Tuesday, 1 October 2013

This is what democracy looks like

If you read my June post, you'll know that Alberta Health Services planned to shut down the Slave Lake air ambulance and centralize services to other communities, adding critical minutes to flight times and leaving Slave Lake and area residents with limited ground ambulance services in case of inclement weather.  Our people rallied, sent letters, emails, phoned, and signed a petition.  Our local government repeatedly requested meetings with our MLA and the minister, to no avail.  Then out of the blue our mayor was informed that the decision had been reversed. Were our voices heard?  Or were there inner workings that we are not aware of that led to this decision?

Back in December, there was a big announcement that a number of petroleum producers were donating money to a Slave Lake legacy project that would include a daycare and theatre/arts space.  A couple of weeks ago our local Tri-Council voted on the architect's proposal that included a lovely daycare and an improved Elks hall but none of the features one would expect in a theatre or arts space. Again, lobbying.  This time by local dance, music, theatre, and arts groups as well as concerned community members. Letters were written. Funding avenues were explored. Dollars were pledged.  Needs were expressed. A presentation to town council, then to Tri-Council. Success!

It almost gives you reason to hope. Almost.