Warning regarding the importance of the upcoming election

To the Editor;

This is a warning regarding the importance of the upcoming election.

As a land owner and part-time resident of Kneehill County, and formerly rancher, business owner, biologist and environmental consultant, I am very concerned about the possibility of re-electing members of the County Council who agreed with or approved of breaking our very important land use laws and guidelines, in order to allow (or assist) outsiders to come into the County to build a project that will do severe ecological damage to an Environmentally Significant Area of national importance that is home to several “endangered” and “at risk” species (see www.SaveTheRosebud.ca). And they are doing this even though it will also lower the quality of life for hundreds of area residents. For these reasons and more, about 98% of the hundreds of residents of the affected parts of Kneehill and adjacent counties are strongly opposed to this proposed development and how Kneehill Council is handling this matter (as proven by several public meetings on this issue).

When faced with this massive opposition (which also included many ecologically concerned people from other parts of Alberta), and seeing that the Badlands Motorsport Resort proposal was in violation of the Land Use Bylaw, Kneehill County Council (or some of its members) came up with a “Direct Control” zone classification for this very important piece of the ecosystem, through which they gave themselves total control of what could be done here. All existing laws and classifications no longer applied. Opposition by anyone outside the Council no longer mattered, and now they could even approve a project that would totally destroy the ecosystem in this area (which is what the Motorsport Resort will do) and all the public opposition in the world could no longer stop them!

A governing body that (a) ignores and/or violates the laws it’s supposed to follow, and (b) goes against the stated wishes of its constituents, is called a dictatorship. So, we democratically elected this Council but, at least in this matter, we now have an elected dictatorship. Are they acting like dictators in other matters too?

It’s of paramount importance that you find out as much you can about the candidates in your Division, to prevent this sort of thing from continuing. And tell your neighbours to do the same. (You might ask how the candidates would respond to a proposed automobile racetrack resort in a fragile Environmentally Significant Area when the proponent claims it would bring in millions in tax revenues.) Vote for candidates who will base their decisions on the rule of law and the wishes of their constituents and do what’s best for Kneehill County.

Robert Clive Elliott

Kneehill County - Division 7