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Council lobbies for progress on police college

The Alberta Treasury Board will be asked in the next two months to release money to build the police college in Fort Macleod.

A town council delegation learned last week in Edmonton the Solicitor General has funding proposals ready for consideration.

“I haven’t lost one ounce of confidence,” Mayor Shawn Patience said. “This was the province’s initiative. The need hasn’t changed. The location hasn’t changed.”

Patience and councillors Mike Bourassa, Sharon Monical, Brian Reach, Christine Trowbridge and Gord Wolstenholme spent two days last week at the Alberta Legislature.

Their first stop was at the office of Solicitor General Fred Lindsay, under whose direction the Alberta Police and Peace Officers Training Centre is to be built.

“It was quite a good meeting,” Patience said.

The council delegation asked for news of the college, and what Fort Macleod could do to help the project move forward.

“All through this we’ve done everything we could think of,” Patience said, referring to the bid that led Fort Macleod to be selected in August 2006 as the site of the police college.

The province plans to build a world-class training centre a which 1,400 police and peace office recruits would be trained each year.

“This is a provincial project but the reality is this is an important project for our community,” Patience said. “It’s incumbent on us to give him (Lindsay) as much support as we can.”

To that end, after meeting with Lindsay the council delegation delivered a one-page summary of the project to each of the Alberta Treasury Board members.

The Fort Macleod group also talked to executive assistants of the Alberta cabinet ministers.

“I think it’s going to wake some people up,” said Patience, who was surprised to find a lack of awareness of the status of the police college project among some officials.

The message Fort Macleod delivered was that Fred Lindsay has the town’s full support, and that the project is important to the entire province.

“We have done everything we possibly can from our perspective to get this thing moving forward,” Patience said. “It’s a bit unfortunate we would have to get back into this (lobbying) mode for a project announced three years ago.”

The Fort Macleod delegation chose to go to Edmonton last week in advance of the release of the new provincial budget on April 7.

“We wanted to get up there in advance and raise the profile of the project, if it needed to be raised, and to support the solicitor general,” Patience said.

Patience understood the frustration Lindsay voiced to an Edmonton newspaper that the project must move forward, or be taken off the agenda.

“That’s not part of our vocabulary,” Patience said of the project being cancelled. “We’re there to find ways to make it go forward. I firmly believe it will. It doesn’t matter to us whether it’s a government build, a P3 or a hybrid.”

Council will now set up a meeting with Premier Ed Stelmach to once again voice support for the police college.

“This was just the beginning,” Patience said. “We’re not done by any means. We’re going to keep our foot on the pedal until police recruits start coming out of the college.”

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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