Highwood MLA says fundraiser unauthorized
| Posted: Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 06:00 am
Last week, the Western Wheel ran an editorial about me that contained inaccuracies and misrepresentations and I appreciate the opportunity to correct the record.
The editorial, which was printed without affording me the opportunity to comment on its claims, condemned an online advertising initiative known as a “moneybomb” that appeared in error on our party’s website.
As I had described in other media interviews – and as the Wheel would have known if they contacted me – the moneybomb’s appearance on our website was unauthorized. We had already decided we wouldn’t do this initiative, when we discovered that an early conceptual draft of it was posted online in error. I hadn’t seen the language it contained. I have never used the language it contained. That language does not reflect my views or those of my caucus. However, I accepted responsibility for it being posted and I have apologized publicly for the inappropriate language.
The editorial criticized me for even raising the entire issue of forced entry, calling it a “non-issue.” If the Wheel had actually sent staff to cover the Sept. 5 town hall meeting, attended by over 350 people, they would never have characterized it as such. According to the RCMP, more than 1,900 of approximately 5,400 homes in High River filed damage claims related to forced entry. When something directly impacts nearly 40 per cent of a town, no newspaper can call it a “non-issue.”
The editorial goes on to state the “RCMP has committed to compensate everyone who had damage to their doors.” This assertion, stated by Minister Doug Griffiths, is simply false. When the editorial was posted, the RCMP had yet to commit to compensation. It was only on Wednesday evening, the day the editorial appeared, the Town of High River announced it would work with the Province to immediately begin issuing cheques to affected homeowners.
The editorial concludes by calling on me to provide “positive support,” to “grab a shovel” and “get to work helping (my) constituents rebuild.” Between sandbagging the hospital, picking up stranded residents, rescuing pets, arranging volunteers and donations, and helping secure timely compensation for my constituents, I stand by my record of “positive support.” I’ve been proud to join my fellow High Riverites in helping us all rebuild and move on from the floods.
But sometimes the government requires a push. I will now continue my efforts to press the Province to deal with a much larger problem: getting the Disaster Recovery Program to actually work for residents. I hope the Western Wheel editors will join me in holding the government to account on this on behalf of all impacted residents.
MLA for Highwood