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Paying more for  little benefit

What, exactly is up with the idea of getting rid of the RCMP in favour of a provincial police force? This question baffles a lot of people, who tend to see it as a power grab (by the Kenney government)…
Why all the fuss?

Here’s something else that makes no sense. With regular docket court not happening, the only way your local newspaper can continue to report on it would be to attend ‘electronically.’ Given that court is open to the public normally, you…
Uncool to use a garbage can?

Has it always been ‘uncool’ to put garbage in a garbage can? Or is it a new thing? We can’t remember. It’s obvious that it is not cool these days, judging by the amount of junk that ends up littering…
Small effort goes a long way

It should be possible to resume certain activities in the world of COVID-19 while remaining as safe as possible. Social distancing helps, obviously. Just as obviously, some people aren’t able or willing to do it. If they were wearing masks…
Fiddling with the phone while driving

Fake news! We were all set to do a story on the steep increase in fines for distracted driving in Alberta – but it turns out it isn’t happening. It says so on the government website, unless that is the…
The more information the better

There was a bit of excitement west of here (‘here’ being Slave Lake) early last week, when a person wanted by Whitecourt RCMP showed up in Big Lakes County – apparently attempting to make his getaway in a stolen vehicle…
Parole board idea okay as far as it goes

Alberta is in the process of creating its own parole board. Fair enough. Like a lot of people (we suspect) it was news to us there isn’t one! But no, it turns out parole board services are contracted out to…
Horribly complicated

There is a lot of pressure these days to make a statement, take a stand, say what you believe in and so on. Such pressure is annoying and oppressive in itself, but there is probably also something to it. At…
The obstacle course also known as Hwy. #88

The obstacle course otherwise known as Highway 88 is certainly due for some attention. While it was encouraging to see a crew out patching holes the other day, it was also confusing and disappointing. Disappointing because so few got filled;…
One size never fits all

Some of these COVID safety measures are well-intended but don’t work for everyone. For example: Call from your car and wait until somebody comes out to see you. Fine for people who have a cell phone and a car. What…
Tourism and health care in Slave Lake

Last week was Paramedic Services, Tourism, and Rural Health Weeks. Tourists rescued by paramedics taken to rural hospital sounds like a crumby vacation. All kidding aside, paramedics, rural health, and tourism are very important to Slave Lake and area. Although,…
Campgrounds and other economic ideas

Hope for the future and an ability to adapt quickly are useful skills for people and for communities. The M.D. of Lesser Slave River meeting included potential plans for development in Smith, Flatbush, and the southshore: Canyon Creek – Widewater…
Minister reaches out on gun control

You have to hand it to Alberta’s Minister of Justice Doug Schweitzer for taking the time to call newspapers (and presumably other news outfits) all around the province. Usually it’s the reporters chasing ministers and having difficulty getting them on…
Prospects for net fishing

By the way, you saw in last week’s Leader a story about the regional commercial fishermen’s association. It is hoping for a reinstatement of that industry on Lesser Slave. One thing that didn’t make it into the story was the…
An ember in your eavestrough

Speaking of wildfire, one question property owners should be asking themselves is this: if embers start falling out of the sky, what are the chances of something in my yard catching fire? The same question can be asked about a…
Rural shrinkage

A bit of idle research that started out with the relative sizes of Alberta and Texas (Texas is bigger) somehow led to a list of Alberta municipalities by population. It shows 2011 and 2016 federal census figures and the percentage…