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MLA opposes drilling

Posted on March 5, 2014 by Lethbridge Sun Times

Lethbridge West MLA Greg Weadick said he will continue to represent city residents in opposition to the urban drilling issue.

Weadick said he will present opposition letters and put his stance formally on the record in the Alberta Legislature when the Spring 2014 session begins next week.

The MLA made his comments to a nearly full house, including Lethbridge East MLA Bridget Pastoor and Gary Bikman, MLA for Cardston-Taber-Warner, during the weekly SACPA session at Country Kitchen Catering.

He said he’s been opposed to Goldenkey Oil Inc.’s planned application to drill exploratory wells within municipal boundaries since day one, when he was asked to appear at a downtown rally last October. Weadick, in his second term as MLA, said he also supported a motion about policies on urban drilling.

“We’re now moving forward on trying to put that together. I’ve sent a letter to the Minister of Energy (Diana McQueen) and asked to please fast-track that, streamline that — let’s see if we can get that out in the next month or so, so that any drilling within urban areas will have a basic set of policy parameters around which the municipality and the regulator and the companies can all work,” said Weadick, adding applications do get turned down.

“It is something that can happen. It is something that does happen. I’ve got to thank the City of Lethbridge and the residents in my constituency, and across the city in fact, for becoming very vocal. We’re going to do what we can as elected officials. We’ve passed on every bit of information, emails, letters, to the ministers that are involved.”

Customer rolls up car

A man who rrrolled up the rim after he went through the Tim Hortons drive-through on 43 Street South last Saturday will soon be rrrolling around on a set of new rims.

Tim Hortons is giving away 50 Toyota Corollas this year as part of its annual Roll Up the Rim to Win contest. This year’s contest cups offer a bonus roll to help mark Tim Hortons 50th anniversary.

About an hour after he’d gone through the drive-through he came back to the store and went inside with his cup.

“He was, I think, still a little bit shocked,” said Ami Streisel, store manager. “We were all hooting and hollering for him and all the customers wanted to see the cup.”

Only the Stanley Cup typically gets such admiration.

The customer filled out a form as the first step to claiming the prize. How long it could take for delivery is unknown.

“It’s the first time we’ve had a car won,” Streisel said.

Hope for victim

Hit-and-run victim Lorne Miller is still in critical condition at a Calgary hospital, but was semi-conscious and gave some non-verbal responses to family members earlier last week.

“It blows our mind after a month of being in a coma,” said Average Joe’s manager Tim Carter of Miller, who worked as a cook at AJ’s and was struck by a vehicle on Stafford Drive North while riding his bike home from downtown on Jan. 25.

“I guess he woke up and he recognized his family. They don’t know the extent of any brain damage yet; they won’t know for quite some time. But it’s been a miracle and it’s just wonderful news,” Carter said.

“His mom and dad were in here yesterday (Tuesday). I talked to them; they’re pretty happy. It gives us all a little glimmer of hope. I think it’ll help inspire people to continue to want to help his family.”

Average Joe’s will be hosting a fundraising concert, as well as a silent auction, for Miller on Thursday. It will feature country artists Tebey and Leah Daniels. The bar will be giving 50 per cent of every $15 concert ticket sold, as well as 100 per cent of the silent auction proceeds, to Miller’s family.

Electric bills jumping

Lethbridge residents could see their electric bills jump another $5.50. But none of that hike will be going to the city’s coffers.

Instead, points out Mayor Chris Spearman, the extra cash will go to power companies in northern Alberta.

“All Albertans are being affected by sharp increases in the transmission fees charged by the Alberta Electric System Operator,” he says. “And it appears these costs could double in the next five years.”

Spearman, a longtime critic of the province’s “deregulated” electrical grid — the only one in Canada — says city officials have already voiced their concern about the unprecedented hikes.

“As I’m sure many other Albertans are across the province,” he added.

For power users served by the city’s utility, Lethbridge Power, the hike is expected to be about 4.7 per cent for the average homeowner, 6.2 per cent for small commercial operations and about 6.7 per cent for larger businesses. The increases have been ordered by the government-appointed system operator in response to the latest 22 per cent hike in transmission “base  charges” being paid to some of the province’s biggest power companies. Officials say that charge, estimated at $21.91 per month this year, has increased nearly 22 per cent each year since 2011.

Taking a stand against bullying

The local Boys and Girls Club is hoping to take its stand against bullying beyond one day of focus per year.

They still recognize Pink Shirt Day, the anti-bullying campaign that took place Wednesday, but also wanted to create an ongoing, year-round campaign against violence, abuse and cyberbullying in the community.

Wednesday night at the Galt Museum, the Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge and District launched its “I Stand Against” at the Galt Museum with a new logo and a new T-shirt design on a black shirt, with a black logo and white lettering of “isa” on it.

“Pink Shirt Day is still an important day and it’s definitely something that we still embrace and we still emphasize,” said Trever Broadhead, executive director for the Boys and Girls Club of Lethbridge and District.

“There’s a good message there. But we wanted to take it a step further and I think our ‘I Stand Against’ initiative does that. We’re excited about the potential. One of our major focuses at the Boys and Girls Club, with the programs that we run for youth, is to make it safe, make people comfortable being here and make them feel welcome.”

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