The City of Chestermere has commenced a Judicial Review relating to the Cuff Report and the subsequent Ministerial Orders.
Shortly after the recent election, it came to the attention of the new council that a plot had been devised by the City’s former lawyer, the interim CAO, and a re-elected councillor to initiate a municipal inspection. This initiative sought support from members of the public through various channels including social media.
Upon election, the council, fulfilling its electoral promise, investigated historical issues. Findings and concerns were presented to Municipal Affairs (MA). Rather than addressing the identified issues, MA chose to investigate the City’s governance based on subsequent complaints. Within three months of the new council’s term, a preliminary review was declared. George Cuff was then appointed to assess the City’s operations. His report, released in March 2023, provided insights on municipal governance and made several recommendations.
The City has reservations about the Cuff Report, pointing out inaccuracies and unsupported claims. Some of the report’s findings have been contested with evidence.
During the inspection, an Official Administrator (OA) was appointed in September 2022 to supervise the Council, prior to the full release of the report. The City believes this move was premature and divergent from standard procedures. Several code of conduct issues were identified for independent investigation, but the OA, supported by MA, reportedly blocked this process. The City is now calling for a comprehensive review of the actions of MA and certain council members.
Judicial Review – Measure Sought
The City formally requested a Judicial Review on September 12th, 2023.
The application aims to:
• Dispute the validity of the Cuff Report, Inspection, and Ministerial Orders as per the Municipal Government Act.
• Pause the Ministerial Orders pending review.
• Rescind the OA’s appointment.
• Request a new inspection per the Act, funded by the Minister.
• Cover costs related to the Judicial Review.
Support for the City’s application will be sourced from various evidential bases, inclusive of the Cuff Report and Ministerial Orders.
The City remains devoted to serving the residents of Chestermere with a focus on transparent and effective governance.