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Last updateFri, 16 Apr 2021 7pm

Drumheller friendliest town in Alberta, fifth in Canada

Copy of sign

Travel website recently released its list of the top 20 friendliest Canadian cities and towns, and the Town of Drumheller was ranked fifth friendliest town in the country.

Expedia used traveller reviews which associated the words “friendly,” “friendliest,” and “amiable,” among others used between January 2019 and December 2020 to narrow down the list.

“It is an honour for Drumheller to be recognized as number five in the top 20 friendliest communities in Canada, and number one in Alberta,” says Drumheller Mayor Heather Colberg. “All the credit goes to the businesses and residents of our valley. It is great to see a major facet of our community visitation come to fruition, which is ‘To be the cleanest, friendliest, most sought after community in Alberta.’ Thank you again to the people of this great valley!”

While Drumheller was ranked fifth friendliest town in Canada, it was ranked as the number one friendliest town in Alberta with only two other Alberta towns making the list—Banff at number nine and Canmore at number 18.

Radium Hot Springs in B.C. was named the friendliest town in Canada.

Drumheller RCMP search warrant yields drugs, charges

DrumRCMP Seized Drugs

Drumheller RCMP executed a search warrant after a nearly month-long investigation, which has led to the seizure of drugs and charges against a Drumheller woman.
In March 2021 the Drumheller RCMP Crime Reduction Unit began a Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA) investigation. The investigation led to the seizure of what is believed to be quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine, as well as proceeds of crime.
In the early morning hours of Friday, March 26, the Drumheller RCMP, Drumheller Crime Reduction Unit, and Drumheller General Investigation Section, executed a CDSA search warrant at a house in the Red Deer Avenue area in the community of Nacmine.
Police seized what is believed to be 45.54 grams of fentanyl, 1.53 grams of methamphetamine, $2,120 in Canadian currency, and various drug trafficking paraphernalia.
As a result of the execution of the search warrant, Mandie Sarah Marie Manchuk, 44, of Drumheller is charged with possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking as well as possession of proceeds of crime under $5,000.
Manchuk was released from custody with conditions, and is scheduled to appear in provincial court in Drumheller on Friday, May 21.
“This was a significant seizure of fentanyl from within our small community. Our team is working hard and is committed to proactively identifying these drug traffickers and conducting investigations into their activities” says Staff Sergeant Ed Bourque, Drumheller RCMP Detachment Commander. “This investigation is a great example of that. We know opioids are a great concern in our community, and the province, and we will continue to target drug traffickers. We encourage the community to continue to report suspicious activity in their neighbourhoods. Reporting about these types of activities is a huge help to our team and to the success of these investigations.”
Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call the Drumheller RCMP at 403-823-7590. If you wish to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), online at, or by using the "P3 Tips" app available through the Apple App or Google Play Store.

AHS contracts company to recruit comfort care aides


A move to hire possibly thousands of Comfort Care aides to work in hospitals doesn’t sit well with the regional manager of Helping Hands Home support services.

Recently job postings have been springing up for the new position. One shows 2,000 new openings for Comfort Care Aides. In the position description, “Comfort Care Aides (CCAs) assist Registered Nurses, Licenced Practical Nurses, and Health Care Aides, providing a wide range of assistance including companionship and life-enrichment activities with residents, assisting with mobile communication devices to ensure ongoing opportunities for engagement with families and loved ones, and assisting with some basic personal care, cleaning and screening as determined by the site.”

Tracy Kennedy, communications advisor for AHS says Manpower Staffing Services was contracted by Alberta Health Services at the end of December to recruit Comfort Care Aides for AHS and contractor-operated sites across the province. These are Designated Supportive Living and Long Term Care, both AHS and contractor-operated. Comfort Care Aides will be employees of Manpower Staffing Services, will be recruited locally, and will work under the direction of AHS or contracted operator site leadership,” she said in an email.

Leah Thebeau of Helping hands is just learning about the new position and has many concerns. Helping Hands has been operating in the Drumheller, Hanna, and Three Hills area since 1999. Before the onset of COVID-19 restrictions, they were also providing companionship and feed assistance in long-term care facilities at the clients’ expense. While some restrictions have been lifted allowing some of its staff to become ‘designated essential visitors,’ for residents that don’t have a local family. The rules have prevented them from returning to provide services.

“It becomes a little bit baffling… why on earth would we suddenly decide to charge this service to taxpayers and put thousands of more people into these facilities that contain our most vulnerable citizens?” said Thebeau.

She says the staff she has already at facilities could serve the clients, at no cost to AHS.

She is also concerned about the qualifications for the new positions. The ad on Manpower calls for a Grade 10 education and English proficiency.

“The job descriptions I have found are doing things like doing personal dressing and bathing, helping with ambulation. They are going to be cleaning, scrubbing tubs and cleaning high tough surfaces, and screening people for COVID,” she said. “All of those are different departments and different unions.”

The descriptions also note comfort aides are not a self-governing health profession and must work under the supervision and direction

of a regulated health professional such as a Registered Nurse, Registered Psychiatric Nurse, or Licensed Practical Nurse while delivering health care services. Thebeau wonders who will be supervising when they are performing other tasks that aren’t related to care.


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