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Regional group lobbies for police college

Officials from across southwestern Alberta are in Edmonton today lobbying the province to build the police college with money from Alberta Capital Bonds.

A delegation led by Fort Macleod town council is meeting with Finance Minister Iris Evans and Solicitor General Fred Lindsay.

“We’re going to show regional support for the police college project,” Fort Macleod Mayor Shawn Patience said. “We’re going to show the Legislature this is a regional project and we’re all committed to it, and now we need (the government) to be committed to it.”

Mayors, reeves and other officials from across the south boarded a bus Tuesday night for Edmonton.

The delegation meets at 12 noon Wednesday with Evans and Lindsay and then will be introduced in the Legislature in the afternoon by Livingstone-Macleod MLA Evan Berger.

“We have been extremely patient on this issue,” Patience said. “Now it’s time to express that the police college is not just important to Fort Macleod, it’s important to southern Alberta.”

Patience, councillors Sharon Monical, Brian Reach, Christine Trowbridge and Gord Wolstenholme, economic development officer Martin Ebel and municipal manager Barry Elliott will represent Fort Macleod. Providing regional support for the police college are MD of Willow Creek Reeve Henry Van Hierden, Claresholm Mayor Rob Steel, Granum Mayor Melva Stinson, Pincher Creek Mayor Gary Mills, Crowsnest Pass Mayor John Irwin, Stavely Mayor Barry Johnson and Coalhurst Mayor Dennis Cassie. Also making the trip are Blood Tribe Chief Charles Weasel Head, University of Lethbridge president Tracy Edwards and Economic Development Lethbridge chief executive officer Cheryl Vick.

“I can’t thank these people enough,” Patience said. “This is something they’re doing in the spirit of regional co-operation.”

The province announced in August 2006 that it would build the Alberta Police and Peace Officer Training Centre in Fort Macleod.

Plans at that time were to have the first class of recruits attending the college in the fall of 2010.

The province planned to train 1,400 police and peace officer recruits each year in Fort Macleod, with the college providing 75 to 100 full-time jobs.

The project has stalled since the province could not find a P3 partner and the Alberta economy took a downturn.

The southern Alberta delegation will pitch to Evans and Lindsay the idea of using Alberta Capital Bonds to build the college, which is estimated to cost $200-million.

“We think now is the time to firmly plant that seed and see if it bears any fruit,” Patience said.

Premier Ed Stelmach earlier this year proposed using Alberta Capital Bonds to fund infrastructure projects.

Patience said in the 3 1/2 years since the police college project was awarded to Fort Macleod, the town has done its part.

Fort Macleod committed up to $3.5-million to build the infrastructure the college will need, it has committed a half section of land and invested considerable time and effort.

“We have shown our commitment,” Patience said. “We now need the province to fulfill its part of the project.”

Fort Macleod council decided a show of regional support is needed to convince the government to take some action.

“We’re doing everything we can as far as a council goes,” Patience said. “I think all of us are still fairly confident the training centre is going to get built. We just have to move it along.”

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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