By Letter to the Editor on February 1, 2020.
Re: “City hires firm to help lobby province.”
We all are fortunate to be living in a country that accepts representative democracy as a norm. Our system of British parliamentary government did not come quickly or easily; its development painfully slow, emerging traditionally out of Magna Carta in 1215. We vote for three levels of government in Canada – dominion (federal), provincial or territorial, and civic (urban or county). Each level deals with different aspects and has a different jurisdiction with a minimum of overlap.
Because these levels represent the needs of their constituents with narrowing specificity, there are times when the levels meet and discuss regional differences and sort out areas of disagreement. Meetings are held between premiers and even finance ministers. Certainly representatives from Alberta’s cities must have ongoing communication with each other and with the province (the cities are, after all, “creatures” of the province).
I recently read that the mayor and city council of Lethbridge have hired a liaison entity to deal with the provincial government. How absurd, I thought. How manipulative and invidious. My knee-jerk reaction was simply “How about we vote them out and the new mayor and council can deal directly with the government” – they all are representatives, after all.
The MLA for Lethbridge-East, Nathan Neudorf, is perfectly capable of taking citizens’ concerns to the government caucus, as he is a totally competent member of that body. There’s no need to spend even more money we don’t have for some other go-between. More efficiently, just deal directly with the province that you are a creature of.
Of course, the reasons are political – our mayor and most of the council disagree with everything the governing UCP stands for. Next civic election, remember who accepted all the NDP bright ideas that are ruining our city. We all have the power to vote directly for a council that will liaise fully with higher government. Please do so.