Categorized | Police College

Mayor praises united effort in college bid

People made the difference in Fort Macleod’s successful campaign to secure the Alberta Police and Peace Officers Training Centre.

Mayor Shawn Patience said Wednesday that while Fort Macleod had an excellent bid, it was community support that put the town at the top of Solicitor General Harvey Cenaiko’s list.

“That was where we won this,” Patience said. “The fact that people who are part of the community, and who love Fort Macleod, were willing to come out.”

Fort Macleod learned Wednesday it had topped 29 other communities including fellow finalists Camrose, Red Deer County and Lac La Biche to win the bid.

Patience knew early it would take the collective might of Fort Macleod and its 3,000 residents to win the $100-million project.

“That was my theory,” Patience said. “We needed to get the community involved. We needed to show it wasn’t just a political push.”

The mayor didn’t have to look far for the first group of people to support the bid.

“It started with my town council, the commitment they put forward to this project,” Patience said.

Councillors Mike Bourassa, Brian Reach, Sharon Monical, Christine Trowbridge, Ken Williams and Gord Wolstenholme agreed to give the government 320 acres in the southeast corner of town for $1, and to pay for servicing.

“I think they deserve a rousing ovation,” Patience said during during a press conference at The Fort Museum of the North West Mounted Police, to thunderous applause.

Patience’s next move was to engage Gordon MacIvor, economic development officer for the Town of Fort Macleod, in the project.

“I would be very remiss not to mention the one individual who put this thing on his back and drove it to the finish line, who worked endlessly and tirelessly and never for one minute would believe we would not be successful,” Patience said of MacIvor.

Patience announced Wednesday that MacIvor has been nominated economic development officer of the year in Alberta.

“It is absolutely justified,” Patience declared.

The mayor’s next step was to strike a task force to prepare the bid package whose members included Ronda Reach, Stasha Donahue, Dave McNab, Bernadette McNab, Mike Harris, Harley Bastien and Frank McTighe.

“The task force of community leaders who came together to drive this project to the forefront . . . broke their rear ends on this project,” Patience said. “There was no stone left unturned, there was no detail too small.”

The work of MacIvor and the task force resulted in a strong bid package that met the criteria laid out by Solicitor General Harvey Cenaiko.

“Without the task force and without Gordon MacIvor, we would not be standing here today,” Patience said.

Town of Fort Macleod staff members also gave their support to the project, as did residents who wrote letters of support and turned out for public rallies.

“The community itself played an absolutely ultimate role in the success we are enjoying,” Patience said. “The Town of Fort Macleod and the region came together in a way I have never seen them come together. This community supported this bid from Day 1.”

The mayor also had praise for Livingstone-Macleod MLA Dave Coutts, who kept Fort Macleod apprised of developments throughout the process.

“It took all of us to make this thing work,” Patience said. “Dave certainly played a role in Edmonton.”

In the end, it was a united effort that made Fort Macleod’s bid successful.

“The success that we are enjoying today and we are enjoying it is due in no small part to the effort put forward by every single individual in this community and every regional leader in southern Alberta,” Patience said. “We did not do this alone. It took drive, it took determination, and it took a lot of hard work.”

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