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Efforts to nail down an interview with United Conservative Party candidate Garrett Tomlinson didn’t work out and later in the week we found out why when he announced he had dropped out. Tomlinson was one of the six who want to become that party’s candidate in the next provincial election, representing Lesser Slave Lake. As usual, our intention was to give equal space in our pages to all the contenders, but good intentions don’t always get the job done.

Voting – for party members only – is this Monday, Nov. 26 in Slave Lake, at the Legion hall from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. It’s the same day in Wabasca, between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. at the community hall.
On Saturday, Nov. 24, voting is in High Prairie and Red Earth Creek.
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We hear a new tae-kwon-do studio is opening in Slave Lake. We’ll bring more news about it when the time comes.
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Our regular visits to the Alberta Gaming and Liquor & Cannabis (Same old acronym, but new meaning for the ‘C’) website to see the list of retail cannabis licensees show still none for Slave Lake, although a few have started to show up for northern Alberta, including one in Peace River, one in GP and one in Cold Lake. All joking aside, the folks putting in the time, effort and money to get the stores off the ground must be getting a bit antsy. But apparently these things take time.
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If you’re like us, you’ve been wondering what all that fill is doing behind the Animal Rescue Committee building on Birch Rd. NE in Slave Lake. It turns out the plan is to raise the level of the lot to where it’s supposed to be. Or perhaps to shape it so the water all runs off how it’s supposed to.
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Maybe it wasn’t such a bright idea to work on Nov. 12. A lot of other people sure didn’t. On the other hand, we got some stuff done without a lot of distraction, because nobody was even sending emails on the day after Remembrance Day.
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Thanks to the Rotary Club for inviting The Leader to make a presentation at its regular Tuesday morning meeting last week. Turns out they like what we do! We like what they do, too. One of those things is selling tickets to raise money for various good causes – mostly here at home but also abroad. At the moment, there’s the Grey Cup pool, which is getting near the end (the big game is on Nov. 25) and the $10,000 cash raffle, with a draw in mid-January.
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A dedicated photographer might be able to get a shot of an eagle catching a fish. There’s one hanging around the Lesser Slave River where there’s still plenty of open water. Another one was spotted out on the ice off Wagner last week, at the edge of a patch of open water. We took pictures, but they didn’t turn out very well.
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You can see the drag against rural communities happening all the time. People want to live where it’s more convenient, so the difficulty of filling and keeping filled, positions in smaller or remote areas never eases off and may be getting worse. It’s a constant topic of discussion in municipal government, in health care and probably in private industry as well. Where do you find the people? And if you do find them, how do you convince them to stay?

Incentives? Investment in amenities? Finding the right people in the first place? Maybe you just need to keep trying until you get lucky.
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Oil at 15 dollars a barrel. Wow. Who saw that coming? There must be a lot of belt-tightening going on in the industry. It should also serve to sharpen the efforts to get pipelines built. It could be an interesting next year or so. Last week some news report said 99-cents-per-litre gas at the pump was likely. We’ll see about that.
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Twenty years ago on Nov. 18th, Robin McNeil was the Leader’s Good Neighbour. McNeil was nominated for her work as a nurse in assisting a doctor when a young boy came to the hospital in need of stitches after being in an accident. McNeil’s nominator said she really appreciated the special care she and the doctor took that day to help the young boy. She said McNeil helped ease the young boy through what could have been a stressful situation. McNeil received a bouquet of carnations compliments of Special Moments Flowers an Gifts and a dinner for two at the Sweetgrass Cafe, compliments of the Sawridge Hotel.

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