May 25th, 2024

Dale P. Leier: Candidate looking for transparency, growth and performance on city council

By Tim Kalinowski on July 24, 2021.

Herald photo by Tim Kalinowski - Council candidate Dale P. Leier recently says the airport would be his main capital spending priority if elected.


Lethbridge-based entrepreneur and libertarian thinker Dale P. Leier recently announced his bid to run for a city council seat in this fall’s municipal election.
“I think council needs to be more transparent,” he says. “The three key planks of my platform are transparency, growth and performance. Are we getting value for money? Are there areas where we can squeeze out improvements and not just wholesale job cuts that are demoralizing and leaving gaps? How can we be more effective with the valuable taxpayer dollars we have to deal with?”
Leier has dabbled in politics before when he ran in 2004 as the Libertarian Party of Canada federal candidate for Saanich-Gulf Islands before moving back to his hometown of Lethbridge after his wife’s retirement from her senior public service job with the B.C government. Leier has also worked as a former Air Traffic Controller, and had many different positions over the years in sales and marketing, technology and finance, and manufacturing and food production. Leier has also been an outspoken critic of the current city council, particularly when it comes to local municipal spending and economic growth policies.
“I am probably the most reluctant candidate there is,” he admits, “but I was asked by Blaine Hyggen if I would be interested in running. We had some mutual acquaintances, and one thing has led to another. The thing is, I have a passion for this city. Lethbridge runs in my veins.”
Leier feels the city is missing out on some great opportunities due to poor policy and planning.
“We (my wife and I) looked around at all the cities in western Canada, and Lethbridge turned out to be the best with all amenities, the cost of living, the weather; so it still had a lot of appeal,” he says. “And bonus, it was also my hometown. But when I got back here, I was really taken aback by the way things had, to my way of mind, deteriorated.”
Leier cites the lack of progress on airport development as a prime example of what he means.
“Around the rest of Canada, cities were building big, new, grand airports with runways and terminals, and everything like this,” he says. “And this thing is just about closing the doors.
“There has been on private hangar built here in the last 40 years. Meanwhile there are people building aviation businesses outside of Lethbridge.”
The airport is Leier’s main capital spending priority if elected, and he acknowledges many of his criticisms stem from the way the airport operated under Lethbridge County prior to being turned over to the City.
“Really, they (the feds) couldn’t have given it to a worse operator,” he says. “And, unfortunately, the City of Lethbridge isn’t much more sophisticated than that. They more or less took it over because they were paying the bills. But, in terms of planning and understanding, you have a three person committee running the airport, the mayor and two councillors, none of whom knows one end of an airplane from another.”
Leier says his main policy priority if elected is generating more wealth in Lethbridge by creating a strong local climate for investment. He believes if that happens Lethbridge would be “ideally suited” for long term economic prospects, and it would put a significant dent in its social problems as well. Leier’s campaign motto is: “A Rising Tide Lifts All Boats.”
“Everyone says to me the root cause of homelessness, addiction and crime is poverty, and nothing cures poverty like wealth,” he states. “So, I say, jobs for everyone. I know people want family-supporting jobs. They want meaning in their life, and they want to feel there is relevance to what they do. So, again, means growing the economy and growing the opportunities, working with the academic institutions to do training and career development.”
Leier says he also supports the idea of a third bridge as a capital spending priority, opposes electric buses, (he would prefer to see natural gas powered buses instead), and opposes building a performing arts centre.
He is supportive of the idea of an Indigenous friendship centre for Lethbridge.
“(First Nations) have a history here, and I think that needs to be respected,” he says. “We need to live together, we need to work together, we need to grow together. I think a friendship centre is just a start.”

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pursuit diver

I like some of the points made and would like to hear more. If you were an air traffic controller you know how to work under pressure.
I also like promoting the airport! We have an opportunity, being the first city to those flying into the city from the US, if we had a full time Customs Office. We have so many beautiful areas within 60-90 minutes of the city with mountains, lakes and streams and once we get the issues resolved on our streets, we may be able to once again be called a beautiful clean city where people want to return and retire in. Lethbridge has a lot to offer and the airport could be valuable in our tourism.
I would like to see a return to the International Airshows and I am hoping as soon as next year, although that may be asking a lot.
Your comment “…the root cause of homelessness, addiction and crime is poverty, and nothing cures poverty like wealth…” needs more clarification. The addiction is what caused the homelessness, all the money goes to drugs and landlords get their property, their investments destroyed by addicts not having respect for the property. Most of the homeless in Lethbridge are Indigenous and the addictions or should I say the cause of the addictions is what put them into that mess. But it goes deeper, the cause of the addiction and how they were brought up. Money has proven to fail in improving that! The more money addicts have the more they blow on alcohol and drugs. You have to treat the addiction and once you do that you have to train them into a job where they can work and gain self respect and self esteem. Then you will see a decrease in addiction, violence, domestic violence, crime and other anti-social behaviours.To end this cycle that has plagued the Indigenous for decades, it must begin in their homes and in the Indigneous communities. That is where many of the issues evolve from.
FYI – They have a friendship: Sik-Ooh-Kotok Friendship Society located at 1709 2 Ave South, I remember it because more than once a train has derailed more than once going into the Ellison Mills track and crashed through their outer wall along highway 3 or the Crownest Trail. If they were to build larger center, it should be federal funds, not Lethbridge funds that pay for it. Do we pay for the Italian Canadian club or the German Canadian club or the Croation Club?
I do want to hear more! I am always skeptical hearing politicians platforms during election races, since many just turn out to be lies and hope you can win my confidence. As for the other Council members running, I judge them by their past record, not from anything they have said in the last year. Many change just to get re-elected, but continue with the same old, same old once back in!
Impress me!

Last edited 2 years ago by pursuit diver

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