Vol 15, Issue 5, Leduc – Wetaskiwin Pipestone Flyer
Take a room full of people who came out on a bitterly cold winter night, throw in some government Ministers and MLA’s trying to defend some controversial bills and you get a lively night of debate and anger in Rolly View Jan. 31.
The Rolly View hall was filled to capacity with land owners and people concerned about three government bills squared off against two government minsters and five MLA’s who turned out to answer questions on Bills 50, 36 and 19.
Bill 19 is the Land Assembly Project Area Act, Bill 50 is the Electric Statutes Amendment Act and Bill 36 is the Alberta Land Stewardship Act.
Ray Danyluk, Minister of Infrastructure along with Mel Knight, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development spent the night defending the Bills.
Knight told the pack room that they are making changes to Bill 36, primarily because of the feedback they received from the public and concern parties.
They spent three years gathering information and having public consultation for Bill 36, the Alberta Land Stewardship Act or ALSA.
“As the consultation rolled out across the province we began to get a lot of negative feedback, and I have to tell you that I agree,” Knight told the crowd. “I am a land owner, I agree there was reason for concern, we heard it, I heard it and I am here tonight to start responding to the negative comments to that have been made about the government, about us, about our intent and about what we intend to do with the intent of clearing up of that misunderstanding. Because I think there are some areas in the legislation that could stand some amending.”
Knight said he hopes people will come away from the meeting with a better understanding of what the legislation is, and the intent of government.
Some of the changes made to the legislation are to clearly state they are going to protect the rights of Albertans, landowners and due process. Knight stated the purpose of the act was not to take away peoples drivers license, marriage license, mineral rights or birth certificate. “That is absolutely false,” he stated.
Knight very vocally stated the government is not trying to get legislation to take away people’s rights, limit compensation, override the rights of municipality, or prevent public consultation.
Debate at times got very vocal with several speakers calling for all the acts to be scrapped and starting over. Several times one audience member got into spirited debates about various aspects of Bill 19 with Ray Danyluk. One audience member even become quite agitated when he demanded to know who brought in the various bills.
Rogers brought the meeting to an end saying that sometimes they don’t get things right when Bills are passed so that is why amendments are made. They also like to hear from the public about the bills they pass to try and get it right.
The meeting went for two hours with lots of debate taking place. For a more comprehensive story on the meeting please check out our website in the coming days. Leduc Radio will also be posting a video taken at the meeting. Everyone is encouraged to check out the legislation on all three bills and if anyone has a concern to get in touch with your local MLA to express that concern.
The MLA’s And Ministers in attendance were:
- MLA Verlyn Olson -Wetaskiwin-Camrose
- Hon. Ray Danyluk, Minister of Infrastructure
- Hon. Mel Knight, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development
- MLA Ray Prins – Lacombe-Ponoka
- MLA George Rogers – Leduc-Beaumont-Devon
- MLA Arno Doerksen – Strathmore-Brooks
- MLA Len Mitzel – Cypress-Medicine Hat.