Through the years: Terry Fox Run, food bank, billiard halls, and elections

Snippets from the Sept. 22 Leaders


In Slave Lake, 21 people participated in the 13th annual Terry Fox Run. They raised just over $1,700. Both participants and money raised were down, despite good weather.

There was a federal election. Elections Canada came up with special marketing packages with traditional Aboriginal symbols and bingo daubers. The Slave Lake Native Friendship Centre and Lesser Slave Lake Indian Tribal Council staff were very upset by the unnecessary cost and racist stereotyping. Other places which hold bingo such as the Elks and ski club did not receive the bingo daubers.

The food bank was very busy. In 1991, it received 36 requests for food. In 1993, by mid-September it had received 46. The food bank didn’t have enough funds or food to keep up. Local individuals, businesses, and organizations were donating.

There was new life breathed into the Canyon Creek Recreation Society (CCRS). It had cleaned up the grounds around the marina and campground and added a playground.
The other society in the area the Widewater Athletic Association was asked and turned down running the marina campground. CCRS applied for the lease.

A bylaw which would have regulated the hours and age of who could work in billiard halls, arcades, and game halls was controversial. The final decision would was to be made at a later meeting.

In 1991, the RCMP Staff Sgt. suggested that the Town of Slave Lake add three more police officers and a stenographer. In 1992, one officer was approved. Town council was interested in ‘special constables’, but the RCMP wanted 11 full police officers in order to add 24-hour policing.
The proposed Lesser Slave Lake Indian Regional Police force compounded the issue. In the short-term, the police officers trained by local RCMP would swell the numbers, but when it became independent in 1996, these would be lost.

Slave Lake was to have a girls hockey team with players in both the bantam and midget age groups. High Prairie and Peace River also had teams.


The 19th Terry Fox Run had record numbers in Slave Lake. There were over 70 participants. It was the first time that the run followed the community trail.

The Slave Lake health complex was soon to have 10 long term care beds. These were expected to be filled with Slave Laker’s returning from the nursing home in High Prairie.

The previous weekend, an impaired driver and his passenger ended up in the creek next to the Canyon Creek hotel. He was one of four drunk drivers charged that weekend.

August 1999 was an unusually busy month for the Slave Lake food bank. It had 110 clients. This was 25 per cent higher than August 1998 (79 clients). In July 1998, the food bank helped 41. In 1999, the number was up to 53.

It was quite dry. There were five older and some new lightening fires in the Marten Hills. In 1999, there were 273 fires in the Marten Hills. Fewer hectares burned in 1999 (20,855 ha.) than in 1998 (137,000).

The Town of Slave Lake and Slave Lake Adult Education held a Parade of Programs. Pictured in The Leader was the Slave Lake Army Cadets and Slave Lake 1st Scouts. There were many other programs to choose from.

The Canadian Half Pints basketball team was to play a local team at the Arctic Ice Centre. It was an exhibition game, just for laughs. It was a fundraiser for Kids Sport.

The Lesser Slave Lake Bird Observatory was five years old. It had banded over 16,000 songbirds. It was also a tourist destination, with 30 people visiting in one day.

After three years of diamond exploration, there was still no promising results. It started with a kimberlite pipe northwest of Red Earth Creek. These pipes are volcanic structures that occasionally have diamonds. The ones in the area appeared to duds, but exploration continued.


E.G. Wahlstrom Elementary School took part in the Terry Fox Run.

St. Mary of the Lake Catholic School was once again offering Cree language classes. It was offered for 13 years, followed by a five year hiatus because of lack of funding. The classes had 45 students registered from Grade 4 to 8.

A man was caught in the act of dumping garbage at the Slave Lake pump station. He was fined $400 plus a $75 surcharge under the Alberta Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act.

The town and M.D. election was up and running. Tyler Warman and Darin Busk were two of the first time candidates for the town. M.D. candidates included incumbent Murray Kerik and newcomer Robert Esau.

Big Lakes County heard a rumour that the federal government might be building a new prison, so it offered the feds “all the free land they want.”

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