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October 1, 2020 October 1, 2020

Re: Feb. 11 article ‘Coaldale council declines plebiscite on proposed high school/rec centre location’

Posted on February 25, 2020 by Sunny South News

Dear Editor,

I was reading through the front page article in the Feb. 11th edition of the Sunny South News and could not help but be struck by various emotions.

First, joy and thankfulness that the town’s council decided not to consider a plebiscite on the issue of the location of a new school in Coaldale. Many of us in Coaldale are very supportive of location of the proposed school. This has been discussed, and as the article states, the residents have been able to participate in and read through the results of the very detailed and in depth work council and administration has done on this issue.

Second, I have a strong feeling of fear and anger with the Coaldale Chamber of Commerce for their letter encouraging and supporting a plebiscite. The website of the Coaldale Chamber is under construction so we don’t know what they consider their mandate to be. But the Alberta Chamber, on its home page states the following; “As the advocate for Alberta business, the Alberta Chambers of Commerce are your local resource, championing ideas, harnessing energy, and collectively moving forward sensible ideas for small business.” Anger because the chambers mandate should be about supporting and promoting business, and fear, because the supportive letter might leave the impression that this request for a plebiscite is widely supported in the business community. I have an additional level of fear because there is a real risk to this project not moving ahead at all, due to the unnecessary divisive action of a few.

Finally, I have a sense of hope. I am hopeful that all citizens will get behind this project and all the projects that this council and administration is working on.

In the province and in the country we have ever greater polarization of ideas.

In Coaldale, we have opportunity to unite and champion our town. We have a strong council and administration, working hard as a team, to grow and build our town. There have been a number of very positive decisions since October of 2017 and rather than causing division we should work hard to support our town.

JOHN VOORHORST
Coaldale

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