A reminder to the members of the Friendship Club who are not away enjoying winter vacations, that the regular meeting for February has been postponed until March.
Birthday greetings this week go out to two former Dalum boys, Leonard Christensen and Bob Turner as well as to Marilyn Nielsen (n. Axelsen) and her sister, Darlene McIntyre. Darlene states that with this birthday she will officially become an old geezer; congratulations and enjoy the benefits that come with it. The recent warm weather has many folks imagining that we are having an early spring but the vernal equinox is still thirty two days away and we all know that March cannot be trusted anyway. I did hear of one person who claimed to have heard Robins singing in Drumheller but the only precursor I have seen is a pair of motorcycles and they only go into a partial hibernation, making appearances throughout the winter whenever a bit of warm sunshine and a stretch of dry road can be found.
I had an interesting conversation one evening last week which began when the phone rang and I was asked to answer a few questions for a survey. My usual response to these calls is a quick “not interested” but this time I decided to give it a few minutes and it turned out to be a Government of Alberta study to determine the importance of parks, recreation, culture, leisure activities and volunteering across our province. It amounted to more than a few questions and took almost a half hour to complete but the interviewer was pleasant and the questions were relevant to the subject. The caller had a very distinctive French accent so at the end of our conversation I asked where she was located and she replied that she was based in Montreal. I was told that the company conducting the survey has offices in Alberta as well as other provinces but I don’t know when or how that company was selected and I don’t know why, at a time when jobs in Alberta are disappearing faster than a snowbank during a Di Caprio chinook, the government could not manage to have this Alberta survey conducted by Alberta residents. On a related topic I asked if she had an opinion regarding the Energy East pipeline which Mayor Coderre of Montreal had so strongly condemned but she was not aware of the discussion and seemed not to know anything about the proposed project. This was not a surprise to me since I had recently seen statistics from another survey which indicated that outside of the political circles in Quebec, the project is not widely discussed. I followed that question by asking if she was aware that when she filled her car with gasoline that the fuel was very likely produced from imported oil which had been processed at the Irving refinery in New Brunswick but neither was she aware of that. So, there is a problem to be solved. How can the general population which is not political or associated with environmental activism be educated to the benefits of Energy East and, whether one supports a slow or a rapid move to a reduced dependence upon carbon based energy, be encouraged to take a position which leads to strengthening the Canadian economy by eliminating the need to import oil when we have enough of our own? The power of social media to influence a segment of the population which may not be reached by traditional news sources could be a useful tool employed by the energy producers and the energy producing provinces to reach out to our eastern partners in confederation with the hope that their level of awareness on the topic can be raised.
It seems that there is less to report during this “quiet” part of the winter but Maryann would be happy to receive your calls with news about the people and activities in our community so remember, please call 403-823-2036 with your news items or, e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.