County should stop stalling and take responsibility

Open minded; that’s why my late first husband and I came to Canada.

Open minded; that’s why my late first husband and I came to Canada.

This move was by choice, not because we were refugees. But now, 63 years later, I find a hair in the soup dropped into it by a blinkered County council.

I used to own and operate a campground in this country proud and free.

I loved sharing my place at the lake with campers who appreciated what we offered.

When my son, who was going to take over when work involved was getting too much for me died, I was already 79. With a heavy heart I decided to sell. I was pleased when the buyer said that he would continue to welcome campers, but that he also planned to sell lots.

“There has to be a place where people can camp who don’t have enough money to buy lake property,” he stated.

Contrary to those words, soon after the sale was finalized a high mesh-link fence went up and a wrought iron gate, beautiful to look at, but locked to all except for the few who had enough money to buy a lot at the lake.

(Thus cutting off almost 1 km of lakeshore to the public.)

At first my long time seasonal campers got a key to the gate, were allowed to stay. I imagine their seasonal rent paid for paving the lanes on the place.

Only three years after the above quoted words were spoken, ‘my’ campers were told to leave. That caused a lot of grief. I felt guilty for having their summer heaven sold from under them and contacted the owner of a narrow strip of land, near our former place.

To my delight he was willing to sell, but at a price I could never afford and at 83, it was too late to start all over again, anyway.

I contacted one of my most loyal, down-to-earth and trustworthy campers.

He took things in his hands and approached some respectable campers to share the cost of the land. This amiable fellow was chosen to be the spokesperson for the group to deal with County council. That was years ago. So far never ending, disheartening difficulties with the County ensued.

Every demand by this County council—reasonable or not—was met so far, but the esteemed councillors keep digging for more needles in the haystack to exhaust the patience and monies of this cooperative group of decent people.

Most have to park their trailers away from the land they sacrificed hard-earned money for.

I do not have a trailer to put on this strip of land, nor do I want a piece of it, but I am concerned.

After all, it’s my ‘fault’ having secured the land. I didn’t envision huge difficulties with County council, having had free sail with open-minded, supportive and friendly earlier County officials before.

When finally – sigh – everything seemed in place for approval, these ‘environmentally concerned’ nitpicking councillors thought up another ruse; that electricity has to be run to this Shangri-La for anything electricity is needed for. They outright rejected the use of solar power, only!

That blew my stack! How far behind the times are these elected clever councillors?

All outdoor lights on my former campground were solar powered long before anyone in this country used solar.

I ordered our lights from Germany, where just about anything has been solar or wind-powered for ages.

Solar panels on my home were not denied by my City council! In this land of ice and snow, I get credit for power put back into the grid. Why can’t these forward thinking friends of mine not use solar power, only, for water wells, trailers and required by the County streetlights and playground toilets?

Just about everything driven by electricity can also be powered by sun or wind everywhere on earth—but not in one certain county in Canada in 2014?

Beats me!

My friends at the lake should be applauded for their initiative and environment saving ideas, not punished!

Margrit de Graff

Lacombe

 

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