response is deemed insufficient, leading the Minister of Municipal Affairs to issue a notice of intention to dismiss all council members and three CAOs.

December 4, 2023

  • Dismissals: Mayor Jeff Colvin, councilors Mel Float, Blaine Funk, and Stephen Hanley, along with three CAOs, are officially dismissed.
  • Misuse of Funds: Court documents reveal Mayor Colvin’s spending of tax-payer dollars on food and alcohol.
  • Interim CAO: Pat Vincent assumes the role of interim CAO until the upcoming by-election in April 2024.

This timeline provides a comprehensive overview of events related to Chestermere’s governance inspection, starting with concerns raised in January 2022 and concluding with the dismissals and interim appointments in December 2023.

This Article originally appeared in the Anchor on March 12, 2023 and has been updated,
In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to Canada's local news from their platforms, Anchor Media Inc encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this site and downloading the Rogue Radio App. Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to info@anchormedia.ca.

About the author

Staff Writer

Staff Writer

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Anchor Media Inc encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this site and downloading the Rogue Radio App. Send your news tips, story ideas, pictures, and videos to info@anchormedia.ca

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