Sunday, April 7, 2013

FDA Encourages Reform of Alberta's Municipal Acts

Photo of Springbank, Rockyview County, Alberta, Canada--the proposed district location of the controversial Bingham Crossing development.
2013 FDA Process Review of the Bingham Crossing Development Application

Executive Summary

The Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA) measured severe deficiencies in the Alberta municipal processes with regard to the Bingham Crossing development application. The FDA measured both individual and cumulative impacts of the Alberta municipal processes on the democratic welfare of Rocky View County residents and users of the area. Although the individual effects were in some cases insignificant, the accumulation of these impacts raises questions about the consistency of the Alberta municipal processes with a free and democratic society. The FDA determined that overall; the municipal processes give a greater voice to special interests over the voice of the citizenry. In addition, the FDA identified municipal processes that unreasonably limit the democratic rights of citizens and do not include adequate offsetting mechanisms; and are therefore in conflict with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The FDA concludes that the Bingham Crossing development application requires an inspection by the Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister and a provincial government-initiated referendum to determine whether this controversial development application should pass or fail. The purposes of the referendum are to compensate for the deficiencies in the Alberta municipal processes and accurately measure the voice of the Rocky View electorate concerning the Bingham Crossing development. In addition, the FDA recommends amendments of the Alberta Municipal Government Act and Local Authorities Election Act. The measurements and findings of this report have implications for all Albertan municipalities. Finally, the report’s overall purpose is to ensure that Albertans become more knowledgeable about the outcomes of Alberta government processes, and can then make decisions that are more informed.

This report is in no way an evaluation of the merits and deficiencies of the proposed Bingham Crossing development.

The FDA recommends that the public get involved with the government legislative process and implementation if they want to protect and advance their democratic voice, and create a society of their choosing.

“If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost.” 
- Aristotle

2013 FDA Process Review of the Bingham Crossing Development Application 

FDA Website Post 

FDA Public Forum on the Alberta Municipal Acts 

Stakeholder Advisory 

5 comments:

  1. Why is the process flawsed only when the decision of the democratically elected Council has an opinion other than yours. Thank you to our County for allowing free enterprise and recognizing this opportunity for the long term bennifit of our residents.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your perspective. You touch on the central issue of the FDA's process review of the Bingham Crossing development. The FDA believes that the people should have sovereign authority over political affairs in a free and democratic society. The Alberta Legislature has given this authority to elected officials without providing adequate offsetting mechanisms to the people. The FDA views recall and citizen-initiated referendum within reasonable thresholds as adequate mechanisms. The FDA's presentation and the discussion on April 22 will focus partly on this central issue. In the meantime for more details, please look over the FDA's 54 page report:
      http://www.slideshare.net/FDAdvancement/2012-rocky-view

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  2. I'm looking forward to the services planned for Bingham Crossing. Thanks.

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    1. Do you represent the majority opinion of Rocky View County?

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  3. Bingham Crossing, or more accurately, councils approval of Bingham Crossing, is an absolute travesty. The clear majority of residents, as well as the councillors in the immediate vicinity of the development, are completely against this monstrosity. The councillors for do not live within 10 miles, or in most cases much further, from the impacted area. Their positive vote does not have anything to do with the will of the people or the requirements of the community. The process leading to Binghams approval was a complete sham, a farcical comedy on a great scale, which would be more humourous if it did not steal lifestyles from everyone in the community.

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Thank you for sharing your perspective.