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Last updateFri, 12 Apr 2024 11am

Long gun, long gone

    It has been a long time coming for gun owners, but this week they learned there is an end in sight for the end of the long gun registry.
    This week the government introduced Bill 19 to amend the Criminal Code and the Firearms Act. The bill will repeal the requirement to register non-restricted firearms, such as hunting rifles and shotguns. The plan will also see the destruction of all records pertaining to the registration. The act will maintain control over restricted and prohibited weapons.
    “Our government is committed to putting the safety of Canadians first with real action on crime that delivers enhanced protection for communities. That is why our government is investing in a number of effective measures such as putting more police on our streets, fighting organized crime, introducing mandatory minimum penalties for serious gun crime and combating gun smuggling,” said Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson. “Bill C-19 is consistent with our efforts to ensure firearms laws target real criminals and protect the safety of the public. Finally, we will ensure that the data on the existing registry is destroyed to prevent a future government from trying to resurrect another one.”
    Local gun owner and hunter Stuart Pennycook has been a vocal opponent of the long gun registry since it was introduced in 1995.
    “We live in a free country don’t we? Why should we have to register our guns?” he said.
    His take on the registry is that it was a money grab from the get go and in fact he still would like to see a refund from when he first registered his guns.
    Pennycook registered his guns and paid an $18 fee. This was before May 2004 when the government decided to waive the fee just before an election. He started his campaign right then.
 He wrote MP Kevin Sorenson making his case that the money should be refunded. Sorenson forwarded it to the Prime Minister’s office, and eventually received a response from the then Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Anne McLellan.
    She wrote back saying that the fee elimination only applies to applications made after May 20, 2004.
     Now that the registry is to be completely eliminated, as well as the pertaining records, Pennycook says there is even more reason he should get his refund. Despite this, he applauds the government for its action.
    “It took a while, but it’s government, it always takes a while,” he said.
    While he would like a refund, he doesn’t mind spending his money when it is for something he believes in.
    “Every hunter should buy a membership in the Conservative Party to show appreciation for scrapping the registry,” he said.


Delia students wired through laptop program

    Students at the Delia School are getting a technological boost with the school’s laptop  program.
    The program began two years ago. “It’s a different way to distribute technology to our students,” said Steve Nielsen, principal of Delia School. “The traditional method was to buy computers, and then after five years to recycle them.”
    “It was hard for the teachers to teach and the students to take home work.”
    Starting in Grade 7 students are given the opportunity to purchase a laptop with assistance from the school and the school division, who each contribute 25 per cent of the cost. Students are responsible for the remaining 50 per cent.
    The average cost for students and their families is approximately $200. Families are given flexible payment options.
    “Our goal when we started was to have around 80 per cent purchasing laptops,” said Nielsen. “We’re close to 100 per cent.”
    Not all students have chosen to participate in the program. But, to make sure that no student is left out, the school carries extra laptops that students can sign out.
    When students reach Grade 10 they are given the option to trade in their older models for the latest technology.
    However, the program does not just aid the students.
    “It’s made an awesome difference for teachers,” said Nielsen. “You’re never fighting for the computer lab. If the lesson involves technology the students are ready.”
    The school has also been able to save money on textbooks as a result. “Students bring in their laptops like they used to bring textbooks,” said Neilsen. “Once you have a laptop you have unlimited resources.”
    Laptop programs may start in other schools wishing to leap in to new methods of delivering the curriculum. Delia School has shown itself to be a successful prototype.

Chamber to revive Business Awards program

    The Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce is reviving its awards program come 2012.
    For many years, the Chamber presented business awards. Come next year there will be a ceremony during Small Business Week. 
    The Chamber took the opportunity at this year’s Symposium to make the announcement.
    “It has been a few years since the Chamber of Commence has done anything for Small Business Week. It is important to return our focus to the community,” said Roxanne Clarke of the Drumheller and District Chamber of Commerce. “Let’s honour business in Drumheller, that’s what we are here to do.”
    The awards celebration will honour local businesses and their successes in categories including Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Downtown Business of the Year, Rookie Business of the Year and the Young Entrepreneur Award.
    Award finalist will be determined through a nomination process. Winners will be decided by an undisclosed panel.


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