The Page

You’ll notice a slightly new design on the top of the front page of The Leader this week. The logo is bigger and the two ‘events’ boxes are gone. Why? Blame it on COVID! No events, so it was just getting to be too much of a chore to dream things up every week to put in those boxes. So, for at least the time being, they are gone.

What else is new? This run of mild, sunny weather we’re having is starting to make people nervous. It’s fun, but there’s something unnatural about it.

You take your chances interviewing a newspaper reporter. He or she might just end up gabbing about it on Page 9. That might be one reason why polling organizations don’t want to talk to people in the news business. But in the case of Incite – the consultancy firm hired by the Town of Slave Lake to produce a report on economic development – they thought it would be worth half an hour of their time. Who else they interviewed, or how many, we have no idea. The info will go into a report with recommendations, which might be of some use.
One question in the survey is whether a series of business ‘round-tables’ would go over in Slave Lake. It might. It has before, in a quite limited way, and then it petered out. Chamber of Commerce meetings are (or have been, or could be) meant to serve that sort of purpose. I.e. getting business people around a table and giving them a chance to talk about what’s working and what’s not and what they think could be done to make things better.
All bets are off, of course, as long as COVID rages on.

Sheila Willis isn’t the only local person getting a book published. Slave Lake Inn junior sous chef Sourabh Angarkar recently put out his third book. It’s called ‘The Importance of Slow Cooking.’ It’s available on You may remember we ran a story about Angarkar in late 2019 when he’d published his second cook book, called Roots of Herbs and Spices. All the best to him.

Chef and author Sourabh Angarkar

Was anyone else getting emails from U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last week, asking for help in unloading a few million in cash? At least that’s what it looked like. We didn’t open it to find out the details. Just another stupid scam.

Remember to always think twice. Who said that? Michael Jackson? That’s what you need to do if you do an online search for Slave Lake’s latitude and longitude. Because the first result is wrong, giving the longitude at 114.77 degrees East! That puts us somewhere in the middle of Siberia.

Well, well. There’s no point in having rules if you aren’t willing to enforce them. That’s the argument for fining those kids (see story on Page 8) for not obeying the COVID restrictions. No masks, no social distancing and hanging out with people not from their house. Come to think of it, though, that is exactly what is happening every day on the outdoor ice rinks. Nobody said this was going to be easy.

‘What were all the sirens about?’ We get this question often. We ask it ourselves. Sometimes we call or email the fire chief and ask him. ‘What was up with all the sirens this morning?’ The answer, almost always, is ‘not much.’ Last week it was in response to alarms that went off due to cooking fumes. Stuff like this keeps our fire service jumping. But of course once in a while those cooking incidents turn into house fires.

Sportfishing regulations might be changing this year. But first, Alberta Environment and Parks wants to consult with folks. It’s holding a series of ‘webinars’ (online sessions). The first one was Jan. 18 (too late!). Jan. 19, 20, 21, 25, 26 and 27 are the other dates – each one on a separate topic. The Jan. 26 one will focus on lakes of northwestern Alberta, of which Lesser Slave is one. You have to register for them. Check it out on

You never know what’s going to come up in the course of a hard day at the office. We don’t get out as much as we used to. Every once in a while somebody rattles at the locked door (locked due to COVID, of course). If we like the look of the door rattler, we’ll open the door and see what they want. Last week, for example, a couple of retired teachers wanted their copy of The Leader, because it hadn’t shown up in their mailboxes. Apparently that happened to a lot of subscribers, because we got umpteen phone calls on the same subject. It’s a mystery, because we labeled them and delivered them to the post office, same as usual. As far as we know.

Another question came up: who was this guy Quesnel, to get a town in B.C. and a bridge in Edmonton named after him? Turns out he was with Simon Fraser when that gent made his trip to the Pacific Ocean in 1808. He kept the books.

But the bridge is spelled differently (Quesnell), so maybe it’s not named after him.

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