Residents deserve better.
In January 2017, residents of Wentworth woke-up to the news that a gravel pit would start operating in their backyard 12 hrs a day, 7 days a week, for 5 years.
As one can expect, many people were upset and frustrated. They were frustrated that they did not know about this in advance. They were frustrated that they were not consulted and they were upset that they had no say in the operations of the gravel pit.
In late 2017, I FOIPed all email correspondence between our MLA, Alberta Transportation and the community. The emails showed extreme frustration with the lack of consultation. Here are some of their emails:
- “We were not included in any ‘public consultation’ process which is extremely concerning considering the proximity of the proposed operation to our family household.”
- “There was zero consultation done with the community on this project and that is simply unacceptable.”
- “I know I speak for many of our fellow residents when I say that we are truly disappointed in the process and our local representatives…”
Despite the lack of consultation, residents of the area, including myself, sprung into action. We starting meeting to get information out to residents and we demanded answers from our MLA and Alberta Transportation We began by demanding a health assessment. We wanted to be sure that the crushing operations would not disperse harmful levels of silica dust into the air. We asked for a shelter belt of trees to mitigate dust and we asked for more noise and air quality monitors.
Do you see the problem with this?
The government and our MLA should have been the ones proactive suggesting the solutions. Not angry residents who were never consulted.
As your MLA, I will fight to ensure operations at the gravel pit put local residents first.
Here’s how I will do this:
- I will email you regular updates. On Day 1 of my election as your MLA, I will begin an outreach campaign to residents of West Springs and Cougar Ridge, to build a comprehensive email database. Once in place, I will use this database to send you regular updates about the gravel pit, directly to your inbox. It shouldn’t be a fight to get information from your MLA.
- I will have regular townhalls on the issue. To date, no townhall has been organized by the local MLA. This is simply unacceptable. If elected as your next MLA, I will have quarterly townhalls to give you updates and answer your questions.
- I will increase the frequency of noise and air quality reporting. At the moment, results from the noise and air quality monitors are posted on the Alberta Transportation website monthly. I will fight to get data posted every two weeks or faster.
If you agree with my approach to managing the West Springs gravel pit operations, please sign-up as a member and vote in the upcoming UCP nomination. By doing so, you will help me get on the ballot. This is a critical first step in becoming your next MLA.
Together, we can ensure a fresh start!