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Hayden takes on Agriculture and Rural Development portfolio

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    Despite a year in which local producers experienced the worst drought in generations, MLA Jack Hayden is optimistic taking on his new role as Minister of Agricultural and Rural Development.
    On January 15, Premier Ed Stelmach swore in his new cabinet. MLA for Drumheller-Stettler, Jack Hayden left behind his position of Minister of Infrastructure and took on the portfolio of Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
    “It is certainly not an easy position, especially last year in our area with that drought. That was the worst drought in 50 years. When you step in at a time like this, it makes life more interesting,” Hayden told The Mail.
    The position suits him as he has lived on the family homestead for the last 35 years in the Endiang area. He is the fourth generation on the farm, which is turning 100 this year. He served in rural municipal politics for years and represented rural and remote Canadian communities on the Prime Minister’s External Advisory Committee on Cities and Communities. He brings a solid understanding and appreciation of primary agriculture.
    “A lot of the value is going to come from the fact that the farmers in our area are primary producers, and not as much the value added chain, so I know that part of the industry,” he said. “You have to focus on the whole industry, but nothing else works if the primary producer isn’t making money, everything else crumbles. That is going to be an area of concentration for me.”
    Hayden is optimistic about the state of agriculture.
    “It is our province’s second largest industry, but also it is our largest renewable industry. People always need to eat, and there are more people in the world and improving and expanding economies in India and China. All of those people are looking for the higher quality things in life, and that includes food,” he said. “I am very excited and optimistic about the future.”
    He applauds and supports the producer initiative to purchase the rail line from Oyen to Lyalta, to turn it into a short line railway.
    “ I helped work through government to get the money in place to get the proper studies to look into the options,” he said.
    He has been receiving updates on the progress and says they are quite optimistic. He says there may be support from the government in the near future.
    “Of course, we are Agriculture and Rural Development, so if there are possibilities something they are proposing will fall under the programs and qualifies, I’ll be there to help anyway I can,” said Hayden.
    Hayden was first elected in the Drumheller Stettler riding in a by-election in June of 2007, and retained his seat in a general election in 2008.

Downtown parking survey available online

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The campaign to retain angle parking in downtown Drumheller is collecting steam.

A group of concerned downtown merchants took out a full page ad in the January 13 edition of The Drumheller Mail with a survey asking residents their opinion of the parking format in downtown Drumheller. So far, they report almost 1,200 residents have returned the survey in support of retaining angle parking.

The group of merchants hope to have as many responses to the survey as possible submitted before February 12 in order to present them to town council on February 16. 

Drumhellermail.com has posted a link to poster below for residents who wish to express their views about the parking situation.

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Drumheller law firm rebranded

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    Long time Drumheller legal firm Ross, Todd and Company, is about to undergo a name change.
    Herman, Kloot and Company will be the new name of the firm as of February 1, 2010.
    “The name change reflects the changes in our firm,” partner Colin Kloot told The Mail. “Bill Herman and myself are partners in the firm and want to note as well that our associate, Sharon Clark, will continue with our office.”
     Bill Herman, who grew up in East Coulee, has been with the firm since 1979. He articled with the firm and entered the bar in Drumheller in 1980. He has been a partner for many years.
    Colin Kloot began his law practice in South Africa in 1980. He started with Ross, Todd and Company in 1999, and became a partner in 2001.
  Kloot says Doug Todd has not been with the firm for about seven years, and currently operates a separate practice in Hanna. Bob Ross retired as a partner about three years ago, but will remain with the firm.
    “He (Ross) has elected to spend more time travelling, pursuing personal interests, but he continues to be of service to his clients,” said Kloot.
    Sharon Clark continues her long-standing career with the firm working as an associate in general practice and litigation, and specializes in family law.
    The office is a standing agent for the Director of Public Prosecutions and prosecutes drug matters. Kloot is also the Town of Drumheller’s solicitor. The firm will continue to operate a general varied practice, including areas of civil, family, corporate and defense law.   


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