Regular Webinars? Missing Cancelled Monthly Surface Rights Meetings at Warburg, the Polluter Pay Federation Steering Committee Proposes Adoption of a COVID-19 Approach

The Polluter Pay Federation concept was first discussed in Warburg in June of 2019. Regan Boychuk, assisted by Mark Dorin, was the guest speaker. Mark and Regan will never forget the reception and optimism of those assembled.

There was no bickering between those with competing viewpoints or talk about whether or not landowners could could pull something like the Polluter Pay Federation off.

Rather there was only excited talk, between those who stayed, some late into the night, of how much better the situation shall be once the Federation was formed and up and running

Long Standing Tradition Impacted by COVID-19

On March 14, 2020, the Temporary Steering Committee launched the Federation at Warburg by video taped event. This event was the first of the 2020 season. The Warburg Pembina Surface Rights Group has been holding informative meetings monthly for over thirty years (an incredible public service and accomplishment).

Every month, Karl Zages travels the area putting up posters – working hard to get a good turnout. Every member receives a telephone call about each meeting and the guest speaker(s). The group does not have a webpage.

On the second Tuesday of every month (other than in the winter recently), he and other put out tables, coffee, snacks, introduce the speakers, conduct the event, and pack up the tables and chairs. It is a lot of work for Karl, who would like to step back or at least share the workload after shouldering so much of it for so long – a true surface rights hero from an education standpoint alone.

Polluter Pay Federation Steering Committee Proposals

Members of the Committee, who also belong to the Warburg Pembina Surface Rights Group have the following ideas to float and share:

  • Start a Warburg Pembina page on the Polluter Pay Federation Website
  • Advertising for and details of monthly meetings can thus be by internet, reducing, perhaps eventually eliminating, the workload of manual advertising, while still reaching a local and broader target audience
  • Restart the monthly schedule – perhaps on the second Tuesday of June 2020 – by webinar or Zoominar as these internet meetings are becoming known

Expansion of the Great Warburg Tradition

As polluters increasingly refuse to pay landowners and municipal taxes, and as our tax dollars increasingly are re-directed to cover costs that the energy industry alone must bear by law in Alberta, the time has never been more ripe, nor has there been a better opportunity, to expand on the great grass roots Warburg Tradition of Education utilizing webinars.

We on the Temporary Steering Committee cannot think of a better way than the above proposals to honour Karl Zages and the group he has long led. Those who attend monthly meetings long held at Warburg are among the most informed Albertans on matters of surface rights and related issues.

We need more Canadians and Albertans like those who are regulars at Warburg.

Comments appreciated.

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