News | DrumhellerMail - Page #13
Last updateFri, 21 Jun 2019 3pm

Former MP joins race in Battle River-Crowfoot CPC nomination

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    Another hopeful has stepped into the race to replace MP for Battle River -Crowfoot Kevin Sorenson, who has announced he will be retiring from politics.
    Jeff Watson, who served as an MP under Stephen Harper, is stepping forward to run for the federal Conservative nomination in Battle River-Crowfoot. Rural crime and the oil and gas sector are his top priorities.
    “Rural communities face real, immediate challenges,” says Watson, who has made Alberta his home after serving as MP for the rural, farming district of Essex in Southwestern Ontario for over a decade. “These challenges require practical solutions, and both leadership and experience getting results in the one place where the nominated Conservative candidate may be sent by voters – the House of Commons in Ottawa.”  
    He adds his previous experience will help him as an MP.
    “While others may have to take years to learn the ropes and build relationships in Caucus and Cabinet to move ideas forward,” said Watson, who also served as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transportation in the Harper Government.
    Watson, his wife of 22 years, Sarah, and their six kids currently reside in Calgary, where Jeff works with UCP Transportation Minister Ric McIver, and Sarah works for Calgary Conservative MP Stephanie Kusie.
    Watson has already been knocking on doors in communities across Battle River-Crowfoot, listening to residents’ concerns, proposing concrete solutions to pressing problems identified, and recruiting new members to the Conservative Party to support its nomination process.
    “It’s important people buy a Conservative Party membership now to choose who will be on the fall election ballot and possibly the next MP for Battle River-Crowfoot.”
    Jeff will be holding a series of open to the public meetings in June so those who may not have been home when he knocked on their door will have a chance to provide advice, offer ideas, and ask questions of Watson.

Search for missing historic Coat of Arms

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    Public assistance is needed in the search for the missing Provincial Shield removed from the former courthouse at 703 2nd Avenue West Drumheller.
    The building, which was Drumheller’s original purpose-built provincial courthouse, was most recently used as the Drumheller Town Hall. The property is protected by the Alberta Heritage Program and the coat of arms is indicated as a “Key Defining Element” in the historic significance of the building.
    The courthouse was built in 1954. According to a heritage report, “The construction of the Drumheller Courthouse in 1954 was part of a larger program of courthouse construction initiated in the 1950s to address the urgent need for more space and modern facilities for the province’s justice system. The need by the early 1950s was quite urgent – the business of Alberta’s court system grew dramatically after World War Two, driven in large part by the province’s rapid population growth and explosive natural resource development.”
    The Drumheller Courthouse was one of the first new courthouses built during this post-war expansion.
    A new courthouse was built in 1984.
    “Sometime after the Town of Drumheller vacated the building the Shield was removed from the front of the building. A private citizen purchased the building in 2018 and the search began. We are hoping someone knows where the shield is and a tip can help lead to its return. It is most likely the person who removed it didn’t know the significance of it’s removal,” said Bob Sheddy of Century 21
    The Alberta Historical Resources Act protects provincial historical resources and areas. Those contravening the act can be fined up to $50,000 or face imprisonment for a term of not more than one year. It also has the power to seek damages from the person causing the alteration or destruction of a resource.
    Those who may have information on the missing artifact can contact Bob Sheddy at 403.324.2222, drop off at Century 21 or contact the Heritage Conservation Adviser from the Calgary and East Central Region 403.297.4074.

Graham retires from Morrin Council


    Morrin Village Councillor Dr. Robert Graham has decided to retire from the post less than two years following an election.
    Graham tells the Mail he tendered his resignation last week, prior to a Special Meeting that was called for Thursday, May 23, the second of its kind this month. He says one of the reasons is his professional obligations.
    “There is a lot of interference with my medical work,” he tells the Mail.
    He says often meetings are at the same time that he is in the operating room.
    “My priorities are with medicine. I am not yet retired. For me to make that commitment and cancel operations to go to meetings that they announce three days before, I can’t plan things that quickly for the operating room.”
    He also tells the Mail that he felt his voice was being lost at the council table. Morrin has a town council of three including Mayor Howard Helton and M’Liss Edwards.
    “It’s two against one as well, their philosophy or things they want to do, I am not always totally comfortable with it,” he said. ”If they pass it, I have to be 100 per cent supportive, so that is hard to do when you are not agreeing with what they want to do.”
    “Even if I stayed then I would be powerless to change anything.”
    One contentious issue facing Morrin Village Council is the subject of the retirement of CAO Annette Plachner. At the May 14 Council Meeting Councillor Graham presented retirement packages for the CAO who is expected to retire in the near future. She has been with the village for about 35 years.
    Mayor Howard Helton had some issues with the accuracy of some of the information provided and brought up the idea of asking residents their view through a survey in the utility bill.
   “Do we poll the utility bill?” asked Mayor Helton. “We are polling all kinds of things in the utility bill, sharing the participation of the village.”
    Councillor Graham made the motion to poll the community with suggested retirement packages. Councillor Graham and Edwards voted in favour, Mayor Helton voted against the motion.
   At the Thursday, May 23 special meeting Council rescinded the motion to poll the community regarding the CAO retirement, and then following an in camera session council moved to consult a lawyer.
    Graham wishes council the best.
    “I really like the Village of Morrin, I have made good friends here and it has been a great place for us,” said Graham. “I hope they are able to do good for our village.”

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