The Page

Here we go….another year to get through. We’d like to think we can accentuate the positive and get away with it. But there’s no ignoring crime, traffic incidents (‘Don’t call them accidents!’ say the safety people), and other unpleasant stuff.
But even the dark and the dismal have their bright sides: look at the recent breakthrough in funding for the homeless shelter program in Slave Lake as an example. Not only that, but the volunteers and donators who keep that and other worthy efforts running in this and other communities.
Not to mention all the decent folks who go about their business daily, taking care of their families, doing their jobs, offering a kind word, a friendly gesture or whatever. Let’s keep that up.

It was nice of Mother Nature to give us that big dump of snow just before the end of 2018. For one thing, it gave us something to talk about on social media. It got us outside and interacting with some of our neighbours, whom we probably hadn’t talked to since we accidentally ended up mowing our lawns at the same time back in August. And – as always – it gave a few guys with machines the chance to do neighbourly things for folks with only a snow shovel and a sore back to work with.

Where does somebody go to play senior hockey these days? If you’re Austin Mood-Flagg of Slave Lake, it’s to High Prairie to play with the Regals. Mood-Flagg is the speedy forward last seen scoring lots of goals for the local Midget team a couple of years ago. Last week his name appeared in a High Prairie South Peace News story (front page, no less) about the Regals’ first win of the season. After going winless in their first 14 games of the North Peace Hockey League, the Regals finally broke through against the Grimshaw Huskies, and Mood-Flagg was one of the goal-scorers.
Speaking of that league, we hear from the NPHL stats guy there were 313 minutes in penalties handed out the other night in a game in Manning. Old time hockey!

A tip of the old Page 9 cap to anyone willing to get out and make a statement. Better that, you might say, than just sitting at home and taking whatever comes.
Public protests, though, tend to bring out all types, including people with non-constructive attitudes and agendas. In France, for example, the ‘yellow-vest’ movement’s legitimate aims were terribly damaged by the thugs who took the opportunity to break windows and burn cars. A cause that deserves some sympathy was lost to a lot of decent people who couldn’t see past the violence and destruction.
Locally, the focus for protests should be in favour of pipelines. Hence the request by the organizers of the Jan. 6 rally in Slave Lake to bring signs with ‘positive, powerful messages.’ And it was pretty respectful and civilized, on the whole.
A smallish group of protesters were pictured on the front page of the High Prairie South Peace News last week. They displayed a weird range of signs – only one of which had anything to do with supporting pipelines. ‘Trudeau for treason’ was one of them. ‘Leave the UN’ was another.
People have their beefs and their opinions, but that sort of scattershot approach at protesting just waters the whole thing down. Something similar happened in these parts a few years ago with the ‘Idle No More’ protests. They were unfocused, with every beef under the sun being displayed on signs. Some of it was quite far out there, and served mainly to make it easier for moderate people to dismiss the whole package. We realize there are other points of view on these matters, and this is one of them.

How about those new, tougher penalties for distracted driving in Ontario? Up to a thousand bucks for the first offence. Two thousand if it results in injury or death. Plus demerit points.
Alberta’s fines are much less, but there are calls for stiffening them. The big question is whether it would make any difference. It probably would if the law were actually enforced. Like any law, it doesn’t have much teeth if people don’t fear getting caught.

Rotary Club members tell us there’s a final push on this week to sell out the cash raffle by this Friday, Jan. 12. The draw is on Tuesday, Jan. 15 and somebody is going to win 10 grand, whether or not the tickets all sell out. Somebody else will win $1,000 and a third lucky person will win $500.
Look for Rotary members selling over the next few days, likely at Canadian tire and/or Sobey’s.

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