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Thank Goodness for the Farmers and Scientists Who Feed Us All

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On this (Canadian) Thanksgiving Weekend many people will be gathering with families, or friends, or even strangers. And despite all of the world’s ongoing challenges, we do have much to be thankful for. We are still living in the most fortunate of times. Every day enormous steps are taken towards both multiple cures for disease, others improve our daily lives, while others reach for the stars. And while some us will always experience the inevitable ups and downs of life, for the vast majority of the world life has improved remarkably over the last 50 years.

There have never been more people fed each day, and our food has never been safer. All of this is thanks to the hard daily work of both farmers and scientists. Think of it. Nearly eight billion human beings. To put that on a scale where each of us is a single day, that’s enough days for 22 million years. And every single day of every single year of our lives, the vast majority of those days will include three full meals. 24 billion meals per day. There is much to be done, but there is much to be thankful for. So on this Thanksgiving weekend, consider raising a glass and toasting, the remarkable people that allow us to eat, and to enjoy the freedom to do literally everything we both personally and professionally do.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Opinion

The fastest way to get an Aquatic Centre built in Red Deer is to call it an Ice Rink?

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While the communities around us are building, citing lower costs, and available labour, Red Deer is putting off.

Granted the city will be paying off the new ice rinks downtown for years and will be making million dollar payments, for years, to the college to subsidize the construction of their new ice rink. The city, even with grants and subsidies will be paying off the future twinning of the Dawe ice rink for many years.

If only the Aquatic Centre was called an ice rink? The last Aquatic facility we opened 20 years ago, Collicutt, was controversial, expensive and much needed.

Who among us regrets the investment the city made in building the Collicutt recreational complex, anyone? Some wishes that we had built a 50 metre pool, but few deny the success of the investment.

That the Collicutt Ctr. was a huge catalyst in the growth in the south-east corner of Red Deer is undeniable.

Nearly 30 years ago the city leaders felt that with the city population heading towards 60,000 residents, a fourth pool was needed. One per 15,000 population, would be the goal. It would attract growth to the south east corner too.

Today with the population at 100,000 and hopefully 120,000 in ten years would it not be proper to build a fifth pool? One per 24,000 population. We would need 4 new pools to match the original goal of one per 15,000 population.

The city said no, we needed more ice rinks. We rebuilt ones downtown, recently as well as, we built one at the college. We will finish paying for the college rink in about 7 or 8 years. We also want to build another rink at the Dawe centre next year, so we cannot build a pool for another 10 years or so.

6 years ago the city established a committee to make recommendations on the aquatic centre. The city said then it had no land available at that time except the downtown so the committee recomended building it downtown to accomodate an immediate build. Now years later, many things have changed.

Interesting enough the city has 3,000 or so acres they want to develop north of 11a, to house about 25,000 residents at 17 homes per hectare and 2.5 residents per home on average density. So follow a successful precedent called Collicutt Ctr.

Build a Collicutt centre with a 50m pool and an ice rink as catalyst for growth in the northwest.

The icing on the cake in the north-west is Hazlett Lake with 2 miles of coastline. Cities like Lethbridge which has consistent growth and is now more populated than Red Deer built man made lakes for tourist attracting, while we have a natural lake.

We have the precedent, we have the need, we have the land, we have the opportunity and we have the residents requesting it.

Now only if we were in a buyer’s market with low land prices, and low interest rates? We are.

If we could get the tenders to come in lower? What’s that? Red Deer County says their tenders are coming in at up to 50% less than boom tenders.

We have all the ducks in a row, we have opportunity, we the means, we have the desire but do we have the vision and the courage.

I am beginning to think that the city leaders can’t see the forest for the trees. It feels like they took a snapshot years ago and rather than look at present opportunities they look at that snapshot. They use old data, old numbers and old formulas and say the same old statements, and we stagnate and wait for the next generation to present updated plans.

Perhaps now is the time for the next generation, what say you?

Next October is the next municipal election. Let us find candidates and issues that have vision? Perhaps we could get Blackfalds to lend us a few visionaries or annex us? Perhaps the County? Penhold? Sylvan Lake? They are growing while we twiddle our thumbs.

 

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3 Questions For 3 Time JUNO Award Nominee Earl Pereira

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It’s hard not to smile when thinking that at some point in my day I’ll get to have a little catch up session with one of my favourite buds in the music biz, Earl Pereira. If you’ve had the pleasure of meeting Earl then you know it’s really hard to ignore that beaming smile of his. It’s almost like a signature. Theres something about a smile like Earl’s that just captivates the moment. 

I first met Earl in Saskatoon, SK probably 98’ or close to it. Wide Mouth Mason was at Lydia’s that night and we were down the way at the Wash n’ Slosh. Yes, you read that correctly. A Laundromat that dubbed as a live music venue or vice versa, whatever… Thats a different story all together. At any rate, Earl would have no recollection of meeting that evening as we literally had the opportunity to have a very quick hi hello and presto they were on stage. Always seems like the case. Nothing but time before the show and then in a heartbeat it’s go time and you’re standing there thinking “I’m not ready tho…” That might be just me?

Fast forward, it was 2012 and I was finishing the songs with long time friend, band mate and basically brother Michael John. We needed a bass player for the studio sessions and our agent suggested we call Earl. I thought “yeah right, like he’s gonna play on our track.” It wasn’t long after that I got word he was into it. Within a couple of weeks we were sitting in the studio with the producer Ryan Andersen (No Love) when I got the text from Earl saying they were outside. I was legit thinking “is this really happening?” Yes, sure was. Next thing I know Earl Pereira is bobbing along smiling, bass in hand bringing this track to life. I’ll never forget the words he said as he did his first pass “looks like you’ve got yourselves a little hit here…” Well, ‘Bobby Doesn’t Know’ it did not go on to be a hit haha. It was however one of the coolest nights of my career and one of the songs I’m most proud of. It’s how I met Earl Pereira, friend since then for life. Naturally we then had beers and ordered more pizza than I’ve ever seen in my life and had an incredible hang.

These are my three questions for JUNO nominee Earl Pereira:

  1. What has been your go to food and or meal through this whole world wide lockdown?
  1. Who is the first band you wanna see live in concert once this is all over?
  1. How would you describe the role music plays on your mental health during the last few months?
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january, 2021

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