August 22, 2023
In regard to MLA Jackie Lovely’s article on Alberta’s finances, to state that the 2022-23 budget surplus was due to the UCP’s fiscal management skills is not the case. The surplus was the result of high oil prices caused by the escalation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
As for the UCP government funded investments in Alberta, these have proven to be white elephants and will never pay out. The list of PC and UCP investments that have been a waste of money is too long to list.
I list two–the magnesium plant at Aldersyde, which never operated, and the Redwater upgrader, which will never see a return on the investment.
How is that Alberta debt service costs exceed Alberta Heritage fund income? With all the wealth that has been generated the Heritage Trust income should exceed debt servicing costs. That was the Peter Lougheed model.
And finally, one only must compare the UCP’s 2023-24 budget estimate for WTI Oil with the current WTI price for oil.
Looks like the world will need another war for the UCP to balance the budget.
August 22, 2023
I view with distress our health care system.
Why are we not using nurse practitioners as the first line of defence in the health care system? Could they not play a greater role in the system by manning walk-in clinics, instead of people spending hours in emergency.
I don’t understand why when we are given a family doctor, we can no longer access the nurse practitioners who would play a great supporting role in our recuperation.
Journey of life
August 15, 2023
I assume that anyone reading this realizes our climate is not acting normally. We may disagree on the causes, but we cannot disagree on what is happening right before our eyes. A new El Nino has just begun and is forecast to be stronger than normal and usually lasts about three years. What we have witnessed this past few months looking at the world’s weather, is only going to get worse.
Based on my experience, most of my family and friends don’t want to talk about it because it is too divisive a subject. I would like to suggest that we must talk about it before we can do anything to try mitigate the effect on us.
Climate scientists who study ancient weather patterns tell us that the last 11,000 years have been unusually stable, with average temperatures showing very little variation. This set the stage for the agricultural revolution that led to more than eight billion humans living on earth now. We may able to feed that many and perhaps more due to technological advances and cheap energy if we get things right. War in prime agricultural areas does not bode well for us. That situation is likely to end abruptly and badly if climate becomes too erratic.
Every empire that has ever existed in human history has ended in collapse, no exceptions. It appears there will not be enough food energy available to all humans on this planet this year for many reasons. It is not going to get better if we cannot even talk about it.
Why are these subject taboo? We have a chance to solve problems if we face them. We have no chance if we bury our heads in the sand. Let’s talk about this critically important subject.
There is another subject we need to talk about. It is the lack of political leadership throughout the world. Instead of putting down leaders like Dr. Charley Boyd we need to discuss her critique of the system, not blindly following politicians who don’t know what they are doing.
Time is running out.
United we stand
August 15, 2023
Wonder why so many submissions to this site focus on criticizing provincial MLA performance? It’s called political distraction. Alberta’s enemy and profound fear isn’t with internal politics, it’s Ottawa and the Trudeau Liberal government. To survive, Alberta must have a strong, committed and united government team. You decide which party you would trust most.
Let History vindicate. In 1980, Pierre Trudeau’s majority Liberal government imposed a Socialist National Energy Policy (NEP) on western Canada’s energy industry. It mandated the price of domestic production to be half of world price (i.e. what other producing countries earned and consuming countries paid) for energy supplies. Eastern Canada relied on off-shore energy at world price, thus the NEP mitigated their pain and presumably their voting support.
Alberta’s real estate values and employment plunged, effecting all business and house-hold stability. Exploration all but ceased as drilling and service rigs, and their crews, fled to the USA (refer to an excellent book on this dreadful era–Oilpatch Jeopardy: Torn In The USA. Alberta’s economy collapsed, as it did throughout Canada, as foreign investors promptly fled.
In 1984, threatened with a nation-wide depression, voters wisely replaced Trudeau with the majority Conservative government of Brian Mulroney. True to his electoral promise, within a year the NEP was eradicated and the slow process of recovery began. Just in time.
In 2025, eastern Canada will reward Justin Trudeau with a majority Liberal government and he will complete his father’s ill-informed and destructive intentions. Why?
Ottawa bulldozes, not shovels, public funds into Ontario and Quebec for just about any venture (while in western Canada the Liberals recently announced phasing out of all subsidises to fossil fuel projects, green-themed or not). Examples: (1) $16 Billion recent subsidy by tax payers for an electric car battery plant in Ontario to create 2,500 jobs. Yes, $6.4 million to buy each job. (2) Quebec carbon tax burden by 2030 is restricted to 23 cents/litre versus 37 cents/litre for the rest of Canada (Source–Canadian Tax Payer Federation).
Rather than stressing over critising or challenging my submission, simply wait till 2025 and you won’t have to.
May 23, 2023
Camrose is a wonderful small city in which to live. It is small enough that one can easily walk from the outskirts to the town core. The natural areas along Camrose Creek are beautiful including Mirror Lake that, although not formed naturally, has existed long enough that nature has taken over.
In addition, the creek valley extends down to join up with the Battle River, giving those with a bent for more strenuous hiking and skiing a great opportunity. At one time, there was even a small ski tow along the valley bank, as the bank is high enough above the creek to allow this. The trail extends through almost a wilderness, all the way to the river. We can thank the Ski Club for building and maintaining these trails.
Unfortunately, the City administration does not appreciate how wonderful it is to have these natural areas right in town. A few years back, there existed a beautiful little beaver pond on which one could observe the growth and maturity of a mother goose’s brood.
Tragically, the City thoughtlessly decided beavers are pests that should be eradicated. I couldn’t bear to ever again walk that trail, having to observe the dried up creek, the backhoe remains of the dam and the thought of how cruel and thoughtless it was to trap and kill the innocent beavers.
Fortunately, I found another little trail, the Bulrush Trail. We watched as the summer progressed, the leaves of the many varieties of bushes emerging, the blossoms and berries. The creek winds though a swampy area where fresh cattails develop all summer, eventually to observe the tidy seed bunches giving the plant its name.
Then, excitedly, we began to notice the level of the water was rising a little each day. We explored down stream and found a small beaver dam. Next, we met this guy driving his truck on the trail. Inquiring, we found that the City had hired him to trap the beavers.
I phoned, but never received a reply. Later, we observed the water still rising a little. The beavers had built a house and were collecting little branches they store under the water for their winter food supply. Wonderful, the trapper had relented and didn’t kill our beavers. This spring, beaver activity did not appear right away and I was concerned that they had not survived the winter. But joy, the dam is being raised and there are fresh cuttings of small poplars.
Then horrors, the trap warning signs are up again. I will never walk this trail again until I hear that the City has stopped this cruel and thoughtless destruction of nature, found unfortunately so commonly among humans.
Arnold Baker, Camrose
May 23, 2023
When I was two years old, I ran into the path of a riding lawn mower and lost my right leg below the knee. It all happened so fast: one moment, I was playing outside and the next, I was too close to the mower.
Having grown up as part of the War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, I am now committed to spreading the association’s PLAYSAFE message. With lawn cutting season upon us, I want everyone to know that kids should not ride, operate or play near lawn mowers.
Though I’ve learned to accept and appreciate who I am today, I want to use my experience to help prevent others from going through what I did. Make sure children are always at a safe distance from lawn mowers. And don’t underestimate the importance of safety when operating any machinery. I urge you to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you.
If you would like to learn more about how to play safely and hear stories from other young amputees like me who have lost limbs in accidents, visit waramps.ca/playsafe.
May 23, 2023
There are all sorts of instances of what tenants can and will do when not paying for their own bills. I would like to make everyone aware that as landlords, we are trying to provide a service to the community in providing accommodations for people who need to rent.
Water bills are a very big part of our ongoing problems in doing our business. All tenants should pay all their own utilities as part of living, it would create a more responsible attitude towards leaving things running, turning off lights and towards life and their own well-being.
We all agree the City of Camrose should hold a deposit re: water bills and when the bill is too high, they notify and disconnect. A fairly hefty deposit has been installed, all other utilities do and they seem to survive. Also on accounts that are questionable, the City could introduce a double billing system for tenants and landlords, so all are aware of risk to both landlord and City as to tenants intentions. The $324 deposit now held by the City should be a large enough amount to realize recovery when a tenant is delinquent if everyone is notified accordingly.
If and when we as landlords try to control or inquire about supposed utilities not being hooked up or disconnected, we cannot do so due to privacy laws even on our own properties; heat in winter, excessive water bills due to a broken tap, running toilet that would be nice to fix.
With the constant increase in taxes from the City, higher insurance costs and higher interest rates on mortgages, large water bills as they seem to go up all the time, we are probably going to go out of business, which will put a larger strain on the city to provide housing in Camrose in the near future.
It will put a larger strain on the City to provide affordable housing. It seems as landlords we are balked, penalized and blamed for everything. And if all else fails, the City wants to add to it by having landlords do the collecting for them. The City is running a business, same as us. We do our own collecting. Although the onus could be on landlords in the future to inform the City of tenants walking out on rent, moving without notice, etc. so bills can be stopped. I have found that we get charged the full amount even when a house is empty and have notified the City (no water used, no garbage pickup or anything from the house).
When a tenant does not pay rent and has not moved, it takes up to three months to remove them through the system. The house could be filthy, damaged and repairs of $6,000 and up to fix, means another month of down time.
April 25, 2023
Most of us will agree that the last three years have been very difficult. During these many months, I have appreciated the effort made by The Booster to bring a grin and a giggle into the gloom.
“Booster Banter” has been such good fun. Also excellent has been the annual April Fool’s articles–very clever.
It bothers me to hear of people complaining because they were caught by the joke because they apparently did not read the entire article–their fault, not The Booster’s.
Maybe the issue goes deeper. It appears to me that people everywhere are in a mood to complain. There are demonstrators everywhere. Maybe we are all in a “crabby” mood. We need some humour to “lighten us up.”
With the comment by Emily Gillespie (April 18) that the April Fool’s article about a new hospital being taken seriously should not cause criticism of The Booster. First of all, read the whole article, realize that a new hospital would take five to eight years to finish. This is not a “quick fix.” It is time to appreciate a good joke for what it is.
Camrose Booster, I hope you will continue to be an integral part of our fine City of Camrose. I’m already looking forward to April 1, 2024.
April 25, 2023
It was with shock, disappointment, and sadness that we read about the disestablishment of the Downtown Camrose Business Improvement Area, once known as City Center Camrose, with less than half of the eligible businesses taking part in the vote.
The major mandates of the organization were to beautify and promote the downtown businesses. Much hard work by many volunteers from engaged and caring business owners was instrumental in creating the downtown as a vibrant, pleasant and exciting destination to shop and enjoy.
Because of the downtown association, we organized many events, such as Midnight Madness, Founders Days, Farmers’ Market, garage sales, Scandinavian Supper, Santa Claus Parade and more. Beautification projects included the planters throughout the downtown, the ones on Main Street with the unique rosemaling patterns commissioned by City Center. Other projects were the garbage containers, lights on the trees, and the historic information kiosks, all to promote our unique downtown.
The City Center board lobbied City council on behalf of downtown businesses on numerous occasions to present concerns and recommendations. City Center initiated meetings that resulted in the creation of Tourism Camrose.
City Center submitted the application and proposal, supported by City council, to the province for Camrose to be accepted into the Alberta Main Street Programme. Over the next decade the Camrose Main Street Project developed economic development strategies for the downtown and supported the restorations and improvements of 16 buildings.
The organization greatly enhanced the area, its businesses and was a strong united voice for not just the downtown, but for the City of Camrose.
It is a very sad day for Downtown Camrose.
Janice DePaoli, former downtown business owner,
Robert Earley, former City Center Camrose manager
April 18, 2023
Thinking back on my life to when I was young and stupid, just about to the age of 48 years, I would always get my back up and retaliate when wrongs were cast upon me, then I grew up, well mostly, and I realize there are other ways to view life.
This brings me to the recent vote of the Downtown Business Association issue. I was encouraged to vote since I am within the boundaries. I thought about how passionate people are to want to keep the Association running and also on the other side. People were very passionate about ending this relationship for whatever reasons they felt were valid. Whichever way you saw this issue, this event brought to light that people loved their downtown and wanted things to be better.
The voting event took place and the decision was to end the Association. Now some people would view this as business–simply business. And, of course, some people are hurt and/or disappointed. And, of course, some people will be relieved. Again, maybe that is just life.
But the people who ran the Association decided to take this to a different level. A retaliatory level. All of the lights on 50th Street were removed. Okay fine, if that is what you thought was the thing to do. But those lights did not belong to you. They belonged to all of the businesses that paid for those lights over the years. Your group had absolutely no right to remove them.
Looking at this from a patron as opposed to a business owner, when we first came to Camrose, the lights were the first thing we commented on. Away from the west end shopping district was a little gem of an area that took the time to dress up and look spiffy for it’s customers downtown. Now I see it as a wound.
This takes me back to my younger years, the voters were retaliated against for saying something.
Does anyone else feel the same? Does anyone else care?
I feel there still could be something good downtown if businesses pulled together, maybe under a different model.
Think about it. This is your city too.
April 18, 2023
It is over a year since the Russian invasion of the Ukraine began. Bombardment, destruction and death continue. No one knows when this terrible war will end. Millions of Ukrainians have fled for their lives to other countries, including Canada. Approximately 60 Ukrainians have been welcomed into our Camrose and area community and more are wanting to come. Can we welcome these additional newcomers with the same hospitality and generosity that we offered to those who joined our community in the first year? That is the question that Camrose Refugee Centre is struggling to address.
During the past year we have appealed to our community for support and the response has been generous beyond our expectations. But, now the numbers of fleeing Ukrainians and their need is so much greater than we contemplated. How can we provide additional help to some of our Ukrainian friends who are already here, can’t find employment, and don’t have money to pay the rent, etc.? What kind of financial support can we offer to those who are still wanting to come to Camrose to begin their life in a new country?
So far, our community has donated over $105,000 to the Camrose Refugee Centre for the purpose of assisting Ukrainian newcomers in their orientation and settling-in process. Of this amount we have provided $85,000 to approximately 60 Ukrainians now living in Camrose and area for assistance with airfare, apartment rental, food allowance and other special needs. This amount, though small, was graciously received and was critical in the settling-in period. Most have found employment, but some are still looking for work and need further support. We think that the remaining $20,000 will be needed for those already here.
The Camrose Refugee Centre is committed to helping all refugees in our community. Because Ukrainian newcomers are technically not “refugees” and do not qualify for the support that sponsored refugees normally receive, they experience additional financial hardships and therefore are in greater need of our support. Our help will depend on what resources the community provides. Specifically, we are appealing to our generous community for the following: financial donations (tax receipts available); in-kind donations–gently-used furniture, bicycles, cars; donations of time–assisting with transportation, English teaching and child care.
On behalf of the Camrose Refugee Centre board and all our newcomers who are the recipients of your kindness and generosity.
Erhard Pinno, Camrose
April 18, 2023
I am writing in response to the April’s Fools Day article. I read the “apology” in this week’s paper, but it sounded more like a defensive article to justify what you did rather than an actual apology. You stated in the article that people who have been waiting for surgeries will be able to get them sooner and that it would draw more doctors here. Currently, there is over a year’s wait list to get a family doctor, so why would you think it is funny to write an article that actually brings people hope for local access to healthcare services?
The front page photo showed someone doing the land survey, etc., which is a far cry from the photo you posted in other years of dandelions in Jubilee Park.
For people who didn’t read the full article, they may have seen the front page and immediately thought that we are finally getting better healthcare services. I have spoken to many people and they all have said, “Did you hear we are getting a new hospital?” We have told them that it was an April’s Fools Joke and every single person has had an angry response.
I feel you have negatively impacted so many people, especially those who are medical professionals and also those who have been waiting a long time to receive access to healthcare services. Health isn’t something to joke around about. We are all very disappointed and upset about this article and it seems that you feel it was justified and that people should’ve somehow known it was an April Fool’s Joke. Jokes are meant to be funny and this was not funny in any way, shape, or form.
Submitted by Emily Gillespie, Camrose
April 11, 2023
Thank you for the wonderful “April Fool’s” article in the March 28 paper. It was funny from start to finish. I am sure that the staff at The Booster put long hours into this article to provide readers with a great story.
It is really unfortunate that there were some individuals who could not or would not appreciate the humour that was intended. I have talked to several people about the article, including those who were fooled (to begin with) and not one reacted negatively. We all thought it was done with “tongue in cheek” and only for entertainment. The acronyms were great! Thanks again for another good April Fool’s and hope you have another great one next year.
April 11, 2023
Yesterday, I read your letter “April Fool’s” with a mixture of emotion.
It was masterfully done, as you explained that the hospital story was intended to cause laughter, which it did for me and, I am certain, for a great many of your readers. I consider myself to be “very slow on the uptake”, yet it was quite obvious that the story was in jest. Further, it had a number of creative witticisms within it which gave me more amusement. (Indeed, April Fool’s is, itself, very witty.)
I am disappointed, but not surprised, at the vehemence which was directed at The Booster. Lashing out at anyone who is perceived to have a differing thought process appears to be increasingly popular. We need to respect others’ opinions and comments, and should we disagree in some fashion with them, have the class to say plainly and simply that we do not and will not agree with that individual. And put our name to our opinion.
The English language has a horizon of words which can get the point across without belligerence, anger, crudity or rudeness.
I feel bad that you Booster folks had to receive such treatment for an effort meant to make people laugh and hope that you all will put the invective where it belongs–in the garbage.
In the meantime, I look forward to each edition of The Booster.
April 11, 2023
Kudos to The Booster and staff with respect to the levity and laughter provided by your ongoing “April Fool’s” stories. Year after year, the comedic relief this world so sorely lacks is provided by these stories.
As print media continues to be attacked, there will no doubt be more of the keyboard or phone warriors who call in and hide behind anonymity to make a complaint. I, for one, want to be as clear and concise as possible. I wholeheartedly support and encourage print media and tip my hat to the good work that on-the-ground journalists do–whether that be on-the-ground factual reporting we continue to need as a society or providing a good laugh with stories such as this. As we move forward and print media continues to be attacked from all sides, I want it to be known that I read Mr. Fowler’s good words in the April 4 edition and I am taking this chance to offer my “constructive criticism” in the Letters to the Editor column.
Hear this–those who choose to attack without substance might as well say nothing at all since they’ve offered nothing to consider. I, for one, found the story quite amusing in the moment of innocent laughter I experienced and it brought levity to the ongoing world we live in. In particular, I enjoyed that helium was escaping from a spy balloon. Kudos, and keep on keeping on.
From one grateful reader to a wonderful staff.
Brent H. Thygesen,
April 11, 2023
Telling us all we are getting a new hospital and then letting us know it was April Fool’s joke was extremely upsetting. I’m getting up there in age and was thrilled to hear about the new hospital, which helped our decision to stay living here. Shame on you.
I loved your front page article about the new hospital for Camrose (April Fool’s joke). Those who read the whole article would soon realize that this was real fake news.
I wonder how many people read only the headlines and jump to the wrong conclusion. How gullible can one be.
April 11, 2023
I have enjoyed The Booster's April Fool's story for years.
I’m usually half way through the story when the light bulb comes on and I chuckle to myself.
The acronyms are typically a great hint and crack me up.
Cheers to The Booster team and thanks for keeping us laughing.
March 7, 2023
The recent pre-election budget makes no sense in several areas which indicate some ministers do not fully understand their portfolios or their relationship with Ottawa.
According to a recent report released by the Fraser Institute, Alberta ranks near the bottom of all provinces in terms of dollars spent per student on K-12 public education. The “proposed” budget increase will not even raise Alberta to the Canadian average.
More smoke and mirrors from this government?
In addition, how will the educational system be able to accommodate a substantive population increase as predicted by Alberta Finance Minister Toews?
The grant of $125 million for Grant MacEwen University for a new building to expand its business programming makes absolutely no sense. Advanced Education already provides funding to business programs in Edmonton (certificates, diplomas and degrees complete with articulation agreements) at The King’s University, the University of Alberta, Concordia University College, NorQuest College, Grant MacEwan University and NAIT. All these institutions have excess capacity and enrollments are undersubscribed. Private colleges like CDI and Reeves College also offer business programming.
Alberta’s postsecondary system is grossly overbuilt; three times the capacity of Ontario on a per capita basis (at huge cost to taxpayers). Added to the insult is the fact that postsecondary participation rates in Alberta are low compared to other provinces. If Advanced Education minister Nicolaides understood his portfolio, he would realize that business programming needs to be rationalized, not expanded.
Why is Alberta financing an Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee, a sinecure committee that has no official mandate when federal firearms regulations are the responsibility of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee?
The CFAC is a broad cross section of communities…medical, legal, policing, outdoor enthusiasts, shooting sports, educators, and members of the community at large. Public Safety minister Blaney under PM Harper overruled every recommendation by the RCMP to ban selected assault rifles.
Ask your local MLA for answers…you deserve them.
February 28, 2023
What is exponential growth? Why does it matter? Anything that doubles in a limited period is exponential and grows to infinity over time.
Proto humans have been around for at least one million years. Modern humans between 50 and 100,000 years. By about 1804, human populations in the world had grown to about one billion. It took 123 years to grow to 2B (1927), 46 years to double to 4B (1973), 26 years to add another 2B (1999) and 24 years to add another 2B (2022).
Do you think we can add another 2B by 2050? I don’t, but I won’t be around! What will be here is what our business elites were told at the recent DAVOS conference is a worsening of what they called a “polycrises” (multiple crises stacked on each other). Storms, heat waves, rising sea levels and other “natural” disasters will increase. On the positive side, human population may now be in the decline and could possibly fall by half by 2100.That’s in the lifetime of many who are now alive. No matter what we do, it is likely that we will still be using substantial amounts of fossil fuels in 2050.
Is there any reasonable hope for the survival of life or mankind? Most species that have ever existed have gone extinct. There is always hope as long as we do not rely on the drug “hopium” (expecting someone else to fix it).
Individual humans can be incredibly stupid and ignorant as our history shows us, but as a social species, working together, history shows that we can almost do the impossible. Our species relies on, perhaps, one to five per cent of the population to find solutions to our problems, and the rest of us only need to copy what these geniuses have given us.
There are over 8B of us now. About 95 per cent of all scientists who have ever lived are living and working now. There are vastly more educated humans than ever in history. We still have the resources we need to fix our problems. The big problem we face, I suggest, is the anti-intellectualism and distrust of educated elites, some of it well deserved, especially among our political and religious elites.Being governed by leaders who seem to be psychopaths or sociopaths elected by too many people who believe in magic solutions has not helped.