Mrs. Marianne Cole, President,
Clearwater County Taxpayers’ Association
House, AB T4T 2A1
June 10, 2019
Mr. Gordon Lambert,
President and CEO
Suite 1000, 250 – 5th St. SW
Calgary, AB T2P 0R4
Dear Mr. Lambert:
am writing this letter on behalf of the Clearwater County Taxpayers’
Association and concerned residents of our area with regards to two
· The operation and control of the Alberta Energy Regulator AND
· Fracking in the oil industry
Operation of the Alberta Energy Regulator We understand the need
for a regulatory body to oversee the operation of the oil industry in
Alberta but we are very concerned about the make-up of the Board and
Directors of the AER. With significant representation from former
industry personnel we question if there is adequate, unbiased evaluation
of industry operations or is it a matter of “the fox looking after the
chicken coop.” We are concerned, that with the weighted membership of
oil industry personnel, the interests of rural Albertans may not be
Certainly there is a need for qualified
opinion but we also feel that there is a distinct need for
representation from rural communities, the people that are potentially
seriously affected by oil industry operations in their area and see “the
other side of the story.” These people deserve to have input into
matters affecting their quality of life and we suggest that there be an
open application procedure for representatives on the AER Board with a
required, equal number of representatives from various areas of Alberta.
2. Fracking Again, we understand the benefit of
fracking but we are also very concerned about its potentially negative
impact from possible earthquakes and the significant use of fresh water.
We definitely feel that the AER has to re-evaluate their licensing
protocols and procedures as we feel there is not the degree of
supervision/control necessary to ensure the well-being of all Albertans.
As such we are proposing:
· The development of stringent
protocol and procedures for compensation to residents who may have water
wells or property damage due to fracking and/or earthquakes. The
procedure guidelines must stipulate the responsibilities of the oil
industry company involved with a definite
outline of compensation
to be paid. The guidelines must be easily understood, readily
available, and allow for efficient/sufficient compensation to the
· The AER initiate extensive research
on the alternatives to the use of fresh water for fracking and then work
to enforcing those alternatives. Withdrawing billions of liters of
fresh water from our resources for each fracking operation is not
sustainable. Recently the Mayor of Calgary expressed concern over the
potential inadequate water supply for his city.
there needs to be greater supervision by the AER over the approval of
temporary diversion licensing. We are very concerned that there is not
enough evaluation of the potential impact on the water source before
licenses are approved. With the numerous applications that the AER
receives on a daily basis we question how extensive an evaluation is
done before approval is granted. As mentioned before, the withdrawal of
billions and billions of liters of water from our environment is NOT
sustainable. There are alternatives to fresh water use for fracking but
there IS NOT an alternative to water for sustaining life. We sincerely
encourage the AER to do research into, and then subsequently
promote/require, alternatives to fresh water use.
conclusion we reiterate our requests that you address concerns with the
operation of the AER as well as the issues related to fracking. We
trust that you might be equally concerned about the well-being of all
Albertans and our environment, and therefore work towards addressing
We look forward to hearing from you.
Cc: Honorable Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy
Mrs. Sheila O’Brien, Chairman of the Board, Alberta Energy Regulator
Friday, June 7, 2019
Potential Zero 0% Tax Increase
At their regular council meeting on Tuesday, May 14th, Council first of all defeated a motion for a 1% tax hike on municipal taxes. There was significant discussion in light of the fact that, while it is still unknown, there is a potential for a large hike in the education tax, a matter out of Council’s control. Notable comments reported in the May 22nd Mountaineer included Councillor Lougheed’s where he said, “We don’t have control over the province’s numbers but we can cushion the blow.” On a similar note Councillor Laird said, “We have the Tax Stabilization fund. I consider that to be a rainy day fund and I would say this is the rainy day. I support zero per cent at this point after much thought.” Following defeat of the 1% tax hike motion, Councillor Swanson made a motion for a 0% tax increase which passed first reading. We await the results of 2nd and 3rd reading.
Concerns with truck inspections
A phone call was recently received regarding the CPO’s safety inspections on local heavy industry trucks. According to the caller, following word that there would be impending safety checks by the County’s CPO’s, the local operator decided to have his trucks all safety inspected. This was done during break-up when business was slower to ensure that all would be in order and to save future loss of driver/operating time when business ramped up. Subsequently, however, at a meeting with local operators, it was noted by the CPO’s that they would not be honoring other safety inspections but would still do their own. This is a source of frustration for local operators as it means extra time could be lost when their trucks are held up unnecessarily for time consuming inspections when they have proven, valid safety stickers---an additional cost they have already incurred.
Ground breaking activities visible
Ground work for the new Public Works/Fire Hall building at Condor has started and is visible north of Highway 11. It will be exciting to watch the progress as it proceeds.
Friends of the Corridor Schools
The dedicated group of young moms and community members continues to meet and discuss fund raising for the potential new school/improvements at Leslieville and Condor. Plans for a major kick off on June 18th have been postponed until the fall when more definite plans/announcements will, hopefully, be coming from the province. Please check out their website at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A very special bouquet of roses goes out this month to each one of our councillors for their consideration of the current local economic situation in proposing a 0% municipal tax increase. Your insightful discussion, comments, and decision are, I’m sure, welcomed and appreciated by everyone.
Coming Events: June 11, 2019, 7:30PM Arbutus Community Hall, Regular monthly meeting September 17, 2019, 7:30PM, Arbutus Community Hall, Regular monthly meeting
June 11, 2019, 7:30PM Arbutus Community Hall, Regular monthly meeting
September 17, 2019, 7:30PM, Arbutus Community Hall, Regular monthly meeting