News | DrumhellerMail - Page #7
01172019Thu
Last updateWed, 16 Jan 2019 4pm

Local provincial candidates hit ground running

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The timing of the next provincial election is in Premier Rachel Notley’s hands, but that doesn’t stop local candidates from getting out on the campaign trail to meet the constituents.
The next election could be called anytime between March 1 and May 31of next year.

Nate Horner, the candidate for the United Conservative Party for Drumheller-Stettler, was through Drumheller on Friday, January 4.
“We are just trying to reconnect with everyone in the new year,” said Horner who was busy door knocking with Olds-Didsbury-Three Hills MLA Nathan Cooper. He also held a meet and greet at O'Shea's Tap House. “The party wanted us to get out and keep moving.”
Horner is in a unique position upsetting incumbent Rick Strankman. While the constituency association elected him, he is a new face to the general electorate.
“It was a good day today, people are interested and engaged, and know there is an election coming,” he said.
He says it is overall direction of the province that voters are concerned about.
“Most people… when they think about it, is it carbon tax? Is it overall debt? Is it job losses? And they just say all of it, it’s just too much,” said Horner.

Mark Nikota, the candidate for the Alberta Party in Drumheller-Stettler has not been resting. Last week he was through Drumheller and Morrin knocking doors. He has also spent time in Castor and Hanna. He says with the size of the riding, it is important to start early.
“You hear a wide variety of things, mostly about the economy and jobs and fiscal restraint,” he said. Everybody has different takes and it makes for good conversations.”
He says people are concerned about the uncertainty of services and what fiscal restraint might look like, especially with so many out of work.
“It is easy to say jobs and economy but how it affects people’s lives is what really matters,” he said.
“That is the difference between the UCP and The Alberta Party. Of course we have to get back to balanced budgets but you can’t just run around tomorrow and slash and burn and do major austerity because you end up hurting programs that people rely on, especially when people are unemployed, that’s when they need the support system there to keep them on their feet until they can find a job.”
“To go from one extreme of spend, spend, spend, to cut, cut, cut, does that mean putting more people out of work? That means there is more unemployed, which means you are paying employment insurance, more government spending, so you might as well have a support system and find them a job. Going from one extreme to another just doesn’t work.”
The Mail has reached out to the Alberta NDP and the Alberta Liberal party to find out if they have candidates in the riding, however, as of press time there has been no response.


Council tables paid parking options for February after discussion

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Council discussed potential paid parking options for tourism hotspots at their meeting last week and directed administration to return with recommendations on February 11.

The proposal presented to council by protective services included a Park Plus payment system and an honesty box system to “generate revenue at town surface parking lots” to offset associated maintenance and infrastructure costs at tourism sites.

The report looked at potential revenue generated by paid parking at the World’s Largest Dinosaur site, with mention of the Suspension Bridge in Rosedale, but Mayor Heather Colberg clarified at the meeting that council was looking at ways to monetize the parking lots at the Hoodoo and Suspension Bridge sites. The Hoodoos are owned by the province but the town is responsible for managing the parking lot, and Mayor Colberg said they are looking at ways to generate revenue to improve facilities there.

“The purpose was not to hit parking all over Drumheller, the purpose was not to hit downtown,” she said at the meeting. “As a council... we’re not trying to do things to upset the community, we’re trying to find ways to help the community… if we don’t talk about these things we just can’t advance the community.”

Councillors Jay Garbutt and Tony Lacher said they believed the honour box system would be a “waste of time,” and Councillor Lacher pointed out in the report that the Park Plus system would require cell service, which is not available at the Hoodoo site, while also saying the costs for the Park Plus system would be “astronomical to start with.”

Councillor Lisa Hansen-Zacharuk, who served on the past council, said she would “hate to see this tabled” as council have asked for a paid parking system for years. She said an option may be to have a ‘text-to-pay’ option where users could use their phones to contribute.

Regarding reader feedback to the Mail’s article posted on Monday, Councillor Fred Makowecki said, “The runaway on Facebook today and the name calling, I gotta say I take exception to it because I’ve worked hard on this, as have the rest of us have, with only for the benefit of our taxpayers – not as something else to generate revenue, cash cows, and every other cliche posted today.”

A motion was made to approve the purchase of a honour donation box at the Hoodoo site, but council defeated the motion and requested more information to be brought back to council on February 11, including investigating a suggestion made by CAO Darryl Drohomerski to look at hiring a summer student to collect money at the Hoodoo site.

99.5 Drum FM acquired by Stingray Radio

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Stingray Radio has entered into an agreement to acquire the assets of 99.5 Drum FM from Golden West Broadcasting pending approval from the CRTC, the company said today.

The announcement comes after Stingray’s purchase of NewCap Radio, which saw it take ownership of the local country station 910 CFCW, which would have Stingray own two stations in Drumheller (99.5 Drum FM and Real Country 910).

“Now we can service the market under one roof,’ says Real Country 910’s Rick Walters. “It’s a new company with Stingray and they still see the vision that NewCap had in terms of growing and buying more radio stations.”

The CRTC could take up to six months to grant approval of the acquisition. It would be Stingray’s first acquisition of a radio company in Alberta.

Walters said listeners can expect local radio to continue but said it was too soon to discuss potential programming and content changes.

Montreal-based Stingray Group has over 1,200 employees worldwide and is a provider of direct-to-consumer and business-to-business services, including audio television channels, radio licenses, and other music and media content.

99.5 Drum FM has operated in Drumheller since 2009.


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