Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - August 6, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Tueaday, August 6. 1974 - THE LETHBRIDGE HERALD - 5 Land submission 'an emotional token' Continued fron P. 3 munities (This was an error. Should read 12 municipalities) in the Oldman River region. This is to permit Marathon to take title to ' these lands from the Canadian Pacific Railway Company. (Actually the company is CP Rail, a subsidiary of Canadian Pacific Ltd.) "Apparently this land has been declared surplus to railway purposes and if it is subdivided into parcels and registered, the parcels could be disposed of by Marathon whenever they so wished. "Much of this land is located in key areas of communities, particularly near the town centres. Its ultimate use and development could have an important impact on the development of communities. "If used or developed for unsatisfactory purposes it could have a detrimental affect on the community in regard to land use, access to highways and roads, and urban landscape. "We, personally, are extremely concerned about the use and disposal of surplus railway land. It is therefore suggested that as originally these lands were largely provided by Canadian government to Canadian Pacific Railway Company for use as a transpor- tation route, and since the land proposed for subdivision is no longer required for transportation purposes, the said land should revert back to the Crown in the right of the province. "If, in the province's interest, the lands could then be transferred to the municipality in which it is located, the respective municipality could then ensure that the land be developed in the best interest of the community and so benefit all its inhabitants. "May we, the undersigned, therefore strongly recommend that legislation be enacted at the earliest opportunity or MOVE YOUR GRAIN WITH A GRAIN LOADER 6". 7" OR 8" HIGH CAPACITY PORTABLE LOADERS AVAILABLE AT OLIVER INDUSTRIAL SUPPLY LTD. 236-36 St. North Phone 327-1571 or contact the 'OLIVER DEALER" nearest you. Near tracks Centre Village Mall in Lethbridge was built on land transferred from CP Rail to Marathon Realty in 1967. such other steps be taken by the province so that the above recommendations may be implemented. We believe that our communities will not be the only ones affected by this type of action, and that similar action will occur in other rural communities throughout the province. "Accordingly, it is our submission that such action will benefit the province of Alberta in total." The letter was signed by representatives from the towns of Milk River, Raymond, Magrath, Pincher Creek, Blairmore, Coleman, Coaldale, Picture Butte, Stavely, Claresholm, FortMacleod, Nanton, and Vulcan; The representatives of the villages of Warner, Nobleford, Stirling, Coutts, and Frank;, And the representative of the County of Warner, the municipal districts of Willow Creek and Pincher Creek and Pincher Creek, and the City of Lethbridge. Mr. Smith thinks more of the commission's 46 representatives would have gladly signed the letters but organizers felt it was important to get the letter off as soon as possible, before all their signatures could be arranged. He suggests the petitioners hold only a very faint hope of getting either government to even seriously consider the position that perhaps the Marathon land really belongs to the people of Canada. It's more of a token, emotional submission. To let the governments know how the people feel. The letters suggest that Marathon might develop the land to the detriment of the community and that the townspeople would have no say in it. But that's not likely since most communities involved have development control - that is, they have the final say as to how ail land in the town is developed. Mr, Smith says a more real possibility is not that the townspeople would have no say in what kind of development Marathon would bring in, but that they might be "pressured" somehow by Marathon to allow something that might be detrimental. He can't suggest what kind of pressure might be brought but concedes it's a matter of Marathon's large, sophisticated public relations operation competing against naive small town politicians. What Mr. Smith is really describing, of course, is town officials afraid they may be lured lin-wholesomely into some deal with Marathon. Afraid they couldn't resist the temptation. The emotional issue of railroad abandonment also raises its head in this debate. So does the possible nationalization of CP Rail. Mayor A. F. Blakie of Coaldale says, "We feel it (Marathon's subdivision applications) is a CPR move to unload valuable assets in case the railway Continued Page 6 NEH EDITION OF "THE CHINOOK" Will appear in The Lethbridge Herald Tuesday, Aug. 20 Advertisers are reminded that the deadline for advertisements is Wednesday, August 14th The letlibtidge Herald BLOCK BROS. ARE YOU THINKING OF BECOMING A SALESMAN? You owe it to yourself to investigate the following: Specialized training programs Free holidays in Hawaii (552 of our salespeople and their families have just returned) Fantastic New Home Program assures inventory for our salespeople We trade homes-a terrific service to our clients A unique catalog marketing system. 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