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May 14th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 19
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Federal candidates meet council
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Stock Photo
Crowsnest Pass Municipal Council
ROBERT THOMAS
Pass Herald Reporter
Two young gentlemen were in council chambers this past Tuesday, trying to gain the support of council.
Both John Barlow, the Progressive Conservative candidate, and Dustin Fuller, the Liberal candidate, for the Macleod riding introduced themselves to council.
John Barlow has just recently won the nomination for the Federal Tories, beating Melissa Mathieson, Phil Rowland and Scott Wagner.
Barlow, a former journalist for the Okotoks Western Wheel, says he sees potential in the Pass.
“The most important thing for me today is to assure you that after the by-election, should I win, I will be here and be a strong representative for the Crowsnest area,” said Barlow.
Barlow told council that he wants to simplify the process of applications for grants from the government. This includes but not limited to, the P3, Building Canada, and the Digital Canada 150 programs.
The P3 program, Public-Private Partnerships, looks to improve the delivery of infrastructure to Canadians and increase the value of these projects to taxpayers. Governments will continue to own the assets but the private sector will have a larger role in the design, construction and maintenance of the projects.
The program will give the private sector a greater share in the risks involved in projects which will create incentives for them to deliver projects on time and at lower costs.
Barlow believes it is hard enough for municipalities to access this program.
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“This is probably a program that the Crowsnest Pass has not had an opportunity to access in the past, it is $1.25 billion of federal funding. The problem with the P3 program in the past is that it was a real onerous application process, especially for smaller municipalities,” said Barlow, adding that he would like to change this.
The Digital Canada 150 Program is a federal plan to achieve 98 per cent access to broadband internet across Canada, by its 150th birthday in 2017.
“I know it doesn’t mean a whole lot to Calgary and Toronto. That means a big deal to us out in Macleod, there are a lot of municipalities that do not have access to high-speed internet,” said Barlow. He added the program will have fiber-optic cable in as many areas as possible, adding the government is looking at satellite internet for remote areas, where cable is not a viable option.
Dustin Fuller took the podium after Barlow, and proceeded to ask council what they wanted from the feds, if anything.
Fuller graduated from the University of Lethbridge in 2011, with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He served as the President of student council and was in charge of a $4 million budget, he made the council diversify, adding a permanent seat for first nations and one for foreign students.
He came with more questions than answers; something he believes is a positive quality about his leader Justin Trudeau. He has already started knocking on doors in the Pass, looking for local issues and asking “what needs to be done to help communities?” adding “Maybe what they (the feds) have done is right, that’s what I am here to do is listen.”
“When Justin goes into communities he doesn’t go with the answers, he doesn’t go with an agenda, he doesn’t go with an ideology or philosophy. He simply goes into a community with an ear,” said Fuller.
From what he has heard in his initial door campaign, is that people want Thunder in the Valley to come back. He even joked about there maybe being federal funding for the event. Adding “I can’t make any promises.”
Council pressed issues they want help with on Fuller, including getting the infrastructure up to date in the Pass. Council also wants the process of flooding issues from last year to be sped up.
Fuller also asked about Highway 3 and the safety concerns it poses to communities in the Pass.
Council immediately perked their ears at the mention of ‘twinning’ of the highway. Mayor Blair Painter said to Fuller “safety is our outmost concern and this needs to be addressed.”
Whether or not these aspirations of representing Macleod in Ottawa pans out for Fuller is yet to be seen, he admits it will be a long, tough battle to the Parliament.
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May 14th ~ Vol. 84 No. 19
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