Commentary – A summer back to normal

Richard Froese

Summer is over and it’s back to school for students!

It seemed that the summer of 2021 was mostly back to normal and busier after events were cancelled in summer 2020 because of COVID-19 restrictions.

Just look at the July and August issues of the South Peace News and Lakeside Leader and readers quickly discover more events, even some new events.

As COVID-19 restrictions in Alberta were dropped July 1, Premier Jason Kenney was calling it “The Best Summer Ever”.

I don’t know about “best summer ever”, but it was a better summer than in 2020.

Vaccinations helped to reduce the number of COVID-19 cases in the province in the summer. People had more freedom to travel, go camping and do a variety of activities that didn’t happen in summer 2020.

The summer of 2021 was a time for people to reunite with family and friends for the first time since the pandemic started in March 2020. Minor baseball and golf courses were back in full swing.

Last year in the summer, local newspapers scrambled to find stories and photos to fill 20 pages.

Some communities celebrated Canada Day 2021 in some way and several annual summer recreation programs returned.

Other events made the pages of the local newspapers. The Tiangle Mud Bog weekend returned July 3-4. Treaty 8 First Nation Child Well Being Legislation naming ceremony was held July 11 at Willow Point near Grouard. Peace River Mud Bog weekend was in action July 24-25. Spruce Point Park Rodeo was back on Aug. 7-8. Splish Splash Sports Day at Marie Reine was the place to be Aug. 12. Jump and Jam and Open Air Market in Northern Sunrise County was in the spotlight Aug. 14. An outdoor movie in Peace River on Aug. 19 was fun for all ages. Movie in the Park in Falher was in the spotlight Aug. 20. Driftpile Powwow returned Aug. 20-22. Inter.Sect Art and Music Festival in High Prairie made its debut on Aug. 19-21.

By looking at that list, nobody could say there was nothing to do in the summer.

Thanks to organizers for those events to create opportunity for people to gather, renew friendships and celebrate community.

As fall approaches, more is on the horizon.

That is, if the growing concern of COVID-19 and variants doesn’t take us back to restrictions for activities.

Minor and high school sports are scheduled to be back while organizations are expected to return to regular meetings and activities.

Federal politicians hit the campaign trail Aug. 15 as voters head to the polls Sept. 20. That date is also the deadline for candidates to file nominations for local government elections Oct. 18. Electors will vote for mayors and councils in municipalities and local trustees in school divisions across Alberta.

At the same time, voters will also have their voice in a referendum presented by the Government of Alberta on a federal issue.

“Is Alberta getting a fair deal from the federal government in Confederation, especially regarding transfer payments?”

MMost people in Alberta and Western Canada just can’t wait to wave goodbye, good riddance, to Justin Trudeau, who has mistreated and ignored the West’s interests since he became the prime minister in November 2015.

Share this post