I hate it when everyone is right.
The squabble between some members of High Prairie town council, Northern Lakes College and High Prairie School Division over where to put the new college campus, and hopefully an Integrated College Campus, is unfortunate at best.
At the risk of sounding Charlie Brown wishy washy, what people have to understand is there is a logical side to both positions.
I totally agree with NLC president Dan Vandermeulen when he says he wants to break ground as soon as possible. The reason: the funding may disappear.
For anyone to think that provincial funding is not reallocated, or simply disappears due to budget constraints, or other sudden priorities, is foolish at best.
Not to mention a possible change in government in two years. New governments tend to push their own agendas. Wish lists of the previous governments sometimes tend to disappear faster than candy on Halloween night.
Meanwhile, Mayor Linda Cox, and councilors Michael Long and Brian Gilroy, believe that “a good project is a good project” and that the money will always be there. The fact is history may also prove them to be right.
We haven’t even addressed the potential future parking problems, if they exist.
Here we have two totally different views. Both could be right. Start building it right away and you can’t turn back. That is the cautious approach.
However, wait awhile and you just might get a superior facility like the new High Prairie Regional Hospital, or, lose it altogether. Do you want to take that chance?
I have listened to passionate debate on this for weeks. The problems started arising this spring when HPSD made a decision to ask the Government of Alberta to transfer the land in question to NLC, without town council’s knowledge.
Later, all parties closed the doors on the press so their dealings could not be heard. It’s a major thorn in the side for Michael Long, and rightly so.
Now, there may have been things said that some people may wish to retract. It is too late. So be it. It’s the nature of the game.
I would like people to consider two thoughts. First, I have written about regional collaboration a few times this past year. I would suggest had all the parties in this matter met and discussed the issues, this mess may have been avoided.
But does that really matter? I would suggest to Cox, Gilroy and Long to strongly consider the following question: if NLC and HPSD had consulted you, and informed you of their desire to go to the HPE site, would you feel any different?
If this is just matter of not being consulted, get over it. Don’t raise a stink over the project because you weren’t told what was going on. The end result is more important.
I agree council should have been told what was going on but there is a bigger picture here.
What I am asking is this: is it really that big a deal that town council was not told what was going on?
For all the hard feelings it has aroused, and the affect it may have on the future of this project, I am not convinced it is.