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The Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA) measured severe deficiencies in the Alberta municipal processes with regard to the Bingham Crossing development application. The FDA measured both individual and cumulative impacts of the Alberta municipal processes on the democratic welfare of Rocky View County residents and users of the area. Although the individual effects were in some cases insignificant, the accumulation of these impacts raises questions about the consistency of the Alberta municipal processes with a free and democratic society. The FDA determined that overall; the municipal processes give a greater voice to special interests over the voice of the citizenry. In addition, the FDA identified municipal processes that unreasonably limit the democratic rights of citizens and do not include adequate offsetting mechanisms; and are therefore in conflict with the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. The FDA concludes that the Bingham Crossing development application requires an inspection by the Alberta Municipal Affairs Minister and a provincial government-initiated referendum to determine whether this controversial development application should pass or fail. The purposes of the referendum are to compensate for the deficiencies in the Alberta municipal processes and accurately measure the voice of the Rocky View electorate concerning the Bingham Crossing development. In addition, the FDA recommends amendments of the Alberta Municipal Government Act and Local Authorities Election Act. The measurements and findings of this report have implications for all Albertan municipalities. Finally, the report’s overall purpose is to ensure that Albertans become more knowledgeable about the outcomes of Alberta government processes, and can then make decisions that are more informed.
This report is in no way an evaluation of the merits and deficiencies of the proposed Bingham Crossing development.
The FDA recommends that the public get involved with the government legislative process and implementation if they want to protect and advance their democratic voice, and create a society of their choosing.
“If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in government to the utmost.”