What did Akinsdale do to be continuously treated as an outcast by the City of St. Albert?
I lived in Akinsdale for some 21 years. It was and still is populated by folks similar to myself: ordinary run-of-the-mill people, working class, religious, atheist, short, tall, whatever. Neighbours were friendly, caring, co-operative. It is a good place to live. There is one drawback — the city seems to treat Akinsdale as if it was an unwelcome distant cousin.
Where are the playgrounds? Oh, you mean the arenas are the playgrounds for the folks in Akinsdale?
Nice lake, like the one in Lacombe Park, beautiful eh?
And what about the Red Willow walking trails, nicely lit and maintained like Oakmont?
Over the years minor annoyances occurred. Like most residents, we tolerated them, sometimes questioned why but retreated to our humble abodes assured by council that we were not being treated unjustly.
The green belt was reduced from three kilometres to 300 metres. The berm adjacent to Amherst —the one that is decorated with those beautiful power pylons — never did get any trees or a playground facility.
Ah, but there was that huge open area designated as school ground that was a wonderful place to kick a soccer ball or to play a pickup ball game, walk your dog, even have a picnic.
Then about 10 years ago we moved to Lacombe Park to a smaller, older house. It was almost like coming home from a Third World country. Up here our Red Willow Park walkways get plowed (lived on Ainsley Crescent for seven years and the walkway adjacent the natural park was never cleared). They sand the streets up here (in 14 years of living on Amherst Crescent I can't recall ever having the street sanded).
But the people of Akinsdale are not complainers. They're too busy making a living, raising kids, being good citizens. But enough is enough.
The poor don't need inferior housing, burdened with balloon mortgages that will never appreciate in value. Subsidizing some decent structures, following existing building codes and providing needed additional recreation areas to help those who are challenged to find decent homes is great.
If council and the rest of the bleeding-heart do-gooders really want to help the "poor" with their housing needs, they wouldn't encourage the creation of "chicken coop" structures with little or no yard area, throw away all building codes and inspections, provide little parking allowing for little or no emergency vehicle access to most dwellings and then deliberately impose this manifestation of charity to encroach on existing homes so as to irritate existing residents thereby assuring the "poor" are made as unwelcome as possible. This will make Akinsdale the black eye on our "elite" little city, won't it?
Write a letter to the council members. Let them know how you feel. Maybe they'll read it, maybe not. I wrote to all seven of them. Only Roger Lemieux and Nolan Crouse responded. The others I guess are just too busy punishing Akinsdale. Doesn't it make you wonder if maybe your neighbourhood will be the next to be punished?
Bert LaBuick, St. Albert