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Macleod welcomes visiting MLAs

Fort Macleod pulled out all the stops Tuesday in a final push to win the bid to host the $100-million Alberta police college.

The town held nothing back yesterday morning during a tour by the four-member MLA committee that will make the final decision.

“It’s probably two of the most important hours in our community’s history,” Mayor Shawn Patience said.

MLA committee chairman Ivan Strang and members Mary Anne Jablonski, Fred Lindsay and Len Mitzel spent Tuesday visiting all four communities on the short list.

The MLAs were joined by Alberta Solicitor General special projects co-ordinator Bill Meade and Eric Underwood, director of the property development branch of Alberta Infrastructure.

“Obviously we were very excited,” Patience said. “It’s an incredible opportunity for us.”

The government delegation landed at the Fort Macleod airport shortly before 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The visitors were loaded into three Yukons loaned for the occasion by Scougall Motors and driven by Gordon MacIvor, Shawn Wells and Dave McNab.

Patience, Ronda Reach and Christine Trowbridge were also in the vehicles as guides as the delegation made its way to the proposed college site on the southeast corner of Fort Macleod.

From there the delegation was toured through town and shown the 1884 North West Mounted Police Barracks provincial historic site.

The tour included other important Fort Macleod features such as the hospital, schools, River Valley Wilderness Park and the locations of two new subdivisions.

The next stop on the tight schedule was at the Town Hall, where presentations were made by members of the police college task force committee and other guests.

“It was basically a 20-minute summary of the bid and why Fort Macleod should be the site,” Patience said.

Patience officially welcomed the guests, and Dr. Alan Poytress delivered a prayer to bless the visit. Greetings were brought from the office of Livingstone-Macleod MLA Dave Coutts. The visitors then heard presentations by Gordon MacIvor, Stasha Donahue, Blood Tribe Chief Charles Weasel Head, Harley Bastien of the Piikani Nation, and Patience.

The delegation then moved on for a short tour of The Fort Museum of the North West Mounted Police.

“We wanted to give them a sense of the history Fort Macleod has with policing,” Patience explained.

From there it was on to the Empress Theatre, where the visitors were introduced to the many officials from other towns and municipalities in attendance to support the Fort Macleod bid. The MLAs, Meade and Underwood then viewed the six-minute DVD prepared in support of the bid, which included interviews with people from all sectors of the Fort Macleod community.

There was a huge turnout of Fort macleod visitors at the Empress Theatre, encouraged by notices sent in the mail, posters placed around town, and personal calls from councillors Ken Williams, Brian Reach, Mike Bourassa, Christine Trowbridge, Sharon Monical and Gordon Wolstenholme and their helpers.

The visitors were then loaded into a caravan of classic cars co-ordinated by Harry Urwin for the trip back to the airport.

Patience said he has been overwhelmed by the manner in which the community got behind the bid, and the MLAs’ visit.

“The offers of support we have had have been wonderful,” Patience said.

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Index of Police College Stories - Listed by release date in Gazette

Apr 24 - Fort Macleod town council is planning for the future

Jan 10 - Province gives Fort Macleod $10.26-million for police college costs

Sep 11 - Wildrose Party will fight for Fort Macleod

Sep 04 - Fort Macleod residents devastated by decision to scrap police college

Sep 04 - Fort Macleod asks premier to reverse college decision

Sep 03 - Fort Macleod calls on premier to reverse police college decision

Aug 29 - Residents of Fort Macleod punished for voting Wildrose

Aug 29 - Wildrose says Fort Macleod victim of Tory fiscal incompetence

Aug 29 - Government cancels funding for police training college

Aug 28 - Council awards police college permit

Aug 01 - Police training facility will be unique in Canada

Nov 01 - Province approves grant for police college infrastructure

Oct 19 - Target schedule is set to build police college

Sep 27 - Stakeholders convene to discuss police college

Aug 24 - Police college sod-turning

Aug 16 - Police college sod-turning Mon. Aug. 22

Jul 26 - Fort Macleod puts more cash toward college

May 17 - Province moving ahead with police college plans

May 03 - Council okays transfer of police college land

Apr 05 - Police college site work could start in summer

Dec 01 - Macleod finds way to build police college

Dec 01 - Macleod pitches co-op to build police college

Nov 30 - Macleod feels positive about police college

Aug 25 - Police college partner possible

Aug 18 - Council works on own plan for police college

Jul 07 - Calgary project no threat to police college

Jun 09 - Mayor pushes solicitor general for collect action

Mar 31 - Macleod’s neighbours support police college

Mar 31 - Mayor says government just has to make college a priority

Dec 30 - MD council writes to support police college

Dec 02 - Southern Alberta backs police college

Nov 25 - Regional group lobbies for police college

Sep 23 - Police college has not been shelved — yet

Jul 29 - Mayor: ‘Police college project not cancelled’

May 06 - Infrastructure minister says college a priority

Apr 22 - Facebook page supports police college

Apr 01 - Council lobbies for progress on police college

Feb 18 - Solicitor General urges police college patience

Nov 04 - Police college discussed during Question Period

Nov 04 - Macleod mayor confident police college is coming

Oct 21 - Fort Macleod ‘anxious’ for police college start

Apr 16 - Province gets nine police college proposals

Mar 12 - Macleod can do business with police college

Sep 05 - Province reviews police college P3 proposals

Jun 26 - Police college Web site created

Jun 06 - Police college project is on track

May 30 - Police college officials visit Fort Macleod

May 23 - Police college headlines open house

Mar 28 - Solicitor General: ‘Police college is coming to Macleod’

Jan 31 - Mayor strikes police college committee

Nov 22 - Steering committee meets to discuss police college

Sep 13 - Opportunity knocking for Fort Macleod

Sep 13 - Macleod prepares to guide growth

Sep 13 - Police college is Fort Macleod’s destiny

Sep 13 - Mayor weathers police college criticism

Sep 13 - Fort Macleod celebrates successful college bid

Sep 06 - Fort Macleod lands Alberta police college

Sep 06 - P3 partners sought for police college

Sep 06 - Police training centre will be world-class

Dec 21 - Council designates land for police college

Dec 21 - Macleod’s police college bid in province’s hands

Nov 23 - Task force builds police college bid

Nov 02 - Council still pursuing college