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January 28th, 2015 ~ Vol. 85 No. 4
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Municipality served lawsuits
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Mayor Blair Painter is assuring citizens that he is not involved in a lawsuit against his own municipality.
A former member of the Blairmore Fire Department and the Smoke Eaters Community Sociaty, Painter says he cut all ties with both organizations before deciding to run for office.
“I didn’t want any perceived conflict of interest,” he said.
In the days before the municipality amalgamated its fire and rescue services, the Smoke Eaters ran a well-known pyrotechnics operation and introduced the Thunder in the Valley fireworks display in 1993.
Though he never served on the executive, Painter recalls working with the Smoke Eaters on some of their many fireworks shows. He’s still a licenced pyrotechnician and renewed his qualifications in December.
“We did shows in Fernie for numerous years, we did Sparwood for a little bit before they got to doing their own, we did the Taber Corn Festival for seven or eight years…yes, I was part of that,” said Painter.
continued below...


The municipality has been served as the defendant in a legal claim by Jamie Margetak, the former chief of the Blairmore Fire Department and by members of The Blairmore Smoke Eaters Community Society.
Both claims were initiated after the events of 2012 when Margetak was relieved of his duties by the municipality after 34-years on the job.
Following an emergency meeting of Blairmore Fire Department, 11 firefighters in attendance, Painter among them, handed in their pagers and quit the department in solidarity with their chief.
According to a municipal release, the claims are currently in the hands of the courts, and the municipality is finalizing a Statement of Defence.
The municipality said it couldn’t elaborate further on details of the claims.
“As the Municipality moves through the legal process, we will endeavor to keep the community advised within the constraints imposed upon it,” said the release.
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January 28th ~ Vol. 85 No. 4
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