Recently the editor of the Sylvan Lake News questioned why Sylvan Lake lagged behind Innisfail, Lacombe, Rocky, Olds, Ponoka, Rimbey and other centres with health care facilities and many other amenities enjoyed by these towns. In most cases smaller centres than Sylvan Lake. The answer to this concern is very simple.
Sylvan Lake has never had an MLA from our town or local district in 100 yeas. MLAs seem to look after their towns first and foremost.
Originally Sylvan Lake was in the Rocky constituency. Our town was at the extreme northeast side of Rocky Mountain House constituency with a smaller population that provided no chance to nominate an MLA.
When our population increased in the late 1980s, we were realigned into Innisfail. Now we were in the extreme northwest point of this constituency. Innisfail at that time had a larger population. Same result. No chance to nominate an MLA.
In the last election we were able to help swing an election. My concern is where will we be realigned to now? Red Deer maybe? If this sounds a bit cynical that’s because in the last 40 years of PC government we have not been treated equally.
Sylvan Lake is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2013. In those 100 years we have not only never had an MLA but in my 70 years of living here, a premier has never visited our town as a sitting premier.
Many festivities are in the planning stages. Town council will rename our main street “Centennial Street”. When my family moved here in 1942, 18 businesses were situated on the east side of Main Street. Now there are four. This is progress? We will be able to celebrate our 100th anniversary and mourn the loss of our main street at the same time.
Several factors caused the demise of Main Street. Big box stores move in and destroy Main Street in smaller centres, and in our case the closing of Highway 781 and 11 was the final disaster for Main Street Sylvan Lake. How is it that thousands of taxpayers are wrong wanting a simple set of traffic lights? Yet a couple bureaucrats are right? This is democracy?
In 2010 Sylvan Lake was the fastest growing town, not only in Alberta but all of Canada. Our present population is 12,500. Summer villages around Sylvan Lake and rural areas add another 7-8,000. This adds up to about 20,000 that rely on doctors in Sylvan Lake for health care.
We need an urgent care facility in Sylvan Lake now. We were informed recently that AHS is not considering such a facility for Sylvan Lake in the near future.
Our town and surrounding area are far overdue for a birthday present from the PC government. This area has been ignored by the PCs for 40 years. An urgent care facility is desperately needed and we are tired of begging and pleading for essential services that other much smaller centres have had for years.
If we, as taxpayers, were wrong to vote for a Wildrose candidate, how were we right to vote PC for all those years and be ignored by the very people we elected and who were the majority government that basically ignored our concerns?
I have seen more in the past eight months of MLA Kerry Towle than I ever saw of Luke Ouellette in the eight years he was MLA.
Mayor Samson and town council seem to be at odds with our MLA over some petty little grievances.
It is high time they get onside with Kerry Towle and work with her, rather than against what she is trying to do for our town and rural area.
Editor’s note: A similar letter was sent to Premier Alison Redford on Oct.6.