The Page – April 19, 2023

Whew! Must be the High Prairie Sportsman Show rubbing off on us!
All of a sudden, your writer has an urge to spin off gun jokes:
“It is statistically proven it is more dangerous to have a ladder in your home than a loaded gun. That’s why I have 12 guns. In case some maniac tries to sneak a ladder in here.”
“The government is going to offer to buy my guns from me. From what I know of government, I am not comfortable selling weapons to organized crime.”
“Give a man a gun, and he will rob a bank. Give a man a bank, and he will rob the world.”

West Fraser continues to be North America’s top lumber producer.
Also, last year West Fraser produced more lumber in the United States than it did in Canada. It is now the second largest producer south of the border, second only to Weyerhauser.
West Fraser runs six mills in British Columbia and another six in Alberta. The U.S. south now accounts for 53 per cent of West Fraser total production. Alberta is 25 per cent and B.C. 22 per cent.
Canada-wise West Fraser is the largest producer. Canfor is second, Resolute third, Interfor fourth and Tolko fifth.
Lumber prices have fallen dramatically since, well, since their dramatic Covid highs. Prices are now 70 per cent less what they were in early 2022.

Everything is pointing to local governments getting huge increases on their RCMP policing costs. Hardest hit in our region will be Peace River and Slave Lake.
The reason is the RCMP contract for their staff was re-negotiated in 2021. The end agreement gave staff an increase retroactive all the way back to 2017. Slave Lake’s share of that increase is around $400,000 in total.
However, about the same time in 2021 the Alberta Municipalities Association (AMA) told members to hold off paying the increases. Their thinking was, they would try to negotiate a better deal with the feds.
They did not succeed. So the bill has to be paid in full by March of 2025. AMA is still telling its members to hold off paying until the bitter end. Maybe the province will step in and help. Whatever. The clock is ticking and interest probably growing too, but that is unknown.

The Page recalls the CAO of Slave Lake, Pat Vincent, once upon a time who decided he had to weigh in on High Prairie’s problems with paying RCMP costs. Back 15 or so years ago, High Prairie was paying over 40 per cent of its taxes collected for RCMP. Increases coming down the road looked like over half of taxes, already high, were going to go through the roof, and all go to cops. Vincent had some words of advice to High Prairie. “Deal with it,” he said. “We are.”
Of course, Slave Lake was paying less than 10 per cent of its taxes for police, so it was easy for him to say.
Hey, Pat! Time to chew on your words now maybe?

An interesting item appeared in our sister newspaper in Slave Lake, the Lakeside Leader.
You may know the previous mayor, Tyler Warman, wrote a regular column for the newspaper. It talked about council and town business and was well-received. Warman left council for business reasons.
So, there was an election and a new mayor, Francesca Ward, was elected. In the interim before the election, there was an acting mayor. During that time, council ‘more or less agreed,’ according to the Leader, that a ‘round table’ type of presentation would be more to their liking than the one-person show of the mayor’s corner.
Well, most local governments have as their policy the mayor or reeve or chair is the official spokesperson of the council. Councillors can speak on issues of course, but must be careful to clarify that it is their own opinion and not that of council when they might disagree or have some thoughts that have not yet been agreed to by the rest of council.
But, for anybody interested, this newspaper has space for any councillors anywhere interested in writing columns. Once every two weeks. Once a month. Once every seven or nine weeks. That includes anybody who is just a member of the public. Or who might be a member of a board or faith group or club. If we don’t have space in print, we have lots of room online.
Sorry, no payment. But you get to tell people your story or ideas. Just like writing a letter to the editor. We also fix your spelling mistakes!
Just for interest, and smokyriverexpress .com get about a combined 75,000 to 80,000 unique visits per month.

“Gun control? That’s the theory that becoming a victim is morally superior to defending your family.”
“The best gun for a woman is the one a woman is so comfortable with she can be deadly with her eyes closed, clean it like the dishes, conceal it like a blemish, and whip it out like a credit card.”
“These guns no longer identify as guns. They identify as handheld wireless peace keeping devices. You must accept them as such. Or you are a racist bigot.”
“What if I told you there would be less shootings if we had stronger gun laws? How about if I told you there would be less drug overdoses if we had stronger drug laws?”
“My greatest fear is that one day I will die …and my wife will sell my guns for what I told her I paid for them.”

Share this post