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