Asylum seekers

August 14, 2018

I wish to comment on several mis-statements made by Mr. Sorenson, MP in his column in the issue of July 31.
Canada is not experiencing insecurity and chaos in the situation of people seeking asylum in our nation.
Asylum seekers coming into Canada at other than regular entry points, e.g. airports, are not illegal immigrants. They have violated no law. In many cases they have suffered severe hardships to make the trip to the Canadian border, e.g. frozen limbs causing loss of feet and hands. They are not queue jumping. They are entering the queue at a different point. Upon entering the queue they are subject to all the checks applied to all seeking entrance to Canada. There is no queue jumping.
The number of persons entering by this means peaked sometime ago but has declined in recent months. Maybe Conservative spokespersons could check a few facts before yapping.
People are using this difficult way to seek entry to our nation because our agreement with the United States that asylum seekers must apply to the first safe country so if they applied at a regular entry point, e.g. airport, coming from the U.S. they would be turned back. The U.S., under Trump is no longer a safe nation. Proof of this is daily shown on news broadcasts with children being separated from parents, maybe permanently, hardly a definition of  “safe”!
All persons seeking entry to Canada are carefully checked so immigrants are not security risks. My four grandparents were immigrants. I am not a security risk.
To claim immigration is a danger is a Trump idea that we don’t need in Canada! Immigrants, by bringing new skills and ideas, bring strength to our nation. We are a welcoming nation and we don’t need fear and hatred to be provoked in an effort to gain a few votes.
Ron Williams,
Camrose

Native grasses

July 24, 2018

Mr. Ernst’s informative letter (July 17, 2018) addressed issues concerning Green Space Management in Camrose, a discussion I would like to pick-up on but from a different perspective.
Would the City of Camrose consider introducing native grasses and wild flowering plants (forbes) into our green spaces, possibly starting with existing or future Naturalization Project sites?
 Native prairie grasses have evolved to thrive in the harshest of conditions including extreme cold, heat and little moisture.  They have deep, dense root systems that enable them to more effectively retain moisture in the soil. They slow down run-off and soil erosion and are able to withstand periods of drought.  They add nutrients to the soil and help to build bio-diversity both above and below ground. Their massive root systems effectively choke out weeds.  Plantings may be difficult to establish but once accomplished, native grasses should require minimal maintenance. When combined with wild flowers they create needed habitat for grassland dependent species including our much beleaguered pollinators. 
The merits of integrating native grasses and forbes have been and continue to be studied with projects initiated throughout the Northern Great Plains, including in our own backyard.  I refer to the Meeting Creek Grasslands Restoration Project headed by Glenys Smith, she and her group being a wealth of information.
The Departments of Transportation of Iowa and Minnesota over several decades have re-established native grasses, forbes and other carefully selected vegetation into thousands of acres of roadside ditches. These people are my heroes.  They have developed best practices and in Minnesota’s case, a detailed handbook in which their experience and knowledge is freely shared.  They strongly express the need for any project of this kind to be a truly collaborative process of give and take with teams that may include conservationists, farmers, ranchers, industry, city and government officials and
others.
The grasses, native or not, are at the peak of their summer beauty now.  If you were to take a walk along our valley trails, know that the farther south you go, and the more you venture off the beaten track, the more likely you will pass through undisturbed areas with native grasses that have thrived in those places for thousands of years. These grasses are our precious prairie heritage. Do they not also belong within our city, in green spaces, to be enjoyed by all?  
 June A. Osborne,
Camrose

Snowbirds satisfaction

July 24, 2018

On Wednesday, July 18, we drove to the airport to see the Snowbirds’ performance  What a show!
Thank you to all the sponsors who made this event happen. To those who set up and cleared the field–a great job. Also impressive was the organized way we were guided into the field for a perfect view.
Thank you as well to the men and women who spent the afternoon and evening directing traffic. Your efforts are much appreciated.
Gladys Kupka,
Camrose

Lack of facts

July 17, 2018

I found Rob Hill’s Letter To The Editor infuriating. The clear lack of facts about what MP Sorenson and Prime Minister Stephen Harper achieved for this country needs to be addressed.
First, under Conservative Government between 2006 and 2015 there were four major pipeline projects built, totaling more than eight thousand kilometres of pipeline and, expanding Canada’s energy industries market capacity by over a million barrels per day.  Additionally, the government approved two more major pipelines,
Second, the federal equalization program is renewed every five years. The reason for this is simple: economic circumstances change. Former PM Stephen Harper fixed the “fiscal imbalance” that the nation faced in 2006 with a formula that fit the circumstances at the time. By comparison, the current Liberal Government rejected calls for consultation and changes to the current formula and unilaterally extended it by five more years.
Third, we all know the current trade dispute with the United States is a serious issue with serious consequences. Justin Trudeau took full credit earlier in the year for avoiding a trade dispute and now that there is one, he carries the blame.
Fourth, accusing Kevin of abusing tax dollars without any proof is unfounded accusation. All MP’s expenses are online and available for anyone to review. Battle River-Crowfoot is almost as large as Nova Scotia, the time and costs to travel are understandable. A look at the carpet in his office will speak volumes about his ability to cut costs.
Those that have worked with Kevin, such as I, recognize his approachable nature, hard work ethic and deep rooted Conservative fiscal values.
Steven Snider, New Norway

Camrose greenspace

July 17, 2018

Is the Green Space Management in Camrose: Too Consumptive? Are the economic and environmental costs of grooming Camrose’s green spaces too high?
As a taxpayer and as an ecologist, I believe the answer is yes. Space is limited so I will address just two of my concerns: mowing and chemical use.
I believe mowing on a schedule rather than where and when it’s required results in unnecessary spending of taxpayers dollars while contributing to air pollution.
Diesel fumes are carcinogenic according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC). Particularly during dry periods, on some areas, there is little or no grass regrowth between mowings.
Although it is desirable to keep the grass short around playgrounds and other recreation facilities, much of the green space area seldom, if ever, sees a human footprint. Reducing both the mowing frequency and the amount of area being mowed will result in significantly lower economic and environmental costs.
Further, the city should initiate a program to convert the existing agronomic grasses on the green spaces to low or no maintenance species (I believe they exist). Otherwise, as labour, fuel, and machine costs continue to rise, so will our taxes.
The city’s casual and substantial use of the expensive and probably carcinogenic (according to the IARC) herbicide Roundup is another of my concerns. For example, the city’s use of it on annual weeds and the blanket spraying of it along Camrose’s paved trails is overly consumptive.
If the city has a Green Space Management Plan, does it include a section on reducing the economic and environmental costs of green space management? If not, it should. I’m confident that doing proper cost/benefit analysis including external and opportunity costs in all projects would result in substantial savings in both economic and environmental costs. Although my concerns might seem trivial in the context of a very large budget, I consider any unnecessary spending of tax dollars unacceptable, particularly when that spending also negatively impacts the environment.
I think if the city would take an innovative approach to green space management, the results would be both positive and rewarding. How sustainable are current management practices? Ten or twenty years from now, can we be doing the same old thing?
Reg D Ernst, Camrose

Pharmacare

Kevin Sorenson, you have some nerve. I read your recent report. Just another list of complaints.  I don’t like the Liberals, but at least I have to give them credit for trying. The respected National Post journalist Andrew Coyne summed up the 10 years of the Harper Conservative government that you were part of as “attempted little, achieved less.”
So you complain about the Liberals’ attempts with Trans Mountain. Fine. What did you do when you were in government?  Ten years you were part of the Harper government and not one pipeline built in Canada during that time.
So you and Jason Kenney don’t like the federal/provincial equalization formula? Fine. It’s the same one you used when you were in government. If it is so bad why didn’t you change it? You had 10 years.
So you have discovered that Trump’s trade war is going to create hardships for Canadian workers. And what are you going to do about it? You claim you won’t sit idly by. You claim you will talk to workers. Oh wow.
Kevin, we the citizens of Battle River/Crowfoot pay you well. You fly around the country and eat in fancy restaurants at our expense. We have a right to expect you to work for us. You have an obligation to do more than just complain. When are you going to do something positive?
I have urged you several times to work to bring us a national pharmacare program. You know we have the second highest drug prices in the world.  I’m sure you know that Canadians pay more for prescription medications than the salaries of all of Canada’s doctors. A national pharmacare program would make medications affordable and save the country billions of dollars. All developed countries except Canada and the U.S. have a national pharmacare program. Its morally and economically the right thing for Canada. You know that. Why are you silent on the subject?
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Move on

June 19, 2018

If I hired a professional writer, I couldn’t have expressed my thoughts any better than Bill Mattinson’s recent article “Little Knowledge.”
Has it become a national sport to protest anything and everything–climate change, pipelines, G-7, oil sands, provincial rights, Whales, Parades, etc.? Still to come–“Volcanic Eruption” protest marches.
To the national news media–stop covering, with such repetitive intensity, these few hundred protestors and their perceived moral journey–we don’t care.  Us 36,000,000 other Canadians, patriotic and proud, focus on more meaningful issues: roof over our heads, caring for others less fortunate, staying employed and healthy, adjusting to rising food, gasoline and property tax costs, fall harvests, animal care and safety, recovery from personal or related (i.e. Humbolt) tragic losses, etc.
While they could have been born in any bankrupt, diseased or war-torn place on earth, fate rewarded these protestors with prosperity, freedom and health in Canada. Now earn it.
Look in a mirror. Appreciate your good fortune, then start crying, and keep crying until you realize that your divisive protest rants are a conflicting embarrassment to yourself and to your country. Otherwise do the right thing and take your ideology, that you so believe in, to Iraq, Syria or Sudan and protest where there are real injustices and be sure to let us know how you made out. Meanwhile, in your absence, the rest of us will assume our duty to keep Canada United, Strong and Free of internal factions with Little Knowledge, but willing to sell out their loyalty for 10 seconds of fame.
Neil Leeson,
Camrose

Pipeline announcement

June 19, 2018

The pipeline announcement article paints the sunshine picture of the Trans Mountain project that the federal Liberals and Alberta NDP want us to believe, but it’s a long way from the truth. I’m saddened to see $4.5 billion that we don’t have being sent to Houston. We didn’t need to buy Trans Mountain to get it built because Kinder Morgan has the money to build it: We needed a federal government that would enforce the laws of Canada and buying Trans Mountain does nothing about that.
The federal government disregarding the law is reminiscent of what happened to Gateway and Energy East. When after due process a federal permit is granted, there is an obligation on the part of the government granting it to enforce it. Otherwise the permit is a sham. I’m not a fan of Trudeau the father, but when there was civil disobedience, he said, “Just watch me” and he enforced the laws of the land. If there are no laws, there is no country.
What will happen now is that the project will sink into the legal quagmire with endless court actions between governments, special interest groups, and indigenous groups and all will be endlessly funded with our money. With the problems that Ontario and Quebec are having with US trade, there are already rumours that the federal government is looking at how to back out from the purchase. The politicians are all just playing for time and they hope that they can keep this from sticking to them until they win the next election.
I’m happy to clarify any of my points.
Tony Hladun,
Camrose

Little knowledge

June 5, 2018

A wise teacher once remarked, “a little bit of knowledge can be very dangerous.”
I think this aptly applies to those (advocaters) who appear to be obsessed with blaming carbon solely for perceived climate change.
I’m not a scientist...and I’m not a climate change denier (I’ve been observing climate varieties for many decades). But I am a denier of the claims that greenhouse gas emissions are solely responsible for all the violent storms that are occurring, and for the warming of ocean temperatures.
I prefer to think that since the earth’s centre is a mass of gases and molten rock, it seems conceivable that some of this heat is escaping into the oceans through fractures caused by earth tremors.
An unusual occurrence of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions have been witnessed in recent years. The current horrific Hawaiian eruption is certainly posing danger for the Pacific Ocean and its aquatic species, yet I haven’t heard any news reports (so far) indicating its potential for climate changing. Meanwhile in Hollywood, celebrities, etc. under the sponsorship of the Suzuki Foundation will continue their denouncing of fossil fuels with only a “little bit of knowledge” while they themselves continue to travel with the benefit of petroleum fuels. Our Prime Minister is probably the biggest individual Canadian polluter.
If mere mankind can reverse our climate, what would they hope to achieve? Winds are required to move rain clouds in, then move them out. If we reduce winds and cloudy skies persist, this would not bode well for solar and wind generated power. We’ll need “a bit more knowledge” on how to achieve ideal climate.
Bill Mattinson,
Camrose

Royal marriage

May 29, 2018

The Royal Wedding is over. It was a great historical event. It was not made more significant by the endless comments of the self proclaimed experts. Many of these comments by American self important so called experts were off base.
The racial intolerance, which is still a central feature of American life and politics is not repeated elsewhere. Attempts to transport American racial problems and American history to Britain is off base.
Allegations of British involvement in the slave trade are overdrawn. Yes, in the very early days of the infamous trade, British merchants were involved, but when by international agreement the traffic was to end in the early 1800s the Royal Navy enforced the ban and many British sailors died of tropical diseases, while their ships patrolled the tropical coasts of Africa to stop the transportation of Africans to the United States, which had banned the importation of slaves, but did not enforce the ban because of political influence from the Southern States.
Within the British territories, it was a local decision to allow or outlaw slavery. In the case of Canada during the first session of the first legislature of Upper Canada, Ontario, in 1791 a law was passed which declared that any slave brought into the colony became free. A similar law was passed in Lower Canada, Quebec in 1825. The Atlantic colonies had received many freed slaves who had supported the British during the Revolution.
In 1834, an Act of the British Parliament outlawed slavery in the entire British Empire; 30 years before the United States fought a civil war to achieve the same result.
During the 1840s and later, Canada was the end of the underground railway and many blacks obtained freedom by crossing the Canadian border. When they reached freedom, they knelt and kissed the soil of the Land of the Freedom Queen.
In 1787, while American slave owners speaking and writing about all men being created equal while 40 per cent of the population was held in slavery the highest judge in Britain, namely Lord Chief Justice Mansfield declared from the bench: “There can be no slavery in Britain. English air makes free.”
It is good that love has brought a lady of mixed race into the Royal Family but that family will carry on its role of representing the nation of Britain and of each to the 18 nations of which Queen Elizabeth is queen as well as the Commonwealth of 53 nations of which she is head.
Welcome Meghan, HRH Duchess of Sussex by gift of the Queen, but let’s not get carried away but carry on.
God Save the Queen.
Ron Williams,
Camrose

Urban chickens

May 22, 2018

I just had a couple of quick comments regarding the article by Lori Larsen titled “Urban chicken concerns.”
I must say that Dr. Frank Marshall certainly covered every imaginable risk to the whole person and animal populations possibly stemming from a few chickens in someone’s backyard. The only risk that was not mentioned was the possibility of the caregiver being struck by lightning as he or she left the house to feed the chickens.
If the risks of a few backyard hens are as serious as Dr. Marshall suggests, then most of us baby boomers who grew up on farms should probably be dead. I gathered eggs as a kid, helped dispatch broilers for supper and I cleaned out the hen house on Saturdays. I also drank unpasteurized milk from our milk cows. I am still here to write this letter.
I have farmed for a large part of my adult life. Planting a crop that one hopes to harvest to eat or to sell is a risky business. There are about 20 very serious things that could happen to that crop before it is in the bin, but we do it because society needs to eat. Where do we think the sayings “don’t count your money before the crop is in the bin” or “don’t count your chickens before they are hatched” come from. I am all in favour of making sure that the backyard chickens are properly fed and housed which may require some regulation and inspection, but the opportunity for someone to raise a few backyard hens should not be quashed because of some very unlikely risks.
Ken Eshpeter,
Daysland

Alberta is different

May 22, 2018

Having worked in the pipeline industry for 30 years, it’s clear to me that current arguments about pipelines have little to do with pipelines, but are really about interprovincial politics and priorities.
Canada, essentially Alberta, is the world’s fourth largest oil producer and we compete with populous and economically powerful countries like the US, Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and Iran.  This is the league we play in. BC, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland produce oil as well, but Alberta produces by far the most.
Other provinces than Alberta are largely fossil fuel consumers. Their economies and priorities benefit from reducing energy consumption, so reducing fossil fuel consumption costs them little, or actually benefits them economically. Nonetheless, they do like our dirty money, as federal transfer payments illustrate. Alberta is richer, with per capita GDP around $74,000 compared to BC and Ontario at around $55,000, and Quebec at $47,000. So, the other provinces are very different from Alberta.
Alberta can join the federal government and other provinces and squash our oil industry. If we do that we will become like Manitoba. We will have a huge deficit problem funding our current teachers, health care workers, and government. We’ll also have a lower standard of living by about 25 per cent and little large-scale economic potential.  On the other hand we can persist in fossil fuel development. This will not sit well with other provinces or the federal government and they will continuously try to hobble our economy – but they’ll still enjoy our transfer payments.
Personally, I’d go for development even with the problems that creates.  All we need to do with our fossil fuels is get them across the US border. The US isn’t the best of friends, but the US is the friend we’ve got and it’s the only friend we really need.  We can forgo environmental leadership because what Alberta does, and Canada for that matter, will have no effect on climate change. The developed countries cannot cut CO2 emissions enough to offset the growing CO2 emissions of the developing world, and so CO2 levels will continue to increase.
Our provincial government will have to fight to make sure carbon penalties are equally applied to all provinces. We’ll have to hope that at some point the economic pain in other provinces will become unbearable, and the federal government will relent. The future will have its difficulties and Alberta can’t prevent that, but we can choose to face it from a position of economic strength.
 Tony Hladun,
Camrose

Pool shutdown

May 15, 2018

I am writing to express my long time appreciation for the programs offered by our Camrose City’s  pool and express my hope that such services continue without interruption.
As a Camrose resident since 1977, I have accessed/witnessed the pool’s fine programs such as swim lessons for my own kids and grandkids, school programs from “Splash Parties” to water safety/swim lessons for young students to senior students in scuba diving classes and our swim club.
I’ve participated in evening aqua aerobic classes and now as a “retiree” I participate with 80 or so others in the morning aqua aerobic water therapy classes.
I am so pleased that our council/administration is now looking at options to give us a more modern pool facility. Our current pool opened in 1980.
Hearing rumours of what was proposed, I called City Hall and spoke with Ryan Poole, community services general manager. As I understood him to say, three options are being considered to improve our pool experience:
1. Complete closure of the pool (12 to 13 months) to add on and renovate the existing site–the cheapest approach, costing “X” dollars.
2. Continued access to some part of the pool, while doing renovation on the existing site and adding on–taking longer and costing the basic “X” dollars plus about $2 million more.
3. A new pool, allowing access to the current pool until the new pool was completed– costing the basic “X” dollars plus about $8 million more.
As a retiree, I am now dealing with some of the health issues so many of my age group has “earned”. The morning water therapy that many of us enjoy reduces swelling and body pain that land training can promote. 
I believe the “pool community” needs and deserves an improved facility and that a complete shutdown for a year or more is not acceptable. Can you imagine our golfers, hockey players, skaters, curlers or ball players accepting an option that would close their needed facilities for a year or more?
I appreciate this will not be an easy decision for our city council/administration. I encourage people to make your views known as to the best option towards having an improved pool facility by calling city council/administration at 780-672-4426.
A difficult decision has to be made and I believe as much input as possible is valued by all involved.
Brenda (Manning)
Deringer, Camrose

Still muzzled?

May 8, 2018

For several years leading up to the 2015 federal election there were reports of scientists being muzzled by the Harper government. Now some two and a half years later I am still waiting to hear what important information it was that they were prevented from sharing with us. What conclusion are we supposed to reach on their silence on this issue?
Is the list of Earth-shaking discoveries so lengthy that they have still not had time to compile it? Was the information released to the media and not deemed newsworthy? Or, horror of all horrors, could it be they are still being muzzled, even after over two years of Sunny Days?
Larry Lewsaw,
Camrose

Poor roads

May 8, 2018

I moved here from Vancouver, BC, where I spent my life growing up. That was 15 years ago.  I looked all over BC and Alberta for two years for a place to retire. Camrose is where I ended up. I knew it would grow and it has. Camrose has not kept up with the road and sidewalk replacement.  Go to the north side of town where a lot of sidewalks need to be replaced. The ones that have been replaced are not level and are made out of asphalt. Another joke for the taxpayers in the area.
As the City grows, we all get more traffic on our streets. I have a 75 per cent increase, but my street is not blocked off.
Then there is the long grass on the berm, all so they could save money for the overbuilt City Hall. If I wanted to grow long grass in my yard or on an empty lot in town, how long would it take the City to come and give me a fine. They want my yard to look good, but not the city berm.
Property taxes in Camrose are way too high. My brother-in-law has a 10-year-old, five-bedroom house in Camrose valued at $625,000 and his taxes are $6,200 a year.
My sister has an 11-year-old, five-bedroom house in Coquitlam, BC, valued at $1,200,000 and her taxes are $3,200 a year.
Retired people on a fixed income are going to move out and some have because taxes are too high.
Glenn Dunn,
Camrose

Tax guide

May 8, 2018

Kevin Sorenson, you need to change your ways. I read your recent report in The Booster reflecting on your “tax guide” and it is just more of the same.  I read your “tax guide” and tossed it.  How dare you use my tax dollars to send me blatant propaganda? At least be honest.  The parliamentary budget office (accountants who keep the national books) concluded that due to the Liberals’ middle class tax cut, the Liberals are taking in less in taxes that your Conservative government was. The U of C economist Trevor Tombe has studied the Alberta economic numbers and concluded that “Alberta’s recovery is real and its economy is strong”.  But from you Kevin, all we get is a steady stream of fear and anger.
You need to change Kevin.  In a recent Insights West poll Canadians were asked which occupations they respected. While we respect nurses, doctors, farmers, scientists and teachers, we really don’t respect politicians. Politicians came in dead last. We don’t respect you politicians because you put the interests of your political party before the country and you are rather shady with the truth.
Stop the fear mongering Kevin, and start to work in the interest of your constituents. There are positive things you can do for us. I’m not going to stop pressing you to work for a national pharmacare program. We in Canada pay ridiculous medication prices because we don’t have a national pharmacare program.  Canadians pay more for medicines than we do for doctors’ salaries. Statistics Canada says that having a national pharmacare program would save Canadians $15 billion/year. That is the same as a massive tax cut with no loss of government services.  Work to get us a national pharmacare program Kevin, and you will earn our respect.
Rob Hill
Camrose

Not violence

April 24, 2018

I have read a news memo from 630 CHED announcing an attack against the Syrian government by the United States, France and United Kingdom. Now, I do understand that the Syrian government used chemical weapons against innocent people. This behavior should not be tolerated or ignored.
 Now, I am questioning whether this will be effective against a government who seems not to even care about it’s citizens. Will this government use human shields to be placed in these selected military spots?
Now, I might not have all the details, which the leaders of these nations may have. I am not an expert on these matters. I am only wondering how many innocent people will be killed just because they are at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Now, I do agree something has to be done. I just wonder how shooting missiles at certain selected targets is going to resolve the problem of the Syrian government using chemicals. Maybe they can destroy their supply of these weapons. How does anyone know where those are being stored?
Maybe some expert could write a letter and explain this to all of us.

Lorne Wesley Paul Vanderwoude,
Camrose

Hockey team

April 24, 2018

The disastrous and unbelievable crash between a bus and a transport truck has struck me with sadness that I’m having trouble resolving. Saskatchewan is now in the forefront of the world. I was born in Saskatchewan and it will always be dear to me, although I have lived in two other provinces, Ontario and now Alberta for more than 50 years.
When I was 15 years old, I passed through that intersection in someone else’s vehicle. That was many years ago, but I still remember the total flatness as I hitchhiked from Nipawin to my hometown east of Regina.
What makes this accident so different? Is it because they are hockey players? Is it because of their ages and that they will never grow older? I know what I feel and I think that same feeling is worldwide. They represented the passion of hockey. They represented youth and vitality and were ready for whatever life would throw at them.
But the worst of all is really the families left behind, the parents, the siblings and all of their individual families. This burdens me more than their deaths, wondering how I would deal with one of my great-grandsons in the same age group disappearing from my life.
Even though this accident is heart-wrenching. I believe for everything that happens there is a reason.
Look at the response from our entire country. Look at the response from nearly 100 countries in our world. I expected a response from the world was inevitable. But the number of countries and the generosity is amazing. I include myself in that.
Why has this happened when we know about the thousands who have been killed in the civil war in Syria? Somehow it’s not the same. I really can’t fathom why.
The positive physical things that have happened show that we help our neighbours: the organ donations, the extra blood transfusions and the support from all over.
Will the people who share conflict all over the world learn anything from this? I doubt it.
We now have a better view of the fact that there are very good people in our universe.
Lew Goddard,
Camrose

Great volunteers

April 17, 2018

I wish to take a moment to send a public and personal thank you to people who volunteer.
We at the Camrose Association for Community Living (CAFCL) are blessed to have a variety of volunteers. We have nine board members who faithfully and competently govern our organization. We have program volunteers who provide service and support to the individuals in our programs. We have fundraising volunteers who organize and work at events to raise the dollars we need to offer the programs we do. Last year 57 volunteers generously gave us 987 hours of their time.
The list of names is long, too long to print in this column. But, each one is valued and provides a much needed service to not only CAFCL but to our community.
To each of CAFCL’s volunteers, I salute you and applaud you for sharing your time and talent. To every citizen who volunteers somewhere, I say thank you. You are looking after your community, taking responsibility and doing your part in making this world a better place.
Esther McDonald CAFCL, CEO Camrose

Deplorable road

April 17, 2018

I was raised in the Camrose area and I come back about six times annually to see friends and family. In my rounds of coffee time with many people, I have heard over and over about how the City of Camrose “mis spends” their tax money. The biggest bone of contention, however, is the road situation.
The residential streets have long been in constant disrepair and it seems the City ignores all but those surrounding City Hall and businesses downtown. I have even heard that if a street is repaired, all those living on that street have to pay extra taxes for it! I can’t believe that one as it sounds too outrageous.
Apparently $6.7 million is being spent on a bridge that may have lasted longer if the expensive Ring Road had been used by the hundreds of trucks that preferred the shorter route through town. They are now using the ring road as intended, so the City must find a way to keep it that way when the bridge is completed. Many expressed the opinion that the bridge was unnecessary as two large culverts would have done just as well. That is if money is so scarce other roads go unattended.
All this leads me to the main reason for my letter. I have travelled the Aberhart Highway often because it leads from where I stay right into downtown Camrose. All is not bad until you reach the City limits. From there to the Ring Road you are in constant danger of breaking your back, or your teeth, not to mention blowing a tire or losing parts of your vehicle!  This road is in abominable condition. I have seen it being spot repaired over and over. Nothing works. Not to mention the eyesore garbage along the road to the dump.
This road is used by many trucks going to the City dump (which is in a location that defies all reason, but that’s another story) continually destroying the road, not to mention trucks from the gravel pit to the south. Instead of paving it though, thousands of dollars are spent grading it especially just before BVJ.
I have asked why this road is not paved and I was told that the County road (Aberhart) is not paved, so what’s the point? The County says the City needs to go first.
The City of Camrose should be ashamed.
Maureen Hanak,
Kelowna
(formerly of Camrose)
I was raised in the Camrose area and I come back about six times annually to see friends and family. In my rounds of coffee time with many people, I have heard over and over about how the City of Camrose “mis spends” their tax money. The biggest bone of contention, however, is the road situation.
The residential streets have long been in constant disrepair and it seems the City ignores all but those surrounding City Hall and businesses downtown. I have even heard that if a street is repaired, all those living on that street have to pay extra taxes for it! I can’t believe that one as it sounds too outrageous.
Apparently $6.7 million is being spent on a bridge that may have lasted longer if the expensive Ring Road had been used by the hundreds of trucks that preferred the shorter route through town. They are now using the ring road as intended, so the City must find a way to keep it that way when the bridge is completed. Many expressed the opinion that the bridge was unnecessary as two large culverts would have done just as well. That is if money is so scarce other roads go unattended.
All this leads me to the main reason for my letter. I have travelled the Aberhart Highway often because it leads from where I stay right into downtown Camrose. All is not bad until you reach the City limits. From there to the Ring Road you are in constant danger of breaking your back, or your teeth, not to mention blowing a tire or losing parts of your vehicle!  This road is in abominable condition. I have seen it being spot repaired over and over. Nothing works. Not to mention the eyesore garbage along the road to the dump.
This road is used by many trucks going to the City dump (which is in a location that defies all reason, but that’s another story) continually destroying the road, not to mention trucks from the gravel pit to the south. Instead of paving it though, thousands of dollars are spent grading it especially just before BVJ.
I have asked why this road is not paved and I was told that the County road (Aberhart) is not paved, so what’s the point? The County says the City needs to go first.
The City of Camrose should be ashamed.
Maureen Hanak,
Kelowna
(formerly of Camrose)

Bill 71

April 10, 2018

Kevin Sorenson, now you’ve made me angry. I’m used to your columns being nothing more than rants against the government. But your attack on Bill 71 is shameful. We all know that farmers and hunters need guns. No one argues that. But a gun is a tool designed to kill. Any rational person agrees there need to be limits on gun ownership. As far as I can see, Bill 71 is a reasonable attempt to draw some limits. Of course at this time, those limits should be open to discussion, but you are not helping.
Your view that anyone, even if he is mentally unstable with a history of violence, should be able to walk into a gun show and buy any firearm he wants without a background check is dangerously wrong. Your view that to require owners to register their guns will make them feel like criminals is just laughable. I don’t feel like a criminal because I have to register my car. Do you really believe business owners feel like criminals because they have to register their businesses?
Kevin, we citizens know politicians are just playing political games. We don’t like it and we don’t respect it, but we’ve learned to live with it. However, trying to score cheap political points on an important issue of public safety is irresponsible. You need to find something useful to occupy your time. I suggest you start working to get us Pharmacare.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Fear not

April 3, 2018

Having travelled recently by air, something I hadn’t done since 2001, I was amazed when we entered the airport. There were signs on the walls of impending danger and at regular intervals over the intercom came warnings to allow no one near your luggage. I said to my husband, “Does no one trust God?”
Fear is a very powerful emotion that immobilizes, constricts, paralyzes and binds us in crippling ways. This is different from a healthy respect for natural laws and innate wisdom in the face of obvious danger. Something I’ve thought of since the years of ‘terrorist attack’ is the propaganda in what defines the word terrorist.
While I spend very little time with the news, I realize that bad things happen. Does this determine our reactions to all of the future? By nature and the experience of life we seem very capable of working with what we see.
Rules and regulations are connected to manipulations and control and are often the result of fear. I would suggest that the biggest threat of terrorism is not outside forces as much as the power of our thoughts and inner life. We carry feelings of fear, hatred, unforgiveness, disgust (for ourselves and others), self-righteousness and strife with us regularly. We think our thoughts are our own business, but they often eventually affect others.
Our thoughts have a way of becoming words and actions. How many people have I wounded, some maybe permanently, by bad inner feelings that disintegrate others? We spend time in miserable and discouraging existence because of the ‘terrorist’ attitude we indulge in. The power of our mind is both an amazingly good and destructive thing.
I have read that fear and anger cause most cancer, fear of the future or imaginary fear cause high blood pressure and diabetes. Anger, fear, ill will and resentment can help bring on arthritis. It seems we can treat disease to some extent, but what is the “pill” that will heal our emotions?  I recommend faith and trust in God as the best antidote for fear and all its ill-natured cousins.
Three Bible verses that are a great help are, “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”,  “God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power of love and of a sound mind,” and “The Lord is my salvation, who shall I fear.”
We have many more promises in the Bible about how God looks after us and wants to help us by believing in Him and in His promises, so we need not walk in fear.
Mary Thiessen,
 Edberg

Water park

March 27, 2018

This is my first letter to The Camrose Booster regarding any complaints I may have had in the 68 years that I have lived in Camrose. I have many wonderful memories of Camrose and my life here. At my age of 83 (on April 3, if anyone cares), I must speak up about the median that runs through Camrose on 48 Avenue, otherwise known as Highway 13. I drove downtown today (March 20) as I often do and was yet again reminded of what bothers me. It is the slop that I must drive in to get there. No use washing your car right now, unless you enjoy throwing your money away.
Over the years, I have heard so many complimentary remarks about Camrose. One familiar comment is how clean Camrose is.
I cannot agree at this time that “My Camrose” is a clean city. Every winter it is the same: maybe ever since the median was installed. I’ve heard from many people that the City cannot afford to clean the median.
Shame on Camrose, shame on us.
Evelyn Hrudko,
Camrose

 

Bridge work

March 27, 2018

March 26 is the day when the city of Camrose is scheduled to close 48 Avenue between 51 Street to 53 Street. This is going to affect traffic flow from now to Aug. 31. I am dreading the huge traffic jams on 47 Avenue, Grand Drive, 50 Avenue and others such as 51 Avenue.
I am a part-time taxi driver since June 1, 1993.  In my experience as being a taxi driver, there have not been any streets shut down to this degree. This will make taxi driving very difficult. I am sure taxis are not the only delivery companies who will be affected. Canada Post, pizza delivery drivers, Camrose Delivery Service, other delivery services, Camrose Community Bus, as well the Rose City Handicap Van service will be affected too.
I am well aware that this project needs to be done for the good of our community. I am just making people aware that this closure will affect how people get around this city. So, make sure that your family, yourselves and all the people in your world have a plan to have alternative routes, so that this will not catch any one by surprise.
Now, this letter is written way too late to make the paper before this closure. So, by the time you read this, I sure hope all of you are coping with this huge change, which will be affecting our community for the next five months. Remember when this project is done, this will affect your children for many generations to come. You can get through this hurdle and Camrose will be better off because of what you as people have allowed this city to achieve.
Lorne Wesley Paul Vanderwoude, Camrose

Carbon levy

March 20, 2018

In response to Bruce Hinkley’s column in the Jan. 30 edition of The Booster, Mr. Hinkley stated that his carbon levy cost him $205.26 to operate two vehicles, a car and a truck, and heat his home. I also own a car and a truck and a home to heat, so I made some calculations of my own. The total to heat my home and operate two vehicles through 2017 cost me close to $300.
Something Mr. Hinkley is failing to mention is the extra money it now costs to buy groceries, clothing, entertainment and other consumables. A CBC website estimates the extra cost of these things to average 1.5 per cent. Using that number, I calculated approximately a $400 increase to my cost for these expenses over the course of one year. With the carbon levy rising to $30 a ton in 2018, assuming my spending remains the same this year, I can expect my cost to rise to $450 for operating my vehicles and heating my home, and $600 for groceries and other consumables.
When the carbon levy reaches $50 a ton, which is what the government plans to do, I can expect my cost to rise to $750 a year for my vehicles and home, and $1000 for groceries and other consumables for a total of $1,750. When you add in increases to things such as property taxes, purchasing new vehicles and the cost of taking trips amoung others, $2,000 to $3,000 a year is not as unreasonable a number as Mr. Hinkley would like us to believe.
Brent Bonter,
Camrose

Find solutions

March 20, 2018

Kevin Sorenson, I have read your latest report in The Camrose Booster and I am disappointed. All you have to offer is a list of complaints about the Liberal budget. We, your constituents, deserve better.  Sure, the Liberal budget is just a propaganda document designed to make the Liberals look good, just as the Harper government budgets were. And now the Conservative response is to rail about how the government is failing the Canadian people, just like the Liberals did when they were in opposition. Its all a political game, one that Canadians are tired of. Its why we don’t respect our politicians. Kevin, I can go into any coffee shop in Camrose and hear patrons complain about the government. For the amount of money we pay you, we have the right to expect more leadership from you.
Luckily, the Liberals gave you an opportunity to do something of real value.  In the budget they promised to bring in a national pharmacare program.  This, of course, is great news. As you know, Canada and the U.S. are the only developed countries without a national pharmacare program and we have the highest drug prices in the world.  Recently, Statistics Canada reported that in 2016 more than 1.6 million Canadians didn’t take prescription medicine because they couldn’t pay for it and nearly one million Canadians struggled to pay for food and heat so they could afford their prescriptions. High drug prices in Canada are a drain on our economy The health insurance industry said that Canada wasted $15 billion over the last five years on overpriced prescription drugs. Reducing medication prices through pharmacare would have the same effect on the economy as large tax break. A national pharmacare program is without a doubt something that would benefit all Canadians.
Unfortunately, we both know that the Liberals have proven good at making promises and not so good at following through. That is where your opportunity lies. Do your research and tell us what model of pharmacare is best for Canada. And most importantly, push the government. Don’t let them renege on this important promise. Then you will be doing something of real value. Canada will have pharmacare eventually. The benefits are too obvious to ignore. It could be your lasting legacy that you helped shape a program that really made Canada better. That would be something of which you could truly be proud.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Snow removal

March 20, 2018

Our city snow-clearing crews have done a great job with our streets and alleys since March 3. Thank you! Thank you, too, to the Camrose Ski Club and Camrose Golf Course for wonderful cross-country ski trails.
David Edwards,
Camrose

Fixing roads

We owe a huge thank you to Boden Sand and Gravel for the extensive grading and graveling to repair the road two miles of road north of Edberg.
I can remember when a large gravel company from Edmonton was running 85 trucks from Edberg to Edmonton with each truck making four runs a day over this road. This really pounded out the road and they were suppose to help maintain the road.
Now Boden Sand and Gravel are held responsible for the maintenance of this road with an average of 20 truck loads per day during the busy season. They did a good job in restoring the road.
Robert Snider,
New Norway

Appreciated help

This thank you is to the young lady who saw a need and responded.
On Wednesday, Feb. 21 we purchased a new recliner and brought it home.
As we were trying to unload it and take it inside a young lady appeared from nowhere, greeted us and proceeded to carry it into the house for us.
We were so caught by surprise by this act of kindness by a stranger that we really didn’t get her name or thank her properly.
Young lady—thank you so much for your kind and capable assistance. If you read this, call us at 780-672-6404. From the grateful seniors at 44 Mount Pleasant Drive.
Viv and Ed Hapke,
Camrose

Work together

All of us know or have known a school teacher. Most of us know they have a tough job. Laid at their feet are the responsibilities of not only educating children but trying to instill in them some moral fibre as defined by our society, some accepted standards of behavior, a semblance of common decency. They are educators and psychologists and disciplinarians and counsellors. They work with children who come from a wide range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. In the face of these exceptional challenges, they do their best. The job asks of them to be kind-hearted, empathetic, patient, knowledgeable and doing what’s best for all those who come through the doors of their schools.
School teachers are also easy targets. They are often the first to be blamed, first to be held accountable and first to be questioned and criticized when the behaviour of a student goes awry. They are often expected to fix problems that began far before they were tasked with the job of educating a youngster, a youngster whose formative years are the root of the behaviour that manifests itself in the classroom.
As members of our society, I believe all of us need to take responsibility in upholding the values we want to see in our young people.
It’s very easy to blame others. It’s easy to aim our criticism, often unfounded, at what is perceived to be a faceless institution. But within that faceless institution are people, friends, neighbours, members of our community, who are doing their best and who believe in the importance of what they are doing.
Now, I am definitely biased, we all have our biases, don’t we? I am married to a school teacher and the company I represent does business with institutional organizations in this region. But that doesn’t preclude me from making one simple statement: we’re all in this together. If we could share ideas without pointing fingers, we all would be better off.
Mike Ploner,
Camrose

Applaud letter

March 6, 2018

I want to first applaud Andrea Uglem for her letter to the editor this past week and unfortunately say that individuals that occupy positions like Mary Martin are not in touch with what is really happening in our provincial education system.
I just wanted someone to know that our province is currently discontinuing a long-standing anti-bullying program called Taking Action on Bully that worked in our area, half in our schools and half in our community.
This past year, BRSD chose to remove this program from its schools and the provincial government will not be renewing its funding come the 2108-19 school year.
So now where do those parents go when needing to address bullying in school or in the community? Unless something happens locally and provincially, this resource will be lost for all children and their lost parents.
Clarence Hastings,
Bawlf

School boards

March 6, 2018

It would prove more helpful if ASBA president Martin focused on improving Alberta’s defunct education system, instead of criticizing Nova Scotia.
Her misleading comments need correction.
She asserts Alberta is “recognized as one of the best education systems in the world” Facts: Not anymore. In 2006, Alberta ranked number two on PISA’s global math and reading tests and number four in science. Although Alberta’s 2015 science results remained strong enough to serve as “bragging” rights, Alberta’s PISA math scores have fallen 38 points, (to 511 from 549 in 2003; from the number two spot in 2003 and 2006, to 14). Likewise, Alberta’s Grade 4 2015 TIMSS score (482) placed Alberta at 38 globally, compared to Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea at the top, roughly 130 points above Alberta. Alberta’s students who function at Level 2 (PISA’s lowest math level) has more than doubled, from 7.4 per cent to 15.1 per cent.
Martin states our school trustees are “marginally compensated.” Trustees get roughly $18,000 to $20,000 for attending monthly meetings (plus extra for sitting on committees). Calgary and Edmonton trustees get $36,000 to $45,000 and Edmonton Public School trustees (Jan 31/17: Global News) voted themselves raises!
Martin further claims trustees “recognize the importance of working collaboratively with communities (I assume that should include parents) government and each other, as partners in education,” Facts: BRSD ignored parent/student demonstrations/protest marches in April 2013, and foisted SLAs, and “no zeros,” on us anyway. Parents as “partners” with “prior” rights (granted in previous legislation) has not translated into 2018 reality. A board chair, when approached, maintained, “I do as I’m told” (...obviously from administration, not from the electorate). Boards’ continued tolerance for bullies and bullying does not meet with parental approval, nor qualify as “collaborating” with parents.
Contrary to Martin’s claims that board trustees “are passionate about our children’s education, BRSD ignores local input for improving our children’s education, including the 20,000 Albertans who signed the math petition, thereby casting doubt on Martin’s claim that local boards are passionate and make better (“fully-informed”) decisions.
Whether success is defined as social well-being (in minister Eggen’s “safe and caring environment”) or as excellent academic achievement, BRSD ensures neither. Bullying continues and BRSD’s mediocre academic achievement declines.
Albertans must keep the pressure on, hold administrators accountable for our students’ lack of success.
Marion Leithead
(a former educator)    Bawlf

Pink shirt

February 27, 2018

Anti-bullying day is a day where people wear pink to symbolize a stand against bullying. Bullying can be harassment, spreading rumours, sharing embarrassing information or threatening someone physically or emotionally.
Our high school-aged daughter has been the victim of bullying. It started off with the spreading of hurtful rumours about her character and escalated to stalking and threats of violence.
We reported these incidents to the school administration, parent council, school board, school trustees, County Peace Officers and RCMP. All the parties seemed genuinely concerned. Both the RCMP and County Peace Officer took statements and were keeping a watchful eye. The education community, in our opinion, did not seem to be able to do much. The bully was given a scolding but that was about it.
Our daughter had to remain in the classroom with someone who tried to harm her physically and mentally. How was she supposed to learn in this environment? We question the motto, Every student, every day a success. Hardly, in our daughter’s case. We felt that unless our daughter was assaulted in front of a teacher on school grounds, the school’s hands were tied and we wished the school could do more to protect the victims of bullying.
There needs to be more than one day a year to raise awareness about bullying because, unfortunately, we still live in a society that accepts and enables this behaviour. Pink Shirt Day is a wonderful initiative, but we’re not sure everyone is getting the message.
Andrea Uglem,
Bawlf

School boards

February 27, 2018

Nova Scotia’s decision to dismantle its seven English school boards as per the recommendations of the Glaze Report “Raise the Bar” is not only disappointing, but gravely concerning. Raise the Bar was developed following a scant three week consultation last fall and contains a number of concerning comments. For example, the report states that lack of turnover in trustees is indicative of disinterest and an inability to attract qualified candidates, when in fact, those who serve do so because they are passionate about our children’s education. In fact, the work is challenging, marginally compensated and critically important. Additionally, the report cites outdated student achievement data, places a disproportionate emphasis on standardized test scores and ignores a plethora of socioeconomic factors for which good governance can be a solution. In short, the government’s decision to dismantle school boards fails to acknowledge the value locally-elected school boards bring to our communities.
As president, and on behalf of Alberta’s 61 member public, separate and francophone school boards, I am saddened by the Nova Scotia government’s decision to eliminate locally-elected school boards. By virtue of being locally-elected, school boards’ abilities to reflect community voices and priorities in decision-making has resulted in Alberta being recognized as one of the best education systems in the world. Well-governed school boards, connected and responsive to their communities ensure an education system that is best positioned to deliver value to the communities and families they serve.
For Albertans who do not have children in our school system, I would like to say that K-12 education impacts every person. Every day, each of us interacts with someone whose success as an adult was shaped by their educational experience. That is why school board elections where every citizen has a choice in determining how the K-12 education system is governed are important.
School boards recognize the importance of working collaboratively with their communities, government, and each other as partners in education. What may appear to be dysfunction—as the report states—is more accurately school boards expressing their due diligence to make fully-informed decisions. As locally-elected representatives, they are connected with—and responsive to—their local communities and are uniquely positioned to ensure the very best outcomes for all students.
Mary Martin, president, Alberta School
Boards Association

Camrose transit

February 13, 2018

I’d like to thank the mayor and council for recognizing my service to the Camrose Transit Advisory Committee.  Their funding and support is important in making transit a success. I feel Camrose has built a cost-effective and functional transit service using taxi tokens. Some 20,000 cost-shared rides are being provided annually to people in need.
The token system was truly a community effort and has involved many people and hopefully I’d like to recognize all of them. First, Malcolm Boyd and city administration have worked with and actively supported CTAC, even though this is a small part of their many responsibilities. I’d also thank Darren Lockhart and the city accounting department who imaginatively accommodated the payment systems and took on added tasks. Vision Credit Union, and particularly the cashiers, deserves special thanks for its service to the community in redeeming the tokens. I’d like to thank Yvonne Allan who worked to organize the 30 or so social agencies that hand out the tokens to their clients and I’d like to thank the agencies for their work. The taxi companies that accept the tokens as payment deserve thanks for their positive community approach and acceptance of tokens as payment.  Lastly, I’d like to thank the other members of CTAC for their hard work and support.
No transit system is perfect, but Camrose can be proud that the token system combined with the Community Bus provides good transit services at a cost the City can support and sustain.
Tony Hladun,
Camrose

Reading skills

February 13, 2018

Kudos to Neil Haave in highlighting the importance of reading as a major contributor to academic success as outlined in second thought (Camrose Booster Jan. 30). His advice to undergraduate students and his insistence upon required reading is first rate.
Of supplemental importance is the Reading University summer literacy program in Camrose designed to help young readers get the basics they need in order to succeed at school and beyond. Perhaps additional resources might be available to expand this excellent program.
University instructors, parents, grandparents and teachers have a shared responsibility to ensure the acquisition of reading comprehension skills as vital to personal success.
Unfortunately, current use of technology has played a major impact in eroding development of these essential skills.
Excessive participation in highly visual computer games, especially in young males, coupled with television viewing has supplanted reading as a major pastime.
Social media also play a major role as younger generations receive information in 30-second sound bytes that has been “shared” by social media friends. This “shared information” is distilled, processed and stored in one’s psyche and has a tendency to result in group think and like mindedness. Social media “shares” of sound bytes have the propensity to create deeply rooted opinions and strongly held beliefs and stifle a better understanding of current issues that would ideally result by objectively reading in depth information sources either in print or on-line.
Unfortunately, the instant and expedient gratification of “learning” from sound bytes using Twitter is also used effectively by current politicians to influence opinion and garner votes rather than objectively deal with the plethora of issues facing us in a non-partisan and collegial manner.
It is incumbent upon us all (politicians notwithstanding) to encourage all young people to turn off/minimize the video, social media, Twitter tweets, Facebook, etc. and read, either for pleasure or for objective gathering of information.
Lynn Clark,
Camrose

Pipeline solution

February 6, 2018

To make up for the insult Albertans felt from his father, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau should not approve the Trans Mountain bitumen pipeline to BC, but help build refineries in Alberta to ship cleaner product.
Alberta would get jobs and revenue, Kinder Morgan still gets business and praise for a cleaner pipeline, and BC keeps its coast safe and welcome to Albertans. Oil multinationals would save the cost of upgrades to their refineries outside Canada.
The real national interest is not to send jobs overseas but create them here.
David Heinimann,
Terrace, BC

Drug issue

February 6, 2018

Gail Schulte, if you are concerned about the negative effects of drugs on young people, legalization of marijuana is absolutely the right thing to do. For as long as I’ve been alive marijuana has been illegal and that hasn’t stopped people from using it and organized crime from selling it. It makes absolutely no sense to continue to do what has been proven to not work.
Gail, you believe that there will be an increase in marijuana use following legalization, but the evidence just doesn’t support that. Where marijuana use has been legalized its use stays about the same or drops. In the 1980s and 1990s, Portugal had a huge problem with drug abuse. Portugal decriminalized marijuana in 2001 and its use dropped. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, over a year about 12.7 per cent of Canadians use marijuana.  In Portugal, the number is 3.3 per cent.
According to extensive data collected by the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health, marijuana use has not increased in the states where it has been legalized, but in Colorado since legalization, use among teenagers has dropped sharply to its lowest level since 2007-08.
Clearly, our goal is to reduce use of marijuana and other drugs. The problem we have now is that in or near every school, there is a representative of organized crime encouraging kids to try marijuana. Once kids get into the habit of using marijuana, the dealer tries to move them to harder drugs. To speed the process, organized crime is lacing the marijuana with an opioid so that by using marijuana, the kids are getting addicted to something much more dangerous.
We won’t have success against drugs unless we cut the legs out from under organized crime. Every bit of marijuana that will be bought in a store is marijuana not bought from organized crime and that is a step in the right direction.  By purchasing marijuana in a legitimate shop, customers will not be encouraged to try a more addictive drug, and the marijuana will not have a more dangerous drug added to it.
There is no doubt that the legalization of marijuana is bringing challenges. No one likes the uncertainty of change. But it makes no sense to continue doing what has been proven to not work.  There is every reason to hope that the legalization of marijuana can reduce organized crime and move young people away from dangerous drugs. It will not solve all drug problems, but it’s a step.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Minimum wage

January 30, 2018

Our MLA, Bruce Hinkley, recently defended his government’s policy on the minimum wage (“Effects of minimum wage and carbon levy hikes exaggerated” Jan. 11).
I wonder if Mr. Hinkley is aware the origin of minimum wage laws. Minimum wage was first introduced by ‘progressive’ social engineers as a form of ‘economic eugenics’. They were designed to push ‘undesirable’ (minority and disabled) workers out of the job market.
From the beginning it was understood that minimum wage laws would make some people, people already disadvantaged, ‘unemployable’.  Increasing the minimum wage will only make more people, more disadvantaged people, ‘unemployable’.
Those who do keep their jobs will, of course, see a small increase in their wages. But, we might ask, who are the people who earn minimum wage? In Alberta, less than two per cent of workers earn minimum wage. One third of these are 19 years old or younger. Nearly half of minimum wage earners still live with their parents, 42 per cent move to higher paying jobs within one year and only 12 per cent stay at minimum wage for more than five years (“Alberta Minimum Wage Profile” 2017 Government of Alberta).
For most people an entry level, minimum wage job, is a great way to build a resumé and references. The (primarily) young workers earn spending money and learn the value of work, lessons worth far more than a few cents an hour. They soon move on to better and better paying jobs.
For those who ‘disadvantaged’ in some way, the 12 per cent who stay at minimum wage for more than five years, a high minimum wage rate moves them to the ranks of the ‘unemployable’. They are forced out of the workforce and into the economic limbo of ‘social assistance’. Raising the minimum wage, in effect, if not intent, says to these marginal and marginalized workers, “You have nothing of value to offer.”
Reducing, or better yet, abolishing the minimum wage gives these marginal workers an opportunity to overcome social prejudice and prove their value as employees. It is much better for them that they have the opportunity, should they choose, to negotiate the dignity of work at a salary they can earn.
A truly compassionate and sensible government would make it as easy as possible for people, particularly disadvantaged people, to gain employment, whatever the wage. Those few who are unable to support themselves, the 12 per cent, could be assisted as necessary. Assisted without forcing them to give up the dignity of work.
Dave Gosse,
Camrose

Cannabis concern

January 23, 2018

Is anyone concerned about the passage of Bill C-45–an act respecting cannabis and to amend the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, the Criminal Code and other Acts? I am, and for the following reasons. In US states, where recreational use of marijuana has been legalized, the amount youth (ages 12 to 17) use has increased. Dr. Amy Porath, director of Research and Policy at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction says, “There should be no cannabis use below age of 25 if you want to protect brain development.”
Following legalization of marijuana, Colorado saw four times as many marijuana-intoxicated teenagers in the ER and urgent care centres. Legalization leads to normalization and teens do not consider the risks to their health. Chronic marijuana use that begins in adolescence is also associated with the development of mood and anxiety disorders later in life. Will we see escalating health care costs?
Another consideration is the difficulty in detecting the level of impairment following marijuana use. Colorado noted an increase in marijuana-related traffic deaths since legalization of marijuana.
We visit our daughter in Colorado twice a year and have noticed some of the negative social aspects of legalizing marijuana–more homelessness and “street people.” (During the summer there is actually a “community” of people living behind the local library, using the library’s public washrooms for personal hygiene care and the library’s outdoor electrical outlets to recharge their cell phones).
Taking a walk through Olde Town Arvada is an invitation to be accosted by panhandlers wanting money “for a joint”. Neighbours rent their home to out-of-state tourists who spend the whole weekend smoking “pot” and making it impossible for our grandchildren to play in their own backyard. Teachers find their middle school students using marijuana during lunch break. Does this sound like progress?
Bill C-45 is now being reviewed in the Senate. If you have concerns, contact our Alberta Senators: Douglas Black, Elaine McCoy, Claudette Tardif, Scott Tannas and Betty Unger.
Gail Schulte,
Camrose

Colour match

January 23, 2018

In regards to the Jan. 16 letter by George Morlidge of Okotoks. I’ve done a little research and found some paint codes for him.
The “salmon” colour as he refers to is actually called “Burgundy Mist.” GM’s code in 1959 for this colour is “N.” PPG has a paint code for this colour is 50536.
There is only one silver for 1959 in the Oldsmobile line up. It is called “Silver Mist.” GM’s code for this colour is “B.”  The PPG code for this silver is 31827.
That being said, it may be in his best interest to try to retail any samples of the original paint colours if possible. With today’s paint technology, some paint companies have a colour match “gun” where the unit can be placed on the actual colour and a formula can be mixed with great accuracy.
Hope this helps with his project, feel free to have him contact me if he wishes to talk some more.
Daymion Weiss,
Daysland

Editor’s note: This information has been passed on to George Morlidge.

 

New direction

January 16, 2018

Kevin Sorenson, MP Battle River-Crowfoot, I wish you and your family a happy and healthy 2018. And I would like to suggest for you a New Year’s resolution – one that I’m sure will enhance your well-being. It seems to me that you’ve spent too much energy in 2017 bashing the Liberal government and I think you should let that go. After all, your constituents can do that well enough without you. Anyway, Kevin, the Liberals are doing better than you and I had expected. The economy is going like gangbusters, unemployment is down and, according to the Parliamentary Budget office, the Liberals have lowered taxes. So, why not use your energy for something more positive.
I’ll make a suggestion. Work to get us lower medication prices. I’m sure you know Canada has the second highest drug prices in the world. Only the US has higher prices. You may know that one in five prescriptions in Canada isn’t filled. Patients get to the pharmacy and realize they can’t afford the medication. Obviously, that’s not good. The Canadian pharmaceutical giant Apotex sells medicines in Canada and abroad. For every dollar Canadians spent on seven popular drugs sold by Apotex in Canada and New Zealand, New Zealanders spend just 11.5 cents. That’s because New Zealand, like all advanced countries except Canada and the US, has a national pharmacare program.  The Parliamentary Budget office calculated that a national pharmacare program would save Canadians $4.2 billion /year.  That’s huge. A national pharmacare program is no risk. It’s a success in every country in which its implemented.
You are an experienced parliamentarian. You should use your influence to get the Opposition to push the government to adopt a national pharmacare program. It would put you on the national stage in a good way. It would get you away from all that negative energy and you would be doing something good for Canadians. At some point, you will retire from politics and your efforts to bring us a national pharmacare program would be something you could look back on with pride. Start now, Kevin, and your 2018 will be truly great.
Rob Hill,
Camrose

Colour match

January 16, 2018

Murray, I saw your article about the Cougar in the Camrose Booster when I was passing thru Camrose before Christmas. I wanted to tell you about my projects and see if you or your readers could help me with a couple of things.
I have a 1959 Oldsmobile Super 88 four door hardtop that I have owned for about 20 years, used to take it to shows and am now doing a refresh. I took the body off the frame, removed the power train and had the frame sand blasted and epoxy coated. I had the motor and transmission rebuilt.
I put the body on a restoration revolver, turned it upside down and fixed all the issues (mostly rust) on the bottom. The car is now mostly back together and the next step is to get ready to paint. I have decided that I will get a pro to paint it but the first step is to identify the original color and that is my first issue. A tag on the fire wall says the paint is 3662 and the trim is 336. I have always said the color is salmon and silver, but I don’t remember where that comes from.
Who can help me resolve what the colors are? I have asked GM and got no help whatsoever. Also, can anyone recommend a painter or shop?
My second project is a bit different. I accumulated a 1929 Chevrolet one ton truck all in pieces. It features a metal skin over a wooden frame body. The guy I got it from was rebuilding the wooden parts when the project stopped. I have done nothing with this, but look forward to it after completing the Oldsmobile.
George Morlidge, Okotoks

 

Front page

January 16, 2018

The Camrose Veselka Ukrainian Dancers expresses  our gratitude for the terrific photo which graced the cover of the January 9th issue of The Camrose Booster. The picture turned out awesome.  This immeasurable exposure for our club will most certainly help bring a crowd out to  the CRE for Malanka, our Ukrainian New Year’s Celebration, on January 20th.  Again, thanks to the Booster for the support you generously provide to our club and many others.
  Camrose Veselka Ukrainian Dance Society


A word about the covers on The Camrose Booster. Since March of 1991 we have not sold any ad space on the covers of our publications. The dominant photo area is gifted to groups and associations, typically non-profits, which do not have the required budget for serious and effective promotion. In these twenty-seven years and over fourteen hundred front covers of this initiative, we have helped generate traffic and assisted the efforts and fundraisers of hundreds of local teams, groups, clubs and other interests. We’ve helped the arts, sports community and groups that are not quite household words in terms of recognition. If you need more information about powerful presence on a Booster cover, give The Booster a call at 780-672-3142.

Babysitter scam

January 9, 2018

Around one month ago, my wife responded to a help wanted ad which she found in The Camrose Booster. The ad read, “Babysitter/Nanny wanted-Care for 3-year-old boy, four hours each day Monday, Wednesday, Friday. $20/ hour. Start work immediately. Send resume to danaestpowell@gmail.com.”
She responded to us by email and she told my wife she was hired. Her husband was being transferred from Australia to Camrose. He works for a private research company. He works very crazy hours and for some reason, she needs a caregiver to pick her son up from day care and to look after him for four hours.  She would relieve my wife after the four hours.
Before they get here to Camrose, they are sending a certified cheque. We are to keep back $400 as a goodwill to show that we are committed and to send the rest to their store manager.
The couple would be willing to pay in cash $400 per week. As my wife and I began to sense that this was a scam, we looked into a well-known scam called “The babysitter’s scam.”
In this scam, the details of our job offer was very similar. The employee would send the required funds to the store manager and they would keep back a certain amount. The certified cheque would bounce because it is fake and the innocent employee would not just be out of a job, but be on the hook for the whole amount of the fake cheque. The couple and the so-called manager would suddenly disappear.
We made it very clear to this Dana that we will be making sure that this certified cheque is good then they will have their funds transferred. Our bank manager is willing to check the cheque out and if it comes back as a fraud cheque in four days, we just have to cut off communication with that person. I will be surprised if we get a cheque in the mail. So far after a few days, we have not received anything from that person.  She told us that she sent it.
This letter is to warn all of you to be careful of any job offers done over the phone or by email. Even if you found it in a newspaper. They are that good. Even professionals can be fooled. We all can be fooled.
Lorne Wesley Paul Vanderwoude,
Camrose