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Last updateWed, 22 May 2019 12pm

McHappy Day raises $8,181

 

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McHappy Day left a lot of smiles and even more funds raised for Ronald McDonald House Charities.

Wednesday, May 8,was McHappy Day in Drumheller, and the local McDonald’s Restaurant was buzzing with activity as local personalities helped out at the restaurant, filling coffee, working the drive-thru and selling McHappy Day merchandise.

In all, the Drumheller McDonald’s Restaurant raised $8,181.

“We are so grateful for the support Drumheller shows to RMHC Alberta. Such and amazing day filled with Community Spirit,” said Drumheller McDonald’s co-owner Summer Manca. ”We really appreciate all those that take time out of their workday to join us for an hour, and all those that came by for breakfast, lunch, dinner and in between in support of McHappy Day!”

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The efforts were spurred along by support from the DVSS Student Council and Leadership class.  One of their initiatives was a barbecue at Freson Bros on Saturday, May 4. Teachers from Greentree school also showed their support volunteering and staging a “Stack the Mac” contest, Building towers of Big Mac boxes.

On McHappy Day, $1 from every Big Mac, Happy Meal and hot McCafé beverage sold goes to RMHC and other local children’s charities across Canada.


Atlas Coal Mine history honoured

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    The Atlas Coal Mine marked some important milestones for the National Historic Site on May Day.
    The Atlas annually marks May Day as a time to honour the miners who worked and lost their lives in the mine. This year they also marked 102 years of the Atlas Coal Mine company operating and also the completion of the tipple restoration project, that was five years in the making.
    Former staff, miners, supporters, and dignitaries including Mayor Heather Colberg and MLA-elect Nate Horner attended the ceremony on May 1.
    “The Atlas legacy began in 1917 with the opening of Atlas Number 1 by Dr. Patrick in the Newcastle area. From there, three other Atlas Mines were opened over the course of the 20th century including Atlas number 3 and 4 which used this magnificent building we are standing in front of to process coal,” said Atlas executive director Sarah Newstead at the ceremony. “The Atlas and associated mines were known throughout Canada for their safety, innovation, and longevity. The Patrick family, over three generations, were committed to bringing the newest technology, the best safety practices and shrewd business acumen to all of their mines in the valley throughout the 20th century.”

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    The Atlas began its restoration about five years ago to stabilize the iconic tipple, it enlisted Macdonald and Lawrence Timber framing LTD, who were experts in historical wood construction. It took five years and cost over $1 million. Today the tipple has been stabilized and continues to celebrate the legacy of the mine.
    The work included vital structural repairs, replacement of compressed timbers, replacing the roof and creating a public exhibit space.
    “The Atlas tells one of the great stories of the industrialization of Western Canada,” said Lisa Making, Board Chair of the Atlas Coal Mine Historical Society. “The tipple is a vivid symbol of a time of mass migrations to Western Canada and is a vital building in the history of Alberta.”
    Newstead also brought greetings from Linda Digby who was executive director from 2001 to 2014.
    “They say that coal dust gets into your blood and I would say it gets into your heart too. Why else would people take on what is clearly an impossible task, preserving and presenting a historical mine with only heart and hard work in our pockets,” she read.

 

Rumsey office closed, employees terminated

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    Trident Exploration, which had an office in Rumsey announced on April 30 it has ceased operations.
    The company issued a press release stating its 33 employees and 61 contractors have been terminated and 4,700 wells are being transitioned into the care of the Alberta Energy Regulator.
    “We had been working openly and collaboratively with our lenders and the Alberta Energy Regulator (“AER”) since February. The combination of extremely low natural gas prices and high surface lease and property tax payments (totaling $0.72 C$/GJ) has exhausted the liquidity of the company,” the company stated in a press release.
    “Alberta has no mechanism to allow a struggling energy company such as Trident to address its inflated surface lease and property tax obligations,” it also stated.
     Reeve of Starland County Steve Wannstrom is concerned about the major company closing its doors. He said between Drumheller and Stettler there were approximately 30 employees, including 5 at the Rumsey office and contractors. He has learned operators have been told they were not going to be paid for the month of April. A number of operators took it upon themselves to shut down wells that were concerning.
    One major concern for Wannstrom is Trident has an outstanding tax bill from last year of about $3 million and about the same amount for this year.
    See complete statement from  Reeve Steve Wannstrom and  Starland County Council on page 4.
     In Trident’s release, it stated  “Trident’s total estimated abandonment and reclamation obligations are approximately $329 million. Behind these obligations, we do not anticipate any recovery for shareholders and unsecured creditors. Likewise, any recovery for secured lenders is highly uncertain.”
    Trident also references the Redwater decision, which ensured environmental cleanup costs will get priority, over creditors when companies go bankrupt,  saying it has exacerbated the situation.
     “The Redwater decision has had the unintended consequence of intensifying Trident’s financial distress and accelerating unfunded abandoned well obligations. Without regulatory collaboration and clarity, Trident is unable to address its near-term liquidity needs and has no financial ability to continue operating.
    “We fear that many other companies may falter without clear, sound policy making post-Redwater. In the face of this extended uncertainty, lenders and investors may flee Canada and further job losses will occur. Without access to financing, we expect that the Orphaned Well Association may grow exponentially.”


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