Café patios

May 4, 2021

I want to express my excitement and support of the City looking into permanent sidewalk cafés and patios downtown. Camrose has a beautiful downtown area, and I am lucky to live within walking distance.
Having more outdoor spaces available for business would be an excellent way to liven up the street and bring in more people throughout the summer. I realize that parking will be on many people’s minds as patios will remove some parking spots. Our downtown area has many parking spaces available just off Main Street, including Founders’ Park and the public parking behind the post office, and the two expansive lots at the north end. For myself, an able-bodied young man, parking in these areas and walking are very feasible.
To compensate for the loss of closer parking spots that are critical for people with mobility issues, there could be a certain number of parking spots converted into handicap spots for every regular parking spot lost to a patio. It should also be kept in mind that most Main Street businesses are narrow and would likely only remove four or five parking spots for a patio. In the end, patios on Main Street will offer businesses new ways to increase their capacity during COVID, and draw in more people in the future when restrictions are lifted. This new flexibility with Downtown’s social spaces will create a space that reflects the kinds of business in the area and adds to Downtown’s beauty. For those still concerned about parking, if we lose more Downtown businesses, what will the ample parking be good for? Keeping business on Main Street should be our first concern.    
Chad O. Mailer,
Camrose

Be safe

May 4, 2021

There seems to be a lot of confusion when it comes to this virus. First of all, this virus is real. It is highly infectious, and it seems to have a mortality rate of around three or four per cent.  Now this may have increased over the past year, however, I am not a medical expert, so I am not too sure on that at all.  Second of all, there seems to be confusion with it’s name. Coronavirus is a family of viruses that includes the common cold, seasonal flu, MERS and SARS. WHO has given this strain of coronavirus the acronym COVID-19 for “coronavirus disease 2019”. The actual name is really SARS-Cov-2, although that is seldom used by the press.
Millions of people around the world are dying and will die from this strain. Pandemics are not a new thing to this planet. In the 14th century, the black plague killed 30 to 60 per cent of the population of Europe. In 1918, the Spanish Flu, which was another coronavirus, killed 50 to 100 million people worldwide.
We do have a better understanding on how diseases operate. Way back in the early 1900s, doctors were not aware of what germs were. So, I do encourage everyone to hang on and work on keeping everyone safe. Wearing masks and getting your vaccine are just a few of the ways we can beat this awful disease together. I do encourage everyone to just hang in there just a little bit longer. Together, we can win this fight.
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Wake up

May 4, 2021

Nero danced and played his violin while Rome was burning down. So get out your violins and start playing. The United States is on fire and burning down with riots, looting and burning of stores in a lot of their cities.
Crime and shootings are on the rise, their answer is to defund the police? Hundreds of thousands of people are crossing its southern border in the middle of COVID, with Americans out of work and living on the streets.
Prime Minister Trudeau is dancing and going down the same road. The Washington Post and Fox News have reported that tens of thousands of these people have been moved by plane to border processing points on the Canadian border, so they can cross into Canada. Trudeau has said in the next eight months, he would like to bring 400,000 new immigrants into Canada.
We already have 37,000, who jumped the border before COVID. The US is not a third world country yet. They have them, they can keep them.
That is their problem, not ours.
There is a proper way to come to Canada, and some have waited for years. We are in the middle of COVID. Unemployment is high; companies, business, restaurants and stores are closing.
We have Canadians living in parks and on the street. We cannot look after our own people. Racism is a word that has lost its power. When you heard it being used, you listened. Now it is used way too often, and for anything without any proof.
It is like the boy who was always crying wolf, and when the wolf came, no one would listen.
Cancel culture, dangerous awakening, political correctness. You are witnessing a growing movement in America to silence opposing majority voices by social media mobs.
Inflation is on the rise, carbon tax, high fuel costs and all costs are going up. Everything you buy is covered in throw-away plastic. Trudeau’s answer is to ban bags and straws.
He should have put higher tariffs on any imports into Canada that have plastic. Cell phones and computers are the biggest polluters now.
Camrose property taxes are too high, and they tell us they didn’t raise taxes in 2020 and 2021. But, they raise the cost of all services, so what is the difference? We are still paying more.
Glenn Dunn,
Camrose

Save nature

April 27, 2021

In the past several months, I’ve been terribly consumed by the pending devastation in the eastern slopes of our gorgeous Rocky Mountains.
I’ve been so consumed that I have neglected to tell Camrosians how lucky I feel to be living here in Camrose for my 10th year now. How many times have I stopped in wonder of the beauty and serenity of the paths in our marvellous little valley. In winter, stopping on the concrete path to watch deer lock horns on the slopes below the cemetery. Or, while on a backpacking training walk on the now snow-free trails, I stop and let my eye graze along the creek…opposite slope and trail…and hear the voices of others walking these trails. How lucky am I…are we. So, thank you Camrose City council, and thank you, Camrosians, for the privilege of touching nature so close to home.
Marv Miniely,
Camrose

Great city

April 27, 2021

Preserving and promoting the uniqueness of our city is important. We enjoyed the efforts put into ice sculptures and beautifying trees this past winter. For the summer months, we’d like to see the rejuvenation of the downtown core to promote vitality and tourism–much like a mini Jaywalkers’.
By temporarily closing a block or two to cars, people would be drawn to the core to go for a stroll, while shopping and allowing for social distancing, supporting businesses with low capacity limits due to restrictions, and following public health measures to allow for outside cafés and vendors.
Canmore had a trial run like this last summer with great success. Having heard on a radio station that the Camrose Regional Exhibition is willing to provide support with materials and personnel, this would be a great way of bridging the challenging period in which we find ourselves, supporting each other and encouraging in-street patio infrastructure.
Verna Hinch,
Camrose

Coal mines

April 27, 2021

I would like to express my profound disappointment with regards to the terms of reference for the Coal Consultation Committee as stated here: https://www.alberta.ca/assets/documents/coal-policy-committee-terms-of-reference.pdf.
To limit the committee’s discussion and fact finding to concerns under the ministry of energy means that nothing from the Land Stewardship Act and the Water Act will be on the table for consideration. To exclude the issue of water, to exclude the issue of biodiversity, to exclude the issue of land use, limits the perspective and the view the committee will be able to take.
There is a majority of Albertans from all political stripes, walks of life, both urban and rural, age, gender, religion, and ethnic background who are against coal mining in the Rockies for the simple fact that it endangers the clean water supply for Albertans, and for people across the Prairies, not to mention Montana.
Alberta is in cycles of drought, and to use our water to clean coal not only threatens the quality of water, but also the quantity available. There is no known process that can filter the water from heavy metal contamination.
The water in all the major rivers in Alberta will be polluted for centuries. And once the coal companies close the mines, Albertans will be left with the mess. Like the orphan wells, we will be faced with orphan mines. The waste piles that are left at the mine sites will also be a source of constant water and air pollution. Human life (including ranchers, farmers, tourism economy, and anyone who depends on water and air–all Albertans) as well as wildlife and flora will suffer.
Alberta has so little to gain (jobs for a short limited time) and much to lose (clean water and air, biodiversity, jobs in ranching/agriculture, tourism/ecotourism...)
Also, why allow continued mining exploration in the Eastern Slopes when consultation has barely started? Exploration activities have disrupted forest environments with the road building, clearing, drilling and introduction of all the heavy machinery involved.
I am at a loss as to how and why this government and this ministry can departmentalize the coal discussion without discussing water issues and land stewardship issues. I am disappointed in the minister of environment and parks that he has not pushed that his portfolio also be represented in this discussion. I have very little faith in the AER’s ability to determine what is safe for Alberta’s environment.
Donna Hackborn,
Camrose

Dream police

April 27, 2021

Police in Ontario say they won’t conduct random spot checks despite new powers.
Jackie Lovely, I read with great interest the concern being expressed by various police forces in Ontario regarding the latest COVID enforcement orders given to the various police forces of that province.
Fortunately, the response has been very negative. The president of the Peel Regional Police Association also took to Twitter to urge the government, “Don’t make cops the bad guys here.” The London Police Services board says it has “serious concerns” about whether the provincial government’s expanded police powers are even constitutional.
As you are aware the Alberta government/federal government is making the RCMP and other cops the bad guys when it comes to enforcing AHS directed closures of various facilities? The above quotes indicate boundaries that are being extended in Ontario contrary to police opinion. I believe the same concerns are being spoken of by many citizens of Alberta.
Further, I was very disappointed to read your government propaganda letter against the decision of BRSD to walk back from the revised education curriculum. Going up against locally elected officials (BRSD) so directly and publicly indicates to me your utter disregard for local political leaders and their locally informed professionals, both of whom have the interests of the children under their jurisdiction at heart.
Brian McGaffigan,
Strome

Inappropriate teaching

April 20, 2021

As I write this letter on Friday morning, April 16, I am relieved to know that 24 school boards across our province have announced they are not proceeding with the latest draft curriculum. While some of them have used the very reasonable explanation that piloting anything next year is too much to ask of teachers right now, many have also pointed to serious flaws throughout the whole document.
As well, the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the Alberta Music Advocacy Alliance, (a group of 10 professional music and music teaching organizations) have both just released statements stating that the curriculum is inappropriate, insufficient, too biased and filled with errors.
I am glad to see this public outcry is having some impact, and I see the same is happening regarding coal mining in the Eastern Slopes: Albertans are rightly pointing out to the Alberta government that they have not consulted either Albertans nor experts. The way in which they reinstated the former Coal Policy (also after public outcry) was insufficient; exploration continues to damage the mountainsides and potentially the watersheds, and implies that companies expect to proceed. I only hope a private member’s bill put forth to halt all exploration until proper consultation is completed can be successful in this sitting of the legislature.
Given some of her published articles and received email responses, I am concerned that our local MLA is focussed on cheerleading her government and perhaps not listening to or advocating for the concerns of her constituents and all Albertans. I also feel disheartened that letters directed to her and to ministers are often responded to with cut-and-paste replies that repeat the party line verbatim. Is that because so many people are writing in with the same concern?
Today I am feeling grateful for the many Albertans, of all political stripes, who have decided they want a government that makes decisions based on feedback and best practice, full information and competent research. There are ways to implement policy changes with wisdom and empathy no matter which side of the political spectrum a government is on. Let’s hope this government can make a u-turn and start standing up for the best interests of all of us who call Alberta home.
Joy-Anne Murphy,
Camrose

Community support

April 20, 2021

I just wanted to say thank you for the front page exposure. I had no idea where that picture was going to end up. Thank you to The Camrose Booster for supporting our community and all the small businesses. It is so greatly appreciated.
Also, you totally got me on the April Fool’s edition.  I had my kids so excited for ice fishing and boating. My daughter, who is a fan of pranks, thought it was hilarious that the newspaper would pull a massive prank on the whole city.  Good job.
 Jane Beck,
Camrose

UCP economics

April 20, 2021

A bear is only worth something after it’s turned into a rug.
A tree is only worth something once logged.
A landscape…mined.
There is no such thing as the value of a functioning ecosystem in a UCP mindset. One wonders if they realize that water comes from the environment and not out of a tap.
It’s not we don’t need resources, we do–however, politicians need to understand there are things that once lost, can never return. When that happens, the cost is too high. If we give up water quality for people, farmers, ranchers, and wildlife, will the revenues from coal mining make up for the loss? Not a chance.
Mark Lindberg,
Camrose

Volunteer week

April 20, 2021

April 18 to 24 is National Volunteer Week with the theme “The Value of One, the Power of Many”. Volunteers are key to so many organizations in our community. I’m glad that we can take time to focus on them and show them our appreciation.
There are over 100 volunteers associated with The Bailey Theatre. They are a committed bunch of people, with a wide variety of skills. One thing they have in common is their devotion to the theatre.
We’re so grateful for the group of volunteers who cleaned the theatre and did maintenance jobs while we were closed. Thank you to all the volunteers who were involved with our fundraisers: the Bottle Drive and the Flea Market. We’re also thankful to volunteers who worked behind the scenes maintaining our scrapbook of Bailey News, who decorated the theatre, who kept our books and who did our marketing. Thank you to volunteers who helped with events during the two months when we were able to have live events at the theatre.
The Bailey Theatre Society has a hard working, dedicated board of directors. The hours that they worked this year increased considerably from past years, as they made difficult decisions and were creative with plans for a new future. Thank you for your commitment, grant writing, and vision.
The Bailey Theatre could not have made it through this year without our volunteers. They are the lifeblood of our organization. Thank you for keeping yourselves healthy and safe so that you will be able to be involved again. We need to care for ourselves before we can care for others. We salute our volunteers this week. We aren’t able to bring in “stars”, but “You are the Stars.” Thank you all for volunteering with the Bailey Theatre.
Colleen Nelson,
Volunteer Coordinator
Bailey Theatre Society

April Fool’s

April 13, 2021

Compliments to The Camrose Booster staff and reporters for the great job you are doing. The April Fool’s article on draining Mirror Lake and the Wetaskiwin Water Tower removal a couple of years back were bang-up jobs and sucked many of us in.
Booster Banter is always a fun read, and the column by Arnold Malone on Toes this week was both educational and hilarious–been there, done that. Great job everyone.
Glen Winder,
Camrose County

Waste management

April 13, 2021

It seems to me the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is the operating mantra for too many businesses.
Corporations get the apparent unfettered right to produce disposable items that ultimately end up in landfills, or walk away from well sites. Stuff like plastic that isn’t going to break down for hundreds of years. The cry of businesses is they are “supplying demand” or “providing jobs”, when what they really mean is “look the other way”. They don’t think they need to be accountable for the impact to the environment. All that waste that leeches into the water we drink becomes the problem of municipalities, though we don’t yet know the true cost of plastic contamination in drinking water to human and ecological health. They tritely say, “That’s the cost of business.”
It appears the UCP is in lock step with this mindset. Presently, the UCP is trying to sneak through six mining projects approved in between the elimination of the 1976 Coal Agreement and its recent reinstatement of that policy. The UCP is hoping no one notices. Not only does this not make environmental sense, it doesn’t make economic sense either. Everyone is going to pay for this pollution and destruction: the tourism industry, forestry, hunters, farmers, ranchers, fishers, and each one of us through higher municipal costs of securing fresh water, all at a time when the UCP is cutting tax revenues to municipalities.
The UCP wants to check a box by saying, “We created more jobs”, but they’ve failed to do any real cost-benefit analysis as they blindly adhere to cutting red tape. They won’t create good jobs, and the damage will last past our children’s lifetimes. They just figure we’re going to say, “Oh, you created jobs”, and leave it at that. Out of sight, out of mind…it’s just the cost of business, so look the other way. Again.
Mark Lindberg,
Camrose

Bad dream

April 13, 2021

Is this province really going to proceed with mining in the eastern slopes? Is it really happening, or am I having a bad dream?
Let’s set aside most of the concerns, like visually destroying the beauty of the mountains, destruction of endangered tree species, loss of diversity of other plants and vegetation, destruction of habitat for several animal species, loss of insect and bird populations, air pollution, loss of jobs in general tourism and ecotourism, destructive impact on agriculture, use of huge amounts of water, sacrificing the eastern slopes for a dying industry, and more. Let’s think only about poisoning our water.
We will be pouring deadly amounts of selenium, arsenic, various nitrates and radon into the water that flows into all of the major river systems on the prairies. There is no point in blaming the mining companies or our present government. The people of Alberta are collectively responsible for what is happening.
If someone dumped 10,000 or 100,000 litres of a mixture of the chemicals noted above into Dried Meat Lake, would that be okay with Camrosians? Would we just sit by and say nothing or do nothing?
It is hard to believe that our elected representatives so arrogantly dismiss the scientific evidence as “misinformation”. They seem to believe that the majority they received in the last election entitles them to make decisions without consulting the people. We need to write to our MLAs and cabinet ministers. We need to sign petitions. We might need to take up peaceful, nonviolent civil disobedience. If Albertans allow mining in the eastern slopes, I have to wonder about our sanity.
Marvin Miniely, Camrose

Huge impact

April 13, 2021

COVID has had a disastrous impact on our economy, community health, increased death rates, compromised public education and our collective mental health. It has also exposed Canadians’ vulnerability in supply chain management and our self reliance for essential materiel like food, drugs, and other essential commodities.
As I started my career in pharmacology in the 1960s, Canada was a world leader in research and production of pharmaceuticals and biologicals. Over the last five decades, our pharmaceutical industry, functionally, has gone AWOL. Connaught Labs, established in 1914, was one of three global leaders for biologicals research, along with the Pasteur Institutes (France) and the Lister Institute (UK). So…what happened?
PM Brian Mulroney privatized Connaught Labs in the 1980s, which stripped Canada of its ability to produce its own vaccines. PM Mulroney (Bills C91, C22), coupled with signing NAFTA, prompted Canada’s ethical pharmaceutical industry (20-plus drug companies) to abandon Canada as a center of excellence for pharmaceutical R&D. The abandonment led to a loss of self reliance in drug supply, plus the loss of tens of thousands of high-tech jobs. The exodus was complete when PM Harper signed the CETA (EU) agreement. Hmmm!
Some select anecdotes to consider: (i) 0 per cent of our drugs are produced in China or offshore, (ii) the cost of insulin (original Connaught patent) has skyrocketed over the past two decades, (iii) he cost of drugs in Canada is the third highest of all OECD countries, (iv) anadian expenditures in R&D (all sciences) is the lowest of all G20 countries, (v) eneric drug use accounted for 76 per cent of the volume of drugs in the Canadian pharmaceutical market in 2018, the third highest retail market share among the OECD countries after US and Germany.
Christine Legard, president of the European Central Bank, has written extensively on the need for countries to develop post-COVID strategic plans. To date, no Canadian political leaders have revealed a platform to Make Canada Great Again with regard to production of drugs. Isn’t it timely for our political leaders to put aside their ideological partisanship, cooperate across the aisles of Parliament, and resurrect our generic and ethical pharmaceutical industry to serve our collective national best interests? Let your MP know your thoughts.
Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Need carbon 

April 6, 2021

Science has proven that plants need carbon dioxide to transfer nitrogen, oxygen and sun energy through photosynthesis to soil microbes that break down minerals and nutrients to feed plants.
The atmosphere contains about 78 per cent nitrogen by weight. An unhealthy plant has a problem trying to use this free nitrogen.
Are the chemical and fertilizer corporations pushing the carbon scare so they can sell more products to protect and feed unhealthy plants?
Why do we now have so many crop diseases and evergreens dying?
Is China purchasing our coal to burn and provide ample carbon for healthy plants?
Robert Snider,
New Norway

Good ship

April 6, 2021

Aboard the good ship HMS Canada, ship log 1955: Wonderful ship, state-of-the-art, world-leading scientists on board; leaders in agricultural research, plant genetics, biochemists, immunologists in cancer research centers, communications, pure/applied physics, rocketry, aviation, fisheries, pharmaceutics. HMS Canada is a land of plenty, agricultural crops, fisheries, mineral wealth, oil-gas-coal, forests.
Scientists are supported by a dedicated, hardworking and educated crew on board. Periodically, captains have been ably supported by competent first mates Lougheed, Romanow, Wells and others.
Ship is sailing smoothly and “on course” to a far-off destination.
Ship log: second decade of 21st century…ship is rudderless and adrift, lost power, winds and seas are threatening. Most scientists have “jumped ship” or been “thrown overboard” as unwanted ballast.
The bridge continues to argue whether the “pointy part” goes first or the “flat part” goes first. There is no agreement what the destination is or the best way to get there, and everyone is trying to get their hands on the tiller. The bridge has not mastered reading charts or compass or using GPS, or checking weather conditions for impending gales, etc. Collectively, they have sailed into the Bermuda Triangle.
Fiscally mismanaged sister ships like HMS Greece and Italy have veered off course, while others like HMS USSR have sunk. Newly launched ships HMS Israel, Jordan and India, using modern technology, have overtaken us.
The “wannabe” captains have not served an apprenticeship on modern, progressive ships like HMS Norway, Germany, Denmark, Suisse, Sweden, Kiwi, etc., nor have they visited progressive ports in Europe and Asia.
Simultaneously, they have not noticed that the aforementioned ships have adjusted their sails and altered course and have quietly sailed away.
Meanwhile, on the sun desk, thousands of complacent sunbathers, basking in the glow of self aggrandizement, not realizing the relatively small size of HMS Canada, and that it is adrift (and the hull is rusting).
It is time to stop blaming the current captain solely: several previous captains have had a very large hand sailing us into this Bermuda Triangle. At the next scheduled vote to change the bridge (2021? 2022?), make sure the new captain has the capability and the vision to get HMS Canada back on a charted course. Tell your local deckhand (MP, MLA) to share his/her vision to convince you.
Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Service clubs 

April 6, 2021

I am writing this letter in regards to the front page of The Camrose Booster on March 23 on Empathy for the Elks.
Does Mr. Czapp realize that they are not the only service club who has lost major revenue due to COVID-19? The Legion, Moose Lodge, Rotary, Swans and Roses Lions, Knights of Columbus, just to name a few.
These service clubs have all had their fundraisers cancelled. These service clubs have bills to pay too!
A service club has no greater joy than to give back to the community! This is no longer possible due to COVID-19.
In the picture, there should of been representatives for the many service clubs in Camrose standing on the steps with Mr. Czapp. We are all in this together. Service clubs included.
Judy Sturek,
Camrose

Editor’s note: This Camrose Booster photo/cover copy was not intended to raise the profile, or the serious repercussions of this pandemic, of any particular club, organization or business over the similar plight of another.
Over several publishing weeks, The Booster has profiled a variety of entities negatively affected by the COVID-19 era. We simply do not have the time or resources to tell the story of each and all. We sincerely believe most readers will understand that the goal of our reporting is to provide an overview of the entire business community, not specifically single out a single club such as the Elks Club featured on our March 23rd cover.

Fooled again

April 6, 2021

Curses. Foiled (I mean fooled) again. Why do I get sucked in every year by the plausibility of your front page year after year? Because they are so cleverly done. And this year’s was particularly sly. I know you will never divulge the brains behind the April foolery–it was surely a group effort. But you must submit it for a community newspaper publishing award. We are proud of our Camrose Booster.
Peter LeBlanc,
Camrose

April fool’s 

April 6, 2021

Well, you got me again.
Every year, when I read your April Fool’s column, I wonder at the level of foolish government waste. Within a day or two, when I realize that it’s near April Fool’s Day, I shake my head and have a good laugh at how gullible I am. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
It takes a special turn of mind to think of all the great stories. Keep up the good work and thanks for the fun.
Pat Westergard,
Camrose

Treaty 6

March 30, 2021

Several recent Camrose Booster issues included memories from Camrose residents of the 100th anniversary of the signing of Treaty 6.
Of course, a treaty is not a single moment in time, but rather an ongoing relationship negotiated in good faith. This year will mark the 145th year of Treaty 6, and we (as a Canadian settler society) have not followed through on our commitments. While we can’t change history, we can learn from it and use those lessons to shape our common future.
Unfortunately, an opportunity to take a small step toward the ongoing act of reconciliation by acknowledging that the City of Camrose is located on Treaty 6 land was rejected by our City council at a Committee of the Whole meeting on Feb. 16. At this meeting, a proposal was brought forward to allow City staff to include a land acknowledgement in their email signatures and, more importantly, to have members of council make a public land acknowledgment prior to council meetings and other City events. This is increasingly common in municipalities and other institutions across Canada.
This decision is extremely disappointing. After all, municipal governments are specifically identified in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action as having a role to play in recognizing Indigenous peoples and contributing toward public education about treaty rights and responsibilities. I welcome more information from our elected council members as to why this decision was made.
Greg King,
Camrose

Changing world

March 30, 2021

The 20th century brought us unparalleled prosperity because of abundant inexpensive energy in the form of petroleum and rapid social and industrial change, especially after the First World War and Second World War. Change over the next decade will be faster still and we should not fear it, because it can bring us even greater prosperity.
The International Energy Agency last year declared that solar and wind now provide the least expensive energy the world has ever seen and their price is dropping quickly. Alberta is well placed to generate unlimited inexpensive energy from solar, wind and geothermal. Energy storage problems are being solved. Last summer, TransAlta installed a battery system at its wind farm at Pincher Creek that can power 3,000 homes. Britain is building an amazing liquid air battery system to store energy from its offshore wind generators that uses no toxic compounds, makes no pollution and requires only the technology of a refrigerator. Britain expects wind to power the entire country with no pollution by 2030.  Contrary to what you might have read, there is no need to burn oil or coal for wind or solar. Yes, birds do sometimes fly into wind turbines and die, but nothing compared to the number of birds that fly into buildings, and no one is saying that we should ban buildings.
We can and we will stop burning fossil fuels and that is a good thing. According to the World Health Organization, air pollution, mostly from the burning of fossil fuels, kills seven million people each year. We can expect the incidence of asthma to drop in Alberta when we stop burning coal for electricity just as it did when Ontario stopped burning coal. We will be healthier. We will think back to lines of cars idling outside of schools and wonder how we could have done that to our children’s health.
We are faced with opportunities for a better life if we would just stop listening to all the negativity. If we choose not to seize those opportunities, we’d better step aside, or we’ll be run over as the world passes us by.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Church visits

March 30, 2021

I wish to address the one criticizing Vern Peterson’s letter.
Foremost, Scripture deals with pastors and those who are responding to the call of God on their life, of whom the pastor is called to be “shepherd of their soul”. You wrote that Scripture is credible–I trust you are one of these sheep who should know that Romans 8:33 and Canada’s Constitution agree that one shall not lay any charge on pastors for proclaiming God’s Word. Your quote from Romans 13 is God’s advice to obey magistrates–and why? Because God is the One who ultimately rules over every higher authority that is set over us “to do us good…and execute wrath (capital punishment) upon him that doeth evil” vs. 4.
Be aware that in Pastor Coates’ case, the rulers or authorities were not obeying Canada’s Rule of Law. Our governments have been implementing “mandates” that are meant for “emergency measures” (e.g. 30 days) for these measures are “unconstitutional” according to our actual laws (see JCCF.ca).
Peterson claimed to be speaking from his spirit, which is associated with one’s “matters of the heart”,  and we all have a right to speak and be heard, whether we agree or not. I happen to agree with Vern’s spirit or heart; furthermore, he spoke of how he lived as a County councilor with the people, and still defends his past position.
May we all grow in grace and faith in the things of Salvation, and be people of God’s Way–people previously known as “People of the Way”.
Tina Kawalilak,
Camrose County

Recall legislation

March 23, 2021

The new legislation of the UCP’s MLA recall is not that new. I do wonder if this piece of legislation could backfire like it did on Aberhart in the summer of 1937. The world was at war and the economy was rather in a slump. The government’s back benchers were not very happy with the leadership of Alberta.
In the premier’s riding, the members of that riding had two-thirds of those who could vote sign a petition to remove the premier from office. The government rushed back to reverse the member recall legislation to avoid having their leader removed from his position. This caused a revolt by these back benchers who threatened to defeat the government in a nonconfidence vote. Instead, the government struck a deal with the back benchers, which seemed to bring down the revolt. Kenney seems to have back benchers not very happy with his leadership. We do not have a war, but we have COVID-19. Can this be a repeat of history in the not too distant future? Can the member recall legislation backfire like it did back in 1937?
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Great community

March 23, 2021

Why is Camrose such a great community?
I suggest that Camrose has an incredible history of community service organizations that reinforce a community spirit above and beyond what is found in many other communities. The proof of this can be seen in the number of people who have moved to Camrose for temporary job postings, like RCMP or bankers, but have stayed or come back to Camrose because of its community spirit.
I suggest that a main reason is the number of organizations Camrose has that encourage community participation. People join to do what cannot be done alone. There is strength in numbers. This increases exponentially. A group of 10 members is not just 10 times more powerful than one member, but perhaps 50 to 100 times more powerful.
I came to Camrose with my family in 1970 after living most of my life in the big city. I was invited to participate in many community organizations, and I did join various groups, such as Kinsmen and Rotary. They taught me the importance of organizations such as service clubs, in building community.
I have been a member of Rotary for more than 45 years. I can safely assert that Camrose would not be the same kind of community without clubs like Rotary. I’m sure most of you have benefited from the community work done by service clubs, although you might not be aware of it.
The Battle River Community Foundation, which now has a major impact on this and our surrounding area, received a donation from the Rotary Club of Camrose for $100,000 when it was just beginning. Camrose Rotary Club supplied a bus full of wheelchairs to Puerto Vallarta, a city of over one million people, making a major impact on the disabled of that community which continues to this day. There are literally hundreds of other examples of how Camrosians have impacted our whole world, batting way above its weight.
COVID-19 has punched a big hole in all communities.  We cannot get together like we used to. Membership in our community organizations, churches and sports and arts groups has been severely impacted. If you want the community you once had, you and I must rebuild community organizations by joining them and re-establishing new ways of doing things. The first thing required is to join. We must now meet online, which we do weekly.
We have two Rotary clubs in Camrose. Our community is Camrose first and the world first as well. If you are interested in joining us to build community, call me or any other Rotarian.
Harry Gaede,
Camrose

Coal facts

March 23, 2021

We concur with Lindberg’s conclusions re: CoalHardFacts.ca (Camrose Booster, Feb. 28). Previous claims that water in the Athabasca River downstream Ft. McMurray, and now UCP claims that  waters downstream from strip-coal mine leases are safe to drink read much like a preschooler’s sandbox argument over the safety of drinking the water in the (contaminated) stream trickling past their sandbox, which sits just a few metres from an old abandoned outhouse.
Facts reported by Aquatic Effects Monitoring Program (AEMP) for the tests downstream from Tech coal mines in BC (Lethbridge Herald, Oct. 23/20) disprove the UCP’s purported “Facts” (Get the Facts on Coal in Alberta). AEMP test results verify the disingenuity of the UCP claims. After the NDP government dissolved Alberta’s (independent) Environmental Monitoring Evaluation and Reporting  Agency, Bill Donahue, a former government official, left that position (2018) and used unpublished government (1998-2016) data to analyze selenium levels for The Canadian Press, thereby also verifying the rising selenium levels.
The selenium levels downstream from Teck’s (southwestern Alberta) Cheviot metallurgical coal mine averaged almost six times higher in the McLeod River), nearly nine times in the Gregg River and 11 times higher in the Luscar Creek. All exceeded the levels considered safe for aquatic life (four times in the Gregg River and nearly nine times in Luscar Creek).
In fish, selenium damages the liver, kidney and heart, reduces the number of “viable” eggs a fish can produce, and leads to deformed spine, head, mouth, and fins. In humans, selenium can cause nausea, vomiting, hair loss and fatigue. Yet, UCP documents would have Albertans believe that current assessments indicate there is no risk to humans who drink water or eat fish  containing excessive  amounts of selenium. However, the last time Alberta Environment reported on selenium in the three waterways mentioned above, was 2006 (Bob Webber, Canadian Press, Jan 25, “Contaminant from coal mines already high in some Alberta rivers: unreported data”). John Muir, Alberta Environment and Parks spokesman, stated the department “routinely monitors selenium at 89 waterways…” and “will make those finding publicly available” (but, he did not indicate when).
Our then MLA clarified landowners by informing a group of landowners, “The government (i.e. any minister) can do whatever it wants with your land.”
That makes the UCP’s outright denials regarding selenium risks irrelevant.
M. R. Leithead,
 Bawlf

Abolish trapping

March 16, 2021

I am happy that Lori Larsen wrote the article regarding traps and keeping pets safe. A dog was recently killed by a snare in Camrose County. My heart is filled with sadness and horror for that dog and its family. I would like to be able to say I am shocked by this event, but I am not, as it is not uncommon and happens all over Canada.
It is a horrible tragedy when a pet is caught in a trap. It is just as much of a horrible tragedy when a wild animal is caught in a trap. No animal, regardless of its species, should be subjected to the injuries traps cause, and no animal should die in a trap.
Though trapping is legal, it is far from humane, despite what one trapper told me (and what many others claim). There is no glossing over the cruelty of traps. All types cause extreme amounts of pain, fear, panic, and distress to the helpless animals caught. Some cause drowning, some strangulation, and others cause broken bones among various other injuries. When caught, animals can’t care for their babies, eat, take shelter from the elements, or fend off predators. They often die from dehydration, blood loss, hypothermia, or by being clubbed, etc. to death by the trapper (so as not to damage the pelt in the case of animals who are being killed for their fur). The Alberta regulations state that traps that are not killing devices must be checked at least once every 24 to 48 hours. That is a HUGE time frame, and therefore, animals suffer immensely for hours and hours.
I have seen the suffering caused by traps. For a decade, I worked at a wildlife hospital in Alberta, and two patients in particular come to mind, an eagle who had been caught in a snare, and a baby skunk who had one of her legs severed in a leghold trap.
Other problems include that traps catch non-target species, endangered species, and even people (documented cases in BC and Newfoundland); when animals are killed, babies are orphaned (and often die); ecosystems are negatively affected (for example, beavers are a keystone species); and warning signs do not have to be posted.
Let’s abolish trapping. People don’t need fur trim on their coat and there are more humane (including non lethal) means of protecting livestock from predators. Visit  www.projectcoyote.org/programs/ranching_with_wildlife/nonlethal-solutions-reduce-conflicts or www.projectcoyote.org/programs/ranching_with_wildlife/nonlethal-solutions-reduce-conflicts and https://thefurbearers.com for more info. 
Leah Daoust-Hoskins, Round Hill

Moral support

March 16, 2021

I read with interest Vern Petersen’s open letter to Premier Kenney offering biblical and moral support to pastor James Coates and the people of the Grace Life Church. I think it is reasonable to propose supporting directives to Premier Kenney from other credible sources.
Romans 13:1-2 says, “Obey the government, for God is the One who has put it there. There is no government anywhere that God has not placed in power. So those who refuse to obey the law of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow.”
Further support can be found in Titus 3:1-2, “Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.”
Hebrews 13:17 suggests, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
In Islam, obedience to the law of the land is a religious duty. The Qur’an commands Muslims to remain faithful to not only Allah and the Prophet Muhammad, but also the authority they live under: “O ye who believe! obey Allah, and obey His Messenger and those who are in authority over you” (Qur’an, Ch. 4: V.60).
Under Jewish Law, the principle of dina d’malchuta means that, for Jews, obedience to the civil law of the country in which they live is viewed as a religiously mandated obligation and disobedience is a transgression.
The Sutta Pitaka section of the Buddhist canon contains discourses of the Buddha on kingship that praise the election of leaders who then rule through compassion, morality and social justice.
Perhaps Mr. Petersen would find greater comfort in the writings of Confucius, whose teachings support the individual’s natural and inherent right and responsibility to oppose legitimate governmental authority when the governmental authority is out of harmony with the moral sense of the individual.
Premier Kenney, in accordance with your background in religious studies…stay the course and hold those who break the law equally responsible for their actions, whether they be churchgoers or partiers at a rave in a rented facility.
Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Go-green

March 16, 2021

These “go-green” (money and environment), “build back better” slogan people most often do not know what they are even talking about.  The word “sustainable” from go-green actually means “unprofitable” and “unsustainable” (as in misinformation).
Energy cannot even be produced from solar panels and wind turbines without the use of coal, oil, natural gas and wood–their very existence is dependent upon these more reliable natural resources. Solar and wind are not reliable and are very costly to the environment and the taxpayer.
If they continue pushing for the wind turbines, we may lose both the trees nearby the coal mines and the birds, because the blades on the wind turbines are killing thousands of birds daily. Also, the solar panels are extremely toxic on disposal (every 10 years and not recycled), whereas coal contains selenium–a healthy antioxidant that I use daily.
All 100 per cent of Albertans need coal to survive–we don’t have the climate of Texas, but they at least didn’t all die when their wind and solar energy failed to operate in an ice storm when the temperature dropped to just below freezing.
If I could choose between “the birds” and all this misinformation coming from the go-green people, I would choose the birds.
Check out friendsofscience.org for healthy information, and working to protect our environment in every way.
Tina Kawalilak,
Camrose County

Rural business

March 9, 2021

The year 2020 has indubitably been a quagmire of  health, economic, political, logistical and financial chaos for Canadian governments. Here in the forgotten hinterland of Alberta, with an economy that stands sui generis in nature and stature, we are truly abandoned within our own Dominion of Canada.
According to the CFIB (Canadian Federation of Independent Business), Alberta is facing an existential financial crisis of historical proportions. CFIB reports while Canada and Alberta ratchet up debt at blinding speed, the number of small businesses teetering on the cusp of insolvency grows at an alarming rate. CFIB asserts that 20 per cent of Alberta’s small businesses, with a combined work force over 624,000, are considering the possibility their businesses will not be here if it takes much longer to open up.
Logistically speaking, those businesses are much more likely to be located in the UCP held ridings of rural Alberta like Camrose. Where a single job loss can be seen and felt; while no amount of COVID diatribe from our political leaders is going to change the blow. My heart goes out to those business people who see the sweat and sacrifice invested in their businesses evaporated, along with their dreams, by our response to the virus. All the small business community demand is a homogeneous equitable response, one granting to them the same rules and opportunities afforded the large businesses. Unfortunately, too many Albertans are finding out how tenuous our freedoms and how undemocratic our politics.
To all those business people struggling to survive the lockdown, I salute you. Know that our province was founded by men and women like you. To all those who have lost their jobs or cannot find work, I know there is no greater a trial, and I pray our economy will change for you. In this time of COVID, may you find support, joy, and happiness in your family and friends, with true meaning not in the temporal, but in the eternal. You do not stand alone.
Robert Johnson,
Daysland

Need libraries

March 9, 2021

An elementary student in need of one-on-one tutoring to succeed in the interrupted and uncertain school year.
An unemployed father unable to complete online job applications and remote interviews.
A solitary senior citizen, isolated and missing social connection.
A post-secondary student already struggling with distance education, unable to find an approved examination supervisor.
A teen struggling with gender identity issues in need of a safe, warm place with information and connection to social services.
A parent uncertain about misinformation in media, trying to understand more about the conditions of the pandemic.
What do all these people have in common? They need a library. Today’s libraries are so much more than just a repository for works of fiction. They are a public location to allow students and tutors to meet, providing public computer workstations and free internet access.
Socialization and attentive care of patrons’ well-being are an important part of a librarian’s job. Proctoring exams is a valuable service the public libraries provide at little to no cost. Provision of social services information and resources as well as connections to those services are a necessary part of library service. And what better place to fight misinformation than a library?
I am all for following health regulations and bending the curve of the pandemic. However, I believe that libraries are an essential service and should be reopened to the public. Dine-in restaurants were able to seat customers in Step One of the reopening for the purpose of feeding people’s bodies. Is not the invaluable service that public libraries provide, in feeding people’s minds and hearts, just as important?
Libraries should be opened in Step Two of the path forward. Libraries have pre-established health measures, such as scheduled cleaning, disinfecting work stations after use, quarantining library materials, mask-wearing and social distancing protocol. Please allow us to provide the services that the citizens in our communities need.
Kait Davies,
David Knipe Memorial Library, Bawlf

Environmental plan

March 9, 2021

Kudos to chair Rob Hill and the Camrose Green Action Committee for their work in presenting the case for a Camrose Environmental Master Plan to City council at a recent meeting. I appreciate council’s decision to have City administrators review the feasibility of this proposal with the intention, I understand, to follow up shortly with the Green Action Committee.
If council gives this initiative the green light, as other municipalities have done, we can feel confident that our community will be more prepared for the inevitable changes arising from climate mitigation efforts.  The Environmental Master Plan would enable Camrose to build on existing environmental stewardship achievements and to be proactive in determining future priorities and actions not only for City operations, but for the healthy growth of our local economy.
I agree with Hill that community engagement needs to happen. If the public are invited to participate early on, if they are given meaningful ways to contribute to the development and ongoing work of the Environmental Master Plan, they are more likely be supportive of it in the long run. 
An Environmental Master Plan is the equivalent of saying we have our climate mitigation ducks in a row, which will work in our favour come time for project funding applications. The federal government is one source of such funding. Minister of environment and climate change, Jonathan Wilkinson, speaking at a recent town hall, outlined the updated, two-pronged federal approach to climate change–one being climate action and clean growth, the second being nature–based solutions addressing biodiversity and wildlife habitat loss. He made specific reference to restoration of wetlands and grasslands, as well as strategies to create new urban parks and ecological corridors that would enable nature and humans alike to thrive in shared spaces. I would suggest that both climate mitigation initiatives and nature-based projects be included in the Camrose Environmental Master Plan from the start.                 
June A. Osborne,
Camrose

Free country

March 2, 2021

 I still believe I live in a free country that allows me to think differently than others, to come to different conclusions or favour different strategies and outcomes.
As a consequence, I read Shauna Wilton’s recent column in “Second Thought” and was troubled by a number of characterizations that are consistent with current left leaning thought. In one sentence, she suggested Trump supporters were “white, rural, non-college educated and evangelical”. I would suggest the left means white=white supremacist, rural=hicks from the sticks, non-college educated=non intelligent or unsophisticated, and evangelical=well, those people whom Barack Obama characterized as “clinging to their guns and Bibles”. This is the central problem I have with those on the left, they have no respect for anyone who holds a different opinion than their current dogma.
In addition, suggestions of election interference or fraud have been “proven to be false”. Perhaps, we should all read the Time magazine article “The Secret Shadow Campaign that saved the 2020 election”. The article describes the “collaboration between Big Tech, the charitable sector, academia and the mainstream media which justified, from their perspective, the need to change the rules of the game in order to ensure that Trump was denied a second term. Just allowing people to vote under the old rules was too much of a risk to take.” In other words, rules allowing mail-in ballots were created to allow the possibility of voter fraud were passed.  Time magazine is not a pillar of conservative thought.
Finally, she characterizes the actual rioters, as “Qanon supporters, white supremacists and Christian fundamentalists”. I must admit ignorance of Qanon, I don’t know any white supremacists, but I do know a few people who are often described as Christian fundamentalist. Wikipedia (the modern-day fount of all knowledge) suggests that “evangelical” and “fundamentalist” are often used interchangeably. Wikipedia further suggests that the two terms are defined by a literal interpretation of the Bible. I am thus reminded of a line in a song by Mercy Me, “One Trick Pony”: “If I hear just one more time that I should be more open-minded, I think I just might scream. The world says this is all there is, Yet I believe (a literal interpretation) the One who says there’s life after this, Now tell me how much more open can my mind be?”
Greg Ryan,
Camrose

Snaring dogs

March 2, 2021

I feel compelled to respond to the article by Lori Larsen entitled, “Keep pets safe from traps”. Thank you, Lori and Lorne Rinkel, for the crash course on the trapping regulations and the benefits of this barbaric activity to Camrose County residents.
What this article has missed, in my view, is that those people who set out snares and traps also have an obligation to help protect innocent pets, such as farm dogs, from their sets. Currently, there is no legal requirement in the Trapping Regulations or in County bylaws that would require this activity to be publicly posted or that neighbors in proximity to these sets be provided notice of this activity.
My neighbor drops his dead cattle carcasses off one-half mile from my doorstep. He permitted an individual to set up coyote snares. One of my dogs got caught recently, and had to have her hind foot amputated. Fortunately, she was not killed by strangulation. Had I known about this activity, I would gone out to check as soon as she was missing from my yard. This problem could have been averted. Instead, it was 24 hours later, and only as a result of my relentless diligence, that I discovered there were snares set out, and I was able to get the name of the individual who owned the snare sets.  Strangulation and frostbite injured the foot beyond saving. One more night and she would have frozen to death.
The reality of rural living and having farm dogs is that they can and sometimes do wonder off their property. I have no intention of putting my three Great Pyrenees on leashes, nor am I going to fence off 11 acres of land into a dog prison. But I do feel that there are reasonable measures that can be implemented either through amending the Trapper Regulations or by the County placing their own requirements through bylaws that might help avert these occurrences. This is a no brainer, and I don’t understand why this isn’t a mandatory (legal) requirement for anyone setting out snares and traps. I encourage those who share my views to contact their local and provincial elected representatives for changes. Furthermore, it is my view that this is unneeded and an unwanted activity in populated areas and should be outlawed.
Gene Leskiw,
Camrose County

Speeding vehicles

March 2, 2021

This writer is in total agreement with Mr. Hutchinson.
We knew when we came here that it was a truck route. However, the pipe trucks are not the problem.
The gravel trucks, and the three-quarter and one-ton pickup trucks are another matter.
Really, the truck route should be from 46 Street east, and going west, a residential street to 53 Street, which also includes two playgrounds and a school.
We have wondered why the City has not brought their radar truck over here.
Jas. W. Canfield,
Camrose

Slow pace

March 2, 2021

On Feb. 19, Premier Jason Kenney claimed that Alberta’s vaccine (Phase 2) roll-out “continues to lead the country!” Minister Shandro immediately parroted Kenney’s claim, with Alberta’s rollout “being one of the best in the country!”
The Covid-19 update map, however, indicated that Alberta’s 2.15 per cent was seven out of Canada’s 11 provinces and territories). Only four provinces scored lower than Alberta. All the others scored  at 0.15 to 30.07 per cent in their vaccine roll-outs. This cannot by any means be misconstrued as Alberta leading, nor as being one of the best.
Why has no one in the media corrected this misinformation? And, why is no one “fact-checking” all of the premier’s public announcements?
Albertans deserve to know the truth.
M.R. Leithead,
 Bawlf

Living strong

February 23, 2021

Thank you so much for publishing info on the Alberta Council on Aging Living Strong program we are offering to support the well-being of older adults. I want you to know the Camrose SOS group has a box of the booklets and a free copy is available to the general public. It is great to see how various agencies are forming natural partnerships to support well-being. The Camrose Booster is also instrumental in helping to connect people to services and service agencies to each other.  Many thanks.
Donna Durand,
Camrose

No to coal

February 23, 2021

Many of us, as Albertans, are very concerned about our water supply, both the quantity and quality of that resource. We also need to be concerned about the ecosystem that produces it. Several of the large rivers that supply our major cities begin as a trickle of snow melt in our eastern slopes; these become tributaries and finally, a river. Where our water supply begins, it is unfortunately where coal is found.
The east slopes ecosystem contains two species of trees that are considered endangered under Alberta’s Wildlife Act (WA) and endangered and proposed for listing as endangered under the federal Species at Risk Act (SARA). These are the Whitebark Pine (Pinus albicaulus) and the iconic Limber Pine (Pinus flexilis). Perhaps you are old enough to remember the Burmis Tree located just off the Crowsnest highway. Both these species occupy the higher elevations, living under harsh conditions that other tree species cannot tolerate. These are also lands identified as Category 2. These trees can live over 1,000 years, and require a bird (Clark’s Nutcracker) to reproduce. Imagine them gone. It is estimated in one Category 2 mining lease, two thousand of these long-lived trees will be sacrificed if the UCP have their way.
We need also be concerned about the fish that populate the streams of the east slopes: Rainbow, Cutthroat, Dolly Varden Trout and Mountain Whitefish. These fish are the canary in the coal mine, and are adversely affected by selenium. The Fisheries Acts of both Canada and Alberta prohibit the destruction of fish habitat. Coal mining requires water to wash the coal, and coal contains selenium; so what happens to our drinking water? They say they have mitigations for that, however, it will only take one accident to pollute our drinking water that is essential for life.
The Kenney government has announced it is reinstating the Coal Policy of 1976, however, it hasn’t backed off from allowing development; consultation is aimed at opening up lands for coal mine development. We need legislation, not policy. Keep up the pressure, sign a petition to stop coal mines in Alberta. Join the 69 per cent Albertans from all walks of life, who are against coal mine development on mountaintops and open pit mines. Contact your MLA and tell this UCP government to back off, protect our water–no coal mines.
John Girvan,
Camrose County

UCP rebuild

February 23, 2021

I read with caution Don Braid’s column in the Calgary Herald of Feb. 10 with the headline “Braid: UCP machine needs a rebuild after disastrous start to 2021”.  The article is a major rebuttal to Jason Kenney and the UCP that he leads. There is much meat to chew on in the article, but the segment that captured my imagination was:
“And then, along came coal. The UCP faced an uprising on its own rural turf when people realized there could be new open-pit mines on the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies. This disaster launched last May 15 when the province cancelled a 1976 policy prohibiting new mines on Category 2 foothills lands.”
The article goes on: “Journalist Andrew Nikiforuk has written, with evidence, that coal investors were aware of the cancellation before it was actually done. And the UCP’s subsequent enthusiasm for new mines could not have been more obvious.”
I was gobsmacked when I read this very troubling statement, and I have sent the article reference to MLA Garth Rowswell, Vermilion-Lloydminster-Wainwright Constituency  and Camrose Constituency MLA Jackie Lovely, hoping that they will make a public comment on the whole article, but especially this segment. It is an awesome statement that needs a response–my opinion.
Brian McGaffigan, Strome

Coal facts

February 23, 2021

I want to thank MLA Jackie Lovely for her column in The Camrose Booster. I took the survey at CoalHardFacts.ca and I did learn a lot. Mind you, nothing about coal or facts. I did learn quite a bit about propaganda. It is truly sad to see what our Premier and UCP think of our collective ability to judge fact from fiction.
Mark Lindberg,
Camrose

No leadership

February 23, 2021

There are 63 UCP members in our government. At the time of writing, not a single one of them, including our own MLA, has spoken out and condemned their party leadership and supported their words by crossing the floor of the legislature.
That would speak loudly to suggest that they have a moral compass apparently absent in their leadership. It would clearly say that elitist and deceitful behaviour evident in the holiday travel is not acceptable, while ordinary Albertans and people throughout the world are struggling with pandemic restrictions that prevent contact with family; a pandemic which has caused loss of jobs or income worldwide.
Are all 63 UCP members condoning the holiday travel by  senior party leadership? Is there not even one member who has the courage to say, “I do not support the actions of my party leadership?” Are they all as morally bankrupt as that leadership? Unfortunately, Dr. Hinshaw cannot use the phrase “We are all in this together.”
We know that our leadership is not in this with us. How do I make sense of the fact that rank and file UCP MLAs are not simply incensed?
Marvin Miniely,
Camrose

Your speed

February 16, 2021

I would like to commend the Camrose Police Service for installing the “Your Speed” sign eastbound on 54 Avenue, near St. Patrick School.
For those who aren’t familiar, these signs are more commonly used in construction zones, displaying the speed of approaching vehicles and warning the drivers if they are speeding and thereby endangering others. My understanding is that in other jurisdictions, these signs have been effective in reducing speeding in areas they are used.
As a long-time resident of this area, I can attest that this is definitely a problem area for speeding vehicles.  While I just have my visual estimate of speed to go on, I would say it wouldn’t be uncommon for vehicles to be travelling in excess of 60 or 70 km/hour along this stretch before they get to the school.
While the recent paving of this road was certainly appreciated, it has also made it a more comfortable road to speed on.  Add in ‘performance’ mufflers (which this old coot no longer appreciates), belching exhaust from rapidly accelerating vehicles and more than one motorcycle popping a wheelie as it zooms by, the effort by the City to bring down the excessive speeds is greatly appreciated.
Thank you!
Don Hutchinson,
Camrose

Time change

February 16, 2021

A wake-up call on daylight saving time. We spend most of the year on daylight savings time now. When the Government of Alberta was NDP, they tried to change to standard time all year long, and met with a large opposition to that idea. A survey was done, and 72 per cent of Albertans wanted daylight savings to stay.
It gives you more light in the evening hours, rather in early morning hours when people are sleeping. People wanted the extra hour of light in spring, summer and fall.
They wanted it for after-work enjoyment, yardwork such as cutting grass, gardening and also travel, golf, baseball, soccer, football, tennis, fishing, camping and picnics.
California, Oregon and Washington State are moving to stay on daylight savings time all year long, as well as British Columbia doing away with standard time. That means if Alberta stays on standard time, there would be two hours’ time change from Alberta and British Columbia, so 2 p.m. Alberta would be noon on BC time, which is good going there, but would be very hard to come back to Alberta.
Write a letter or email your MLA to ask to stay on daylight savings time all year long and enjoy the evening light all year long.
Glenn A. Dunn,
Camrose

Future change

February 16, 2021

Just for fun, anyone reading this: look around you and figure out what and how everything we have is made of.
Now where are we going? How and with what do they make wind turbines, electric cars, solar panels, batteries of all sorts, from start to finish? How will you get all the electricity to run all of these cars and gadgets?
When people are stranded or in long lines to power their latest car, will you ask yourself why?
Now let’s look at BC as a perfect green province. Just a few examples: they are building a new dam in northern BC, while they dump its sewage from Victoria into the ocean. What is that doing to the whales?
Before we moved here in 2000, we lived in a little place called 100 Mile House. The lower mainland was hauling there garbage to a little place called Cache Creek, while they go green.
I think the worst thing for the world has been globalization for the last 30 years. If we made our own stuff on our own continents, we would save the oceans, air and economies.
We have sent billions overseas to countries for the last 40 years, and nothing seems to change–why?
There are a lot of old sayings that we always hear. Be careful what you wish for; this equals that; for every action there is a reaction.
Oh, by the way, who moves to Alberta when there are a lot of jobs? A lot of Canadians from other provinces. Now where are those provinces and people when Alberta is in trouble?
Sheila Faulkner,
Donalda

Own agenda

February 16, 2021

I witnessed an event at the intersection in front of MLA Lovely’s office  on Friday, Jan. 29, and I wanted to report my observations. I am not one of the protesters. I happened to be nearby in my parked car, talking on the phone.
At one point, I glanced up and noticed MLA Lovely, and I assume her assistant Wendy Pasiuk, coming out to greet the sign holders. I also observed a local photojournalist taking pictures of the MLA talking to the demonstrators, and handing them some papers.
I was curious as to what was going on. I decided to ask a couple of protesters what MLA Lovely said to them. Initially, the concerned citizens were pleased that MLA Lovely came out to “engage” with them. But it was not the kind of engagement that they had hoped for. Their initial delight quickly turned into bitter disappointment. It seems MLA Lovely came out to give the demonstrators UCP propaganda about the government’s plan to open leases in the Rockies for open pit coal mining. She was not there to listen to their concerns.
The photos that were taken will appear in the paper to display MLA Lovely communicating to concerned constituents, but the reality is she had her own agenda. If MLA Lovely wanted a sincere exchange, then why come bearing those leaflets? She didn’t ask these people how she could help them have a voice in the legislature.
These Camrosians have legitimate concerns, but would not choose to parade with signs in the cold if they felt they were being heard and being represented. This instance on the corner was nothing more than a public relations photo op.
MLA Lovely’s role is not solely to represent the UCP in Camrose and area. Her role as our MLA is primarily, and most importantly, to act as a representative of all citizens of the Camrose riding, no matter who they voted for in the Alberta Legislature.
Donna Hackborn,
Camrose

Former supporters

February 9, 2021

I am a former resident of Camrose whose Calgary family was strong supporters of the true Conservative governments under Lougheed and Getty. Lougheed’s energy minister Bill Dickie was a brother-in-law of one of my uncles. Dad donated around $30,000 to their party over the years, and Klein almost killed him with his health care cuts.
Watching these phony conservatives destroy our children’s future has been hard to take.                                                       
Reformers Stephen Harper, Preston Manning, Danielle Smith, Brian Jean, Jim Prentice and Andrew Scheer have all been soundly defeated in elections and Jason Kenney will be next. His own supporters are saying he is the worse liar they have ever seen, and they wished they hadn’t supported him.
Yet these Reformers are still preaching their lies that, “We don’t have a revenue problem, only a spending problem and they have to cut 11,000 health care workers jobs to fix it, after they cut taxes to benefit their rich friends. How stupid do they think we are?”                                                   
They claim that it’s all Ottawa’s fault, or our doctors, nurses, teachers or AISH recipients. They even created the lie that our oil industry is being attacked by foreign corporations, yet oil executives tell us it’s not.
As Trevor Tombe, an economist from the U of C has pointed out, if our previous governments had continued to collect our oil royalties at the Lougheed levels, Albertans would have had an additional $575 billion to enjoy. Add that to the $150 billion in lost taxes that Ralph Klein’s daughter Angie was so upset with her father about, and the $260 billion we are being warned it could cost Albertans to clean up the orphan well mess that I was involved with prior to Klein changing the regulations to benefit his rich friends and we know who is to blame. It certainly isn’t the NDP or Liberals, as Kenney wants us to believe.
What is really upsetting is the fact that not one of these Reformers has been smart enough to suggest the obvious, that we should be following Lougheed’s lead of collecting proper royalties, taxes, and health care premiums and running this province properly like Lougheed did, and Norway and Alaska are doing.
Alan K. Spiller,
Calgary,
formerly of Camrose

Husfloen support

February 9, 2021

I would like to express my appreciation to Arnold Malone on his contributions  to your paper. I always enjoy his writings.
I particularly like his last letter to the editor headlined “Richard Husfloen”. I, too, wondered about this very thing, as I was on the alumni board when the vote was taken to allow the transition to the University of Alberta. The alumni board discussed this at length and didn’t see any other alternative to either do what was proposed by the board of regents or lose the school. As Arnold pointed out, Husfloen did the ground work to make this happen. He definitely was a great visionary and a great guy to work with.
The other thing that puzzled me in the Augustana timeline in the latest Circle was seeing that in 1952, North Hall was added as the girls’ dormitory. Now, I spent two school years living in this dormitory. Professor George Moi was the dean, and I roomed with another friend from the Armena district, Lorne Broen.
You would have thought that Professor Moi would have noticed that we were not girls, but apparently not. In North Hall, I even swept the floors and scrubbed the halls to help with my tuition. As far as I knew, the girls’ dormitory was in the upper floors of the main building.
What I concluded was that when North Hall was first occupied, it really was a boys’ dormitory and not as listed in the timeline on page 5.
I, too, like Malone’s puzzle on the omission of Husfloen and the mistake on North Hall. Perhaps that was an honest mistake regarding North Hall, but then this begs the question on how diligently this timeline was put together.
David Moore,
Camrose

Rural areas

February 9, 2021

The news crawler on TV stated that the highest rate of Covid infection in Alberta is in rural areas. With new, more contagious and more potentially deadly variants emerging all the time, the virus will soon outrun any attempt to vaccinate the public. Exponential growth is as much our enemy as is ignorance and misinformation. And those who feign injury of their rights by a masking requirement might consider this tidbit, courtesy of British mathematician via reporting from noted journalist, an author on pandemics, Andrew Nikiforuk.
Compare a virus that is 50 per cent more deadly to a virus that is 50 per cent more infectious. Current reproduction rates are at about 1.1 with a death rate of 0.8 per cent. In other words, current strains deliver 129 deaths per 10,000 infections. Now, consider a virus that is 50 per cent more deadly. It will deliver 193 deaths per month.  But a virus that is 50 per cent more transmissible will deliver 978 deaths per month. The new variants are 30 to 70 per cent more transmissible.
You can’t fight math and exponential growth. As well, more virus means more replication which means more chance of mutation and more chance of a more lethal variant that will kill a wider spectrum of demographic. We need to get off the government’s roller coaster solution of opening and closing. It’s bad for morale, it’s bad for business, and it won’t contain the virus. By contrast, New Zealand, Iceland, Taiwan, Australia and Vietnam got it right, even the Atlantic Provinces mostly got it right. They went for zero transmission. Today, New Zealand has had zero infections for eight of the last 10 months. People visit their families, go to concerts, and sporting events. People continue to wear masks on public transit and there are real restrictions on travel with real quarantines.
I vaguely remember the feel of a hug from my daughter, a frontline worker. When I read of people selfishly whining about rights over a simple mask, I have to remind myself that we must all move past the anger and move to eliminate the virus. This will take a global effort of which we are a part. We need to get to zero before the barely managed gets to totally unmanageable.
Tim Belec,
Camrose

Support views

February 2, 2021

 I write in support of the views expressed in all of the letters in the Jan. 19 issue of The Booster and of the news article, “Local Picketers Respond to Camrose MLA”. It would be encouraging to think that our Member of the Legislative Assembly would read any of them and bring the concerns of some of the electors to the attention of our government, but I am not hopeful.
In the same issue, thank you for the piece “Keeping the Body in Motion.” And as always, I appreciated Bonnie Hutchinson’s Reflections.                                                                                                                         
David Edwards, Camrose

Daylight savings

February 2, 2021

We need to kill daylight savings time.
1. The change in time upsets young school children and their parents.
2. Time change upsets school bus drivers, having to wait for children to catch the bus.
3. Teachers have to cope with more tired and stressed children.
4. Statistics indicate that car accidents increase up to 17 per cent in the first week after spring time change.
5. Daylight Savings Time gives us no more daylight hours.
6. Saskatchewan people do not have to suffer time change.
7. Write a letter or email your MLA. Ask to kill Daylight Savings Time for no stressful time change.
Robert Snider,
New Norway

Richard Husfloen

February 2, 2021

Recently I received a copy of Circle, an Augustana alumni magazine. My first impression was positive, but that impression soon turned to a sense of repugnance.
In outlining the history of Augustana, the writers mentioned each president from the formation until the present dean of the campus excepting one.
They did salute the new buildings, including the Jeanne and Peter Lougheed Performing Arts Centre, and the security of the campus under the umbrella of the University of Alberta.
They also gave credit to the Augustana board for the transformation of Augustana to a campus of the University of Alberta.
They failed miserably by omitting the single person who was the driver in bringing about that transformative status of the campus, Richard Husfloen. Without the tireless work of Husfloen, it is doubtful that Augustana would even exist today.
Upon his arrival, president Husfloen inherited an institution that had a history of accumulated deficits and a debt of $5,000,000. Through difficult budgeting, he reduced the deficit by half across five years. Nevertheless, he was convinced that the church, the government and the community were unable to sustain the capital required to maintain and enhance the university.
It was he who started the negotiations with the University of Alberta to take on the Augustana campus as a satellite of the University of Alberta. It was a thoughtful board that accepted reality, and the board approved his perspective.
Having mentioned every leader of the Augustana Campus except the most impacting leader in Augustana’s history gives rise to the suspicion that it was not an oversight, but an attempt to erase an extraordinary leader from the history of the campus.
In many ways, Husfloen was similar to Lee Iacocca, president of Chrysler Corporation. Both, unhappily, had to destroy a management culture and then rebuild a new vision. Both leaders were maligned by the old guard, but both avoided bankruptcy and both have a record of ongoing success. Husfloen ought to be saluted and recognized, but never forgot. The current Augustana Campus is a monument to his management experience, his vision, and his extraordinary efforts on behalf of students, staff and community. Circle magazine owes both an explanation and a correction.
Arnold Malone,
formerly of Camrose

 

Cleaner future

February 2, 2021

There has been a lot of talk about the executive order signed by Joe Biden to cancel the KXL pipeline, but what many missed is that the same executive order committed the US to converting the entire US federal fleet of 645,000 vehicles and 500,000 school buses to electric within five years. It also commits the US to installing 500,000 EV charging points by 2030. This is a clear statement that the US plans to switch from oil to electric. That means that our future Alberta prosperity will be less based on selling oil to the US.
This is not a negative letter. This change doesn’t mean that our prosperity will not come from selling energy–just that energy will not be oil. As Tim Belec’s excellent letter of Jan. 26 points out, Alberta has tremendous potential for geothermal energy. The temperature at the bottom of many of our oil wells is over 120 degrees, and the oil wells give us access to that heat. The heat can be used to generate inexpensive abundant electricity and many jobs come with it. Alberta is also an excellent place for wind generated electricity.
Wind power is now by far the least expensive source of electricity in Alberta. Many wind generators are being installed, and with them come more jobs. Modern wind generators are made from carbon fibre, which is lighter and stronger than steel and made from petroleum.  The US will need a huge amount of electricity and we could supply it. The economic prospects here for Alberta are wonderful.
Alberta is also a fine place to generate solar electricity.  The company Canadian Solar based in Guelph, is now a world leader in producing high efficiency solar panels. Community-based and home-based solar systems will soon be common. As we move to electric vehicles, having solar panels at home to charge your EV will be like having a gas station in your garage where the gas is free.
The world is on the verge of rapid change.  The only negative is the people who continue to say that our prosperity is dependent on selling oil to the US. Our future is bright if we are willing to take the emerging opportunities right in front of us. But if we don’t want to take these opportunities, we had better get out of the way so we don’t get run over as the world passes us by.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Punching bag

January 26, 2021

Our MLA Jackie Lovely must be feeling like a piñata or a punching bag these days, as a small but very vocal and never happy group of NDP supporters constantly attack her in print when they’re not “busy” marching around in front of her office or trying to harass her on the telephone. Now I’m sure Ms. Lovely realizes that she is “fair game” as an elected representative, but that doesn’t likely make it any easier.
Apparently, these people object to being referred to as “socialists” even though that is the commonly accepted term for those who believe government spending is the only solution to society’s problems. Has it now become a dirty word?
Our provincial government has the very difficult task of trying to help our economy survive, as well as protect our health during the worst pandemic of our lifetime, and do it without laying an insufferable burden of debt on future generations. This is not an easy task. It would be much easier to take the NDP (and federal Liberal) approach of just spending enormous amounts of money with little or no accountability and letting the chips fall where they may.
One of the recurring complaints seems to be the “massive cuts” to government funding, in particular, post-secondary education. While it is unfortunate anytime jobs are lost, the fact is the impact of the pandemic and economic downturn has been far more devastating to the private sector. Small business owners and employees have real “survival” concerns, but they are not the ones hounding their MLA.
Larry Lewsaw,
Camrose

Our paper

January 26, 2021

Being the Third Best Independent Newspaper in North America is an outstanding accomplishment!
Kudos to The Camrose Booster staff/crew who so diligently creates this paper every week. You do Camrose proud! Congratulations on being recognized for this accomplishment.
Your readers are so grateful to you for keeping us informed and up to date regarding all that transpires in our community and Alberta in general.
You have focused on community interests (e.g. antique/old automobiles), and raised awareness regarding community needs (e.g. County/City fire, recreation and recycling costs), providing details your readers need to use when making decisions.
You have also covered political nuances, zeroing in on what needs to be said with tactful confidence and verbal poise.
The detailed article on fitness served as a reminder to get me moving again. I first met Connie in the Bethany warm pool exercise classes. The article, with its clear 15-point “Tips to get there” (and the clincher, “never give up!”) made me dig out my exercise sheets, my mat, the big ball and my walking poles, again, and renewed my resolve to try to get moving.
We don’t know who to thank for the Booster Banter, but we thank them for infusing a little levity into a rather grim COVID-19 existence. Know that we have shared some of those chuckles with Edmontonians and a shut-in octogenarian UK friend.
The Booster is so relevant to many aspects of our lives.
For this, and much more, we thank you!
Marion and Bill
Leithead, Bawlf

Pipelines

January 26, 2021

The cancellation of the TC XL pipeline was not inevitable, but a fair bet for anyone paying attention. Jason Kenny risked dumping $1.5 billion into XL and providing another $6 billion in loan guarantees on what many anticipated would become a white elephant. Add into the mix the $1.3 billion in losses when he nixed the oil-by-rail program with his incompetent and myopic push to bring back Alberta oil’s glory days, he has cost Albertans dearly. Now he is falling back on an easy and familiar target, the federal government. Somehow, they didn’t do enough to compel the new president to ignore America’s own Paris commitments.
What could Alberta have done with the $8.8 billion? According to the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association, the technical potential of generating electricity from deep well geothermal in Alberta is 555,800 MW. The theoretical potential, that is drilling deeper and working to mature the technology, is almost 8.2 TW. Deep well geothermal uses exactly the same technology we use to drill oil wells. It uses the same personnel, engineering, drillers, suppliers and down hole tooling. One pilot in southern Saskatchewan has cost $10 million to produce the needed heat. These geothermal installations have a generating capacity of five to 20 MW. Camrose uses close to 20 MW of electricity. The estimated employment requirement is about four FTE per MW to operate each plant.
Once upon a time in Alberta, a man named Lougheed had a vision for something called the Alberta Tar Sands. He was told that it was not economically viable, but he committed Alberta to research and develop the technology needed to make what was to become the economic lifeblood of Alberta a reality.
In Alberta, we have thousands of orphan wells. Potentially, we could be providing cities and towns with renewable, carbon-free electricity. We could easily become a net exporter of power. The big question is, with low oil prices, increasing GHG emissions, rising unemployment and an expert, ready-made work force, why are we not fully embracing the ultimate potential of deep well geothermal?
We could be a world leader in geothermal generation, an exporter of green electricity, we could meet our Paris commitments and beyond, and Kenny could leave a legacy that would give our children a livable planet. But I guess it’s easier and more in character to pick fights with the feds.
Tim Belec,
Camrose

Drama continues

January 26, 2021

The COVID-19 drama continues on and on, flowing right into 2021. The numbers in Quebec and Ontario are climbing higher and higher. Now there seems to be a complete lockdown, with people required to be at home at a certain time. Here in our community, our numbers are at an acceptable rate. For most of us who have been obeying all of recommendations by our government, there is only one question on most of our minds. When will this all end?
This seems to be the nightmare which never has an ending. Most of us did not have a normal Christmas. We were all looking forward to Jan. 11 when the restaurants were all going to reopen for indoor dining. Now this will not happen until Jan. 21. Now, please do not get me wrong; this is a very serious disease. We all need to do our part to stop this virus from spreading. I just wonder, will there be an end to this nightmare or will this be the new norm?
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Many changes

January 26, 2021

Thank you to our friends and family and all residents who showed a conscience and did the right thing by staying home this Christmas. We were supposed to have 12 at our place, but scaled it back to just the two of us. Our parents, brother and family, and daughter all cancelled flights from BC.  They stayed home to flatten the curve. Same with our kids who live in Edmonton. We missed being together this year, but we did this because it was the right thing to do.
For all of us, it meant we couldn’t be close to many of our loved ones during a special time of the year.  You showed a conscience and did your part to flatten the curve. You also showed more leadership than many of our Elected Officials, who chose to ignore the advice to avoid nonessential travel, advice from Dr. Hinshaw and the provincial government.
Albertans deserve and expect better from those in leadership roles. Thank you for doing your part during this pandemic.
Kevin Smook,
Beaver County

Freedom for security

January 26, 2021

I believe it was it was Benjamin Franklin who said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.”
I’m not sure I totally agree with the last part of his quote, but I do agree that it is extremely unwise to trade our freedom for security.
In “Just Sayin’”, in the Dec. 29th issue of The Camrose Booster, I appreciated what Bryan Hookenson had to say in his letter, “Stole Christmas”, and I encourage everyone to read it.
I agree 100 per cent with him. I applaud him for speaking the truth. And I hear countless people, including myself, voicing the same opinions as this man.
So now I ask everyone, what are we going to do about this? Are we going to stand together and say “enough”, or are we going to silently let these restrictions and lockdowns continue?
It causes me to constantly read our Charter of Rights and Freedoms. That is what we stand on, and no one can take that away from us, no matter how intimidating they try to be.
To back us up and reinforce our knowledge of our rights and freedoms, Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms (jccf.ca) out of Calgary, work tirelessly and pro bono for our rights and freedoms. Thank God for those amazing men and women.
One thing they encourage us to do is to email our government officials constantly, overwhelming them with our emails, telling them we want these restrictions and lockdowns to stop.
We now have an obligation to fight for our freedoms within our own country, for those who fought for our freedoms in another country.
Let us all stand together as Albertans to help make Canada the True North, Strong and Free we are supposed to be.
We are Alberta. We are the West. We are Free.
Amie N. Kozmeniuk,
Camrose

Travel violations

January 19, 2021

Just want to thank M.R. Leithead of Bawlf, Sharon MacFayden of Daysland, and Marvin Miniely of Camrose for expressing so eloquently what most of us are thinking. Thank you!
Nicole Silver,
Camrose

Best newspaper

January 19, 2021

Congratulations to The Camrose Booster for being named Third Best Independent Newspaper in North America! That is no small feat.
I loved the cover of the May 19 edition, and the Bailey Theatre so appreciates the support we have received from The Camrose Booster. You really helped capture a very special moment in 2020 for the Bailey.
I also want to pass on my compliments on the cover photos for these last two weeks. They were clever and beautiful. Hats off to Murray and Lori.
In closing, I want to let you know how much I have appreciated reading The Camrose Booster, especially this past year. It has kept us connected, been a source of news and also lifted my spirits. Thank you so much and keep up the good work.
Colleen Nelson,
Camrose County

Control measures

January 19, 2021

I cannot believe the selfishness displayed in recent letters to The Booster, advocating that control measures such as social distancing and mask-wearing to control COVID-19 virus is just something dreamed up by the government to take away our freedoms.
How selfish, considering how doctors and nurses have risked their lives, working long shifts to care for sick people.
We think also of other frontline workers, such as cashiers, who deal with the public every day.
Who are these supposed “doctors around the world” who have said these measures don’t work?
Do you not know the definition of “pandemic” – a disease prevalent universally with huge numbers of people dying, and those who do recover, recounting terrible painful experiences and possible lasting side effects.
It is surprising how one missed Christmas can throw those with no fortitude or backbone into such a “tizzy”, probably because they have forgotten the real meaning of Christmas in the first place.
Yvonne Wagar,
Camrose

Coal mines

January 19, 2021

MLA Jackie Lovely, I just read your interview in The Booster and was sorry to hear that some of the public have used foul language in your office.
I have read recently in the Edmonton Journal and on the internet that your government has quietly changed the 1976 coal policy. Peter Lougheed’s government put a lot of research into this and the result was that under this law, no one could get a permit for open pit mining in the foothills. Your government changed this law in 2020 without public consultation and now permits are going ahead.
I believe this is wrong for several reasons. We don’t need more coal mines, this is not where the future is. (I am not against oil production and hope we get those pipelines built.)
This will hurt Alberta’s image and will hurt our efforts in being good stewards of the environment. Open pit mines in the pristine foothills, really?
The source of water for the Oldman, the Red Deer, and Saskatchewan rivers all flow through this area. We can’t do anything to risk the water that most Albertans drink, is used for irrigation in southern Alberta, and is important for wildlife, etc.
In BC, coal mining by Elk Valley, on the other side of the mountains, has led to selenium pollution, poisoning fish, and resulting in undrinkable water. Did the Alberta government look into this–is money more important than clean water?
And Alberta won’t make much money from this, Australian companies are largely behind this. They were just turned down by their own country for a mine due to environmental reasons.
I believe your government should put a stop to this and should be more open to the public about important issues like this.
Alvin Eyolfson,
Camrose

Questionable response

January 19, 2021

It seems that the heat is beginning to get to Camrose MLA Jackie Lovely. And not because she took a vacation to Hawaii. The Camrose Booster’s recent article about people picketing in front of her office has drawn a questionable response from Lovely.
She states that picketers were “socialists”. This dog-whistle Trumpist language seeks to belittle anyone who holds views opposing UCP ideology. Protestors are concerned for the well-being of average Albertans and resist cuts to health care and other social programs. She then states that the UCP is focused on legislation that will allow industry to thrive. The $4.7 billion in tax breaks were given so that private industry could thrive and promptly tens of thousands of private industry jobs disappeared.
During a pandemic, when thousands are seeing their jobs reduced or terminated, people need help from their government and it is not reasonable to rely on private industry to bail out the average Albertan. Government helping its citizens doesn’t need to be labeled “socialist”, but merely an expectation of citizens that the government will have their backs when times are tough.
MLA Lovely is offended by “foul language” used by visitors to her office. While I don’t condone abusive language, I can certainly understand that some people may resort to such language when they are struggling for survival. People tend to get emotional when their means of securing the necessities of life are at stake. Surely she knew that MLAs face criticism for their party’s policies and that she has a duty to represent all of her constituents, even if they offend delicate sensibilities.
Cuts to health care and insufficient funding for schools during a pandemic seem rather disruptive to every Albertan. She also complains that she wants to have “civil and constructive conversations”. This presents a difficulty when it seems to be UCP policy to resist engagement with anyone critical of their ideologically-driven agenda. One of the most common complaints about UCP MLAs is their unwillingness to respond to their constituents’ concerns.
If MLA Jackie Lovely is finding there’s too much heat, perhaps she and the UCP should consider getting out of the kitchen.
Dave McDougall,
Camrose

Travel violations

January 12, 2021

After much push-back from angry Albertans, Premier Jason Kenney is trying to reverse his original reactions to municipal affairs minister and his chief of staff Huckabay’s nonessential holiday travels, with some token “sops”, hoping to pacify his critics. His total lack of judgment makes him unfit to govern.
Allard was the vice-chair of the Cabinet Emergency Management Committee and her portfolio included facilitating free self-isolation hotel spaces and COVID-19 care packages for communities in the province hardest-hit by the pandemic (Jan. 1; Calgary Herald). So, in the first place, Kenney should never have allowed her holiday travels during the COVID pandemic! And, as a consequence, she should have been completely turfed out. Gone. Never mind, just asking for her “resignation”. Totally inadequate, considering her abdication of her ministerial responsibilities.
Allard’s apologetic emotional travel-justification of it being a “long-standing family tradition…” and that she did it “in order to help the airline industry” is (laughably) pathetic. There is no excuse for Allard’s travels. Albertans had been told for months not to travel. And, even the house whip reminded MLAs not to travel over the holidays. Yet, as Alberta’s more stringent public health (lockdown) measures were introduced (Dec. 13) amid the punishing second wave of COVID-19 infections…with serious fines and penalties for noncompliance…minister Allard continued her travel plans.
Hence, not only should Allard have resigned (which she and Huckabay now have), they, plus Nixon, Stephan, Fir, Yao, Rhen (…and any others, who ignored the Alberta AHS COVID-19 health orders, which Kenney insisted have “binding legal force”) should have been terminated, not as Kenney so belatedly decided, merely demoted. (If  Kenney doesn’t enforce those AHS orders, who will?)
Kenney’s claims that he didn’t have a list of everybody who may have traveled abroad are (again) disingenuous. Kenney was merely afraid to do what needs doing, because there are so many miscreants. Therefore, he did nothing. Yet, Premier Kenney recently claimed the AHS COVID-19 public health orders have “binding legal force”…so why does he not enforce those orders?
Furthermore, Kenney’s (initial) defence of these miscreant government officials and his claiming to “taking the blame” for his “instructions” that he claimed lacked clarity, makes him fully complicit (an accomplice) in these numerous travel violations/crimes…he, thereby, along with his poor decision-making, should be declared “unfit to govern”.
Premier Kenney and many of his cabinet members’ credibility, especially now, after all his vacillating, contradictory rhetoric, is zero.
Keenly disappointed.
M. R. Leithead,
Bawlf

Health regulations

January 12, 2021

As an Albertan who has followed health regulations and recommendations related to Covid since last March, I am incensed by the cavalier dismissal of the irresponsible and arrogant travel undertaken by elected officials and public servants over the holiday season.
I have not attended public gatherings, not gone out in public without a mask, not socialized with neighbours, friends or relatives in weeks. I have not visited my grandchildren nor my mother-in-law, who lives alone, in months. I go out only when necessary.
I am sick of being home and sick of my own company. In spite of that, I will continue to follow the regulations and recommendations set out for my own safety and, more importantly, for safety of my family, my friends and my community–not just because it is the law, but because it is what is morally right.
By their own actions, minister Tracy Allard, MLA Jeremy Nixon, MLA Tanya Fir, MLA Pat Rehn, MLA Jason Stephan, Jamie Huckabay, Michael Forian and Eliza Snider have all not only endangered the health and lives of Albertans by the possibility that they have contracted Covid in the course of their travels, but they have sent two very strong messages.
The first is that our health and well-being is less important than their vacations. The second message is that rules do not apply to members of your government and validates the actions of those people who are wilfully not following the regulations.
Let’s be perfectly clear, there was no “rule” governing travel, but the guidelines were clear that travel was allowed for essential purposes only. None of these trips were essential by any stretch of the imagination. That you accepted as a defence “incredible lapse of judgement” is actually incredible. A lapse, by definition, is “a temporary failure of concentration, memory, or judgement”. Each of these vacations took time to plan, book and reserve. This was done by people who were fully aware of the intent and purpose of Covid health regulations and recommendations. There is nothing temporary about any of that. This was clearly people doing what they wanted, regardless of what was right, because they thought they could get away with it.
As Rachel Notley said, “This is... the UCP government lacking moral judgement, lacking any compassion for the four million people in Alberta who were told they couldn’t see their parents and grandparents at Christmas.” I would add that through your inaction, you are also lacking accountability to the people of this province.
Sharon MacFadyen,
Daysland

 

Holiday travel

January 12, 2021

The holiday travel adventures of members of the UCP and senior government staff show a complete disrespect for all Albertans. A senior cabinet minister had the gall to say visiting Hawaii was a family tradition.
Of course Albertans were requested not to visit parents, grandparents, extended family and friends even in their close communities. The fact of there being no resignations or dismissals (at the time of the writing of Miniely’s letter) confirms the disrespect held for Albertans that borders on contempt. It’s like saying “we get to do what we want unlike you ordinary lesser beings.”
I find myself enraged.
Marvin Miniely,
Camrose

Carbons

January 5, 2021

Carbon: a nonmetallic element (symbol C) found in all organic substances and in some inorganic substances such as diamonds, graphite, coal, charcoal, lampblack and bitumen pitch including crude oil.
Charcoal: a black porous substance obtained by the imperfect combustion of organic matter such as wood. Used as a fuel, an absorbent, a filter, a pencil or crayon.
Cardon Dioxide: a heavier than air odorless incombustible gas (symbol CO2) used in fire extinguishers and carbonated beverages. Also in solid forms, can be used as a refrigerant.
It is taken from the atmosphere in the photosynthesis of all plants or vegetation, and returned to the atmosphere as oxygen. However, when all mammals or animals breath, they expel carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, along with a small portion of unused oxygen.
Hydro-carbon: one of a large and important group of organic compounds that contain hydrogen and carbon only including, but not limited to, benzene, ethylene and methane. Also present in the exhaust during the imperfect burning of all fossil-based fuels.
The killer. Carbon Monoxide (symbol CO): a colourless, odorless gas formed by the incomplete oxidation of carbon and the imperfect burning of all fossil-based fuels.
These imperfections are caused by a lack of oxygen or hydrogen gas at the point of combustion, and real scientists have stated for hundreds of years that the most proficient way to help the atmosphere and slow the consumption of all fuels is to reach and maintain the perfect burn of combustion, eliminating the detrimental substances created by the practices of greed and ignorance revealed by governance and the extremely wealthy.
For those who did or did not know: Gasoline vapour is approximately 1,000 times more volatile than its liquid counterpart, and when this vapour is ignited, the detrimental substances are virtually eliminated, creating an extremely clean fossil-based fuel with the ability to propel heavy objects great distances with very little consumption.
Look around folks, we have been manipulated and lied to for too long and I, for one, have had enough. It is time for us to all stand together before we are all crushed together as one by the greed and ignorance of the governance and extreme wealth who wish for control of the population.
The people should not fear its government, however, the government should fear its people.
Darwin B. Willett,
Wainwright

Harming people

January 5, 2021

Last time I wrote to you, Premier Jason Kenney, I used the title “honourable” in keeping with the status of your position. Not this time.
The result of the performance put on by you, your ministers and chief medical tyrant on Dec. 8, purposely does harm to the people you have sworn to represent and were elected to serve and protect. This last event disqualifies you from honourable; you’ve now graduated to criminal.  All your colleagues are just as guilty.
Thankfully, you dropped any pretense of “following the science” and are now sticking to the “narrative”, the real purpose we were informed by Mr. Shandro: to change people’s behavior and keep them isolated.
As you so eloquently expressed, Canada has a constitution and charter that protects our God-given rights and freedoms. Yet you trampled all over those rights with this latest set of restrictions. Shame on you and all who are going along with this horrid psychological warfare against the citizens of the world.
Do you really believe that the globalists have the best interest of Canadians, let alone Albertans, in mind? You say the right words, that you have their best interest in your decisions, but you act differently. There will be a day of reckoning for this evil, there always is. You’ve already stepped over the line, however, it’s not too late to rectify the situation.
Our neighbors to the south have two heroes who have actually followed the science and set their States free. Ron DeSantis gave a factual presentation when he opened up Florida. Perhaps you can view it and learn. Kristi Noem simply did what was right from the beginning and never locked up.
A virus infection with a recovery rate of 99.97 (less dangerous than the average flu) does not qualify as a pandemic. You know it,  Hinshaw knows it, Tam knows it, Trudeau knows it, as does anyone with their eyes open. This is not a medical issue…it is a political issue.
You can be Canada’s hero. You’ve already said the right things; it’s time to do the right thing. This charade has gone on long enough. Dig deep and see if you still have a conscience.
You know what is right;  question is, will you actually stand up for it?
Marc Presseau,
Forestburg

Good care

December 29, 2020

I am writing to commend Camrose on the excellent facility they have in St. Mary’s Hospital. I had a severe stroke on March 2. I was bed ridden and fed by a tube. The nursing staff were very kind and compassionate. Because the physiotherapist assistants massaged and moved my left hand which had absolutely no movement, it remained flexible. I now have limited movement in it. Thanks so much to them for all their help.
The doctors were all great. When no rehab hospital would take me because of the care I needed, or perhaps because they felt I would not progress, Dr. Minders persisted and thanks to his efforts, Ponoka gave me a two-week trial. I was later moved to Red Deer. With determination and a fantastic rehab team, in four months, I progressed from being able to sit by myself for only two minutes, to walking with a walker and one assistant
At the end of September, I was discharged to the Tofield Hospital so they could evaluate my home. I went home to stay a week later, and because I had no physio during this time, I regressed. Fortunately the occupational therapist submitted an application to ESD (Early Stroke Discharge) in Camrose. This is a great group of individuals who all work together with care and compassion. With their help, I regained the ground I had lost, and then progressed to walking alone with the walker and with a cane, as well as navigating the one step into the kitchen. I commend the entire group for their dedication. You will always have a place in my heart.
Joslien Wannechko,
Ryley

Stole Christmas

December 29, 2020

For some time now, I have wondered that even after social distancing, sanitizing, compulsory masks, the closing of schools, businesses, and the destruction of our economy, that the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.
Does this mean that the present plan has not and is not working? The definition of insanity is to keep doing something over and over again, expecting a different result; we are most certainly there.
Even though thousands of doctors around the world have said that these measures don’t work, and have suggested that the social, health and economic consequences of the cure will be far more lethal than the actual virus, our governments continue down this path of destruction on the advice, usually of nonviral experts.
These doctors’ warnings are completely ignored by our governments.
My father-in-law just spent two weeks in a room by himself because one worker tested positive for Covid, a test that we know can be up to 90 per cent inaccurate. For years, various groups have fought against solitary confinement in jails as “cruel and unusual punishment”. If it is unacceptable for people like Clifford Olsen who killed over 100 children, why is it acceptable to lock up a 90-year-old man in a room by himself for two weeks?
The government has spent our CPP, our OAS, and our EI. The country that has been so concerned for our seniors has now put them in a position where their investments will be worthless, our money devalued, perhaps hyperinflation of goods and services. Our youth face years of joblessness for what? To stop the spread of a virus that has far less consequences than those listed above.
Over the last year, we have lost the right to congregate as a family or with friends, the right to practise religious freedoms, the right to travel, the right to question or challenge the views or laws of a government gone insane with power.
The second greatest mass extermination of people in the last century started not with concentration camps and ghettos, but with confinement and segregation. Number one was when a Russian dictator chose to implement the communist system in a nation to improve life, which accounted for somewhere between 50 and 80 million executions. Those that are ignorant of their past are doomed to repeat it.
Bryan Hookenson,
Kingman

Second wave

December 29, 2020

We are now in a second wave of another COVID-19 shutdown. I do agree that we, as a province and as a country, do need to get this under control. However, by allowing the airports and another bubble city to be allowed, it seems very unfair that this is allowed, while a family get-together is totally off the table.
The family members have to live in the same home. Fines could be handed out if a family does not comply to these requirements not to allow families not to have Christmas.   Yet these social gatherings are allowed to happen in these so-called bubbles.  Could this be the start of the government regulating people’s private lives?  This is just something for all of you to ponder during this very lonely Christmas.
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

A joke

December 29, 2020

I thought maybe the April Fool’s edition of The Booster had come out early, but no, it was Dec. 15, and I was reading that MLA Jackie Lovely was recognized by her peers in the legislature for “Best Community Outreach”. It appears her peers didn’t peer very deeply into the Camrose riding; had they done so, they would have discovered that Ms. Lovely’s “community outreach” consists mainly of photo ops so that she can bulk up her social media accounts. Had Ms. Lovely really wanted to reach out to the community, one thing she could have done was simply step out of her office to meet with some of her constituents who have been peacefully “protesting” on Friday afternoons.  Another thing she could have done was actually answer an email.  I am not alone in waiting for responses; I was even in her office a few weeks ago, and although there was no sign of Ms. Lovely, I was assured by the constituency assistant/office manager that Ms. Lovely would receive my messages (and, I assume, respond).
My suspicion–and conclusion–is that Ms. Lovely is unable to provide any believable rationale for the UCP government’s actions.
I would like to nominate our MLA for “Best Constituent Avoidance”.
John Olson,
Camrose

Hat tip

December 22, 2020

To everyone in our city who expends time, energy and resources (especially monetary) on outdoor lighting, yard décor and even some melodic sounds this season, we salute you and with a deep bow, give a tip of our hats. It is an act of giving to others (strangers) a great deal of pleasure that you (the creators and givers) cannot see and enjoy or, at best, from a lesser view point.
We have just done a cruise of the City. We recall many, many years ago that 46th Street (south of 48th Avenue) was known for being the longest continuous light show in Camrose with practically every resident putting up a display, large and small. Marler Drive is emerging as Camrose’s  “Candy Cane Lane” of today. We encountered several other stretches of multiple block long shows. Unfortunately, the captain of the ship and his navigator didn’t chart all the coordinates. We appreciate every last  contribution, of any size,  to our itinerary of  delight across a sea of reflective snow white on a crisp, cold December night –with windows down and heater up. To the home that simply changed their front porch light bulb to one that alternately flashed red and green, you have made and given “joy to the world”,  Thank you.
 Steve and
Peggy Shuman,
Camrose

Coal dust

December 22, 2020

Mountaintop mining looks “neat” in the schematic drawings, but in real life when it’s done, the mountains are gone, the water flowing from them is polluted (with selenium, for example) and the wilderness is cut up with roads.
And while it’s being done, there is noise and traffic, and coal dust carried for miles eastward by the prevailing winds.  When the UCP government rescinded the 1976 Coal Policy effective this past June, I didn’t think it was a good idea, but I didn’t know much about it and it didn’t seem to affect me here in Camrose.
Recently, I’ve been learning a little bit more about what’s involved (see for example ab4coalfreesw.ca). I would think that minister of environment and parks Jason Nixon would often be waking up suddenly in the night in a cold sweat as he realizes he may well have authorized the destruction of the headwaters of the Oldman River (which ultimately flows into Hudson Bay, via the South Saskatchewan River, Lake Winnipeg and the Nelson River). What was he thinking? That money is more important than water?
If some health and environmental catastrophe were to be inflicted upon Camrose, I would greatly appreciate the help and support of “outsiders”. I feel, as an Albertan, a sense of solidarity with the folks most directly and adversely affected by mountaintop mining on the eastern slopes of the Rockies. I urge others to learn about this assault on what used to be a protected area and take whatever action is possible (spread the word, write to our MLA and minister Nixon, support the Livingstone Landowners Group).
John Olson,
    Camrose

Unsung heroes

December 22, 2020

Unsung heroes, the ones who dig the trenches, standing tall, anticipating the attack. Those with no medical training, only willingness, and heart. The others decide for them what to carry out. With no ado, they strive to follow through. We pile more and more onto this weary group of heroes. Still keeping a smile on their faces, they forge through.
Every precautionary measure is taken, yet covid relentlessly attacks. It weasels in to take its foe. Five deaths bring a flow of tears to this worthy troop. Many residents and staff fall crippled in distress, captured by covid’s invisible army. Yes, I was one whom covid claimed amongst so many during this pandemic. Now, I am recuperating, my strength is coming back. Blessings for those who made their journey home, in our hearts and minds they will always remain.
With hearts aglow, yet saddened, our unsung heroes keep up the pace. Weary from the many hours and being short-staffed, their pace has slowed, yet their spirit soars on. They have fought a grand fight since March, not missing a step.
We are now pleased to report no new positive cases amongst residents or staff. As well, there are no recent cases of residents with symptoms. Three residents remain in isolation in their rooms, being reassessed to have precautions removed when appropriate. Two residents are in hospital, our thoughts and prayers to them and their families.
We are still on outbreak status, quarantine, which means many rules and regulations to follow.  There are meetings scheduled with Alberta Health Services to review the outbreak status; hopefully they will lift it early in January. If all goes well, sometime next week we will have meals in the main dining room. Residents have been restricted to their suites since mid-November. Seeing everyone together will be so exciting.
This means Christmas and New Year’s Eve will be held here at Rosealta Lodge without family or friends because of the quarantine. Residents and staff will follow regulations while celebrating this festive season. Our hearts saddened, yet full of love as we approach Christmas Day. There is going to be merriment throughout the lodge as everyone steps out of their suites. We are a big family identity who has mustered a lot because of the pandemic.
Who are the unsung heroes that I speak of? Staff and residents of Rosealta Lodge, that’s who. We have marched to the sound of the drum and survived.
Ho! Ho! Merry Christmas.
Lynda Broz,
Camrose

No room

Dec. 15, 2020

In the spring of 1973, I visited the Slavey settlement of Fort Norman. The Catholic priest, a mainstay of every northern town, met us at the grass strip that acted as runway, and gave us a tour. It took five minutes to cover the three short streets, ending at the rectory, where he invited us in for tea. We sat talking, eating homemade biscuits, and admiring the watercolour paintings arranged on the walls.
“Those are the work of Peter McKenzie,” said the priest with great pride. “Aren’t they wonderful?”
“Yes,” we agreed. And they were.
“I’ve encouraged him for years,” said Father Frontenac. “I bought him art supplies and convinced him to send his work outside”–“outside” being the name northerners use for lands and people south of the 60th parallel.
As he warmed to his topic, a look of sadness mixed with humour crossed his face. “I always wanted him to paint the nativity,” he said. “Every year, I would think of it just before Christmas. Every year, I’d ask him, and every year he’d say yes. But he never painted me a picture of the birth of Christ.
“Last year, I decided to find out why.  So I cornered him in November–not waiting until the last minute as usual–and asked him if he would paint Joseph, Mary and Jesus in the manger this year.”
“Oh,” he smiled. “Every year, you ask me. Every year, I sit down to paint. And every year, I give up.”
“And why is that?” asked the priest.
“Because Christ would never be born in a manger in Fort Norman,” he said. “If Joseph brought Mary here, someone would give them a room.”
I’ve changed the names, but the story is true, just the same.
Deanne Morrow,
Camrose

No secrets

Dec. 15, 2020

 The recent “leak” of the secret recordings of conversations between the chief medical officer of health and politicians brings to the forefront the fundamental question of why there is any secrecy around any taxpayer-funded work that is completed by civil servants.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw is a civil servant, her $330,000 per year (2019 number) salary is paid by the citizens of Alberta. By default, the work that she does belongs to the citizens of Alberta, not the premier, Cabinet, or party insiders. That great efforts are being taken to keep the work of a publicly-paid scientist from being seen by the citizens who pay for that work should be of grave concern.
In an open, accountable democracy that functions for the public good, it is the duty of the decision makers to have the best information possible to guide decisions. That typically means that experts–paid by the taxpayer–provide information.  That this provincial government or, for that matter, any government takes these extraordinary maneuvers to keep public information a secret should be very concerning.
Mathew Banack,
Round Hill

Not listening

Dec. 15, 2020

 For the past six Fridays, concerned citizens have gathered outside MLA Jackie Lovely’s Camrose office. We believe the UCP has failed to listen to the people most affected by UCP policies and budget cuts. We are concerned about how poorly they have chosen to implement many of their policies and practices, including their timing, long-term management, fiscal management, standards and consultation.
Here are some of our experiences thus far:
Despite multiple invitations, our MLA has chosen not to engage with us in any meaningful, mutual way. Aside from one online session with the minister for advanced education in November, there have been no UCP responses that directly address any of our concerns, nor any other opportunity for dialogue.
We care deeply about how current political decisions in Alberta are affecting all kinds of people, from K-12 students to healthcare workers, Indigenous Peoples, small business owners, AISH recipients, seniors, university students, campers and hunters. We care about our future, our social safety net, and our environment. Our government should listen to and advocate on behalf of all constituents, not just the ones who voted for or donated to them.
We are not alone in feeling frustrated by our current government’s style and policies; we have been pleasantly surprised by how many Camrosians are showing they support and appreciate us. Interactions have, for the most part, been respectful. We’ve heard from a few who don’t agree with us, but primarily people negatively impacted by multiple government policies. They feel ignored, betrayed, or forgotten in this government’s rush to cut and save, while favouring a select few. We’ve had adjacent businesses express some frustration with our presence –which ended up being loud from unexpected honks! We have made every effort to be respectful and accommodate concerns.
With updated AHS COVID protocols (finally), we cannot come together to physically protest. We will resume when it is safe to do so. If you also feel the UCP has prioritized large business interests over those of everyday Albertans, and that they are damaging our province’s current and future health and well-being, we invite you to join us in carrying on our protest online. Whatever issue(s) you feel are a priority, whoever you feel is being neglected or harmed by current policies, please take the time to call, write, or email Ms. Lovely or a UCP minister to detail your concerns.

Yvonne Becker, Rayleigh Conley, Nancy Goebel, Katelyn Kelly, Anne McIntosh, Marv Miniely, Joy-Anne Murphy, Marilyn Murray, John Olson, Ellen Parker, Don Ruzicka, Pam Stacey, Wyatt Tanton
Camrose

Under pressure

December 8, 2020

People are under a lot of pressure these days.  You know what happens when you squeeze an orange? Orange juice comes out. It is the same with people–when a person is under pressure, what is inside of them comes out.
For some people, love and the need to create more love emerges from the core of them. In these turbulent awfully insane times, some express an urgent need for more sanity and justice to make their inner sense able to fit in and work with what is out in the world.  Some, with a sense of how “it takes a village to raise a child”, are committed to creating community. And, believe it or not, there are people who think of and care about others and so desire the people of their family, region, country, and/or the world to work together democratically in the best interests of all, and while doing that, be  especially aware of and considering those who lack the ability and power to provide for their special needs–even though it angers some people when everybody is included in collective decision making.
Of course, we can’t ignore the loud, belligerent, violent, dysfunctional portion of the population which exhibits awfully ugly and ignorant views of life. But do we really want to be governed by bullies who appear to have the maturity of six-year-old boys, angry at their mothers, needing guns to feel powerful, rebelling against rules designed to keep them safe and healthy, lusting after the power to be omnipotent, above all laws and others, so making laws that only make sense to and serve the ego of other six-year-old boys?
Evone Monteith,
Camrose

Need leadership

December 8, 2020

My father is no longer with us, but if he was, I’d say, “Dad, it took real courage and determination for you and the other Canadian soldiers to push the Nazis out of the Netherlands during the Second World War. How do you feel about people who complain about their freedom when they are asked to put on a mask to protect others?” I’m pretty sure he would say they should stop being selfish and irresponsible and just put on a mask.
But my father would be most disgusted with Jason Kenney. Mr. Kenney says he wants to protect the economy, but won’t take the actions needed to get COVID-19 under control.  So the pandemic will drag on and on, making it much worse for the economy. Yes, we have new measures, but so many of them don’t make sense. For example, you can’t have your parents over for Christmas dinner, but you can meet with them at the casino.  If rules don’t make sense, people will ignore them.
Our MLA should tell Mr. Kenney that other provinces are not “indiscriminately violating people’s rights and destroying livelihoods” because they are trying to control Covid-19. And our MLA should tell Mr. Kenney that other provinces are not a “police state” because they are enforcing health restrictions. We know Mr. Kenney likes to pick fights, but our MLA should tell him that fighting with our own health care system during a pandemic is a terrible idea. Instead, she should tell him to listen to the doctors and nurses, because if we don’t get this pandemic under control, our economy can’t recover. Australia and New Zealand have shown that with good leadership and strong action, COVID-19 can be defeated. We know Mr. Kenney likes to talk tough, but so far, he hasn’t shown the courage to lead. Until he finds some courage and determination, Albertans will continue to get sick and our economy won’t recover.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Second wave

Now our country has entered into a second wave, just as bad as we were warned that it was going to be. Where I work, I have read all about the state of emergency which our premier has felt compelled to place us under. Most of the increase has happened because of people’s entitlement attitudes.
There is a group of people in this province who feel that their rights should be placed ahead of the most vulnerable. These people include the very young and the very old. I am a little disappointed at this small population of people. I do feel that our death rate has gone up because of their selfish actions. So, again to these people, I say, “Knock it off. Please.” You may not be affected, but some older person or young person may be. This is just something for all of you to think about as you live in your very disrupted lives. Actions have consequences. It is too bad that the warnings were not heeded.
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

No room

December 8, 2020

In the spring of 1973, I visited the Slavey settlement of Fort Norman. The Catholic priest, a mainstay of every northern town, met us at the grass strip that acted as runway, and gave us a tour. It took five minutes to cover the three short streets, ending at the rectory, where he invited us in for tea. We sat talking, eating home-made biscuits, and admiring the water-colour paintings arranged on the walls.
“Those are the work of Peter McKenzie,” said the priest with great pride. “Aren’t they wonderful?”
“Yes,” we agreed. And they were.
“I’ve encouraged him for years,” said Father Frontenac. “I bought him art supplies and convinced him to send his work outside—“outside” being the name northerners use for lands and people south of the 60th parallel.
As he warmed to his topic, a look of sadness mixed with humour crossed his face. “I always wanted him to paint the nativity,” he said. “Every year, I would think of it just before Christmas. Every year I’d ask him, and every year he’d say yes.   But he never painted me a picture of the birth of Christ.”
“Last year, I decided to find out why.  So I cornered him in November—not waiting until the last minute as usual—and asked him if he would paint Joseph, Mary, and Jesus in the manger this year.
“Oh,” he smiled. “Every year you ask me. Every year I sit down to paint.  And every year I give up.”
“And why is that?” asked the priest.
“Because Christ would never be born in a manger in Fort Norman,” he said.  “If Joseph brought Mary here, someone would give them a room.”
I’ve changed the names, but the story is true, just the same.
Deanne Morrow,
Camrose

Great reset

December 1, 2020

In 2005, Canada set a 2020 target of reducing GHG emissions by 124 million tonnes per year. Well it’s 2020, and in 15 years, we have reduced emissions by one million tonnes per year. So we have missed our target by 99.2 per cent. Should we celebrate making 0.8 per cent of our target?
What went wrong? To reduce emissions is hard because, in our energy-driven economy, it means a reduction in our standard of living. Politicians know that, so they make empty promises beyond their elected terms. In other words, they lie about what they will do because they’ll never be there to do it. If they just lie, that would be okay, but they waste money on preparing for their imagined future, while easy and immediate results are ignored.
Rather than gradually transitioning to a low carbon economy, politicians keep saying they’ll do it 15 years from now. For 30 years, politicians have flown to exotic locations, had sumptuous dinners and issued statements about how, in the future, they would be carbon-neutral–whatever that means. The annual Climate Change Performance Index report (CCPI) assesses national contributions and targets for 2030 from 56 countries, and it suggests that none of the 56 countries assessed were on target. So why do we persist with this farce?
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is now promising the “Great Reset”. That is, when COVID-19 is over, we will magically go directly to a carbon-neutral economy. Ya sure. When COVID-19 is over, we will have unimaginable debts and a society that is focused on health care and welfare. Yes, we will use less energy and produce less GHGs because more of us will be poor, but an unemployed family that can’t buy groceries is not going to reinsulate their house or buy an electric vehicle as a priority.
So politicians lie by promising the future because it’s an easy way to get re-elected. To see it from the other side, remember Emma in the TV show Corner Gas, who was elected Mayor of Dog River by “running on a platform which she openly did not support and the people voted for her because they knew what they would not get.” Trudeau is trying to sell us something in the long term that he himself will never deliver.
Just ignore him and go on with your lives–but use some decency and restraint.
This too shall pass.
Tony Hladun,
Camrose

Part two

December 1, 2020

My previous letter pointed out that populism (popular democracy) is regularly denounced as a threat to democracy. Yet if populism and democracy are the same thing, why is democracy threatened by populism? Perhaps it is because the democracy they are protecting isn’t very democratic. There is a word to describe this political variant, “electocracy.”
An electocracy is a political system where citizens may vote for their government, but cannot affect governmental decision making. In contrast to democracy, where citizens may participate in the making of decisions that affect them, electo- cracy limits decisions to an elected individual or group who may then govern in an arbitrary and unaccountable manner until the next election.
We are all familiar with examples of political promises that are broken as soon as the party forms a government. Canadian courts have consistently ruled that political promises are not binding on candidates or the parties they represent.
In the 2003 Ontario provincial election, Dalton McGinty campaigned on not raising taxes, even going so far as to sign a Canadian Taxpayers Federation (CTF) pledge reading, “I, Dalton McGuinty, leader of the Liberal Party of Ontario, promise, if my party is elected as the next government, that I will not raise taxes or implement any new taxes without the consent of Ontario voters.”
This pledge also affirmed the Taxpayer Protection Act of 1999, which prevented the Ontario government from raising taxes without consulting the voters. Then, upon forming the government, Premier McGuinty released his first budget. It included the biggest tax increase in Ontario history.
The CTF went to court arguing that the new tax was illegal because it violated the Taxpayer Protection Act. They also asked that McGinty be held personally liable for breach of contract after violating his written pledge. The Ontario court rejected both arguments, ruling that Parliament is sovereign and its powers cannot be limited.
When candidates, and the parties they represent, can make and break promises with impunity, then the foundation of democracy (rule by the people) is destroyed. We no longer have democracy, but electo- cracy, rule by an elected individual or group who may then govern in an arbitrary and unaccountable manner until the next election.
Dave Gosse,
Camrose

COVID cases

December 1, 2020

As COVID cases surge around us, I continue to be amazed at the politicizing of fairly straight-forward guidelines from health authorities. Wash hands. Social distance. Wear a mask indoors in public places and in outdoor areas where social distancing is not possible (commercial sections of Connaught and Patricia Streets in the town of Jasper). Avoid crowds. These hardly pose a dramatic threat to our personal rights and freedoms. My mask protects you if I am an asymptomatic carrier of COVID.
Your mask protects me. If you don’t trust the health authorities or the science that informs their guidelines, just look at the anecdotal evidence. Where these guidelines are followed, infection rates stay down (New Zealand). Where they aren’t followed, they go up (over 40 infected at a wedding in Calgary).  As it turns out, following health guidelines enhances our personal freedom, since low infection rates eliminate the need for government lockdowns. Instead of using our energy fighting with one another in these all-too-divisive times, may we direct it to supporting, encouraging, and caring for one another so that we get through this pandemic with the fewest infections possible.
Stephen Kristenson,
Camrose   

Thankfulness

November 24, 2020

In the midst of the continuing COVID craziness, I needed to remind myself of all the things I’m thankful for. Maybe you can relate. So here goes, in no particular order:
Family and friends, Booster Banter, big black and green garbage bins, book boxes around town, skating on Mirror Lake, all the hike/bike/xc ski trails, line dancing on Wednesday mornings, Bible study on Tuesday mornings, friendly helpful staff in all the stores/businesses, spontaneous conversations with strangers, perfect reflections on the lake, view from the top of the ski hill, the hum of the furnace on a cold day, fresh clean untrodden sparkling snow, an outdoor clothesline, trees to contemplate, birds to observe, vast prairie sky with spectacular sunrises and sunsets, food in the fridge and water on tap, Augustana University College and St. Mary’s Hospital, Lougheed PAC and Bailey theatre, the many books available on the interlibrary loan system, clean streets, the spire and cross on the top of the Catholic church, the migration of geese overhead, Shane and Lucas, Reg and Lance, John (You know who you are. Thanks!), singing with my family for Messiah’s live stream church services during lockdown, Sunday afternoon jaunts, ever-present Orion and Ursa Major, hearty laughter, hoar frost, double rainbows and sundogs, Sudoku, garden produce, leftovers, thrift shops and recycling, snow crystals on my face, flannel sheets, cumulus clouds, the blue of September skies, Google and YouTube, a really good hamburger, and the list goes on and on and on…
Carolyn Olson,
Camrose

Too much

November 24, 2020

Too much government is bad. We all know that, or should know that “big government” will always destroy the freedoms in that country; therefore, they must be kept in check.
Our Alberta Health Services (AHS) is too big and expensive and ineffective–it may be killing as many as it cures–why would any thinking person want to pay for this?
I would like to see much of our AHS done by private companies, not government.  I am aware of many services within AHS that operate outside of acceptable behaviour, according to their own standards, including cover-ups. Let’s not forget that taxpayers pay for their scandals and lawyers, nor forget that “big unions”, too, are unnecessary.
This brings to mind the Notley NDP who brought fake charges against Rebel News and their reporter for writing a book; the UCP is still paying government lawyers to bring this action into court–why?
We have been witnessing the corruption and cover-up of evil deeds of federal government: SNC, WE, etc., scandal after scandal. The WE scandal goes back to goat sacrificing and drinking of blood.
It’s time to free the people to have a choice–thank you, Premier Jason Kenney, for following sound advice regarding health services. AHS has gotten too big for proper check and balances.
Tina Kawalilak,
Beaver County

Peaceful protest

November 24, 2020

Each Friday since Oct. 30, concerned Camrose residents have gathered outside the office of our MLA Jackie Lovely to display signs of concern. More than 40 people have met peacefully and respectfully, masked and distancing, to display signs expressing our concerns. In addition to those who’ve gathered, well over 100 more have honked in support on the way by.
Our causes are varied, but we share frustration around how our government is implementing harmful policies without respectful engagement, without proper expertise, and without sufficient concern for the most marginalized Albertans.
Efforts by our MLA to bring funding to the Camrose Rotary and Family Violence Action Society are warmly welcomed. However, this does not make up for cuts to per-capita funding for First Nations, K-12 education, post-secondary education, AISH, health care, childcare and the arts. We remain concerned that pensions, public land, environmental oversight, worker’s rights and public health care are at risk.
On Nov. 20, our focus was on the Grassy Mountain Coal Project. This project by an Australia-based coal company will remove mountaintops in the Crowsnest Pass; it threatens our headwaters and the treaty rights of Indigenous peoples.
We will continue gathering until we see tangible, meaningful effort made to protect Albertans in these troubling times.
All are welcome to join us each Friday at 3 p.m., outside our MLA’s office (information available through the Alberta Government website).
Rayleigh Conley,
Camrose

Take survey

November 24, 2020

It was heartening to be invited to participate in a democratic process that I much admired in the US; namely, a town hall meeting (modified to an audio conference call due to COVID). The town hall meeting was convened by the Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee (AFAC) whose mandate is to hear concerns about the federal firearms legislation and provide recommendations on how provincial policies can best support law-abiding gun owners while keeping Albertans safe.
Having been an avid hunter and a competitive target shooter for more than 60 years, I had a great deal of interest in having my opinion(s) expressed (and heard?).
The Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee (CFAC) membership represents law enforcement officers, public health advocates, women’s groups, civilian firearms users, gun control advocates and members of the legal community. Recent CFAC recommendations have been to reclassify assault style semi-automatic rifles from the current “restricted” status to “prohibited” status. Safety minister Blaney, while in PM Harper’s cabinet, overruled every RCMP recommendation to that effect.
My intended town hall input was to support the notion making assault rifles “prohibited weapons” (as in most other countries except the US) since (i) they are not legal for hunting and (ii) their design is for killing humans in military or police work.
Since, firearms registry is a federal responsibility, why, in times of fiscal restraint, would a parallel, and very costly, AFAC be struck when its output is entirely irrelevant to federal legislation?
Constitutionally, provincial legislation regarding firearms is restricted to hunting regulations and regulations regarding discharge of firearms in municipalities.
In contrast to the broad cross section of society represented in the CFAC, introductions of AFAC members revealed that membership was composed entirely of the retail firearms sector, hunting and shooting sports enthusiasts. Hmmm!
The chairperson repeatedly invited call-ins by pressing *3…after many attempts of *3-receiver click, *3-receiver click, *3-receiver click, it appeared futile to attempt to call in. Meanwhile…selected call-ins lobbed softball questions to the panel, allowing panel members to promote their vested interest narrative. This town hall meeting was nothing more than a UCP-orchestrated charade.
Albertans can fill out an online survey regarding firearms legislation; however, results submitted by self selecting respondents have zero statistical validity, except for the additional charade of validating AFAC/UCP preconceived opinions.
Voice your opinion, take the survey…invalid as it is; knowing that your opinion(s) will be selectively cherry picked.
Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Populism and democracy

November 17, 2020

There has been an interesting development in the war of words occurring within the corporate media.  This is the idea that democracy is good but ‘populism’ is a dangerous or evil thing that will lead us to dictatorship or something worse. If you understand what democracy is, even superficially, I think you will find this idea at least a little incoherent.
Populism (from dictionary dot com): grass-roots democracy; working-class activism; egalitarianism. representation or extolling of the common person, the working class, the underdog, etc. So ask yourself this, if ‘populism’ is grass-roots democracy why do the corporate media think it is dangerous?
Well, dictionary dot com offers a hint. Another of the definitions of ‘populism’ is “any of various, often antiestablishment or anti-intellectual political movements or philosophies that offer unorthodox solutions or policies and appeal to the common person rather than according with traditional party or partisan ideologies.”
In other words, populism threatens the business, bureaucratic, and educational elites who desire to control the country.  Populism presents ideas and policies which are popular with the people rather than regurgitating the usual prevarications and platitudes.  And that is what is dangerous about populism.  “In an age of deception telling the truth is a subversive act.”
Lest you think this is a so-called *conspiracy theory*, let me clarify.  It is not necessary for these institutions to “conspire” together.  They share a common point of view, that it is necessary for them to *fool* voters because voters are too stupid to know what is good for them.  These elites believe that only they understand what is best for [the country; business; education; people; government; etc.] and rather than waste time trying to educate the obtuse voter it is more expedient to manipulate the voter.
In a perverse sense, their competing interests and contradictory narratives tend to further the ambitions of each by sowing confusion and fear.  The plethora of false and contradictory information prevents the average voter from making a rational decision and forces him to act on emotion or instinct.
The “populist” threatens this by offering up “unorthodox solutions or policies [solutions and policies outside the rules established by the various elites]  and appeal to the common person [that the average voter can understand and support]”.  Populism is democracy.
Dave Gosse,
Camrose

Lest we not forget

November 17, 2020

On a recent drive through Saskatchewan, Alberta and lower B.C., I noticed the cancellation of many Remembrance Day Services. Tonight, on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the Second World War I am moved to write this letter.
I am not a veteran, but I respect and admire and thank them for the supreme sacrifice they made for our freedom. Freedom is not free by any means.
With that said I have plenty of ancestors and relatives that are veterans.
My five-time great grandfather fought beside Wolfe at the Battle of Quebec and at the Plains of Abraham.
Many ancestors fought in First World War and Second World War and the American Civil War with great distinction.
My dad is a surviving veteran of the Second World War, 100 years young. His brother and brother-in-law also served in Second World War.
Here we are facing a pandemic which has a death rate in Canada of 0.00054795  per cent.
I wonder if our brave young men would have gladly accepted these odds-on D Day and the other great battles of past wars. Compared to their sacrifice what we face seems small by comparison.
They would have gladly, I am sure, accepted odds like this. Instead they sacrificed their lives so that we could enjoy the freedoms that we have now. Freedoms that are being eroded every day by a nation’s panic over a thing that these brave young men would have found insignificant to what they endured.
Did they give their lives so we could wear masks all day every day, be banned from associating with family and friends, give up the right to free speech and expression because our federal government and the opposition in this province think that these are not important in the time we are in.
These are the rights our service men and women fought for; they did not fight for the right of others to inflict their panic agenda on the rest of society.
What in the heavens name do we as seniors have to fear from this? We have lived longer and better, than any generation before and this was entirely due to the sacrifices made by those young men and women. A panic over a virus should not diminish our duty to honour their sacrifice.
Bryan Hookenson,
Kingman

No sense

November 10, 2020

Help me understand why Mr. Jason Kenney and crew have chosen the middle of a pandemic to butt heads with critically needed doctors, nurses and other health care workers to impose anachronistic business practices.
Hopefully, Mr. Shandro (or Ms. Lovely) will respond to Mr. Leithead’s challenge, in a recent letter to the editor in The Camrose Booster, to “show us the numbers” of how UCP policies/doctrine will save Albertans $600 million by outsourcing select services from Alberta Health Services.
It seems incomprehensible to me to think that UCP policy of outsourcing services is a viable alternative in 2020, given the corporate sector abandoned the practice more than a decade ago. Are UCP special advisors Manning and Harper and UCP acolytes aware of current (and cost-efficient) business practices?
While serving as a consultant to national and international businesses over the past 15 years, a senior executive explained it to me this way…our company abandoned outsourcing because…not only did it not save money, it cost our corporation a great deal more when a holistic, analytical cost-effective model was employed.
Our corporation lost control of quality assurance/quality assurance measures, quality of service decreased, and we had to perform a great deal of rework. Secondly, failure to comply with occupational health and safety regulations led to shutdowns and costly litigation. Thirdly, shutdowns resulting from non-compliance with environmental legislation, ground disturbance violations, pollution issues, and the like affected our bottom line.  We had to employ more contract administrators and increase the size of our legal department. Need I say more?
Conservative leader Erin O’Toole’s comment in a recent speech to the Canadian Club Toronto defended unionization and slammed corporate outsourcing, (Edmonton Journal, Oct. 31). His comment…“But this was an essential balance between what was good for business and what was good for employees” speaks volumes for the possibility of a renewed and better relationship between business (and government?) and labor with the charge being led by a conservative political leader. Great job, Mr. O’Toole.
Hopefully, O’Toole’s updated vision of the importance of this employer-employee relationship will be shared by Conservatives and Conservative parties alike and will prove to be infectious.
Remember when Ralph Klein abolished infection control nurses because they “weren’t necessary?” Remember when, shortly after that, hospitals had to close because of a spate of hospital-induced infections? An important lesson here.
Are you listening, Mr. Kenney?
Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Mandatory masks

November 10, 2020

Last week,  Nov. 2, City council passed a bylaw for mandatory mask use inside of all public buildings.  I do know that there are many people who feel that this is just another way the government is taking away our freedoms.
I do have this to say to these people. Please keep in mind that this virus may not affect you, but it will affect the very old and the very young. So, please put aside your rights and keep the very vulnerable population in mind as you live your life.
So, just please knock off your attitude of entitlement and remember what you do can affect the lives of others. Death can be the result of your careless actions.
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Eliminate waste

November 3, 2020

First of all, if AHS/Minister Shandro claims to be looking for “efficiencies” by eliminating waste, duplication and non-essential spending to fund government’s key priorities, while ensuring high quality, frontline services for Albertans,” as per the MacKinnon Report (2019), which cost Alberta taxpayers millions, this must start at the top of the salary pyramid in all ministries (please take note, Premier Kenney), not just the bottom echelon of Alberta Health staff, which supports the whole frontline system (especially housekeeping staff who scrupulously protect patients, nurses, doctors and support medical staff during this COVID-19 pandemic).
CTV News tells Albertans that there are 900 bureaucrats on the Health Sunshine List (11 vice presidents, 571 directors, 204 managers and many other leadership-type positions), which is where Shandro must start (i.e. AHS president and CEO’s annual $677,785). And, it won’t take long to rack up the “efficiencies” recommended by the MacKinnon Report up there at the top.
Plus, minister Shandro’s AHS cut of 11,000 AHS staff (supposedly to save $600 million) does not add up. The Blue Ribbon Panel’s specified $600 million cut to annual spending was not specifically in health, but the whole Alberta budget, with the rejoinder that there be no new spending increases in order to eradicate Alberta’s deficit.
The proposed $600 million health cut equates to an annual salary of $54,549 per person including EI, pensions and benefits. According to Shandro’s numbers, the current employees must be earning in excess of $100,000 each, per year. That is hard to believe.
Transferring this to private industry means that those 11,000 workers cut would have to work for free, if the private companies would even hire them, and the companies/contractors hiring staff to do these jobs would have to forego overheads and profits. That is not likely to happen either.
Assuming that the private companies pay $17 per hour for each these same 11,000 staff and assuming fixed cost of 30 per cent to cover overheads, WCB and EI, this amounts roughly to about a $5 million cost to the private contractors. So where are the savings/efficiencies? Shandro’s 11,000 cut  looks like a hidden way to generate revenue (aka “rents”) from the taxpayer?
Show me the numbers, because Mr. Shandro’s numbers and his statements do not make sense.
Franco Terrazzano, Canadian Taxpayers Federation, tells us that a 20 per cent cut to those salaries on the Sunshine List would recoup $36 million for AHS.
T. W. Leithead,
Bawlf

No urgency

October 27, 2020

A deep dive into the proposed UCP policy resolutions for 2020 is revealing.  As the world faces the looming climate crisis, it appears that the UCP is determined to double down on trying to resurrect an extraction industry that is seeing global disinvestment. The resolutions, not short on dog-whistle politics, seek to further hobble collective bargaining, further disenfranchise municipal governments, privatize public services, create a two-tiered health system, absorb your Canada Pension, deregulate, and gut environmental and water laws and to inject an oil and gas curriculum into schools.
With Alberta contributing 40 per cent of Canada’s GHG emissions, there is not one reference in the policy platform to climate or any urgency to address this runaway problem. Most of what I read was regressive and self-serving and, in my view, will not serve Albertans moving into the next decade.
There is mention of a referendum on transfer payments. This is a subject that most Albertans are woefully ignorant on, but one that Jason Kenny knows all too well. He helped author the transfer current scheme as a member of the Harper cabinet.
Real leadership would address the climate crisis.  In can be done in a way that can benefit Albertans and ready the workforce for the new reality. Over the decades of oil and gas, Alberta has contributed massive amounts to the Federal GDP and all Canadians have benefited.  Smart leadership would bank this social capital and, instead of pushing for a renewed transfer system, one that is working as it was designed, and use this opportunity to push for the creation of  a new Climate Emergency Just Transfer. This could be structured such that those provinces most effected in any transition away from fossil fuels would benefit proportionally.  This would be especially important to Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Newfoundland. With 40 per cent of the country’s GHGs, Alberta would get 40 per cent of the fund, which would be targeted specifically to making the transition through green infrastructure investments, research, and job training. This approach has been articulated by many public interest groups and other political parties and is worth consideration. Anything is better than the UCP neo-liberal approach that has been proven to divide community and create such wide income disparity all over the world.
One UCP platform resolution is to advance the development of artificial intelligence. I would be happy if the policies displayed more environmental intelligence.
Tim Belec,
Camrose

Recycling realignment

October 27, 2020

Members of Camrose County council, I have to ask–what were you thinking?
We teach our children from a very young age to reduce, reuse and recycle, and you have decided to stop funding Centra Cam, making the recycling facility unavailable for County residents. Your reasoning, according to the Booster article on Sept. 22, is that “you have heard that only 12 County residents use Centra Cam.” It seems obvious that none of the councillors use the facility, or you would be aware that there is no way of knowing how many rural residents make use of this great facility. I have used it for years and have never been asked where I live. You drive in, unload your products in the appropriate bins, and leave–no questions asked. Over the winter, when Centra Cam was closed because of COVID-19, the people I asked have simply stored their recyclables at home.
Discontinuing the recycling trailer at the transfer sights makes sense.  County residents go to Camrose to shop and could certainly take their recycling there, like the many who already do. Redirecting people to the West Dried Meat Landfill is shortsighted, a drive of many miles out of the way for most residents, and is not recycling.
I feel that your decision is out of touch with the current reality. It is not a “realignment”, but rather an “abandonment” of recycling in the County.  Citizens are more aware of environmental sustainability and the generation that is now young adults grew up in our schools where active recycling programs were a reality. This is important. It is a way of life. It is about the future of our environment.
I hope you will reconsider this decision and, as councilor Doug Lyseng suggested, revisit the issue at budget time when you have had time to consider the ramifications of this ridiculous decision.
     Dorothy Marshall,                                                                   
Camrose County

Health borders

October 27, 2020

One obvious conclusion arising from this pandemic is that health issues don’t recognize borders. But despite the massive consequences of Covid-19, our political leaders still haven’t grasped it. Rich nations like ours are now paying enormous funds to get to the front of the vaccine line, as if treating the pandemic here, but not elsewhere, will end the problem.
Aside from the moral and ethical problems with this, the pandemic itself has proven we can’t wall disease away: as long as it circulates anywhere, it remains a grave threat.
Health organizations are calling for international funding to provide global accessibility to treatment. So far, our government has offered a tiny amount, nowhere near our fair share.
The lesson was simple: we’re all in this together. But it’s a lesson the Justin Trudeau Liberals still don’t seem have learned.
Nathaniel Poole,
Victoria, BC

Trail walking

October 27, 2020

This is just a friendly reminder to the many people who utilize our City’s wonderful walking trails. Signs have been put up at the entrance to the trails asking us to keep our six-feet social distance.
Because our trails are two-way, we are bound to pass people going the other way. In order to keep our distance, it is necessary for groups of walkers to form single file. Especially now with the snow, it’s not easy for individuals to step off the trail when groups of people (and even couples) take up a large width of the path.
Thanks, everyone, for giving your fellow walkers space, and helping to keep each other safe.
Cathy F. Johnson,
 Camrose

No jobs

October 6, 2020

I’m just catching up on my Booster reading and came across MLA Jackie Lovely’s column of Sept. 1. A sentence there jumped out at me: “Alberta’s Recovery Plan…is a…long-term strategy to…create tens of thousands of jobs now.”  The exact same sentence appears in a reply I received from minister of advanced education Nicolaides at the end of July. What is the UCP’s definition of now?  Minister Nicolaides’ letter is two months old and MLA Lovely’s is a month old and I haven’t heard of these thousands of jobs being created yet. But what really confuses me is that UCP-imposed budget cuts have caused the loss of thousands of jobs in education and health care (and elsewhere). Why couldn’t those people have kept their jobs? It would have meant fewer jobs that the UCP needs to create.
 John Olson,
   Camrose

Local landmark

October 6, 2020

Another landmark has come down in Camrose. While it is hard to see something that has been around for a long time razed to the ground, I was sad for another reason–all the evergreens around the old St. Francis Catholic Church were also taken out. So many of these gentle giants have been coming down this year and it is painful to me. Let me explain why.
Evergreens are the condominiums of the bird world. The birds that stay here year-round (blue jays, siskins, chickadees, nuthatches, downy woodpeckers and house finches) and those that spend winters here (redpolls and waxwings) live together in these trees. They act as shelter from the elements, especially when the boughs are weighed down with snow. Each bird species gathers together to conserve their body heat within these conifers.
I get it–when evergreens get old, they become misshapen and unstable. They get too large for the space. So we take them down and replace them with ornamentals, which have a season and are finished for the year once autumn comes around. As we take out these birds’ habitat, they leave our area and we are poorer for it.
I am putting a call out to homeowners and business owners alike to consider replacing that evergreen with another, so we can maintain that habitat for generations to come. Planting trees that are five or six feet tall make them viable for birds from the moment of planting as you landscape. There are many varieties that do well in Alberta, so consult professionals for choices, planting and maintenance advice. Keep them away from buildings, giving them room to grow. Always make your first calls before you dig.
Remember to feed the birds (black oil sunflower seeds are best for winter birds), but make sure your feeders are high up or fenced to keep the deer away–they love these seeds as well.
Our winters are typically long and harsh. I don’t know about you, but I love seeing something that is living and colourful in the dead of winter–birds and trees alike.
Lori Blades,
Camrose

Voice opinions

October 6, 2020

Thank you to Sheidi deJong and Tina Kawalilak (Booster, Sept. 22) for presenting a contrasting view in the current COVID discussion, particularly in the wearing of masks. We are fortunate to live in a democracy where people can voice their opinions; we need to cherish and protect this privilege and treat others with respect.
Concerning the COVID epidemic, is the cure worse than the disease? How does it compare with heart disease, cancer, neurological disorders, substance abuse, etc.?
How has COVID impacted education, tourism, the arts, athletics, businesses, employment, physical and mental health? Will we ever recover financially?
We have been told from the beginning: wash your hands, keep your hands away from your face, stay home if you are sick. This is not original to this infection. It is standard procedure at any time. Let’s add to this: exercise and fresh air, a healthy diet, proper rest, social connections.
We do well to do our own research. The “experts” cannot know all the answers–they are human. Nor does their education guarantee a crystal ball. And if we disagree with them, then we need to speak up and act on our convictions.
Carolyn Olson,
Camrose

Rebuke facts

October 6, 2020

(Local government) Using the term “lawful freedoms” to try and evoke emotional fervour, while not really holding to the facts is a stretch. Did the Camrose City councillors say why they voted to not mandate face covering use at this time? I believe a reasonable position is that they consulted health services personnel and looked at the current situation in Camrose and made a ruling. Nothing to do with lawful freedoms.
(Local, provincial and federal government) As a veteran, I get testy with the term freedom being used as a stand-in for personal privilege. Any legally constituted legislative body is there to set limits on personal privilege. Making laws is by it’s very nature curbing freedoms. That’s how members of a society have decided to allow the compromising of freedoms to benefit the majority, while trying to not trample on individual freedom. Even the mandating of masks would not be trampling freedom. I would think that the mandate would allow for medical issues and if someone really needs something from a business, there are other methods of procurement/service that do not involve entering said business.
(National news agency and the WHO) General statements like “our CBC reports the same coronavirus news as China” leaves out what news and actually says more about the author of the letter than actual fact. A quick check on the internet confirms that Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is indeed entitled to use the Dr. in front of his name (doctor of philosophy) and so I am unsure why the quoted use of fake is used when referring to him.
(Provincial government) Saying that the letter from SickKids doctors was “ignored” seems to say the author knows how the Ontario government treated the information. It is more likely that the information was taken into consideration. Using “dirty masks” and “extended periods” is just an attempt to conflate bad practice with good practice.
(National and international) Use of the terms plandemic, scamdemic and aborted baby tissue is an obfuscating fear tactic. Saying “check the sources,” while using sources like Friends of Science (not climate scientists) betrays a notable bias. Check what sources? Who goes after Antifa, climate change science, Justin Trudeau, communism and “the devil” in the same letter? The Liberal Party of Canada is not the Communist Party of Canada.
Kevin L. McManus,
Camrose

Proud achievements

September 29, 2020

I am writing a reply to the letter “Our Country” in the Sept. 8 edition of The Booster.
I will state that Canada has many proud achievements in its history.
Unfortunately, the treatment of racially diverse groups is not one of them.
The history of our country Canada that many of us were taught in school did not and still does not examine the adversities that many of these racial minority groups have experienced and are still facing as they strive to take their equal place in Canadian society.
To understand this part of our history, I suggest that my fellow citizens read the book They Call Me George by Cecil Foster, which is available at the Camrose Public Library.
Keith Elliott Sr.,
Camrose

Wearing masks

September 29, 2020

In the last Booster, letter writers went off against the need to wear masks. Usually misinformation and conspiracy theories are an attempt to simplify a complex issue with, at best, cherry picking of the facts to suit a belief or narrative or, at worse, the ramblings of a someone with profound paranoia or delusions.
Wearing a mask to protect your fellow citizens, your vulnerable family members and yourself is literally the least you can do. It’s a selfless act of concern for your neighbours. Recent WHO studies have again shown that mask wearing slows the spread of COVID-19. If you have any doubt, go ask your family doctor. This pseudo-libertarian ranting we hear now and again is just an individual’s selfish and self-centered  world view, one of entitlement and somewhat narcissistic.
Public health officials are educated and expert in ensuring that the spread of communicable diseases is kept in check. There is no conspiracy beyond keeping the public as healthy as possible, especially against a novel virus to which many are vulnerable. To try to make the link to communism, or the climate change bogeyman, or Antifa onto measures meant to protect the most vulnerable in our society, is obtuse in the extreme. Stop getting your news from Facebook, perhaps put your face in a real book. Whether it’s Covid or climate change or black lives matter or…pick your issue, I am so done with people deflecting their own inability to deal with the world and projecting their ignorance onto the trusted public institutions that have given us peace and security and health for many, many years. The more I hear these kinds of views expressed, the more I realize that there are indeed actors out there who mean to divide us. The only real response is to shed light on the lies and half-truths.  Peer reviewed science, not opinion, should rule the day. Even just use some common sense or critical thinking and the absurdity of these arguments just fall apart.
Tim Belec
Camrose

Health contract

September 29, 2020

Will our MLA/health minister explain to citizens the economic and social benefits of the UPC contract with Telus Health in March 2020?
UPC contract with Telus Health pays for physician virtual consult at a rate of $38 per consult.
The UPC contract with Alberta doctors virtual consult is $20 per consult. Who are these Telus physicians? Are they Canadian?
Is this one more UPC health scheme to Americanize our Canadian health care system?
Where is list from the Alberta government of all contracts with mega-corporations?
E. Wetheral,
Camrose

Bawlf history

September 22

Many thanks to those who worked on the new Bawlf and area history book, Today’s Memories, Tomorrow’s Treasures.
This updated version, following the publishing of We Came and We Stayed in 1980, is wonderful!.
The idea for a second book began with Ron Pederson and Kathleen Tennant. In the spring of 2017, they began to plan and gather together a committee to work on the project. The final result shows so much thought, effort and attention to detail.
I know a lot of hard work went into the collecting of all those family stories and memories.
I was personally pleased to see parts of the book dedicated to the early history of Bawlf and area, the farmers, businesspeople and all those whose efforts helped create a vibrant community.
Thanks to all who worked so hard on this project.
Lanis McClarty,
Camrose

AISH funding

September 22

I’ve just read about thoughts of further cuts to AISH. It actually made my stomach hurt. It hurts to become aware that most of my fellow Albertans apparently feel that, during economic hard times, it is preferable to take money away from the most profoundly vulnerable, by cutting AISH, rather than to take money away from the most financially blessed through perhaps a more progressive taxation system.
Most of us in Alberta grew up in an atmosphere of Christian charity. Whatever one’s religious persuasion, all would support charitable behaviour. Can we Albertans not do better than save money by cutting AISH?
Marvin Miniely,
Camrose

Wearing masks

September 22

I am writing this in hopes that the people of this community are made aware of the facts surrounding the wearing of masks and what protection they do and do not offer against the spread of infectious diseases.
I welcome anyone to check the facts I present for themselves by visiting the OHS website that defines mask use protocols for various situations.
Vented masks: these are designed for use in an environment that is contaminated. They filter the air you breath in and the exhale is not filtered on the way out, it passes directly through the vent port upon exhale. According to health officials, asymptomatic spread of the virus is not uncommon. These are therefore insufficient to contain the virus.
Non-vented surgical masks: these are designed for use in a sterile environment, to prevent contaminants from exhaled breath from entering the environment; they do not filter the air being inhaled. They work much like a vacuum bag, which allows air to pass through unfiltered one way, but not the other. This type of mask will not protect you from inhaling the virus from a contaminated environment. These masks also are required to be discarded after a period of 20 to 30 minutes as they are rendered useless by the accumulation of moisture and contaminants. That being said, if you think you may have the virus, you should be staying home. If you are wearing these in public to protect others in case you are asymptomatic, they must be changed regularly and discarded properly in a biohazardous waste control bin.
Cloth masks: Cloth masks do neither of these things and provide no help whatsoever. They become contaminated with many types of harmful molds and bacteria due to the moisture accumulation and frequent touching while donning and removing the mask. They are not sufficient to stop the inhale or the exhale of a microbe the size of COVID-19.
Taking these facts into account, making it mandatory to wear a mask in public and burdening the community with fines for non-compliance with arbitrary laws is the wrong thing to do. May our elected leaders lead with facts. And may we, the citizens of our community, educate ourselves with more sources than the mainstream news. In times like these, we need to be caring, support each other and stand together. Let us not allow this horrible situation to create more division among us.
Sheisi deJong,
Camrose

Canadian facts

September 22

A big thank you to our Camrose City councillors who voted in favour of our lawful freedoms–to choose ourselves whether we wear a face covering or not.
We live in Canada, yet our CBC reports the same coronavirus news as China or the UN using unscientific and “fake” doctor sources (Dr. Tedros Adhanom).
When the “real” doctors from Toronto Sick Children’s Hospital wrote a letter to the health ministers concerning the irreversible “social” damage of mask wearing for children who learn social skills through facial expression, it was ignored; not to mention the physical harm, for it is increasingly dangerous to wear a “dirty” mask, or even wearing one for prolonged periods of time can be fatal.
The real doctors say that neither “social distancing” (germs can be airborne for 20 feet) or “mask wearing” or a “vaccine” are a medical remedy, for there are too many different strands for a vaccine to be effective for everyone; maybe it’s like trying to get rid of the common cold, and the world seems to be making it worse with all their “fear” tactics.
This whole plandemic (Event 201) has made the rich richer–it is most likely a scamdemic (Bill Gates’ billion dollar vaccine, using aborted baby tissue); in all likelihood, it will give people the coronavirus.
It’s time for people to check the resources for themselves, and wake up to the truth of the spread of communism in all of its forms: through Antifa and climate change (see Friends of Science).
Canada does not want “Socialist Marxist Communism”, yet it seems Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is doing everything to destroy Canada into a communist dictatorship, like China (China Communist Party CCP), whom he admittedly admires.
I suppose our choice in this era is: Communism or Christianity? For 2,000 years, it has been Christianity or “Whatever Evil Work” the devil is able to infiltrate.
Tina Kawalilak,
Camrose County

Booster banter

September 15, 2020

Thank you very much for your Booster Banter. Very funny and uplifting. Especially at this time of a very adverse situation. Many people have been affected and your timely jokes are helping.
They have helped me immensely, as I lost my husband of 58 years on April 10.
For this time, I thought I would help out with some jokes that I have picked up through my extensive novel reading. Keep it up!
Sophie Maglione,
Killam
Editor’s note: Thank you for the positive letter and your appreciated submissions.

Canadian facts

September 15, 2020

I don’t agree with burning and looting, nor do I want to make any other political statement, but I do want to offer some facts.
Canada has developed a reputation as a friendly and welcoming place for other cultures, but Canada has its own history of slavery. In the 1600s, Canada had over 4,000 slaves, approximately two-thirds of whom were indigenous, while the other third were black. This was not new, because the First Nations had their own indigenous slaves well before Europeans settled here.  And, there was, as you say, an underground railroad carrying black slaves north from the US to Canada, but there was also an underground railroad taking slaves out of Canada to safety in the North Eastern states.
Canada had fewer slaves than the southern states for many reasons, including the fact that our climate and terrain does not lend itself to plantation-style farming, but we appear to have offered them the same range of treatment from kindness to brutality that they received south of the border.
We do have many things to be proud of as Canadians–but our behaviour during the days of slavery is probably not one of them. If you doubt this, feel free to read Policing Black Lives in Canada by Robyn Maynard.
Deanne Morrow,
Camrose

Safe community

September 15, 2020

Does Mr. Fournier of Sherwood Park really think that the Camrose community is not concerned or cares about COVID-19, or that we believe we are immune to the crisis? May we remind him that no one in our seniors’ homes has died of COVID-19–to the credit of the staff and residents of those homes who tolerated a lengthy lockdown and only recently admitted visitors.
Unlike the mayors of Calgary and Edmonton, our mayor has not mandated the use of masks in public indoor spaces, but many shoppers in Camrose are voluntarily wearing masks. I doubt that Mr. Fournier was shopping at 7:30 a.m. when many Camrose residents, wearing masks, choose to shop, spending as little time in the stores as possible. He probably did not attend a church service here either, where we are seated two metres apart, wear masks, are prohibited from singing, and enter and exit drenched in hand sanitizer.
At a time when all of us are feeling somewhat vulnerable, we could be adopting a more charitable attitude towards others, rather than criticizing one another.
Gail Schulte,
Camrose

Thanks, Camrose

September 15, 2020

For over a quarter of a century, our team of security professionals has been attending to Camrose every summer to help contribute to the success of the Big Valley Jamboree. We were commonly known as “the red coats” and were largely composed of active and retired law enforcement professionals. We started out in Craven, Saskatchewan, doing security consulting for a local country music festival there.  We were asked to become involved in the BVJ when it relocated to Camrose and have never regretted accepting this invitation.
I am sad to say that once BVJ resumes, our security team will likely not be involved any longer. After spending every August long weekend in Camrose since 1993, it’s finally time for a change. I will truly miss the many friends I have made during this time. Both the City and the people of Camrose are incredible.
The festival and its security requirements have changed considerably during the past 25 years.  However, what remained constant was the exceptional hospitality and assistance from the numerous individuals and businesses that we became reliant upon.   My gratitude towards you is endless.  To the countless people and businesses who assisted us, I truly want to offer my thanks.
I especially want to thank Camrose’s emergency service teams for their unbelievable professionalism, dedication and support. Having personally spent 40 years working with emergency service teams from across Canada, I can unequivocally state that your local police, fire and EMS professionals are among the best I’ve ever worked with. They are an incredible group of professionals and serve your community exceedingly well.
To the many emergency service professionals I have had the pleasure to meet and work with, I want to say thank you for your friendships and support. (Even though most of you were not Rider fans, I soon learned to overlook this character flaw.)
Camrose, good luck with continuing to host this world class event in your beautiful city. BVJ is known internationally as a leader in outdoor music festivals and you should all be proud of what you’ve accomplished.
Tom Fulcher,
Regina, Saskatchewan

Fall sounds

September 15, 2020

The sounds of fall are coming all around us in our community here in Camrose. COVID-19 sure has changed how we as people carry out the activities in our lives. Churches, as well as other places, are limited when it comes to getting together. There is also fear of the unknown, especially when it comes to universities and public schools reopening this month. I do encourage everyone to wear a mask if you cannot keep six feet apart from people, wash your hands often, and make sure we all support our small businesses here in our fine city.  This is not a time to shop at the online stores like Amazon. So, please shop local and always keep safe as you go about your daily activities.
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Concerns about Camrose County’s press release on Oil and Gas Assessment Model

September 15, 2020

I have concerns about the current Camrose County press release on oil and gas assessment. What concerns me is the tone and direction the County has positioned itself in with regards to the changes in assessments. Showing pictures of unplowed roads and road closures due to holes in them unless taxes go up is a very exaggerated example of an, at most, nine per cent budget cut. Why cut the most important services? Instead of trying to scare people into raising residential taxes, the county would better serve their constituents by using their time developing ways they are going to cut excesses and potentially downsize departments that are not vitally essential. Maintaining roads is most important, based on a survey conducted by the County.
Camrose County has increased taxes every year by two or three per cent on average since 2014, while our economy has been in a very bad recession. The County has also increased the number of employees during this time. In the private sector, many have lost their jobs and others have taken pay cuts. Shouldn’t Camrose County be able to cut back and not constantly raise taxes? What concerns me is that the size of government continues to grow, spends more money, and takes a higher percentage from the private sector. Simple math proves that this will lead to greater economic stagnation. By cutting some services, the private sector will grow to fill any void if the service was actually needed.
Alberta has been in recession since 2014 and our unemployment rate in July was at 13.7 per cent. The energy industry is a major economic driver in our province. When it struggles, everyone else feels it. The County has stated that oil and gas companies will not reinvest their money back into the communities if taxes are reduced. This statement is misleading for a number of reasons.
Many of these companies are losing money, some are now bankrupt and when companies shut down, it not only affects the local jobs that are lost, but all the other businesses that service and provide for that company and the workers…that affects the entire economy. It’s not like they are in any position to buy back their own stock. They are fighting to survive. When they thrive, our entire economy thrives. Would the County rather they disappear and get no taxes?
Alberta’s municipal assessments on energy companies are four or five times higher than Saskatchewan and British Columbia. This has been stated by the provincial government and they are mandating municipalities lower rates on energy companies to a more competitive level. Energy companies are to fix the roads that they damage and get no extra services from the County. Ember Resources paid around $1.4 million in County taxes in 2019 and run mainly a dry field, meaning there is very little truck traffic on the roads. So little that the average-sized farmer puts more large vehicle pressure on the roads than they do. How were the high taxes justified? Shouldn’t taxation represent something provided in return?
The County suggests companies will take the money elsewhere. In response to this, I would ask how does the County know this? Forcing high taxes on a company because the County thinks it is better at reallocating the company’s money discourages business growth. A company located in our County invests heavily through infrastructure, job creation and community facilities. How did Encana get its name on one of our ice arenas in Camrose…they donated a lot of money! Ember Resources also donates money to local fire departments. Our municipal, provincial and federal governments have done a really good job at encouraging energy companies to leave to greener pastures since 2014 (Encana moved its head office to the US). When the bad times came, governments milked companies too hard through taxation and regulation that they moved to other places out of necessity because it was becoming too hard to do business.
Let’s not forget that all government pensions are reliant on a strong economy. With the low interest rates, the only way pensions will be viable is if they invest in stocks, real estate, or the government bails them out with taxpayer money. Stable pensions cannot have a political environment that stifles business because the private sector is what funds them all. It concerns me when governments do things that hurt the very companies and economies that support their wages and pensions. The companies in government employees’ pension funds need to make profits to grow and pay dividends, which will hopefully provide them a stable retirement. I would highly suggest that the County stop raising taxes and cut spending. Being more in line with the economic realities in our province for the past seven years would be the responsible thing to do.
In my conversations with the County, I have been told that they are unable or unwilling to not raise residential taxes. How is it that businesses and households can cut spending, in many cases much more than nine per cent, and still get the most essential things done, but the County cannot, even though taxes have been raised every year throughout a recession?
Tyrel Herder,
Camrose County

Recent visit

September 8, 2020

On a recent visit to Camrose to visit my parents in one of the senior homes, I was shocked and dismayed at the apparent lack of concern and precaution to keep this pandemic at bay. At the home, they only recently allowed visitors, they were good taking temps and having visitors fill out questionnaires. Yet I go out into the community and no one seems to be concerned or care.
I was in Superstore, Home Hardware, Peavey Mart and Save-On, no one was wearing a mask or social distancing – neither staff nor customers. When I stated my concern to one staff member, I was told she had heard that Walmart was trying to, but they really were not enforcing it.
In Edmonton and Sherwood Park, there is a 95 per cent compliance rate. I don’t understand why the Camrose community believes they are immune to this crisis. In a community that has such a large portion of elderly residents, you could have so much to lose. I think about my parents’ caregivers out and about in this environment and it scares me.
It only takes one small match to start a wildfire and it might only take a cashier or clerk to start a COVID wildfire to race through your community. I will not be doing any more shopping on my trips into town anymore. Time to wake up, Camrose.
Dale Fournier,
Sherwood Park

Leadership race

September 8, 2020

Way back when I was filling out my mail-in Conservative leadership race, I just had received a friendly call from Erin O’Toole’s campaign office by this very friendly young lady.
She took the time to listen to my concerns for over 15 minutes. I was clueless who I should vote for, so I put Erin O’Toole for my first selection, thinking this underdog should at least get one vote.
I placed Peter MacKay as second, which at first was my first selection. After the vote, I was really impressed with who this guy really was. I had no idea that this man had a seat and he was in one of the ridings in Ontario where the party needs to win seats in.
I thought Peter MacKay still had a seat in Parliament. Now that I found out that O’Toole came first in Alberta, I am beginning to see why our Premier endorsed this candidate. It is a good sign when my friends who are NDP supporters tell me that they are not too pleased that this man won.  They want a leader whom their party could defeat in the next election. If there is a man who could lead a majority Conservative government, he is the one. Canadians go back to the voting booths in our next election, which will be held by the spring of 2023.
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Our country

September 8, 2020

When traveling in the United States, you cannot find news or weather for Canada on US television. In Canada, half of the news and weather is American. I am Canadian, not American. Their problems are not my problems.
We did not have a civil war over slavery and had hundreds of slaves escape the US and come to Canada to be free people through the underground railroad. We accepted them here.
During the war between native Americans and the US Army, hundreds of native Americans escaped to Canada. We accepted them here.
During the Vietnam War, hundreds of Americans came to Canada as draft dodgers. We accepted them here. Americans want to destroy its history, riot, loot and burn cities–let them. Do not let this stupidity come to Canada. We are Canadians, not Americans.
Statues are part of our history. They are put up for the good things the person has done for the country. We cannot judge them for things that are not acceptable at this time today.
Show me a person who has not done something wrong in their lifetime and  learned it was wrong. This is called growth and history. No person is perfect.
There was a slave ship captain that dealt in the slave trade for years. One day, he realized slavery was wrong and the things he had done were wrong. He changed his life.
He was the one to write the song “Amazing Grace”. That is part of history. If you have no history, there is nothing to improve, correct or learn from.
You cannot change or hide history. To change the names of cities, towns, buildings, streets, etc., would be non-ending. Next we will be burning books. Destroying the pyramids, Roman Colosseum and anything else slaves built would never end. In the end, we will have no history and nothing to improve. We will be perfect.
Crime, theft and shooting are on the rise in Canada. There are people who want to defund police. Are you out of your mind? This is Canada, not the United States.
Glenn Dunn,
Camrose

Right decision

September 8, 2020

Thank you to City councillors who declined a raise at this time. It’s heartening when people in power show more concern for the community than their own reward.
But, as often happens, there is another side to this decision. As long as we pay councillors less than a living wage, people who can’t afford to do this as a sideline can’t afford to run.
I believe City councillors made this choice out of generosity, but we also need to pave the way for council to represent the broader Camrose population.
  Deanne Morrow,
Camrose

Helpful politician

September 1, 2020

Just want to let the people of Sedgewick know that our MLA in Camrose is on the ball and doing a great job. Jackie Lovely was contacted at 5:30 p.m. on Friday and she was still in her office working. We told her we had a problem with a phone line not working in the home of a 95 year old senior. After many attempts and waiting 1.45 hours they finally got a phone rep in a country way across the pond. She told them that they could get hooked up on Sept. 4 (two weeks later), which is not good for a lady that needs a phone for her lifeline.
Many attempts were made on five different numbers with the same result,  wait for more than one and a half hours for a rep. At 5:30 p.m. I called the office of our MLA in Camrose and by golly, Jackie Lovely answered the phone herself. When we explained the problem Jackie said, give her a bit of time and she would try and do something. At approximately 8 p.m. she got through to the right person and was given confirmation that someone would be out the next day to fix the phone. Because the help and late hour work ethic of Jackie, the phone was repaired on Saturday. We need more politicians like Jackie putting in extra time to help people in need.
Many thanks go out to Jackie.
Jim Coles,
Sedgewick

Ironic visit

September 1, 2020

I found the visit of Premier Kenney on Tuesday, Aug. 11 quite ironic. He was taking advantage of a photo opportunity at the Chester Ronning School development. A development which was initiated by the former NDP government. While he did not miss the opportunity to partake of pie and coffee with local MLA Jackie Lovely, he did miss the opportunity to meet with and a get comment from a group of knowledgeable and involved citizens when he cancelled a scheduled meeting at Augustana.
I found the Premier’s visit ironic because during that week the loss of jobs to 51 people came to my attention. Nine of the 51 were former colleagues with Children’s Rehabilitation Services (CRS). Two friends worked in the schools. And 40 people at Augustana.
Those job losses have a devastating impact on those 51 people and their loved ones and their friends. But the negative impact reaches far beyond. For instance, a full-time therapist with CRS can be working with around 80 clients. That means there will be around 320 children who will not receive the professional care and assistance from a speech language pathologist, occupational therapist, physical therapist or respiratory therapist come September.
Even prior to these cuts to services it has been decided to restrict services to children aged zero to five years. Prior services were rendered for children from zero to 18 years. What will families do who need the help of these special therapists for their children of school age? Most schools will not be able to find the resources to contract our regular therapy services. Most families cannot afford private services. The result will be extreme pressure on children, parents and school staff. I have a question for you if you voted UCP and fit one or more of the following conditions:
1. You have a child or grandchild who needs extra support or specialized therapy to succeed in school.
2. You have a child or grandchild who attends university, or you are a student yourself.
3. You work in, or know someone who works in, publicly funded schools, universities or health care. My question is: “Are you happy living in Alberta with so many job losses, and reduced services as a direct result of funding cuts?”
If you are dissatisfied, contact your MLA and tell them this is simply not the time to cut funding to education or health care.
Donna Hackborn,
Camrose

New reality

September 1, 2020

As “new reality” continues to darken our doors with confusion and Negativity, Positive thought deserves refreshing.
Being relatively new to the area, I chose Camrose for shopping and services and it is there I found some special individuals deserving acknowledgement of appreciation. A bundle of gratitude to Humpty’s Restaurant’s thoughtful, courteous waitresses, and especially “Emily”…a refreshingly cheerful, confident and enthusiastic young woman. The groomers at I Pets Quality Dog Grooming who tackle their fur-filled job with delightful determination, patience and gentle consideration, making moments memorable for pooches and felines. The language of their clients “speaks” volumes. So value the gals’ understanding of body language! Remedy Rx staff and manager Sumitha Sasi RPh. Sumi exudes sunshine from her very soul as her ever-present golden smile greets all who enter. A most welcomed and charming quality from an especially kind and a lovely service provider. Guy, the Shoe Doctor…dependable and surely capable of “putting boots to the ground.” Such fun to discover his humour bubbling quietly behind a smile.
As a profoundly deaf individual, appropriate words of appreciation are in short supply to express my good fortune with the discovery of Claire Milligan (a Woman of Vision possessing a fine ear for listening) and Hauck Hearing Centre. Shortly after navigating our way through the swamps to settle in Beaver County, it was, shall I say, “dumb luck” to notice within the pages of The Booster, Claire’s announcement of her “Hearing Presentation.” Claire’s exceptional communication skills with those in attendance, plus her knowledge and experience went far beyond any I had encountered in my 52 years of deafness. Later, at her office and within minutes, Claire successfully rejuvenated my hearing devices which were three years beyond warranty. That in itself saved me bundles, plus I could hear birds again and even my vehicle’s engine. What a wow. Claire’s dedication and integrity was a treasure then and continues. Thank you for a genuine passion for caring.
Many deserving others are tucked between the petals of my small bouquet of gratitude, including those who frequently contribute thoughts and opinions to Just Sayin’, or wherever. I encourage you to continue and request others follow…while your freedom of speech exists.
Lennie McKim,
Camrose

Under attack

August 18, 2020

Alberta’s world-class post-secondary institutions are under attack by the UCP government. I’ve expressed my concerns to Alberta’s minister of advanced education, an academic whom I thought should know better, but his maddening reply is all about saving money, even though he also claims that the “government believes strongly that post-secondary education is critical to building Alberta’s future.”
To me, the government’s actions (insanely vicious funding cuts) speak far louder than words; the excellence that has been achieved is under threat since the government appears to prefer to fund for mediocrity (the inevitable outcome if funding continues to be withdrawn). [As if COVID-19 wasn’t enough to deal with, the universities were walloped by the government’s cuts–a cruel and unnecessary double whammy.]
Perhaps I’m terribly naïve, but I thought that the job of the minister of portfolio X was to advocate for X, to help to improve it, to protect it. Above, I was addressing the case of X = advanced education, but I see an unfortunate pattern with the UCP government: think of health, and of municipal affairs, as examples.
At any rate, we’re fortunate to have a “jewel” in Alberta’s post-secondary “crown” right here in Camrose: Augustana. We can all show our support for both the jewel and the crown at an event this coming Saturday, Aug. 22, at 2 p.m. in Jubilee Park, across 50 Street from the Lougheed Performing Arts Centre. Wear a mask and prepare for physical distancing. See you there!
John Olson,
Camrose

Spending cuts

August 18, 2020

The  UCP is fulfilling its promises and doing so rapidly. Rapid action was also promised. The spending cuts we have seen implemented by our government in the past year and a half were planned at least two years ago, if not more.
The UCP did not include a promise to be flexible in their actions in the event of catastrophic events beyond their control. There is no way they could have anticipated the colossal downturn in world prices. However, the UCP as a whole and each individual UCP MLA can, should be, must be held to account for the terrible impact of government cuts to spending which exacerbate the employment problem resulting from the combined impact of oil pricing and the pandemic.
Could there be a worse time to cut government expenditures and associated government funded jobs? I hope every person who voted for the UCP will think, “Why is the government I voted for unable to adapt their actions to these catastrophic events?”
Has there not been even one UCP MLA who has thought, “Maybe this is not the time to be cutting program funding.” Is this government not capable of saying, “We made these promises at a time when they made sense, but they do not make sense now.”
In a recent Camrose Booster, our local MLA seemed to take great pride in the actions taken by herself and her colleagues. In the past several days, I personally have heard of six job losses directly resulting from government program funding cuts. Job loss is not going to end soon. We know there are imminent bankruptcies forthcoming. Can there be a more insane time to cut government spending? Are the actions of the UCP in the past year things of which to be proud?
Is the UCP so dogmatically committed to cutting government spending that they are not able to see the lunacy of doing so at this time? Can they not see that this is the time to increase taxes on those who are fortunate enough to be able to pay taxes? Our government cannot prevent the devastating effects of the pandemic on business.
However, it can and should stop feeding into the problem with mindless and thoughtless cuts to government funded programs. Is this not the greatest possible time for sharing through increased, rather than reduced, government program funding?
Marvin Miniely,
Camrose

Pandemic is over

August 18, 2020

It seems, that these days, when my wife and I go for an evening stroll around one of Camrose’s great walking trails, individuals, couples and groups are not now as diligent in keeping any form of “physical distancing” as before.
At the start of the pandemic, people about to cross paths would almost somersault out of each other’s way. This seldom is the case anymore. The same is true for grocery stores’ uni-directional flow patterns.
Walmart has chosen to lead by soon requiring face masks in their store. This corporation is exercising their responsible part in flattening the curve…well done.
To those who have, by their actions, declared the pandemic to be “over”, I would invite them to watch the evening news featuring a COVID-19 patient in hospital, or a family saying goodbye to their loved one at a graveside.
Albertans are proud of their rugged frontier, individuality and fierce independence, but there is also an equally strong determination to help each other in times of great need. 
If a big-box store can harmonize safety, health protection and profit, do we do less? Or, find the courage to do this and more?
Decide.
Jacques Vaillancourt,
Camrose

Raise masks

August 18, 2020

My name is Julia and I would like to give some feedback.
I have gone into several businesses lately where the staff are wearing masks and there is background noise.
Because I mostly lip read, often there are very few words I understand.
I will explain. The mask is raised for about 20 seconds, and for the next choice or direction I again request.  ‘Please raise your mask. I mostly lip read. I am having trouble understanding.’
When they are considerate of my request, I will return. When they are not and I need to ask several times, I do not want to come back.
I am a human being. I like people very much. I am not a virus.
Julia Siemens,
Camrose

Canada's Past

August 1, 2020

It appears that several persons in Toronto have taken leave of their sanity. They are attacking statues of the Father of our Country. Without the influence of John A. Macdonald there simply would be no Canada.
Canada is the product of our history. Most of which is source of pride. Any negative elements are also part of our story and must be lived with.  John Macdonald is definitely a source of positive memories. His vision lead other leaders of his time to support: “One nation from sea onto sea” and he was the leader who lead Canada’s growth from four provinces to seven with the territory which became nine included as part of the nation.
He did not establish residential schools. That institution was established by the government headed by Alexander MacKenzie during the five years (1873-1878) that Macdonald was out of office. He did continue the policy.
It is not politically correct to say anything positive about residential schools, but it is a fact that relations between invading whites and the natives in Canada were peaceful. The native leaders, at the time, were accepting of the policy of residential schools; not the final result, but the concept. The United States had a half century of Indian Wars, while Canada had peace.
Canada also had peace with the black race. Canada was a place of freedom at the end of the underground railway. On entering Canada, Black Americans, kissed the soil of the “Land of the Freedom Queen.”
During the first session of the first legislature of Upper Canada, Ontario, a law was passed that provided that any slave entering the colony became free. This was 70 years before the American Civil War.
Therefore what are these dim witted people protesting?

Ronald  Williams,
Camrose

Rural crime

August 1, 2020

Where is MLA Lovely getting her information re “Combating rural crime...?” Certainly not from her constituents. Nor from the local RCMP Detachments. If, as claimed, she is relying on the information from the Minister/Solicitor General, Sweitzer, he too is not listening to Albertans, and is also misinforming others.
We have attended three meetings regarding the rampant rural crime in rural Alberta, where the overwhelming feedback (even from the RCMP) was consistently that Rural Alberta needs stringent enforcement of the current arrests, not as Lovely states “more boots on the ground.” Police officers are frustrated by the current “catch and release” policies. When a criminal is apprehended, s(he) is released within 24 hours, if the offender promises to show-up in court, even when still facing up to 26 offences.
Rural Alberta does not need more “boots on the ground,” or more money! We need judges who will hand-down stiff sentences, for first offences, with seriously enforced consequences…thereby preventing reoffenders. Otherwise, these professional crooks are caught and released, simply to reoffend, be caught, and released in a vicious cycle!.
It’s not “rocket science.” If this government truly wants to “target and reduce” rural crime, the incumbent rhetoric is useless. Rural Alberta needs meaningful action. Strictly enforced consequences would deter the current repeat crimes. The proposed (December 2019) funding model solutions are a total waste of tax dollars.
Moreover, that message was loud and clear at every rural crime meeting. We do not need “more boots on the ground.” We need arrests that have serious consequences, stiff and enforced sentences, that send the clear message that committing crime in rural Alberta does not pay.
Contrary to MLA Lovely’s stated misconceptions, and this government’s inaction, this is how this government can successfully “combat” crime in rural Alberta, how it can “best serve” rural Albertans and make “rural communities again feel safe.
I’m Baffled by MLA Lovely’s statements on Alberta’s rural crime.

M. R. Leithead,
Bawlf

Lakefront mowing

August 1, 2020

I would like to comment on the mowing that is taking place along the shore of the Valleyview West Pond. I am saddened to see that individuals have taken it upon themselves to mow right to the lake shore. The need for natural vegetation on the lake shore is only partly aesthetic. The grasses,  trees and native plants that grow along a lake act as natural buffers to catch run off that may contain sediments, weed sprays, commercial fertilizers or other pollutants from reaching the lake and eventually into our water system. Leaving lake shores in a natural environment will encourage a succession of native plants, shrubs and trees to evolve which will encourage nesting birds, beneficial insects and native wild life. A mowed landscape may look nice to some of us but will provide none of these benefits to either the lake or to our natural surroundings.
I would agree with councillor Throndson when he says the City needs to make it clear that mowing should not be happening next to the lake. I applaud the residents for keeping the area between the path and their properties clean and mowed. However the lake front is public property and as such should be left alone. We all enjoy the sounds of the song birds, the sight of broods of ducks and geese and the colorful wild flowers that add to a walk around Valley View West lake.  Mowing will destroy the habitat necessary to support these things.  Please leave the lake shore as natural habitat.
If residents feel the need to do something on the lake shore perhaps they could be encouraged to plant trees or shrubs and tend to those. In that way they would be enhancing the natural environment instead of destroying it.

Bill Sears,
Camrose

 Swan relocation

July 28, 2020

I am writing in response to the invitation extended by Neil Leeson to give my perspective on why the “swan relocation is justified and honourable.”  Yes, the swans were beautiful to see on our waterways – so iconic, so lovely. However, most people have not witnessed their behavior, year after year. I live on Duggan Pond, so I had  the opportunity to observe them in their habitat, which is not their true, organic habitat.  
Swans in their natural environment,  are not normally fiercely aggressive, but every summer we were horrified to see the swans viciously attacking and killing ducklings and goslings on our pond.  They were relentless, like an armada trolling every wild bird that visited or attempted to settle on the pond. Wild swans, pelicans, blue herons and lake birds were chased off by the swans. Even people had to be extremely careful that they, or their pets, were not attacked. Then, in the fall, when the adult geese practiced their flying formations to head south for the winter, it was heartbreaking to see the swans furiously flapping their clipped wings, but  failing to be airborne. Because these swans could not fly and therefore get out of harm’s way, they were often attacked and killed by coyotes. And then to confine them to a “swan house’ for the long winter is  certainly not in alignment with their basic instincts. It is no wonder that the swans’ behavior becomes erratic and contrary to their true nature. This procedure of clipping the swan’s wings to make them captive is neither humane nor honourable.
There was definitely a small  savings for the City to relocate the swans, but I believe it was done for the good of the swans.  We, located on Duggan Pond, are already seeing the effects of the swans departure–families of ducks and geese harmoniously raising their young with no fear from the regal predators; flocks of pelicans and a few new species of lake birds already arriving. I am convinced that our waterways will host a treasure of new and wondrous bird species, which will benefit all Camrose residents, guests and visitors with pride, notoriety and serenity. Naturally, as it was intended to be.
Judy McLean,
Camrose

Many thanks

July 28, 2020

I would like to send a big thank you to the city for allowing non-motorized watercraft on our beautiful Mirror Lake. I have been out numerous times kayak paddling and not to have to travel hours to enjoy some water time is wonderful.
I have also noticed that since the territorial swans are gone, more native waterfowl are starting to return.
Also thank you to the city for the bike pedestrian underpass; for those of us who travel by bike or foot with families it has made crossing 48th Avenue a lot safer.
Keep up the good work!
Carol Haugen,
Camrose

Deer concern

July 28, 2020

Without even mentioning how destructive deer can be. Without mentioning how hard it is to beautify your yard; Communities in Bloom and all. Without mentioning the expense of having a deer destroy or stunt plants. Let’s talk about the real danger involved with having wild animals living in our communities. They are wild, no matter how cute and doing what nature intended of them.
On Friday morning, July 17, I heard a sound that would alarm anyone. An animal, a dog no doubt, screaming in pain and fear. It’s not a sound you forget easy.
As it turns out, my neighbour took her little Dachshund out to do it’s business. Unfortunately a mother doe happened to be in the yard. She and her two fawns had been in the neighbourhood since she gave birth to them. Understandably, she was immediately on the defensive. And the little dog bore the brunt of it. The result, a $4,000 vet bill.
The city, although allowing these animals to breed and wander unchecked, they take no responsibility.  Not for people spending money trying to beautify their yards, and certainly not for a vet bill. I’ve often seen my neighbor’s seven-year-old daughter taking their dog out. She (daughter) weighs as much as a postage stamp. A panicked deer running over her would be like getting hit by a middle linebacker. Suddenly a vet bill seems secondary. Does the city have any responsibility for that, because the possibility is very real. If you invite an accident, I can guarantee, eventually one will accept the invitation.
This isn’t nature. Go out into the country and try to get close to mule deer. Good luck. The fact is the city has allowed them over the years to breed, give birth and raise generation after generation in a predator free zone. Why? The last time I checked, these animals aren’t on the endangered list. You’re not looking out your window and seeing a unicorn. It’s a deer. On a farm, by the time you are 10 years old, you’ve probably seen many. Here in town, they are as common as a crow.
If a another dog would have attacked my neighbour’s dog, there would almost certaintly be litigation and possibly the dog being put down. But it’s a deer. Nature. Right.
And the city gets to walk away without any responsibility. How about the responsibility of keeping your citizens safe?
Miles Degenstein,
Camrose

Swans gone

July 21, 2020

RE: Duggan Park Lake and Mirror Lake Wildlife.
I’ve been asked repeatedly where swans, geese and ducks have disappeared to this year. To my knowledge, our four iconic swans were relocated to British Columbia to avoid maintenance costs. The absence of geese and ducks remains a mystery (shipped out too?).
Should we applaud the courage of administrators for eliminating Camrose’s decades-long swan legacy to ease spending burdens? Given expenditures of more than $1,500,000 to add a bike/pedestrian underpass (tunnel) during the recent 48th Street Bridge construction, budget prioritizing seems a special skill.
Our swans didn’t speak up…so I will.
Last summer, I monitored tunnel traffic over a few days while reading on a nearby park bench. Results were: users=zero. Now we know this observation is not scientific and will challenge readers who claim to use the tunnel. Great. Let’s collect a list to allocate user pay tolls to recover what us other taxpayers have shelled out on their behalf; i.e. never before have so many paid so much for so few. Sorry, Sir Winston Churchill, just had to borrow context of your historic 1940 Battle of Britain manifesto. It so fits.
Could City council still do the right thing and return our iconic swans? If accomplished, I will be the first supporter to donate $1,000 to the Camrose Save Our Swans Fund. Talk can be cheap…except when documented. If there are two sides to every story, perhaps we can hear from those convinced our swan relocation is justified and honourable.
The tunnel may be eventually blocked up for misuse, much as was a similar one in Calgary at Macleod and Glenmore Trail intersection in December 2018 at great public cost. Feel free to Google verify. As you see, tunnels come and go, but the presence of our swans was priceless. More so now, with COVID-19 woes. They benefited all Camrose residents, guests and visitors with pride, notoriety and serenity, and we gave it all away. Pity.
Neil Leeson,
Camrose

Not educating

July 21, 2020

I would like to thank Don Hutchinson, Dr. Charley Boyd and Lynn Clark for their insightful letters in the July 14th Camrose Booster, addressing the article by Jackie Lovely in the July 7th edition.
I was very concerned by Lovely’s article and her justification for not educating Albertans. Education is so important, especially during times of economic hardships. I feel passionately that the Augustana Campus has added so much to our community; if you agree please let your MLA know.
Carol Haugen,
Camrose

Your government

July 21, 2020

I again need to ask if the 1,000,040 voters who supported the UCP’s coming to power are getting the Alberta they want.
The recent move by our health minister, increasing the conflict with Alberta doctors, seems to be another UCP step in the escalating destruction of our publicly funded health care system. It seems clear that bringing about the downfall of the health care system will pave the way for movement to establish ultimately a complete private, for profit, health care system like the one that exists south of the border. This is consistent with the actions on the parks services, education funding for secondary and post-secondary programs in the province and a host of other publicly funded individual and family support services.
The actions of the UCP in cutting funding for every department of government over the past year and a half are based in a commitment to a particular set of priorities, which have as their goal, cutting taxes or holding them at present levels regardless of what the needs really are. It is a commitment, firstly to a particular set of economic strategies. It is not a commitment, firstly to the welfare of the people.
The UCP actions are based on a belief that private for profit funded services are better than government not for profit funded services. If the majority of Alberta’s voters agree with that way of life, then we are getting what the majority wants.
The UCP believes that they are doing what you wanted them to do when you elected them. If you do not want the program cuts which have evolved from the priorities of the present UCP government and/or you do not want increasing private for profit services, then you need to let your MLA and premier know that.
Marvin Miniely,
Camrose

MacKinnon Panel

July 14, 2020

Why do I get nervous when an MLA states…”I want to present you with the facts?”
Ms. Lovely’s referral to the simplistic “bean counter” analyses and conclusions put forth by the MacKinnon Panel fail to recognize and understand the accrued history, including mistakes, of the last 30 years of postsecondary education and training in Alberta.
Politicos are notorious for cherry picking data to support ideologue driven, preconceived conclusions. The comparative, interprovincial definitions of students, expenditures, operating and capital grants in your assertions are so wide and cavalier, can we be certain you are comparing apples to apples and oranges to oranges?
Your assertions are very disingenuous, especially in light of the UCP’s contention they purport to prioritize education and training to promote growth of the economy. Recent drastic cuts in science, technology and trades programs have the direct effect of undermining Alberta’s economic development; unexplainedly, colleges with religious affiliations received no cuts to their operating grants. Help me understand how graduates of religious programs will facilitate the wealth generating sectors of our economy.
The “super analysis” also fails to “fess up” that, historically, Alberta’s post secondary institutions are substantively overbuilt. It was a costly and shortsighted decision to award degree granting status to polytechnics like NAIT and SAIT and to community colleges like Mount Royal and Grant MacEwan. Once the genie is out of the bottle, it is difficult to put her back in.
European institutions typically encompass a two plus two model that facilitate two-year college graduates’ ability to take advantage of flexible articulation agreements with degree granting institutions and places of employment. The college graduates “top up” natural attrition from the first two years of university study and while earning a degree in the process; it provides a fiscally responsible “win-win” situation for students, colleges and universities.
At a macro level, Ontario has 24 colleges and 21 universities serving a population of 14.6 million. By comparison, Alberta has 14 colleges and 11 universities serving 4.4 million. Comparatively, each institution in Alberta serves 175,000 population approximately while each institution in Ontario serves approximately 325,000; double the efficiency of Alberta.
Ms. Lovely…it is timely to support the rationalization of Alberta’s postsecondary offerings based upon consultation and listening to all stakeholders, and consider rescinding the funding of religious colleges to provide more support for business and industry training.

Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Not addressed

July 14, 2020

Jackie Lovely’s letter regarding “Budget to be balanced in future” on July 7 has done nothing to address cuts at Augustana Campus. MLA Lovely should be explaining to us, as Camrose constituents, what she is doing to help return the physiotherapy or nursing programs to our campus. We need her to stand up for our concerns, not educate us on why we should be quiet.
As we have seen before, apparently our concerns are misplaced and require a lecture on the cost of Alberta’s universities. We live here, we understand the economic challenges currently, and we have concerns with UCP decisions in spite of this evidence. Investment in rural-based post secondary education is an investment in rural economies. Clearly, MLA Lovely does not know Camrose. She does not know Augustana. She does not know that we have recruited back many graduates of Augustana who now work in our area as veterinarians, nurses, physicians, small business owners, engineers, OTs, PTs, SLPs and more.
Augustana is an unparalleled university community built on diversity of academic programs, culture, and sport. The UCP needs to shift to measurement metrics that matter. Sweeping statements such as “our schools have below-average completion rates” pale in comparison to retention of a university educated workforce choosing careers in rural Alberta. Some of us, like myself, didn’t graduate from Augustana because we were accepted into professional programs early, went on to complete further education, and returned as trained professionals.
If a (rural) Alberta Advantage is truly part of the UCP plan, they must start looking beyond solely balancing a budget. These massive cuts to Augustana are yet another example of  a devastating loss to both rural healthcare and the broader vitality of our rural communities. Join me in speaking out against these changes and write to our MLA.

Dr. Charley Boyd,
Camrose

Augustana's Future

July 14, 2020

I’d like to add my thoughts to the current community discussion concerning Augustana Campus and in particular Jackie Lovely’s presentation of “the facts” in her column appearing in the July 7 edition of The Camrose Booster.
She cites several statistics that show per student spending in Alberta universities is considerably higher than in other provinces. As with many statistics, context is important.
For example, in 2017 (the most recent year I was able to locate statistics) median household incomes were $99,700 in Ontario, $94,200 in British Columbia and $78,300 in Quebec. The comparable median household income in Alberta for that same year was $113,700 which is 14 per cent higher than Ontario, 20 per cent higher than British Columbia and 45 per cent higher than Quebec.
A university takes many people to run. It stands to reason that to attract the brightest minds to provide direction, teach in, and administer our universities that we need to pay wages that are competitive with those that are being paid in the private sector, which if median household incomes are an indication, are significantly higher in Alberta than the rest of Canada.
Ms. Lovely points out that the administration costs for our universities are especially high per student compared to other provinces. I don’t want to dismiss her comment, as the discrepancy is significant. However, when per student spending is taken as a whole, and considering the different provincial median household incomes (and hence expected wages), the differences are much less severe.
Do I think we should continue operating our universities with the status quo? Of course not. We should always be looking at ways we can deliver our programs more efficiently.
In her column, Ms. Lovely states “Ensuring access to high-quality adult learning opportunities for all Albertans is a key priority for the Alberta government. Our rural institutions are incredibly important to the overall fabric of our post-secondary system.” What’s missing from this statement is the unequivocal assurance from the Alberta government that the Augustana Campus will continue to be a part of this “key priority.”
Augustana and other rural post-secondary institutions are absolutely vital to the well-being and overall diversity of the communities they serve. I would add that in a time of COVID-19 and the uncertainty it has brought to our energy sector, our investment in rural post-secondary institutions such as Augustana is also a vital contributor to the economic diversity.

Don Hutchinson,
Camrose

Parks delisting

June 30, 2020

It was with some concern I read Jackie Lovely’s column titled, “Parks are not for sale”. For several weeks, I have tried contacting the MLA about my concerns about the closure of 20 Alberta parks and the de-listing of 164 parks across the province. I have yet to hear back from the MLA about my concerns.
The de-listing of parks means the parks will have their protected status removed. No longer will these gems, which belong to all Albertans, be protected from logging, mining, oil and gas development, or cultivation.
A recent study showed 70 per cent of Albertans, across all the province and political affiliation, were opposed to the government closing and de-listing these parks. Many families have precious memories of camping together with friends and families at these parks. Each year, thousands of visitors come to Alberta to experience the wilderness accessible from these parks.
The parks earmarked for closure seem to be chosen by throwing a dart at a map. There was no public consultation on the closure of these parks and no data is available on how the decisions were made to de-list these parks. I have asked for the consultation documents and none are available.
Albertans want to spend more time in the parks that belong to all Albertans. Closing provincial parks puts pressure on the national parks in the province and the nearby parks in British Columbia.
The closure of these parks is contrary to Travel Alberta’s long-term strategy of having a diversity of parks. Eliminating 40 per cent of the parks is not a good strategy to attract visitors and their dollars to our province. The outdoors is one of Alberta’s biggest draws.
It is not too late to phone the MLA, the minister of environment, or the premier to voice your opposition to the de-listing of parks and ensuring they retain their important park status.

Mary MacArthur,
Camrose

Curbside delivery

June 30, 2020

Thank you to the Camrose Public Library for being available Monday and Tuesday, 4 to 6 p.m., and Wednesday to Friday, 1 to 6 p.m., for someone to phone in for book titles wanted by “curbside” delivery.

Elizabeth Bagdan,
Camrose

Red tape

June 30, 2020

I was interested to read the article in the June 16 Booster “Cutting red tape ...economy.” The article presented the government side of the issue. It sounds good to cut red tape, and everyone wants more efficiency, but there are two sides to this issue. I’ll try to present another side. Cutting red tape simply means to remove or reduce government regulations. People should pay attention to this. Australia has strict government regulations that are strictly enforced for seniors’ nursing homes and, during this pandemic, 29 seniors have died in Australian nursing homes.  In Canada, we have weak regulations for nursing homes that are rarely enforced and we have had over 6,000 dead.
We don’t like the fact that around the world Alberta has a reputation for producing “dirty oil.” Mr. Kenney claims we have the highest environmental standards, but the truth is that our oil industry has weak government regulations that are weakly enforced. As a result in Norway, extracting a barrel of oil produces nine kg of CO2, but according to the global business information organization IHS Markit, in our oil sands,, getting a barrel of oil produces between 39 and 127 kg of CO2. The rest of the world knows this and knows that the Alberta government has recently further reduced the requirements for oil companies to do environmental monitoring. Our weak government regulations are bad for Alberta’s worldwide reputation and our economy has suffered as global investment firms have been abandoning our oil sector.
The stock market crash of 1929 and subsequent depression and the great recession of 2008, both happened after the US government reduced regulations on the financial sector, allowing unscrupulous individuals to play fast and loose with the system.
It should be worrying that at a press conference, the associate minister for red tape reduction Grant Hunter didn’t seem to know how the government’s cutting red tape would affect the oil sands, the environment or energy efficiency. We should be concerned about reducing government regulations. The truth is that our already weak government regulations have put our seniors’ lives at risk, harmed Alberta’s reputation and damaged our economy. We should all be asking for the real reason the government wants to reduce regulations even more.

Rob Hill,
Camrose

No parks

June 30, 2020

Is it just me, or are other readers infuriated by Jackie Lovely’s column in the June 16 Booster. I don’t know where to begin.
“The NDP anger machine.”  Aw, c’mon.  What’s that? “Misinformation?” Ms. Lovely may be forgetting that it was Minister of Environment and Parks Jason Nixon’s own press release that ignited Albertans’ anger when he said, “Sites removed from the parks system allow a greater range of uses… Successful sale or transfer to a third party will enable these sites to continue to be part of the community …”  https://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/corbella-alberta-parks-are-not-for-sale-not-one-centimeter/, but the Alberta Parks website appears to have been revised after the Calgary Herald article was published.
So let me get this straight (even though Ms. Lovely said it–annoyingly–three times): Alberta Parks are not for sale.  “Technically,” right. But they could be transferred out of the parks system and then eventually sold.  Right?
The egregious (and, I suspect, unique) examples of misspending (helicoptering firewood, six-hour staff drives) can certainly be dealt with without closing the parks. Ms Lovely cites these as actions “done by the previous government”–does she really believe that, literally–and that were “a huge mismanagement of public money”–reminds me of the old adage about the pot and the kettle (please read my next paragraph).
What really bugs me in all this is that supposedly the parks are being closed in order for the government to save money: The amount of $5 million has been bandied about. I don’t want to trivialize $5 million, but it’s a pittance compared to the $4.7 billion that the UCP government has given to big corporations. (Do the math: this is like giving away one dollar and then finding a way to save one-tenth of a cent).
I need to stop. I fear my blood pressure is reaching dangerous levels. If I were fortunate enough to live in rural Alberta, perhaps I could video-conference my doctor to find out for sure.

John Olson,
Camrose

Southern riots

June 23, 2020

The riots down in the United States over the past few weeks seem to be very disturbing to many people here in our province, as well as here in this city. This seems to be similar to the riots which happened in the 1960s when black people were killed by a white police officer(s).
As I study the past when it came to black people being killed in an unjust manner, the stories seem to be repeated.  I sure hope and pray that this time, governments from all over the globe will finally get this right.
If this behaviour of many kinds of people regardless of colour does not change and become more acceptable and tolerant of every colour and race, these riots will, in years to come, continue on and on until someday the lessons, which should have been learned, will finally be put into practice by everyone here in this world.
I do see racism in our community, and when I do, I always politely put a stop to the person’s comments by asking them why they feel this type of behaviour is acceptable. We all have a part to play in making our communities safe for all to live and work in.

Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Questioning Attitude

June 23, 2020

The past 11 weeks of “Sometimes Laughter is the Only Medicine” has obviously been a much-welcomed emotional lift to many of us, and for that I sincerely thank The Booster team for their efforts, ingenuity and thoughtfulness. Changing downs to ups and inspiring life. How precious is that?
The June 2 issue offered me another welcomed “lift”…relief to discover the Battle River-Crowfoot Member of Parliament’s column was absent. It is a column I usually choose not to read because of the ensuing frustration it causes by excessive negativity and criticism expressed within. It contains only minor differences of words, phrases and tactics presented by the former MP and minister of state. Sheer (no pun intended) monotony swathed in a tangible degree of boastfulness.
The expressed dissatisfaction so many Canadians have had, are having, and always will have for the CPC and the Liberal parties is puzzling idiocy. Canadian political history is wrought with these parties and their continuing power trade-offs. Hence, little if any effective progress...when defined as democracy. Aside from dictionaries, democracy continues its descent. Canadians, and especially Albertans, enduring the present delusional and psychologically predisposed provincial government, surely have the mental wherewithal to recognize that! Ask yourself.
I implore you to shed your “herd fear” of change, delve beneath headlines, obliterate FB, recognize what Canadian democracy entails, what it should mean to you, awake your slumbering grey matter, bolster your courage and risk it.
You and only you can change that which is cause for your concerns, complaints and disappointment. There are choices, so take a serious look and decide on changes which will alleviate your disgruntled minds. We are citizens of Canada and we count. Only citizens of this nation can determine necessary change.
Canadians “got what they got” because few cared enough to search beyond the talk. Politicians, for the most part, are chameleons…lizards that change colour according to circumstances. Wake up! The human brain is an amazingly complex mass of nervous tissue meant for creative thinking, not the complacent stagnating sludge of numbness, which is evidently fast-forwarding into another evil to society. While we endure this present and very different style of living, it presents an opportunity for engagement of in depth thought, communication, positive expression, and a good measure of firm diplomacy. Cut the complaints and make a statement for life. It is your life. Just do it.

Lennie McKim,
Beaver County

More Votes

June 23, 2020

Further to Rob Hill’s thought-provoking letter, isn’t it timely for the politicians who posture to garner votes by blind support for the gun lobby to take a deep breath, understand their job and reconsider their rhetoric?
The Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee consists of 10 members whose membership includes law enforcement officers, public health advocates, representatives from women’s groups, civilian firearms users, gun control advocates and members of the legal community. They, along with the RCMP, make recommendations to the government regarding classification of firearms. Interestingly, in 2015, Public Safety Minister Blaney in the Harper government, overruled all RCMP recommendations about prohibiting select Czech, Swiss and other assault rifles. A responsible government acts upon the advice provided by non-partisan committee recommendations.
In spite of the gun lobby’s assertions, assault rifles are not hunting rifles, folks! I have hunted big game for more than 60 years, I do not know of any “sportsman” who would hunt big game with an assault-style rifle of 5.56x45 mm caliber; these rifles are not legal for big game in most provinces; whereas, a standard hunting rifle designed for big game hunting is far more accurate at long range and is more humane.
Imagine if, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the mentally ill shooter on Parliament Hill, had been armed with one of these assault rifles rather than an antique 30:30 deer rifle he carried, what carnage might have ensued?
Of equal importance, consider the warnings of the RCMP whose members face the likelihood of encountering a potentially mentally ill/criminal/gang member armed with an assault-style rifle. Also, let us not forget that, due to budget cuts in 2012, RCMP members did not get the carbines/body armour and training as recommended by the Mayerthorpe tragedy. The result was that the three Mounties killed in Moncton were not able to adequately defend themselves. Gun enthusiasts, quite correctly, will argue that legally, the magazines of these rapid-fire semi-automatic assault-style rifles are limited to five rounds but…anyone can go online and buy a 30/5 “pinned,” legal clip that is easily converted to an illegal 30-round clip.
Prohibition of these assault style rifles in other countries has proven successful to reduce shootings when augmented with stiff penalties for gun crimes (long jail sentences and deportations). Simple possession of a prohibited firearm would be a major crime with severe consequences and a huge deterrent.

Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Health care

June 9, 2020

As you see from the news, long-term care is suffering. Therefore, I am donating the $300 senior cheque I am getting from the government toward local long-term care, in my case to The Bethany Group, as I feel they need it more than I (I think they have had an increasing shortfall). And I encourage you to do likewise, especially if you know a resident there, are a resident yourself, think you may become a resident in the future or work for Bethany. You’ll even be able to get a charitable donation receipt.
Elizabeth Bagdan,
Camrose

Your government

June 9, 2020

This is a letter to those who voted for the UCP. I must ask, “Did you know what you were doing?”
I assume you didn’t, because none of us knew what they were going to do. They didn’t tell us.
We have learned that there will be more crazy cuts to the services we expected to receive from our government. We came to expect that our taxes would support services that we, as a caring society needed. Yes, oil prices declined, and we had no control over that, but as the least taxed and least indebted province in Canada, surely if more money was needed to replace our lost oil revenues, which, by the way were the lowest royalties in the industrialized world, we could have imposed a low sales tax. But we didn’t.
Without asking Albertans, the UCP went crazy gutting education, healthcare, and support for those most needy. The latest cuts, made somewhere in the inner circle of the UCP, and without notice to even their own MLAs, for I am told our own MLA claims she wasn’t aware of them, include cutting laundry costs for extended care residents, cutting off Blue Cross for underage spouses; personal response systems cut down to $20 a month, with no installation costs covered and it goes on.
Why are we cutting aid to those least able to look after themselves? In budgetary terms, it is a pittance, while we fund great increases in expenses and wages for political employees? This is “institutional elder abuse”.
Healthcare and educational cuts are far more than anything the UCP said they were going to do.  Is this what you want your seniors and youth to suffer through?
Of course, we are going through difficult times, and it will probably get worse. But a civilized society should be looking after it’s least able citizens. We have three years more of this government. In that time, they can do incredible damage. Let them know you do not support this course of action.
Now is the time to look after each other. Think about what we have unleashed and stop it. You might remind your MLA that she is here to represent and support her constituents. I see little evidence of that.
    Harry Gaede,
Camrose

Our debt

June 9, 2020

Recently The Booster published a letter to the editor where I mentioned Modern Monetary Theory, and, in the same edition, Ron Pilger wrote about government spending. Views are changing about government debt, so I’d like to offer a few thoughts.
Many of us, particularly the older you are, still believe in the Protestant work ethic of work, discipline and frugality. These people believe that we have to pay for what we have, but these are not the values of our current governments. Governments give away money they don’t have in order to stay in power. So the work-ethic belief that there will be some future reckoning and that all this money will have to be paid back will not happen. Japan has been running endless deficits since the 1970s. Today’s government debts will never be paid back.  COVID has added another wrinkle in that deficits are now orders of magnitude greater than before. If we couldn’t pay the debts we already have, we certainly won’t pay the COVID costs going forward. Forget it.
With debts, the problems for the borrower start when the lender says, “I want my money back.” If the lender never says that, then there never is a problem. So the central banks buy bonds issued by the governments and they consider those bonds as assets and all is well. There is no limit to the number of bonds a central bank can “buy” by printing money.  Some central banks are now even buying corporate stocks and bonds with printed money.
So as long as central banks never ask for their money back and we print the money without creating runaway inflation, things can go on for a very long time. However, there is a new concern that the shear magnitude of the increase in spending and the shutting down of economies as a result of COVID might produce a tipping point.  We may have unleashed a financial pandemic of dying jobs that will dwarf the social impact of COVID. But for now, we will put aside the needed sacrifices of a work ethic and we will demand, with our voices and our votes, that governments simply give us what we want and we don’t care in the slightest how it’s paid for. Work, discipline and frugality…who needs that?
Tony Hladun,
Camrose

No fly-in

June 2, 2020

We are now more open in the community for socializing. I agree with one exception.
To the four young men who came down our street this morning (Sunday at 1 a.m. followed by two women, thanks for leaving an empty beer box in the middle of the street and throwing an egg at our house before running away. You also left a broken egg on the street.
You were not social distancing either. Especially in this pandemic, we are to be kind and considerate to others–help them instead of bringing them stress.
You are better than this. Man up. When you sober up, please return and apologize. We’ll be expecting you.
M. R. Broen,
 Camrose

Mean machines

June 2, 2020

Accidents can happen in a split second. When I was two years old, I ran into the path of a riding lawn mower and lost my right leg below the knee.
I grew up in the War Amps Child Amputee Program (CHAMP) and I help pass on the association’s Playsafe message. With lawn cutting season here, I want everyone to know that kids should not ride, operate or play near lawn mowers.
I accept who I am today, but I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through what I did. I hope that by sharing my story, it will prevent even just one child from being injured. Lawn mowers are tools, not toys.
The War Amps video, Lawn Mowers Are Mean Machines, focuses on the dangers of lawn mowers and is a valuable resource for families and educators. Take some time to watch the video at waramps.ca/playsafe.
Adam Kingsmill,
Smithers, BC

Booster flyers

June 2, 2020

I too am frustrated that some businesses are choosing not to have the printed flyers delivered with The Camrose Booster.
For more than 50 years, I have planned meals using the weekly specials printed in the grocery flyers. Now some stores don’t have any print advertising or have reduced it substantially. Thus their places of business will not get any of my patronage.
Bev Maertens-Poole,
Camrose

No flyers

May 26, 2020

I am reaching out to you as per your notice on Page 2 of the May 19th Camrose Booster pertaining to pre-printed flyers. I agree with Reta LeGear from Forestburg that businesses that have discontinued printed weekly flyers will lose a lot of their customers. A lot of people I talk to do their weekly shopping from the flyers, me being one of them. I will now be exclusively doing my grocery shopping at stores which are willing to deliver printed flyers. I know people at Deer Meadows miss the flyers.
Rose Cottingham,
Camrose

Gun ban

Gun ban
May 26, 2020

I take issue with The Booster’s coverage of the recent federal government gun ban. In the May 12 issue, three articles dealt with the gun ban and not one even mentioned the most important issue. That is that the guns that have been banned are not designed for hunting or for a farmer to protect his/her stock. These guns are designed specifically for one purpose–to kill people. As such, most Canadians feel they should not be owned by civilians.  That is why 80 per cent of Canadians support this ban. That should be the end of the discussion. Yes, we have to find a way to stop these guns coming in from the United States. Let’s have that discussion, but keep in mind, it makes no sense to stop these guns coming from the United States if they can be bought and sold freely in Canada, so they must be banned here first. Yes, we have to do a better job of keeping mentally unstable people and criminals from getting guns. Let’s also have that discussion.
In a letter to the editor, the writer says he follows the law. That’s good. And then he says he is being punished. No one is punished for following the law. When I stop at a red light, I’m following the law. I’m not being punished. In the article, Prime Minister Trudeau…ammunition, Vaughn Stroud is quoted as saying that, “Canada has the strictest gun laws already.” Clearly Mr. Stroud knows very little about gun laws around the world. Our MP Damien Kurek sends his thoughts and prayers out to the victims in Nova Scotia. Fine, but his thoughts and prayers are not bringing anyone back to life or preventing such a tragedy from happening again. And Mr. Kurek expresses his outrage with the Trudeau government as if he thinks that will accomplish anything. No, as our MP, Mr. Kurek has a responsibility to show some leadership. Rather than expressing outrage, he should tell us what he would do to stop gun violence in Canada. All the articles feel Trudeau is being political. What a surprise, a politician being political, as Mr. Kurek is. Before the recent election, Trudeau promised to tighten gun laws. When a politician does what he pledged to do before the election and 80 per cent of Canadians agree with him, I’d say we are in pretty good shape.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Provincial parks

May 26, 2020

On March 3, the Alberta Government announced the permanent closure of 11 provincial parks, the removal of services from another nine parks, and a further 164 will be removed from the park system altogether, offered up in partnership to municipal, non-profit or private interests. Parks sites without a partnership arrangement will, in effect, be ‘orphaned’, very likely sold off and lost to the protection of our public parks system. That is 184 sites in total, approximately 40,000 acres of wilderness and native habitat will be impacted (Optimizing Alberta’s Parks).
The government projects a savings of $5 million with these actions. Show me the data that supports this. The costs alone of monitoring the adherence to regulations, particularly concerning the environment, of a smorgasbord of partnered sites surely cannot be done cheaper than through the existing public parks system?
Apparently Albertans have expressed their disapproval of this decision by the thousands, but to no avail. The government’s justification is that the parks in question are underutilized and basically not pulling their weight. They need to be ‘optimized’. Does this mean heavier recreational use, opening up to for-profit enterprises or possible resource extraction? How can this end well for the land itself, the native and rare plant species and the wildlife, already in many areas having been relegated to the margins of Alberta’s prairie landscape.
We can look to grassland songbirds as an example of this, for their numbers are down by 87 per cent since first recorded in 1970 (Birds Canada Study 2019). Loss of safe habitat is named as a major reason. The Canadian prairies, the only biome in this country to have been declared endangered (Hohhot Declaration 2008), is home to 60 per cent of our country’s endangered species. The loss of publicly owned parks is a further threat to Alberta’s wild areas, biodiversity and wildlife habitat.
This decision has been devastating to many Albertans, including myself. And as we live with the daily impact of COVID-19, we know more than ever, that time spent in nature is absolutely essential for us, body and soul. It is a gift of great price given freely. In appreciation of that and also for the work of the people who created and cared for these special areas over generations, I hope you will join me in asking our government to keep these parks opened, serviced and within the public system.
June A. Osborne,
 Camrose

No flyers
May 26, 2020

I am reaching out to you as per your notice on Page 2 of the May 19th Camrose Booster pertaining to pre-printed flyers. I agree with Reta LeGear from Forestburg that businesses that have discontinued printed weekly flyers will lose a lot of their customers. A lot of people I talk to do their weekly shopping from the flyers, me being one of them. I will now be exclusively doing my grocery shopping at stores which are willing to deliver printed flyers. I know people at Deer Meadows miss the flyers.
Rose Cottingham,
Camrose

Troubled times
May 26, 2020

These past few months have not been easy for all of us here in this city. The COVID-19 scare has crippled every business. It is good to see that some of these businesses are slowly getting back to normal. There will be soon a vaccine for this awful disease. There are people here in this country who refuse to get any vaccines, since they feel that these are not healthy as one would think that they would be. If a vaccine is found for the COVID-19 here in Canada, will this vaccine be mandated to be taken by everybody here in Canada? 
I sure do hope that this scare will soon be over.  This experience is surely driving me up the wall.  However, I am grateful for the lessons which I have learned by going through this experience.  I am more grateful for the people who live around me more than ever. I would be so happy to have my life back to normal.
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

 

New path

May 19, 2020

Going forward we need to be happy with what we have.  COVID-19 may be the tipping point, but with the current culture of consultation and consensus, we had already started down the path of not building new things, except wildly expensive houses in Toronto and Vancouver. What that means is there will be no new pipelines or oil sands plants, but there will also be no new wind generators, electric cars and wildly expensive houses. I don’t have the numbers, but I’d guess that our economy today meets our Paris climate targets, so environmentalists should be happy with this. The threat of COVID-like epidemics in the future will foreshadow more shutdowns and will demand an economy that focuses on immediate healthcare and welfare and not future growth.
That’s not necessarily bad because we will largely be giving up discretionary things like frequent dining out, RVs, second homes and travel. If we accept that, how much are we really going to suffer? Now this recession/depression has mainly hurt low-income service workers and that is unfortunate. It may take years for those jobs to return, if they ever do.  What will probably happen is that some form of guaranteed annual wage will help those people to get by.
So how are we going to pay for all this? There is an economic view called Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) that says government deficits don’t matter. Simply stated, central banks print money, which they use to buy government bonds. The governments get to spend the money and the central banks are happy because they consider the government bonds as assets that match their money printing. Again to keep it simple, governments can run deficits (and they’re huge now) and carry on. So there’s the money for health care and welfare.
So there it is–the wealthy have to be content with what they have and the poor will get living wages and that’s all sustainable. There’s an investment market saying about the “have nots and have yachts” and we will need to modify that to the “have-enoughs and who needs a yacht?” Put another way, there’s a Swedish word “lagom” and it translates to “enough is best”. If we all bear that in mind, then this will work.
Tony Hladun,
Camrose

Another scam

May 19, 2020

Please let your readers know of the following Facebook scam as I’ve just experienced an attempted connection.
Someone from your Facebook friend list will  reply to a post, then ask if you’re aware of a new government program (DHHS) then ask you to connect to an agent (Andrea Bourn in my case). They will then “check their data banks” to see if you qualify and rapidly “congratulate you on your win”.
Many people are presently desperate and may be caught in this scam.   Please spread the word.
Sandra Popowich,
Camrose

Enjoyable paper

May 19, 2020

After reading your enjoyable paper, I was most disappointed to read “not seeing your favourite flyers” as I’ve been wondering what happened.
I also looked forward to all the inserts and flyers. Do the companies not understand that all customers are not digital, especially seniors. However, if they plan to resume after the pandemic, that is understandable.
If not, they will lose a lot of their customers.
Please forward this on to whom it may concern as per your notice in the paper.
I have really enjoyed your laughter page re: COVID-19.
A disappointed senior.
Reta LeGear,
Forestburg

What money

May 19, 2020

At the risk of sounding unappreciative towards their COVID-19  initiatives and the relative ability to keep people in cash and, of course,  businesses, groups and organizations afloat during this pandemic, I’ve become a bit cynical towards our current federal government’s daily briefings from Rideau Cottage.
How much longer can the Prime Minister dole out millions, or billions, per day? Did, at a certain (recent) point, this previously financially destitute government slightly switch over from a strategy of playing and working safe in a pandemic to extreme generosity in hopes you remember me when the next election is called?
Did the strategy of his campaign crew come to the conclusion that the opportunity to attract this level of media coverage daily could never be booked and paid for in normal election campaigning fashion? Does anyone smell that election announcement not too far down the road?  Is it too soon to predict a whopping Liberal majority based on his three months of looking after voters financially? Post-election, what will taxation look like?  Eight per cent GST (on top of our inevitable looming provincial sales tax)?  Stratospheric inheritance taxes? Doubling of estate taxes? What will a tax look like for those people who were astute enough, responsible enough, or able to save via RRSPs or TFSAs? What federal taxes will be dreamt up that have not yet even been imagined outside of government circles or think tanks?
How much higher will the taxes be levied on a litre of fuel, a barrel of oil, your preferred liquor or preferred tobacco? Will we need more cannabis stores in order to keep up with market demand or to simply help with government revenue? You decide.
Is there enough talk, at present, on the current political payoffs being played out before our eyes or we are all conveniently and comfortably oblivious to what’s next post-pandemic, if that day is indeed meant to be?
Ron Pilger,
Camrose

What money

May 12, 2020

Money is a complex idea. Our governments have given themselves the monopoly of creating money out of nothing. The money created only has value if most of us believe it has value. To encourage us to believe that the money has value, we are required to pay our taxes using their created money. In addition, we are told that money gets its value from the goods and services created by the work and capital of the society.
In theory then, the money supply M should equal the value of goods and services of that society (M=G&S/no. of units of money created). Therefore, if the production of a society goes up or down, the value of the unit of money should vary in proportion to the changed circumstances.
However, governments do not play by any rules.  There is very little constraint on how much money they create so long as they can convince their people that it has value. When times are good, the people accept that their money loses value (inflation), and governments generally acknowledge a certain amount of inflation, although they under report it. Inflation is a hidden tax.
When governments want money, they simply create it, using banks and smoke and mirrors and use it as they wish. In most countries, there are limits on how much can be created before hyperinflation destroys the currency. The US seems, so far, to have avoided hyperinflation, but many believe it is in their near future with the actions taken relating to the coronavirus. The simple answer as to why they seem able to rack up so much debt without incurring more rampant inflation is that they have the world’s reserve currency, but that may simply postpone the day of reckoning.
The financial shenanigans of our various governments show us they can get as much money for wars and pork barrel projects as they want, but not for programs that benefit their citizens, like better health care, education or safety nets, until the fear of revolution forces them to spread a few crumbs.
When the creation of money is filtered through the rich and powerful, it amounts to a huge tax on the poorest in society. This, at a time when the rich and powerful are far from paying their fair share of taxes. They try to avoid what little they are legally required to pay.
I encourage you to support BAI attempts by our governments.
Harry Gaede,
Camrose

Good work

May 12, 2020

I just wanted to say thank you for all your help in setting up our website on such short notice. We have already had some orders come in off of it.
Also a thank you for your page of humour in The Booster. It is nice to have a chuckle these days.
Margaret Lyseng,
Maplewood Acres Greenhouse, Armena

Gun laws

May 12, 2020

I would love to know why the Liberals think this new ban on 1,500 rifles is going to stop shootings. I feel, as a law abiding citizen, I follow the gun laws set forth by the Government of Canada, which are extremely strict just to acquire these weapons. They are used for hunting and sport.
I’ve researched mass shootings in Canada and, from 1985 to 2020, there have been six and in between that time, there’s been two terrorists attacks on Canadian citizens with no actions from your party to make stricter measures to monitor who comes into Canada. Maybe we should look into that. I feel with this new ban, it does nothing to stop criminals from continuing to acquire these weapons.
I feel that as someone who follows the law, I’m being punished for acquiring these guns legally. Why does your party use fear mongering to push new gun laws? I think all parties need to focus on the real issue like mental health. I feel that whatever party, whether you’re Liberal, Conservative, Green or Quebecois, needs to focus more on mental health issues and stronger border control. The recent mass shooting in Canada was done with illegal guns brought over the border from the USA. I’m ashamed to call Justin Trudeau my Prime Minister. Time after time, he’s embarrassed Canada.
Kyle Williams,
Camrose

Too close

May 12, 2020

Ladies, my sincere apology. To the two older women walkers whom I so rudely went between on Wednesday, April 29 on the walking trail north of the old ski jump hill, I’m sincerely sorry for not being more careful. I broke the new walkway rule of maintaining a two-metre separation. I think back and should have predicted you and the other walkers’ (there were two other groups of walkers) movements at the time, so as to move to where I would not have had to pass between you two. You did not deserve to have me break the rule.
I am 60 years old and have an underlining medical condition that might make me more susceptible to complications due to the virus. I am old enough to know better. I will do better. It is not fear that leads me and it is likely not fear that leads you, it is considered thought. That is what we need more of, considered thought. Please enjoy your walks and know that I will do better. Peace, love and respect.
Kevin L. McManus,
Camrose

Too close

May 12, 2020

These past weeks have been very stressful for me as an individual. There have been a lot of changes, some of them have been good and others have not been as good. I hear that by May 14, some of the businesses might be reopened. I am looking forward to being able to sit in a restaurant.
I do not mind the fact that every other table will be blocked off in order to encourage social distancing. I received a $25 gift card for my birthday, so I went online and spent that card on a takeout meal.  This was good and I really enjoyed eating with my best friend, which many people call my wife. I can hardly wait to have this COVID-19 stuff over with, because it is driving me up the wall. I now work at my workplace and, in a way, that is very good. Our self employment is going so well due to the COVID-19 scare. This, in a way, is adding extra money to our budget. However, as a OCD person, which is the initials of a very common disorder, this situation is driving me up the wall. I can hardly wait until our lives can go back to normal.  
Lorne Vanderwoude,
 Camrose

Bad government

May 5, 2020

It is very hard to believe that the 1,040,000 Albertans who voted for the UCP wanted the kind of Alberta that is coming with the cuts to education, social programs, support for alternate energy, support for vulnerable Albertans, healthcare, parks and other important services for us.
The cuts to spending are justified by a promise not to increase taxes. Yet, our provincial government is accepting $1.7 billion of federal tax dollars earmarked for abandoned well cleanup and our provincial government is asking for more. Are these not our tax dollars?
Perhaps this is the Alberta the clear majority of Albertans wanted. If that is true, so be it. If that is not true for some of those voters, then they need to let their elected MLA know that while they voted for the UCP, they did not vote for this kind of Alberta.
Marvin A. Miniely,
Camrose

Time to reflect

May 5, 2020

The covid pandemic has shaken our collective complacency to the core. Many acts of goodwill and kindness within our communities help through these troubling times.  Self imposed isolation from friends and family has given us time to reflect on our past experiences and re-think our future activities, values, and expectations and the emerging, yet to be determined, “new normal.”
In times of uncertainty, enterprises formulate strategic plans; the first step is to conduct a SWOT analysis…(Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). SW are internal, brutally honest, self assessments while OT represents an external assessment of opportunities and threats. This strategic model is a global, standard procedure. Non-partisan visionaries with a global perspective could provide guidance in all sectors of our economy; namely, the service economy representing health, education, marketing, military, banking, telcos, transportation, and the wealth generating sectors, agri/aquaculture, oil and gas, mining, forestry, manufacturing, etc.
Politicians would be invited to plenary discussion workshops to listen, take notes and ask questions. Cumulative recommendations could be revolutionary and determine political policy and set Canada on a road to recovery and autonomy; we have the bounty of natural resources and educated workforce to accomplish it. Some possibilities…
In the past 60 years, Canadian leaders have reduced the role of science and technology as a foundation of our economy… potential recommendations could contribute value added products, offer high tech employment opportunities for youth and improve our trade balance.
Canada’s ethical pharmaceutical industry was wiped out by NAFTA; is it timely to resurrect it to consolidate our supply chain of drugs?
Is it timely to empower Investment Canada (formerly FIRA, neutralized by PM Mulroney in 1985) and buy back Canada? Regrettably, Canada has become a branch plant operation of businesses in Europe, US and Asia, and corporate decisions made in those board rooms have major impacts on the health of the Canadian economy.
Is there value in investigating strategies proposed by Democratic presidential candidate Mayor Pete to break up the oligopolies that dominate our economy and reduce competition to the detriment of small business?
Is there value in supporting the newly-proposed Canada Prosperity Pipeline Project (CP3) instead of Keystone which is still awaiting US approval? It would support the notion of energy self sufficiency first proposed by Joe Clark in 1978.
Lots of positive opportunities await if we think both locally and globally.
Lynn Clark,
Camrose

World struggles

May 5, 2020

As the world struggles to combat and overcome the invisible enemy, COVID-19, we are approaching the 75th anniversary of the allied forces’ victory over their formidable enemy of that era, the German Nazi regime. As one who witnessed that day, I recall the way we celebrated. Our families and neighbours had just survived the devastating depression of the 1930s, when young men from our communities enlisted and went to fight the war, while adults and children at home did their best to keep the home fires burning. They fervidly prayed to God that He would help the allied forces prevail and achieve victory, in spite of great odds and tremendous casualties.
On May 7, 1945, the early morning radio news broadcast made the welcome announcement … a national holiday was proclaimed, schools were closed, friends and neighbours gathered to celebrate with great joy and a thankful prayer.
Throughout the Great Depression and the war years, prayer had become a common source of hope in the face of adversity.
Nations began to heal and rebuild and nations began to prosper, while enjoying relative peace for 55 years. However, the more we prospered, we seemed to become less prayerful, less neighbourly and more “self-focused”. Over time, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms was, for many, interpreted as a Charter of Rights without accepting responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Many of today’s members of society have little concept of the hardships endured during the depression years.
We may feel entitled to enjoy an indulgent lifestyle, offering all of our desires, and may determine that God’s commandments are too restrictive, or just “not cool”. Over time, the courts have agreed that actions considered to be immoral are now deemed to be a “right”.
I guess it all boils down to who we believe created the great universe where our planet earth abides. If we believe it was God, He has the right to set the rules for us to obey.
The horrific events of 9-11 initiated the end of the peace era as we had known it. Evil minds conspired to attain world domination power and one approach is to undermine our economies as they have, by targeting western Canada’s energy sector, and now COVID-19 is here to finish the job.
I haven’t yet heard them suggest we should pray to God for His guidance, but as a nation, it may be our best option.
Bill Mattinson,
Camrose

Tough times

April 28, 2020

Most of us are going through difficult times now, but some are suffering more than others.
One thing history has taught us is that humans have had existential crises before and we can learn from how our ancestors dealt with those problems.  I think most would agree that we survived because we helped each other. Certainly, the stories I heard from my grandparents, who lived through the Great Depression and Second World War bears this out.
The immediate future looks bleak with the economy crashing and many being without an income.  Jobs lost may never be replaced. This has the potential to lead to revolution and disaster, but it need not.
The governments of many countries have recognized that they must step in to help.  Canada, I believe, is a leader in this.
What is happening is that we are in an experiment with UBI (Universal Basic Income), albeit on a short-term basis. I suggest that it must be made permanent. If we are to live in a society where significant numbers will be permanently unemployed, whether because of robotics or AI, or any other reason, then we must take care of those who need help. Not by welfare programs, but as of right.
Of course, taxes will go up, but mostly on those, like myself, who have benefited most from the current system. The very rich, who have benefited most from the corporate welfare state and laws written to allow them to unfairly grab the bulk of the wealth of the state created by everyone, now must give back.
Just like the adage that “the poor will always be with us,” so will the rich. I am not suggesting that extreme wealth be banned, only that the wealth of a society be more equally distributed. Most of the distortions on the wealth distribution started in the ’70s and got worse as the greed of a few brought us to this very dangerous time.
Don’t let the wealthy and their minions continue to frighten you into believing that asking for a more reasonable distribution of the nation’s wealth is socialism or communism. It was the society that largely existed in Canada when I came to Camrose as a young lawyer. It exists, successfully, in the Scandinavian countries and a few others.
Harry Gaede,
Camrose

Ships poem

April 28, 2020

“Western Flowers of the Sea”
Five and twenty warriors
From Dominion’s western side
Fiesty little fighting ships
Full of hometown pride
The wild roses of Alberta
The Yukon and BC
Manitoba and Saskatchewan
Western flowers of the sea
Vancouver and Regina
Lethbridge and Quesnel
Calgary and Rosthern
Weyburn fighting hell
Brandon and Nanaimo
Here comes Chilliwack
Moose Jaw ramming U-boats
Kamloops striking back
Saskatoon and Dawson
Agassiz and Trail
Battleford and Dauphin
Mighty Morden setting sail
Kamsack and Drumheller
New Westminster on the guard
Alberni and Wetaskiwin
With Camrose charging hard
Royal Canadian Navy
Western Canada Corvettes
On the water fighting bravely
Lest we all forget
The wild roses of Alberta
The Yukon and BC
Manitoba and Saskatchewan
Western flowers of the sea.
Garth Paul Ukrainetz, formerly of Camrose

Enjoy laughter

April 21, 2020

This is an open letter to the community for your absolutely amazing support by contributing to our recent Online Food Drive.  Thanks to The Camrose Booster for your front page exposure and a compelling news story, which explained the initiative.  Our goal was to assist in replenishing the shelves at the Camrose Food Bank, which is operated by Neighbor Aid.
Frankly, for me as one of the organizers, it was an amazing and very emotional experience. We all know there are many people truly and honestly suffering at the moment in this wonderful community. It became evident during our campaign, however, that there are even more local people with big hearts.
These are the folks who we talked to who readily stepped up to share both their money and extra food items in order to help people they do not know and may never cross paths with.   Our very first “porch pick-up” on Saturday, April 11th found us gathering up four bags of groceries.  This was indicative of many stops along our route.  I watched those assisting in our drive often tear up as food and cash kept coming in at our hundreds of stops.
By the end of a busy and fulfilling day, we had loaded our trailer with 2,000 pounds of food and over $5,000 in cash. One hundred per cent of this Camrose windfall was turned over to our precious food bank on April 14th.  Thank you, Camrosians.
Our productive little group felt so fulfilled following this food drive, we have discussed the possibility of another campaign in about six weeks, if the need continues. Stay tuned.
Matthew Graham,
Camrose
On behalf of all involved

Food drive

April 21, 2020

This is an open letter to the community for your absolutely amazing support by contributing to our recent Online Food Drive.  Thanks to The Camrose Booster for your front page exposure and a compelling news story, which explained the initiative.  Our goal was to assist in replenishing the shelves at the Camrose Food Bank, which is operated by Neighbor Aid.
Frankly, for me as one of the organizers, it was an amazing and very emotional experience. We all know there are many people truly and honestly suffering at the moment in this wonderful community. It became evident during our campaign, however, that there are even more local people with big hearts.
These are the folks who we talked to who readily stepped up to share both their money and extra food items in order to help people they do not know and may never cross paths with.   Our very first “porch pick-up” on Saturday, April 11th found us gathering up four bags of groceries.  This was indicative of many stops along our route.  I watched those assisting in our drive often tear up as food and cash kept coming in at our hundreds of stops.
By the end of a busy and fulfilling day, we had loaded our trailer with 2,000 pounds of food and over $5,000 in cash. One hundred per cent of this Camrose windfall was turned over to our precious food bank on April 14th.  Thank you, Camrosians.
Our productive little group felt so fulfilled following this food drive, we have discussed the possibility of another campaign in about six weeks, if the need continues. Stay tuned.
Matthew Graham,
Camrose
On behalf of all involved

Camrose angels

April 21, 2020

It’s more than a month ago when ice was everywhere that I found myself on the edge of a very nasty patch of ice before I could get to a sidewalk. As I stood contemplating what the best route to the other side would be, a gentleman came up beside me and said, “I’ll help you get across.” I said, “Thank you so much”, and then he was gone.
About an hour later, I found myself in a similar state. From behind me, a young man said, “Take my arm”, which I did and again, he was gone with only my thanks.
If you are one of those “angels”, I want you to know what that did for an 88-year-old senior.
It cheered my heart and possibly saved me  from a fall.
Thank you and God bless you!
B. Sogge,
Camrose

Too close

April 21, 2020

A heartfelt thank you to people creating inspirational messages on sidewalks, fences and windows.Thank you to whoever created the little journal I found in the free library box by the Pocket Park. I have always loved Camrose. I love it even more during this time. I wish everyone patience and good health.
Renate Burns,
Camrose

COVID updates

April 21, 2020

I have been meaning to message you about Camrose Now! and the alerts and COVID information provided. I admit that I look at every alert and read or listen to Deena every day...your online numbers must be fantastic.
Great job to the Camrose Now! team. Good reporting and nicely presented.
 Ross Shuman,
Camrose

Post-secondary

April 14

While the Canada Emergency Response Benefit reaches a lot of people, it misses the mark when it comes to post-secondary students.  Specifically, the eligibility criteria stipulates that “The Benefit is only available to individuals who stopped work as a result of reasons related to COVID-19. For example, if you are a student who had a job last year and were planning on working this summer, you do not qualify for the benefit.”
Hats off to the BC Government for stepping up to provide $3.5 million emergency funding supports for post-secondary students.  The non-repayable emergency assistance can be used for living expenses, food, travel, portable computers and other supports for students who are not already able to study remotely.
What’s the solution? The Government of Alberta needs to respond with something similar, and needs to lobby the federal government to include students in the CERB. Post-secondary students need work/income to survive and, in many cases, save up for their next term.  Postponing repayment of student loans is great, but only applicable to graduating students.  Those who continue won’t have to repay their loans until they graduate.
We can’t let post-secondary students fall through the cracks. Along with our young people currently in the workforce, they are the future of our province. Here’s hoping the Alberta Government and/or the federal government step up to provide the assistance they need.
Kevin Smook,
Tofield

Slow learners

April 14

The March 17 edition of The Booster contains three related articles; starting with page 12, a message from the MLA who draws a salary from this constituency.  I would prefer that the “MLA serve this constituency,” but that is definitely not the case.  This MLA prefers to “dispel concerns” and correct our “misconceptions.” Okay, Ms. Lovely, the constituents are all incorrectly concerned and misconceived.  During your campaign last April, you pledged to represent the concerns of the citizens of Camrose and area in the legislature. We get it.  That was then, this is now.
The next article on the same page reports the concerns of doctors who are concerned with the likely effect of changes being made to the way health care is funded. These are doctors who work within a system that, over the course of decades, has had every efficiency squeezed out of it. And the only thing cabinet can think of is to squeeze it some more.  This is a message from those in the system that there is nothing left to squeeze. And our MLA, in spite of promising to hear concerns from the citizens, does not even bother to attend the meeting, and sends a message of you’re all wrong and I’m not hearing you via a spokesperson.
The third related article is on page 18, “Looking Back”, 25 years ago, March 21, 1995. The doctors and practitioners within the Battle River Medical Association were expressing concern over the effect of implementing the “Alberta Advantage” would have on the provision of quality care.
If nothing else, these three articles illustrate that we, the electorate, are slow-learners.
 Mathew Banack,
Round Hill
(not Matt Banack, Central Agencies Realtor)

Homebound

April 14

The March 17 edition of The Booster contains three related articles; starting with page 12, a message from the MLA who draws a salary from this constituency.  I would prefer that the “MLA serve this constituency,” but that is definitely not the case.  This MLA prefers to “dispel concerns” and correct our “misconceptions.” Okay, Ms. Lovely, the constituents are all incorrectly concerned and misconceived.  During your campaign last April, you pledged to represent the concerns of the citizens of Camrose and area in the legislature. We get it.  That was then, this is now.
The next article on the same page reports the concerns of doctors who are concerned with the likely effect of changes being made to the way health care is funded. These are doctors who work within a system that, over the course of decades, has had every efficiency squeezed out of it. And the only thing cabinet can think of is to squeeze it some more.  This is a message from those in the system that there is nothing left to squeeze. And our MLA, in spite of promising to hear concerns from the citizens, does not even bother to attend the meeting, and sends a message of you’re all wrong and I’m not hearing you via a spokesperson.
The third related article is on page 18, “Looking Back”, 25 years ago, March 21, 1995. The doctors and practitioners within the Battle River Medical Association were expressing concern over the effect of implementing the “Alberta Advantage” would have on the provision of quality care.
If nothing else, these three articles illustrate that we, the electorate, are slow-learners.
 Mathew Banack,
Round Hill
(not Matt Banack,
Central Agencies Realtor)

Laughter and smiles

April 7, 2020

Thank you for the uplifting April 1st edition of The Booster. I read your paper faithfully every week and have done so since 1983. Doing the math, it points to 37 years or 1,924 editions, and this week was one of the best editions ever. It was uplifting, funny (the April Fool’s cover and joke page were priceless) and inspiring. The family stories were especially good! Kudos, Team Fowler and your Camrose Boosters. I am grateful for your online option. Stay well.
Sheilagh Ross,
Camrose

Thank you

April 7, 2020

Thanks to The Camrose Booster for your most creative April Fool’s prank to date!
Booster staff, I commend you on using your avenue of influence, this being your weekly printed matter, for local good. It’s clear to see and read how distinct your publication and your approach differs from any other media opportunities and operations.
Brian Krushel,
Camrose

Fooled again

April 7, 2020

I was extremely disappointed in The Booster for it’s cruel April Fool’s joke.              
My first reaction was, “My neighbors aren’t going to like that.”  In our neighborhood, we prefer a green lawn. And then, reading further, I thought, what the heck.
At this point, I started to embrace the idea and enlisted Mrs. Google’s help to find culinary uses for the dandelion. And most important, how I would go about solving my wine problems for the year? She gave me a number of tasty options.                   
I returned to the article. Imagine my horror when I discovered the cruelty of it all. No dandelion salads, no dandelion tea, no sautéed dandelions, no dandelion omelets and, most disappointing of all, no dandelion wine. I am crushed! I will recover eventually. However, in the meantime, I am off to the liquor store to see if they sell dandelion wine.             
LOL. Good job guys. I will be prepared next year...if I don’t forget.
Anne Lilke,
Camrose

Health care

April 7, 2020

Help me understand why our politicos are still mired in a nonproductive, confrontational malaise with respect to health care. It is especially timely given the current urgency requiered to overcome the COVID-19 virus pandemic.
Studies in the first decade of this millennium evaluated both public and private heath care systems. Private health care advocates were deeply entrenched in support of the Kirby Report, while advocates of public health care supported the findings of the Romanow Commission and the Romanow Report.
In truth, there were many common elements from both reports that reasonable persons could have adopted and provided an optimal compromise in a hybrid model for the benefit of all Canadians. It hasn’t happened (and probably won’t).
Tribalism and partisan politics continues to be the bane of good, progressive legislation on many fronts. In my opinion, the current headlong rush to privatize in Alberta is wrong headed while a review of European and other health care systems and their health care providers would provide an opportunity “to get it right”.
As a pharmacologist, one anecdotal finding of the Romanow Report struck me as critical. The conclusion was…errors in prescribing and administering medications cost Canadians in excess of several billions per year.
A damning conclusion …this is either a quality assurance/quality control and/or training issue. Imagine that amount of “free money” annually being returned to provincial health care budgets simply by tackling a solvable problem. Perhaps, the recent axe-like bludgeoning of health care budgets might be better performed with a scalpel.
I urge politicos of all stripes to put aside their tribal partisanship, recuse yourselves from obvious conflict of interest concerns, engage your colleagues reasonably and respectfully. Respect and seek out medical and scientific opinion and best practices outside our borders. Canadians and Albertans expect that from you.
What I have learned in my last 50 years of work and travel in more than 70 countries is…the private sector cannot “do things” faster, better, cheaper, more efficiently, in ways that are more socially responsible and more environmentally friendly than the public sector…a hybrid model works best.
Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Good laugh

March 31, 2020

Good morning. Thank you for the page of quips that gave me a laugh out loud moment when I read it this morning. Just what we all needed. Keep up the good work publishing every week.
Heather McCarroll,
Daysland

Best medicine

March 31, 2020

Thank you to The Camrose Booster for publishing the Sometimes Laughter is the Only Medicine material on page 27 in the March 24th issue.
I laughed hysterically at some of the jokes. The day that I read it I celebrated my 79th birthday (March 23, 1941 born).
A chance to laugh on my birthday was an amazing gift in troubling times.
Gayle Hicox,
Camrose

Some laughter

March 31, 2020

Thanks for the page “Sometimes laughter is the only medicine” in the March 24 issue.
Of course we are all deeply aware that this pandemic is no laughing matter. It has brought grief and hardship to millions of people all over the planet. But this medicine that you offered brightened my day and helped me get my balance in the midst of it all.
 David Edwards,
Camrose

Great again

March 24, 2020

Make Alberta Great Again!
This borrowed slogan captures our attention especially in tough economic times, at least until COVID-19 shifts our focus.
I wonder if the sentiment: “make Alberta great again” is better expressed as “make Alberta extraordinarily rich, again!”
The stock market and feuding oil producers, along with other external financial forces, have taken away much of our once incredible provincial wealth. However, the only way that genuine “greatness” is really lost, is when we, as individuals, or as a society, choose to surrender or trade it in.
Alberta greatness is very much evident when a local farm producer (who himself is fighting off the current agricultural monetary crises) makes a discreet offer to give food, free of charge, to those suffering hunger because of COVID-19.
The negative converse of this positive equation is sadly visible in the choices of those carpetbaggers who viciously exploit health fears and supply shortages, in order to make a gouging profit from their panicked neighbours.
The farm family members, mentioned in this piece, distance themselves from all narcissistic photo ops and self-glorifying sound bytes. Their motivation, for making this generous offer, is firmly moored to their hope-filled Christian realism: a vibrant spiritual faith yoked to real time action. They are fine citizens of a strong Alberta.
Psalm 91.
Father Jacques
Vaillancourt, Saint Andrew’s Anglican Church, Camrose

Tax season

March 24, 2020

The 2019 tax season is now upon us and the issue of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s carbon tax rebate is now front and centre of every tax return. I have found out that in July my wife and I will be getting a rebate one time only from the federal government.
Now, we all do agree that something has to be done in order to reduce our carbon footprint. Why does it always have to be the poor who have to take the cuts to what little we do get?
Why not the huge companies who produce a larger carbon print than the poor worker who is hardly making ends meet?  I do believe the government is going after the wrong people.
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Bad decisions

March 17, 2020

Well, fellow Albertans, see what you have wrought by electing the UCP. Politicians who promise what they can’t deliver end up destroying the system they claim they want to fix.  All they can do is destroy and line the pockets of a few of their “so called” friends.
Albertans used to be proud of their relatively good education system and health care system. Will the remnants hold together until these fools can be thrown out?
Yes, we have spent too much and not saved when we could. Where is our multi-billion dollar heritage fund? We let our politicians off the hook of financial responsibility so we could spend now. How many of you have forgotten that the taxes we pay are our admission ticket to a civilized, prosperous province. Alberta has among the lowest tax rates in North America and the lowest debt of any province. We don’t have a sales tax. If we had higher taxes, we would not have to slash education and health care.
Why do we cut help for the neediest in our society, like the cuts to AISH? Human beings have developed a pretty nice world for most of us, thanks to the advances in science and technology and the fact that some people believed that we should share our good fortune.
In the last 50 years, our politicians have been bought off by large corporations who managed to have laws changed to shift the distribution of wealth in their favour. It happened incrementally until now.  The term Corporate Welfare Bums is a truism.
Corporations were created so that their owners could escape liability for their wrong actions.  It also vastly increased their political and financial power.  A CEO effectively speaks for all the corporations’ employees and controls its financial resources so that large corporations can, effectively, buy governments. In the USA the Supreme Court has held that corporations have rights to interfere in elections, which they have done to the extent that the majority of Americans don’t vote as they don’t see any point when there is no real difference between the parties.
Is it too late to take back some aspects of Democracy? I don’t know, but I hope not. They still let us vote, probably because large numbers will vote for empty promises.
Wake up.  Please wake up.
Harry Gaede,
Camrose

Vikings hockey

March 17, 2020

I wish to comment on the letter by Edmontonian, Brian Stein to the Booster of last week.
I know of no one who is more in tune with the college and university sports scene than Brian Stein. He is an avid statistician and writer. He knows of which he speaks and writes.
We in this community benefitted greatly from Brian’s reporting and promoting of the Viking Cup in Camrose. He produced many of the Viking Cup magazines which were widely distributed.
In his letter Brian states; “no college hockey team in the nation has had a greater impact on its community than the Vikings.” He then goes on to explain why he makes this statement…first Canadian College Championship, the Viking Cup from which over 400 players were drafted by the NHL,  breaking down political barriers, cultural exchange, origin of the Kodiaks, etc.
In a feature article in USA Hockey News after Viking Cup 2004, Joan Petruk, a Camrose billet for the American teams, is quoted as follows: “It’s a time when the community really pulls together…the really rewarding part is listening to people who are new to the community describe it back to you. They’re so excited about it, and that reminds you how special this is.”
Joan was right. Sometimes we have to hear it from others…like Brian Stein.
The real point that Brian makes in his letter is hidden in the last paragraph: “The team has given so much to the community over the years (50). Now is the time for the community to return the favour.”
The “favour” refers to the need for financial help for the team as Augustana faces severe budget cut backs, a serious matter indeed.
 The Vikings hockey program has been like a magnet to draw many hundreds of sports minded students to Camrose. Now, these alumni are working hard to keep the hockey program alive. Brian Stein knows that the local community must help as well.
Thanks for your letter, Brian!
Note:  The decision on the future of the Vikings Hockey team is scheduled to be made on March 20. If you wish to help to save the team, contact alumni president David Ritz at dritz@ualberta.ca or myself 780-281-2002.
LeRoy Johnson,
Camrose

School closure

March 17, 2020
  
As a former teacher, I read the article about Round Hill fighting to save their school with interest. Members of the community are completely correct about the cultural, historic and emotional value of their school. But they are up against the devastating reality that BRSD has had their budget cut by $4 million.  Something has to give.
When the UCP were elected they kept their promise to give a sizeable tax cut to large corporations (small local businesses aren’t eligible). More money for large corporations means less for citizens’ services.
So the BRSD trustees have a very difficult choice.  Sadly, it seems to me that the ethical thing to do is for trustees to vote to close small rural schools because the only other option is to spread the $4 million of cuts throughout the district, resulting in a significant reduction in quality of education for all students.
Keep in mind that the same difficult decision making is going on for health care and municipal services. The hurt will be widespread. Also keep in mind that Premier Jason Kenney has made it clear that large corporations will get another big tax cut this year, so we can expect to be having this same difficult discussion this time next year.  My heart goes out to the communities that risk losing their schools and I suggest they contact their MLA and make their feelings clear.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

No training

March 10, 2020

I have served as a volunteer firefighter since 2004 and I also work as an associate instructor delivering training to rural firefighters from our Camrose station.
We host several classes each year for firefighters in our hall and from smaller outlying communities. These volunteers drive in on weekends to complete their training in courses that include search and rescue, medical training and dealing with all kinds of other emergencies that happen in our communities and they usually receive nothing for their time and money spent to be in class or attending calls. Some even take time off work from their day jobs to attend these classes. At least the course itself had been paid for up until this latest budget.
The latest cut from the Alberta budget directly impacts training for rural firefighters and this is extremely worrisome and dangerous.
Did you know that the majority of firefighters in Alberta are volunteers? Did you also know that many of them receive zero compensation for any of the work or training they do?
So the next time a train derails or a truck overturns and spills dangerous goods on the road or rail line, the next time someone needs to be cut out of their mangled vehicle or rescued from a burning building, please remember that the very people tasked with helping may not have been certified or recertified to provide these services since Premier Jason Kenney decided $500,000 is more important than the lives of Albertans and the people who volunteer to help them. How can we justify cutting training dollars for people who are already working for nothing? Will these volunteers be asked to purchase their own equipment and respond in their own vehicles next?
Bob Jonson,
Camrose

Hockey program

March 10, 2020

I was directly involved with Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) hockey teams filling numerous roles for 35 seasons and was involved with the Viking Cup Magazine from 1991 onward. I also authored the chapter on college hockey in Total Hockey: The Official Encyclopedia of the NHL (Second Edition).
No college hockey team in the nation has had a greater impact on its community than the Vikings. In 1975, the Camrose Lutheran College Vikings were the first team from Camrose to win a national championship and the first team in any sport to win a Canadian Colleges Athletic Association championship. For a quarter of a century, the team hosted the Viking Cup, which brought over 100 Olympians, over 200 NHL players and over 400 NHL draft selections to the Rose City. The Camrose Kodiaks and the Recreation Centre exist in large part due to the Vikings. In addition to the on ice endeavors, the Vikings hockey program broke down barriers by facilitating an exchange of cultures when the Iron Curtain separated east from west.
The 2020-21 season would be the 50th in the ACAC for the team. The team has given so much to the community over the years. Now is time for the community to return the favour.
Brian Stein,
Edmonton

Waste report

March 10, 2020

In 2015, Justin Trudeau and the Liberals promised they would make life more affordable for families. They promised they’d run small deficits before bringing Canada’s budget back to balance. They promised a lot of things.
And yet, here we are. The Liberals have added $72 billion to the national debt and folks here in Battle River-Crowfoot can’t get ahead. So, what did they do with your tax dollars?
They gave $50 million to Mastercard, a company that made $16 billion in 2019. They gave $12 million to Loblaws–the company that owns Superstore–to buy fridges that they didn’t need. They spent $1.6 million on his disastrous trip to India. And this is just the beginning.
There are billions of dollars more in waste to uncover. Canadians deserve to know what they’ve gotten as a result of the biggest government spending spree in Canadian history.
That’s why Canada’s Conservatives have launched The Waste Report. I encourage all Canadians to learn more at  https://The WasteReport.ca. Conservatives are committed to lifting the veil on the Liberals wasteful spending.
Damien C. Kurek, Member of Parliament for Battle River-Crowfoot

Thank government

March 10, 2020

I want to thank Premier Jason Kenney for taking a 10 per cent cut in his salary and a thank you to the MLAs for taking a five per cent cut. I know Premier Kenney has been putting in many long hours trying to find ways to get Alberta’s economy back on track.
With many oil patch workers out of work and farmers not being able to sell their grain because of the rail blockades, I wonder where the tax dollars will come from to pay the wage increase that teachers and nurses think they deserve. The tax dollars will not be coming from transfer payments.
Robert Snider,
Camrose

Huge problem

March 10, 2020

There is a concern for global warming here in this world.  I am sure that there is no intelligible person on this planet who would disagree with this statement. The question is how do we, as a nation, deal with this huge problem? The federal government wants everybody to think that the way to reduce Canada’s carbon footprint is to create a carbon tax.  It is very interesting to note that Alberta’s Court of Appeal ruled four to one that this federal carbon tax is unconstitutional. Now, I am not totally versed on our carbon footprint; however, there is one thing which I do know. Our recycling program here in Camrose does need to be fixed. There have been new changes of what is allowed to be recycled. Cardboard which has a wax coating is not allowed. Now, this is so unwise since this is sending so much more cardboard to our landfill. Another issue is the amount of vehicles which are on the road here in Camrose. There has to be some sort of solution to our carbon footprint without bankrupting people. I make sure that the prices which I charge are affordable at the same time being able to pay all of my bills. This will be a group effort, which will be easier if everybody will do their part.
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Love Canada

March 3, 2020

I love Canada and I am a staunch Canadian. Even if I lost it all, I’d still slap the Maple Leaf on my chest, and be damned grateful I get the chance to pick up the pieces and make it all over again in a new way.
I’ve faced adversity myself and maintained an attitude that allowed for me to reinvent life in a positive way. I could have given up, blamed everyone else, turned my back on the values in place to ensure I got another chance. But I didn’t. I stayed relatively positive so I could get to where I was meant to be. Nobody in my life stoked my fears and anger and said, ‘there, there, somebody else is to blame’ and they had no interest in letting me go there in my most vulnerable moments.
No. They told me things happen for a reason and to just believe. Better things came. I’ll fight till the bitter end those who try and strip my dignity as a compassionate Canadian away for a weak and shortsighted political agenda after everything this country has provided for me. I’m loyal to this land, east to west. Perhaps I’ll put more focus on a few projects I have dreamed long and hard of bringing to this world so my contribution to this society may be measured and legitimate. Grateful and blessed this country allows for that chance. It’s time to take it.
Bobby Wells,
Camrose

Fossil fuels

March 3, 2020

The world uses a lot of fossil fuel. We consume an ever rising 100 million barrels of oil a day. About two-thirds of global electricity is produced from fossil fuels. So the world runs on fossil fuels. There are about eight million electric cars in the world out of a global fleet of one billion vehicles, so they’re a long way away from having any impact. Changes may happen in time, but not yet.
Canada produces about five per cent of the world’s oil and if we stop all our production the world will quickly make up the difference from other sources.  Meanwhile, people in Canada will still be driving cars and we will have to import oil. Oil is currently our biggest export, about $100 billion annually, so if we turn that into imports this will affect our balance of trade. This means our food, clothing, just about everything in stores, imported cars, those winter vacations and many other things will become more expensive. We will do all that economic damage to ourselves to produce a totally negligible affect on global carbon emissions.
Now let’s look at who we would be importing that oil from. As long as we turn a blind eye to the unsavoury places oil comes from, as Quebec does when it buys from Saudi Arabia, we can pretend to be as righteous as we want. If we stop our production we will be buying our oil from Russian oligarchs, Middle Eastern Arab countries with huge human rights issues, and African and Latin American countries with corrupt and repressive governments. I don’t look forward to that.
Canada is blessed with natural resources and that is what created our standard of living. People in Toronto and Vancouver have lost sight of that. When the US recently signed a trade pact with China, they didn’t negotiate for 5G access or intellectual property rights. What the US wanted, and got, was access to the Chinese market for US agricultural products. Meanwhile our government has destroyed our relations with China. We are “hewers of wood and drawers of water” but that’s what has made us very rich.
It’s so easy and fashionable to say “stop everything,” but only if we naively ignore the consequences and people usually say that from a place of great comfort and excess. That said, we could show more decency and restraint in our consumption.
Anthony Hladun,
Camrose

History search

February 25, 2020

I am part of a group of 150 Canadians participating in the 75th anniversary of The Netherlands this coming May. Most of us are descendants of soldiers who fought in that action, my father included. The group is called In Our Fathers Footsteps. Some of us are assisting The Faces of Groesbeek, an effort to put faces and stories to the soldiers buried at Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetary, NL. My task is to find information and a photo of Peter Jacob Schneider, Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Rifleman, M1662. He died on Feb.16, 1945, age 19. He is the son of Theresa and John Schneider, Camrose.
The file notes that his brother, Nicholas Peter, also fell. But he mustn’t be buried at Groesbeek, perhaps Holten. Would anyone have any information about Jacob’s present day family, that you would be willing to share with me?
Kelly Gray,
Wetaskiwin

No compensation

February 25, 2020

The recent announcement by the Kenney government to phase out physician compensation for longer 30-minute medical appointments is going to directly impact the oldest, sickest and most infirm.  But the weak don’t fight back. Patients with complex, multiple and severe or chronic conditions require special consideration to ensure that one medical intervention does not impact or interfere with other conditions.  These patients rely on the skill of a thoughtful and carefully constructed diagnosis and treatment by an engaged and compassionate physician. These physicians deserve to be compensated properly for the extra time they take with complicated clients. If the budget is so tight that we have to put that burden only our most frail, then perhaps those savings could be found by tapping into the $30 million budget of the hapless and incompetent “war room”. Perhaps Kenney’s oil patch friends could fork over a portion of the $173 million they owe in property taxes to rural municipalities. Maybe claw back some of the $500 million in tax breaks to large corporations that ended up in the pockets of shareholders.  But what else can you expect from Kenney.  Ethics are not his strong point, whether cheating on the UCP leadership, or eliminating election officials who are investigating the election irregularities or the stacking of boards, committees and commissions with cronies regardless of their competencies.  I fear there is more to come. Rachel isn’t looking that bad any more.
Tim Belec,
Camrose

Future outlook

February 25, 2020

What is the outlook for farming and oil in Alberta? Bleak, I’m afraid to say, unless we look to other sources for jobs. Those of you who read my letters know that I believe the future we want will only come from investing in our citizens.  Broadly speaking, that means investing in education and healthcare, not cutting resources to them.
Most of you know that the oil and gas industry is a dying one, but for Alberta it is largely dead. That is because our oil sands production is too expensive and cannot compete with oil and gas production in the US. We missed the “window of opportunity.”  Energy intensive farming is, I am afraid, going to follow, as the energy inputs will become more and more expensive while newer farming methods take over.  It may take a while, but I suggest that the trend will be unstoppable.
For the past 100 years or more, people have been flocking to the cities, and this trend is not going to stop until most humans will live in large cities.  It is not only people who will move, so will farms.
Urban farms, like huge hydroponic operations are popping up everywhere there is a large city.  The other factor is the development of manufactured food, like artificial beef and chicken, or any food you can imagine.  It’s happening right now and within a few years will be commonplace.  A simple chemistry lesson metaphor will explain how.
As a species, we have learned that the universe is, essentially, made up of lego like blocks of hydrogen atoms. Hydrogen atoms were combined into larger lego blocks that make up all the elements that we know today. These small and large lego blocks combined in an almost infinite way, over time, to form everything material we know today, including the trillions of cells that make up each human being.  These humans are learning how to build almost anything out of the most elementary of these lego blocks, including any variety of food you can think of.
Those of you reading this know that the speed of change is increasing and will continue to increase.  The only resources we have to help us adapt, is human ingenuity, which will only work if we have a healthy, educated population, the opposite of what our government is proposing. Act accordingly.
    Harry Gaede,
Camrose

Ash Wednesday

February 18, 2020

We, as Canadians, often look, with a certain smugness, at those living south-of-the-49th-parallel. They (we say) have so much anger: road rage, school shootings, as well as armed security guards in places of worship, and this is just the top of a list of violence. On Ash Wednesday (Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.), Andrew’s (Anglican) Church, in the company of other churches, will look north of the 49th Parallel to ourselves: First Nations’ and Settlers’ animosity, partner and elder abuse, violence and murder of women and our distance from all that is sacred, even from God. These Christian churches will meet without some of our evangelical sisters and brothers...a rift that remains unhealed.  You are invited to look in the mirror of faith and in Jesus: repent  by turning away from sin and believe in Christ’s Gospel. As a veteran, I am saddened by the divisions that all too often exist between us and our American allies. As a Christian, our inter-church rivalries are a scandal. I, as a repentant sinner, pray and hope for redemption before these words are spoken over me: “remember Jacques that you are ashes and unto ashes you will return.”  I want to do some good and by grace make a difference for the better.
Jacques Vaillancourt,
Camrose

Oil crisis

February 18, 2020

Climate change is in the news almost daily now.  Scientists and economists are pretty much agreed that climate change is the greatest political, social and economic threat humanity faces.  And yet, despite the mountains of evidence, there are still those who refuse to accept the scientific data.
However, at some point it doesn’t matter if some people choose to ignore the scientific reality.  The business world has made its decision and is moving quickly.  Former hedge fund manager Jim Cramer speaking on CNBC recently said, oil stocks are “in the death knell phase” and added; “We’re starting to see divestment all over the world. We’re starting to see big pension funds say, ‘Listen, we’re not going to own them anymore.…’ The world has turned on [oil stocks]. It’s actually happening kind of quickly.”  The world’s largest money management firm, BlackRock, said in January that “Climate change has become a defining factor in companies’ long-term prospects,” and that they will exit investments in fossil fuels including thermal coal. The European Investment Bank, the world’s largest multilateral financial institution, stated that, “Climate is the top issue on the political agenda of our time,” and added “We will stop financing fossil fuels [after 2021] and launch the most ambitious climate investment strategy of any public financial institution anywhere.”
The message for Alberta is that our oil industry is the past, not our future. Investors have been leaving the Alberta oil industry and there is nothing any government can do to change that. It’s an economic reality we can’t ignore. This must be a wake up call for Alberta but it doesn’t have to be a message of doom. There is money to be made in the coming economy if we are willing to take the opportunities on offer. Alberta has the people and skills to adapt.  The former NDP government was investing in innovation and diversification of our economy to the extent that hasn’t been seen since the days of Peter Lougheed. That was good. Sadly the Kenney government has pretty much swept diversification aside and is all in for oil and gas. Somebody has to tell Mr. Kenney to pull his head out of the sand and read the writing on the wall.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Paying debt

February 18, 2020

 I am responding to the article which Murray Green wrote about the issue of Albertans being in debt. I was in that situation around 2015 when I found myself to be in debt over $24,000 to over 12 creditors. I was soon borrowing from more creditors just to cover the payments, which totalled over $2,000 per month, I was sinking very fast deeper into debt.
 The suggestions which Murray gave in his article are very good, however, there are some more different solutions to tackling people’s debt.
 There is a not-for-profit company known as Money Mentors. This company used to be called The Credit counselors of Alberta, which was a crown corporation. Then the government privatized the whole industry here in Alberta.
Money mentors offers to anyone free financial courses, which can help the average person get out of debt or avoid getting into debt.  
This company also offers a program called The Orderly Payment of Debt, which is a court arrangement which places all the person’s debt into one payment with only a five per cent interest added to the debt. The person can pay off the debt over a period of time.
I paid my OPOD off in 42 months instead of 52 months. It is good to be debt free.  Mr. Green’s article was very good, however, this is my advice, which I have taken from personal experience.
Lorne Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Royal family

February 11, 2020

The recent events within the royal family shows that the choice of a marriage is critical. Prince Harry chose the wrong bride. At the time of the wedding, Meghan seemed like an ideal person to lead the way into the future. She was an American from an ordinary middle class background and she was of mixed race. She was seen as opening the royal family to the life of regular people.
How wrong those expectation were. She has led Prince Harry to forsake his duty as a senior member of the family. She seems to have been unprepared for public interest  shown by the British press.
She was very different from other members of the family and hence was the subject of much interest. A look at the British press during the lead up to the wedding would have done a lot to prepare her for the onslaught of public interest.
Let us hope that her selfish self interest will not damage the reputation of the royal family.
In this country, some individuals have raised the question of paying for security if the couple wish to live in Canada. Regardless of this decision to drop his right to the designation of His Royal Highness, he is by birth a member of our first family. He is the grandson of our head of state.
Is Canada too cheap to provide security to all members of our first family? If so, we must be the only nation in that category of cheapness.
Ronad Williams,
Camrose

History

February 11, 2020

Why do we study history? I suggest one of the reasons must be because it gives us, perhaps, the only view of the future we have.
Historians have told us that while history may not repeat exactly, it certainly rhymes. Why is this so?
We, as human beings, are creatures of evolution. Our brain was designed to keep us alive in the environment that existed 200,000 years ago.  That world is long gone, but the changes to our environment which we have created over the past 500 years is very different from the world we were designed to live in. What has not changed is human nature!
Modern science tells us that our body was designed to survive food scarcity, but in the presence of food abundance our current problem is widespread obesity. Similarly, our brain was designed to keep us alive on the savannah, not to be too concerned about the nature of reality.
Therefore, without education and training, we, as a species, are very poor at discerning truth and are easy prey for liars. Our political history has repeatedly showed us that politicians who promised us the sun and the moon will be supported even though those promises cannot be fulfilled.
The websites and the recent American political scene show us that, with the unlimited data we have allowed them to accumulate, they can know us better than we know ourselves. We now know that we can be manipulated to buy things we don’t need and to vote to support economic systems and politicians who do not have our interests at heart. Not only that, but we cheer when they give our joint resources to the rich and take away resources we have allocated to the poor in our society.
Our world is in a crisis and everyone is concerned, but a significant portion of our citizens have no trust in scientific truth.  The world we have created, which, for the first time in history, offers a world of abundance, a world that can provide almost all human needs to everyone, was created by scientists, learning that the universe is not as it seems, that the truth of our reality cannot be determined using, so called common sense.
Saying something is true cannot be trusted. It takes work to determine truth and not all of us can determine truth.  To choose to believe a self-serving politician over the scientist seems to me to be folly.
Harry Gaede,
Camrose

Tax breaks

February 11, 2020

In view of the current cuts by the Kenney government, the corporate tax breaks that benefit mostly larger more profitable companies, the labour strife that has not yet peaked,  and looking at the carnage that may follow with the start of the next Legislative session to public services, I find the following excerpt from the book, Good Economics for Hard Time, written by the 2019 Nobel prize in Economics Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo both interesting and timely.
The need to be “business friendly” to preserve growth may be interpreted, as it was in the U.S. and U.K. in the Regan-Thatcher era, as open season for all kinds of anti-poor, pro-rich policies (such as bailouts for overindebted corporations and wealthy individuals) that enrich the top earners at the cost of everyone else, and has nothing to do with growth.
“If the U.S. and U.K. experience is any guide, asking the poor to tighten their belts, in the hope that giveaways to the rich will eventually trickle down, does nothing for growth and even less for the poor.  If anything, the explosion of inequality in an economy no longer growing has the risk of being very bad news for growth, because the political backlash leads to the election of populist leaders touting miracle solutions that rarely work and often lead to Venezuelan-style disasters.”
They also write, “The key ultimately is to not lose sight of the fact that GDP is a means not an end. A useful means, no doubt, especially when it creates jobs or raises wages or plumps the government’s budget so it can redistribute more. But the ultimate goal remains one of raising the quality of life of the average person, especially the worst-off person.”
No economist will or can predict when growth will occur. A good and thoughtful government is one that will ensure that when the growth engine starts again that the population they serve will be healthy, and able to read and write and supported in ways that will maintain the resiliency of the individual to look beyond the current conditions and their own personal circumstances so they will be able to take advantage of better times to come without having to personally bear the burden alone. I’m not sure Kenney’s ideology is capable of providing such thoughtfulness.
Tim Belec,
Camrose

Need newspapers

February 4, 2020

While I have never lived in central Alberta, I cannot help but feel a sense of sadness at the closure of the Lacombe Globe, a truly great community newspaper.
While technology and computers are excellent, there is truly nothing better than getting your hands on one unthumbed newspaper and they help keep communities together, so it is a shame when they die off.
Let’s hope The Camrose Booster stays strong forever.
Rory J. Koopmans,
Edmonton

Monumental challenge

February 4, 2020

“You can’t wring money from a stone.” That was the response Premier Kenney provided when asked by the Rural Municipalities Association for help with a massive shortfall facing their members. According to the RMA, oil and gas companies owe about $173 million in property taxes to rural municipalities.
This comes after the province sliced property tax assessments for shallow gas producers by 35 per cent last year. That will continue this year.
This comes after the Alberta government trumpeted the addition of 300 RCMP officers in a “partnership” between the province, federal government and rural municipalities.  The problem is that the province isn’t providing any money. Instead they are downloading the cost to municipalities. It is unclear how many new officers will go to each detachment.  More money doesn’t necessarily mean more boots on the ground.
Larger centres won’t feel the pinch of additional policing costs, but they will be heavily impacted by a 48 per cent increase in the amount of fine revenue the province takes (it was 27 per cent, now 40 per cent).  It’s estimated that this will cost the City of Camrose $250,000.  Plus the amount of money the province provides municipalities to assist with infrastructure has been reduced as the MSI program is phased out to be replaced by a long term funding framework.  This change is being made despite the commitments many municipalities have already made to multi-year capital projects. Alberta’s two largest cities, Edmonton and Calgary signed City Charters with the previous government. Those charters have both been cancelled despite the promise by the UCP to keep them in place.
This is not how a province works. Investors don’t see a jurisdiction ripping up agreements as a stable investing environment.
Further, the financial challenges municipalities are facing may force some to throw in the towel and dissolve.
The UCP government vowed to work together with municipalities if they formed government. Unfortunately, Municipal Affairs Minister Kaycee Madu has traded barbs in the media on a regular basis with the Mayors of Edmonton and Calgary. There is a better way to make this relationship work. The Alberta Party would build bridges and strengthen relationships to help all Albertans get through the tough times ahead. Alberta needs a fresh approach.
Kevin Smook, Tofield
Alberta Party Critic for Municipal Affairs

School closures

February 4, 2020

In the Jan. 28 edition of the Camrose Booster there ran a story of the threat of closures of a number of small rural schools. For me it’s déjà vu all over again. I was part of a parent group that fought against, and successfully challenged the closure of our small rural school not once, but twice. What were the lessons learned?
Politicians, school trustees, parents and teachers alike; nobody likes the idea of school closures.  So why is this always seen as the only alternative. My heart goes out to the trustees as they are in a no-win situation. They serve two masters, the parents who elect them and the minister of education. In that service they are given a limited toolbox in terms of funding. There are the per capita grants that determine not just the education resource, but also infrastructure and maintenance, and transportation. That tool can be supplemented by their power to raise taxes, but it is a very blunt tool and so untenable politically that it is not used.  They are not allowed to run in deficit. Their only possible resort is to use the hammer of school closures to balance the books. But they do so mostly ignorant of the consequences of their actions on the communities affected.
In 2014, in our closure fight, we wanted to know what was in store for our community if the school closed. Our own research showed in various studies that showed many undesirable social and economic impacts. We also questioned the per-capita funding model and the assumptions that guide the utilization formula. Even the OECD in their work say that losing a rural school impacts the viability of the entire community. In 2004, in the report called Rural Alberta: Land of Opportunity, it was suggested that government move away from the per-capita funding model.  They recommended, “to provide needs-based funding rather than per-capita funding, to ensure quality education within reason and ensure that changes in rural funding formulas are accompanied by a no loss provision and have a growth index equal to real cost increases.”
We commissioned a research prospectus from the Department of Sustainable Rural Communities at Augustana, looking for a retrospective look at the impacts of past school closures. Then Minister Jeff Johnson, to his credit, did commission a study on the impact of rural schools but it failed to look back. Still too many questions.
Tim Belec,
Camrose

World wetlands

January 28, 2020

On Feb. 2, World Wetlands Day forces all of us to come to terms with an environmental crisis happening right in our own backyard. It’s a crisis just as damaging as those being experienced by rainforests, coral reefs and the Australian Outback.
The loss of wetlands in Alberta, in Canada and around the world continues at an incredible rate. Using historical data and mapping, it’s estimated that 70 per cent of wetlands in settled areas of Canada are no longer. And, just as damaging as wetland loss is to people and the planet, so too is the decline of biodiversity that occurs when these valuable ecosystems are lost.
This year’s theme for World Wetlands Day is Wetlands and Biodiversity. Biodiversity is a measure of the variety of plants and animals in an environment. The biodiversity associated with wetlands is among the highest in the world.
High biodiversity is an indicator that the environment is healthy; reduced biodiversity is a warning that the environment and ecosystems are under stress, have been damaged or are being damaged. When species are lost, the impact is perpetual. At home, Canada’s State of the Birds report says that our country has lost 40 to 60 per cent of shorebird, grassland bird and aerial insectivore (birds that feed on insects while flying such as swallows) populations. A North American study reveals that nearly three billion birds have disappeared since 1970 in Canada and the U.S. It’s an alarming statistic that sheds light to an overlooked biodiversity crisis.
Often wetland loss is the result of human activity past and present. While we know the value of wetlands relative to biodiversity and the environment, we continue to lose wetlands outright and damage many of those that remain.
But there is hope. Work by Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) and its many partners is helping bird populations–especially waterfowl–make a comeback, and in some cases, thrive.  The DUC community which includes landowners, donors, volunteers, staff, government, scientific experts, outdoor enthusiasts and industry stands committed to conserving wetlands and the biodiversity they support through science-based efforts and programs.
The challenge ahead of all of us now, is continuing to respond to the global call to conserve wetlands and associated habitat. Learn how you can help save wetlands and promote biodiversity at www.ducks.ca.
Ron Maher and Kevin Smith of Ducks Unlimited

Support local

January 28, 2020

This is just to say thank you for page 21 of the Jan. 14 Camrose Booster that urged citizens to support local business. It is particularly important in these uncertain economic times that you remind us to support our own economy.
And you have shown another reason why The Booster is valuable for our community.
Keep up the good work.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Misunderstand money

January 28, 2020

According to Mr. Kurek’s column in The Booster, Jan. 14, in which he complains about government deficit spending, the UCP do not seem to understand that money is just the banking records of making and paying back bank loans. The bank records will show that customer accounts are the bank’s liabilities and the promise by the customers to pay back the loans are the bank’s assets which must be kept at a safe margin larger than the account liabilities.
Money is the life blood of our economic system. The UCP policies strangles the money supply, when they object to government deficits. Banking in Canada is highly regulated, so that banks are prevented from loaning so much that it causes a risk to the bank’s ability to pay the customer’s accounts, due to failed loan repayments. So it is incumbent upon individuals, corporations and banks to prevent bankruptcy by keeping assets well above liabilities.
This is good policy for individuals and banks but can be disastrous for governments. This is where the UCP show lack of monetary knowledge. They think governments should behave in the same way as individuals. But when the economy is recessive due to too much borrowing at high interest, the government must step in and borrow to make sure that all important government services, such as health care and education are not interrupted. The government must also make necessary investments, such as in renewable energy when regular investors find the risk too high. Investments that are necessary for society to carry on must be made, even if that causes deficits.
The UCP seem willing to risk the necessities of life to preserve their foolish monetary policies. A prime example of this mistaken policy causing disaster was the great depression of the thirties. The original cause was borrowers expanding the money supply to buy stock that was going up in value. When people realized the mistake, they started selling and the stock and bank loans became worthless. The money supply collapsed and for ten years the conservative government did nothing. They let people starve.
When war threatened the country, a liberal government borrowed all the money needed to fight the war and we have never run out of money since.

Arnold Baker,
Camrose

Fire preparation

January 21, 2020

Why isn’t our “army” trained for disasters?
When dry season is here and you know it’s fire season, they should be sent immediately to help the firemen. Not a month later like Australia.
With the shutting down of the forest industry in B.C., look out. The forests have to be managed so there are breaks: so if a fire starts, it can be stopped.
It’s a repeat every year.
Sheila Faulkner,
Donalda

Hospital parking

January 21, 2020

Last month, I read in The Booster that St. Mary’s Hospital would be charging for parking. Now it has come to pass.
In my opinion…charging for parking at a hospital is just plain wrong. (The argument that other hospitals do it doesn’t make it right.)
People who go to a hospital generally have larger matters on their minds and to ding them a few bucks for parking just seems petty and cruel. St. Mary’s Hospital (according to its website) “serves with hospitality and compassion.”  I’ve seen that inside the walls, but it should be evident outside, too.
Maybe the “parking meter kiosk” could be once again hidden under black plastic bags; it could then serve as a fitting monument to an imprudent decision.
John Olson,
Camrose

 

Precious planet

January 21, 2020

The Booster, Dec. 31, has four interesting letters that deserve comment.
A quote from Bonnie Hutchinson: “The voices of anger, incivility, greed, and divisiveness sound louder than the voices of kindness, courtesy, gratitude, and recognition of our common humanity on a small precious planet.” Nothing can be said that would be more true. I would disagree with one common belief, though. Our precious planet is not small. It is huge. It is our universe. To put it in perspective, consider walking across a continent or sailing across an ocean. It is more than big enough to supply all seven billion humans their needs, as well as the rest of nature, if we didn’t waste resources killing each other and would get rid of a cancerous economy based on growth and greed, which now is in the process of destroying the ability of our planet to support life.
Mr. Nelson’s letter is of interest because he reports how our Conservative government was caught in an act of deception. Mr. Doug Schweitzer implied that the provincial government provided $286,000,000 to assist in rural policing, when in fact the money came mostly from rural municipalities, $200,000,000 and the federal government, $86,000,000. It just goes to show, one cannot trust our provincial government to speak truth.
Mr. Lynn Clark’s letter makes no sense at all. But then does Alberta politics make any sense? Clark seems to think that those who earn the most should have the most political power. Unfortunately, due to lobbying that is too much the case as it is. This is why we have democracy, so that the rich are less able to trample on the rights of the less rich. His numbers, we in Alberta earning 37 per cent of the total, but with only 22 per cent of the political power, seems unfair to him. Isn’t this the case for most of the rich, who greedily cling to their riches?
It is a shame that Alberta politicians whine about how Alberta is treated unfairly in Canada, when we Albertans should be happy to live in this great province and be proud to be part of this great country, Canada.
Mr. Ken Eshpeter’s letter is a breath of fresh air when it comes to speaking truth. I was shocked, however, to read how Mr. Arnold Malone has criticized that wonderfully brave and wise teenager, Greta Thunberg.
Arnold Baker, Camrose

Same story

January 21, 2020

Unfortunately, the cartoon that was at the very heart of my opinion piece dated Dec. 31 could not be printed due to copyright issues. The cartoon entitled The Milch Cow was sketched by Arch Dale and printed in The Grain Grower’s Guide in 1915, Glenbow Archives NA 3055-24.
Of critical importance is the recognition that the cartoon was printed in 1915 and depicts a dairy cow grazing in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba with the udder suspended over Ontario and Quebec being milked by bankers, capitalists and politicians in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.
So…during the past 104 years of sending Liberals, Conservatives, CCF/NDP, independents and Socreds to Ottawa, nothing has changed. Preston Manning’s Reform, plus Stockwell Day’s Alliance were permeated with Alt-right evangelicals that proved unable to mitigate western alienation.
Justin Trudeau promised electoral reform... didn’t happen; Stephen Harper promised a major overhaul of equalization payments…didn’t happen. Still waiting for pipelines…So where does the west go from here?
A common sense, political centrist, western Bloc party free from the trappings of ideologues would work if the proposed party could convince logical people to abandon their tribal and partisan roots. The illogicals would probably continue to reside inside their partisan tent.
Perhaps, a draft Brent Rathgeber movement, who was a former MP from St. Albert and who sat as a back-bencher, might appeal to many voters.
Worthwhile considering?
Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Waiting game

January 21, 2020

What is the government waiting for? The international community has pledged a new round of disease prevention through the Global Polio Initiative, but Canada is nowhere to be found. Vaccinations are the cheapest, most effective way to prevent disease and reduce poverty worldwide. Disease and poverty are twin sides of the same coin: someone suffering from measles, malaria or polio or a whole host of other preventable diseases cannot work or support a family.
It makes far more economic sense to fund vaccinations than complex medical services for the sick. The world knows this and most developed nations have already pledged their share of funding. But where is Canada?  The election was a long time ago, yet Minister Gould is still missing in action. While the world waits for Canada to act, recent outbreaks of polio and measles show that infectious diseases do not.
Francis Beckow ,
Victoria, BC

Saving earth

January 14, 2020

Arnold Malone’s guest editorial is worthy of sober second thought.
There is a First Nation’s belief that states: we do not inherit the earth, we borrow it from our children. Viewed from this perspective, Greta Thunberg and every other youth on earth not only has a right, but a duty to chastise and reprimand previous generations and decision makers for supporting activities that have damaged the planet we all share.
Malone’s criticism of Thunberg’s approach to living lightly on the planet is short sighted. Not everyone needs to be vegan nor only wear used clothing. However, eating less meat and altering individual consumer behavior has the potential for making positive differences for the health of the planet as well as the health of the individual.
Malone’s claim that Canadians need to import citrus as a source of vitamin C in the winter is astonishing. At one time he was the owner of a Saskatoon and strawberry u-pick operation. One of the primary marketing tools for prairie fruit growers is pointing out both saskatoons and strawberries have much higher vitamin C levels than citrus fruits.  Instead of using concern for the environment as an opportunity to promote an industry he used to be engaged in, Malone opted to promote citrus farmers from other countries. He also neglected to point out other crops grown in Alberta such as red and green peppers, kale and cabbage all have much higher vitamin C levels than citrus fruits. Supporting buying local helps the environment and the Alberta economy.
As a retired career politician Malone boasts and credits his generation with eradicating disease and lifting many from poverty. He claims this, while we currently face a pending crisis of drug resistant diseases and the gulf between the rich and poor in the developed world has widened since the 2008-09 financial crisis. He uses his own brand of scare tactics by suggesting a return to hunter gatherer societies.
Whether a person embraces a creationist or an evolutionist belief, the hard cold fact is the planet earth is unique in the universe.  Each and every one of us has been blessed with the privilege of living on earth and has a duty to treat our shared planet with respect and to consciously consider first and foremost whether our actions bring harm and whether or not altering our consumer behaviors will reduce negative impacts. Our planet needs more Thunbergs.
Judy Cucheran,
Ferintosh

Using children

January 14, 2020

Harry Gaede wrote a response to my article about Greta Thunberg. He took umbrage with my writing and did so with two errors that a trained lawyer and former provincial judge ought not make. He made an assumption and then imputed a motive. He then chastised what he misunderstood. My opening and closing paragraphs were in support of climate action and environmental responsibility. My article was to underscore that children should not be used by powerful advocacy agencies for the purpose of promoting a cause.
It’s a stretch too far to believe that Greta’s sponsors would transport her across an ocean, lodged her in numerous cities on two continents, provided her food, and then not influence the scripting of her words and coaching her delivery.
No doubt Mr. Gaede, whom I know and respect, found it easy to support Greta because—I suspect—he supports her cause. However, consider a different example. I once, in the United States, saw a repeated advertisement based on an incident where a ten-year-old boy took his father’s bedside pistol and shot and killed a home intruder. The boy was featured in TV ads by an organization, and to paraphrase said, ‘Guns in homes makes safer homes.”
I suspect Mr. Gaede would not approve of using a child in that situation. On line I have watched a number of Greta’s speeches in North America and Europe. Some of those speeches have now been removed from viewing. I cannot help but believe that it was professional advocates and not a sixteen-year-old who designed a significant amount of her speech language.
Finally, what happens to Greta when–as I suspect –the advocacy groups find that her value has diminished and she is returned to Sweden. It has been much reported that Greta had a difficulty making friends and was a loner at school. After a year on the world stage does she simply return to school? Does she start in the grade she left? Is someone funding to help her cope after a year of intensive media attention? What pressures will be placed upon her now? My view is: “Advocacy groups, keep your hands off our children.”
Arnold Malone,
formerly of Camrose

Young messenger

January 7, 2020

Arnold Malone’s column in your recent edition seemed to join some others in the criticism of Grethe Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl, who came into prominence over the past year for her action on climate change. “Kill the messenger” is what we say when we hear news we don’t want to deal with.
We, as a society, have known about the danger our over use of the earth’s resources can cause for over 100 years, but have done virtually nothing to alleviate that danger. In 1965, the then president of the United States, Lyndon Johnson, brought in legislation on climate change because the science of the day had, correctly warned of the coming potential disaster.
The leaders of the financial and energy markets then declared war on the science and on truth. They took control of both the Republican and Democratic parties and directed them to pass laws that gutted the environmental laws, and, since they now controlled the lawmakers, had legislation passed that enabled them to control the ownership of the technology that allowed the US to become the richest most powerful country in the world.  This was technology and wealth, that if used properly, could have saved the world from the mess we now find ourselves in.  Instead of investing in education, health care, and climate change, these, mostly all white elderly males, grabbed virtually all the gains in productivity over the past 50 years. They spent billions on propaganda, successfully convincing enough gullible people to believe that science and truth were only “false opinions.” They claimed that the incredible fortunes they gained through these lies would benefit everyone. We know how that story ended.
Yes, Grethe is a girl who does not provide solutions. She could not. What she could do was what she did, that is criticize we adults for blindly accepting the propaganda that “the house is not really on fire.”
Yes, she travelled the world with her message with the help of some concerned adults and used transportation and resources which add to global warming. Everything has a cost. But what about the benefits? I would say she was successful, and I consider her a great hero.
The 2020s maybe a decade of great hope, If we get some political leadership.
 Harry Gaede,
Camrose

Photo radar

January 7, 2020

Photo radar is often criticized by drivers and is no doubt causing some degree of frustration among Camrose residents who see the new photo radar popping up around town. It’s often criticized as a tax grab and something that doesn’t really affect safety.
I think it’s similar to the “sin tax” often levied on things like alcohol, tobacco, gambling, and other things that offer short term satisfaction in exchange for long term and societal detriment. It has a two fold benefit: discourage the activity and produce tax revenue. Speeding to get somewhere a minute faster at the risk of increasing accidents sounds like it fits in that category. Speed limits are not pulled out of thin air; they are the product of many expert researchers and city planners figuring out how to effectively facilitate traffic and keep people safe. When we violate them or, obviously, go through red lights, we jeopardize our safety and the safety of those around us.
As a penalty to the speedy individual with a cavalier attitude towards public safety, why not make them contribute a little more to the collective services that benefit all people?
As for discouraging the behaviour, I know that I for one, as someone who got more photo radar tickets than I’d like this year, will be slowing down. It would be advisable for all Camrose residents to do the same: both to increase public safety and to avoid the “tax” of the “speeding sin.”
David Metcalfe,
Camrose

Need action

January 7, 2020

Given that mobile sources (cars, trucks, trains) contribute the vast majority of air pollutants, an estimated shortfall of almost 30,000 long haul truck drivers will occur over the next five years (StatsCan data), long distance transportation by rail is approximately three or four times more energy efficient than long haul trucking, one trainload could replace the equivalent of several hundred long haul trucks, highway/road maintenance is a significant component of municipal and provincial infrastructure spending: wouldn’t it make sense for some political party to advocate for a national transportation plan that would (i) double or triple Canada’s long haul railway capacity, (ii) alleviate looming manpower shortfalls in the trucking industry, (iii) reduce the maintenance costs on highways, (iv) reduce the backlog of shipping grain and other commodities to ports, (v) (probably) meet Canada’s emission targets in accordance with the Paris Climate Accord.
While the carbon tax contributes much needed tax dollars to government coffers; the direct action to reduce pollutants at the source makes more sense than the after-the-fact, illogical strategy of a carbon tax to induce users to curtail fuel use.
After all, we became a Confederation as a result of building railways; why not contribute to rebuilding/upgrading our railway infrastructure to “greenify” Canada and simultaneously, make it more efficient. Perhaps, efficient passenger rail service could even be restored for those who like to travel by train. Transportation costs to achieve this may be high but the indirect costs of not doing it are substantially higher.
Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Miquelon Lake

August 27, 2019

Miquelon Lake is the essence of the United Nations Beaver Hills Biosphere, for need or greed this lake was drained down by sixteen feet dealing a severe blow to its entire watersheds existence. The University of Alberta’s Alberta Lakes website, read all the Miquelon Lakes, Oliver, Joseph, Ministik, Cooking, Hastings and Beverhill, were proclaimed a bird sanctuary in 1915, so why was Calgary Power allowed to dig a 16 foot drainage diversion ditch in the watershed divide rim of a finite glacial melt lake? (Edo Nyland, This Dying Watershed and the official Park logs) Alberta Environment records show this south draining ditch to the Lyseng Reservoir remained open for 18 years and discharged 48 per cent of the lake’s water. A park sign read “because of high evaporation and low precipitation, the lake level is down 17 feet,” it went on to say the lake is vanishing, turning into land, that sign has been removed.
It appears the Alberta government’s intention is to stagnate this now United Nations Wold Heritage Biosphere’s watershed, their six volume thirteen pounds of information in the 1977 Cooking Lake Area Study to consider importing water to the lakes, failed to disclose the fact that watershed headwaters had suffered this ecoscatastrophe.
Unless Alberta Environment and Parks intends to kill this unique organism, they must start an honest conversation, address the situation with all the pertinent information. Because this is a glacial melt water lake it has no way of regeneration feed water must be returned to this lake’s basin. For over a century water has been drained away from the area via Hay Lakes drainage district, it and the water from the Lyseng Reservoir could be pumped back into Miquelon starting its revitalization process.
Dennis Fenske, Sherwood Park