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Not Notley election sign with the word "not" in white letters on red stop-sign shape

‘Not Notley’ sign to come down, says MD of Pincher Creek

The MD of Pincher Creek has asked a resident to take down a political sign from their property, citing the MD’s land use bylaw, which requires permitting for a broad spectrum of free-standing signs. 

Development officer Laura McKinnon said the MD received a complaint about the sign on Thursday, May 18. The sign, which went up on a Burmis property owner’s fence line along Highway 3 at some point in the provincial election campaign, shows a graphic of a stop sign and bears the slogan Not Notley. 

The land use bylaw (1289-18) specifically exempts “election signs” from any permitting requirements, according to Section 55.10, subsection (i), but the bylaw doesn’t explicitly define what an election sign is.

 

Pump bottles of colourful, natural soaps on ad for Lynden House Market in Pincher Creek

 

“There is definitely a precedent for this,” McKinnon told Shootin’ the Breeze

In years past, homemade signs for and against the expansion of coal exploration on the Eastern Rockies and signs for and against logging also violated the bylaw and the MD requested that some of these be taken down, McKinnon said. 

Billboards, canopy signs, free-standing signs, portable signs and other types of signs are considered discretionary uses and require permitting from the municipal planning commission, which sits on the first Tuesday of every month.

 

 

The agenda for the commission’s next meeting (Tuesday, June 6) has been finalized, meaning the next available opportunity to apply for the necessary permitting would be Tuesday, July 4 — 36 days after the provincial election. 

Alleged bylaw infractions trigger notifications and requests for compliance by the MD. Formal, written requests are sent to property owners in the case of ongoing infractions. The MD can issue stop-work orders for alleged violations that continue past that point. 

The MD informally contacted the owner of the property at issue on Thursday, asking that the sign be removed. 

No letter or stop-work order has been issued, according to McKinnon.

 

 

Anyone in the MD is free to put up official election signs anywhere on their property, according to the bylaw. 

Election signs can be put up on public land, provided the signs are put within safe distances from roadways, according to Alberta’s Election Act. However, election signs are not allowed to imitate traffic control signs, including stop signs, according to the Government of Alberta’s website. 

MD council passed the land use bylaw in 2018. Enforcement is driven primarily by residents’ complaints, McKinnon said.

 

Albertans head to the polls Monday, May 29.

Advanced voting is open May 23 to 27.

For voter information, including polling stations, see pages 9 to 11.

View Crowsnest Pass election forum videos here: Part 1, Part 2

Individual candidate statements:

Dylin Hauser – Alberta Liberal Party

Kevin Van Tighem – Alberta New Democratic Party

Kevin Todd – Alberta Party

Erik Abildgaard – Independent

Corrie Toone – Independence Party of Alberta

Chelsae Petrovic – United Conservative Party

 

 

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Read more Livingstone-Macleod articles

Travis Toews, man with short grey hair and glasses, and dressed in a blue suit jacket, white shirt and blue tie, speaks to reporters

UCP unveils Budget ’23 ahead of spring election

Finance Minister Travis Toews tabled Alberta’s 2023 budget Feb. 28, predicting a $2.4-billion surplus through a fiscal plan that relies heavily on oil and gas royalties to swell Edmonton’s coffers.

The budget, released roughly 90 days ahead of this spring’s provincial election, contains a massive bump in health-care spending and a plan to boost policing. 

Speaking to rural journalists the next day, Toews touted the United Conservative Party’s “fiscal responsibility” since taking over from Rachel Notley’s NDP in 2019. The UCP has done much “heavy lifting” to curb the government’s per-capita spending, which had been roughly $10 billion higher in Alberta than in British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec, the minister said. 

Fiscal responsibility remains “a key theme” in this year’s budget, with Toews outlining legislative steps to rein in deficit spending in the years ahead.

 

Display of fall clothing at at Emerald & Ash Clothing in Crowsnest Pass.

 

“Those fiscal rules will require a balanced budget, with appropriate exceptions [for heavy revenue shortfalls, sudden emergencies, etc.], and the fiscal rules will provide a strategy and a framework for surplus management.” 

Budget 2023 projects roughly $71 billion in revenue by the end of next March, $18 billion of which is expected to come from oil and gas. 

“The fact is, Alberta has a volatile revenue structure. We do still depend to a significant degree on royalty income [from non-renewable resources] to cover operational spending,” Toews acknowledged, qualifying in the next breath that Alberta’s economy was rapidly diversifying. 

Vowing that “support levels for our most vulnerable cannot be dictated by globally set commodity prices,” Toews highlighted several commitments to boost health care, many of which had been announced before budget day. 

 

Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

To that point, the budget provides nearly $1 billion to shave ambulance wait times, plus $4.2 billion over the next three years to boost health care in rural and Indigenous communities. 

The budget meanwhile provides 13 per cent more for the ministries of Justice and Public Safety. Toews said he would hold Public Safety Minister Mike Ellis accountable for putting 200 extra law enforcement officers on Alberta streets, mostly in the form of provincial sheriffs. 

Toews did not say how much money the province has spent on exploring the possibility of replacing the RCMP with an independent Alberta Police Service, echoing Ellis’s comments last month that the government hasn’t made up its mind. 

“We’ve obviously made no decision as would be reflected in this budget. But we have made a decision to increase enforcement in the meantime,” Toews said.

 

 

Notley’s NDP panned the budget, pouring scorn on Danielle Smith, who succeeded former premier Jason Kenney last fall.   

“Frankly, the best news in Danielle Smith’s first budget is that it could be her last one because, very soon, Albertans will have a choice to turn the page,” Notley said. 

The Opposition leader swung at Smith’s contentious revamp of the province’s RStar program that rewards petro companies for meeting their legal obligations to reclaim spent oil wells, calling Budget 2023 “a fraudulent budget designed to buy votes ahead of the election and then spring the costs on Albertans after the polls have closed.”