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More audits long overdue_ says Blood Tribe man

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					                                                                                                                                                       Wednesday, June 25, 2008 — THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD                       A3


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More audits long overdue, says Blood Tribe man
New requirements by Indian                    they need to happen right away,”
                                              Day Chief said. “(Indian Affairs) gets
                                                                                               Part of the problem is the
                                                                                             discrepancy between figures on
                                                                                                                                        government, where is that money
                                                                                                                                        going to disappear to next?” he said.
                                                                                                                                                                                       homes were also affected by mould,
                                                                                                                                                                                       rodents and seeping water. Evacuees
Affairs will better track how                 tons of complaints about                       paper and reality on the ground.              Newly elected leaders may have              had to be moved to motels in Fort
                                              misappropriation. There should                 Many Blood Tribe members live in           good intentions, Day Chief said, but           Macleod and Pincher Creek. Health
dollars are spent, says resident              have been a tracking system all                Third World conditions and many            they soon see how much money                   Canada has also condemned the
By CAROLINE ZENTNER                           along.”                                        abuse solvents, alcohol and other          they have control over and how their           community rink and recreation hall
Lethbridge Herald                               Starting July 1, a clause will be            drugs.                                     predecessors handled it.                       and administrative offices.
                                              added that allows Indian Affairs to              Yet, the tribe has somewhere                “They just fall right into the same


N
           ew Indian Affairs require-                                                                                                                                                    City council agreed to urge Indian
           ments for more audits to           analyze spending of federal transfers          around 140 oil and gas wells. Tribe        stream and they go with the flow,”             Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl to
                                              to First Nations for education,                members haven’t had a payout since         Day Chief said. “It’s time to open the         address housing needs on the
           better track First Nations
                                              housing and other programs. Day                1980 and they’re still waiting to see      books; let’s find out where the                reserve.
           program spending is a
                                              Chief hopes the audits will lead to            measures taken to curb drugs and           reserve is.”
move long past overdue, according                                                                                                                                                        The Piikani Nation was put under
                                              more transparency in tribal financial          violence, Day Chief said.                     While Day Chief supports more
to one Blood Tribe man.                                                                                                                                                                third-party management by Indian
                                              affairs.                                         “We’re not seeing a dime from it,”       audits, others argue federal funding
   Sheldon Day Chief, spokesman for             “There’s got to be some recourse             he said. “We don’t know where that         doesn’t come close to meeting the              Affairs prior to the election of Chief
a group of Blood Tribe members                for billions of dollars going to First         money goes.”                               needs on reserves.                             Reg Crowshoe 18 months ago. The
calling themselves Voices 4 Truth,            Nations,” he said.                               The First Nations Oil and Gas               Several Piikani Nation councillors          new chief and council inherited
welcomes more audits as a way to                Day Chief organized a petition               Management Act modernizes the              approached Lethbridge city council             housing problems and a slew of
know how taxpayer dollars are being           calling for Blood Tribe chief and              regulatory scheme and gives First          late last year about the housing crisis        other issues when they took office. It
spent.                                        council to conduct a forensic audit.           Nations more control over their oil        on their reserve. They asked for city          took four months before the nation
   The group has complained to                Two representatives from Indian                and gas resources. That could be a         council’s support in lobbying the              moved out of third-party
Indian Affairs about what they claim          Affairs visited the reserve earlier this       double-edged sword, in Day Chief’s         federal government for help.                   management and into a self-
is mismanagement of the tribe’s               year and Day Chief expects they will           opinion.                                      Four families were evacuated from           imposed remedial management
finances by chief and council.                return with an action plan in the                “If there’s no protocol for              their rotting and mouldy homes in              plan that was negotiated with Indian
   “Basically I support the audits but        near future.                                   accountability to federal                  Brocket and about a dozen other                Affairs.




                                                                                                                                           Carmangay receptive
                                                                                                                                           to wind power project
                                                                                                                                           Residents have no problems                       The projects all got their start in
                                                                                                                                                                                         2007 and Greengate is conducting
                                                                                                                                           with proposed development                     environmental assessments which
                                                                                                                                           By JEFF WIEBE                                 will help determine the turbines’
                                                                                                                                           Lethbridge Herald                             impact on animal habitats, noise
                                                                                                                                                                                         levels and shadow flicker. With
                                                                                                                                              CARMANGAY — If an open house               preliminary results in, Greengate
                                                                                                                                           Tuesday night was any indication,             has been able to project the areas
                                                                                                                                           Carmangay residents are in favour             where turbines will have the least
                                                                                                                                           of a wind power project in their area         impact.
                                                                                                                                           that could provide enough power to               “It’s important because we’re
                                                                                                                                           serve about 100,000 homes.                    trying to do something that has a
                                                                                                                                              Greengate Power, the Calgary-              positive impact on the
                                                                                                                                           based company behind the project,             environment,” said Balaban.
                                                                                                                                           held the session to give residents a             At the open house, residents could
                                                                                                                                           chance to ask questions and voice             examine before-and-after photos of
                                                                                                                                           their concerns, and the response              what landscapes look like with and
                                                                                                                                           seemed positive.                              without wind turbines, giving them
                                                                                                                                              “I think it’s probably a good idea”        a better idea of what they can
                                                                                                                                           said John Edwards, one of those in            expect. Balaban said he hasn’t heard
                                                                                                                                           attendance.                                   any complaints about the turbines’
                                                                                                                                              “I’m all in favour of renewable            visual impact.
                                                                                                                                           resources.”                                      “I think if you really look at them,
                                                                                                                                              Bob Gerding, another local                 they’re fairly benign on the
                                                                                                                                           resident, also voiced his support.            landscape.”
                                                                                                     HERALD PHOTO BY DAVID ROSSITER           “It’s progress for the country,” said         Another important factor in
                                                                                                                                           Gerding.                                      determining the location of a wind
It’s crunch time for students                                                                                                                 “I think they’re less offensive than
                                                                                                                                           oil wells, which I’m in the middle
                                                                                                                                                                                         project is transmission line capacity.
                                                                                                                                                                                            “Obviously you want to have it in
Trevor Harding writes his Grade 10 English exam Tuesday in the main gym at Lethbridge Collegiate Institute.                                of.”                                          a windy spot, but if you don’t have
                                                                                                                                              The Carmangay wind project,                the transmission lines to take the
                                                                                                                                           officially called the Blackspring             power away, there’s no project,” said
                                                                                                                                           Ridge project, would consist of               Balaban, adding assessments from


      IN BRIEF
                                             acquire, develop and hold property
                                             for housing developments and other             Stamp a step closer                            about 200 turbines producing a total
                                                                                                                                           of 300 megawatts of electricity. It’s
                                                                                                                                                                                         the Alberta Electric System Operator
                                                                                                                                                                                         have shown there to be adequate
                                             facilities to accommodate elderly
                                             people and others who require special          to becoming reality                            one of four short-term projects
                                                                                                                                           Greengate has on the go, including
                                                                                                                                                                                         capacity for Greengate’s four short-
                                                                                                                                                                                         term projects.
                                             care.                                            A commemorative stamp marking                one near Stirling, where an open                 In addition to generating clean
                                                                                            the 100th birthday of the High Level
Seniors apartment   Fourplexes planned                                                      Bridge in 2009 is one step closer to
                                                                                                                                           house was held Monday.
                                                                                                                                              Dan Balaban, president and CEO
                                                                                                                                                                                         energy, the $600-million Blackspring
                                                                                                                                                                                         Ridge project could be a shot in the
proposed for Legacy Second and third reading passed                                         reality with the support of city council
                                                                                            being thrown behind the lobby efforts
                                                                                                                                           of Greengate, said response to the
                                                                                                                                           projects has been great so far,
                                                                                                                                                                                         arm for the Carmangay economy, as
                                                                                                                                                                                         Greengate will try to utilize local
  City council gave first reading this       this week for a bylaw to amend the             of the Lethbridge Philatelic Society.          especially from those leasing their           businesses and tradespeople for the
week to a bylaw that would amend the         Legacy Ridge area structure plan and             Jonathan Dean, secretary of the              land.                                         project’s construction where it can,
land use for two acres of land in            allow higher density housing in the            Lethbridge society, appeared before               “The feedback has been very                according to Balaban.
Legacy Ridge, to allow for a 142-unit        neighbourhood.                                 council this week outlining his work           good. The response from                          Construction on the first of
seniors apartment building.                     The amendment paves the way for             thus far. Dean has written to the              landowners has been phenomenal,”              Greengate’s four projects will begin
  A public hearing on the matter will        17 fourplexes. Martin Geomatic                 Stamp Advisory Committee of Canada             explained Balaban.                            next year, though Balaban said he’s
be held in July.                             Consultants and Avonlea Land Corp.             Post and has support from the Allied              “Community support is very                 not sure which of the four it will be.
  The building is being proposed by          intend to develop 68 units in 17               Arts Council of Lethbridge, the Galt           important to our projects. I think            He expects the first project to be up
the Elim Society, a not-for-profit           fourplexes on 1.5 acres along Haru             Museum, the Chamber of Commerce,               our society is starting to recognize          and running by 2010.
society incorporated in 1996 in B.C.         Moriyama Road at the intersection of           Economic Development Lethbridge,               the importance of renewable                      “What we’re doing has the ability
The objective of the Society is to           Mildred Dobbs Boulevard.                       the city’s two and now the city.               energy.”                                      to have a tangible impact.”




Proposed mobile home park on hold
Coaldale residents voice                    two people live in most mobile
                                            homes.
                                                                                          maintenance of it in the near future.
                                                                                             Other residents expressed
concerns about drainage,                       “This is not a high-density                dissatisfaction with the area
                                            housing development in                        structure plan and urged council to
density, increased traffic                  comparison with other areas in                defeat the proposal, and look for
By TREVOR BUSCH                             Coaldale,” he said, adding drainage           other development ideas for the
and SHERRI GALLANT                          issues on the property would make             land.
Southern Alberta Newspapers                 other forms of development                       “We’re not opposed to
  COALDALE — The future of a                unfeasible.                                   development, as long as it’s the right
proposed development of a 69-acre              Bergen’s area structure plan               development,” said resident Dirk De
mobile home park in south                   includes creation of a five-acre              Vries.
Coaldale is still up in the air.            drainage pond to deal with those                 The cost of infrastructure was also
  About 170 residents packed the            concerns.                                     a major concern among residents.
community hall this week, most                 One of the roads alongside the                “Is Mr. Bergen expecting the town
apparently opposed to the                   proposed park is a County of                  to fund this infrastructure
development based on questions              Lethbridge road, while the other              development?” wondered resident
concerning drainage, population             belongs to the Town of Coaldale. A            Verle Blazek.
density, adjacent land ownership            county representative was among                  After nearly two hours and 35
and increased traffic and other             presenters, expressing concern                speakers, Coun. Bill Martens offered
infrastructure issues.                      about dust from the county road               that the idea of an enclosed park
  Council voted to postpone a               that could be generated from                  was not in keeping with the goals of
second reading of the proposed              increased traffic.                            the community.
bylaws (one to rezone the land in              “I think I was able to convince               “It doesn’t give you a sense of
                                                                                                                                                                                               HERALD PHOTO BY DAVID ROSSITER
question and the other to approve           people, however, that the traffic             community. It gives a feeling of
an area structure plan by the
developer, Douglas Bergen) until its
                                            from my development on that road
                                            would be a whole lot less than from
                                                                                          isolation,” he said.
                                                                                             Several councillors and Mayor             Coming clean for a good cause
next meeting, in two weeks.                 any other kind of development,”               Kim Craig agreed something in the            Myléne Mukundabandi, from Montreal, washes a car Tuesday in the parking lot of the Enmax
  Emotions often ran high.                  Bergen said.                                  order of 200 units instead of 400
                                                                                                                                       Centre. Francophone students, on a five-week exchange at Lethbridge College, put on a char-
  Bergen claimed the population                “The whole area is low,” said              plus would be a much more
density of the proposed park, “The          farmer Herb Wall. “Where is the               attractive proposition for                   itable car wash and barbecue to raise money for breast cancer research as part of their pro-
Seasons,” would not be as high as           water going to go and who is going            development.                                 gram requirement.
some might envision. He cited               to pay for the roads?”                           “I think that 400 and some units is
statistics from a recent census                Town officials hope to either              a very aggressive number,” Craig
which indicates on average, only            annex the road or take over                   said.