TRUTH: Council Doesn’t Tell You What to Do

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It’s ironic how Westlock’s mayor and councillors are doing everything in their power to tell us to vote no on a bylaw that’s seeking neutrality and impartiality from our mayor and councillors! They are going all out in openly attacking the plebiscite that will decide its fate.  They’ve each committed spreading their message by any means, not leaving out going door to door. An online fundraiser has been setup, apparently by a member of an Edmonton company one of our councillors works for. The largest contributors are municipal officials, past and present.  There are plans for mailouts, online advertising, signage, and the promise of funds for ‘inclusive’ playground equipment afterwards.  All of this is according to the website they’ve designed solely for the leadup to influence the plebiscite on February 22.  Is any of this illegal? Apparently not. But, ethical?

If their past misrepresentations of the bylaw weren’t enough, they’ve now stooped to fearmongering. In recent promotional videos, they ask citizens to consider the “repercussions” the bylaw will have on attracting future business.  Essentially, requesting we base our decision making not on the merits of the bylaw, but on the fear of what others who don’t even live in our town will think about us. It’s alarmism wrapped in a negative view of the bylaw, and it’s seemingly impossible for Council to see it as a positive. A bylaw that shows we’re a strong, innovative, and engaging community. One that’s just as welcoming now as it was before any paint was splashed on a crosswalk.

Perhaps in a final act of desperation, their videos then use children to sway public opinion. “What will the impact be on our youth?”  I can tell you: nothing. There’s a reason every graduation another group of young adults leaves our community, and it’s not because there aren’t enough painted crosswalks in town. They couldn’t care less. They’re looking for jobs, education, and amenities.  Perhaps if Council focused more on those than protecting their pet project we’d be further ahead in youth retention.

For Town Council’s sake, they better succeed in their onslaught.  Because if they don’t, then they’re going to have a lot of explaining to do on why they rejected impartiality. A lot of apologizing to the very citizens they tried to dismiss and misrepresent. They’re sparing no expense telling us what to do, and forgetting (or, perhaps ignoring) a fundamental democratic truth: that Council doesn’t tell us what to do. We tell Council.

At the plebiscite on February 22, remind them of that and vote YES!