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It’s Groundhog Day!

Readers might recall last year, it was a mixed bag of news as far as our northern Alberta groundhog observations went.
Those critter fellas and ladies who slept in were greeted with sunshine breaking out about 10:00 A.M. Those who were up bright and early as dawn was breaking around 8 were greeted with overcast skies. In other words, the early risers did not see their shadows. The late risers did.

The well known story goes, if the Groundhogs (also known as woodchucks)
see their shadows on Groundhog Day, frightened, they scurry back into their dens. There, they snooze away for another six weeks, while winter weather goes on and on outside.
Of course, there are all kinds of predictions, just from groundhogs, right across Canada, North America, and in fact the world……click here for rest of story





JANUARY 21, 2022 – The province is making changes to license plate renewal it says will accelerate auto theft investigations.

As of Wednesday this week, motorists are required to report lost or stolen license plates before requesting a replacement plate from registry agents.

Early reporting of lost or stolen plates allows police to be on alert for licence plates that may be used for illegal purposes, the province said Tuesday.

“A lost or stolen licence plate is not just frustrating for the owner, it can create larger problems if it is used in criminal activity,” said Nate Glubish, Service Alberta minister. “One of those risks is to the safety of law enforcement officers who benefit from having the most accurate, up-to-date information when conducting roadside stops.”


In just over a month, Matthew Grant will take on the role of Greater Napanee’s Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), and “the small town vibe” is something he looks forward to. The Town of Greater Napanee announced on Thursday, May 2, 2024, that it had hired Grant and that he would step into his new role on […] ...More

Raising awareness of sex trafficking in southeast Manitoba

It’s a difficult subject to broach and an issue many want to believe only affects people somewhere beyond our small town borders: the trafficking of children for sex. According to the Joy Smith Foundation, though, the problem is also very real right here in southeast Manitoba. The Joy Smith Foundation is a charitable organization based […] ...More

Judge refuses to scrap eel fisher’s lawsuit against chiefs

Despite a second lawsuit swimming upstream in Fredericton, a Rothesay eel fisher’s claim against Indigenous chiefs and fishers will stay alive, a Saint John judge ruled last Tuesday. Mary Ann Holland and her companies Brunswick Aquaculture Limited and Alder Seafood Limited first filed lawsuits in 2022 against four Wolastoqey First Nations, their chiefs, and unidentified […] ...More

Two new student trustees are taking their seats at the table this fall. District School Board Ontario North East (DSB1) board of trustees approved the results of the student senate election at the May 7 meeting, putting two new teens in place for the 2024-25 school year. Kateline Litt-Roy from Hearst High School and Aiesha […] ...More

Confederation College has been accepted into a three-year pre-designation program in the Best Practice Spotlight Organization by the Registered Nurses Association of Ontario, recognizing the school’s practical nursing program.The project, which is co-led by Jamis Robins, and Michael Scarcello, a Registered Nurses Association of Ontario member, will span three years. The college’s nursing faculty, staff […] ...More

A quilt and a service medal: Timmins woman honoured in Ottawa

Bringing comfort to residential school survivors is garnering more national accolades for a Timmins woman. Vanessa Génier, the founder of Quilts for Survivors, said the experience of accepting a meritorious service medal from Governor General Mary Simon on May 8  started in an Ottawa cab ride. “Even talking to the cab driver that we’re going […] ...More

Burrard Generating Station in Port Moody to be dismantled, clearing way for possible clean energy projects

BC Hydro has initiated plans to dismantle the Burrard Generating Station. The Burrard Facility Dismantling Project is still in its earliest phase, and the crown corporation is working out the scope and cost estimates for deconstruction and site remediation, according to BC Hydro. “After 62 years of service, the Burrard facility in Port Moody is […] ...More

KIRKLAND LAKE – A community is breaking tradition and embracing a new era of holiday shopping. At its May 9 meeting, Kirkland Lake council officially passed its bylaw to allow businesses to stay open on certain holidays. It goes into effect on Wednesday, May 22, just after the May long weekend.  New users fees and […] ...More

Many St. Catharines residents may be feeling an eerie sense of deja vu as, yet again, development of the city’s former GM property faces delays. Since the property was sold by the automaker to private developers in 2014 there have been any number of promises to clean up the old industrial site and transform it […] ...More

With plans for EDF Renewables to possibly build a solar farm on the former Terrace Bay Airport property, The Superior Classics Car Club annual Terrace Bay Drag Fest may only have three to five years left unless they can find a new race track.Ray Gionet, the car club president and organizer of this year’s 25th […] ...More

After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19 and wildfires, an annual meeting for fishers made a virtual return last week. The meeting of the Great Slave Lake Advisory Committee, or GSLAC, wasn’t supposed to take place virtually. That was a late change from an in-person gathering at the Hay River Legion after “safety concerns” were […] ...More

Late powder made great spring skiing at Marmot Basin

It was up-and-down on the slopes for Marmot Basin as the 2023-24 ski season took skiers to new heights. Marmot’s vice-president of marketing Brian Rode recapped the last five-and-a-half months. Things got off to an early but slow start on opening day in mid-November. “The ski hill managed to open on Nov. 16, which is […] ...More

Boyle Street Community Centre secures new site in downtown Edmonton

Dec 30, 2021 – (ANNews) – Edmonton Boyle Street Community Services has announced that it will be relocating to a new building downtown. 

A mid-December news release from the organization that the Bent Arrow Traditional Healing Society shared touts a “dynamic partnership” with the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and Oilers Entertainment Group for making it happen.

The new facility is located at 107th Avenue and 101st Street in Edmonton — two blocks away from the current location — and will be open within a year. Adjacent to it is Trinity Manor, a 38-unit apartment building that has also been acquired by Boyle Street and will provide housing for its clientele.


Poverty Report charts path out of COVID for marginalized groups

Dec 30, 2021 – (ANNews) – The newly-released 2021 report from the National Advisory Council on Poverty shows a significant decrease in poverty rates, but the report cautions that this is based on data from 2015 – 2019 and thus doesn’t take into account the impacts of COVID-19.

The report notes that the poverty rate decreased from 14.5% in 2015 to 10.1% in 2019, a 30 per cent reduction over four years.

However, “the overall number conceals some of the deep inequities that exist for low-income Canadians,” the report says.





JANUARY 21, 2022 – As Medicine Hat and area dips in and out of extreme cold spells, the Alberta Farm Animal Care Association is sharing tips on how to best care for and protect livestock in frigid weather.


Town won’t renew REP screening contract

Dec 30, 2021 – Frontline staff at the Dr. Duncan Murray Recreation Centre will again be called upon to screen for the Restrictions Exemption Program (REP) effective Dec. 28 after Town council decided Dec. 21 to not allocate funds for additional help.

Council was presented with a report titled COVID-19 Restrictions Exemption Program Related Security Services as part of the Dec. 21 regular meeting agenda.

It was ultimately decided by a 4-3 vote to accept the report for information, meaning the REP will continue to be implemented, but without additional staff or contracted services. Mayor Marcel Michaels and councillors Brian LaBerge, Stuart Taylor and Ryan Maguhn voted in favour of accepting the report for information put forward by Taylor, while councillors JoAnn Race, Trevor Haas and Albert Ostashek voted against the motion.


Extreme cold temperatures affect the pet population

Dec 30, 2021 – For the past two weeks, the polar vortex has been in full swing across the prairies, with Coaldale seeing temperatures around -30 and wind chills upwards of -40. The cold weather can have a crucial impact on the local pet population, with some rescues already full.

The Last Chance Cat Ranch located in Lethbridge is currently full and is asking people to help stray cats whenever possible. Elizabeth Ginn, the founder of Last Chance Cat Ranch, says it can’t provide the much-needed help because of financial constraints. The City of Lethbridge isn’t providing support to rescues either, forcing the organization to fundraise independently.


High Prairie & Big Lakes County



August 19, 2021 – A longtime High Prairie healthcare proponent is urging town council to lobby government to bring chemotherapy to the local region.
George Keay spoke to Town of High Prairie council at its regular meeting Aug. 10 in response to news that a group in Slave Lake is pushing to get chemotherapy in that community 115 km east of High Prairie.
“We have to start a lobbying group,” says Keay, who was a key leader to persuade the government to build the new High Prairie Health Complex that opened in April 2017.


Town of High Prairie served with court documents

Dec 21, 2021 – Legality of Oct. 18 municipal election challenged

UPDATE: Editor’s note – The Town of High Prairie was served with court documents Monday, Dec. 20 regarding the Oct. 18, 2021 municipal election. Barry Sharkawi says the next step in the process will be dealt with in an Edmonton courtroom Jan. 4, 2022. The story alleging an improper election was conducted Oct. 18, 2021 is below and published in the South Peace News print edition which is on newsstands today [Tuesday, Dec. 21].

A High Prairie citizen’s request to ask Town of High Prairie Mayor Brian Panasiuk to resign amidst improper election allegations is falling on deaf ears.

Barry Sharkawi, who lost the Oct. 18 municipal election to Panasiuk 367-314 votes, attended council’s Dec. 14 meeting to express his concerns and inform council he is considering legal action to contest the election.

“The way it was done, the way it was run, they [Town of High Prairie] have to do it the right way,” said Sharkawi, who later added, “I want to get the rights of the 314 people who voted for me.”





JANUARY 21, 2022 – “In central Alberta there’s a couple of these kind of markets and we had visited a couple of them,” said Kara. “Medicine Hat has so many great local vendors, even Alberta wide, and there’s nowhere to just have everything under one roof. So we got thinking and looking for a building, and it took us a while. I’d say we looked for about a year and then we settled on this building. We loved that it had some great, bright windows and just the location, so we took possession in July and started renos.”
“We just wanted a place where everybody could come shop under one roof and shop local,” said Kara. “We have everything from canned goods and dips, local beef to ice cream to desserts to local artists. We’ve got pottery, we have paintings, we have lotions and lip balms and salsa and locally made soap.”


Fort McMurray production company hopes Spider-Man fan film will encourage growth in local film scene
January 13, 2022 – M’Guphynn Media, a Fort McMurray-based production company, says their latest Marvel Fan Film shows how much the film industry is growing at all levels locally and across Alberta.


The fan film is called Miles Behind and follows Miles Morales, one of the many different versions of Spider-Man inside the spider-verse. Morales rescues Peter (not Parker) from a mugging. But the situation quickly gets out of control and Morales has to peacefully deescalate a tense situation before it gets violent.

The production team is entirely from Fort McMurray but was shot in Calgary to simulate New York. Matt Salem, marketing director for M’Guphynn Media, said the local film scene is a small but vibrant one that is growing. There are also more people working on their own projects and plans for larger ones to be filmed in the region.