The original Dr. Phil | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateFri, 23 Jun 2017 3pm

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Drumheller 4-H District Council receives $500 for leadership initiatives

The Drumheller District 4-H Council received a $500 grant from Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, through the annual Growing Forward 2 Program in February. The funds parameters surrounded leadership or anything that a club or district was in need of like… Read More
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Boogie benefits DinoArts

Boogie in the Badlands was a great chance to get some of the best Detroit Iron on the street to start the season. It also gives back to the community. Organizer of the 2017 show and shine in downtown Drumheller, Mike Todor, was able to donate $600 raised at… Read More
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Drumheller Minor Soccer Club hosts tourney

On Saturday, June 17th, the Drumheller Minor Soccer Club hosted approximately 120 children to a day full of sunshine and soccer games. Overall, there were 12 teams, five of which were from the valley. “It was a good day of participation and everyone had fun… Read More

More Local News

Drumheller 4-H District Council receives $500 for leadership initiatives

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The Drumheller District 4-H Council received a $500 grant from Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, through the annual Growing…

Boogie benefits DinoArts

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Boogie in the Badlands was a great chance to get some of the best Detroit Iron on the street to start the season. It also…

Drumheller Minor Soccer Club hosts tourney

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On Saturday, June 17th, the Drumheller Minor Soccer Club hosted approximately 120 children to a day full of sunshine and…

Local student selected for prestigious SHAD program

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A record 801 youth from across Canada will be attending SHAD, including St. Anthony’s grade 11 student Fatima Rehan.…

Local student selected for prestigious SHAD program

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A record 801 youth from across Canada will be attending SHAD, including St. Anthony’s grade 11 student Fatima Rehan.…

Province doles out for rural water projects

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The Alberta government plans to spend over $131 million dollars on rural water resources including upgrades to the Three…

More Local Sports

Riverside takes on Drumheller United in league final

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The stage is set for the championship of the Drumheller Co-ed Recreational Soccer League. The league is in its fourth season…

Heart and Stroke Foundation Big Bike embraces valley

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The RBC gold medal team presents a cheque to Heart and Stroke Foundation area manager Josie Doll. The Big Bike is structured…

Drumheller Triathlon founder wins race

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t took six tries but founder and organizer of the Drumheller Dinosaur Trail Triathlon Morgan Syvertsen won his own event.…

Boyko signs with Tri-City Americans of WHL

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A Drumheller goalie was selected in the third round of the WHL Bantam Draft and signed with the Tri-City Americans. Talyn…

Baseball season begins for the Drumheller girls softball teams.

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Pictured above: Alicia Christensen pitching for the U14 Vipers girls softball team playing against the Trochu White Sox on…

Girls rugby back at DVSS

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The DVSS girls Rugby team is back on the field for another season, building camaraderie and having fun. DVSS has fielded a…

Obituaries

Condolences to the family of Terry James Casey

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CASEYTERRY JAMES September 6, 1945, Wetaskiwin, Alberta- June 14, 2017, Calgary, Alberta It is with great sorrow that we…

Condolences to the family of William (Bill) Robert Thompson

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THOMPSONWilliam (Bill) Robert February 9, 1926 - June 16, 2017 William (Bill) Robert Thompson of Bassano, beloved husband of…

Condolences to the family of Rosino (DeGiano) Ewing

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EWINGRosino (DeGiano) Rose joined her beloved husband Louis, on Wednesday, February 8, 2017, after a brief stay at the…

Condolences to the family of Darlene Von

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VONDarlene Merle September 10, 1929 - June 2, 2017 DARLENE MERLE VON Darlene passed away suddenly and peacefully June 2nd…

The original Dr. Phil

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    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.”

The town of Drayton Valley voted to discontinue the use of photo radar. Do you think Drumheller should adopt photo radar?

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