Stop order lifted from Indian burial grounds

Ponoka County council has lifted the stop order placed upon a Sharphead Indian burial grounds provincial project.

Ponoka County council has lifted the stop order placed upon a Sharphead Indian burial grounds provincial project.

Members of council met with the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Maureen Kubinec, and the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Diana McQueen, on Thursday, Oct. 9 about the project and the lack of communication and partnership the provincial government had displayed.

“It suffices to say we got their attention,” said county CAO Charlie Cutforth.

Despite having lifted the stop order, council believes it needs to continue advocating on behalf of neighboring landowners.

At the meeting with ministers, Cutforth requested a formal plan/response explaining expectations of the project, signage, fences, traffic volume and activity.

“They were certainly committed to making sure the neighbours’ concerns were addressed,” said Cutforth.

The council first issued the stop order on the project because the province had not applied to rezone the land in question and the project for the land did not meet the land-use bylaw of the county.

“They did not correspond with that properly  . . . they did not work as partners with us and I think they’re realizing that,” said Reeve Paul McLaughlin.

“We need to advocate and I think we’re learning they’re not going to take care of this, we have to do that for them,” he added.

“We’re the little brother in this equation and we can’t make them do anything,” said Cutforth.

“If we can’t stop them, let’s make them develop a first class park,” said Coun. Doug Weir.

Council also made it clear it was not against the burial grounds because of the First Nations ties, but their concern was only due to the perceived misconduct by the provincial government.