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Government cancels funding for police training college

The Alberta government announced Wednesday it has cancelled the Alberta Public Safety and Law Enforcement Training Centre in Fort Macleod.
“This was an extremely tough decision,” said Jonathan Denis, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General. “But in the end, Albertans expect their tax dollars to be invested wisely and the government is committed to this goal.”
Police agencies across the province were asked to provide feedback on their expected use of the Fort Macleod facility after concerns about utilization were raised to the ministry.
This input provided sufficient evidence that one stand-alone facility would not be utilized to a point that it would be financially viable.
The feedback received from police indicated that larger police forces were confident in their existing training facilities that have provided exceptional police training to date.
Training at existing facilities would also create less strain in smaller communities as departments would not need to send active officers to a remote location for extended periods of time.
“I believe strongly that the Alberta government has made the right decision, both as chief of the Calgary Police Service and as a taxpayer,” said Calgary Police Chief Rick Hanson.
“Our cadet training is done in Regina, so we will not require any facilities or training in that regard,” said Dale McGowan, commanding officer of RCMP K Division. “Any specialized training needs are being met now at our existing facilities or at various locations throughout Canada.”
“The quality of training for Edmonton police will be maintained through our current facilities and programs, including a new facility recently approved for north Edmonton,” said Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht.
Consistent and standardized training for law enforcement agencies across Alberta will continue to be developed and implemented.
“My priority is to ensure police and peace officers have the skills they need to keep our communities safe and secure,” Denis said. “I am confident this will continue to be accomplished through the development and standardization of training standards and curriculum.”

23 Comments For This Post

  1. Tracey Says:

    You have to be kidding me! For how long has this been in the making, 6 Plus years? Due to the first announcement of the collage, housing prices went up over night and people have ridiculous high mortgages for what!??!

    Why are people not thinking about the benefits this would be a small community? It is always the small communities that suffer while the large cities keep benefiting for our hard work.

  2. Kathy Says:

    Whether or not we personally supported the Police College in our community don’t you think this should have been the first question asked…’Police agencies across the province were asked to provide feedback on their expected use of the Fort Macleod facility after concerns about utilization were raised to the ministry. The release stated the input provided sufficient evidence that one stand-alone facility would not be utilized to a point that it would be financially viable’. Total lack of accountability and Grade 1 business practice???

  3. Maureen Says:

    The government has bungled this – I feel bad for the people of Fort Macleod

  4. Francy Says:

    Is there some kind of movement or petition the community could do? Something to make our voice heard? You would think the topics discussed would have already been settled prior to making plans to buid. We even had layouts or what the college would look like published in our paper. The things they are saying now should have been said 6 years ago or before a decision had been made. I do not understand how they can change a ‘decision’ at this point. It is unjust to our community. Instead of disappointing soooo many people here in this community, the police college would have helped us grow and progress and would have been very good for Fort Macleod. We needed something like this and have been patiently waiting for something like the college.

  5. Mr citizen Says:

    Wow , I am ashamed to admit I live In a province where we once again cut our own throat the people electing a Govt party “P”rovincial “C”ommunists to again show us what we can have and take it away as they wish, at the to tax payers !, what is this mess going to cost the taxpayers?, after it has been awarded to a construction company , we will be in court fighting it for two yrs, plus they will want two yrs wages and work promised as they were awarded the contract ! Which is fair by all means but at what cost to us ? And should we not have first asked ” do we need this college?” before we went through 6 yrs of work and planning by community members and our town council spending countless hrs planning. Meanwhile I would not be surprized to see a college SUDDENLY erected in some other PC part of the province.

    Signed- sick and tired resident !

  6. Candy Says:

    I am so very disappointed in the decisions that have (and haven’t been) made regarding the police college in Fort Macleod. This town has been surviving on the fumes of hope for so many years now, that this has truly deflated us! I have truly lost faith in any promises made, and yet there is still a piece of me that wants to believe that as a community (not just Fort Macleod but Southern Albert), we can, yet again, pull together and show the province that the government is in place to serve the needs of the people not their own political agenda. Roll up your sleeves Macleod, let’s get to it!

  7. Cindy Says:

    This has been going on for seven years!!!! The community was finally hopefull seeing digging between the highways and pictures in the gazette how it was supposed to look. They even had contractors already and now they pull this!? I am beyond furious!!!

  8. Ken King Says:

    Ken says:
    Not withstanding the inconvenience this has caused the towns people, the contractors, and the suppliers this is shameful. I expect these government administrators to be embarassed and they owe us all an aplology as tax payers. We expect much better performance than this. The costs to design and give out tenders cost companies and employees all of which are taxpayers a fortune. Tax payers and those directly affected will all miss the time and the money. This looks for all the world like these people are incompetent with this important business. It was expected at one time that this far in to a project like this that these issues were well evaluated and approved correctly.


  9. l mitch Says:

    It’s because they voted Wildrose and now the Premier is taking her football and going home!! Just talk to anybody from Carmangay about their hospital!

  10. Melonie Wiggill Says:

    Really, totally embarrassing & deceitful towards our community, just like all of our hospitals when they were shut down. What we call a Government is totally 3rd world, maybe eh? Starve their people some more….never mind the rest of our province which doesn’t seem to give a crap about their southern counterpart. Totally disgraceful! For the first time in my life, it pains me to be an Albertan. So when? really! are they going to announce the new home for this police college which has already been at the expense of so many people?

  11. Barry Says:

    Unbelievable (or believable) and incomprehensible incompetence on behalf of the provincial government. And to Chiefs Hanson and Knecht … thanks for nothing. You are each a disgrace to your profession … not entirely unexpected however since you have your own selfish interests to protect.

    I have seen first-hand the unfathomable efforts put forth by the current Council (as well as the previous Council) in their unwavering resolve to hold the provincial government to their word … and to their commitment to small town Alberta. If the other municipalities hadn’t yet figured it out, this gross misrepresentation by your elected government should hopefully cause your voting public to wonder if their projects are next.

    Fort Macleod, under the watchful and passionate stewardship of Mayor Patience (whose surname does little to adequately impart the very real depth of his determination and love for his community) and his Council, will “not go gentle into that goodnight”. The gloves are not only off … they are no longer even in the building.

    The taxpayers of Fort Macleod, and indeed all of Alberta, have been lied to. Any Albertan, regardless of political stripe, who does not see this is playing a dangerous game of chicken with their conscience. I, for one, await the news that those affected residents and other investors in Fort Macleod, and indeed throughout South-Western Alberta, who have invested in this project as a direct result of the repeated promises of the “Conservatives” are moving forward with a “Class Action Suit” against the province. The piddly $122 million that would have done such good in enhancing the safety of all Albertans will instead be spent, at least in part, in laying bare the grossly unethical and devious character of your political party.

    And to those admitted Conservatives: Fool me once … Shame on you. Fool me twice … Shame on me. All of Alberta can be justifiably ashamed … It is us who keep voting for this bunch of human garbage.

  12. George Says:

    I could have told you it was never coming to Fort Macleod. I bet in 1-5 years construction will start in Penhold where they wanted it in the first place. As for Fort Macleod in the last 6 yrs I have seen Housing prices double cause of this crap now what? This town has nothing going for it cause this counsel has done nothing for this town for the last 6 yrs cause all they could think about is this College.
    Maybe now that this is done the town counsel can start to think and do things for this town to improve it.

  13. Brad Says:

    Sorry to say it all, but this college was a bad idea from the start and to the lady that said all our hardwork and the cities benefit…..are you out of your mind?? Maybe you would like to take a look at the schools in this town that we can’t fill but all remain open or having a hospital at all, reduced hours or not. This college was going to turn into what the rest of the amenities in this town have become a drain on tax paying dollars.

  14. WWF Says:

    LMFAO!! Good to see our tax dollars at work, eh? 6 years and how much money wasted! They let the project get this far…..THEN CANCEL FUNDING?!!!, and say they are looking out for the taxpayers. The land is there…contract awarded…. work on deep services has started….hopes and expectations are high…, and now they decide it’s not financially viable??? So now they pay to complete work already underway and part of the contract amount and abandon a project that would bring much needed cash flow, jobs and contributions to the towns tax base….and they feel this is being financially responsible and accountable to tax payers?? Really? Instead lets continue to outsource part of our police training to another province, award similar developments to more PC friendly areas, scatter cadets and officers all over the country for less than standardized training, take life out a community and call er good and go home with fat wallets full of tax payers dollars. I am deeply sad and ashamed to have cast my vote for the Redford PC’s in the last election. Here’s a shiny happy thought for all you other Albertans out there….enjoy what you have, because if they screwed the tax payers of Fort Macleod, they’ll screw you too!! I wonder….do they think they fooled anyone with their snake oil politics? It seems pretty transparent to me folks.

  15. WWF Says:

    Here’s another thought….maybe if they had gone ahead and built the college, we would get much better use out of other existing infrastructure… SCHOOLS AND A HOSPITAL!!! Pretty simple concept of supply and demand really.

  16. Norm Says:

    They never intended to build the college, it was just a bribe to keep people voting PC. We have to wake up to the fact that this province is run like a third world dictatorship and that is a direct consequence of voting for the same party in election after election. If we’re lucky maybe Stephen Harper will decide to build one of his new prisons here.

  17. New resident Says:

    Unbelievable. I wouldn’t be opposed to the project not going ahead had these “consultations” been done beforehand and a determination been made that there would be a lack of utilization BEFORE an announcement was made let alone 6 years of hard work, contract award, upgraded sewer plant and new sewer lines being put in. What a waste of time, energy and resources.

    I see this is merely an excuse. I have a hard time believing that all of the parties involved were not consulted on a multi-million dollar project such as this. Whether purely financial, or politically motivated (Wild-rose riding now), this decesion was not made purely on the comments of some police forces this late in the game.

    Now as a new resident this past year, I bought a home here in hopes of growing a business anticipating future growth. What am I left with now? I wonder how much my house is worth today compared to two days ago?

    I will never vote PC again.

  18. Charles Says:

    With all thee other comments, there is not much else to say except our Government is a dictatorship built upon lying and deceitfulness. Both my wife and I had said that this project would never happen. But our mayor figures that this was going to be his legacy and has done nothing else to benefit this town. Just take a look at the streets, from 17th over to 9th. They are in such need of repaving and repair, but nothing is ever done. Our taxes and utilities keep going up but nothing is shown for the extra charges and things,
    So I ask you, did we deserve to even be considered for this project in the first place. As far as I can see the use of the facility would never have been utilized. It was a dream of a mayor and town council. I can honestly say that I did not vote for him nor did I vote for Allison Redford, because they are both cut from the same cloth. Dictators.

  19. Gerard Gibbs Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. But on the other hand, I am not one bit surprised. Politics is one nasty, dirty game.

  20. Trent Moranz Says:

    Although I recognize this will require time to sort out on the political game board and possibly through use of the courts, we also now need to begin working together to heal this sucking chest wound.

    For a job well done, Shawn, everyone who was involved up to now to land this deal, thank you for doing a stellar job to try to improve life in our corner of S. AB.

    But starting today it would be beneficial if we as a community stopped the blame game and buying into the polarization fielded by different party affiliates. I for one can’t bear an environment of animosity, rancor, bitterness, guile and resentment, etc, and if there is something that in my opinion could further threaten the long-term viability of Fort MacLeod since losing the economic base the college represented yesterday, at this point it would be more of that.

    Somebody in a leadership position needs to break the chain of negativity and keep it broken so we can recover and reevaluate, take stock of our assets and move forward on a positive footing. The only ones who can accomplish that is us, together, in the spirit of cooperation.

  21. Stasha Donahue Says:

    I do applaud Mayor Shawn for his work. In my humble opinion, the chance of the PC government going back to supporting the college is little to nil. Too bad we do not have a sharp perceptive yet accountable strong MLA. We do not. It has been this way for years in this riding (remember the closing of acute care beds at the hospital in Macleod). Call it politics of place. The best possible outcome is that Fort Macleod is compensated for breach of contract. Then we move onto a “better mouse trap” (plan) for economic development. Promoting Fort Macleod as a small affordable nice to grow families and walk-able community might work (based on what I have read in migration trends across Canada via Stats Canada data). Tele commuting is now viable as a workplace alternative in many sectors. Living in a small town has many quality of life benefits that metro/urban centres do not afford.

  22. Stasha Donahue Says:

    Brad-I am sorry you feel that way about our community. I ask what ideas you have for rural renewal? George-I think you mean council rather than counsel and perhaps you should run for council with new ideas to build our community?I was raised here and my hubby and I have grown our kids up here with extended family. Sure we live outside of town now in the M.D. but it is our home town and we support it with our business and the work to sustain it via volunteer work in many areas. I work for health care for the zone, but my office is located in Fort Macleod by choice!
    I agree with Trent about stopping the blame game and being angry at folks. This is not good for any community or province or nation. As I indicated, recover our losses, and move on to a better mouse trap (plan).

  23. Brad Says:

    And Stasha I am sorry that you cannot see that I am right, but none the less that college was the only hope of keeping all of those open. In the coming years we will begin to see closure on many more govt owned and operated amenities in this region.

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