October/20 Bearspaw Beat Submission
It has been some time since my last update, another side effect of COVID-19
Development in Bearspaw
An application for a 500-unit multi-family dwelling and seniors’ facility located on the Damkar Lands, north of Watermark’s Villas, was given first reading. This does not mean that the application has received any level of approval. Rather, it means that the application will come to Council for a public hearing (date currently unknown). Given the scope of the application, I asked to have the circulation area expanded to include all Bearspaw Village, Blazer Estates and Bearspaw Meadows. My motion was defeated 6-3 with only Councillors Hanson and Kissel in support.
County changes advertising policy
In the past, County information for public hearings on land-use changes, development permit approvals, and subdivision applications were advertised in Rocky View Weekly. However, the majority on Council decided to no longer advertise in Rocky View Weekly. This information will now only be posted on the County website – www.rockyview.ca.
New Electoral Boundaries
Last year, a consultant was hired to review the County’s electoral boundaries. After a lengthy process, the consultant recommended a 7-division model (currently 9). Council will decide whether to implement these recommended changes at its meeting on October 27th. Information about the new electoral divisions can be found on the County website.
Sanctions quashed by Judge
As most of you already know, Councillors Kissel, Hanson and I succeeded in our court challenge of our sanctions. As we said when the judge released his ruling, “We would like to express our sincere gratitude to our lawyers, Michael B. Niven Q.C. and Michael Custer of Carscallen LLP, and to Justice J.T. Eamon who we felt did a remarkable job on a complicated matter. The removal of all the sanctions was the best outcome we could have hoped for.”
While there were multiple reasons underlying the Court’s decision to set aside the sanctions, the judge gave two key reasons. Firstly, there was a violation of our right to procedural fairness due to Council’s failure to consider the possibility of bias from the County’s Investigator. Secondly, the sanctions were both unreasonable and disproportionate. We are glad to have our status fully reinstated and to be able to properly represent our constituents in a more positive and productive work environment.
CAO Hoggan has already re-established communication protocols between all of Council and Administration. Unfortunately, despite comments from the Reeve to the contrary, Council has begun the process to appeal the decision to throw out our sanctions. How that choice best represents County ratepayers is unknown. In the meantime, we thank everyone for their continued support.
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving. Blessings to you and your families. Stay healthy and safe!