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MP Damien Kurek reacts to federal budget

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There weren't many surprises in the Federal Budget announced last week for MP for Battle River-Crowfoot Damien Kurek, because everything had already been said.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland delivered the budget on Tuesday, April 16. The Budget focused on building affordable homes, reducing the cost of living and growing the economy.
“All of the details, at least the big selling points were kind of announced across the country in the couple of weeks preceding its release,” he said.
He adds the budget was overshadowed by many other things going on in the capital including the controversy around the ArriveCan app, and the contractor behind the program being admonished by the House of Commons.
"It is almost like it got lost in the mix. From the perspective of the official opposition, it was an interesting place to be because we looked at the budget, listened to the speech, and saw some concerns with it. We sort of knew what some of the themes were before, but then it seemed the government was not focused on, or not willing to spend much time focusing on their budget in the midst of everything else," said Kurek.
One concern always from the CPC is debt.
“The debt-serving cost we knew would be large, and I think it was proven to be so,” he said.
Another aspect of the budget they were focused on was the Canada Disability benefit.
“It was long lauded as something essential and actually saw cross-partisan support, but when the details were announced, it ended up being significantly less than expected. Hearing from some of the pundits and even former Finance Minister Bill Morneau and former NDP Leader Tom Mulcair, there seemed to be a unanimous chorus outside of the Liberal benches, that were saying this is not a good budget.”
He says there are many promises in the budget, but judging by the track record of the government there hasn't been much delivery. What has changed in the last couple of years is housing has become front and center.
“What was very interesting is there seemed to be both from the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minster, an acknowledgement that what they have been doing hasn’t helped and in some cases, has even exacerbated the problem. So now they are throwing money at it and trying to do a few different things, but it seems at this point, the tale will yet to be told if they have any success with that, but it seems like just making announcements saying you are going to do it after nine years, it seems they have lost the credibility to make the claims they can solve the problems.”


Dino-sized attempt at record

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While the result won’t be official for a couple of days, it appears that Drumheller has cemented itself as the Dinosaur Captial of the World, as thousands took to the streets of downtown to break the record for “Largest gathering of people dressed as dinosaurs.”
The count took place at 11 a.m. on April 27, 2024, at the Jurassic Jamboree. Michael Empric, an adjudicator with Guinness World Records out of New York, initially told the Mail that they would be able to confirm the record within minutes of the count, however as more and more participants streamed toward the downtown Plaza, the process of counting became more and more difficult.
Empric told the waiting crowd that to get the most accurate count, they would be sending the data to its London office, including the wristband count and drone footage to be tabulated, with the results forthcoming in a couple of days.
What we know, is the prior Guinness record of 252 was set in Los Angeles, California on January 26, 2019. On Saturday morning, Travel Drumheller and volunteers gave out 3,000 wristbands to participants. People came from all over the province, and in the crowd, there was representation from as far away as Yukon, Nova Scotia and Las Vegas in costume.
Volunteer stewards were amongst the crowd to make sure that participants were in costume and remained so for one minute for the record to count. The designated area for the count could only contain people in costumes.
“I am super overwhelmed, I cannot believe the response. This is way bigger than I ever imagined," said Keri Looijen of Travel Drumheller, of the turnout. “The community support has been incredible.”
The event was quickly planned and grew ever quicker. Despite this, a strong crew of volunteers signed up. Throughout downtown there was music, food trucks and activities.
“I don’t know what we would do without the volunteers. They have been so amazing and helping with everything we needed,” said Looijen.
Empric of Guinness explained the New York office takes care of record attempts throughout North America, and he is typically on the road at least once a week adjudicating similar attempts.
“What I like about this is that it is so appropriate for the community. It is so specific to Drumheller and what the community is about,” said Empric.
When verified, a record holder certificate will be issued.

Drumheller considers forming Sports Council

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Rick Ladouceur, Town of Drumheller's Manager of Recreation, Arts & Culture.

The Town of Drumheller is looking into establishing a Sports Council as a new way to connect the Valley.

Thanks in part to Town of Drumheller’s (TOD) Manager of Recreation, Arts & Culture, Rick Ladouceur’s 2023 Parks & Recreation Master Plan, the Town is exploring the possibility of a Sports council.

Ladouceur presented council members with a Request for Direction at the Monday, April 15, Committee of the Whole Meeting about the proposed council, which could be made up of one TOD councillor and seven members-at-large. They will be an advisory group, and a forum for the Valley, when it comes to all opportunities and issues relating to sports.

The objectives of the council will be to share information between different sports organizations, improve various aspects of sport opportunities and bring sporting events to the valley, while providing an accessible and inclusive environment for everyone in the community.

“The formation of Drumheller’s Sports Council provides an important forum for identifying concerns and opportunities for sports in our area,” says Ladouceur during the meeting. “It will integrate a grass-roots initiative, athlete empowerment, state-of-the-art facilities and tourism.”

In the proposal, in order for an organization to get a membership for the Sports Council certain criteria must be met. Applicants must have current involvement with sports in TOD, with a letter of endorsement from their organization. Applicants will also be required to commit to the council for the duration of time, either one or two years. They must also have a strong understanding of any issues that are relevant to sports development in the community.

Council provided direction to establish a short-term task force that would bring on interested parties in a sports council to help shape the terms of reference for establishing and operating a Sports Council.


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