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Last updateTue, 21 May 2024 12am

Lieutenant Governor stresses importance of honouring veterans

    On Saturday, January 14, the Drumheller Legion held its annual Veterans Dinner to honour those who have served in the Canadian Armed Forces. This year, a special guest paid his respects to the men and women of Drumheller.
    The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Colonel (retired) Donald S. Ethell, was invited to and attended the dinner.
    Upon arriving, Ethell and his wife, Linda, mingled with guests and spoke with the Afghanistan veterans who live in the area.
    “I think it’s great when towns like Drumheller recognize and honour their veterans. Not only the veterans, but the spouses and families. In this day and age when someone joins, it’s a family event. It’s important that you remember the family. It’s important that the community recognize the sacrifice service personnel make, and it’s appreciated by those who have served and their families,” said Ethell.
    The Sea Cadets who volunteered to serve dinner got a special treat. Ethell, one of the most highly decorated officers in the history of the Canadian Armed Forces, took the time to meet and chat with all of the cadets at the dinner.
    Ethell asked various questions, such as how long they’ve been with the cadets and whether they have been able to get out to sea.
    All of the cadets were excited and inspired after meeting Ethell.
    “They’re at the age when they need to be energized to join the army, sea, or air forces. A number of them had been out to HMCS Quadra, on the west coast, and completed training there. That’s good. They get familiar with things, motivation, and discipline. The key of course is the leaders. The Lieutenant here is doing a heck of a job as the commanding officer,” said Ethell. “This Legion is supporting the youth of Canada, that’s our future.”


Badlands Community Facility Library receives $250,000 boost from Cenovus Energy

    The Badlands Community Facility Library is $250,000 richer thanks to the massive generosity of Cenovus Energy Inc.
    The contribution will help support the Children’s Corner, the Youth Area, and the Community Programs Room that will promote learning partnerships with post-secondary institutions and local educational programs.
    “Cenovus is proud to support programs that help create a vibrant future for our communities,” said Grant Bergos, Cenovus operations superintendent, Drumheller.  “This is a great facility that will encourage life-long learning for residents of Drumheller and surrounding areas.”
    “This gift from Cenovus shows that we have a great facility and we are heading in the right direction for our community.  It is another step on our journey to offer a building that will be used by residents throughout the region every day of the year.  Thank you Cenovus for your support,” said Jeff Hall, co-chair of the Campaign Cabinet.
    The Community Facility is nearing completion and will be ready to  open in February. It will include the new home of the library, fitness facilities, and meeting rooms for various events, such as weddings. The new building will give residents facilities to enhance wellness, education, and strengthen the region overall.
    “Investments in our community like this ensure we have a sustainable community for the long term. Our residents will benefit from this facility for generations and it is companies like Cenovus that are ensuring we can make this project happen,” said Mayor Terry Yemen.
    “The fundraising campaign has received support from a number of organizations and individuals and I am so proud of the work of our small group of dedicated volunteers who have been working so hard,” added Hall. “The support of companies and individuals in this community is also critical, and our volunteers would be pleased to discuss support at any level”.
    Cenovus started in 2009 after separating from Encana Corporation to form two independent energy companies. Cenovus operates in the oil sands of northern Alberta and extracts natural gas throughout southern Alberta, including the Drumheller area, and Saskatchewan.
    Cenovus currently employs 42 Valley residents and has been active in the community, donating to other causes, such as the Hussar Ag Society, Drumheller Minor Hockey, the Duke of Edinburgh awards, and more.
    "We feel that it's important to be involved in the community, that's where we do our business," said Bergos. "It's a win-win when you're involved to that degree."
    The fundraising campaign cabinet will be providing more updates regarding fundraising for the Community Facility as opening day draws near.
    For more information on the campaign, residents are encouraged to contact Heather Little, campaign coordinator for the Town of Drumheller at 403-823-1333 or hlittle@dinosaurvalley.com.

Working group formed to examine options for Wheatland East schools

    Golden Hills School Division has formed a working group representing the communities in East Wheatland to investigate options and solutions for area schooling.
     For a number of years schools in the communities of Hussar, Standard, Rockyford and Gleichen have been facing falling enrolments and aging infrastructure. A group of 17, comprised of Golden Hills board chair David Price and four representatives from each community will look at the information and the viability of possible solutions. The working group will not be charged with making a final decision on the future of the schools in the area.
    This is not the first time the issue has been looked at. In 2006, a stakeholder group was formed to look at solutions, facilitated by Simera Strategy Group. In  2009, the board’s capital priorities included a new centrally located school in East Wheatland.
    “There have been some changes in our school environment since then… and I think we are looking at this differently,” said Bevan Daverne, superintendent of Golden Hills School Division. “This working group, their mandate is to help our division as a kind of focus group and help us gather information so we can get a sense from parents what is the best solution from their individual perspectives.
    “If you think about what has changed in the last 10 years, if you go back in time, we all went to school where we were told to go to school. There was a local school in our area and 99 per cent of people did that. In today’s climate, and in the last 10 years we have had legislation that the provincial government has passed regarding school of choice and asserting parents should have a choice on where their kids go to school.”
    He explains today there are many more choices for families as to how their child is educated, from home school to separate divisions, online courses and distance learning.
    “I don’t think it really works for us anymore to hire a 'so called' expert who looks at our situation and says ‘clearly this is the answer and you should do this.’ And we do it, and parents continue to make choices that best suit them and their kids. We need a process that gets to that,” said Daverne. “People make choices on schools based on what is best for their family, what is best for their kids and I think there is a culture around that … in this process we are looking to build perhaps a new culture, but more importantly than where we end up in the process is how to get there and we need to have something that tells us what parents will support.”
    The group will be meeting throughout January and February to consider the information and investigate options.
    “Our hope is that through this process of investigation and feedback, some clear options will emerge that can be seen to have the potential for support of parents in all the East Wheatland communities. This will allow Golden Hills to proceed to the next planned phase of the process. At that time, by way of another public meeting (similar to those held in the fall), Golden Hills would present the best options and receive feedback prior to a decision by the board,” said a release.
    The division will keep information on the progress available on its website at www.ghsd75.ca. Contact names and numbers for the working group are available on the website. They have set up the e-mail address workinggroup@ghsd75.ca for residents to contact one or the entire group. They are also planning to send out an e-mail survey.


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