On October 12, The City of Chestermere had its first victory regarding its application for a Judicial Review of Municipal Affairs Inspection and subsequent report by George Cuff.
After raising concerns of past corruption with Municipal Affairs, within two months of Mayor Colvin and the new Council's inauguration, Municipal Affairs Minister Ric McIver initiated inquiries into exaggerated and misleading complaints regarding the City's governance.
On March 10th, 2022, just ninety days into their term, McIver declared a preliminary review. The City raised concerns about McIver’s known conflict and his refusal to recuse himself from the process. George B. Cuff was appointed on May 9 to scrutinize the City's operations. His report, released on March 15th, 2023, presented his perspectives on municipal governance, spotlighted concerns, and set forth 17 recommendations for the Council and Administration.
The Court sided with The City of Chestermere regarding Minister McIver’s failure to provide the Record of Evidence that led up to the imposition of the Investigation. The Alberta Justice lawyer said he needed to delay providing the Record of Evidence.
The City's lawyer Jeff Moroz said that if the Ministry saw fit to impose such draconian measures to call for an Inspection on the City of Chestermere, they must have the evidence in a file that is readily available.
The City's lawyer Jeff Moroz said that he was very pleased with the Judge’s ruling and the City of Chestermere's Mayor, Jeff Colvin responded to the news.
"This is a great day for the City of Chestermere, Administration, and Council. We have been asking for the Record of Evidence since the inspection began and were told we could not have it. I have never seen a situation where the principles of Procedural Fairness were not upheld," Mayor Colvin said.
"We ran for office with the goals to enhance and clean up our City, and to our surprise, after identifying past possible corruption, an Inspection was called on us by Municipal Affairs, in conjunction with a well-orchestrated group opposed to our goals. We are so pleased to see Procedural Fairness and Natural Justice finally being followed. We look forward to seeing more truth and transparency in these court proceedings."
Colvin added that he wants all municipalities in Alberta to be on notice that without a change in process, this too can happen to them.
"We want to ensure the injustice and bullying that happened to our City does not happen to any other city or town in Alberta. We are making a stand to stop Municipal Affairs from any future overreaches and abuses of power."
The judge agreed with the City and set the next court date for November 6, 2023.
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