The original Dr. Phil | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateMon, 25 Mar 2019 2pm

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McDonald's bomb threat deemed hoax

On March 23rd 2019 at around 8 pm, Drumheller RCMP received a complaint that a bomb threat had been received at the McDonald's restaurant. The restaurant was closed and the area blocked off by marked police vehicles. The RCMP Explosives unit was consulted and… Read More
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Drumheller Institution under lockdown

Correctional Service Canada - On March 24, 2019 at about 9:00 a.m., a lockdown was put in place in the medium security unit at Drumheller Institution, to allow staff to conduct a search of the institution following an inmate altercation. The search was… Read More
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Hanna Solar project attracts $10 million in funding

The Town of Hanna and the Special Areas Board, along with project partners ATCO Ltd. and Greengate Power, have successfully attracted $10 million in funding from Emissions Reduction Alberta for the proposed Hanna Solar Project. Developed as a private/public… Read More
Should vaccinatons be mandatory?

More Local News

Dr. Caleb Brown hired as new curator at Tyrrell

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A familiar face at the Royal Tyrrell Museum Dr. Caleb Brown has been hired as the new Curator of Dinosaur Systematics and Evolution. Brown has a long history with the Tyrrell…

Stonnell commits to Robert Morris University

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While the Dragons season is over, a 20-year-old Drumheller Dragon will continue his hockey career and education at the NCAA Division 1 level. Dragons defenseman Bradley…

Strong spring for local swimmers

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The Canadian Badlands Aquatic Club is having a busy and successful March. Nathan Dobell (14), Kiera Hansen (13) and Emily Martin (16) qualified for Short Course Provincials…

Cookie Blitz!

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It’s that time of year again, where members of the Girl Guide Units of Drumheller will be blitzing the community selling Brownie Cookies. This annual tradition helps to fund…

Booth prices drop for 5th annual Spring Expo

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The Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce’s fifth annual Spring Expo is back in a new venue and with new booth prices. The annual Expo and tradeshow will be at the…

Parade committee seeking volunteers

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The new Planning Committee for the 2019 Canada Day parade in Drumheller has been busy and are looking for volunteers on the day of the parade to make sure it goes smoothly…

More Local Sports

Bantam Raptors qualify for provincial final

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The Boston Pizza Western GM Bantam Raptors have qualified for the provincial championship tournament after a convincing win over Duchess. The Bantam Raptors were in action…

One for the books: Dragons finish season with most wins in franchise history

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A season full of accomplishments came to a close for the Drumheller Dragons on Sunday afternoon, as Drumheller easily made notched a franchise record 37 wins to cap off the…

Yavis Atom Raptors into thick of playoffs

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The regular season for Drumheller Minor Hockey has concluded and the Raptors are in the thick of the playoffs. Drumheller Minor Hockey President Lyle Caweizel tells the Mail…

Saints win consolation at Trochu tourney

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The St. Anthony’s Saints Junior A basketball team are headed to zones after a busy week of play. The Saints hosted the Morrin Mustangs on Thursday, February 14. This was a…

Dragons extend streak to five

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Drumheller are on a roll after winning their second game against the Calgary Canucks 4-0 shutout on Monday afternoon. The Dragons have only lost one game in February (6-1 on…

Dragons split weekend games

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The Brooks Bandits extended their franchise record winning streak to 22 games with a win over the Dragons on Saturday night at the Memorial Arena, securing themselves a first…

Obituaries

Condolences to the family of Philip Blair Nelson

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NELSONPhilip Blair June 13, 1960 - February 19, 2019 Philip Blair Nelson passed away from cancer on February 19, 2019 in Red Deer, AB. Philip (Phil) was born in Drumheller,…

Condolences to the family of Elizabeth (Betty) Peters

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PETERSElizabeth (Betty) July 23, 1919 - February 20, 2019 Betty passed away peacefully in Continuing Care on February 20, 2019 at the age of 99 years. Betty was born in…

Condolences to the family of Irene Edith Forgo

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FORGOIrene Edith August 20, 1925 - March 9, 2019 With heavy hearts, we share with you the passing of our Mom, Grandmother and Great Grandmother Mrs. Irene Edith Forgo, a…

Condolences to the family of Stephen Frank Peter Kun

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KUNStephen Frank Peter March 15, 1931 - February 27, 2019 Steve is remembered as an active energetic man who got things done. His satisfaction came from planning, working on,…

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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