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Last updateFri, 21 Jun 2024 5pm

PBI offers third party support for alleged victims of abuse

    President of Prairie Bible Institute (PBI) Mark Maxwell says the school is in contact with a third party  to act as a venue for these who may have allegations of abuse.
    Earlier this year allegations of abuse at PBI arose. President  Maxwell gave an update to  constituents  on December 16.
    “When allegations of abuse surfaced earlier this fall, we made every effort to respond appropriately and keep our friends reasonably informed. This has included pledging our full cooperation with the RCMP and making ourselves directly available to any who wish to share their experiences with us, no matter how difficult. We sincerely want those who may have been injured to feel loved and welcomed, but most importantly, to find the reconciliation, healing and justice appropriate to each situation,” states his letter.
    So far according to a Calgary Herald report, three allegations have been brought forward to the RCMP, these include the allegations of Linda Fossen, who came forward with her story of abuse by the hand of her father, while he was involved at the institution.
    The letter says they are offering three ways for those who wish to come forward. It says alumni of the school is offering support to alleged victims. The letter also reaffirms its cooperation with the RCMP and is supportive of those who wish to go forward to the police.
    PBI has also been in contact with what it considers an independent third party.
    “We have been in contact with Centre Street Church in Calgary, a prominent Canadian church with professional counsellors on staff.  This church is not conflicted by virtue of any relationship with Prairie.  Centre Street offers a safe and secure place for injured people to be heard and given professional advice on steps to move forward, including directing individuals to the appropriate authorities, referring them for additional counselling or bringing them to the appropriate parties at Prairie,” states the letter.


Judicial review of GuZoo closure postponed

    Owner of GuZoo, Lynn Gustafson was hoping for his day in court, however it looks like he might have to wait.
    For how long? He doesn’t know. In the meantime he is able to still operate his facility.
    Last week a judicial review of the order to shut down the Three Hills facility was adjourned indefinitely. The hearing was slated for the end of January. The GuZoo was ordered decommissioned last spring after images of the animals posted on the Internet created waves. Gustafson appealed the decision.
    “We were supposed to do this judicial review on the 28th of January, and now it is put off indefinitely. I don’t want that,” said Gustafson. “I wanted it done with.”
    According to the Alberta Government’s Sustainable Resources Development (SRD) web site, “On December 21, 2011, an adjournment postponing legal action to no fixed date was implemented as part of legal proceedings.”
    “The thing that makes it so darn stupid is they want more time to get it (case) ready. If you are going to shut someone down. you should have your reasoning written down,” said Gustafson.
    For the first time in its history the GuZoo voluntarily closed for the season, although it remains open by appointment for holders of a family pass. They are slated to reopen to the public in April. According to the SRD website they must operate under strict court-imposed conditions.
    “There are conditions there that are utterly ridiculous. Can you imagine if me or one of the kids, and cat scratches them, I have to phone within so many hours and report it, it’s ridiculous,” said Gustafson. “If a chicken flies over the cage, I have to report it in three hours.”
    Since the controversy and the decommissioning order, there has been support for the GuZoo rolling in. A group of volunteers has been helping with raising funds, working on enclosures and volunteering for daily chores. They have made a difference.
    “It’s kind of nice to have an extra hand or two, and after they have been here a couple times and get to know what they are doing, we don’t have to tell them,” said Gustafson.
    The GuZoo also held its annual Christmas pageant and drew about 500 people over two nights.
    “It’s great. Sometimes it’s cold and you don’t get a lot, and people wonder if it is worth doing, but I say it is, because it is more or less a thank-you to the people. I enjoy it too,” said Gustafson.

East Coulee, Lehigh residents decline Drumheller water

    The results of the survey distributed to residents of East Coulee and Lehigh asking whether they want municipal water are in and residents overwhelmingly rejected the proposal.
    The survey asked respondents to reply if they were in favour of the proposal to construct water distribution lines throughout East Coulee and Lehigh for a cost per household of $15,614.34.
    “We tried to facilitate getting water into East Coulee and that was the cost,” said Mayor Terry Yemen. “The reality is that two or three years from now that price won’t be available.”
    Three respondents replied that they were in favour of the proposal as is, 28 supported the need for water, but think the price is too high, and 87 did not support constructing water distribution lines. Of the 170 letters mailed out, 118 were returned.
    The construction of a transmission line from Cambria to the western edge of East Coulee will continue as planned, because of funding provided by the provincial government.
    The Town is pressuring the provincial government to supply additional funding so that the transmission line could be brought to the eastern side of East Coulee. This could reduce the cost of any subsequent local improvements.
    With the transmission line in place, the distribution lines through the communities could built at a later time, but Mayor Yemen cautioned that the cost would be greater than what it is now.
    Town Council will consider the results of the survey and make a decision regarding the distribution lines through the two communities in the new year.


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