Todd Colin Vaughan/Lacombe Express Editor

VAUGHAN: Alberta Government should take note of Lacombe’s municipal success

Governments can be fiscally responsible without drastically cutting essential services

The City of Lacombe is continuing to grow and also may be, unintentionally, setting a good example for other governments on how to properly manage a bureaucracy during leaner times.

The city grew to 13,985 from 13,037 which is just over seven per cent since the 2016 Federal Election, all while navigating an ongoing oil recession and other local municipalities seeing net population loss during the same time.

The growth also occurred while the city has maintained municipal tax increases to inflation, without the need to make major cuts to their services or operations.

This type of capable administrative example is something the Province of Alberta’s current regime should take a hard look at heading into their impending Budget.

Currently, frontline workers in health, education, social services — and basically anything government — are bracing for assumed provincial cuts that some worry could see the purging of thousands of jobs. This is something that all Albertans should take notice of.

While most reasonable people understand that the government legers should be balanced and that governments should operate with the intent to escape debt and deficit — that understanding is often negated after receiving poor healthcare or education.

While politicians will often like to use the catchphrase of, “Running government like a business” to gain political points and rile up their base — this approach rings hollow when members of that same base are forced to sit in an emergency room due to lack of staffing, or their kids with added needs do not receive adequate support due to the inability for a school division to hire teaching assistants.

To put it more succinctly, everyone likes saving money until they are the ones in crisis and require the help of essential services who provide care for society’s most vulnerable.

Given this, the Province can look to the partnership between Lacombe City administration and council on how to properly navigate economic challenges without severely limiting government’s ability to react to the needs of their community.

Administration was met with the not-so-simple challenge from council to maintain taxation at CPI, but due to the partnership between administration, council and partnering businesses and municipalities — they have been able to do so thus far.

The City of Lacombe recognizes that Lacombe still needs to maintain the same level of roads, water, wastewater, policing, fire services and other essential services that their populace expects, while also being as fiscally responsible and transparent as possible.

The Province of Alberta should take note and realise Albertans deserve the same level of health, education, social services, frontline workers and other essential services necessary to help those who need it.

After all, every Albertan is one crisis away from not caring how much it costs to help their loved ones.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

There were 410 COVID-19 cases recorded in Alberta Wednesday. (File photo)
Alberta records 410 COVID-19 cases Wednesday

Central zone dropped to 160 active cases

Shaun Isaac, owner of Woodchucker Firewood in Trochu, is awaiting a new shipment during a firewood shortage in the province. All of the wood he has left is being saved for long-time customers who need it to heat their homes. (Contributed photo).
Firewood shortage in central Alberta caused by rising demand, gaps in supply

‘I’ve said “No” to more people than ever’: firewood seller

file photo
Maskwacis RCMP investigate pedestrian fatality

Collision on Highway 2A causing fatality still under investigation.

Shaela Dansereau/ The Pipestone Flyer
City of Wetaskiwin cases rapidly climbing

City of Wetaskiwin reporting 11 active cases of COVID-19

Royal Alexandra Hospital front-line workers walk a picket line after walking off the job in a wildcat strike in Edmonton, on Monday, October 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta labour board orders health-care staff who walked off the job to go back to work

Finance Minister Travis Toews said in a news release that he was pleased with the labour board’s decision

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

A raccoon paid a visit to a Toronto Tim Hortons on Oct. 22, 2020. (shecallsmedrew/Twitter)
Who are you calling a trash panda? Raccoon takes a shift at Toronto Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons said animal control was called as soon they saw the surprise visitor

Most Read