November 28, 2023

My mother was born a few days before the start of the First World War. I was born just as Germany invaded Poland starting Second World War.  I joined the RCAF and served during the “Cuban Crisis”. I was trained to attack and destroy Russian bombers. I, and my aircrew officers, fully believed we were about to enter another war. Luckily, we avoided it.

At the time, I was prepared to give my life to the cause. Also, my life in the military was fun. The greatest threats to our lives were not war, although I lost a few friends in aircraft accidents. Our greatest threats came from alcohol abuse and car accidents.
As I grew in wisdom, I soon realized that wars were a kind of insanity, where old, mostly white men sent the children, mostly of the lower classes, to do the dirty work of fighting and dying. The benefits of war, and there are benefits, especially to weapon makers, accrue to the benefit of the wealthy class. That does not mean a country attacked cannot defend itself, but once war starts, rationality goes out the window.

War mongers argue that nature is “red in tooth and claw” and that it is human nature to war. I would argue that it might have been natural to fight for survival. Once survival needs are met, killing for greedy reasons cannot be justified in a rational society of enlightened beings.

We now have access to the wisdom of five to 10,000 years of the history and ideas of enough of these people to know the difference between rationality and insanity.

We need to be governed by enlightened men and women, not by sociopaths and psychopaths or greedy capitalists. The insanity of war can be countered by “Rule of Law” and discussion. War is “Rule of Might,” where no one is safe.

We seem to be at substantial risk of a third world war. Russia is trying to take the wealth of Ukraine by force rather than trading for it. Israel claims it seeks revenge for the Hamas attack.

Would an enlightened being try to steal wealth of a neighbour or negotiate terms of sharing? Would an enlightened being feel the need for revenge, or would it seek negotiation to stop the cycle built into the revenge psychology?
Harry Gaede,

Thank you

November 28, 2023

I just want to say a huge thank you for the coverage again this year for Operation Christmas Child. We are so grateful for your help to spread the word about the shoe boxes.

It’s not too late to give online at

Glenda Strauss,

Auto detailing

November 28, 2023

I would just like to say a huge thank you to The Camrose Booster and Integra Tire for the Premium Auto Detailing I received at the end of October. The contest was sponsored by The Camrose Booster.

Integra Tire did a wonderful job cleaning and polishing the inside and outside of my car. Thank you both so much!  I didn’t want to put anything back into it, but, after a week, I gave up.
Lois Maunder,

Wall of Fame

November 28, 2023

Thank you for the article on Sherlyn McKay. On a Panama Canal cruise in 2005, I met Sherlyn at a wine party on board. We were both shocked to find out we were from Alberta, her from Bawlf and me from Killam.

We had so much in common talking about teachers I knew. When I mentioned her to my two nieces from Camrose, they knew she was on trips with them. I was saddened to read her obit (from past) in your paper.
Lois Prichard,

Help wanted

November 28, 2023

A Camrose Booster Help Wanted ad was the beginning of my 28-year employment with Centra Cam. Now as I leave this organization, I want to do two things in this letter.

First, thanks to The Booster for continuing to provide a quality paper with meaningful content. Your support of this community and especially the non-profit sector is phenomenal. Centra Cam has benefited in numerous ways by your attentiveness. On a different note, because I read The Booster and saw some other help wanted ads, two other people in my life, are in long-term employment. So I would encourage you that you are making a difference in many positive ways.

Second, thanks to Centra Cam. The management has been and continues to be top notch. The individuals being served are always the first priority. I love the philosophy around disabilities that drew me in from the beginning. That is, that everyone has abilities and it is our job, as Centra Cam employees, to help the clients find ways around the barriers they may face. Seeing a person learn skills, grow in confidence and succeed in their goals is something I will always treasure. It has been my privilege to be a part of that process.

I have had opportunities for learning and growth through these years. I have had numerous roles that have led me to learn much more about the world of volunteering as I supported individuals in their volunteer jobs. I learned about computers and assistive technology. Supervisory skills developed as I was mentored and observed those around me. Even running a burger booth at Jaywalkers was part of the experience. In these recent years, I’ve been involved with the second-hand stores, concluding with assisting to bring the two stores under one roof.

There are so many memories of the many great people I have worked with and experiences we have had. Thank you for continuing to provide excellent service whether it is through stellar client programs, Recycle with Centra Cam, the Wood Shop or Essentials Boutique.
Iona Brager,

Buck system

October 31, 2023

When to speak and when to be silent? When to act and when to be still? These are universal questions we ask ourselves daily.

This week I witnessed a young buck tangled in a soccer net. As he struggled to free himself, a herd of deer stood by as did many passersby. We were told by an authority to stay off the property; Fish and Wildlife had been called. Wait.

Witnessing the suffering was painful. An hour and a half later, a delivery truck driver stopped, leapt out and cut the exhausted buck free (he had experienced an animal suffering in the same way and could not let it happen again). Two hours after the call, Fish and Wildlife arrived from Stettler. The conservation officer said they’re short staffed because of recent governmental cuts.

Who is responsible for the buck’s unnecessary suffering? Silence and inaction. Citizens need to question authority figures denying sensible intervention, call on the government to restore funding to essential services.

Will we use our voices to speak for the voiceless before it’s too late to protect wild spaces and their natural inhabitants? Will we stand by idly as mountain tops are removed for coal? As sloughs and trees are plowed over for a few more acres of farmland?  (Where will the frogs sing? Where will the deer shelter?)

Will our children and grandchildren, the inheritors of the world we leave them, ask us about our silence and inaction?

Treva Olson,

Alternate reality

October 31, 2023

I wonder if I have been transported to an alternate reality.  In the world I grew up in, there was the hope in my parents eyes, that their children would end up in a better world than they and their parents lived in.

I entered Grade 1 just as Second World War ended. Life started getting better for most. I received a good education in small schools where teachers often taught multi grade classes. I could even aspire to go to university, albeit six years after high school.  I became active in politics, staying in the centre of the political spectrum, but in the Conservative party.  Many of my political friends belonged to other parties, but we could debate issues with each other without destroying our friendships.

Most of my political friends and their opponents entered politics to try to build a better society.

What happened? Perhaps life had become too good for the newly created elites. Too many became well-to-do too fast. Jobs in the ’60s were easy to obtain for many of us. We had fulfilled the unrealizable dreams of many of our parents. Things were going even better for our “American” friends to the south, except that some of them, and their leaders believed they were the new chosen race, here to save the world, by force if necessary. Not being interested in history, they learned no lessons and entered a period of continuous war.

The conservative elites captured the political power and were not interested in protecting anything but their own self-interest. They could have both Guns and Butter, but the bottom 90 per cent would have to do the sacrificing. And so, it was, and is. Looking after your citizens was “communism” and an attack on free speech (freedom to ignore truth and facts). Money was given rights, (money was deemed speech, and thus must be freed from any constraints on how it is spent said the USSC). The moneyed class grew incredibly rich, while the 90 per cent left grew progressively poorer.

Where do we go from here? Significant numbers of Albertans seem to want to emulate the American model. “Let’s privatize our safety nets, health care, pensions and education” they say. Do you think that when these are destroyed you will be better off? Do you think you will be able to call on those who were responsible to account?

Harry Gaede,

Mail delivery

October 17, 2023

On behalf of Canada Post Corporation, I would like to thank the customer whose letter appeared in the October 10 edition of The Camrose Booster concerning service to the 5400 blocks of 51 and 52 Streets in Camrose. I would like to extend an apology to this and all other affected customers in the area for the poor communication surrounding the recent delivery issues in that part of the City.

For your reference, this situation began with concerns raised by some of our employees regarding the lack of sidewalks in this area and questions about any possible safety concerns that may exist there. Canada Post takes such concerns raised by our employees extremely seriously and a thorough investigation is required to occur before we can allow any employee back into the vicinity of the complaint. The local team was very focused on this investigation and employee safety; unfortunately, we did a terrible job of communicating what it was about and what we were doing about it to our affected customers.

I am pleased to advise all concerned that our investigations are complete, and we have restored delivery to most of the affected area effective October 13. Some concerns do remain around delivery to parts of the nearby trailer park, however, and we are following up further with those customers as soon as possible regarding proposed solutions for their delivery.

The letter writer raised some other concerns that I would appreciate the opportunity to reply to. The only monopoly Canada Post has is the delivery of addressed letters. This exclusive privilege is a declining part of our business. Most of our business involves delivery of parcels and packets as well as marketing products including direct mail pieces and sales flyers.

All these product segments are open to fierce competition; as an example, one of our competitors for the flyer business (what we refer to as Neighbourhood Mail) is this very newspaper.

It is very important for our company and employees to be providing our customers with the best possible service, including letting our customers know what is going on when something impacts that service. While Canada Post is a Crown Corporation owned by the Canadian people, we do not have access to taxpayer dollars. Our revenue depends on customers spending their hard-earned money with us which is even more reason for why we should be providing the best possible service to our customers.

Todd Halvorsen,
local area manager

Our children

October 17, 2023

As a parent and grandparent, I understand the values of freedom, equality, diversity and inclusivity.

And I also understand the need for parents to protect their children. Our children are the most vulnerable members of our society and as such require protection and who best to protect our children is the parents … not the government.

We were all born male or female and children at a young age do not need to be exposed to such things as the SOGI program is exposing them to. The children are more concerned about imagination and pretending to be a roaring lion or some other cool character and being on the adventurous path of discovering how to read and write.

And when a child may be concerned about some personal matters or thoughts, the response from “the system” should be “talk to your Mom or Dad about this because they know best”, reassuring a child that the parents knowingly have the best interest of their child at heart and not to keep secrets from Mom and Dad. This just builds a mistrust of the family unit and starts the breakdown of the family unit.

It’s sad that when we as parents start questioning these “progressive” movements and questioning what is being taught to our children, or even being hidden from us, that the name calling starts and that we are “misinformed.”

My open question to all is: should the parents be protecting and raising their children, or the government?

George Shostak,
New Norway

Canada Post

October 10, 2023

I naively thought that Canada Post is committed to providing mail service to the public. I thought that “service” actually meant “service” and if there was a problem that Canada Post was made aware of, they would actually answer concerns/complaints in a timely manner. Residents of the 5400 block of 51 and 52 Streets in Camrose have found out this isn’t the case.

For 40+ years these two blocks have received door-to-door mail delivery. That ceased on September 11, but no notice was given to anyone. The mail delivery just stopped. It took multiple complaints to the main Post Office in Camrose, to the 1-800-267-1177 or 1-866-607-6301 Customer Service line, and online complaints by many affected households before anyone got any “official” notification that we will have to go to the main Post Office to get our mail. This notification letter was dated October 3, three full weeks after mail delivery was suspended. I got mine on October 6 when I picked up my mail. All the letter indicates is that a “Delivery Safety Assessment” is being conducted in our area; no indication of what the safety concern is, no tentative date of completion of assessment is given. According to the letter, if we have any questions, we are to contact the toll-free Customer Service Team or go online to get support. The letter is signed “Local Supervisory Team.” The local supervisory team doesn’t actually speak to the public even when the public asks to speak to them. At least my request has not been responded to.

Ours is a quiet residential area. We don’t have public sidewalks on our streets, but people walk on our street every day. I walk at least twice daily even while on crutches a few weeks ago. Children play and ride their bikes. The Camrose Booster carriers deliver the paper weekly, sometimes in the dark during the winter.

This is the type of service that comes from a monopoly. What other business would you continue to use that gives you such poor and disrespectful service other than Canada Post? We have no choice but to use Canada Post for our mail. Our tax dollars pay for this. Where is their accountability to us? I urge anyone who is affected by this poor service to contact Canada Post Customer Service/support.
Cheryl Chetney,



October 10, 2023

I am a volunteer with the Community Spaghetti Supper.

Last Wednesday, someone attended the supper and handed out some politically-oriented pamphlets.

Our group was not made aware of this until after the supper. We are volunteers, non-denominational, not politically affiliated and non-judgmental. Therefore, if people want to further their political projects, please take it elsewhere.

We are volunteers. Thank you to all of the volunteers.

Gail Reimer,

Prevent mistakes

September 26, 2023

It has been said, “If we don’t learn from mistakes of the past, we are likely to repeat them in the future.” The current (and recent) worldwide fires are testimony to this adage.

The Ft. McMurray fires of recent past would have been less severe if immediate action had been taken and adequate fire guards had been in place. Considering our federal government’s climate change obsession (they would have us believe our planet is in danger of burning up), but why haven’t they taken actions towards fire prevention, i.e., forest management and working with communities to develop effective fire guards around their properties. Some of those billions of dollars, already spent or committed toward production of EVs and batteries (that will not bear fruit for some time...if ever), could have been better spent on prevention.

The prime minister’s ill-conceived vision for the future of total reliance on electric power is unachievable and non-compatible to expanses of rural Canada. Imagine coping with after effects of an Eastern Canada winter storm, which frequently occur piling up huge snowbanks and knocking down powerlines, causing extensive outages, and requiring diesel powered equipment to rectify. But as usual, the prime minister rarely envisions the consequences of his visions.

As we watched on television, the endless miles of bumper-to-bumper vehicles, we thought, thank goodness they are not all EVs. Imagine the number of charging stations required along that 900-mile route and precious time spent waiting a turn to recharge. In my opinion, many people will never drive an EV and I suspect the prime minister is one of those.

The prime minister could have used his August holidays to BC as an opportunity to test the EV travel experience (but he still prefers the plane).
Bill Mattinson,

Population growth

September 12, 2023

Arnold Malone’s guest editorial was right on the money by identifying the most important root cause of our environmental crisis; namely, unprecedented population growth that is consuming the earth’s finite resources and degrading our environment. It is probably the most difficult causal factor to reverse as well.

While Mr. Malone argues that some demographers forecast a stable world population on the order of 10 billion people; computerized models developed some 50 years ago forecast a massive population decline in the latter part of the 21st century making it difficult to reconcile a sustainable, stable and peaceful future for our grandchildren.

Dr. Dennis Meadows at MIT assembled a team of the top two dozen scientists in the world to study “The Predicament of Mankind” and the results of their study was published in 1972 entitled The Limits to Growth. Computer models were constructed to study the factors contributing to population growth, economic growth, natural resource utilization, pollution generation, climate, quality of life, etc.; the models were populated with historical data from the World Health Organization, the Food and Agricultural Organization and national databases from all developed nations.
The models could not take into account unpredictable events like pandemics, wars, drought, volcanic eruptions, natural disasters and the like. However, no matter how the models were “tweaked” and “what if” ed, all projections led to a massive population decline. In addition, Meadow’s forecasts some 50 years ago accurately predicted the climate changes we are currently experiencing but religious and political leaders found it expedient to ignore the findings.

Sustainability and stability could be attained only by applying somewhat extreme solutions; one such condition was for every couple to have only two children. The two major reasons why population control has failed are (i) religious leaders have managed to keep population control off the agenda at every international environmental conference beginning with the Rio Conference in 1970 and (ii) patriarchal societies and people in developing nations tend to view large (extended) families as a means to care for their elders when social system supports are lacking.

The world’s population in 1972 (at the time of the study) was approximately 3.3 billion; currently, it is about 7.7 billion so that condition obviously hasn’t worked well.

I would highly recommend readers check out the YouTube link (; Dr. Dennis Meadows speaking at the University of Ulm in 2022…the Limits to Growth five years on.
Lynn Clark,

Exceptional coverage

September 12, 2023

Tremendous thanks to The Camrose Booster for the exceptional and extensive coverage of our free Spaghetti Supper initiative. We are so fortunate to have this level of marketing, the ample contributions by volunteers, and the small business community assisting us to make this weekly supper possible. On last week’s Booster cover, we completely missed recognizing a donor family that is critical to our undertaking.

We need to recognize Bev and Cliff Drever for their remarkable donation of about 650 pounds of ground beef that we use in blending our tasty sauce. We know the Drevers are not the kind of people who seek out public thanks, but we want people within The Booster’s coverage area to know of this couples’ extreme generosity. Also, a huge thank you to Brian Nelson for his incredible support in writing up our grant applications.
Holly McIndoe and Bonnie Cooke,

Community support

September 12, 2023

On behalf of the Camrose Association For Community Living, I wanted to extend our heartfelt gratitude for the incredible support and coverage you have provided us over the years.

Your unwavering commitment to spotlighting the work we do has had a profound impact on our organization’s mission and the communities we serve. Your dedication to promoting local initiatives and highlighting the efforts of non-profit organizations like ours is truly commendable.

The articles, pictures and The Booster covers you have generously published have increased awareness of our cause. Through your extensive reach, you have allowed us to connect with a broader audience, furthering our efforts to make a positive difference in the lives of those we serve.

We are truly fortunate to have a local newspaper that cares deeply about its community and the organizations working tirelessly to improve it.

As we continue our journey to create positive change, we look forward to collaborating with you in the future, as your support has been instrumental in our growth and success.

Once again, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your ongoing support. Together, we can make a meaningful impact and create a brighter future for our community.

Cherilyn Sharkey,
Camrose Association For Community Living

Nature agreement

September 12, 2023

Thank you for your coverage in the September 5th Country Booster of our agreement with the Nature Conservancy of Canada.  While we are uncomfortable with being in the spotlight, we feel it is important to publicize the work of the NCC.

We’d like to clarify that the agreement in no way hampers our ability to continue using this land for pasture as it always has been. It prevents development of projects such as subdivision, gravel pits, intensive livestock operations or landfills. We are happy that this agreement guarantees that the land will remain in its natural state forever.

There are many properties along both the Meeting Creek and Battle River that have so far remained in their natural state. We hope that their owners will do what it takes to guarantee that it stays as a native grassland. We found that staff at NCC were very easy to work with.  We’d be very happy to discuss this process with anyone interested or encourage you to contact NCC directly.

Faith and Terry Gabert,
Meeting Creek

Great community

Thank you to The Camrose Booster and community so much for coming down on Thursday to support us. It really meant a lot to us. We raised $9,791 for those living with MS. A very successful month of fundraising, that’s for sure. Couldn’t have done it without the wonderful people of Camrose. Proud to be in this community.

Take care and thanks again for your support.
Sheri Fitzgerald,

Great stories

Just want to let you know how very pleased we are with the (full page) article on the Provost Museum, August 15 issue of The Camrose Booster.

I have received many calls, such great comments, from people from far and wide who read the story. It gave wonderful coverage for our local attraction.

You have published many such articles over the years about various communities and they are so interesting. Keep up the good work. Thanks so much, it is so much appreciated.
Carol Landmark,

Fun day

So many people still believe that no one reads papers anymore, but I disagree. The Camrose Booster informs people from a large area around Camrose regarding events and other news.

The Canadian Northern Society held Family Fun Day at Meeting Creek on August 19. The Booster, which believes in community building, featured us on the front cover. As a  non-profit charity, we were grateful. About 300 people, including many with children, attended and enjoyed a wonderful fun-filled day on this historic country site.

Most people, and many for the first time, came because they saw the picture on the front of The Booster. On behalf of the Canadian Northern Society and the wonderful volunteers who worked hard to make it a great day, I want to thank The Booster and Ron Pilger for the wonderful write-up and photos.

Glenys Smith
Canadian Northern Society Director

Our finances

August 22, 2023

In regard to MLA Jackie Lovely’s article on Alberta’s finances, to state that the 2022-23 budget surplus was due to the UCP’s fiscal management skills is not the case. The surplus was the result of high oil prices caused by the escalation of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

As for the UCP government funded investments in Alberta, these have proven to be white elephants and will never pay out. The list of PC and UCP investments that have been a waste of money is too long to list.

I list two–the magnesium plant at Aldersyde, which never operated, and the Redwater upgrader, which will never see a return on the investment.

How is that Alberta debt service costs exceed Alberta Heritage fund income? With all the wealth that has been generated the Heritage Trust income should exceed debt servicing costs. That was the Peter Lougheed model.

And finally, one only must compare the UCP’s 2023-24 budget estimate for WTI Oil with the current WTI price for oil.

Looks like the world will need another war for the UCP to balance the budget.

T.W. Leithead,

Health distress

August 22, 2023

I view with distress our health care system.

Why are we not using nurse practitioners as the first line of defence in the health care system? Could they not play a greater role in the system by manning walk-in clinics, instead of people spending hours in emergency.

I don’t understand why when we are given a family doctor, we can no longer access the nurse practitioners who would play a great supporting role in our recuperation.

Jeannette McDonald,

Journey of life

August 15, 2023

I assume that anyone reading this realizes our climate is not acting normally. We may disagree on the causes, but we cannot disagree on what is happening right before our eyes. A new El Nino has just begun and is forecast to be stronger than normal and usually lasts about three years. What we have witnessed this past few months looking at the world’s weather, is only going to get worse.

Based on my experience, most of my family and friends don’t want to talk about it because it is too divisive a subject. I would like to suggest that we must talk about it before we can do anything to try mitigate the effect on us.

Climate scientists who study ancient weather patterns tell us that the last 11,000 years have been unusually stable, with average temperatures showing very little variation. This set the stage for the agricultural revolution that led to more than eight billion humans living on earth now. We may able to feed that many and perhaps more due to technological advances and cheap energy if we get things right. War in prime agricultural areas does not bode well for us. That situation is likely to end abruptly and badly if climate becomes too erratic.

Every empire that has ever existed in human history has ended in collapse, no exceptions. It appears there will not be enough food energy available to all humans on this planet this year for many reasons. It is not going to get better if we cannot even talk about it.

Why are these subject taboo? We have a chance to solve problems if we face them. We have no chance if we bury our heads in the sand. Let’s talk about this critically important subject.

There is another subject we need to talk about. It is the lack of political leadership throughout the world. Instead of putting down leaders like Dr. Charley Boyd we need to discuss her critique of the system, not blindly following politicians who don’t know what they are doing.

Time is running out.

Harry Gaede,

United we stand

August 15, 2023

Wonder why so many submissions to this site focus on criticizing provincial MLA performance? It’s called political distraction. Alberta’s enemy and profound fear isn’t with internal politics, it’s Ottawa and the Trudeau Liberal government. To survive, Alberta must have a strong, committed and united government team. You decide which party you would trust most.

Let History vindicate. In 1980, Pierre Trudeau’s majority Liberal government imposed a Socialist National Energy Policy (NEP) on western Canada’s energy industry. It mandated the price of domestic production to be half of world price (i.e. what other producing countries earned and consuming countries paid) for energy supplies. Eastern Canada relied on off-shore energy at world price, thus the NEP mitigated their pain and presumably their voting support.

Alberta’s real estate values and employment plunged, effecting all business and house-hold stability. Exploration all but ceased as drilling and service rigs, and their crews, fled to the USA (refer to an excellent book on this dreadful era–Oilpatch Jeopardy: Torn In The USA. Alberta’s economy collapsed, as it did throughout Canada, as foreign investors promptly fled.

In 1984, threatened with a nation-wide depression, voters wisely replaced Trudeau with the majority Conservative government of Brian Mulroney. True to his electoral promise, within a year the NEP was eradicated and the slow process of recovery began. Just in time.

In 2025, eastern Canada will reward Justin Trudeau with a majority Liberal government and he will complete his father’s ill-informed and destructive intentions. Why?

Ottawa bulldozes, not shovels, public funds into Ontario and Quebec for just about any venture (while in western Canada the Liberals recently announced phasing out of all subsidises to fossil fuel projects, green-themed or not). Examples: (1) $16 Billion recent subsidy by tax payers for an electric car battery plant in Ontario to create 2,500 jobs. Yes, $6.4 million to buy each job. (2) Quebec carbon tax burden by 2030 is restricted to 23 cents/litre versus 37 cents/litre for the rest of Canada (Source–Canadian Tax Payer Federation).

Rather than stressing over critising or challenging my submission, simply wait till 2025 and you won’t have to.

Neil Leeson,

Accurate assessment

July 18, 2023

I was disheartened and saddened to read the negative responses to Dr. Charley Boyd’s assessment of our MLA’s position (or lack thereof) regarding support of nursing education at Augustana Campus and health care in general, for Albertans. In my opinion, Dr. Boyd’s assertions were an accurate assessment of UCP policy during the past several years.

I am totally apolitical and have voted for Conservative, Liberal and NDP policies at various times over many decades, but it seems to me that recent UCP policies and practices seem to be aimed at denigrating health care professionals (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, EMTs) by undervaluing these professionals while simultaneously imposing substantial political overreach and red tape reporting requirements (a myriad of bad examples in recent years).

Of equal concern, UCP policies are dumbing down our educational system by imposing a curriculum re-write (replete with errors) by an American curriculum designer to “modify” a curriculum that was validated by hundreds of end users to complete the update that was initiated by Premier Redford. In addition, it is a serious overreach for a government to appoint a lawyer to oversee professional conduct of teachers who are members of the Alberta Teacher’s Association. The key element of professional associations is that the “Profession” regulates themselves as most professions have a dual role of collective bargaining which is entirely separate from professional conduct and standards.  Can you imagine the furor if the conduct of members of the Law Society of Alberta were to be assessed by a government appointed plumber?

The detractors of Dr. Boyd’s stance used a combination of political partisanship, deflection (Federal Liberals), and cherry-picking selective bits of information to refute her assertions. To summarize, quoting “Google” is an indefensible and nonsensical argument as Google is riddled with misinformation and disinformation and anyone choosing to bolster their argument by quoting Google should have the courage to document the SPECIFIC information source which is subject to peer review. To wish for the return of the Social Credit Party is akin to wishing to return to the age of dinosaurs. The author of the letter refuting Dr. Boyd’s “facts” had to have been on the Dean’s List at Kelley Anne Conway’s Institute of Selective and Alternate Facts.

It is long overdue for people to put aside long-standing political partisanship which has hyperpolarized the electorate, and react to specific policy/policies; and not Party ideology.

Blind partisanship has the potential to lead us all down a rabbit hole and it’s a very slippery slope.
Lynn Clark,

Blind support

July 18, 2023

Dr. Charley M. Boyd’s letter of June 20th “Need Support” brought back nightmares for me that I will never forget. Nurses bawling their eyes out in my office when Klein destroyed their careers by closing hospitals, closing 1,500 hospital beds and cutting 5,000 nursing positions. After my father donated around $30,000 to the Alberta Conservative Party, over the years,  and Lougheed’s energy minister Bill Dickie was a brother in-law of one of my uncles, Klein almost killed him with his healthcare cuts. As a Royal Bank manager I helped nine doctors and at least two dozen nurses relocate out of this province and not one wanted to go. One doctor said it best: “Why should I stay in Alberta and support my patients when my patients have refused to support me against that tyrant Ralph Klein?

After watching how they were treated by these phony conservatives, Reformers, under the UCP government it’s not surprising that once again we are seeing them leaving as Dr. Boyd has pointed out and now the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta in their recent report have indicated that we have lost an additional 275 physicians between the fourth quarter of 2022 and the first quarter of 2023. Add that to the 568 in 2021 that was  previously reported and Albertans are once again having their lives put at risk, by these phony conservatives.  Whom can we blame for creating this disaster? Albertans who have blindly supported these Reformers and have not shown any respect for our doctors and nurses, the most important people in our lives. Where is the intelligence in that?
Allan Spiller,
formerly of Camrose

In response

In regard to Adrian Zinck’s letter of July 4, Distorted Facts.

Everyone seems to forget that when the NDP came into power approximately eight years ago, the price of oil was $40 a barrel or below, not $120 a barrel, which was what the UCP started with four years ago. A big difference in revenues and deficits.

When Jason Kenny got voted in as a leader of the Conservative Party, it should be noted that he was the subject of a criminal identity fraud investigation by the RCMP. Also, the Elections commissioner was fired by Mr. Kenny, saying it was a reduction in spending, thus starting the ball rolling into the replacement of the RCMP with the Sheriffs.

Then Mr. Kenny started fighting with the doctors and medical staff, wanting to cut wages, benefits, staff and hospital beds to further reduce spending. Subsequently, Mr. Kenny started to backpedal, trying to reverse his decisions after COVID became an epidemic, extending all kinds of olive branches to medical staff.
Mr. Zinck said that the last few years of the medical system has been fixed. Perhaps Mr. Zinck and Ms. Lovely should meet one-on-one with some of the front-line health workers to get the truth on the actual true state of our medical crisis.

Danielle Smith was caught three times changing her story in regards to the Coutts Border crossing blockade in 2022 and Mr. Art Pawlowski.

Ms. Smith tried to have the charges stayed regarding his involvement in the incident and was found to have violated the conflict of interest rules by the ethics commissioner.

Like Mr. Kenny, she also stated that there would be 500 new RCMP officers and 400 new Sheriff positions. Ask any member of these two police services and they will tell you that there are still vacant positions in Alberta and no new positions have been filled.
Approximately two years ago, Ms. Lovely started shaking hands and kissing babies to get re-elected, and it worked.

I still bleed blue and probably always will, but I find it very hard to support a government that deceives the people of Alberta every time they open their mouths. It is very hard to swallow their lies and disinformation. So, can we trust them in the future? The UCP should get their stories straight before opening their mouths.
Louie Hagel,

Proud Canadian

I felt compelled to write and thank several of your writers.

First, the article by Bonnie Hutchinson was so touching and beautiful. I cried, of course. I wanted to read it to my husband, but couldn’t get through it.

Another of your guest editorials by Arnold Malone gave us so many facts on our beautiful country, Canada. The freedom, great schools, hospitals. Where else on earth could we have all these privileges?

Thank you, Lori Larsen. I read with great interest your article on Terry Wilton and music at Main Street 1908 (a favourite). What a gift to bring his music to add to this peaceful environment. Love it!
We are so pleased to call Canada home.

From a proud Canadian.
Carol Uglem,

Need support

June 20, 2023

I am appalled at Camrose Constituency supporting Jackie Lovely with a 63 per cent majority in the recent election.

When the UCP tore up the agreement with physicians, MLA Lovely chose not to attend the health care town hall hosted by the local medical community at Augustana. Many of the problems predicted at this forum indeed came to fruition including the loss of local physicians.

MLA Lovely also was astonishingly silent at the U of A’s closure of Augustana’s after-degree in nursing. This program had exceedingly high rates of employing graduates at St. Mary’s Hospital and other hospitals across east central Alberta. She had the audacity to blame the U of A for this closure after the UCP gutted funding to U of A and, subsequently, Augustana. Nursing recruitment at St. Mary’s Hospital continues to be a significant challenge and we have beds closed as a result.

Perhaps if MLA Lovely was from Camrose originally, she would be truly invested in our community and rural areas.

The UCP has a single focus on improving surgical wait times while ignoring the abhorrent access Albertan’s have to a family physician. Canadian graduates are not choosing to stay or come to Alberta for training or practice. It’s no wonder there is a crisis in ER wait-times.

I am a Canadian-trained Albertan-born family physician and I am unsure if I will remain to work in Alberta’s health care system given the current crisis that will undoubtedly worsen over the next four years. I will continue to press our local MLA for system-level improvements, not “special proposals”, but the burnout from these conditions is unsustainable.
Dr. Charley M. Boyd,

Utility bills

June 13, 2023

After reading following City of Camrose council meetings I now state my opposition to this proposed mandate which would force landlords to be obligated for tenants within billing non-payment situations.

The $25,000+ loss is a result of tenants not paying and the City staff allowing the amount owing to exceed the deposit. The City is essentially telling the good tenants who do pay their bills they are no longer trusted by the City. These folks also have the privilege of using the City as a reference when they move to another jurisdiction and this reference would be lost if the tenants did not have an account with the City. Is the City really prepared to tell all the good tenants who take responsibility seriously they are no longer trusted?

The City simply can not allow utility bills to exceed the deposit amount. Why are landlords being potentially forced to absorb the impact of decisions made by tenants? Any time a bill is allowed to exceed the deposit amount held by the City, there is an element of risk those funds may not be collected which is a cost of doing business. As a Camrosian, I believe this is within the risk tolerance of the City.

The responsibility lies and should remain with the tenant(s) and City personnel who make the decisions. Remedial action is available to mitigate losses on utility bills outlined in The Camrose Booster.

Such an authoritarian position, as this policy change, is it not fair to property owners?

The second factor stated to support this change was City employee safety. If utility bills are in the name of landlords, does this mean no one will ever be angry with an employee? Is this the only area where employees are confronted with angry, frustrated citizens? Employees should never be faced with fear or retribution when doing their jobs. In last weeks editorial, there were suggestions to alleviate improper behaviour toward City employees. I need to know how many times the police responded to a situation where employees were in imminent danger, were charges laid. In order to logically consider this as a valid argument. We all know how tough life has been for some and often anger or frustration is expressed at person(s) not related to the root cause–that doesn’t make it right.

In closing, I would ask council to reject the proposal of forcing innocent parties to absorb the responsibility of tenants and City of Camrose staff and institute remedial policies to mitigate losses while allowing City employees the flexibility to help folks where they deem necessary.
Mickey Mohan,

Speech freedom

June 13, 2023

 According to a recent letter, NDP candidate Richard Bruneau “would have been a gift as an MLA. He had the skills required…” You have the advantage of obviously knowing the candidate very well.

I do not, other than viewing his social media sites, where he claims to be fluent in four languages and has been a foreign service diplomat in at least four countries. Although subject to verification, it is not completely clear how his specific skills benefit Camrose Constituency.

To judge and admonish Camrose Constituency for being “so partisan that the majority of voters could not see past their party loyalty…” crosses a line. Excuse me, but 50 years of prosperous Conservative governance has facilitated our health and wealth that defines us today. Voting UPC is no less patriotic just because one didn’t support your ideological wishful thinking. Each and every voter owes this province the loyalty to vote on facts, not faith or emotion.

It’s not about the candidate, it’s all about the party he has chosen to represent. Here are the facts.

In 2009, Nova Scotia experimented with faith and emotion by electing their first NDP government under Darrell Dexter. After four years of fraud, financial mismanagement, broken promises and economic crises, Nova Scotia threw the NDP out of office, reducing their 31-seat majority to six seats or less ever since. (Just Google or just ask Nova Scotians when you visit during your travels, or Ontarians about their last NDP experiment under Bob Rae many decades ago, or Saskatchewanians and their NDP experiment under Alan Blakey many decades ago.) Voters chose courage and logic to rescue their provinces.

In 2015, Alberta experimented with faith and emotion by electing their first NDP government under Rachel Notley. After four years of a massive $88 billion debt, shut down of Alberta’s Coal Industry (to the delight of British Columbia and Nova Scotia, which reopened mines to fill the void), an unwanted and unwarranted carbon tax, oil and gas production caps, small business tax increases, etc. Déjà vu!

Albertans, wake up and appreciate which government got you this far and which government will maintain our prosperity: the only province without a sales tax, lowest gas prices in Canada, annual contribution of $20 billion in equalization payments to the rest of Canada.

Just stop and think.

Neil Leeson,

Beaver benefits

May 23, 2023

Camrose is a wonderful small city in which to live. It is small enough that one can easily walk from the outskirts to the town core. The natural areas along Camrose Creek are beautiful including Mirror Lake that, although not formed naturally, has existed long enough that nature has taken over.

In addition, the creek valley extends down to join up with the Battle River, giving those with a bent for more strenuous hiking and skiing a great opportunity. At one time, there was even a small ski tow along the valley bank, as the bank is high enough above the creek to allow this. The trail extends through almost a wilderness, all the way to the river. We can thank the Ski Club for building and maintaining these trails.

Unfortunately, the City administration does not appreciate how wonderful it is to have these natural areas right in town. A few years back, there existed a beautiful little beaver pond on which one could observe the growth and maturity of a mother goose’s brood.

Tragically, the City thoughtlessly decided beavers are pests that should be eradicated. I couldn’t bear to ever again walk that trail, having to observe the dried up creek, the backhoe remains of the dam and the thought of how cruel and thoughtless it was to trap and kill the innocent beavers.

Fortunately, I found another little trail, the Bulrush Trail. We watched as the summer progressed, the leaves of the many varieties of bushes emerging, the blossoms and berries. The creek winds though a swampy area where fresh cattails develop all summer, eventually to observe the tidy seed bunches giving the plant its name.

Then, excitedly, we began to notice the level of the water was rising a little each day. We explored down stream and found a small beaver dam. Next, we met this guy driving his truck on the trail. Inquiring, we found that the City had hired him to trap the beavers.

I phoned, but never received a reply. Later, we observed the water still rising a little. The beavers had built a house and were collecting little branches they store under the water for their winter food supply. Wonderful, the trapper had relented and didn’t kill our beavers. This spring, beaver activity did not appear right away and I was concerned that they had not survived the winter. But joy, the dam is being raised and there are fresh cuttings of small poplars.

Then horrors, the trap warning signs are up again. I will never walk this trail again until I hear that the City has stopped this cruel and thoughtless destruction of nature, found unfortunately so commonly among humans.

Arnold Baker, Camrose


Keep safe

May 23, 2023

When I was two years old, I ran into the path of a riding lawn mower and lost my right leg below the knee. It all happened so fast: one moment, I was playing outside and the next, I was too close to the mower.

Having grown up as part of the War Amps Child Amputee (CHAMP) Program, I am now committed to spreading the association’s PLAYSAFE message. With lawn cutting season upon us, I want everyone to know that kids should not ride, operate or play near lawn mowers.

Though I’ve learned to accept and appreciate who I am today, I want to use my experience to help prevent others from going through what I did. Make sure children are always at a safe distance from lawn mowers. And don’t underestimate the importance of safety when operating any machinery. I urge you to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you.

If you would like to learn more about how to play safely and hear stories from other young amputees like me who have lost limbs in accidents, visit

Jarod Murray,
Vanessa, Ontario

Water bills

May 23, 2023

There are all sorts of instances of what tenants can and will do when not paying for their own bills. I would like to make everyone aware that as landlords, we are trying to provide a service to the community in providing accommodations for people who need to rent.

Water bills are a very big part of our ongoing problems in doing our business. All tenants should pay all their own utilities as part of living, it  would create a more responsible attitude towards leaving things running, turning off lights and towards life and their own well-being.

We all agree the City of Camrose should hold a deposit re: water bills and when the bill is too high, they notify and disconnect. A fairly hefty deposit has been installed, all other utilities do and they seem to survive. Also on accounts that are questionable, the City could introduce a double billing system for tenants and landlords, so all are aware of risk to both landlord and City as to tenants intentions. The $324 deposit now held by the City should be a large enough amount to realize recovery when a tenant is delinquent if everyone is notified accordingly.

If and when we as landlords try to control or inquire about supposed utilities not being hooked up or disconnected, we cannot do so due to privacy laws even on our own properties; heat in winter, excessive water bills due to a broken tap, running toilet that would be nice to fix.

With the constant increase in taxes from the City, higher insurance costs and higher interest rates on mortgages, large water bills as they seem to go up all the time, we are probably going to go out of business, which will put a larger strain on the city to provide housing in Camrose in the near future.

It will put a larger strain on the City to provide affordable housing. It seems as landlords we are balked, penalized and blamed for everything. And if all else fails, the City wants to add to it by having landlords do the collecting for them. The City is running a business, same as us. We do our own collecting. Although the onus could be on landlords in the future to inform the City of tenants walking out on rent, moving without notice, etc. so bills can be stopped. I have found that we get charged the full amount even when a house is empty and have notified the City (no water used, no garbage pickup or anything from the house).

When a tenant does not pay rent and has not moved, it takes up to three months to remove them through the system. The house could be filthy, damaged and repairs of $6,000 and up to fix, means another month of down time.

Carol Kostawich,

Booster Banter

April 25, 2023

Most of us will agree that the last three years have been very difficult. During these many months, I have appreciated the effort made by The Booster to bring a grin and a giggle into the gloom.
“Booster Banter” has been such good fun. Also excellent has been the annual April Fool’s articles–very clever.

It bothers me to hear of people complaining because they were caught by the joke because they apparently did not read the entire article–their fault, not The Booster’s.

Maybe the issue goes deeper. It appears to me that people everywhere are in a mood to complain. There are demonstrators everywhere. Maybe we are all in a “crabby” mood. We need some humour to “lighten us up.”

With the comment by Emily Gillespie (April 18) that the April Fool’s article about a new hospital being taken seriously should not cause criticism of The Booster. First of all, read the whole article, realize that a new hospital would take five to eight years to finish. This is not a “quick fix.” It is time to appreciate a good joke for what it is.

Camrose Booster, I hope you will continue to be an integral part of our fine City of Camrose. I’m already looking forward to April 1, 2024.

Lyle Erga,

Downtown shock

April 25, 2023

It was with shock, disappointment, and sadness that we read about the disestablishment of the Downtown Camrose Business Improvement Area, once known as City Center Camrose, with less than half of the eligible businesses taking part in the vote.

The major mandates of the organization were to beautify and promote the downtown businesses. Much hard work by many volunteers from engaged and caring business owners was instrumental in creating the downtown as a vibrant, pleasant and exciting destination to shop and enjoy.

Because of the downtown association, we organized many events, such as Midnight Madness, Founders Days, Farmers’ Market, garage sales, Scandinavian Supper, Santa Claus Parade and more. Beautification projects included the planters throughout the downtown, the ones on Main Street with the unique rosemaling patterns commissioned by City Center. Other projects were the garbage containers, lights on the trees, and the historic information kiosks, all to promote our unique downtown.

The City Center board lobbied City council on behalf of downtown businesses on numerous occasions to present concerns and recommendations. City Center initiated meetings that resulted in the creation of Tourism Camrose.

City Center submitted the application and proposal, supported by City council, to the province for Camrose to be accepted into the Alberta Main Street Programme. Over the next decade the Camrose Main Street Project developed economic development strategies for the downtown and supported the restorations and improvements of 16 buildings.

The organization greatly enhanced the area, its businesses and was a strong united voice for not just the downtown, but for the City of Camrose.

It is a very sad day for Downtown Camrose.

Janice DePaoli, former downtown business owner,
Robert Earley, former City Center Camrose manager


Road illumination

April 25, 2023

I read Murray Green’s article “Address headlight glare to help your vision” with interest since over my lifetime, I have driven three million kilometres, a significant portion, at night. I found that in the early days, nighttime driving was quite pleasant, even if there was significant traffic. The first car I drove was my dad’s 1936 Chevy, which was equipped with sealed beam lights, which were incredibly good compared to the lights on his Ford Model T, probably because on the T, it was difficult to keep the reflectors clean and rust free.

I remember at night, on high beam, the trees, the fields off to the side and the distant road were illuminated very satisfactorily. Naturally, if we met traffic, the lights were dimmed by a little push switch on the floor. The dimmer light was designed and adjusted to prevent light from shining on the left side of the road, that angled down, and to the right, preventing glare in the eyes of the oncoming driver. The car dealers checked the adjustment of the lights on the new cars with a screen that every service business used. The factories didn’t waste time adjusting lights on the assembly line. The transport department was responsible for auto safety, so they often sent technicians out and, using a roadside screen, checked that lights were adjusted properly and made sure no bulbs had burned out.

The only problem with auto lights now is that the department of transport takes no responsibility for checking the directional adjustment.
Arnold Baker, Camrose 

Downtown vote

April 18, 2023

Thinking back on my life to when I was young and stupid, just about to the age of 48 years, I would always get my back up and retaliate when wrongs were cast upon me, then I grew up, well mostly, and I realize there are other ways to view life.

This brings me to the recent vote of the Downtown Business Association issue. I was encouraged to vote since I am within the boundaries. I thought about how passionate people are to want to keep the Association running and also on the other side. People were very passionate about ending this relationship for whatever reasons they felt were valid. Whichever way you saw this issue, this event brought to light that people loved their downtown and wanted things to be better.

The voting event took place and the decision was to end the Association. Now some people would view this as business–simply business.  And, of course, some people are hurt and/or disappointed. And, of course, some people will be relieved. Again, maybe that is just life.

But the people who ran the Association decided to take this to a different level.  A retaliatory level. All of the lights on 50th Street were removed. Okay fine, if that is what you thought was the thing to do. But those lights did not belong to you.  They belonged to all of the businesses that paid for those lights over the years. Your group had absolutely no right to remove them.

Looking at this from a patron as opposed to a business owner, when we first came to Camrose, the lights were the first thing we commented on. Away from the west end shopping district was a little gem of an area that took the time to dress up and look spiffy for it’s customers downtown. Now I see it as a wound.
This takes me back to my younger years, the voters were retaliated against for saying something.

Does anyone else feel the same? Does anyone else care?
I feel there still could be something good downtown if businesses pulled together, maybe under a different model.

Think about it. This is your city too.

Jeff Janisse,

Refugee Centre

April 18, 2023

It is over a year since the Russian invasion of the Ukraine began. Bombardment, destruction and death continue. No one knows when this terrible war will end. Millions of Ukrainians have fled for their lives to other countries, including Canada. Approximately 60 Ukrainians have been welcomed into our Camrose and area community and more are wanting to come. Can we welcome these additional newcomers with the same hospitality and generosity that we offered to those who joined our community in the first year? That is the question that Camrose Refugee Centre is struggling to address.

During the past year we have appealed to our community for support and the response has been generous beyond our expectations. But, now the numbers of fleeing Ukrainians and their need is so much greater than we contemplated. How can we provide additional help to some of our Ukrainian friends who are already here, can’t find employment, and don’t have money to pay the rent, etc.? What kind of financial support can we offer to those who are still wanting to come to Camrose to begin their life in a new country?

So far, our community has donated over $105,000 to the Camrose Refugee Centre for the purpose of assisting Ukrainian newcomers in their orientation and settling-in process. Of this amount we have provided $85,000 to approximately 60 Ukrainians now living in Camrose and area for assistance with airfare, apartment rental, food allowance and other special needs. This amount, though small, was graciously received and was critical in the settling-in period. Most have found employment, but some are still looking for work and need further support. We think that the remaining $20,000 will be needed for those already here.

The Camrose Refugee Centre is committed to helping all refugees in our community. Because Ukrainian newcomers are technically not “refugees” and do not qualify for the support that sponsored refugees normally receive, they experience additional financial hardships and therefore are in greater need of our support. Our help will depend on what resources the community provides. Specifically, we are appealing to our generous community for the following: financial donations (tax receipts available); in-kind donations–gently-used furniture, bicycles, cars; donations of time–assisting with transportation, English teaching and child care.

On behalf of the Camrose Refugee Centre board and all our newcomers who are the recipients of your kindness and generosity.

Erhard Pinno, Camrose

April’s Fools

April 18, 2023

I am writing in response to the April’s Fools Day article. I read the “apology” in this week’s paper, but it sounded more like a defensive article to justify what you did rather than an actual apology. You stated in the article that people who have been waiting for surgeries will be able to get them sooner and that it would draw more doctors here. Currently, there is over a year’s wait list to get a family doctor, so why would you think it is funny to write an article that actually brings people hope for local access to healthcare services?

The front page photo showed someone doing the land survey, etc., which is a far cry from the photo you posted in other years of dandelions in Jubilee Park.

For people who didn’t read the full article, they may have seen the front page and immediately thought that we are finally getting better healthcare services. I have spoken to many people and they all have said, “Did you hear we are getting a new hospital?”  We have told them that it was an April’s Fools Joke and every single person has had an angry response.

I feel you have negatively impacted so many people, especially those who are medical professionals and also those who have been waiting a long time to receive access to healthcare services. Health isn’t something to joke around about. We are all very disappointed and upset about this article and it seems that you feel it was justified and that people should’ve somehow known it was an April Fool’s Joke. Jokes are meant to be funny and this was not funny in any way, shape, or form.

Submitted by Emily Gillespie, Camrose

Funny story

April 11, 2023

Thank you for the wonderful “April Fool’s” article in the March 28 paper. It was funny from start to finish. I am sure that the staff at The Booster put long hours into this article to provide readers with a great story.

It is really unfortunate that there were some individuals who could not or would not appreciate the humour that was intended. I have talked to several people about the article, including those who were fooled (to begin with) and not one reacted negatively. We all thought it was done with “tongue in cheek” and only for entertainment. The acronyms were great! Thanks again for another good April Fool’s and hope you have another great one next year.

Penny Fox,

Mixed emotion

April 11, 2023

Yesterday, I read your letter “April Fool’s” with a mixture of emotion.

It was masterfully done, as you explained that the hospital story was intended to cause laughter, which it did for me and, I am certain, for a great many of your readers. I consider myself to be “very slow on the uptake”, yet it was quite obvious that the story was in jest. Further, it had a number of creative witticisms within it which gave me more amusement. (Indeed, April Fool’s is, itself, very witty.)

I am disappointed, but not surprised, at the vehemence which was directed at The Booster. Lashing out at anyone who is perceived to have a differing thought process appears to be increasingly popular. We need to respect others’ opinions and comments, and should we disagree in some fashion with them, have the class to say plainly and simply that we do not and will not agree with that individual. And put our name to our opinion.

The English language has a horizon of words which can get the point across without belligerence, anger, crudity or rudeness.
I feel bad that you Booster folks had to receive such treatment for an effort meant to make people laugh and hope that you all will put the invective where it belongs–in the garbage.

In the meantime, I look forward to each edition of The Booster.

Best wishes.

Don Gregorwich,
Leamington, Ontario

Laughter welcome

April 11, 2023

Kudos to The Booster and staff with respect to the levity and laughter provided by your ongoing “April Fool’s” stories. Year after year, the comedic relief this world so sorely lacks is provided by these stories.

As print media continues to be attacked, there will no doubt be more of the keyboard or phone warriors who call in and hide behind anonymity to make a complaint. I, for one, want to be as clear and concise as possible. I wholeheartedly support and encourage print media and tip my hat to the good work that on-the-ground journalists do–whether that be on-the-ground factual reporting we continue to need as a society or providing a good laugh with stories such as this. As we move forward and print media continues to be attacked from all sides, I want it to be known that I read Mr. Fowler’s good words in the April 4 edition and I am taking this chance to offer my “constructive criticism” in the Letters to the Editor column.

Hear this–those who choose to attack without substance might as well say nothing at all since they’ve offered nothing to consider. I, for one, found the story quite amusing in the moment of innocent laughter I experienced and it brought levity to the ongoing world we live in. In particular, I enjoyed that helium was escaping from a spy balloon. Kudos, and keep on keeping on.

From one grateful reader to a wonderful staff.

Brent H. Thygesen,


New hospital

April 11, 2023

Telling us all we are getting a new hospital and then letting us know it was April Fool’s joke was extremely upsetting. I’m getting up there in age and was thrilled to hear about the new hospital, which helped our decision to stay living here. Shame on you.

Barb Goodwin,

Loved joke

I loved your front page article about the new hospital for Camrose (April Fool’s joke). Those who read the whole article would soon realize that this was real fake news.

I wonder how many people read only the headlines and jump to the wrong conclusion. How gullible can one be.

Name withheld
upon request

Light bulb

April 11, 2023

I have enjoyed The Booster's April Fool's story for years.
I’m usually half way through the story when the light bulb comes on and I chuckle to myself.

The acronyms are typically a great hint and crack me up.
Cheers to The Booster team and thanks for keeping us laughing.

Kevin Gurr,

April Fool’s

April 4, 2023

Be assured. Camrose is not on the verge of landing a new hospital, let alone one that is dedicated to the exclusive use of the judicial system for the Province of Alberta.

Frankly, we thought the story that was prominently featured on/in last week’s issue of The Camrose Booster (and which was full of what we perceived would be obvious misinformation from start to finish)  was clearly for entertainment purposes only. Laughter, after all, is supposed to be good for the soul. But, based on half a dozen calls and emails to our office following last week’s April Fool’s spoof, a longstanding tradition in our weekly publication on the last Tuesday before April Fool’s Day, some readers clearly found our joke neither funny nor even remotely appropriate.

A universal theme among those who expressed displeasure, or anger, at this year’s April Fool’s week lark was that personnel in the medical community were significantly negatively improperly burdened and adversely impacted by the words. One of the individuals who relayed their personal comments, correctly and eloquently noted that those incarcerated for crime should not be the brunt of any level of joking. A key worry for her was the mention of a potential violent force scenario, as outlined in the fictitious story.  One caller summarized her thoughts by saying, “I guess you just can’t fix stupid” before angrily ending the phone call. Each of these contacts implied that they were not just speaking for themselves, but many others in their profession, social circle, or the community at large. Even though we made this “letters to the editor” column available to almost all of those who submitted their constructive criticism, our offer drew no submissions.

To any and all people who found this year’s joke distasteful, too believable, disturbing, or out of bounds in any way, we offer our apology. Our sole intent was levity, reader amusement and a moment of innocent foolishness in a tense and troubled world.
Blain Fowler,
Booster publisher

Great News

April 4, 2023

A great front page story. What great news for Camrose–a new hospital and such an innovative use for St. Mary’s. I particularly liked the part about how the east wall of the “bowl” will absorb gunshots.

From way down east in Leamington, Ontario, we (Joan and I) salute you all for your talent and imagination. Good going.
Joan and Don Gregorwich,
Leamington, Ontario

Senior smoking

April 4, 2023

On September 17, I moved into an apartment building that I was told by the previous landlord was a non-smoking, clean, quiet building with good tenants, however, upon moving in and previously fulfilling a one-year lease agreement with a good reference letter, I realized it was not a non-smoking rental property.

A senior citizen who has lived in the building since roughly 2012, was smoking in the building and lighting cigarettes in the lobby, right in front of the non-smoking sign on the door. After talking to another tenant who told me this had been going on for a long time, I decided to talk to the landlord.

In doing so, not only did the smoking not stop, but the senior citizen started retaliating by complaining to all the other tenants about me saying I was “controlling how everyone lives, which window sill the stick that holds the door open was in and how many newspapers were in the recycling box.”

I know this because I eavesdropped on her conversation outside the tenant’s doors. The smoking rule was expanded to 10 metres from the building after marijuana became legal, but the senior citizen continued to smoke in the building.

I was then accused of “elder abuse” by her and her friend. This friend helps the senior citizen and she even went as far as threatening me. The senior citizen broke her hip and was required to use a walker and the smoking escalated and continued daily from her apartment.

Finally, after the building was sold in February 2022, the new landlord was sent a letter by me explaining the blatant disrespect of the smoking rule. Even the friend who helps the senior citizen told her “senior citizens have more rights than everyone else and that I’m guilty of elder abuse.”

I had a chat with the fire department, health, building inspectors as well as the landlord tenant act. Every tenant is under the same rules. It doesn’t matter how old you are. The current landlord forced the senior to sign a letter or move out. This behaviour finally stopped roughly around June 2022. Before I moved in the building, my father had just passed away from lung cancer. So, in the end the rules apply equally to everyone and senior citizens do not have more rights than everyone else.
Michael Smith,

Election budget

March 7, 2023

The recent pre-election budget makes no sense in several areas which indicate some ministers do not fully understand their portfolios or their relationship with Ottawa.

According to a recent report released by the Fraser Institute, Alberta ranks near the bottom of all provinces in terms of dollars spent per student on K-12 public education. The “proposed” budget increase will not even raise Alberta to the Canadian average.

More smoke and mirrors from this government?

In addition, how will the educational system be able to accommodate a substantive population increase as predicted by Alberta Finance Minister Toews?

The grant of $125 million for Grant MacEwen University for a new building to expand its business programming makes absolutely no sense. Advanced Education already provides funding to business programs in Edmonton (certificates, diplomas and degrees complete with articulation agreements) at The King’s University, the University of Alberta, Concordia University College, NorQuest College, Grant MacEwan University and NAIT. All these institutions have excess capacity and enrollments are undersubscribed. Private colleges like CDI and Reeves College also offer business programming.

Alberta’s postsecondary system is grossly overbuilt; three times the capacity of Ontario on a per capita basis (at huge cost to taxpayers). Added to the insult is the fact that postsecondary participation rates in Alberta are low compared to other provinces. If Advanced Education minister Nicolaides understood his portfolio, he would realize that business programming needs to be rationalized, not expanded.

Why is Alberta financing an Alberta Firearms Advisory Committee, a sinecure committee that has no official mandate when federal firearms regulations are the responsibility of the Canadian Firearms Advisory Committee?

The CFAC is a broad cross section of communities…medical, legal, policing, outdoor enthusiasts, shooting sports, educators, and members of the community at large. Public Safety minister Blaney under PM Harper overruled every recommendation by the RCMP to ban selected assault rifles.

Ask your local MLA for answers…you deserve them.

Lynn Clark,

Population growth

February 28, 2023

What is exponential growth? Why does it matter? Anything that doubles in a limited period is exponential and grows to infinity over time.

Proto humans have been around for at least one million years.  Modern humans between 50 and 100,000 years. By about 1804, human populations in the world had grown to about one billion. It took 123 years to grow to 2B (1927), 46 years to double to 4B (1973), 26 years to add another 2B (1999) and 24 years to add another 2B (2022).

Do you think we can add another 2B by 2050? I don’t, but I won’t be around! What will be here is what our business elites were told at the recent DAVOS conference is a worsening of what they called a “polycrises” (multiple crises stacked on each other). Storms, heat waves, rising sea levels and other “natural” disasters will increase. On the positive side, human population may now be in the decline and could possibly fall by half by 2100.That’s in the lifetime of many who are now alive.  No matter what we do, it is likely that we will still be using substantial amounts of fossil fuels in 2050.
Is there any reasonable hope for the survival of life or mankind? Most species that have ever existed have gone extinct. There is always hope as long as we do not rely on the drug “hopium” (expecting someone else to fix it).

Individual humans can be incredibly stupid and ignorant as our history shows us, but as a social species, working together, history shows that we can almost do the impossible. Our species relies on, perhaps, one to five per cent of the population to find solutions to our problems, and the rest of us only need to copy what these geniuses have given us.

There are over 8B of us now. About 95 per cent of all scientists who have ever lived are living and working now. There are vastly more educated humans than ever in history. We still have the resources we need to fix our problems. The big problem we face, I suggest, is the anti-intellectualism and distrust of educated elites, some of it well deserved, especially among our political and religious elites.Being governed by leaders who seem to be psychopaths or sociopaths elected by too many people who believe in magic solutions has not helped.

Harry Gaede,