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April Isadore of Driftpile tells us she’s circulating a petition alleging the Dec. 20 Driftpile Cree Nation election wasn’t run properly. It will be submitted to the federal authorities and be part of an appeal of the election results. Something about how the mail-in ballots were handled wasn’t right, Isadore alleges. She and her supporters are hoping the election results will be overturned and a new election called. Nothing against the people who got voted in, she says, but the outside agency hired to run the election didn’t do it right. Stay tuned…

Did you know that Jan. 17 was Kid Inventors’ Day? This is not for people who invent kids, but kids who invent. Apparently kids invented braille, swimming flippers, earmuffs and popsicles.

The school year is flying by. Once again it is bursary application season. For example, the Slave Lake Legion recently posted that it has bursaries for students who are veterans; also children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren of veterans. Email [email protected] for more details.
Other local organizations also have scholarships and bursaries.

The Smith Community Association is looking into reprinting Echoes Along the Athabasca River – a history of the Smith-Hondo region. This is still early days, but the print run will depend on enough interest. People interested in buying the book can contact Pat Jolliffe at [email protected] or on Facebook.
Speaking of which, the Slave Lake and area history book – Pioneers of the Lakeland – is long overdue for a similar update. Not just a reprinting, but rounding up more stories and adding them to all the good stuff that the original crew put together back in the early 1980s. Any takers?

Congratulations to the $100,000 lottery winner who bought their ticket at Fas Gas in Slave Lake. All we know about the lucky person is it wasn’t somebody in our office.
If it had been, our designated lottery-watcher, Perri Walker, would have let us know!

The latest on the MLA Pat Rehn situation: He announced he had been in touch with the minister on the Slave Lake affordable housing project and good news was imminent. How he put it was “we are very close to a decision, which will be announced shortly.”
We encountered a certain skepticism about this when we started asking around last week. Skeptics often have very good reason for being skeptical, but they also aren’t always right. We’ll also note that some folks, having burned their bridges, do not want to give Mr. Rehn credit for anything.
He may prove them wrong. Or not.

Then there are the meal expense claims that stretch credibility. Somebody dug these up and presented them to The Leader a few weeks ago as evidence of something fishy. We’ll admit we couldn’t make much of them and doubted if they were anything out of the ordinary. People make expense claims and other people complain about it. What else is new?
Well, now that they’ve been posted online, Mr. Rehn has admitted some of them were submitted in error, has apologized and vowed to make no claims for all of 2021. Again, the skeptics dismiss it as insincere and meaningless. Nobody’s in the mood to give the benefit of the doubt. Or maybe some are but are keeping it to themselves. It’s dangerous to draw conclusions about what people think in general by what shows up in the way of comments on social media.

It’s fun seeing those photos posted daily by Mike Sobel of Global TV (thanks Sheri Smears), that are sent in by folks from around Alberta and sometimes beyond. Even more fun when a picture by somebody from this area is featured. On Jan. 19, for example, a Jodi Broadhead photo of the lake with ice-fishing shacks and a pink sky above showed up. Nice one! Some of those shacks probably moved a bit when those 100 kph winds were blowing early last week.

In a winter with zero public events, we’re pleased to report the Lesser Slave Forest Education Society is planning some sort of treasure hunt for the second week of February. It will be of the Frost Fest activities, we’re told. Frost Fest will be quite different this year than usual, but we expect there will be other things going on, tailored to the circumstances. Stay tuned.

For those of you wondering what might happen with the space formerly occupied by Lakeside Outreach School, we have news. Pastor Danny Brown of the Abundant Life Worship Centre says the church board has decided not to seek a new tenant. Instead, the church will make use of the space. It will require some renovations, he says, but not much, because the school left it in such good shape.

One thing to do these days when you’re stuck at home with no hockey games, concerts or shows of any kind to attend is monitor the competition between local funnyman brothers Moe and Ali Mouallem. Lately Moe has been edging ahead, with some wicked stuff on the MLA situation. It’s made for comedy, and we can see Moe doing a full routine on the stuff if he ever gets back on stage. For now, though, he doesn’t seem shy at all about putting it right on the MLA’s own social media page.

Winter makes a comeback

After three weeks of spring-like weather, winter decided to pay a visit to the region.

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