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Restoring transparency and accountability in government

Posted on April 11, 2024 by Ryan Dahlman

The County of Forty Mile will soon be sending out property tax notices and Winnifred property owners have been told to expect a Local Improvement Levy to be added to their property tax bill, to pay for the Winnifred Raw Water project Phase II.

Unfortunately, these property owners remain in the dark as to the details behind this levy, such as final cost, how costs are to be apportioned, or the cost and effect of the error by County staff, or any other details because County Officials continue to withhold this information.

Our own Member of Parliament Glen Motz, in his most recent householder letter to constituents noted the importance of transparency and accountability in government stating,

“Transparency allows citizens to access information effectively, leading to more informed public discourse and engagement in the political process. When government decision-making processes and information used to make these decisions are openly available, it reduces the opportunity for corruption and misuse of power. Increased transparency ensures that policymakers act in the public interest. Improved accountability leads to better policy.”

The actions taken by County Officials such as excluding property owners from the entire process of planning the project or applying a Local Improvement Levy to sending out incorrect information, switching to imperial measures and then going to a 10,000th of a cent per square foot without explanation has served to obfuscate the facts and confuse and mislead affected property owners.

County Council should heed the wisdom of our MP Glen Motz and direct County officials to provide full disclosure of all relevant and pertinent facts, details and data and answer property owners’ queries regarding the Winnifred Raw Water project Phase II.

MP Glen Motz further councils his constituents here in the County of Forty Mile,

“accountability is often at the heart of public trust which leads to a more responsible government…”.

So, over to you, Reeve Barrows.

Eric Musekamp, Bow Island

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