The results of the Prince Albert Business and Residents’ Advocacy Group (PABRAG) community forum are in, and the group is looking to waste no time in working on problems they see in Prince Albert.
The Oct. 24 meeting saw a turnout of around 160 local business owners, Prince Albert residents, and members of community-based organizations, who have rallied together to petition for a full forensic financial audit of both the City and the Prince Albert Board of Police Commissioners.
Evert Botha, creator of PABRAG and former city councillor, said the purpose of the petitions are so taxpayers “can get a true picture of the exact financial positions that the City of Prince Albert finds itself in.”
PABRAG has launched three petitions; one to the Province of Saskatchewan for a financial audit of the City of Prince Albert, one to the City for an audit of the Board of Police Commissioners, and the final petition is addressed to the City of Prince Albert to hold a referendum for the recent motion that was passed by City Council that allowed them to increase their debt limit from $75 million to $120 million.
“The additional borrowing has put the City into this financial abyss without having a clear way and means to pay for that extra debt that’s been added and burdened onto taxpayers,” he said.
Botha said he also heard a lot of similar frustrations from attendees as it relates to crime in Prince Albert.
“A lot of people are frustrated with inaction,” said Botha. “We have a shortage of police officers due to a massive exodus from the police station that’s here, and slow action from the Board of Police Commissioners addressing the concerns that are being communicated by the members over the last year or so.”
The Prince Albert Board of Police Commissioners wished to provide no comment on the situation and the Herald did not hear back from Mayor Greg Dionne in time for publication.
PABRAG will be holding a volunteer drop-in session on Thursday from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Prince Albert Baptiste Church to provide an opportunity for those looking to find out more about what the group is looking to accomplish. The petitions will also be available for individuals interested in signing.
Due to the overwhelming responses and support that PABRAG has received, Botha said they will be holding another community forum towards the end of November.
“We really just want to make sure every business, every organization, and every resident from the City has equal representation and enough time to be heard at City Hall,” he said.
Anyone with questions can email PABRAG at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Botha at 306-980-5387.