Tuesday, October 5, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 40 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“We’re delighted, and commend both negotiating teams for bridging the gap.”
- Nic Milligan  
- on the end of the Coal   
Mountain strike   
19 council candidates field questions from residents
 
All 19 candidates for the six positions available for the upcoming council term showed up for the Chamber of Commerce's public candidates' forum on Monday, September 27, held at the Elks Hall in Blairmore. Residents packed the hall to bursting, filling up all 230 seats, after which it was standing room only for as many as 100 more people.
While the number of questions and answers -- three answers from each candidate -- is too high to reprint every one in this space, some of the more interesting questions, along with their responses, are printed here in a question and answer format.
Q: Some roads in the Pass are in rough shape. Are you in favour of a municipal hot patch outfit, or bringing someone in to fix the roads?
A: Dean Ward said that $20 million has been spent on below-ground infrastructure in the last three years, and that now money needs to be put into fixing infrastructure above ground. Siegbert Gail said that the roads are atrocious in some areas and that the municipality needs to fix things properly one at a time and not skimp on the small things.
Q: Which is the right approach with Highway 3? Moving people through quickly or trying to keep people here?
A: Larry Mitchell said that council is after the province all the time to do something about the traffic jams that take place on weekends. He said that the province's less expensive solution of traffic lights on the highway is not good as far as he is concerned, and that the province will have to take the more expensive four-lane measure eventually. George Hoff said that council must pressure the province to do what has been promised here for the highway, adding extra lanes both here and to the east.
Q: As a young family, we cannot afford houses on the market here. What is your idea of affordable housing?
A: John Irwin said that the Pass is actually lucky to have landlords who rent in the $500-$600 range, and that he feels cheap housing is one of the best attributes we have in the community right now. Sasha JaegerBaird said that if the municipality were to build affordable housing units, people would have to apply and demonstrate their need so that the homes could not be scooped up by people who are already doing well. She said that housing for seniors is another issue to look at.
Q: Now that the Crowsnest Centre is empty, what will happen to it? Who will pay the bill?
A: Doug Raines said that the Centre has been a flagship of bitterness and discontent given the way it has been handled. He said that he would stop wasting money on it, demolish the older part, and move the newer part west, making it a senior citizen's complex and opening up space for other things on the property. Dean Ward said that the property is similar to the one where Wal-Mart built in Pincher Creek and is the only piece of land in the Crowsnest Pass for a future development like that.
Q: The Cuff Report alleges that four councillors were meeting before council meetings and perhaps deciding votes in advance. Did these meetings happen, and will they continue? How do you justify them?
 
A: David Cole said that yes, the meetings happened because of opposition to closing the Crowsnest Centre. He said that the meetings held discussion only and that the only voting took place in council. he said that the meetings haven't taken place since the Cuff Report came out. Ian MacLeod said that he went to the other councillors for advice and information, and that he doesn't agree with what the Cuff Report said about the meetings. He said that he wanted to go to council meetings with as much information as possible. "I don't know that we have to justify it," he said.
Q: Would you be in favour of allowing wildlife in town as a tourist attraction, similar to towns in National Parks?
A: Gail Sygutek said that wildlife should never be touched because it leads to them getting too used to humans. She said that this is not Banff or Jasper and should not operate the same way. Emile Sandau said that he would not be in favour of such a policy, as towns like Waterton are having to put down animals because of their interactions with people. He said that people should go into the back country to see wildlife.
Q: The Centre was used for disasters, to house people, what will be done in the case of a disaster if the Centre is demolished?
A: Merle Sandau said that the Pass already has a disaster in the form of the economy, leaving many buildings empty, buildings that could be used to house people. "Would you put oats in a dead horse's mouth?" he said of the Centre. Jamie Thomson said that the Centre was a fantastic site for disaster relief, but in the future the municipality could use the three schools and the MDM for cots, along with assuming that people in the Pass would open their doors if needed.
Q: Do you have a long term vision for young families?
A: Andrew Saje said that youth is extremely important for the community, and that initiatives such as the bike trails and the walking trails are a step in the right direction. He said that the community has to look at the idea of a rec centre as an attainable goal if we really want it. Jerry Lonsbury said that there are things to do in the Pass if one looks, and that the real need is for jobs to keep young parents here.
Q: A curfew has been put in place affecting young people. Who is more to blame for the actions that led to this need, the teenagers or their parents?
A: Brian Gallant said that he doesn't like the idea of the bylaw, as it feels heavy handed to impose a curfew. He said that parents do have a responsibility, but that there should be resources for families and things for kids to do year-round to help with the problem of vandalism. Donald Vaters said that parents should be able to impose their own curfews, and that more is needed for youth to do.
Q: Kids are walking to and from school in Coleman. What would you do to ensure their safety?
A: Jamie Thomson said that it is a school board issue for the most part, but if elected she would promote having school crossing guards and closing off the underpass in Coleman to traffic. She said that council can assume some responsibility for the children's safety. Doreen Glavine said that it is a real concern, and that council should look at a transportation system to provide bussing for all.
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