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Pray for better days – a 3rd generation oil worker laments the end of an industry


by Sheldon Gron (published with permission)

I’ve been debating on whether or even how to write this over the last few weeks. I’m a third generation oilfield worker, a large portion of my family being involved with the oilfield in some way. Its sad to say, but I really truly honestly feel that the oilfield in Canada is officially dead. Sure there will be a little here and there, some guys will get a little work and even less will get consistent work, but all in all, to be an oilfield worker as a career is over. Nothing pains me more than to be saying this as I myself have over 20 years in the industry, an industry which I used to love and was proud to be apart of.

The industry has always worked in cycles, most of us know this. It was feast or famine. Best you could do was get the money while the gettin’ was good and save the best you could to prepare for the next slow down. Some were smart, most were not. Debt would ring up, slow down would hit and more debt would add up until bankruptcy loomed. Most slow downs lasted at most a year but usually turned around and guys would get 3 or 4 years of good times to recover and prepare for the next one. Take this most recent slow down in 2014. Writing was on the wall BUT no one expected it to hit as hard as it did. The world shook as oil prices fell to near 1998 prices. Within a few years though prices started to climb, enough so that work started to return. Not a ton, but enough that the guys left in the patch were finding work.

2018 there was finally some hope, there seemed to be some sort of light at the end of the tunnel but this whole pipe line mess loomed over us. You see Canadian Crude has always had its own value, lately a value significantly lower that everyone else due to our lack of infrastructure to get oil to market. With our current government and their apparently efforts to stop the much needed pipe line, Western Crude prices fell, investments pulled and companies lost faith… Canada is now suffering another oilfield crash, on top of the previous one. Heres the problem.

Anyone that has survived thus far is at the end of their rope. Toys are sold, saving have been spent to survive these last 4 years and now that another slow down is here, there is nothing to fall back on. Faith in the patch is gone as the hands and small businesses are in real trouble this time.

We are 8-10 year away from any of this ever turning around at the earliest, save some major event happening that sends oil to 200 a barrel. Lets face it, without a means to get our oil to market, no one wants it and who can blame them. Our government has severely let us down and 2019 is going to mean some serious trouble for Canada. I have done every thing I can to stick it out in the only career I know and don’t know how much longer I can go living pay check to pay check meanwhile being away from my family 25 days a month just to get by, and thats when I’m busy. If I was young and new to the oilfield I wouldn’t come anywhere near the oilfield as its apparent there is no future. You used to come here to make money, now, when you can actually get work, the money isn’t that great anymore.

I know some of you have very little sympathy for oilfield workers because you have always seen the money they have made but let me explain the repercussions of no oilfield in Alberta, Sask or Northern BC. Before the crash, entry level oilfield workers made over 100K a year. In order to do this they usually spent about 230-250 days a year away from their friends and families in all weather conditions working all sorts of hours. At times these conditions could be some of the most gruelling with sometimes not the nicest people. But it was a job and it paid well. That’s from their perspective. These same people that do this job pay 30% or more in taxes to our government. They pay more in taxes that many people make in an entire year, thats entry level, now take the people that are pulling in 200-250K. All that tax money is gone, no longer paying for schools and hospitals and roads and such. Now consider those lifted trucks and toys they buy with the money they earned with their oilfield money. All that money went to local businesses and local people that didn’t work in the oilfield. Salaries were paid, cloths were bought with that money those people earned from selling that truck or quad or what ever they buy.

Also consider the money they spent in the places they worked, supporting locally. Hotels, gas stations and grocery stores, restaurants and bars and so on. Alberta was successful and one of the richest provinces for one reason, OIL MONEY and now it is gone. Go to another have not province and ask them what its like to not have jobs and see what they think. Ask the number of people born across Canada that have come to Alberta for the Alberta Advantage why they came. Our Federal government had one mission regarding Alberta, and that was to bring it to its knees and we have let them do it. The oil field is dead and we let it happen. They panic cause 2500 of Ontarios people lost their jobs because GM shut down a plant yet 150K Albertans have lost their jobs and more are coming.

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Search for missing man last seen at Red Deer hotel expands



Missing Man

The Calgary Police Service Homicide Unit is seeking public assistance in relation to the disappearance of Abdikadir TUKHOV, who was reported missing in December 2016.

Abdikadir TUKHOV, 43, of Calgary was reported missing by friends on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2016. He was last seen on Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, leaving a residence in the community of Abbeydale.

Police have exhausted all footprints of life and as a result of new information from members of community, TUKHOV’s disappearance is considered suspicious. Friends also believe that TUKHOV may have been met with foul play.

TUKHOV lived a transient lifestyle and spent time in Calgary, Grand Prairie, Edmonton and Red Deer. It is believed he worked as a taxi driver in Grand Prairie prior to his disappearance.

Investigators are seeking public assistance to identify a man and a woman seen with TUKHOV at the Cambridge Red Deer Hotel (previously the Sheraton Red Deer), located at 3310 50 Ave., Red Deer, in the early morning hours of Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. Police believe they may have information about TUKHOV’s disappearance or his activities prior to his disappearance.

A photo of TUKHOV with the man and woman is available above.

The woman is described as 25 to 40, with an average build with brown hair.

The man is described as 30 to 45, with an average build. He can be seen wearing a hat in the photo.

“We know that people in the community have information about Abdikadir’s disappearance,” says Staff Sergeant Martin Schiavetta of the CPS Homicide Unit. “Abdikadir left behind a wife and two children and we ask that anyone who has information come forward so that we can provide closure to his friends and family. Even what seems like the most insignificant information can sometimes be enough to help detectives solve a case.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the Calgary Police Service Homicide Tip Line at 403-428-8877. They may also contact the Calgary Police Service non-emergency number at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers anonymously through either of the following methods:

TALK: 1-800-222-8477


Case # 16660072/4110

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Million-Dollar Cocaine Seizure Made in Edmonton



From ALERT (Alberta Law Enforcement Response Team)

Edmonton… Over a million dollars’ worth of cocaine has been seized after ALERT conducted search warrants at two Edmonton homes. ALERT seized over 11 kilograms of cocaine and 84 kilograms of a cocaine buffing agent.

ALERT’s Edmonton organized crime team made the seizure on June 8, 2019, and one person was arrested. The Edmonton Police Service and Alberta Sheriffs provided assistance.

ALERT alleges that an apartment in the Pembina neighbourhood was being used to package and press cocaine. That is where investigators located 84 kilograms of the cocaine buffing agent Phenacetin – one of the largest seizures of its kind by ALERT.

Phenacetin is a cutting agent used to dilute the purity of cocaine in order to maximize profits. It was banned in Canada in 1973 due to its carcinogenic and kidney-damaging properties.

The total value of the drugs seized is estimated at $1.4 million and includes:

11.37 kilograms of cocaine;
84 kilograms of Phenacetin;
902 grams of ketamine; and
$15,465 cash.

A 26-year-old Edmonton man was arrested. Mihnea Vasiu has been charged with drug possession for the purpose of trafficking and possession of proceeds of crime.

Vasiu became known to ALERT after he was observed meeting with targets in previous investigations.

Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.

ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime. Members of Calgary Police Service, Edmonton Police Service, Lethbridge Police Service, Medicine Hat Police Service, and RCMP work in ALERT.

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july, 2019

thu18jul(jul 18)12:00 pmmon29(jul 29)8:00 pmTaste of Edmonton12:00 pm - 8:00 pm (29)

sun21jul11:00 am2:00 pmOne Eleven Jazzy Brunch11:00 am - 2:00 pm

fri26jul6:00 pm9:00 pmTaste of Red DeerSummer Just Got More Delicious!6:00 pm - 9:00 pm