The original Dr. Phil | DrumhellerMail
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Bantam Titans play at McMahon

On Saturday, October 22 Drumheller’s Bantam football team, the Titans went head to head with Strathmore in Calgary at McMahon Stadium. The Titans held on until the very end when Strathmore got their final touchdown to solidify their win. With only one minute… Read More

DVSS student to be presented Duke of Edinburgh Award

A Drumheller area youth will be in Calgary this Friday, October 28 to receive the Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award. DVSS student Liam McDougald will be accepting the award from Her Honour Lt. Governor of Alberta Lois E. Mitchell. He will be among 25 Alberta… Read More
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Beiseker RCMP investigate suspiscious male possibly linked to stolen property

On October 25, 2016, Beiseker RCMP along with Airdrie Rural RCMP responded to a call of a suspicious male related to an incident that occurred at the Linden Agri-Center Ltd. in Linden, AB earlier that morning. The suspect fled the scene after hitching a ride… Read More

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Arrest made in Acme robbery

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On October 23, 2016, Beiseker RCMP were dispatched to an armed robbery at the Acme Convenience Store and Truck Stop located…

Strankman opens door to possible third term

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MLA for Drumheller-Stettler Rick Strankman, says it is up to his constituents as to whether he will run again for election.…

Hanna Mayor Warwick lobbies for community in light of coal phase out

Mayor of Hanna Chris Warwick has been vocal about the coal industry and lobbying hard to have his voice heard. Since the…

RCMP remind drivers to scrape windshields

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Although Drumheller has so far been spared snowfall, the low temperatures still result in frosty windshields. RCMP remind…

Drumheller Institution under lockdown

On October 23, 2016 at about 6:30 p.m., a lockdown was put in place in the medium security unit at Drumheller Institution,…

Fall Harvest Resumes with small window of warm weather

Fall Harvest Resumes with small window of warm weather
Farmers were out with their combines this weekend as the weather mid day has hit between 10* and 12* C for the last few…

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Dragons keep building

The Drumheller Dragons continue to bolster their roster. In early October, the Drumheller Dragons and the Brooks Bandits…

DVSS senior Dynos come out fifth in Kodiak Classic

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On October 14 and 15, the DVSS senior girls volleyball team participated in the Kodiak Classic at St. Martin de Porres in…

Terrapins playing well down home stretch

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The Drumheller Terrapins are winding down their season, but looking back it has been a strong season of learning and having…

Senior Titans top Olds

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The senior Drumheller Titans cruised to a solid win over Olds on their way to the post season. The Titan faced Olds on their…

Dragons show improvement inhomestand

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Patrick KolafaThe Drumheller Mail The Drumheller Dragons had a strong weekend homestand, pushing the north division’s number…

Sabres win silver at Zones

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The St. Anthony’s Sabres hosted the South Central Zone Tier 2 Soccer Zones and came home with a silver medal. On October 14…


Condolences to the family of ARCHIE CHARLES DODD

DODD, Archie Charles January 21, 1919 - October 20, 2016 Archie passed away peacefully with family by his side on October…

Condolences to the family of DARRELL DWIGHT BOESE

BOESE, Darrell Dwight January 17, 1960 - October 21, 2016 Darrell Dwight Boese, husband of Sharon Schaffer-Boese, passed…

Condolences to the family of DANIEL GEORGE GORDON

GORDON, Daniel George November 3, 1953 - October 22, 2016 Dan passed away in his sleep just two days after returning from a…

Condolences to the family of ROBERT EZRA REDGWELL

REDGWELL, Robert Ezra October 12, 2016 Robert Ezra Redgwell died peacefully on October 12, 2016 at the age of 83. Beloved…

The original Dr. Phil


    While television’s Dr. Phil has made a career of finding unity and balance in people’s lives, Drumheller’s Dr. Phil considers his greatest political achievement was unifying the valley.

    Now 80, you’ll find Dr. Phil Bryant at the Pioneer Trail Centre in downtown Drumheller. Usually the morning sees about a dozen men playing snooker or cards, enjoying coffee, often discussing the municipal, provincial and federal political problems facing citizens.
    Bryant has always loved politics and has been active most of his life. He was part of a chapter of history which saw the amalgamation of the Municipality of Badlands and the new Town of Drumheller.
    “I was involved in bringing the valley together, of anything I have done (politically) I am most proud of that,” he said.
    Dr. Bryant, originally from Rosedale, B.C., came to the valley in 1958-1959 to work as a veterinarian for the federal government.
     He went on to practice privately in  Bow Island. There he became mayor. He came back to the valley in 1976 and settled in Rosedale as the area’s district veterinarian. He jokes that his hometown of Rosedale, B.C. had four churches, while Rosedale, Alberta has  four bars.
    Politically he didn’t rest. He was appointed to the second Advisory Council for Improvement District #7. He explains that at the time, there was no formal council for the area, which included the areas in the valley surrounding Drumheller.
    There were local advisors, but the Minister of Municipal Affairs acted as the political head. In 1983, the position became elected, and Bryant continued.
    There was a sense in the Improvement District that it needed more influence politically. Bryant said there was a feeling that land was often annexed for the City of Drumheller’s own good.
    “Whenever they wanted more land they would go to Edmonton, talk to the Minister of Municipal Affairs, our legal leader, and ask for some more land and  there got to be some bad feelings that they were gradually chipping in on us,” he said.
    In 1991 The Municipal District of Badlands was formed.
    “At that time we became a legal municipality with an elected government making our own decisions,” said Bryant who served as reeve.
    He said the arrangement was good, but the MD had too small of a base and found themselves losing money each year, eating away at its reserves.
    Bryant, and then sitting Drumheller Mayor Brock Wood, could see the valley were better off with amalgamation.
    “After about two or three years of negotiations and a lot of publicity and arguments as politics does, we made an agreement to join with the city,” he said.
    Part of the negotiators guaranteed staff severance pay or a new job within the new municipality for Badlands employees, they also retained the Ward System. The City of Drumheller became a town, according to Bryant, was so the province would be responsible for the major highways through the valley, saving the municipality.  The MD of Badlands also gave up some land to Kneehill County, which also realized savings.
 In January 1 1998, a new combined council was sworn in with 13 members. That fall, the first election for councillors of the new look town took place and Bryant became Mayor.
    He says there are sill rumblings from some that were not happy with amalgamation.
“There are some who feel we sold out, but of course they don’t realize we were going broke,” he said, adding he believes they made one mistake. He would have liked to see the Ward System stay in place. The 2004 election was the last election that allowed residents to vote for candidates in their direct community.
    “I thought in the span of six years we would all get to love each other and all be mature enough to enjoy open voting, but that didn’t happen,” he said.
    Dr. Bryant served for one term and was defeated by Paul Ainscough in the next municipal election. By then, he had been retired professionally for four years.
    “I always liked politics and I always liked promoting the town,” said Bryant.
    While he has retired from the political realm, he has remained active in the community. He served as president of the Pioneer Trail Society for about five years. He believes in this institution.
    “To me this is the ideal place for seniors that are retired. It is a recreation room, we have the quilters and shuffle boarders, we have the card players and the pool players,” he said. “To me it’s a coffee row, but it is also a place to do things.”
    The Pioneer Trail Society became a registered society in 1974, but its roots go back to the 1950’s when it was started by the Elks Club.
Looking at his career in service, the people have been important to Bryant.
    “It is the satisfaction of doing your part and working with good people,” he said.
    As for the Town of Drumheller, it is on the right path.
    “I like to think that the political group can’t cause a lot of trouble.  This is true because you can be mayor or you can be councillor and you can give them your advice, but when it comes right down to it there is a bureaucracy there that is working and it is our job as elected officials to make sure that bureaucracy is on the right track. If they are on the right track; and this is true in Canadian government and anywhere else, you can’t change that overnight, and once you find out how it works, you probably don’t want to change it.”

Do you take children Downtown to Trick or Treat?
  • Yes,
  • No, I still like going around my neighbourhood.

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town map 2016