The original Dr. Phil | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateThu, 30 Jun 2016 5pm

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RCMP seek assistance in attempted child abductions in Carbon

Drumheller RCMP are investigating three incidents of possible child abduction attempts in Carbon after reports were made of two men trying to lure children into their vehicle. The incidents occurred on Wednesday between 8:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. on Caradoc… Read More
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Minimum wage set to increase again in October, province announces

The province is mapping out the next steps towards a $15 minimum wage by 2018 and announced Thursday that minimum wages will rise again in October. Alberta’s general minimum wage will increase $1.00 to $12.20 per hour and the current liquor server rate will… Read More
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DinoArts association announces Canada Day parade best seats in the house winner

The Drumheller DinoArts Association has announced that the Farmer family has been chosen to have the best seats in the house at the Canada Day parade tomorrow morning after being nominated by someone in the community. The family has won reserved special… Read More

More Local News

Electric fan fire blamed for hospital lockdown

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According to Drumheller Fire Department Chief Bruce Wade, quick action by the Drumheller Health Centre staff, damage was…

Drumheller Hospital complex resumes normal operations

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The Drumheller and Area Health Centre is no longer under lockdown after a fire alarm sounded just before 8 p.m. on…

Drumheller hospital locked down due to fire

Drumheller Hospital Fire June 29 2016
Emergency crews attended to an incident at the Drumheller Hospital Complex just before 8:00 pm Wednesday evening. Alarms…

Update: Lockdown lifted at Drumheller Institution

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The lockdown put in place at the Drumheller Instiution on June 23 has ended and an exceptional search of the medium security…

RCMP Staff Sergeant bids farewell to Drumheller

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Such is the life of an RCMP officer, Drumheller Staff Sergeant Grant MacDonald will be on the move again. But rather than…

MLA Fildebrandt joins Rosebud fight against motorsports resort

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Over 100 people filled the Rosebud Memorial Hall Monday night for a town hall discussion with Strathmore-Brooks MLA Derek…

More Local Sports

Hellraisers win first home game

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The Drumheller Hellraisers were victorious in their first home game. The Hellraisers hosted the Rockyview Bruise Battalion…

Canadian Badlands Aquatic Club swimmers competing in Summer Games

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The Canadian Badlands Aquatic Club has exciting news concerning some of their swimmers. Annika Lassen and Emily Martin tried…

Gran Fondo Badlands gaining popularity

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The third annual Gran Fondo Badlands event is gearing up to host over 800 cyclists in the valley. This year’s Gran Fondo…

Recovery wins soccer title

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The Drumheller Coed Recreational Soccer League has a new champ as Team Recovery won their first title. The championship…

Finals set for Drumheller rec soccer league

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The season is wrapping up for the Drumheller Co-ed Recreational Soccer league, and upsets are abound. Playoffs began last…

School awarded for providing quality physical education

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St. Anthony’s continues to deliver quality physical education for its students and was once again honoured for this effort.…

Obituaries

Condolences to the family of DIANA ROSE BAUER

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BAUERDiana Rose(nee Winnichuk) 1946-2016 Diana Rose Bauer (Winnichuk) age 70, passed away peacefully on June 17, 2016 in…

Condolences to the family of DIANA-LYNN BERTRAM

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BERTRAMDiana-Lynn(nee Morgan) December 10, 1955- June 25, 2016 Diana Lynn (Morgan) Bertram passed away suddenly but…

Condolences to the family of CALVIN FOSTER TUPPER

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TUPPER, Calvin Foster March 3, 1926 - June 13, 2016 It is with great sadness that we are announcing the passing of our…

Condolences to the family of VERNA MARIE BRINTON

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BRINTON, Verna Marie May 3, 1929 - June 13, 2016 Verna, beloved wife of Howard “Howdy” Brinton (predeceased) of Strathmore,…

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.”

What is your favourite summer treat?

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