Living strong

February 23, 2021

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

No to coal

February 23, 2021

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

UCP rebuild

February 23, 2021

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

Coal facts

February 23, 2021

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

No leadership

February 23, 2021

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

Your speed

February 16, 2021

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

Time change

February 16, 2021

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

Future change

February 16, 2021

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

Own agenda

February 16, 2021

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

Former supporters

February 9, 2021

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

Husfloen support

February 9, 2021

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

Rural areas

February 9, 2021

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

Support views

February 2, 2021

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

Daylight savings

February 2, 2021

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

Richard Husfloen

February 2, 2021

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

 

Cleaner future

February 2, 2021

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

Punching bag

January 26, 2021

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

Our paper

January 26, 2021

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

Pipelines

January 26, 2021

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

Drama continues

January 26, 2021

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

Many changes

January 26, 2021

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

Freedom for security

January 26, 2021

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

Travel violations

January 19, 2021

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

Best newspaper

January 19, 2021

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

Control measures

January 19, 2021

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

Coal mines

January 19, 2021

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

Questionable response

January 19, 2021

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

Travel violations

January 12, 2021

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

Health regulations

January 12, 2021

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

 

Holiday travel

January 12, 2021

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

Carbons

January 5, 2021

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