Categorized |

Solicitor General Frank Oberle is committed to Macleod

Fort Macleod is the only place the police college will be built, Solicitor General Frank Oberle promised.

The solicitor general couldn’t say how, or when, the project will be funded and construction will start.

“Nobody in our government is considering any site other than Fort Macleod,” Oberle said. “And it won’t happen under my watch. It’s a promise.”

Oberle was at the Empress Theatre on March 23 to reaffirm his commitment to build the Alberta Police and Peace Officer Training Centre in Fort Macleod.

Oberle vowed to do his best to get the police college on the province’s capital plan.

“I come from a small town,” said Oberle, who is MLA for the Peace River riding. “I understand what this facility means to you.”

Oberle couldn’t promise when construction of the college will start.

“I simply cannot do that,” Oberle said. “At the moment there is no money in the capital plan.”

Livingstone-Macleod MLA Evan Berger told the audience Oberle has been a supporter of the police college since he became solicitor general in January.

“I know on the surface it may not seem like things are jumping, but he has been in the background,” Berger said.

Berger referred to the first question Oberle answered in the Legislature as solicitor general, to which his answer appeared to put the project, and Fort Macleod’s role, in doubt.

“His answer at the time may have set off somewhat of a firestorm, but it did elevate the issue, which is good,” Berger said. “All the help we can get is appreciated.”

The MLA praised the work of Fort Macleod Mayor Shawn Patience and his council.

“Your mayor and council have worked very hard on your behalf, and on behalf of the region to keep this project alive,” Berger said. “They have made many trips to Edmonton, and written many letters, and I want to thank them.”

Berger stressed to the audience that Fort Macleod is where the police college will be built.

“This project has never varied from this location,” Berger said. “Not while I’ve been elected has it ever been voiced anywhere else. It’s been a funding issue. It’s not been anything about location.”

Oberle was making good March 23 on a promise he made to the last Fort Macleod delegation to visit the Legislature that he would come to town to speak and answer questions.

Oberle prefaced his comments with some history about the project, beginning with the need for standard training in Alberta.

“The training is a bit disjointed in Alberta,” Oberle said. “It’s all over the map.”

Oberle talked about the process that led to Fort Macleod being selected in August 2006 from 30 communities as the site for the Alberta Police and Peace Officer Training Centre.

The police college was touted as a training centre for 1,400 police and peace officer recruits each year, and that it would serve as a centre of excellence for ongoing professional development for police officers from around the world.

The project has stalled since a request for proposals to build the college through a P3 partnership failed to attract a successful bid because the province was not willing to put any money into the project.

“It became clear right away that an up-front investment would be required for capital development,” Oberle said. “It couldn’t be completed without an input of capital.”

Rising construction costs had contributed to the estimated price to build the college soaring to $270-million, from $100-million. Oberle said the province never intended to finance the project.

“We were not going to pay for the facility,” Oberle said. The government remains committed to forming a P3 partnership to build the college. However, due to the economic downturn in Alberta the government has no money to contribute to a capital project. “There are no funds to support development of the college at this time,” Oberle said.

Oberle admitted that isn’t the news residents of Fort Macleod, and all of southern Alberta, wanted to hear.

“I don’t provide that history with any expectation that any of you are going to find that comforting,” Oberle said.

The solicitor general vowed to be a strong advocate for funding for the college on Fort Macleod’s behalf.

“That’s my commitment to the community.”

Comments are closed.

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