By Kenyon Stronski
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Taber Community Action and Prevention Society (TCAPS) is hopeful to add Town of Taber representation to their board in the near future.
Ken Holst, president of TCAPS, sent an email to town administration for council’s consideration to join TCAPS in a board capacity role. The request was also sent to the Municipal District of Taber council late last year.
In the email, Holst stated, “TCAPS is an organization that has been in the community and area for many years now. Its accomplishments and positive impacts have been far-reaching and critical for many over those years. Recently we have found a need to change directions in our efforts to better serve Taber and the surrounding area. We conducted a strategic plan session and feel we have found a slightly new path to take. Our main goal is to determine gaps of any nature and try to fill those gaps. (…) As an example, one issue we are working on is the youth and finding good wholesome activities and events to be involved in, as well as resources for them to utilize when home and family life may not be meeting their needs.”
Additionally, TCAPS also sits as the required board to oversee the Horizon Victim Service Unit, and originally their name was the Taber Crime and Abuse Prevention Society.
Coun. Garth Bekkering asked Coun. Alf Rudd to share his thoughts on the matter due to Rudd’s experience with TCAPS throughout the years.
“TCAPS has been around for over 20 years and it came into being during the cocaine crisis in Taber,” said Coun. Rudd. “There were deaths, there was crime and there was mayhem all due to it, and it was primarily driven by the police at the time to approach it as more than just an enforcement perspective and to draw on the resources of the community. This came out of it and its main purpose was to combat the drug problem. This also created the Taber Community Against Drugs. This was the driving force behind a lot of things and the problem was solved. Some went to jail, some went to treatment and it was solved.”
Rudd continued to explain what work TCAPS has done in the community over the years since its inception.
“I can’t speak on it or take any credit, but it’s a good resource and a good place to call on. It became the governing board for the local victim service program that operates out of the police station in Taber and along with the Taber RCMP. There’s been a food project and a food activity project. What’s always been absent is any participation from the town, and we’ve had town employees there before but it was all volunteer. There’s a re-modelling going on and they really want to be a driving force for change. With the closure of the Alberta Works offices, TCAPS has also taken that project on and is trying to get that service back. Through advocacy with TCAPS, Alberta Mental Health and Addictions here lost a staff member a few years back and it was restored by them. They do a lot of good work. I would support a member of the town being there, whether its council or administration”
Coun. Bekkering then said he does support a councillor sitting on the TCAPS board, and encouraged Coun. Rudd to be the one.
However, Coun. Rudd does also work with Horizon Victims Services and Coun. Jack Brewin stated there may be a conflict as the TCAPS board acts as the governing body of the Horizon Victims Services, so there may need to be another councillor to sit on the board.
TCAPS meets on the third Thursday of every month and is at 1 p.m. so it was stated there could potentially also be a conflict with time.
Due to this Coun. Joanne Sorensen asked if the decision could be held until their Jan. 10 regular meeting.
A motion was then passed for council to review this at one of the meetings in January.