Cochrane resident Ron Voss believes the Town of Cochrane should take steps to leave the Calgary Metropolitan Regional Board (CMRB) because of how it's influenced by agendas of the United Nations, the Great Reset proposed by the World Economic Forum, and the City of Calgary.
He also believes some of its guiding principles will have a detrimental impact on the energy industry in Alberta.
While sympathetic to a degree, several town councillors said it is mandated by the province and believes there are merits to be part of the regional body. Some recommended Voss take his concerns to MLA Peter Guthrie and possibly make the presentation to the other municipalities forming the regional board.
Voss said a recent CMRB public engagement barely registered with residents and says it only represented the views of 0.1 per cent of the region's population. He questions if residents even know it exists or knows of the work it is undertaking on their behalf.
"Very few, if any, of our citizens in Cochrane have any awareness about the CMRB. I don't even think they know it exists. It's sort of like, 'What is that?' I think there should be more dialogue."
The CMRB collected feedback in its second public engagement until Nov. 27. Based upon the feedback received in its earlier engagement, the CMRB established goals of reducing water and wastewater requirements by 15 per cent, 35 per cent less in new infrastructure, a 40 per cent reduction in land consumption, 25 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from residential buildings, and 15 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle km travelled.
Voss says this mirrors the UN's 2030 ambition and falls in line with the proposed Great Reset to rebuild the economy sustainably following the COVID-19 pandemic.
He says World Economic Forum laid out eight predictions for the world in 2030.
"The first prediction being, you'll own nothing, and you'll be happy, basically returning us to a fuedal system involving far more effective means of control than in the past through utilizing modern means of surveillance, providing a high-tech pyramid."
Currently, the CMRB is working on a deadline of completing the regional plan by the spring. It was originally to be completed by the end of 2020 but an extension was granted. The representatives of participating municipalities have been accelerated their meeting schedule for several months now in hopes of meeting that goal.
Mayor Jeff Genung, who is CMRB vice-chair, says the predominant narrative of the board to date has been on better utilization of services, land, and water.
"In my opinion, the board has done great work," says Genung. "It's been a bit of a slough to get going as we work together and learn to work together as a region. One of the positives coming out of it is interaction with our neighbours, not just Rocky View County or not just Calgary but Okotoks, Strathmore--all of the participants--in getting to know them better."
Town councillor Patrick Wilson, who served on a CMRB during its early stages, called the work of body a double-edged sword. He saw value in how the board's work lead to Cochrane preparing its own vision document to guide future growth
He believes all participating municipalities should remain on guard to protect their autonomy over issues of importance to their communities.
"I worry as things move forward, are we losing our ability to set our own density in the future? Do we lose our ability to build and create communities that we see fit for ourselves, and not have them dictated from a board that's above us? So, your presentation is very useful from that aspect and it should be an ongoing conversation amongst our council, amongst this town, but frankly amongst all 10 municipalities and counties that are on that regional board."
Voss argued the town still has the ability to object to being part of the regional board and points to the participating counties who believe it should be voluntary.
"It's not something that is unanimous and we're all holding hands and we love this process. It's not like that, and I keep emphasizing that I'm not interested in a body that is sort of directed and functioning from an international organization like the United Nations, and you're getting that from through the City of Calgary. If the people of Cochrane want to be dominated by the United Nations, let's find out. But 0.1 per cent is a pretty pathetic indication of what the people of Cochrane want."
He also saw little value in reaching out to MLA Peter Guthrie because Voss believes he will follow the direction of the municipalities he serves.
After the meeting, he said he may pursue making his presentation to some of the other municipalities in the consortium.
Voss said he was presenting the view on behalf of the Dog with a Bone Society, a Cochrane group in its infancy that intends to offer counterviews on important issues. He says the organization is currently creating a website.