The original Dr. Phil | DrumhellerMail
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Missing woman found deceased

Drumheller RCMP say the body of a woman who went missing was found in a wooded area in Drumheller. Candace Deleeuw, 40, was previously reported missing on September 16 after being last seen near the Drumheller Health Centre on September 7. Drumheller RCMP,… Read More
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JayWalker succeeds Hey Romeo with new single

There is a new name in Canadian country music, but the faces behind it are well known in the community and the industry. Drumheller’s Rob Shapiro and guitarist Darren Gusnowsky have been mainstays in the country music scene for many years, as the two out of… Read More
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First Drumheller ultra-marathon set for Saturday

This Saturday about 200 athletes will be taking on some of the toughest, and most beautiful terrain in the valley at the first-ever X- Ultramarathon. The cross country run, made of four legs totaling 50 kilometres goes Saturday morning September 21 from the… Read More
Have you decided who you are voting for in the federal election?

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Strong interest in senior’s living project

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It appears there is strong interest in a new senior living complex in the valley. In July of this year, the Town of Drumheller posted a survey to gauge the interest in a new…

Crime statistics show improvements

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While rural crime continues to be an issue, there appear to be some good signs in the Drumheller area. The RCMP K Division launched its Data and Innovation page on its…

Town turns on tap to fountain

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The fountain was turned on Wednesday, September 18, after a season where the town has decided it would only run on a limited basis. On July 8 council announced it would begin…

Kneehill County celebrates 75 years

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Pictures, lots of pictures, from Kneehill County’s 75th Anniversary event will show Kneehill County Councillors flagged by Minister Madu, Minister of Municipal Affairs, along…

Council approves pay increase

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Drumheller town council have given themselves a raise to compensate for federal tax changes this year which saw their take home pay reduced. Council approved an updated…

Update: CrossIron Mills incident reportedly resolved

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The shooting incident earlier this evening at CrossIron Mills is reportedly resolved according to RCMP. Global Calgary and DiscoverAirdrie.com have both said on Twitter…

More Local Sports

Senior Titans top Canmore, Wetaskiwin

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The Drumheller Senior Titans had a busy week, but when the dust cleared they chalked up two victories. The Titans were on the road Monday evening, September 9, to take on…

Bantam Titans fall 0-2 on season Saturday, rally around injured teammate

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The Bantam Titans are off to a rough start this season, dropping to 0-2 on the season early this season after a tough loss to the Stettler Cougars on Saturday. The team…

Dragons open season versus Bandits tonight

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The season begins Friday for the Drumheller Dragons. The Dragons’ official home opener is September 13 as they come back to the Dragons den to take on the defending champions…

Terrapins top Airdrie in season opener

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The Drumheller Peewee Terrapins started the season out on the right foot winning their opener over Airdrie on the road. The Terrapins were facing Airdrie for the first time…

Drumheller Titans shut out Olds in season opener

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The Titans attacked in the air and on the ground in their home opener. The DVSS field was a hive of activity Thursday, August 28 with a doubleheader. Teams from Wetaskiwin…

Schellenberg claims XFC Welterweight belt

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A Drumheller man is proving his prowess in the ring taking home a belt in his most recent mix martial arts bout in Vernon B.C. The Mail reported in April of this year that…

Obituaries

Condolences to the family of Henry Barborka

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BARBORKAHenry January 19, 1930 - September 14, 2019 Henry Barborka passed away peacefully with his family by his side at the Drumheller Health Centre on Saturday, September…

Condolences to the family of Oscar William Clark

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CLARKOscar William July 25, 1932 - September 9, 2019 With sad hearts, we announce Oscar’s peaceful passing on Monday, September 9, 2019 at the age of 87 years.He will be…

Condolences to the family of Adriana "Janie" Scott

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SCOTTAdriana “Janie” September 30, 1952 - September 13, 2019 Adriana “Janie” Scott, beloved wife of Bob Scott of Delia, passed away at the Foothills Hospital, Friday,…

Condolences to the family of Arthur Edward "Bud" Bryant

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BRYANTArthur Edward“Bud” September 5, 1940 - September 13, 2019 Bud passed away peacefully on Friday, September 13, 2019 surrounded by his loving family at the 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.”

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