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News: May 23, 2016

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Long-term parking being added at Airport

Construction is underway on some new parking options at the Edson Airport.
As scheduled air service to Calgary is set to begin in June, the need for additional and long term parking options became apparent. Work has begun to extend the current parking lot area to allow for long stay parking.
Integra Air is set to begin scheduled flight service to and from Calgary June 6 with a ribbon cutting ceremony to take place at 8 a.m. that day. Local dignitaries will be on hand for the ribbon cutting and the public is also invited to attend.

2-1-1 partnership approved

Council has approved a partnership between the Town of Edson and Yellowhead County to bring 2-1-1 phone service to the area. Edson's first year funding for the project will be $5,000.00. Yellowhead County has already agreed to support the cause and committed $15,000.00 in funding to initiate the project. It's also hoped the Town of Hinton will partner to make it a true regional project. 2-1-1 is a one stop shop to get connected to appropriate support services in the area.


News: May 16, 2016

Edson Horse Show an ‘awesome’ event

   The 6th annual Edson Horse Show was held on April 30 and they had a large turnout for the event this year.
Christine Davis, a spokesperson for the Edson Horse Show, said, "We had an awesome show this year largely thanks to partnering with 4H this year. We had 49 entries almost double our expectations, which extended the timeline of the show by a few hours. Despite the delays, all attendees were very accommodating and enjoyed the beautiful day."
"Half of the entrants were local riders, with the other half coming from rural area surrounding Edson, and as far away as Spruce Grove,” said Davis.
40% of the attendees were aged 12 and under, and another 40% aged 13 - 17, with the remainder over 18 years of age.
“This was the first show for many of the riders. Our youngest unassisted rider, Rayne Callahan of Edson was just five years old," said Davis.
Winner included: 12 and under champion Rianna Sundlie, 12 and under reserve was Asha Dirks, 13 to 17 champion went to Kaylie McCullough, 13 -17 reserve was Meagan Locke, 18 and over champion was Shawn Gorgichuk, and 18 and over was Brandy Rauckman.
The judge for the event was Darcee Gundlock from New Dayton, Alberta.
It takes a lot of hard work and commitment from many individuals to keep the horse show going for the past six years. Christine said, "The YAS Horse Show committee, office staff, announcers, ground crew, concession, parents, coaches, photographers, ring stewards, and judge all worked very hard to keep everything moving along, we could not have done it without them."


News: May 9, 2016

Thoughts, prayers -and aid

Editorial: Dana McArthur
The thoughts and prayers of a nation and the world are with Fort McMurray as residents were taken by surprise by a relatively small wildfire. The fire broke away on Tuesday in the dry, hot conditions and winds sent some of the city's neighbourhoods in the south and west into flames.
Residential areas hardest hit include Waterways, Abasands, and Beacon Hill with up to 90% of the homes destroyed.
Devastation from wildfires forced more than 80,000 residents to flee the city under evacuation orders. A state of emergency was declared. About 1,600 buildings, most of them homes, were hit by the fire.
As flames and smoke divided the city and closed the highway 10,000 residents fled north to the safety of oil company work camps. Heroic efforts are being made by local responders to keep the flames from engulfing the entire city.
On our side of the province, we would like to point out the commendable actions of the Town of Edson, Yellowhead County, and the RCMP who have all stood up to assist Fort McMurray residents in their time of need! As well, the many oil company camps that have taken thousands of displaced residents in, and to everyone who has lent a helping hand.
Edson Protective Services has offered to send specialized emergency equipment and personnel to assist and also offered to open up reception centres and municipally run campgrounds to residents displaced by the fires.
Members of the Yellowhead County Fire Department have been dispatched along with two fire response vehicles to assist in Fort McMurray.
Three hundred RCMP members from throughout Alberta have been deployed to assist the Fort McMurray detachment.
The focus now is on saving what can be saved of the city, and caring for the over 80,000 evacuees. The provincial and federal governments have pledged their support, along with several of the provinces and many private industries.
If there is any comfort at all to be found in this for the evacuees, it is in the knowledge that when disaster strikes, we can pull together as a country to help our brothers and sisters in need.
Fires are nature's way to begin again, and the residents of Fort McMurray know now that they can count on Canada as they recover and renew their beautiful city stronger and better than ever. After all, it was never the trees that made the city beautiful. It was and is –the spirit of its people.



News: May 2, 2016

Acute care portion of Edson’s new hospital
officially taken over by Alberta Health Services

by Adrienne Tait
Control of the acute care portion of the new Edson hospital was officially taken over by Alberta Health Services on March 31.  The next few months, prior to accepting patients, will be used to commission the hospital- a process which involves checking that all equipment and systems are operational, the hospital sterilized, and staff trained.
The continuing care side of the new facility is expected to be handed over AHS sometime in June.   Lana Hatley executive director for acute care programming and performance for the north zone said they hope to begin accepting patients sometime in September.  It is expected to take approximately three weeks to move from the old hospital to the new.
The new state of the art facility features a green design and includes large triple paned windows in patient rooms, the use of low VOC products, lots of natural light throughout the facility, a green roof that acts as water absorption and provides a “soft space” engineered in order to accommodate up to six additional rooms should they warranted in the future.
The facility boasts 76 continuing care beds including four double suites for married couples, 24 inpatient rooms, observation stations in acute care for nurses to check on patients, bathrooms in each room, an operating room, endoscopy room, diagnostic imaging, and space for community health on site. 
West Yellowhead MLA Eric Rosendahl took the tour of the facility and said by providing the operating space in Edson it would “take some of the pressure off the city facilities.”
Rosendahl was impressed with the new hospital and said, “It is a beautiful facility.  The way this facility is laid out it is going to be fantastic for everybody here.  The region will benefit as a whole with this facility for sure.”
While impressed with the facility and its design Rosendahl said he does have concerns.  “My biggest concern with the facility of this nature is the ability to staff it.  That we are going to be able to keep staff and surgeons here and if we can do that then this facility will become more utilized rather than people having to go to larger centres for procedures,” said Rosendahl.


News: April 25, 2016

Dead fish at Millers Lake

Area residents are concerned after discovering a large amount of dead trout in Millers Lake.
Lack of oxygen due to a provincial mandate that replaced the open water spout aeration system with a new sub-surface diffuser system has been determined to be the cause of loss of the rainbow and brown trout.
The Alberta Conservation Association (ACA) aerates 16 bodies of water across the province.  According to their website eight lakes that implemented the ACA sub-surface diffuser system suffered fish loss.  East Dollar Lake, Beaver Lake, Fiesta Lake, Ironside Pond, Muir Lake, Millers Lake, and Coleman Fish and Game Pond all reported low or concerning diffused oxygen levels in January or February with many already showing fish loss.
According to the ACA website the decision to implement the sub-surface diffuser system was made as a result of discovering a “relatively obscure law that creates a significant level of risk for manslaughter charges to be brought against ACA staff, management, and the board of directors.  It says that if a member of the public drowns in the hole created in the ice as a result of our aeration program, we are at risk of being charged with manslaughter.”
The original plan was for a trial period only on a portion of Alberta lakes but at the request of the Minister of Environment and Parks the ACA proceeded to implement the new system at all the lakes they would normally aerate.
Paul Kindiak, a concerned resident, said, “The government should be held responsible for this total loss. It is devastating to the people that built homes around the lake and fish it.  It is also devastating to all other fishermen that fish the lake since there were trophy sized rainbow and brown trout in this small lake."
"Fishermen came from various parts of the province, and as far away as Calgary, to fish this lake. I had fished this lake for years when the Alberta Fish and Wildlife first started stocking it and then aerating it to prevent winter kill due to lack of oxygen in the water since the lake is small and fairly shallow with a maximum depth of about 25 feet,” said Kindiak.
Ron’s Outdoor Source for Sports owner and Millers Lake resident, Alton Hunter, said Millers Lake is stocked with 12,500 rainbow and brown trout annually and it appears to be a total loss of survival this year -something which concerns Hunter as a taxpayer and resident first, but added as business owner.  “I stand to lose over $30,000 in sales this year for Millers Lake alone,” said Hunter.  “That is mothers coming in with their kids to buy fishing rods, and tackle, and fishermen coming into town planning to spend a day at the lake.”
Hunter said, “When they did the surface aeration they would go to the edge of the lake and the oxygen levels would be the same at the edge as at the aerator.  You would expect it to be less but it did the whole lake.  We have never had a problem, it has always worked.”  Hunter believes that while the intentions may have been good, the call to implement the system without the trial at a loss to the fisheries and the environment was not.


News: April 18, 2016

Edson and County collaborate on community services plan

by Adrienne Tait
Over the past several months the directors of Community Service for both Edson and Yellowhead County have been engaged in discussions as to how to best serve the programming and facility requirements for the residents of Edson and surrounding area.
At their Committee of the Whole meeting on April 12 town council discussed the proposal to work on a jointly funded survey which would ask residents opinions on topics such as programming, arts and culture, recreation, and amenities.
The collaborative effort between the town and county could serve as a guide to future community services projects.
The strategic plan will include holding open houses for residents, developing priorities for the communities, and developing sustainable recommendations with regards to community service.
CAO Mike Derricott said, “The intent is to establish a joint plan including seeking feedback on facilities and joint programming.”  Derricott said one of the possibilities discussed is the catchment area aligning with the bus routes. 
Councillor Jim Gomuwka said, “I have no concerns with this.  I think this is actually long overdue.”  Gomuwka said he has found himself in discussion with county residents who do not fully understand the input, or lack thereof, county residents have in town and vice versa.  “This will hopefully shine more light,” said Gomuwka.
Derricott said the jointly funded initiative could serve to align the priorities between the municipalities and establish a shared vision so when opportunities do arise the municipalities are better aligned.
Councillor Boyce said the proposal “appears to be on a broader scope” than those done in the past but hesitated at the thought of hiring another consultant and jested, “Once we do we can’t seem to get rid of them!”
Council voted in favor of sending the engagement process recommendation to a regular council meeting for approval.

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