Council remuneration approved

By Lori Larsen

During the September 7 regular council meeting, council approved amendments to the Mayor and Councillor Remuneration Policy, specifically adjusting the base salary for the City of Camrose mayor to $59,794 (double that of councillors) and for City of Camrose councillors to $29,897, for the year 2022.
The current salaries for mayor are $62,534.78 and for councillors $21,633.50.
Councillor Wayne Throndson commented,  “I am pleased with the councillor allocation, but I am concerned about the amount allocated to the mayor (which was presented in the report at $80,564). This approach is a salary for a full-time position and, in my opinion, it is probably not or shouldn’t be a full-time position.”
Throndson recommended instead that the mayor’s salary be twice that of the proposed 2022 councillor salary of $29,897.
“Granted, that would be at a slight deduction  (from the current salary of $62,534.78), at roughly $60,000,” noted Throndson. “The formula set for councillors will still be used and just double that for mayor.”
City of Camrose manager Malcolm Boyd explained the rationale behind the amount of remuneration for the mayor as presented in the report
“I  looked at the eight comparable municipalities and I took the direction of the previous council meeting and reduced those by 25 per cent. There was also a comment made at the last meeting (by councillors), that council wasn’t sure if the same rationale applied to the mayor. So I removed that 25 per cent reduction from the mayor based on that comment.
“But administration is open to the desire of council for setting that amount (mayor salary).”
Boyd added that at council’s recommendation of a salary of  $59,794 for the City of Camrose mayor, it would remain as the lowest paid mayor out of the comparators, which includes: Leduc County, City of Leduc, Camrose County, City of Spruce Grove, City of Fort Saskatchewan, Town of Stony Plain, City of Lacombe  and City of Wetaskiwin.
Other amendments to the policy included: removal of the Citizens Committee to review and recommend council remuneration; the addition of comparator municipalities to use for calculating the 50th percentile; adjustments for costs of items for benefits; and reducing the councillor salaries by 25 per cent in order to account for eight councillors as opposed to the typical six councillors that other municipalities of similar size have.

Minister Luan visit

3 backpacks to women's shelter
The Camrose Women’s Shelter was the recipient of backpacks donated by Telus and presented by the Alberta Community and Social Services minister Jason Luan on August 30. Pictured left to right are Alberta Community and Social Services assistant deputy minister Maryna Korchagina, Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely, Alberta Community and Social Services minister Jason Luan, Camrose Women’s Shelter board chair Judi Beebe and Camrose Women’s Shelter executive director Nora-Lee Rear.

By Lori Larsen

A generous donation of 10 backpacks to the Camrose Women’s Shelter by Telus will help to ensure the needs of children throughout Camrose and surrounding communities are being met.
On August 30, Alberta minister of Community and Social Services Jason Luan, along with assistant deputy minister of Community and Social Services Maryna Korchagina and Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely visited the Camrose Women’s Shelter to present the backpacks.
“The Camrose Women’s Shelter would like to thank MLA Lovely for arranging a visit with minister Luan and the donation of backpacks to our Outreach families,” said Camrose Women’s Shelter executive director Nora-Lee Rear. “These backpacks will be given to the many families living in the Camrose constituency for returning to school.”
According to MLA Lovely, the backpacks were donated by Telus to every Constituency office in the province. “I chose to fill a need expressed by the Camrose Women’s Shelter and celebrate the moment with minister Luan, the Shelter’s executive director Nora-Lee Rear and long-term board member (now chair) Judi Beebe.”
Lovely said it was also a great opportunity for minister Luan to do a tour of other social services organizations in Camrose, “And meet these incredible people who do so much to help others.”
The backpacks will be greatly appreciated, especially by families who may be struggling in these difficult times.
“September is a financially difficult month for most parents, and especially for anyone living below or close to the poverty line,” said Rear. “School fees, lunch fees, bus fees, and school supplies all add up and it’s donations like this that help families get through the tough spots.”
The Women’s Shelter does a tremendous job in providing a safe place for women and children during crisis specifically to escape abuse and violence.
“Women’s shelters operated by our community partners have a critical role in keeping women and children safe from domestic abuse,” said minister  Luan. “In addition to providing a safe place to stay for families fleeing abuse, shelter workers also provide important community supports such as risk assessments, safety plans and educating local residents on the devastating impacts of domestic violence and how to build healthy relationships. Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a concerning rise in incidents of domestic violence, and shelters like the Camrose Women’s Shelter continue to lead the way in protecting vulnerable people. Community and Social Services will continue to encourage Camrose Women’s Shelter to expand their community outreach.”
Rear added, “The past year and a half has been really difficult on kids as they’ve adjusted to going to school online, wearing masks, and possibly dealing with the violence in their homes 100 per cent of the time. Sometimes school or other activities can provide some form of a break or role model healthy relationships for kids, but this year has taken all that away. Truthfully, the violence is escalating, and I’m afraid for the shadow pandemic that is emerging in our rural communities.”
Luan indicated that the province maintained approximately $51.3 million in funding  for women’s shelters in the 2021 budget. “We allocated an additional $5 million to help shelters respond to the impacts of the pandemic to make sure they could still deliver safe and accessible supports. Service providers and community organizations have stepped up, adapted and modified their services to continue helping anyone experiencing domestic violence, with ongoing government support.”
Along with government support and funding, donations, such as the backpacks, enable organizations like the Women’s Shelter to continue to provide for the very vulnerable within our communities.
“Alberta’s government recognizes that we continue to experience high rates of domestic violence,” said Luan. “Our government recently implemented Alberta version of Clare’s Law, which allows people at risk of domestic violence to apply for information on an intimate partner’s previous history of domestic violence or other relevant acts. This new tool will help people make an informed choice about a potentially dangerous intimate relationship. Clare’s Law is part of the our plan to prevent domestic violence before it occurs, and empower those who may be at risk.
“We will continue to meet and work with our shelter partners to make sure Albertans experiencing or at risk of violence are getting the support they need,” remarked Luan.
During his visit to Camrose on August 30, minister Luan visited the Camrose Open Door Association, Camrose Women’s Shelter, Alberta Council of Disability Services (ACDS),  Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), Directions for Wellness and Camrose and District Support Services (CDSS).
“Minister Luan was able to meet with a very large number of stakeholders who provide valuable service in our constituency and beyond,” said MLA Lovely. “Given the minister’s background in social work, he was able to relate well to the people and the work that is performed to help others in our community.”
The generosity of businesses, service clubs and individuals ensures that support remains available and does not go unnoticed by the organizations that provide those services to those in need. While government funding and programs are vital, community rallying together is also invaluable.

Kodiaks focus on home opening game

By Murray Green

The Camrose Kodiaks split a pair of games with the Sherwood Park Crusaders in exhibition play.
Camrose won 3-1 in Sherwood Park with goals recorded from Robert Kincaid, Michael Lovsin and Mathieu Gautier.
Netminder Jackson Fellner stopped 24 of 25 shots directed his way in the Camrose cage. The Kodiaks counted 17 shots on goal.
The Crusaders came with their top crew to Camrose and skated away with a 7-0 victory. Justen Maric turned away 15 of 19 shots, and Logan Willcott stopped six of nine shots in the Camrose net during the rough outing.
The Kodiaks were doubled 6-3 by the Spruce Grove Saints 6-3 on September 8.
The difference was the 3-0 start the Saints racked up before the Kodiaks played even with them. Carson Whyte started the scoring for Camrose in the middle frame. Then Callum Gau and Cash Regan added single markers in the third period.
Willcott stopped 20 of 26 shots in the Camrose cage, while the Kodiaks totalled 32 shots on goal.
Camrose opens the Alberta Junior Hockey League regular season on September 17 and 18 with two games against the south division rival Okotoks Oilers. This year marks the start of the 25th season for the Kodiaks in Camrose.
Local singer/songwriter Travis Dolter will be performing on September 17 from 5:45 to 6:45 p.m. in the parking lot of the Camrose Recreation Centre and will sing the national anthem at the Kodiaks game to open the season.
Camrose heads to Drumheller for a September 24 game and to Olds for a September 25 game. The Kodiaks play against Fort McMurray on September 30 and Grand Prairie on October 1 in the AJHL Showcase series.
Home games begin at 7 p.m. unless otherwise noted.

Bamford concert moved to November

By Murray Green

The Fuel Good Community Concert in support of the Gord Bamford Foundation has been moved to November 20.
Wild Rose Co-operative Association, in partnership with Peavey Mart, Kubota and Camrose Chrysler, made the difficult decision to postpone the concert from September 25 to November 20, to be held at the Camrose Regional Exhibition (CRE).
The current COVID-19 uncertainty in the Province of Alberta and the health and safety of ticket holders, volunteers, entertainers and event organizers are the top priorities.
All tickets purchased for the show will roll over to the new date. Due to the charitable nature of the event, no ticket refunds will be processed at this time.
Wild Rose Co-op has partnered with the Gord Bamford Foundation for Fuel Good Day on September 21, where they will be donating seven cents per litre and $1 from every Co-operative Coffee and Big Cool sales purchased that day to the Foundation.
Camrose community groups are encouraged to apply to the Foundation for funding. Wild Rose Co-op and the Gord Bamford Foundation invites everyone to fuel up and come and enjoy the activities at the downtown and eastside gas bars.
The Bamford concert, with special guests Blake Reid and Maddison Krebs, is an event to compliment Fuel Good Day and funds raised through the concert will also be donated through the Gord Bamford Foundation to the Camrose community.
The Foundation is passionate about supporting youth and providing funds for initiatives that include or involve music, education, health care, sports and multi-use facilities that benefit youth across Canada. In the 14 years of operation, the Foundation has generated over $4.2 million and supported more than 63 worthwhile children’s charities, which has impacted more than 700,000 children.
Camrose community groups can apply for funding at www.gordbamford foundation.com.

Murder mystery play at Bailey

By Murray Green

Everyone likes a good murder mystery, especially after a year without a live drama performance in Camrose.
Local theatre group Infinite Imagination Traveling Theatre presents Evelyn Strange by Stewart Lemoine for five shows at the Bailey Theatre from October 1 to 9.
The play is directed by Mike Hicks of Infinite Imagination. “We are going to perform the play in a style of decopunk. Most people are familiar with steampunk, which features coppers and leather. Decopunk is more silvers and greys mixed with past and future aspects,” explained Mike.
Decopunk, also known as coalpunk, is a recent subset of dieselpunk, centered around the art deco and Streamline Moderne art styles, and is based on the cities of New York, Chicago and Boston around the period between the 1920s and 1950s.
“We pre-filmed the crime scene in a shadow. The actors will be on stage live, while the crime scene is projected on the screen for the audience. That is one of the creative things we have gone with. We want a mystery, but we have a fun aspect to it,” shared Mike.
The cast includes Evelyn Strange played by Alexandra Lepage; Nina Ferrer played by Sonja Gould; Perry Spangler played by Daniel Kosak; and Lewis Hake played by Cole Olesen.
Gould is known for making commercials, Kosak is a writer and Olesen, a local guy, directed the last Infinite Imagination production Rainbow Bar and Grille.
“I’m really excited about this production because it is different than everything we have done before. I hope the audience gets excited about this play as well. I wanted to add steampunk, but never had an opportunity before. It is like Shakespeare, you can move it to different time periods. This play was designed for the ’50s, but we will have more of a ’40s theme,” said Mike.
Bailey Lassesen is in charge of costumes/hair/ makeup and Ashlee Prevost-Rookes is the stage manager.
The murder mystery story features Perry Spangler, who encounters a young woman with amnesia. They soon discover, in the man’s coat she is wearing, a gun and a notepad with strange and cryptic writing on the pages.
While trying to find someone to decipher the writing and figure out who Evelyn Strange is, they learn that Perry’s boss was murdered the previous night in the park and is somehow connected to Evelyn, his coworker Lewis and the boss’s wife Nina Ferrer.
“Everyone on our crew and cast is vaccinated and ready to entertain people again. We are excited to have live theatre again.”
The opening show will be on October 1 as a show only. The following Friday (October 8) will be a show-only production as well. All show times are at 7:30 p.m.
Dinner shows will be held on October 2, 3 and 9, with dinner at 6:30 p.m.

Battle River has the talent

By Murray Green

September continues to be a busy month at the Bailey Theatre.
The Battle River’s Got Talent Performers’ Showcase arrives on Friday, September 24 at 7 p.m.
Over the summer, applicants submitted talent videos and the Bailey will be hosting the finalists on stage.
The Bailey Buckaroos are back with a Classic Country Music Extravaganza. Special guests are featured each month with performances at the Bailey Theatre.
The next show is on Sunday, September 26 at 2 p.m. The second concert will be a spooky one on Sunday, October 31 at 2 p.m.
Although the Evelyn Strange play begins on October 1, it is a live performance that shouldn’t be missed. It is a murder mystery with options for dinner shows.

Shiplett offers country music show

By Murray Green

The Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre is bringing in a great country music show with JJ Shiplett as the featured artist.
His rugged and raspy voice is well suited for his style of music. He performed on the Big Valley Jamboree stage, and now you can get a more personal view of his music on Friday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m.
This Alberta-born singer-songwriter and performer has had success with his debut album Something To Believe In.
Shiplett’s show displays his musical creativity, and celebrates his honest lyricism backed by his powerful and unique voice.
If magic is what you want, magician Sheldon Casavant returns to the Lougheed Centre on Sunday, September 19 for a 2 p.m. show.
To create a more intimate, but safe environment, this performance has been moved outdoors to allow for as many viewers as possible. Bring your lawn chairs and snacks for the show at the Camrose and District Centennial Museum on the south lawn.
You don’t need tickets to enjoy this free performance that’s open to the entire community.
You can enjoy the Jill Barber show in the comfortable seats at the Lougheed Centre on Friday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m.
She is a three-time Juno award nominated singer-songwriter with an unforgettable voice. Once it is heard, it is never forgotten.
Her critically acclaimed repertoire spans a transformative spectrum from folk, to vocal jazz, to pop, and includes songs in both French and English.

Municipal election

By Lori Larsen

On October 18, eligible voters of the City of Camrose will be heading to the polls to vote in the municipal election.
Voters can cast votes for City of Camrose mayor and eight councillors for a four-year term.
Currently, the following people have filed their intention to run in the City election.
For the position of mayor, the candidates are: incumbent Max Lindstrand and incumbent PJ Stasko.
For the positions of councillor, the candidates are: Lucas Banack, Larissa Berlin, Lana Broker, Tom Calhoun, Julie Girard, Agnes Hoveland, DJ Ilg, Doug MacKay, Joy-Anne Murphy, Don Rosland, Wyatt Tanton, Robbyn Thompson and Geoffrey Ryan Turnquist.
Voters will be required to show proof of identity and current residence. For more details on what qualifies as proof of identity and residence, visit the City of Camrose website at www.camrose.ca/en/your-government/voter-information.aspx.
In an effort to keep all residents/voters and volunteers safe and reduce the possible spread of COVID-19, advance voting opportunities have been increased and are located in a larger facility to reduce the numbers of voters at any voting station at a given time.
The Advance Voting station will be located at the former Augustana Gym at the Recreation Centre to provide more layout room.
Any resident may vote at an Advance Voting opportunity.
Advance Voting will be held on the following dates:
October 8, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
October 13, from 1 until 7 p.m.
October 14, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
October 15, from 1 until 7 p.m.
October 16, from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Special (mail-in) Ballots are also available to eligible voters who are unable to make it to an Advance Vote or Election Day (Monday, October 18) voting station because they are: physically incapacitated; absent from the local jurisdiction (City of Camrose); an election worker, candidate, official agent or scrutineer who may be located on Election Day at a voting station other than that for the voter’s place of residence.
Application for a special ballot may be made by any one of the following methods: in writing, by email, telephone, fax or in person at City Hall. A “Request for Special Ballot Package Application” is available online on the City of Camrose website or by contacting the Returning Officer, Kim Isaak, at kisaak@camrose.ca or at 780-678-3027.
Special (mail-in) Ballot packages will be available starting Tuesday, September 28.
Completed Special (mail-in) Ballots must be received by the Returning Officer (5204-50 Avenue) by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, October 15 in order to be counted. Special (mail-in) Ballots will not be accepted at Advance Vote or Election Day Stations.
For more information on the process for Special (mail-in) Ballots, visit the City of Camrose website at www.camrose.ca/en/your-government/voter-information.aspx.
Voting stations will be set up at designated times on October 18 at the following institutions (for residents of that facility only):
  • Deer Meadows
  • Brookside
  • Faith House
  • Viewpoint
  • Rosealta
  • Rosehaven
  • Louise Jensen
  • Bethany Meadows
  • Seasons
Election Day Voting Stations (for general public) will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on October 18 at the following locations: Mirror Lake Centre (5415-49 Avenue); Community Centre Field House (4516-54 Street), Norsemen Inn (6505-48 Avenue) and CRE (4250 Exhibition Drive).
The City of Camrose will be offering free bus service to and from the Norsemen Inn, Mirror Lake Centre and the Community Centre Fieldhouse voting stations for voters, particularly with transportation concerns. “More details will follow on the bus service,” said City of Camrose returning officer/deputy manager  Kim Isaak.
“The City will not be offering the free bus service to the CRE, because it is a bit too far to include in the hourly route.
“We would like to encourage individuals who do have their own transportation to go out to the CRE as we will have more voting tabulators at that location, which may make it a faster voting location.”
Elections for local school boards, Battle River Regional Division No. 31 and Elk Island Catholic Separate Regional Division No. 41, occur on the same day as the City of Camrose.
Visit the City of Camrose website at www.camrose.ca/en/your-government for complete details on the October 18 election.

Remembering and honouring

10 cfd 911 tribute hats
Camrose Fire Department Chief Peter Krich, right, and Deputy Chief Joe Mah placed helmets on a table in honour of all fallen firefighters.

By Lori Larsen

Saturday, September 11 marked the 20th anniversary honouring the 2,977 lives lost, the sacrifices made, and the changes our world underwent as the result of the horrific acts of terrorists.
On September 11, 2001, at 8:45 a.m., the shatter of the north tower of the World Trade Centre in New York City that was struck by a jetliner at the control of terrorists, was felt around the world.
In honour of all those who lost their lives and all those forever impacted, memorials have been set up at the original World Trade Centre site in New York City, at the Pentagon in Arlington County, Virginia and in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Out of the dust settling around the events of that day came a flood of heroes: who risked everything to help those who may have otherwise perished.
Regular citizens, volunteers and all emergency service personnel never gave a second thought to the peril in which they put their own lives in order to save others.
An estimated 17,400 people had been in the Twin Towers that fateful morning, of which approximately 87 per cent were safely evacuated thanks to the courage and heroic efforts of New York City police officers, Port Authority police officers and New York (area) firefighters.
But the losses to the brethren of emergency services was heavy, with 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers making the ultimate sacrifice and losing their lives.
During a solemn ceremony held on Saturday, September 11 from 10:30 until 11:30 a.m., members of the Camrose Fire Department and honourary guests paid a somber tribute to the lives and those who gave their lives during the 9/11 attacks.
“On September 11, 2001, 20 years ago, we saw the tragedy unfold in New York City as the Twin Towers were hit resulting in the loss of many lives, including 343 firefighters,” noted Camrose Fire Chief Peter Krich.
“Saturday, September 11, 2021 was a time when the world’s communities recognized and honoured the sacrifices that firefighters make to ensure that their communities and environment are as safe as possible.”
In a symbolic gesture of support, Camrose Fire Department Chief Peter Krich and Deputy Chief Joe Mah placed firefighters’ helmets on a table in honour of all the fallen firefighters.
“The members of the Camrose Fire Department, led by our Honour Guard, held a special memorial service at the Fire Station to remember those who were “Lost but not forgotten” with a special Bell Ceremony and prayer.”
It is because of the dedication of these incredibly selfless people (for the most part, volunteers) that we are able to feel a sense of security in our own community.
Thank you for answering the call.

Screen test at mobile clinic throughout province

By Murray Green

September marks the 30th anniversary of Alberta Health Services (AHS) screen test mobile mammography.
Screen Test Mobile is a service provided by AHS as part of the Alberta Breast Cancer Screening Program. Staffed by a team of technologists, the two 53-foot mobile screening units are clinics on wheels.
AHS continually strives to help reduce barriers to healthcare by providing free breast cancer screening where women live. The mobile units visit 120 rural and remote communities across Alberta, including 26 Indigenous communities, to offer high quality digital screening mammograms that consistently meet or exceed national standards.
Since launching the mobile mammography service in 1991, Screen Test has completed more than 308,500 screening mammograms (breast x-rays) and found 1,845 cases of breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most common cancer found in women and the second leading cause of female cancer deaths in Alberta.
The good news: having regular screening mammograms is the best way to find breast cancer early, before there are symptoms and when treatment may work better. Remember, breast cancer screening is for people who may feel healthy and have no symptoms.
If you’re 50 to 74 years of age, you are encouraged to make screening mammograms part of your regular health routine. Get screened every two years or as decided by you and your healthcare provider. Talk to your healthcare provider if you have questions or concerns about your breast health.
Visit screeningforlife.ca to learn more and to see when the mobile units are coming to a community near you.

Kurek fights for Battle River-Crowfoot

By Murray Green

Damien Kurek is representing the Conservative Party, which has the chance of forming a new federal government.
“It has been a huge honour to serve as the Conservative MP for Battle River-Crowfoot over the last two years, fighting for East Central Alberta, good governance, and the rural values we represent. From my experience before politics to my time in office, I am equipped and ready to keep fighting to secure the future for Battle River-Crowfoot,” Kurek said.
“Over the course of the last two years, I have ensured that constituents are engaged in every aspect of my role as an MP and am committed to continuing that. Further, with COVID restrictions changing the way we communicate, I have been creative in ensuring that folks here are involved in every way possible. Plus, as has been possible, I’ve been travelling to every corner of this constituency, connecting with folks in person. Then, and this is the key, I have made sure those perspectives are heard in the House of Commons,” added Kurek.
“Canadians are frustrated, divided and looking for leadership that gets our nation back on track. In the midst of the challenges we face, Conservatives are proposing a comprehensive plan that provides leadership for Canada’s recovery. We also need to ensure that rural Alberta is stood up for, that ethics and good governance are restored, and that our economy can once again grow. Plus, it is clear that the tired and corrupt Trudeau Liberals need to go, and Conservatives are the only party positioned to do that.
“In Canada’s recovery plan, we have a clearly outlined plan to secure domestic supply chains for essential goods, something that has been highlighted because of the pandemic. This includes medical supplies and all aspects of Canadian manufacturing. We also need to ensure that as a trading nation, we do so with reliable partners, decreasing our dependence on China,” explained Kurek.
“Fiscal restraint is key, and while support was needed during the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we need to ensure that the long-term monetary situation of our nation is secure. Liberals have spent without regard to the consequences and have nearly doubled our national debt. Canada’s Conservatives are committed to being fiscally responsible, balancing the budget within a decade, and providing transparency in Canada’s finances. This also includes addressing the rising rate of inflation that is increasing the cost of everything, something we are committed to do,” said Kurek.
“Conservatives are committed to securing our environment, while repealing the Liberals’ Carbon tax and working collaboratively with industry and provinces to solve the environmental challenges we face. The Trudeau Liberals have an Ottawa-centered, heavy-handed approach that drives up costs for everyone and punishes Canadians. Conservatives are committed to working with provinces, encouraging innovation, recognizing our world-leading environmental standards and introducing creative solutions to those challenges,” shared Kurek.
“Conservatives are committed to ensuring that the federal government works collaboratively with provinces to address the current gaps in our health care system. This includes treating mental health and the serious issue it is, and we are committed to doubling the federal health transfer to provinces. Also, this includes addressing Canadians who do not currently have prescription coverage. We will pioneer a responsible approach that allows those who need it to receive coverage while not imposing on provincial jurisdiction and not allowing costs to balloon out of control,” Kurek said.
Questions for federal candidates
  • Briefly describe your background and why you agreed to be a candidate.
  • How do you plan on involving residents in the decision making processes within Battle River-Crowfoot?
  • What are some of the most important issues/challenges regarding Canada on the national stage?
  • How would you promote manufacturing growth within our country, instead of relying on countries such as China to make products for us?
  • How would you and your party tackle the massive debt Canada has and balance the budget in the future?
  • Canadians need to address climate change, but carbon tax isn’t working. What would you and your party do to tackle the problem before it is too late?
  • Nine out of 10 Canadians want a universal pharmacare and better health care. What would you and your party do to give Canadians access to medicines and care they need?
  • The top five issues of importance for Albertans don’t overlap with the top five issues for other Canadians. What would you or your party do to be heard by all Canadians?

Ratushniak fights for better health

By Murray Green

Tonya Ratushniak is representing the New Democratic Party in the federal election.
“As a mental health professional, this has been an incredibly hard 18 months for my patients and my peers. This has shown me that it is time for our community to have a new voice. The NDP prioritizes many of the same values that I do.
“I am a registered psychiatric nurse and mental health therapist who works at St. Mary’s Hospital in Camrose. I presently serve as the president of the College of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CRPNA). I am also on the board that writes the national exam for psychiatric nurses, as well as the exam guide. I am often invited to speak at universities and schools because I am so passionate about mental health. I was the mayor of New Norway for a term. I have been on the board of CDSS, a volunteer firefighter and have had many opportunities to volunteer at school and community events. I am the mother of three wonderful young men and have been married to my husband for 24 years,” shared Ratushniak.
“I believe that a healthy democracy is maintained by having alternative viewpoints heard. This belief is what has brought me to run as a candidate in our upcoming federal election,” she added.
“An MP represents everyone in their district, not only those who voted for them. It is important to participate in local events with as much diversity as possible, not simply follow a Twitter feed,” suggested Ratushniak.
“Have a solid COVID-19 recovery plan. Jobs, of course, are important, but as a country, we need to be future orientated and think instead about careers. Childcare is the smartest investment we can make in our future and our economy. We should not have to choose between a family or a career. Remove barriers to secondary learning. Protect pensions for everyone and security for seniors. We need to confront the opioid epidemic and be mindful that mental health might become our next pandemic,” said Ratushniak.
“First of all, we need to expand the critical domestic manufacturing capacity and supply chain for auto, aerospace, construction materials, shipbuilding, pharmaceuticals, food sources and personal protective equipment. We need to scale up, train and retain the highly skilled Canadian workforce. All federal projects will require the use of Canadian-made steel, aluminum, lumber, cement and wood,” explained Ratushniak.
“I am so glad you asked this question (budget). We need to make the tax system fairer. The federal government loses in excess of $100 billion every year to loopholes and expenditures. Loopholes makes our tax code more complex (3,000-plus pages) so that only the ultra-wealthy and lobbyist understand the legal and accounting maneuvers required to pay little or sometimes zero tax. The wealth of Canada’s billionaires has increased by 78 billion since March 2020, while 5.5 million Canadian workers lost their job. We need a wealth/luxury tax,” she said.
“Canada is the only G7 country whose emissions have gone up since the Paris agreement. We can’t let the biggest polluters off the hook. The NDP has set a target of reducing Canada’s emissions by at least 50 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030. Review financial legislation to ensure that federal financial levers and crown corporations are aligned with the goal of net-zero. Develop framework for corporate climate accountability,” Ratushniak said.
“Pharmacare saves money. Instead of the current provincial patchwork system we have, we would have the buying power of Costco instead of Kim’s Convenience Store. A national pharmacare program means access to necessary medicines, medical devices and treatments. Canadians would not have to choose between the medicine they need and other essentials like food and rent,” said Ratushniak.
“Electoral and parliamentary reform would help local citizens be better represented in parliament. Electoral reform is one of the main reasons Canadians believed Trudeau would act on his promise, and then he broke it. If we want different results, we need to make different choices. Conservatives know that they get Alberta votes by default…for decades. The Liberals know it is too much work for not enough gain, to hear Albertans. You have a better choice, an NDP choice.”

Girvan ready to serve on council

By Murray Green

John Girvan is a Camrose County candidate in Division 7 (Hay Lakes-Armena).
“Prior to seeking election as the councillor for Division 7, I volunteered to work on the Miquelon Lake Growth Management Plan, which led me to volunteer in 2010 to serve on the Agricultural Service Board and the Intermunicipal Subdivision and Development Appeal Board, of which I am the current chair,” said Girvan.
“In the community, I have served as the president and past president of the Camrose and District Farmers’ Market Association. I had a successful career with the Alberta government and retired as the head of Epidemiology, Toxicology and Surveillance in 2008. I had thought about running before and agreed to stand for election now, since we are entering a time of change in the County and several of my neighbours and friends encouraged me to run,” he shared.
“As the councillor for Division 7, I am open to hear from residents regarding their issues and to represent them at council meetings. I feel I am a good listener and use the WAIT (why am I talking) principle when I speak with customers or spoke with staff. I can apply that experience when listening to residents.
“One issue that I feel strongly about is ensuring we manage the ratepayers’ tax dollars through prioritizing budgetary expenditures and projects; and oppose the downloading of costs to the municipalities for rural policing and forgiveness of property taxes to oil companies. These continue to represent budgetary challenges for council to try and address with governments, especially going forward,” said Girvan.
“Working with the Economic Development Committee, councillors can provide support to attract more value added agricultural and other industrial businesses; and quoting from a popular movie, “If you build it, they will come” and that is what the previous council has done in committing to bringing a reliable source of water to our industrial parks. I feel there are opportunities to explore to decrease our reliance on fossil fuels to produce energy through encouraging solar farms and geothermal conversion of abandoned oil wells. We know it will take time and the time is ‘the sooner the better’,” said Girvan.
Fiscal challenges will continue to be an issue for the future council. “We will need to ensure we can deliver programs and services to residents that they need to thrive in the County, like agricultural services, road maintenance, fire suppression and policing and, at the same time, look for efficiencies in the system.
“Council has been part of several good decisions in the past term: the relocation and construction of the new seed cleaning plant in the Millang Industrial Park, a regional fire hall serving Edberg, Ferintosh and New Norway, municipal water lines to industrial parks, the Intermunicipal Collaborative Framework, Recreation Service and Fire Service agreements with the City of Camrose, to name a few. What I would like to be part of would be exploring an expansion to a regional water system for residents. The drought this year brought home to me the importance of a reliable source of domestic water,” said Girvan.
“Living in the County, and particularly in Division 7, what I appreciate most are the residents I have come to know and the opportunities we have as residents.”

Murphy runs for City of Camrose council in October election

By Lori Larsen

Longtime Camrosian Joy-Anne Murphy is running for City of Camrose council in the upcoming municipal election.
Murphy has lived,  worked and been an active  volunteer in Camrose for 20 years. “I’m a musician and educator who leads community choirs and teaches both privately and at Augustana,” commented Murphy. “I have a strong interest in current events and a passion for contributing to a healthy, thriving community.”
Having worked with people of all ages and backgrounds has helped her hone her organizational, planning and communication skills and develop a wide range of perspectives.
“I’m committed to making sure that the systems we have in place at the municipal level work effectively for Camrosians to be heard, and creating opportunities for access for anyone who might have barriers. The Alberta Urban Municipalities Association has an initiative called ‘Welcoming and Inclusive Communities’ that I would follow up on.”
Murphy said she believes some of the City’s recovery from the impacts of this past year and a half can be addressed through innovative changes. “It’s time to review our Municipal Sustainability Plan (2010) to see if it still suits Camrose’s needs. The proposed Environmental Master Plan could link this and our other planning documents. Our sourcing for drinking water will also soon be a consideration.”
She spoke about the importance of seeking a new and improved police facility and evolving programs and services that best direct policing services.
“I would continue to look at rejuvenating Main Street, and continue the move toward improved accessibility throughout the City. Our transit service could include an east-west run on the main highway, and better connection to northern Camrose. I would also love to find a way to provide community access to Edmonton again.”
In speaking on future growth, Murphy said, “Business and industry need people, just like communities need employers. Ensuring we continue to have a beautiful and vibrant place where people want to live goes a long way to promoting growth. Camrose can be proud of being a hub for health care and post-secondary education.
“Moving forward, we need initiatives that take advantage of that ‘hub’ placement while making us self-sufficient, and strengthening connections with surrounding communities.”
With regards to the fiscal challenges faced by the City, she commented, “There has been some provincial legislation that resulted in changes in both municipal authority and funding. Council will need to manage newly limited resources; this means finding ways to plan that are responsible and sustainable in constrained circumstances.”
Murphy remarked that the current council has had to deal with a number of curve balls in terms of unexpected costs and circumstances. “The Aquatic Centre renovation, for example, had issues no one would have predicted, that were handled as well as possible under the circumstances.
“The impacts of the pandemic have been challenging. We need community leaders with the skills of collaboration, long-range and broad vision. We need engagement, communication, resourcefulness, and astute management.”
Praising Camrose for its small-town feeling with big-city amenities and wide-ranging support for recreation, arts and culture, Murphy concluded,  “All my work in the arts and education over the years has helped me see how generous, culturally appreciative, and community-minded Camrosians can be.”

Questions posed to the City of Camrose mayor and councillor candidates:
How do you plan on involving residents in the decision-making processes within the City of Camrose?
What are some of the most important issues/challenges regarding the City of Camrose that you feel can be addressed through council?
How would you promote growth within the City of Camrose, particularly bringing industry/employment to the City?
What are the biggest fiscal challenges in the City of Camrose, and what do you envision as the best way to address them?
In your opinion, of what decision has council been a part in the past four years that has had the most impact on the City of Camrose?
What do you cherish most about life in the City of Camrose?

McBlain keeps Malibu in the family

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MALIBU STYLE
Ian McBlain still has his 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu that he had in high school. He bought his grandfather’s car and has restored it twice over the years to keep it running smooth and looking well.


By Murray Green

Ian McBlain of Camrose owns a classy 1969 Chevrolet Chevelle Malibu.
“I bought the car when I was 16, and it was my grandfather’s (Thomas) vehicle,” shared Ian.
The Malibu holds special meaning for him as he keeps the vehicle in the family. “It was a BC car originally. When my grandfather passed away, I bought it from the estate. I restored it in the ’80s the first time, and then two years ago, I re-did some body work again, so it is the second time for a restoration,” explained Ian.
“I re-did all of the body work because it had some rust coming back around the vinyl top and things like that. I had some help from Greasy D’s, Damien from Daysland, he did a beautiful job.”
The Malibu featured a  307 motor originally. “I have kept that same motor. I overhauled the motor in the ’80s and I upgraded it a bit with 327 heads and added an Elderbrock carb, so I’m running about the same power that a 350 would give me. It has a 350 turbo transmission with a stage 2 shift kit, duel exhaust and headers,” said Ian.
Stages 1 to 3 differ by the firmness at which the box changes gear. A stage 2 transmission is a little stronger, and will shift a little harder due to more clutches.
“I really like the looks of the Chevelle. I also like the ride. We go to Radium just about every year to a car show, and we just get in the car and drive six or seven hours. You don’t have a sore back, it is a very comfortable car to drive and it is lots of fun. I get thumbs up all of the time when I’m cruising. Just a fun car to drive,” said Ian.
The Chevrolet Malibu is a mid-size car manufactured and marketed by Chevrolet from 1964 to 1983 and since 1997. The Malibu began as a trim-level of the Chevrolet Chevelle.
“The car has the original interior and everything, which is dark green. Outside, the original colour was butternut yellow. That colour didn’t do anything for me. I didn’t want to change the interior, so I was on the fence on whether to paint it black or green. I found this green colour (jade green) and I went with it. That is one of the biggest compliments I receive about the car–the colour of it. I decided that I wanted to get away from the usual blacks and reds,” continued Ian.
Named after the coastal community of Malibu, California, the Malibu was marketed primarily in North America.
“I remember lots of cruising with this vehicle. I’ll be honest with you, when I bought it at age 16, I didn’t have any intentions of doing what I have done to this car. As time went on, I decided to put more work into it. Now it has sentimental value to me, I enjoy it and it is a lot of fun. A lot of people don’t hang onto their cars that long. I want to pass it on to someone in my family to keep it going.”
FUN FACTS
The first Malibu was a top-line subseries of the mid-sized Chevrolet Chevelle from 1964 to 1972. Malibus were generally available in a full range of body styles including a four-door sedan, two-door Sport Coupe hardtop, convertible and two-seat station wagon. Interiors were more lavish than lesser
 300 and 300 Deluxe models, thanks to patterned cloth and vinyl upholstery (all vinyl in convertibles and station wagons), deep-twist carpeting, deluxe steering wheel and other items.
New grilles and rear decks with revised taillights highlighted the 1969 Malibus and other Chevelles. Instrument panels were revised and front seat headrests were now standard equipment due to federal safety mandate. The ignition switch moved from the instrument panel to the steering column and also doubled as a steering wheel lock. The 307 continued as the base V8, but the 327 engines were replaced by new 350 (5.7 L) V8s of 255 and 300 horsepower. GM’s three-speed Turbo Hydra-Matic transmission, previously only offered on SS-396 Chevelles, was now available on all models with all engines (THM400s were used with the 396), while the THM350 RPO M38 (first introduced with the Camaro and Nova) was phased in with the small blocks optioned.

City council discusses the feasibility of transit service

By Lori Larsen

During the Committee of Whole meeting held on September 7, City of Camrose council discussed the possibility of continuing a Camrose Connector commuter service from Camrose to Edmonton.
The Camrose Connector service was a pilot program funded by the provincial government, operated by Red Arrow and administered by the City of Camrose, that ran from September 4, 2018 until March 26 of this year, after which the province announced the funding for the program would no longer be available.
Originally, the Connector schedule included three trips per day Monday to Friday from Camrose to various locations in Edmonton. In August 2019, a revised schedule replaced the Tuesday trips for trips on Sunday with a new stop in Hay Lakes.
Since the discontinuation of the service, several residents have expressed a desire for the City to investigate a way to reinstate the service, or a similar service, to provide transportation to those who may not have other means to access Edmonton.
Mayor Norm Mayer began the discussion saying that he had been considering contacting Red Arrow to determine if there were any statistics available on the ridership and cost of the project to see if it was viable to consider running some sot of commuter between Camrose and Edmonton.
“It might be premature to think of at this stage in light of what is happening with COVID,” said Mayor Mayer.
Councillor Kevin Hycha asked for a synopsis of the project ridership and cost. “I have heard a lot of concern from people disappointed that it (Connector) is not running, especially with Augustana back in full swing. There is a lot of need for that transportation.”
City of Camrose Engineering Services manager Jeremy Enarson replied, “We can only compare with the service we provided, which was five days per week. If it were to be only a one-day-a-week service, obviously the numbers would be significantly different.”
Enarson explained that based on a typical month of the Connector operation (22 days on average), the cost to operate the service was just shy of $25,000.
“We looked at the cost of running that pilot project, which at that time was fully subsidized beyond revenues, by the province.
Enarson said that typically the bus, during peak times, had around three to four riders per trip.
“When it was shut down for COVID and then reopened again, our ridership was only about one rider per trip.
“Just to look at a break even, with no subsidy from the province or municipality, we would need about 10 riders per trip.”
He added that if a private entity were to consider offering the shuttle service between Camrose and Edmonton, that company may be able to find other ways to optimize that cost.
Hycha asked if the pilot project ever saw 10 riders per trip, to which Enarson replied, not for an average trip.
“We would see a peak on Friday afternoon when people were heading back to Edmonton, or on Sunday when they were coming back to Camrose.”
Hycha inquired as to whether or not administration felt the project was gaining momentum to be able to reach 10 riders (prior to COVID).
Enarson said that the ridership was building, but it was difficult to get the ridership up to 10 on a regular basis.
Councillor Max Lindstrand commented, “I recall from experience we had when running the Connector bus, two of the larger groups using that service were the international students and faculty from the University of Alberta Augustana Campus and also seniors with appointments (in Edmonton).”
Lindstrand supported the idea of the City exploring the cost of a reduced service. “I think five days a week is not a reasonable level of service due to the current circumstances. We could look at a two-day-a-week service with maybe Mondays and Fridays to begin. Then perhaps the seniors could organize their appointments, and certainly it would service the university students quite well. I think it is something that the community needs.”
Councillor Agnes Hoveland remarked, “I recently came across something about the bus service between Canmore and Banff, Southland Transportation. They state that they specialize in bus transportation throughout Alberta and Saskatchewan. I was wondering if there is an opportunity to maybe explore this company. I would support looking into something that would provide a connection.”
Mayor Mayer suggested a follow-up with possible proposal once the situation with COVID dictates.

Banack runs for City of Camrose council in October election

By Lori Larsen

Longtime Camrosian Lucas Banack is running for City of Camrose council in the upcoming October 18 municipal election.
Banack, who grew up in and around the Camrose area, said Camrose has always been the central hub for his family.
He has served the community in a variety of ways, both in his professional career and as a volunteer and participant.
“I spent years in local media, both in radio and as a contributor to print media,” said Banack. “And for the past four years, I have been working in real estate.”
He has proudly given back to the community through several organizations including: Special Olympics, Boys and Girls Club, coaching basketball and was honoured as the Camrose Chamber of Commerce Ambassador of the Year (2017). “I’m an ardent supporter of athletics and there isn’t a weekend you won’t find me supporting the Vikings, Kodiaks or my nephews and nieces at the rink.”
Banack said as the City progresses and becomes more diversified, it is vital all members of the community have input. “Whether that’s through online surveys, town hall forums or mail-outs, it’s imperative that we seek the community’s input when making large decisions involving the community.”
Looking ahead at some of the concerns facing council, Banack remarked, “There are many issues facing the upcoming council including replacing aging infrastructure, continuing to address the pandemic and supporting local business through it, and recruiting new business to the community.”
He commented on the effective job the current council has done in helping   to navigate through both the pandemic and other financial issues. “My hope is to continue to and exceed the standard that they have set in dealing with these hurdles. Addressing the Land Use Bylaw and public transportation are two things I hope the new council will be able to look at early in the new term.”
He indicated that Camrose has great opportunities to recruit new business to the community. “It’s a matter of branding and showing companies that this is the ideal community to not only build their headquarters, but raise their families. We should be encouraging the growth of small business in the community, both in helping new small business get off the ground, but also helping existing small businesses expand their footprints in the community.”
Keeping taxes low, maintaining the current infrastructure, expansion and affordable housing are all fiscal challenges that Banack feels need to be addressed by council. “We encourage our taxpayers to shop local, so council should be trying to do so as much as possible. We also need to work together with our community, provincial and federal partners to make sure that Camrose is getting the best deal possible when it comes to funding from other levels of government.”
Initiatives and projects such as the newly renovated Aquatic Centre and the Waste Water Treatment Plant are decisions made by council that Banack said will have long-term benefits for the community.
Finally, he said the Lougheed and Bailey theatres, expansive sports programs, a variety of fantastic events throughout the year and great social programs make Camrose the great place it is to live and work. “I cherish the people of Camrose most, as they are the ones who make all these things, from the sports and drama programs to the events, possible and successful. Without them, this city wouldn’t be as vibrant and amazing as it is today.”
Questions posed to the City of Camrose mayor and councillor candidates:
How do you plan on involving residents in the decision-making processes within the City of Camrose?
What are some of the most important issues/challenges regarding the City of Camrose that you feel can be addressed through council?
How would you promote growth within the City of Camrose, particularly bringing industry/employment to the City?
What are the biggest fiscal challenges in the City of Camrose, and what do you envision as the best way to address them?
In your opinion, of what decision has council been a part in the past four years that has had the most impact on the City of Camrose?
What do you cherish most about life in the City of Camrose?

Order driver abstracts, vehicle reports online

By Murray Green

Albertans can now order driver abstracts and vehicle information reports online.
“By offering more services online, we’re ensuring that Albertans have more options to access government services, including from the comfort of their home, on the couch, at midnight. We continue to work together with our registry agent partners to identify more services that can be accessed conveniently from your smartphone or computer,” said Nate Glubish, Minister of Service Alberta.
A driver abstract is a printed summary of an Albertan’s driving record, including merit and demerit points, convictions and suspensions. Standard and commercial driver abstracts are available for order online using a verified MyAlberta Digital ID.
A vehicle information report shows the history of a vehicle, including description (make, model, year), status (active, rebuilt), registration dates and locations, and any liens registered against the vehicle. Vehicle information reports can be ordered online with a basic MyAlberta Digital ID.
A verified ID allows Albertans to authenticate their identity using their driver’s licence or identification card and access their personal and confidential motor vehicle information without requiring  in-person service.
A basic MyAlberta Digital ID, needed to obtain such services as a vehicle information report, can be set up without the applicant verifying their identity using their driver’s licence.
Albertans are able to download their driver abstract and vehicle information reports directly from MyAlberta eServices after they have been purchased.
The following registry services are also available online through MyAlberta eServices: birth registrations and birth certificate ordering, and one-year registration renewals for passenger vehicles, motorcycles, off-highway vehicles and some commercial and farm vehicles.
The services are available through the MyAlberta eServices portal.

Annual Terry Fox Run offers cancer hope

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Anne McIntosh and her son Leo Schinkinger model the Terry Fox Run t-shirt that features Métis beadwork and Michif language (Try Like Terry) on them.

By Murray Green


The annual Terry Fox Run has become a fall tradition in Canada, with more than 650 communities, big and small, urban and rural, English and French, fundraising for cancer research.
This year, you can participate from wherever you are on Sunday, September 19, while socially distancing from others.
You can still walk, ride, wheel or run on your own or in your cohort.
Amongst COVID-19, cancer definitely continues to impact so many and contributions are still needed for the Terry Fox foundation.
“Our family will be coming together on that day to do a family walk to honour Terry, along with our family members who we have lost to cancer, as well as our friends and family who have battled and are currently battling cancer,” Anne McIntosh said.
“I am so happy that the Terry Fox Run provides an opportunity for us to unite (this year, in our own unique way) with fellow community members affected by cancer to honour Terry’s memory and to honour the memories of those we have lost to cancer (which for me, includes my mom Heather, my uncle Bob and my aunt Faye), and all those who are currently working to conquer cancer. I am hopeful that the Camrose walk will be able to welcome participants to gather again together in person in 2022.”
“This September, help celebrate a favourite Canadian fall tradition that will look a little different, but have the same heart. Find Your Way and make a difference in the lives of millions of Canadians. Your effort will ensure that cancer research continues to move us closer to a cure every day,” said Anne.
The Terry Fox Foundation is an international organization whose mission is to maintain the vision and principles of Terry Fox while raising money for cancer research through the annual Terry Fox Runs, school runs and other fundraising initiatives.
Deanna Mason is holding a fundraiser for the run as well on Saturday, September 18, from 10 to 11 a.m. at Jubilee Park. Attendees do not have to pre-register and participation will be by donation.
The yoga class is for everyone and requires no prior experience of yoga.
“I was born the same year as Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope and grew up hearing stories of Terry’s courage and of my mother seeing him during his visit to Ottawa, my hometown. In 2014, my connection to the Terry Fox Run became even more personal. While my husband Brandon and I were running in support of my father Murray, who was diagnosed with cancer; my dad passed away. This year, I’ll run in honour of my dad, as well as my mom and father-in-law, who are both cancer survivors,” said Deanna
“Being part of Camrose’s fundraising for the Terry Fox Foundation is an honour for Ahimsa Yoga with Deanna. Offering a by-donation yoga class that is open to all ages and abilities gives Camrosians another option as a tribute to Terry’s memory and supporting the many people whose lives have been affected by cancer. I like to think that yoga, with its emphasis on being present in the moment, is something Terry would have appreciated.”
Run participants are welcome to register at: tinyurl.com/terryfoxrun camrose and they can contact Anne at anne.mcintosh@ualberta.ca or 780-679-1198 if they have any questions or want more information. She can share pledge sheets and participation stickers.

Chamber holds virtual forum

By Murray Green

The Camrose and District Chamber of Commerce held a Virtual Federal Candidates Forum on September 8 to assist voters with making a decision for the upcoming election.
Moderator Shauna Feth, executive director of the Alberta Business Family Institute–University of Alberta School of Business, introduced the candidates and questions.
They included Daniel Brisbin of the Green Party of Canada; Jeff Golka of the Maverick Party; John Irwin of the Veterans Coalition Party of Canada; Damien Kurek of the Conservative Party of Canada; Tonya Ratushniak of the New Democratic Party; and Dennis Trepanier of the People’s Party of Canada. Leah Diane McLeod of the Liberal Party of Canada was not in attendance.
After introductions, the candidates were asked a variety of questions.
A lengthy question was asked on COVID-19 costs, balancing the budget and taxation.
“The COVID pandemic has brought about numerous challenges, including fiscal challenges. We have seen this around the world in every level of government. With Liberals, it was about how much money they could shovel out the door. We wanted it to be effective, getting it to the ones who needed it the most. We have targeted tax measures to ensure investment can come back to the country and spending is in check. We promise to balance the budget within a decade,” said Kurek.
“I am concerned about our numbers (COVID cases) going up and effecting people’s mental health. To get out of this pandemic, we have to help essential workers, the ones on the front lines. I support mandatory vaccinations for everyone who works with a vulnerable population. If we are not healthy, how can we help others get better? I agree, we need more funding for mental health and additions,” said Ratushniak.
“The Green Party wants to change the way people are taxed. We want less tax on the poor and much more on the ultra-wealthy. That can come in many forms. Luxury taxes can help with carbon emissions,” said Brisbin.
“COVID has been a challenge for all countries. We need to get people back to work. There is nothing more dignified then having a job with a day’s work and a day’s pay. We need people back to work and to decrease taxes for corporations to bring the workers back so they can earn a living and feed their families,” said Golka.
“We didn’t have to break the Canadian economy to do this. We should have helped the elderly, the sick, the immune compromised people. We didn’t have to go into a deficit. We can cut corporate welfare, foreign aid, equalization and healthcare duplication–that’s $43 billion on the table. We want freedom and not mandatory vaccines,” said Trepanier.
“We use a common sense approach and say no to mandatory vaccines. We need to cut politicians wages by 30 per cent, and cut foreign aid. We give foreign aid to China, of all places. Let’s invest in our elderly. Let’s give incentive to work,” said Irwin.
The question was asked, how does your party plan to support innovations across all sectors of industries?
“The primary way to do that is to boost the economy. This doesn’t happen in an economy that is crippled. If we are honest with each other, Canada is broke. We don’t have any money left. Prime Minister Trudeau spent it all. The economy has to be fixed first,” said Trepanier.
“Let people be self-sufficient. Let’s abolish the carbon taxes. Let’s get rid of taxes when buying or selling a home. Encourage people to be innovative. You don’t need permission from the state to be innovative,” said Irwin.
“We need innovation to let people of ingenuity shine through. We have plans to get us out of the state of economy we are in to get it moving. Whether it is cancelling GST on vacations, cutting red tape or allowing innovations, we need to allow Canadians to do what they do best,” said Kurek.
“You have to remove barriers to secondary education. Education transforms lives and our community. By eliminating the interest on federal loans and doubling Canada student grants, allowing them to have affordable housing, child care–all these things will help us focus on being more innovative,” said Ratushniak.
“We need way better public transportation. People in rural Alberta, who need to get into the city, if you don’t have a car or it breaks down, you can’t get to the city for your health care, go to your job interview or do what you need to do,” said Brisbin.
“We need to bolster our economy and get government out of our businesses. Let business do its research to develop programs to create higher paying jobs. We need more opportunities. If government is in the way constantly, it just seems to mess up the system. We have to get government out of the way and that brings in more jobs and innovation,” said Golka.
The candidates were asked, in regards to transfer payments, are you committed in supporting the Alberta government in getting a fair deal from the federal government, and what is your party’s plan to repair the rift between Alberta and Central Canada?
“I think Alberta has a long way to go to fix the rift. We (Alberta) are a voice that doesn’t get heard often. I think for real change, we need to change who we vote for, to represent us in Ontario,” said Ratushniak.
“Generally, there are more rich people in Alberta than in some other provinces. We get taxed more than we get back from the federal government. We need to look at it and make it fair. It is the working class against the ruling class. Let’s unite the working class to make this better,” said Brisbin.
“We will never get a fair deal in the west from Ottawa. It is not designed that way. It is designed to push funds to Central Canada, for Central Canada, unless we can vote in a party that can represent us in the west and has leverage in Ottawa. Quebec has people who stand up for Quebec, we need people to stand up for the west,” said Golka.
“Equalization was introduced in 1957, and the purpose was for the unity of Canada. It is doing the exact opposite as we see in Alberta today. We know we are not getting our fair share. We are clear on this, it is time it was abolished. It is not doing what it is supposed to do,” said Trepanier.
“I agree this can be adjusted in a few hours. Get rid of it and learn how to say no. Let’s work out a formula that keeps the country together. No more entitlement,” said Irwin.
“Let’s take a serious look at why this is an issue in this election. Back in 2006, we had a Liberal government that didn’t respect provinces. Here we are again. After six years, they have taken things to a whole new level of disrespect. Ottawa’s mentality doesn’t respect Western Canada and divides this country for political gain. I’ve been a voice of fixing this, talking about the need for Alberta to have that fair deal. We are going to have a rebate and make the formula transparent,” said Kurek.
For more details on the forum, visit the Lougheed Centre or Chamber of Commerce website.

BRCF accepts donation from K & K Prairie Recycling

K & K Prairie Recycling Services made a $100,000 donation to the Battle River Community Foundation.
In making the presentation, Tony Thomsen said, “The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic and social impacts have disrupted nearly all aspects of life for all groups in society, including the youth in our community. At K & K Recycling Services we are family and we believe that it takes a village to raise a child, we believe in our community and we believe in the youth. Many businesses have suffered through this pandemic, but we have grown and become even stronger. We knew that it was time to give back to our community, so we consulted with the Battle River Community Foundation, who provided professional guidance and presented us with opportunities to make a difference. On behalf of Kevin Morgan (CEO) and all of the K & K Prairie Recycling Services staff, we are very pleased to make a $100,000 donation to the Battle River Community Foundation, which will support the Camrose Open Door Youth Emergency Housing program over the next two years. We encourage other companies to donate to our community as you are able.”
Dana Andreassen said, “The Battle River Community Foundation is pleased to be one of the ways local businesses can connect to charities that serve residents of the Battle River area. We were happy to meet with officials from K & K Prairie Recycling Services to introduce them to some of the opportunities that mesh their corporate values with local needs.”
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Reflections

By Bonnie Hutchinson

Three-to-one odds
 
Heard any good news lately? That’s not a trick question. I’ve been reading stuff that says we need three positives to counteract the impact of one negative thing in our lives.
One of the researchers is Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a positivity researcher at the University of North Carolina. She says that for every heart-wrenching negative emotional experience you go through, you need to experience at least three heartfelt positive emotional experiences that uplift you. Given the environment around us these days, that is going to take a bit of effort!
***
Tough times. We’re living in hard times with the pandemic. It’s hard to stay positive with difficult new challenges most of us have never faced before. Plus, it doesn’t look like things are getting better any time soon.
That’s added to all the pressures we had before the virus. Those pressures did not go away. Some of those pre-virus pressures even got worse. Some days, it’s hard to find a gleam of light or something to smile or laugh about.
Hard-wired for negative. There’s another reason that creating three positives for every negative is going to take a bit of effort. We are hard-wired to look for the negative.
As Rick Hanson says, “The brain is like Velcro for negative experiences, but Teflon for positive ones.”
Flashback: I once did a presentation in which participants were asked to evaluate the speaker. Eighty participants wrote evaluations. Of those 80 evaluations, one was negative. That negative one was the only one I remembered.
Yep, we’re hard-wired to focus on the negative.
Why is that? Well, it’s probably a survival thing. Our brains are wired to look for danger. Good things are nice and all that, but our brains are set up to look for things that could harm us.
That brain characteristic might be trying to protect us–even save our lives–but it doesn’t make us feel positive. So, what can we control? Okay, there are things beyond our control. But what can we control?
Our words and actions.
Adam Miller, author of Creating Your Best Life, says, “In order to flourish, whether in a marriage, at work or in any other type of environment, you need three positive comments or interactions for every one negative.”
We can choose to use “three positives for every negative” in our words and actions with the people in our lives. Since I read that, I’ve been paying more attention to what I choose to speak about with others. Even if it’s a difficult topic, I’m conscious of attempting to use positive language and to be kind in those challenging conversations.
People. We can be intentional about the kind of people with whom we choose to spend time.
As much as we possibly can, we can choose to be with happy people and positive experiences. The more challenges and the more scary news to which we’re exposed, the more we need to seek out positive messages and connections. I remember having a friend who only ever talked about her unhappiness. Being with her always left me feeling drained. I didn’t exactly remove her from my life, but decided I just wouldn’t initiate contact with her. Gradually, over time, we stopped seeing each other. That was a good thing.
Positive messages don’t have to be from people who are close. A British Medical Journal report says a happy friend who lives within about a mile of you can raise your odds of being cheerful by about 25 per cent.
The happiness of a friend of a friend boosts your chances by about 10 per cent and the happiness of a friend of a friend of a friend lifts your cheerfulness by about five per cent.
To flip it around, the more we choose to be upbeat in our interactions with others, the more we contribute to their happiness and (no doubt) the more they will appreciate contact with us. That we can control.
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I’d love to hear from you! If you have comments about this column or suggestions for future topics, send a note to Bonnie@BonnieHutchinson.com. I’ll happily reply within one business day.

Births and Deaths

BIRTHS
- To Mary and Norris Pumihic, of Camrose, a son on August 24.
- To Katrina Aquirre-Mora and Francis Mora, of Camrose, a daughter on September 4.

DEATHS
- Helen Wollman, of Poe,on September 2, at 91 years of age.
- Lothar Seide, of  Camrose, on September 2, at 78 years of age.
- Verne Charles King, of Camrose, formerly of Hardisty, on September 4, at 84 years of age.
- Dale Smith, of Ferintosh, formerly of Grande Prairie, on September 6, at 79 years of age.
- Anne Theodora Laskosky, of Camrose, on September 7, at 91 years of age
- Laurie William Doucett, of Camrose, on September 8, at 72 years of age.
- Ronald Alfred Berkholtz, of Camrose, on September 9, at 78 years of age.