Last updateTue, 01 Dec 2015 4pm

Stand Up for Alberta Rally attracts 70


    About 70 people came out on Sunday afternoon for a Stand Up For Alberta Rally.
     A group of concerned Alberta residents have been participating in rallies throughout the province. This was its sixth, and the first indoor rally they held
    John Satink of Drum Diesel is a supporter of the movement and sees their word is getting out.
    “Good attendance with a crowd concerned with the direction this government is taking this province by closing coal mines, no support for the unemployed oil and gas industry; no support for Albertans,” he said in a written statement
    He said there were speakers  at the meeting addressing environmental concerns, pipelines design, route description; the current condition of oil and gas industry. There was also talk on the upcoming tax levy on agricultural industry.”
     Lorne Murfitt of Big Valley is also involved in the movement and is the owner of the iconic Dodge Dually with a billboard supporting the cause. He tells The Mail, he has put 11,000 kilometres on the truck drumming up support for the movement.
    He said the focus is to be noticed.
    “Our action plan is just getting our voice heard and trying to get this government to work with and for us,” he said. “We do pay their wages.”
    He said they are working on organizing.
    “We have just started turning this into an organization. We just started a new Facebook page (Standup for Alberta Against NDP) and along with that a new web page,” said Murfitt. “With that, we are shifting our momentum and trying to make it better, so we can attract more attention and have a more powerful voice.”
    He stresses the importance of getting the government to hear their voice.
    “We have no shortage of things getting worse, there is a shortage on things getting better, that’s what we have to work on, and we have a government that is not listening to us,” said Murfitt. “When they read the budget, I thought they must have dropped two pages on the ground, because there is nothing in it. There is nothing for virtually all of Alberta unless you pay union dues. Our families are going to be destitute soon.”
    “Every single day she (Premier Notley) comes out with something that is against Alberta.”  
    The next Stand Up for Alberta Against NDP Rally is in Red Deer on November 29 at the Red Deer Sheraton at 1 p.m.

Morgan Jayne Project makes miracle happen

chrismas miracle

    Miracles do happen. Just ask Fred Makowecki and then look at the 113 children who now have Christmas thanks to the efforts of supporters of the Morgan Jayne Project.
    Just a few short weeks ago, Familias Saludables in the Roatan made its appeal for the ninth annual Christmas Miracle. Through this, they identified dozens of families served by the organization, and ask supporters to make Christmas happen for the children. These are some of the poorest children in the world.
    After nine years, the supporters didn’t disappoint and delivered a miracle.
    "It is a pretty good feeling,” said Fred Makowecki. “When Morgan died and we started this, one of my biggest fears was that it wouldn’t carry on after I passed away, that would be the end of it, but I don’t think I am worried about that now.”
    This certainly was not a lavish list, it was simply three modest gifts for each child, as well as some dress clothes, shoes and a book.
 This is the second year they have made this a virtual effort.  After years of collecting items from generous donors and shipping them independently at a considerable expense. To streamline this they made a wish list on Amazon, whereby the items can be shipped to Florida virtually free of charge. From there, they are transported to the Roatan. This has saved considerable amounts on shipping.
    “We have eliminated about $8,000 in shipping costs, which in my conscience is a great relief,” said Makowecki, adding he saw donations come in from as far away as Australia and South America.
    While this has saved a considerable amount on shipping, allowing the resources to go to those who need them the most, there are still some expenses faced by the project to get the items through customs and duty.
    “There are more pluses by doing this with Amazon, we are certainly not wasting money with shipping. One of the negatives is we had money for the party. Now we just buy the presents,” he said.
    Those wishing to support the Christmas party where the gifts are distributed, or to help with customs and duties, can do so by donating funds to Makowecki at Image Crafter, or by donating to the Dawn Land Foundation. at www.dawnlandfoundation.com

Municipalities welcome road, bridge investment

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    The Alberta government has restored funding to repair bridges and roads, a move welcomed by municipalities.
      The government announced last week it was restoring the Strategic Transportation Infrastructure Program. It would begin consulting with municipalities and stakeholders in 2016 and have the program reinstated in the 2017-2018 year. This was cut by the previous Tory government in 2013.
    Al Kemmere, President of Alberta Association of Municipal Districts and Counties, and Mountain View County Councillor welcomes the announcement.
    “A modern system of roads and bridges is essential to daily life in Alberta’s communities. Our industries rely on our transportation network to move goods to market quickly and efficiently, and Albertans everywhere depend on safe access to jobs and emergency services,” said Kemmere. “Investing in roads and bridges now is a great step in enabling our communities to grow sustainably in the future.”  
    For Ross Rawlusyk, CAO of Starland, the announcement is good news. The county has 112 bridges, and the most recent repairs they undertook on one bridge last year cost $1.4 million.
    “If you have a poor schedule and have to work on two or three in a year, you are going to have a lot of trouble,” he said. “It looks like we won’t get the money immediately, that’s the only bad thing. It looks like a 2016 review of policy and development of how the program can be distributed.”
    “It is good to hear that something is coming.”
    He says the county tried to plan projects like bridge repair two years in advance, and says it take some time to properly execute a pan.
    The design, environmental approvals, the tendering and the actual material ordering, so depending on the size, and depending on the orientation, it can take some time to get it,” said Rawlusyk, adding they have identified four that need work over the next two years.
    “We are looking at $1.7 million over the next two years we need to spend on bridges, so its a major expenditure for us,” said Rawlusyk.
    When the county first learned it was losing the funding two years ago, it has tried to work bridge repairs into the budget.
    “Our fear is that if you do get behind it is going to be a rough go,” he said.
    While he welcomes the investment, he is concerned about the province overspending.
    “Starland is not a fan of debt, we don’t have any debt municipally, and to see the province go firmly into debt is a little disturbing. But at the same time it is probably not a bad time to build stuff when the prices are much lower. There is some hurt in the economy and maybe it will stimulate some growth and stabilization.”