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2011 06 07


The Lesson ~
     [Patrick Lalonde] was born 1889 ~ Treaty 8 would be signed in 1898, the province of Alberta not created til 1905. I met him in 1966 when he was founder and president of the Canadian Indian and Metis Progress League, and knew him til his death at over a century of age. He was involved in the very early years of the Alberta Indian Association. He homesteaded in the Peace district, farmed at Driftpile, had land in Grouard, trapped, worked as a carpenter, settled in Faust. His travelling was motivated by opportunity, and partly caused by bureaucratic interference ~ in his case usually an Indian agent.
     This is also heard from people on the lakes north of our big lake. There, in the early days, so the old people have told, when bureaucratic meddling disturbed them, some would move their families farther north to another small lake.
     We know they soon ran out of lakes.
     Upon gentle prodding, Pat Lalonde might relate to me something of his life, sometimes prefaced with "I don't want to hurt you" ~ for he found it painful to relate of an injustice done by one of my race. I thank him for that.
     I was at a visit of Pat with [Jean Chancelet] ~ who came from France, walked from Edmonton with three oxen in 1910 and farmed at Grouard, McLennan, High Prairie, Girouxville. They were kindred spirits and fell into an easy conversation in French. They respected each other and their lives.
     This is what bureaucrats lack.
     Now I know what it's like ~ and that's the lesson.
     'I don't want to hurt you.'

Francisco Goya 
El Sueño de la razón produce monstruos 
The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters 

~ something bad happened in my world
end of an era
destruction of a way of life as the [capitalist democracy] comes home


it is my generation which observes with dismay the deterioration of our society into a sort of predatory free-for-all under the guidance of a corrupted state with the slogan: 'get yours, everything'll be fine' 

just some random observations ~

a long-retired local bureaucrat snarling that what is happening to us (as described below) is nothing but "communism"

an aged local farmer about the police: "I don't respect them anymore"

asking (in jest) of a man whom i joined to smoke a cigarette in the shelter of a small building by the tollbooths on top of the Coquahalla: 'are we breaking the law?' and receiving the bitter reply: "there is no law in this country", then tells me of his years in Salmon Arms and his plan to return to the family farm in Saskatchewan ~ in a hopeful 'escape' from the madness of the 'new order'




Adam's Acreage ~
                The [Company of Young Canadians] in 1969 paid each of us an honorarium of $50 for every month served, and Alona and I needed to decide what to do ~ where to go (throw a dart at a spinning globe?).
                We decided for [Faust].
                Purchased lots 15 and 16 of Adams' Acreage (plan 1540ET) from an old Swede (Gunnar Odegaard) for $50 an acre. It had an aged log house (built by Ouilette?) on lot 16 in which we lived til it burned; Art Newman had a foxfarm on lot 15 until after the war. (Garth Lodge remembers the Adams residence at the corner of first street west and first avenue south.)
                We had three daughters on that land, and we raised them as the pioneers and the Cree we had found here ~ making our way from day to day, eating from the garden and animals, heating the new-built log house with firewood, on our fifteen acres.
                During the seventies the world changed and we became relics at a young age (old people visited to say it made them happy to see their way of life validated).
                We were heartened for a time by a small group of back-to-the-land enthusiasts and years were spent co-operatively building houses and other large homestead projects that grew into a North Country Community Association.



beautiful rural hamlet along the shore where within the last decade or so population doubles in summer with daytrippers, vacationers and tourists, and properties are purchased for holiday cabins

other nearby hamlets are rapidly becoming (or are already) bedroom communities with high-end residences

little room is left for long-time residents

my own rural residential lifestyle on fifteen acres (of now prime location) yields the municipality $200 in assessment revenue annually
subdivided into as many as one-hundred residential parcels it has potential for a thousand-fold or more increase
the solution is to pile on cost and force subdivision
the higher the cost, the greater the force

while everything written below ('take my money ~ earn my contempt') is true and stands, municipal law easily overpowers any and all of it (and i do not expect the minister ~ nor the member of the legislative assembly and member of parliament, to answer my plea)
but i am placing it on the record
stand in the way of "progress"; get run over
most painful is to see the eagerness of neighbors and the local municipality's council-members to be co-opted and corrupted

this is why i am an [anarchist], for none can have power over another without serious deleterious consequences to a free and harmonious society
this is my philosphical position ~ neither radical nor militant
never have i consented to be ruled ~ and have only tried to make my way through life within the constricts in which i have found myself through birth and choice and time
pragmatically, as a Canadian citizen of Dutch birth, i accept my responsibility and duty to this dominion but also expect the rights it has enshrined to be upheld and respected

read [this] for the nature of freedom


Machinations of Bureaucracy
how I lost the vote

When I purchased our land (two lots of Adam's Acreage) in Faust in 1969 we received one title.
Alberta Municipal Affairs administered the property tax administration directly
and we were issued annually two separate Assessment Notices for lots 15 and 16.
In 2001 we put both our names on the title as owners of an estate in fee simple PLAN 1540ET, LOTS 15 AND 16.


The MD combined the tax notices on its taxroll for administrative purposes.
Below the Notice for 2009 recognizing Lots 15 and 16.

MD website Summer 2009
Property identified as Lot 15 Block 1 (Sep 18)

November 2 2009
Lot 16 has disappeared and parcel survey boundary line erased, we lose a vote.
The same fate has befallen Lot 9 and Lot 10.
(The clumsy revision is obvious.)
Two new subdivisions, each with a vote ~ which they were essentially able to buy.
Obviously, I should have anticipated this descent into rampant development, subdivided my frontage into thirteen lots and gain as many votes.

Lots 16 and 10 cannot vote.


democracy be damned . . .    
~ and the numbers are always different    

["i'm in charge. but i don't care"]                                     

a timeline

may 2008 ~ spearheaded by above developer


o freedom and democracy

at the municipal building
on remembrance day the flags fly at half-mast
'to honor our veterans' who fought and died for freedom and democracy
and the council inside around the table
betrays the soldiers' cause

in the village
totalitarian is fine
communist better
fascist divine
freedom and democracy don't mean so much these days
if the villageman can get something
for which the next one pays

on his plot of land the old man works and rests
't was freedom and democracy that always served him best
who are these people who would take this freedom in his day
the enemy ~ or freedom fighters, democrats who've lost their way

king, protect him from your underling
minister, rein the bureaucrat
they've forgot what's right, what's wrong
they do the deed, and don't respect
freedom and democracy is to keep us strong

freedom to be left alone is really all we have
our way of life protected is all we really crave
but when freedom and democracy is trampled underfoot
for 'safety and security', and for 'the common good'
who is to say
who is to know
what this will lead us to

o freedom and democracy
could it be the soldiers knew
could it be they saw
as they fought and died
that their valor crowned would be
with a poppy on an overcoat and flags that fly half-mast
at the building where councillors betray the soldiers' cause

those veterans who fought and died for freedom and democracy
who fought and died for me
shamed they are and shamed you be
until the flag is hoisted high
and nevermore the cause forgot
of freedom
and democracy


2010 04 26

reason prevails
or ~ saved by an old plumber's axiom: 'shit runs downhill; payday's on friday'

and redeems me from a profound lack of faith in the municipality, the province, and in my country

the civic responsibility of the above letterwriter fills me with respect and admiration for my elder neighbour, who by example showed me that however hurtful and stressful the process, it should not blind us to the opportunity for a longterm benefit to the community

statement 2010 05 23
expecting that developers and supporters will propose a gravity system with lift station at any price:
it is requested hereby that the proposed sewer extension to the east end of the hamlet of faust shall be constructed at the sole cost of developers who must finance the landowners' contribution to the project
proceed with construction with the funds from canada and alberta; let those who want it cover the cost
you get what you want; they get what they want; we get what we want

we have experienced this process as an attack on our way of life, and an attempt to compromise our land ownership
it is said that this construction adds value to our property, and indeed it does
one cannot purchase with value, one must sell
this is the last thing we want
our families wish to have and to hold, to keep and preserve, our property

it is noted in council minutes 2010 04 26 that discussion took place on maximum lot density
no notification was received of a land use document review
council assured a ratepayer representative that land use issues would be dealt with
we ask you now to provide means of representations

[MGA s632 stipulates council must by bylaw adopt a municipal development plan; s633 area structure plan must describe sequence of development, land use, density of population, proposed; s636 in preparing these statutory plans the municipality must provide means of representations and notify the public; s639 must pass a land use bylaw]

later that same day . . .
the above is no longer relevant
there has been a lot of action behind the scenes

councillor x phoned resident y and advised that if the development proponents come back with another request or petition council will throw up its hands and cancel the entire project
the faust development group appears to accept defeat

to my letterwriting neighbour we have the high ground
he will speak privately with the reeve and propose that landowner cost be capped at $10 075 per title
this will allow council's resolution to stand and preserve its work in securing substantial capital grants
the district is to cover overruns to be repaid first from new subdivisions ~ before any rebates to titleholders

i support this and take it as a contribution to the community's long-term benefit
council will have the opportunity to get the support this project requires from all parties

a land use document review need be pursued cautiously in an unhurried way
subdivision is a right the landowner must always have except for good reason


council of municipal district of big lakes:
re minutes may 12 delegation albert burger

it seems i was not entirely clear in my presentation, but i would like to see the record corrected
as noted in the minutes i requested that landowner contribution be limited to the amount stated in the faust local improvement plan adopted april 26 by council

on the issue of land use documents, however, the minutes misrepresent my intent
i strongly made the case that the subdivision and development appeal board erred in overturning conditions (that are a statutory requirement under district bylaw and the municipal government act) imposed by the municipal planning commission on the 2007 heroux subdivision application

it was noted in my presentation that the district's development officer recommended against the appeal board's ill-considered decision and i suggested that the appeal board should have turned to council for instructions

further (though i did not make this point at the delegation), council was ~ i realize now ~ negligent in failing to legally challenge the development appeal board waiver of these statutory conditions that have the full force of law as an act of the alberta legislature

the law demands that subdivision in the east end of the hamlet of faust "shall have municipal water and sewer provided at the expense of the developer"
the municipality did not notify landowners of this de facto change in land use, development and subdivision plans, nor provided means of representation as required by the municipal government act

we now know that the subdivision and development appeal board by its action on the heroux application precipitated the sequence of events that has troubled landowners since

as you may be aware i asked last december in an open letter to the minister of municipal affairs that proceedings be stayed until concerns arising from numerous errors with regards the public process have been addressed

the minister declined january last, noting that "while municipal affairs provides advice regarding the application of the MGA, the determination of whether a municipality has followed the proper process must be made by a court of law"

i am copying this to the minister with the following request:
               ~ that the department provide advice as to which court has jurisdiction in this matter, and further by what means the court may be asked to make the determination as to whether these errors in law are cause to declare the proposed project null and void

albert burger ~ june 9 2010


JULY 28 2010
presentation to council at public forum

january 24 2011
office of the minister of municipal affairs

               further to a copy sent to your office of correspondence with the md of big lakes dated december 1 2010:
i have received an email reply from the cao of the md dated december 16 2010 (attached)
in it i am informed that according to the "(foipp) act we are not obliged to reveal information sources and so we will not be providing any names, etc"
               my question to your office:
               does this view of the cao coincide with the legal opinion of the department and your office?

               please note that other information requirements (communicated to the md july 20 and august 10 2010) - besides the identity of the complainant - have not been met:
... "how the complaint reached the md (eg in person, phone, or mail), the date and by whom received"
               the cao stated in a july email that there were "at least half a dozen such instances in Joussard this last year"
               additional information requirements communicated have also not been met: "of these instances, how many were as the result of a complaint, what number of illegal water connections were discovered, and were the complainants identified (and how many other instances occurred elsewhere in the district, and with what results)?"
               the cao reiterates in the attached email that there is "no public record" of the complaint upon which the district levelled an accusation of a criminal offense against myself
to date i have not been informed of any resolution of the allegations - which must not be made without a record that includes any such resolution as well as the identity of the complainant

albert burger, faust
copy md of big lakes council

2011 02 24to foip coordinator md big lakes
is this acceptable?

March 31,2011

Dear Mr. Burger

Re: Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act Request for Information

Thank you for your letter dated March 21,2011. The M.D. of Big Lakes feels that your request for information under the FOIPP Act has been completed in accordance with the Act and considers this issue concluded.
Once again, the M.D. of Big Lakes apologizes if you feel that you have been insulted or disrespected in any way as this was not the intention.

Pat Olansky FOIP Coordinator