Booster flyers

June 2, 2020

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

No flyers

May 26, 2020

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

Gun ban

Gun ban
May 26, 2020

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

Provincial parks

May 26, 2020

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

No flyers
May 26, 2020

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

Troubled times
May 26, 2020

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

 

New path

May 19, 2020

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

Another scam

May 19, 2020

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

Enjoyable paper

May 19, 2020

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

What money

May 19, 2020

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

What money

May 12, 2020

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

Good work

May 12, 2020

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

Gun laws

May 12, 2020

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

Too close

May 12, 2020

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

Too close

May 12, 2020

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

Bad government

May 5, 2020

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

Time to reflect

May 5, 2020

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

World struggles

May 5, 2020

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

Tough times

April 28, 2020

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

Ships poem

April 28, 2020

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

Enjoy laughter

April 21, 2020

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

Food drive

April 21, 2020

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

Camrose angels

April 21, 2020

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

Too close

April 21, 2020

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

COVID updates

April 21, 2020

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

Post-secondary

April 14

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

Slow learners

April 14

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

Homebound

April 14

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

Laughter and smiles

April 7, 2020

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

Thank you

April 7, 2020

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

Fooled again

April 7, 2020

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

Health care

April 7, 2020

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

Good laugh

March 31, 2020

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

Best medicine

March 31, 2020

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

Some laughter

March 31, 2020

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

Great again

March 24, 2020

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

Tax season

March 24, 2020

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

Bad decisions

March 17, 2020

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

Vikings hockey

March 17, 2020

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

School closure

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

No training

March 10, 2020

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

Hockey program

March 10, 2020

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

Waste report

March 10, 2020

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

Thank government

March 10, 2020

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

Huge problem

March 10, 2020

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

Love Canada

March 3, 2020

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

Fossil fuels

March 3, 2020

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

History search

February 25, 2020

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

No compensation

February 25, 2020

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

Future outlook

February 25, 2020

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

Ash Wednesday

February 18, 2020

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

Oil crisis

February 18, 2020

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