Saying goodbye to 2016 – October

Participants gather at the trail head of O’Mahony Conservation Area just prior to heading out on the Kimiwan Lake Naturalists Community Hike.

October 5, 2016 – A large turnout for Kimiwan Lake Naturalists Community Hike
There was a great turnout for Kimiwan Lake Naturalists Community Hike at the O’Mahony Conservation Area, 9 kilometers south of McLennan on Highway 2.
The early fall weather was perfect: fresh enough to make a brisk walk comfortable and warm enough to loiter and pay closer attention to the environment.
Approximately 40 people showed up at 1pm on Sunday, September 25, from parents with kids in strollers on up, covering a broad spectrum of ages.
The hike took the Owl trail, a 2.2 km loop that gives a representative feel of what the conservation area has to offer.
There are also longer trails offering a more energetic hike for those who wish.
Apart from getting out into the natural environment, walking on wide, well-groomed trails that are almost as effortless to navigate as the sidewalk, there is also a remarkable variety of natural plant and animal life to observe and enjoy.
Along the trails there are periodic signs providing information on specific animals, plants, trees and even varieties of fungi found in the area.
Some of the larger animals are the black bear, moose and white-tailed deer.
There are also the boreal chorus frog, snowshoe hare and the red backed vole.

October 12, 2016 – Alberta’s economy one of the biggest concerns Brian Jean is hearing about
t’s a recurring theme that Brian Jean has been hearing about – the state of the Alberta economy and jobs.
The Wildrose Opposition Leader stopped in Falher on Oct. 5 as part of his tour through the Peace Country last week. He was here to talk to residents about their concerns.
“We’ve gotten to every single constituency in Alberta (since last summer),” says Jean. “We’re talking to Albertans, (and listening) to understand what their priorities are, as well as giving our vision on what we see as a better Alberta.”
He held a meeting with a group of people at Bobo’s Restaurant. Among the things he discussed with them were the economy, jobs, interprovincial trade and immigration.
Everybody is concerned about the economy and jobs, he says.
“If you go to Peace River like I was this morning, you will see ‘For Lease’ signs on almost all the buildings in the industrial areas. You will see, in the downtown area, many buildings that are for lease.”
He talked to a group of 40 people there earlier in the day and he says they are concerned about the NDP’s carbon tax.
He doesn’t perceive that this NDP government is supportive of Alberta’s petroleum industry.
“They seem to be interested in attacking our economy. We’ve had federal governments, before, that have been helpful.
“Now we have a provincial government that, I think, for the first time is clearly not in favour of the energy sector in Alberta, and the great jobs and the quality of life that it provides Albertans.”

October 19, 2016 – A farewell tea for Sister Dolores, the last remaining Sister of Providence to leave McLennan
The parting of Sister Dolores Blanchette from McLennan marks the end of an era, a long and productive era that began with the arrival of the Sisters of Providence to establish the Sacred Heart Hospital in 1929.
With the departure of Sister Rita Schiller in September, Sister Dolores was the last remaining Providence Sister in the region and with her departure on Saturday October 15 a long period of service and a vital part of establishing the community has come to a close.
Manoir du Lac hosted a farewell tea for Sister Dolores, organized by the Manoir’s Ladies Auxiliary, on Thursday October 13. Students and teachers from Ecole Providence were also present with the students singing a short song in the Sister’s honour.
Family members of Sister Dolores were also present for the occasion.
Sister Dolores came to McLennan in 1992 and is now moving to Calgary to work at a much larger nursing home with over 300 residents
“I’ve been here since 1992, that’s a long time, but not long enough,” she said during a brief speech.
Two large cakes were delivered for the occasion that expressed appreciation for all Sister Dolores contributed to the community and especially to the residents at Manoir du Lac. It was of course a poignant occasion having to say goodbye to someone who was so dedicated to her work in the region and a good friend to most of those in attendance.
Kimiwan Lake Naturalists receive Alberta Parks 2016 Outstanding Group Steward Award
In recognition of the commitment of the Kimiwan Lake Naturalists and the work of volunteers in maintaining the O’Mahony Conservation Area, Alberta Parks presented the group with the Outstanding Group Steward Award.
The Award is given in acknowledgment of a group’s contribution to the preservation and appreciation of a protected area.
The area, developed by the O’Mahony family, G.P. Vanier School and the local community, is not only a conservation area for birds, wildlife and vegetation but is also to be enjoyed in a recreational capacity.
To keep the O’Mahony Conservation area in ideal condition for visitors, including school field trips, birdwatchers, interest groups and cross-country skiing, the easily navigated, self-guided, interpretive trails are maintained by the Kimiwan Lake Naturalists and volunteers while at the same time ensuring that animal habitats and natural plant life are not encroached upon.
The O’Mahony Conservation Area is open year round for the public to visit.

October 26, 2016 – Fire Prevention Week activities at Falher fire hall
Smoky River Fire and Rescue held Fire Prevention Week activities at the Falher fire hall on Oct. 15. They had their equipment on display and provided children with educational materials for fire prevention and awareness.
Two fire trucks were placed in front of the fire hall for viewing as well.
The fire chief’s office was turned into a “smoke room,” filled with smoke to highlight a thermal camera the fire department uses.
Fire Prevention Week was held across Canada during the week of Oct. 9-16. The theme of this year’s event was Hear the Beep When You Sleep, in reference to changing the batteries in your smoke alarm frequently.
Small Buisness Week dinner draws approximately 50 people, Wildrose Party member as guest speaker
The annual Small Business Week dinner was held at the Centre Chevaliers in Falher on Oct. 18, drawing approximately 50 people, including business owners and municipal government officials.
Prasad Panda, the Wildrose MLA for Calgary Foothills, was the guest speaker following the dinner. Panda outlined his background.
Panda is originally from India and is an engineer by training. He worked in the petroleum industry for 28 years.
This is his first tour of northern Alberta. Panda touted the Wildrose Party’s platform of offering alternatives to the NDP government’s legislation and policies. Panda commented that the NDP government supports some pipelines, but not others. Also, he’s hearing concerns from Albertans about the economy and job losses.

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