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One Country.
One Community.
One Day.

February 10, 2010
Feds Announce: Zero Cash for Community Project
A federal government’s program to return money for recreational infrastructure projects across western Canada has awarded Provost nothing for its $12.5 million arena and swimming pool now under construction in town.

“It stinks” says Mayor Ken Knox when he was contacted the same afternoon the public announcement was made on Friday, February 5.

“We only asked for $937,000” and “we have the grand sum of $1 million from the provincial government and dick from the federal government plus donations here. We are sitting here getting nothing.”

Last week Provost’s neighbour to the south west, Consort received $1 million (40 percent of the project’s cost in tax dollars turned back to the community by the federal government) for a renovation of that community’s arena that was pegged at an estimated $2.5 million (the newest figures show that the project is now worth $3 million). The date on that cheque is January 27. The MP for Crowfoot to the south is Kevin Sorenson.

Knox says he is happy for Consort but points out “that’s a massive percentage given to them” (33 percent using the new $3 million figure) while Provost was shut out entirely. The mayor says he “didn’t get a straight answer out of (MP Leon) Benoit” over the application when he was in town recently.

“We had our application in early enough. I don’t know why we would get nothing.”

Benoit was in Provost on January 21 and was asked about the project by the reeve, the mayor and The Provost News. At that time Benoit said he did not know who is to make the decision about the cash grant available or when it would be made.

Complete story in February 10 edition of The Provost News.
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Editorial: Lack of Federal Support Disappointing
Residents of Provost and area far out in east central Alberta, parked beside the Alberta-Saskatchewan border have to sometimes wonder just how much we really count to those who are controlling the nation’s purse strings.

As long as we pay our taxes on time it seems the world merrily spins on its way.

But the announcement that the federal government will not be returning a relatively small amount of our own hard-earned cash for a large community project is perplexing. And just a little bit insulting.

Yes, we know that there were all sorts of groups applying for assistance through a special recreational infrastructure Canada program that is partially designed, according to one Member of Parliament (Kevin Sorenson) “To ensure that Canada emerges from the current global recession stronger than ever, our government has been taking targeted steps to stimulate and sustain our economy through Canada’s Economic Action Plan . . . ” After all, we and many other communities were encouraged to “apply” and in effect, be forced to compete with neighbours for our own tax dollars.

Across this province and in this community, drive, action and a can-do attitude has shaped Alberta and Provost to be both prosperous and progressive.

We will in fact build and complete the new arena, walking track and swimming pool with or without our own federal government.

But at the same time, we like others around the world are compelled—ultimately forced by law—to pay taxes for the common good as we go along. And we do so, usually cheerfully. But not very happily this week. When you look at the details of your pay cheque over the next several months you can of course be reminded how many dollars are automatically taken away from you—dictated by your government.

Most people pay town or M.D. taxes, provincial taxes and of course federal taxes—or a combination thereof. Many of them also contribute to community groups or causes like the museum, hospital, churches or to charity as they see fit.

The many taxes people pay during the week or year include GST every time they purchase merchandise downtown or elsewhere (that the merchants are forced to collect, keep track of with burdensome paperwork and then send off the money to Ottawa—and on time or they are penalized); there are gasoline taxes, there are taxes on clothing, tobacco, liquor, tourism, manufacturing, property, income and likely several other obscure or hidden taxes—and the list of course goes on.

It would be very interesting indeed to see how much wealth through sweat and intellect is generated in areas like Provost. Think of such things for example like the productive oil and gas fields, pipelines, a small but growing tourism industry, the cattle industry, the many thousands of acres of crops that are nurtured, business operations, construction, income, food processing and more. Then add up how much tax is delivered to Ottawa on a silver platter each and every month or year. And then calculate what actually returns—especially the few times we ask pretty please for some of our own money back. For the good of the community.

Provost is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year but it does not look like anyone from the federal government will be bringing a gift to the birthday party this June—unless there’s a few nickels wrapped up in waxed paper hidden in the cake.


Complete editorial in February 10 edition of The Provost News.
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Educators Brainstorm For Province-wide Archaeology Curriculum
Complete story and photos in February 10 edition of The Provost News.
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Street Spokesman
This week we ask: "What Does the Guiding Organization Teach or Provide Girls?"
. . . and we heard answers from Loretta Heintz, Joan Ferrier, Iola Lemon and Lois Johnson. Check out the February 10 edition of The Provost News for their answers.
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This, along with many other stories and pictures can be found in this week's edition of The Provost News.
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