Alberta Municipal Affairs Rejects Citizen Petition for Municipal Inspection in Coaldale

Date

Concerns brought forward by the Citizens for a Better Coaldale Group (the “Citizens Group”) deemed insufficient to warrant an inspection following review of evidence

The Town of Coaldale received formal notice from Alberta Municipal Affairs that the Province will not be moving forward with a citizen-petitioned municipal inspection, citing that the concerns identified were not of sufficient severity to warrant an inspection.

Town of Coaldale Mayor Kim Craig responds to the news:

"On behalf of Council, I am pleased to announce that the Minister of Municipal Affairs has denied the petitioners’ request to conduct a municipal inspection of the Town of Coaldale. When representatives of the Citizens Group came to Council requesting a municipal inspection in September 2020, Council took the position that a municipal inspection was an unjustified, unwarranted and unnecessary expense. We expressed the view that an inspection would distract both Council and Town administration from their daily work on behalf of our residents and would be a poor use of tax dollars.

At the same time, Council took the concerns seriously. In response to concerns alleging a toxic workplace, for instance, we commissioned an independent workplace culture audit. That audit determined that such accusations were unfounded and that the Town of Coaldale maintains a positive working environment for its staff.

The Minister's decision to deny the inspection reinforces and justifies Council's position to deny the initial request for inspection and confirms the findings of the workplace audit. It demonstrates that many of the accusations made by the petition organizers were based on misinformation and unsubstantiated rumors.

Instead of embarking on a time-consuming and expensive inspection, the Town welcomes the opportunity to collaborate with Municipal Affairs under the Municipal Accountability Program (MAP) to identify areas of strength in Town governance and legislation and to identify where improvements may be made.  This is consistent with our focus on continuous improvement, and we view the opportunity to partner with Municipal Affairs – to build on our many strengths without any cost to Coaldale’s taxpayers – as a positive step.

Ultimately, we are pleased the Minister recognized what we’ve known from day one - that Coaldale is a progressive, vibrant and well-managed municipality. I am proud of the work Town staff and management do on a daily basis to make Coaldale the exceptional place it is to live and do business. 

As a Council, we look forward to putting this divisive community issue behind us, and focusing the time and energy we have left this term to execute our Strategic and Capital plans. We look forward to working with residents throughout this process, to communicate and listen to their concerns, and to continue to build an even better Coaldale.”