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News: December 11, 2017

Parkland Lodge Annual Christmas Tea, Bazaar and Bake sale

by Deanna Mitchener
    Parkland Lodge Auxiliary held their annual Christmas Tea, Bazaar and Bake sale on December 2.
Although this is an annual event, the location changed this year due to their recent move into the old hospital. But the event was a great success regardless, thanks to the many wonderful volunteers and for those that came out to shop.
   Ivan Strang the President of the Auxiliary, said, "We had a larger than expected group that came out to the event and I had to set up some extra tables for the tea."
"A big plus was we had four students from Vanier Catholic School helping out. I told the students I could maybe retire now, with all the great work they have been doing to help us out. It was so nice to have our youth out in support and helping with our seniors," said Ivan.
   "It just blew me away, we had five tables of baking and everything sold. We had five tables set up with silent auction items, and we are very pleased with all the support from volunteers and the community for attending our annual event," said Ivan.
"Altogether we got just over $1,600 from the sales. The lodge now has 67 seniors living there. We were a little worried we may not have many show up as the lodge moved and less parking was available. But they sure supported this event and we are very thankful to everyone," said Ivan.
   The Auxiliary tries to give each resident $100 for Christmas, so just at Christmas, it will cost the Auxiliary $6,700. Community support is very much needed and appreciated.    

News: December 4, 2017

8th Annual Feel the Spirit Community Christmas Dinner

by Deanna Mitchener
  Christmas is a beautiful time of year, and you can feel the spirit of giving each year as Chef Ramzi Fakhreddine and Tammy Flander host their annual Feel the Spirit Christmas Dinner.
This is their 8th annual event for the community to enjoy a delicious meal free of charge. The Olive Tree Restaurant and Lounge is in partnership with the Town of Edson and the Edson Golf Club for the second year in a row.
The event will be held at the Edson and District Recreation Complex on December 17, from 12 p.m. until 7 p.m. allowing plenty of time for families to come out and take part in not only the free meal but some great activities as well.
Besides a great turkey meal, there will be family fun and holiday crafts, sleigh rides from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and a visit from Santa. Santa is planning on arriving from the North Pole to visit from 4:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. He is a very busy man this time of year but knows how much this community events means to everyone.
Tammy Flander says, "Everyone is welcome and the Town has arranged for free transportation to and from the complex with the Daycare bus for anyone that may need a ride. The (ESTS) Edson Seniors Transportation Society Bus is there for the seniors and those with accessibility needs. This really helps get folks back and fourth so they can enjoy the event as well."
"We are hoping for an even bigger turnout this year. The event has grown so much over the years. When we first came to Edson we started the event on main street and were serving around 1,200 people. Then from the Olive Tree we were serving over 2,000 people. Then moving it out to the Complex we were serving 3,300 meals in that seven hour span. The community has been so supportive in helping to make it grow. Families have been bringing in non-perishable foods, or making a cash donations that go to the Food Bank, so we are happy that this event has branched out even further and helping others," says Tammy.
"We usually have a few volunteers who will help deliver meals out in the community for those who are unable to attend the festivities. Many groups and individuals like to volunteer the day of the event as well, more and more are feeling the spirit to give of themselves," says Flander.
Be sure to tell all your family and friends to attend, as this will be the biggest and best event yet. All festivities and activities are free.   

News: November 27, 2017

Agriculture and Forestry Minister updates County

by Dana McArthur
During the November 21 council meeting, the NDP Agriculture and Forestry Minister and MLA for Whitecourt/St.Anne, Oneil Carlier, gave an update to Yellowhead County Council.
"When I took on the role I didn't know much about forestry and I thought it was going to be complicated. But honestly agriculture is complicated, there are so many balls in the air," said Carlier. "Agriculture this past year, I think we missed a bullet a bit. There was a lot of late seeding but there is 99% of the crops in. We've had a pretty good average year."
"In forestry OSB has tripled in price this year. In softwood lumber, it looks like we are in for a fight, but we will be victorious in the end, and the lawyers will get rich," said Carlier. "With NAFTA it's anyone's guess. The biggest point is Chapter 19 the dispute resolution mechanism. Just having it up to the Americans to decide what is right or wrong is not going to be acceptable."
"I remain optimistic that both industries are more than sustainable. The number of young farmers has been on the increase. For the most part farming is a pretty good business," said Carlier. "In agriculture we are so integrated with the Americans I don't NAFTA changes will have much effect. I'm a little worried about dairy."
The MLA also spoke about the impending electoral boundary changes in the province. "I am not necessarily happy with the proposed changes. The district of Yellowhead would increase dramatically, and my riding would shift east," said Carlier. He compared the population discrepancies between city and rural ridings.
Mayor Gerald Soroka commented, "When you are dealing with a 12 square block radius of one city riding, how much different are their concerns? But when you're dealing with your area the concerns can be vastly different from one side to the other. Population representation alone, does not necessarily work."
Councillor Shawn Berry expressed concerns with burning on the Eastern Slopes, "The government mandates the forestry industry to burn their waste in the bush. This creates a lot of smoke that causes people, many with asthma, a lot of distress. Why burn this material instead of hauling it to Drayton Valley, for example, where they want the fibre?"
Carlier responded, "I think this fibre will start to become a commodity, it's happening already. It's going to be commercially viable and that's going to be a good thing."
Mayor Soroka inquired on the local Mt. Pine Beetle issue. Carlier stated, "Hinton is a disaster. I am really frustrated, as an Albertan, that Jasper National Park is now a park full of dead trees. They did not allow mechanical control and it's now estimated Hinton has 500,000 dead or dying trees."
"My understanding is we are now going to allow very extensive harvesting of those trees to control the situation," said Carlier.
Other issues raised went from livestock producers and veterinary care medicines to opening European markets to Canadian goods.
The Mayor also raised concerns about the lack of definite plans from the province for the proposed Niton interchange. "Without a firm plan from the province we can't move ahead with our long range area structural plan for the Niton area," said County CAO Jack Ramme. The MLA promised to look into the situation.