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Wednesday, 17 October 2012 11:17

SC election: Integrated facility process was flawed

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It is very encouraging that we have 11 candidates from which we will choose our council on Oct. 24. Thank you to all who are willing to serve.

It is less encouraging that there were so few who attended the all candidates forum. With the proposal of an Integrated Facility that the city has put forth, we need to be sure that we have people on council who will look realistically at all the possibilities and use wisdom and common sense when making decisions.
We have heard the city mention many times that Swift Current will grow to 25,000. Many, including myself, do not believe that this is realistic when you consider the population statistics since 1981.
“I have a City document (city development plan) that states, ‘Three population growth scenarios were used in projecting future population growth‚” It goes on to give details of the low, medium and high projections and then states, ’the most likely scenario would be an annual growth rate of 2.27%. This is the highest projection and would result in a population of 23,435 in 2026. Why use the highest projection?”
Is it responsible and realistic to make plans using these projections, given the actual growth over the last 30 or 40 years?
Would it not be more prudent to make plans using a more conservative projection?
Is this what the city is using, when planning an Integrated Facility? The City and councilors have looked at an IF in Halifax (pop. 250,000) and expressed a desire to have a similar IF here. Is that even remotely realistic?
I am quite disappointed in the process used in public consultations so far. I agree that some people are hesitant to speak in a public meeting and options should be available for private submissions.
However, there is great value in having an open Q & A. Questions or comments presented by someone else may give us a fresh take on the issue or cause us to look at the issue from another direction. We may be led to consider ideas that we had not thought of ourselves. This can generate more discussion and more ideas. This, in my opinion, is true public consultation.
Private submissions result in private responses and this can keep concerns out of the public eye. In my opinion, this limit considerably the amount and value of public input.
I urge all residents to vote on Oct. 24. It is our democratic right and our responsibility and the only way that we can ensure that our voice is heard. Elect a council who will listen to us and speak for us with wisdom and common sense. 
Shirley Ens, Swift Current
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