Commentary – An unpredicted happening

Pat Rehn

Jeff Burgar

The late Ray Tallman, of Grouard, made good predictions. Definitely much better than this lowly writer.

At least twice a year, and usually more often, Ray would let us know what coming months would bring in weather.

Actually, we never really measured his successes or failures. It was much more fun to get the next prediction, than worry if the last one had a ring of truth to it.

Indeed, we do a better job keeping track of Groundhog Day predictions! And that we do for just a few months. Six weeks of winter and the rodent ramblings are either applauded or forgotten.

Ray was in a whole class of his own, fearlessly predicting months into the future, combining his readings of moss, the habits of magpies, what he observed from deer, and probably what he gleaned from the Farmer’s Almanac, to form his prognostications, as we called them. Ray also wisely stuck with weather.

On the other hand, fools like ourselves in the news business aren’t happy with just weather, or even sports predictions. Nope. Many of us wander into that muddy, stormy, unmapped and totally confusing arena called politics.

It’s bad enough politicians themselves, with their advisors, polls, door knockers and supposedly endless expert opinions, often make a mess of predictions. There just isn’t any reliable moss on the south side of a tree giving all answers.

Yet, who predicted bringing previously booted Lesser Slave Lake MLA Pat Rehn back into the UCP fold? More than half the Lesser Slave Lake party faithful, the 20 or 30 members and executive who show up for meetings, probably didn’t see this bombshell coming.

Politics being politics, none will admit this. The story promoted is there were letters and notes and pleadings from all manner of clubs, local councils, big shots and influencers that Rehn deserved a second chance.

The big-hearted, kindly, all knowing and unfathomable wisdom possessing Premier Jason Kenney, agreed.

Maybe he has better chicken entrails and backwoods moss reading abilities than ourselves. We also did not see this one coming.

This isn’t to say Rehn isn’t deserving. He now answers phone calls. He has video meetings with councillors. He bills for being at work almost every day of the week in Edmonton. He pens a nice column. These are things not taken lightly.

He probably knocks on government doors countless times per day.

Plus, it has to be remembered, most of the town and county councils he ignored before the boot, ignored Rehn as he ignored them.

We won’t mention the council that probably sent a large pile of letters and records illustrating ignoring to Kenney. We’re sure Rehn will now pay very, very close attention to that community.

Many lessons here: Squeaky wheels do indeed get the grease. The sun does not always shine on the most needy of mosses. The most aggressive of woodchucks get attention, not ones who hide in the burrow and pout.

And of course, good fortune comes to those who really do work hard.

So, welcome back Mr. Rehn!

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