The original Dr. Phil | DrumhellerMail
02192017Sun
Last updateSat, 18 Feb 2017 11am

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Unplug on Family Day

Family Day is a great time to disconnect to connect, and Drumheller has a bounty of events to help families reconnect. Family Day is this Monday, February 20. Drumheller is once again participating in Family Day Unplugged. This has a goal of promoting family… Read More
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Cross curling off ParticipACTION Canada 150 Playlist

Those tracking the ParticipACTION Canada 150 Playlist can cross curling off the list. The Drumheller Curling Club held a Friday Fun Night on February 10. This is an opportunity to have fun and do a little curling. The club welcomes all ages and all skill… Read More
ROCKYFORD LIGHT

Rockyford: A year in review

From a new CAO to infrastructure upgrades, the Village of Rockyford is going through some big changes. Rockyford gained a new CAO October of 2016. After 22 years as CAO, Lois L. Mountjoy stepped down to have the role of CAO filled by Kevin Sonnenberg. CAO… Read More

More Local News

Drumheller finalist in Biker Friendly Community Contest

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The judging portion of Canada’s MOST Rider Friendly Community Contest has concluded and Drumheller is listed as a finalist.…

Drumheller Dragons’ sweet secret

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The Dragons have a special fan, and she knows how to get them to visit.A batch of her homemade cookies. Anne Rogers has been…

Check pickleball off ParticipACTION Canada 150 Playlist

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Drumheller residents are showing how active they are taking on the particiPACTION Canad150 Playlist, and today crossed…

Tough Mudder pulls up stakes

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After a three-year run in the valley, Tough Mudder is heading for muckier pastures. Greg Peters, Director of Protective…

Speaker Series features talk on Mammoths in North America

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The February 16 session of the 2017 Royal Tyrrell Museum’s Speaker Series is a presentation by Dr. Duane Froese from the…

Badlands Artists' work selected for travelling gallery

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Members of the Badlands Artists Association will have their work seen by thousands throughout the province as it goes on…

More Local Sports

Junior Bonspiel ends in tie

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Drumheller hosted a Junior Curling Bonspiel January 28. The athletes were ages eight to 17 and there were 12 teams in…

Mastel Raptors host home tourney

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The Mastel Transport Midget Raptors are on the home stretch of their season and hosted six team tournament. The Raptors…

DVSS senior Dino’s basketball team defeat rivals

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The DVSS girl’s senior basketball team beat Trochu 51 - 47 during their hometown game on Wednesday, February 1. Assistant…

Dragons, coach Curran part ways

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The 2016-17 season marks the fifth and final year of Head Coach and GM Brian Curran’s contract with the Drumheller Dragons…

Great action at Ladies Bonspiel

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The Annual Ladies Bonspiel went January 20-22 and had some great action on the ice. This year 14 teams registered and came…

Dynos sweep home tourney

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The DVSS Junior Boys Grade 7/8-basketball team hosted its home tournament over the weekend and went undefeated through its…

Obituaries

Condolences to the family of Rosino Ewing

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EWING (DeGiano), Rosino January 20, 1922 - February 8, 2017 Rose joined her beloved husband, Louis, on February 8, 2017,…

Condolences to the family of George Humphrey

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HUMPHREY, George 1925-2017 George of Olds, Alberta, formerly of Drumheller and Delia, passed away on February 7, 2017, at…

Condolences to the family of Peter Kuchel

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KUCHEL, Peter January 6, 1925 - February 7, 2017 Peter Kuchel passed away peacefully February 7, 2017 at the age of 92…

Condolences to the family of Wesley Gordon Dyck

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Dyck, Wesley Gordon October 14, 1946 - February 7, 2017 Mr. Wesley Gordon Dyck of Carbon, Alberta passed away in Drumheller…

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 much did you spend on your Valentine?

Tourist Map

town map 2016