The original Dr. Phil | DrumhellerMail
Last updateThu, 21 Jan 2021 5pm

Latest News

Copy of Copy of 20170815 Darryl Drohomerski CAO 0412

Town withdraws support from waste to energy project

The Town of Drumheller is in the process of officially withdrawing from the Southern Alberta Energy from Waste Association (SAEWA).SAEWA is a coalition of municipal entities and waste management jurisdictions that have been exploring creating an energy from… Read More
dragons signing

Dragons building for future

Even in the midst of a pandemic, the Dragons are looking forward to the future with three new signings last week.The team announced on January 11 they have signed Alexey Trischuk for the 2021-2022 season. Trischuk is playing in his first season with the… Read More
Copy of peever

2020 - A Year in Review Village of Carbon

Like many communities, the Village of Carbon was faced with the challenge of navigating event and project cancellations and postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.While major infrastructure projects were put on hold in 2020, there is plenty the village… Read More
Will you book any personal or wellness appointments with restrictions easing?

More Local News

Inmates engage in hunger strike at Drumheller Institution

Copy of penn
Inmates at the Drumheller Institution engaged in a hunger strike following restrictions and lockdowns due to a number of reported COVID-19 cases among the inmate…

COVID restrictions ease slightly, one new death reported locally

DrumhellerCOVID Jan18
Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced provincewide COVID-19 restrictions would ease slightly during the Thursday, January 14 update.The changes went into effect on…

Town withdraws support from waste to energy project

Copy of Copy of 20170815 Darryl Drohomerski CAO 0412
The Town of Drumheller is in the process of officially withdrawing from the Southern Alberta Energy from Waste Association (SAEWA).SAEWA is a coalition of municipal entities…

Survey results show support for less fireworks restrictions

Copy of fireworks edited
The Town of Drumheller has the results of a survey on fireworks, and it demonstrates residents are supportive of amendments to a proposed bylaw draft to regulate the use of…

More Local Sports

Provincial hockey championship tournaments cancelled

Minor Hockey
With COVID-19 restrictions hockey players are still not able to get back on the ice, and this week Hockey Alberta announced provincial championships have been cancelled.With…

Dragons look forward to season restart

IMG 9993
With the AJHL Hockey season on hold, the Dragons won’t be resting on their laurels.On November 25, the league announced it would be pausing the season until existing…

CBAC swimmers perform well, despite lockdowns

The Canadian Badlands Aquatic Club (CBAC) is another team affected by the new COVID-19 restrictions.Last season the club was having a great year, and coach Morgan Syvertsen…

AJHL puts pause on season

It will be a little longer until fans will get the chance to see the Dragons on the ice.Already the Dragons’ season was halted when a member of the Canmore Eagles tested…

COVID pauses Dragons' season

Dragons logo
There is already a pause in the Drumheller Dragons’ regular season due to COVID-19.So far, the Dragons have played in two regular-season games versus the Canmore Eagles. The…

Senior girls Dynos place third at home tourney

DVSS Girls Vball 2020
The DVSS Senior girls Dynos were happy to be on the court to play as they hosted a four-team tournament over the weekend.School sports are very different, especially indoor…


Condolences to the family of Ronald Bertsch

BERTSCHRonald June 30, 1934 - January 14, 2021 Ronald Bertsch, a long-time resident of Rosebud/Drumheller area went to be with his Lord and Savior on January 14th, 2021 at…

Condolences to the family of Leonard Bernard and Marion Patricia Olsen

OLSEN Leonard BernardFebruary 3, 1927 - January 12, 2021 Marion PatriciaDecember 27, 1932 - January 12, 2021 It is with great love and deep sorrow that the family of Marion…

Condolences to the family of Leslie Alexander Leonhardt

LEONHARDTLeslie Alexander September 18, 1962 - January 12, 2021 On January 12, 2021, Leslie Leonhardt was called to his eternal home while at the Continuing Care Centre of…

Condolences to the family of Beth MacDonell (Heller)

MACDONELL (HELLER)Beth October 12, 1927 - January 11, 2021 Beth MacDonell passed away peacefully at the age of 93 on January 11th, 2021. Predeceased by the love of her life,…

The original Dr. Phil


    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.”

Tourist Map

2019 Map