The Page – March 29, 2023

“Always keep your word. If a change in circumstances means that keeping your word would be life-threatening or otherwise devastating, renegotiate with the intent of maintaining your integrity.” – Brian Koslow

The Edmonton Boat and Sportsman Show went off March 16-19. Beautiful weather. Packed halls. Maybe not everything a family or eager camper could want, but lots to see.
Boats from tiny canoes and kayaks all the way up to 30-foot in size. Unlike last year, which was basically a recovery year from COVID, this year the main boat hall was jammed with so many boats, in some places you could walk across 10 or 30 boats without touching the ground.
Last year, boats were spaced out to make the place look full, when in fact it was kind of bare.
Prices for just about everything are keeping up with inflation that’s for sure. Boats that a couple years ago were maybe $70,000 new are now past $90,000 on their way to $110,000. Everything below those numbers and above are the same way. Salespeople explained everything, from aluminum to fibreglass to vinyl to motors and electronics are all substantially up.
Interesting, some big exhibitors that were mainstays of the show in years past, like The Fishin’ Hole, didn’t have booths. Lots of stores took their place and did a booming business, even with the high prices. Anybody need a Jeep getting a 700+ horsepower Hellcat motor? It was here.
The bad stuff, depending on your view, is that northwestern Alberta, as in ‘Come and Visit,’ didn’t make an appearance. There were lots of small booths promoting recreation and camping from across Saskatchewan, British Columbia and northeastern Alberta. Northern Alberta and the Peace River country, not at all.
If Whitecourt and Swan Hills, which were at the show last year, were there, we somehow missed them. But you can check online at for the northern Alberta folks who were there. Or at least, the ones we saw after making our rounds of the three halls at the Expo Centre.

We had the opportunity to chat with some people from out of province about fishing on Lesser Slave Lake.
As it turns out, they knew quite a bit about Lesser Slave and the new so-called slot limit imposed by provincial regulations on walleye, and the restrictions on northern pike. They had several main thoughts.
First, they said the walleye slot limit is one of the best things biologists could bring in. For those who don’t know, this means that only walleye between 45-50 cm can be taken as keepers. Any size above and below that size have to be released, if caught.
Second thought, as is said over and over again by local law-abiding anglers, the lack of enforcement on Lesser Slave Lake is pathetic. One person actually said it is ridiculous when you have campground owners turning a blind eye when poaching is going on right in front of them. And not a conservation officer for miles.
Things must be out of hand when people from 800 km away have opinions on local happenings. Small world.

This newspaper is joining with a few other publications here and there on two online initiatives that have recently expanded. You might have seen them before – and
TheRegional carries news from small communities right across Canada. Local council happenings. Events. Health issues. The sort of things that go on every week in our communities. Stuff that we never hear about, because the so-called “big city” media never bother with it unless it is big crime, people hurt, politics, or real estate prices in Toronto or Vancouver.
AlbertaChat is much of the same, but deals with more of our small communities right here in Alberta.
You can check out either one by going online to smokyriverexpress .com or southpeacenews .com. At the lower part of the front page online, you will see links every week to current stories at both TheRegional and AlbertaChat.
One new feature at AlbertaChat is the province-wide distribution of discussion of selected stories. We hope to have this on our local websites shortly.
We like to say, the more the merrier! And right now, discussion is kind of empty. Start in.

Not so merry are businesses in High Prairie aghast at the loss of the huge Treaty 8 First Nations Cup hockey tournament that usually fills the town the end of March.
For some unclear reason, that nobody in local government really wants to explain, both Peace River and Slave Lake were contacted by the Cup organizers to see if they were interested in hosting the 40-odd teams. Plus of course, all their families, fans and supporters that every year usually head to High Prairie to fill hotel rooms, restaurants and local stores. Slave Lake was selected.
One estimate puts the business loss at $400,000 for the tournament, which is the second or third largest event in High Prairie, following the Elks Rodeo and along with the big Gun and Sportsmen Show. Well, maybe not $400,000 but a huge amount of local business, especially when you consider how many times a dollar goes around and around in a community.
We sure are sad for High Prairie seeing this gone. We, along with lots of other people, hope the tournament will be back there next year.
Check this week’s editorial in this newspaper for thoughts about replacing lost business. And remember the news report last week about Peace River’s plans to attract and keep business as part of their economic committee 2023 work plan. Good thinking there.

The judge looked down from the bench at the latest bad guy hauled in front of him.
“Drunk again,” the judge told the criminal. “Disorderly conduct again. Disturbing the peace. Again. Another attempt at shoplifting. Wasting all of our time. Again. Aren’t you ashamed of yourself for coming into a place like this time after time?”
“Actually sir,” said the man, “I kinda think this is quite a respectable place to be seen in. Much better than most of the dumps I usually find myself.”

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