Lacombe Council not supportive of reality TV proposal

Lacombe city council may not be onboard, but a reality TV show may soon set up shop in the Central Alberta community.

Lacombe city council may not be onboard, but a reality TV show may soon set up shop in the Central Alberta community.

The show, proposed by Force Four Entertainment out of Vancouver, poses the question of what would happen if a person didn’t have to pay taxes.

Nicole Lawson, director of development, said the idea would be for a group of families, 20 to 100 potentially, to be given back the money they would typically pay in taxes.

However, they would not have access to the services those taxes provide, and the group would have to work together to solve those problems.

For items such as driving on a road or using the sewer or other government provided services, they would have to pay a penalty from their pool of money.

Lacombe Mayor Steve Christie said he told the producers no, but there was enough support from community members for producers to short list Lacombe among five other communities in B.C., Alberta and Ontario. They would not specify which other towns are being considered.

“Our decision will truly be affected by what we hear after this meeting,” said Lawson. “Will people reach out to us and say they support it now that they understand more of what the show is about.”

Lawson and two of her colleagues were in Lacombe at the Memorial Centre yesterday discussing their ideas for the show with community members.

From here, the production team will visit the other locations and reach a decision as early in the new year they have to return to shoot a demo for the, as of yet unnamed, major Canadian network.

Christie was still tentative about having the show shoot in their town after the meeting last night.

“I’m still nervous about it. The lack of information is a big thing,” said Christie, adding sorting through who would be a part of it and how they would make it work for using roads or the memorial centre pose challenges.

“They stated they contacted 24 different communities across Alberta, they’re only down to two. I believe then, the other ones, all said no. I said no, directly to them, and yet they are still here.”

Lawson said if the network likes the demo, crews would be shooting the show in the chosen town by summer, at the earliest.

“Their main point of entry has been through the Lacombe Taxpayers Association, but yet they say it’s not about embarrassing the community,” said Christie.

“Lacombe is a great community, they talk about mowing each others lawns, giving each other rides to medical appointments. That happens every day here in Lacombe, we have a great volunteer system. We have great citizens here in Lacombe and I would hate to see them cast in a bad light across the nation.”

Blaine Dushanek of the Lacombe Taxpayers’ Association said previously that the show would be a good change to make people realize the taxpayer has some power.

However, Christie admitted there would also be an opportunity to show organizations like the taxpayers association how council handles it’s business.

“The way taxes are spent here in Lacombe isn’t an issue,” said Christie.

“It’s a public document, our budgets are public, our meetings are public, how we spent the money is public … Come talk to us and get involved.”

Lacombe residents who would like to see the show, tentatively titled Axe the Tax, can let the producers know by calling or emailing the production company or by liking the company’s Facebook page, Lacombe Project.