The original Dr. Phil | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateWed, 26 Apr 2017 12pm

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Earth Day Clean-up in Drumheller rescheduled for May 4

Due to poor weather, the annual Earth Day Community Clean-up has been rescheduled for May 4. The annual clean-up, organized by Heather Colberg is set to go next Thursday. She reports that more than 100 businesses, church groups, schools, and clubs along with… Read More
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Landmark sentence aims to create safer workplaces

It was just six days before tragedy struck that 15-year-old Chris Lawrence met with his mother Nicole Sutherland over a milkshake. He was excited about his new job, she hugged him, said she loved him and told him to be safe. On July 19, 2014, her worst fear… Read More
netball

Drumheller netball claims second at Strathmore tourney

With less than a year of experience under their belts, the Drumheller netball team participated in their first ever tournament over the weekend and claimed 2nd place. The team traveled to Strathmore for the four-team tournament, which included the Goslings,… Read More

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Morrin Man Fuel Up To Win winner

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Collecting all those stickers over the last month at Co-op paid off for Morrin’s Wade Maillet, right, he is a Fuel Up To Win…

Community falls short in well fought Rider Friendly Contest

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Despite a valiant effort from the community, Drumheller fell short by a few votes, as Port Alberni becomes a finalist for…

St. Anthony’s Church marks 100 years

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As settlers came west to make a new life, often they brought with them the very basic, some food, clothes and a dream. They…

Local skier finishes on top in international competition

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The 2017 Ski Season had an epic end for local skier, Katie Hanik, 13, placing eighth in North American champions and ranked…

Medical Clinic construction underway

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Progress is being made on a new clinic in the valley, and residents can expect to see Riverside Medical Clinic open come…

Documentary debuts at Miners’ Memorial

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While Drumheller continues to be popular for the film industry, one recent project set to debut in the valley could not have…

More Local Sports

Schools team up to field soccer team

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DVSS and St. Anthony’s have teamed up to put a team on the soccer pitch. Last week tryouts were held for a senior boys…

Nothing but Net(ball)

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Netball is one of the fastest growing sports in Canada, and last week, students from Delia and Youngstown schools…

Dragons host successful camp

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The Dragons are already building for the future, hosting their first spring camp over the weekend. About 110 skaters were…

St. Anthony’s host grade six girls basketball tournament

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Grade six students at St. Anthony’s hosted the Christ the Redeemer divisional basketball tournament on March 23, 2017. The…

Dragons end challenging season on high note

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In a season filled with trials, the Dragons were able to push the Calgary Canucks to five games, and despite a bowing out in…

DVSS senior girls wrap up season

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The DVSS Senior girls basketball wrapped up a successful season as runner-up in the league final. The Dynos played Prairie…

Obituaries

Condolences to the family of Joan O'Brien

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O’BRIENJoan Margaret April 18, 2017 It is with deepest sorrow that we announce the sudden & peaceful passing of Joan…

Condolences to the family of Stanley Schneider

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SchneiderStanley Alfred June 1, 1935 - April 13, 2017 It is with great sadness that the family of Stanley Alfred Schneider…

Condolences to the family of Shirley Shukys

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SHUKYSShirley January 23, 1938 - April 15, 2017 After her struggle with cancer these past 8 months, Shirley Shukys went home…

Condolences to the family of Howard Schafer

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SCHAFERHoward June 11, 1932 ~ April 11, 2017 Mr. Howard Schafer of Drumheller passed away from heart failure on April 11,…

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.”

How many hours a week do you volunteer?

Tourist Map

town map 2016