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Author: Mia Parker

Old-fashioned typewriter with "fake news" text

Media, misinformation and Meta

Last month I debuted the Jaunty Journo Jargon column with a blurb about the history of journalism and the foundations for the press. This week, I’d like to talk about a less jaunty, timeless issue that is garnering much contemporary attention: misinformation.

This topic was highly relevant to my journalism courses in Ottawa for a few reasons. Firstly, the examination of misinformation through the years shows some of the critical ways it has shaped journalism. Secondly, it’s an issue that merits a special kind of attention from journalists today. Thirdly, it’s a topic that my first semester journalism professor, Sarah Everts, has some personal experience with.

Terminology is important. In class, we defined misinformation as being misguided, often widespread, information. Conversely, disinformation refers to a malicious, intentional attempt to misinform the public. Both are highly relevant topics of discussion, but misinformation is going to be what news readers are most familiar with, and what is often most dangerous.

As wide-spreading information became more attainable, the potential for fabrications naturally grew, but what makes misinformation so special is what goes into its transmission. It’s easier, and often more convincing, to spread falsehoods if you genuinely believe you are right.

So how do you know if you’re wrong? As a journalist, I’d like to give a special shout-out to the concept of journalistic standards. Confirming facts. Being accurate. Acting objectively. Publicizing the truth.

 

Orange t-shirt on grey background with Town of Pincher Creek logo on the sleeve, promoting Orange Shirt Day on Sept. 30.

 

These universally accepted cornerstones of journalism get their fame out of the necessity brought up by the potential for the efficient spread of misinformation under the guise of “news.” Essentially, we want you to know what makes us different.

Despite these values, however, the actual process of spreading information has become easier than ever. It’s not hard to see why. It’s everywhere. And it almost always ties back to social media. 

Professor Everts focused much of her research at Carleton University on the percentages of Canadians who take misinformation as fact, and the overlap with the percentages of Canadians who are confident they can differentiate the two.

A survey asked Canadians if they felt they could tell when something online is true, and presented them with four conspiracy theories about Covid-19. Fifty-seven per cent believed they could “easily distinguish conspiracy theories and misinformation from actual information about Covid-19.” Forty-six per cent believed at least one of the myths they were presented with.

Of the respondents, 49 per cent of those who believed Covid-19 was a bioweapon invented by the Chinese, and 58 per cent who believed Covid-19 is a cover-up to the illness inflicted by exposure to 5G wireless technology, believed they could easily distinguish what online information is fact.

Tying back to the discussion of journalistic standards, what stands out about the spread of misinformation like this is the distancing from facts, accuracy, objectivity and truth. 

 

Town of Pincher Creek council and committee of the whole schedule advertisement

 

This is a critical conversation today, because in the last week we’ve seen Meta, the tech giant that controls Facebook and Instagram, block Canadian news for Canadians.

The definition from federal Bill C-18, the legislation Meta says this decision is in response to, defines news with several requirements, most notably that of adhering to recognized process and principles of the journalistic profession; those standards.

That’s us.

The Beaverton, a Canadian satire publication, was also initially blocked, but contested and successfully overturned this by pointing out in an open letter to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg that they don’t employ journalistic standards. While their letter was funny, it was also incredibly sad to have the point driven home that in order to avoid the censorship of your content, you simply have to not abide by journalistic standards. 

So for Shootin’ the Breeze, whose Facebook page provided critical and potentially life-saving information about issues like the Kenow fire and Covid-19 is blocked, content creators who don’t value delivery accuracy are fair game. 

An open statement by Nick Clegg, Meta president, detailed why they felt this move was appropriate, citing among other things that Canadian news content “isn’t that important to [their] users.”

I wonder, is it important to you?

 

Woman in orange dress and sweater and man in jeans and blue t-shirt with yard-of-the-week sign in a nicely landscaped yard

Pincher Creek names latest Yard of the Week

For 25 years, Mel Kubasek’s rich and unique yard has been thriving in the Pincher Creek community. Now, it’s being awarded this week’s Yard of the Week.

“I like to have my place looking attractive,” says Mel. “It’s something I enjoy.” 

Mel’s love for yard work was certainly picked up on by the previous winner, Dale Ferguson, who selected him as part of this Communities in Bloom “paying it forward” initiative.

This isn’t the first time Mel’s pristine yard has won him recognition. He notes receiving an award for best-maintained front lawn in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

When Mel settled in Pincher Creek many years ago, he did all of his own landscaping. His many plants have since evolved and adapted to the local environment and the ever-present wind touching his hilltop property.

“You’re never fully done when you’ve got a landscape to take care of,” he says.

Rather than embracing a typical flower-based garden, the mature yard relies on contrasting colours and textures from the bushes and trees. Some notable plants in Mel’s yard are his buckeye nut tree, flowering crab tree, juniper, Turkistan burning bush and ninebark bush.

“Some of this stuff has a mind of its own,” Mel says, noting the curious ways some plants grow, or the new plants that are blown in, like his bluebells, “volunteering” their presence. 

 

Beige and green trailer on announcement reminding Pincher Creek residents to have trailers off the street by Oct. 21.

 

There are even some wildflowers Mel can’t identify but which, nevertheless, bring more character to the garden.

“I keep things down to a dull roar,” he says.

The plant life isn’t the only thing bringing dimension to Mel’s yard; his two front-lawn boulders also bring a special touch.

“Rocks are some of my favourites,” he says, noting that the rocks have been there since 1996, and were a gift from his neighbour. “I love rocks and boulders.”

With them comes moss — another special aspect of his yard.

Looking at Mel’s yard, you can really see the results of many years of work and adapting to the area.

“I try to plant things that are wind-tolerant,” he says. “It’s a lot of trial and error.”

Mel also shares the secret to completely weed-free rock beds: laying down high-quality landscaping mesh, about a foot of gravel, then topping with the rocks.

Mel’s victory this week brought him some gardening goodies from Miracle-Gro, the Yard of the Week sponsor, and a Communities in Bloom sign he can display.

“You gotta have something to do, and this is what I enjoy doing,” he says.

Mel will be looking for the next winner this week, which you can read about in a future issue of Shootin’ the Breeze.

Five RCMP officers in red serge

Royal Canadian Mounted Parade

Button up your red jackets and put on your Mountie hats — this parade we’re celebrating 150 years of the RCMP.

“Parade is one of those small-town charm events where everyone — no matter their background, no matter their income, no matter their demographic — can all come together as a community and celebrate what we have,” says Marie Everts, longtime parade organizer.

“Businesses are always very creative and we look forward to seeing how they are going to be celebrating this milestone of the 150 years of the RCMP.” 

Saturday’s parade currently has 45 floats participating and the parade committee is eagerly welcoming more.

“We will happily take last-minute registrations, but we really encourage people to get registered prior to, so we can get all of our prep work done,” Marie says.

You can register a float for the parade with your name and organization on the events page of www.pincherchamber.ca.

“It’s a great time to showcase our business community and our organizations, and come together as one community to just be together and celebrate,” Marie says.

 

Vision Credit Union drought campaign ad. Rear view of man and woman walking into field

 

Judges will decide on the best floats in eight categories: overall, municipal, organization/service club, commercial, horse section, cultural dress/traditional, children — bike/novelty, and vintage vehicle. Extra points will be awarded for adhering to the RCMP theme.

Linda Davies, manager of Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce, emphasizes community at this event’s centre.

“This is my first time attending the Pincher Creek parade, so I’m very excited to see all of my new community celebrating together, and the creative ideas that the businesses and the groups are going to come up with for their floats,” Linda says. “I’m really looking forward to it.”

Marie agrees.

“Parade is fun, and celebrating community is so important to us to recognize what we have, why we live in this community, why we contribute, why we volunteer, and how that positively affects our residents and community members,” she says.

The parade is all-weather and begins down Main Street at 11 a.m., Aug. 19, in rain, snow or sunshine.

The family-friendly event entails lots of candy for children, but also requires community members to exercise safety and prudence.

“Together as a community, we need to ensure that parade is a safe space for everyone, so that includes ensuring that our kids and our small residents in the community don’t run in the street,” Marie says.

“We need to work together to have a safe, respectful parade so we can continue to do this event.”

This Saturday, the town of Pincher Creek looks forward to welcoming you to the parade.

“It’s shaping up to be a fabulous parade this year,” Marie says.

 

Cowboy riding saddle bronc on cover page of Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo feature section in Shootin' the Breeze
Events poster for Pincher Creek Pro Rodeo

Giddy-up, there’s fun to be found all over town!

Rodeo weekend is jam-packed with activities that appeal to a wide range of interests and offer families and friends the chance to kick back, relax and have fun — and you don’t have to be a cowhand to enjoy it.

Pincher Creek’s volunteer organizations and businesses are coming together to offer delicious meals, one-of-a-kind buys and buzzing social events.

Love Local

This weekend provides the perfect opportunity to support local businesses, organizations and events.

We encourage our readers to take time to mosey around town to shop, eat and enjoy Pincher Creek’s small-town hospitality whether they are locals or visitors. 

In our Rodeo Week special feature you’ll find great deals on goods from steaks to western wear. Your support of the advertisers in this feature section is appreciated!

Pancake breakfasts and parade

Early risers can join Napi Friendship Association for a pancake breakfast from 9 to 11 on Friday and enjoy the warm summer sun from the picnic tables on the organization’s adjacent lawn. The breakfast, which includes pancakes, sausages, eggs, coffee and orange juice, is free of charge.

Breakfasting continues on Saturday, with a morning meal from 8 to 10 a.m. hosted by the Cowley Lions in the parking lot of the Pincher Creek Provincial Building. Attendees can enjoy $5 plates of pancakes and sausages, and meet Pincher Creek councillors, who plan to make an appearance at the event.

Proceeds go toward helping community members in need and supporting scholarships for students in the Lundbreck and Cowley area.

Sunday you can get your pancakes at the rodeo grounds from 8 to 11 a.m., hosted by the Pincher Creek SPCA. Breakfast is $5 and proceeds go toward veterinary care for the animals in the local shelter.

The Pincher Creek parade starts winding its way down Main Street at 11 a.m. on Saturday. Come wave at the colourful festive floats full of local businesspeople, volunteers, municipal leaders and cultural groups. For more information on this event, see the full story on page 17.

All the eats!

In keeping with tradition, Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village is hosting its annual Lunch With the Pioneers on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hungry parade-goers can enjoy a $15 meal of lasagna, Caesar salad and dessert, with additional treats like ice cream available to purchase. 

Museum admission is free all day.

The Pincher Creek Legion is selling burgers Saturday after the parade until 3 p.m., then again from 5 to 8, along with hosting special events. Friday evening at 5, you can grab a bite from the chuckwagon supper at the family-friendly Legion.

Stop by Fox Theatre on Saturday for breakfast sandwiches and coffee, footlong hotdogs and many other tasty treats on Parade day..

Youth lemonade stands

To cool down after the parade, visitors can quench their thirst by supporting a local stand this Lemonade Day. The town’s most ambitious youth entrepreneurs are whipping up their own inventive takes on this classic summer drink and serving them from hand-decorated booths around town.

Floral festival

An array of colourful and fragrant floral arrangements are on public display Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Den on Main Street. The Oldman Rose Society of Southern Alberta is organizing the event to showcase some of Pincher Creek’s best gardening talent and to provide useful planting tips.

Western Market 

Cowboys and gals can find everything to match their lifestyles at the Pincher Creek Western Market. Seventy-two vendors are setting up shop at Community Hall from noon to 6 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, displaying a variety of goods including ceramics, art, jewelry, food, clothing and horse rack. 

The market is hosting musicians Lani Folkard and Lyndsay Butler on Saturday, and Boots and the Hoots, and Justin Sutton on Sunday. You can also find food, beverages and more at market vendors Celestial Sweets, Sun & Sip, and SGB Fitbodies.

Don’t miss the Ranchland Mall pop-up market, running from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and specials in local retail businesses.

Kids Rodeo

The kids rodeo starts at 10 a.m. Friday with entertainment and activities galore, as well as treats for purchase from Fox Theatre. Read more about the kids rodeo on page 6. 

Thanks to sponsorship from the Pincher Creek Legion, the calf scramble is back and four bikes are up for grabs at the weekend Pro Rodeo performances.

Mutton bustin’ is a delight for the youngest riders, who will take to the arena before the Sunday-afternoon rodeo. The wild pony races are great fun to watch and feature local kids who aren’t afraid to land in the dirt.

Speaking of dirt, the sand pile to the west of the stands is a handy way to keep the little ones busy when the rodeo action tires them out.

Fun around town

If you’re looking for a family night out before the rodeo kicks off, plan to catch Fred Penner’s show on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

This outdoor show is free for everyone. Sing along with Fred and listen to him spin tales that will delight all ages.

In preparation for rodeo weekend, businesses will be judged on their rodeo decor Thursday at 1 p.m. Be sure to take in the rodeo spirit of Pincher Creek these next few days!

If you’re at Ranchland Mall, check out the Co-op’s photo booth and get into the spirit of the West.

Meat draws start at 12:30 p.m. at the Legion. Not sure what a meat draw is? Stop in, enjoy the air conditioning and check it out!

Saturday night’s cabaret with live music by Brandon Lorenzo will be entertaining for the 18-plus crowd. Be sure to plan for a safe ride home.

Fuelling up on the grounds

One doesn’t need to leave the rodeo grounds to get cold treats and drinks, or a bite to eat!

The Rocky Mountain Gut Truck is providing barbecue fare during Thursday night’s team roping competition and will also be ready for a hungry crowd at the cabaret on Saturday night.

The 4-H concession is open from Friday to Sunday. Club members are happy to help cure the growl in your belly, offering community service with a smile.

Beer gardens on the ag grounds are open Thursday to Sunday. Hours vary, so check the header of each day’s rodeo page for specifics.

If sweet treats are what you desire on a hot day, don’t miss the Moose Lick truck, which will be on-site to keep things cool.

Foothills 4-H Beef Club members are also offering a special dinner on Saturday at 5:30. Tickets for a steak sandwich with two sides are $20 and sold on a first come, first served basis.

Remember to have cash on hand for your purchases!

Movie night

Spend a night under the stars with friends and family Friday at the Town of Pincher Creek’s latest outdoor movie night. Starting at 9:30 p.m., Madagascar is showing at the spray park field behind the pool on Main Street. This is a free event. 

Fox Theatre’s concession opens at 8 and it is recommended that viewers bring their own lawn chairs and blankets, and wear warm layers.

 

See full Rodeo Week feature section here!

 

Heading for Jaunty Journo Jargon by Mia Parker with old-fashioned typewriter

Falling in love with journalism

Since starting at Shootin’ the Breeze as a summer student in 2020, I have fallen in love with all things journalism and decided to study it at Carleton University. This summer marks the end of my first year and I look forward to sharing all of my jaunty journo-jargon with you, dear reader.

So like any good journalist, let’s start with the facts. Carleton University, then Carleton College, was founded in 1942 in an effort to promote formal education through the Great Depression.

The school introduced the country’s first bachelor of journalism program in 1945, in part as an opportunity for returning soldiers. The very first class held only five students — three women and two men.

The program started with a heavy focus on print news but has since evolved to provide formal education on the many methods and media of delivering news.

My draw to the university was the department’s emphasis on opportunities and experiences, and its long course list of seemingly every different method and angle of journalism.

Now, if you’ll indulge me, let’s sit down with our pens and typewriters handy and talk about what you learn as a student of journalism. History is a fun tool for most things, so I’ll take you to the beginning.

With the Renaissance came the new desire for knowledge, literacy, art and wealth, and with the printing press came big strides toward achieving such things. The world saw the codification and standardization of languages, as well as progress to widespread concepts of communication and the spread of knowledge.

The notion of newspapers followed. As the need for mass communication grew, printing became the solution for efficiently producing large quantities of media and printed newspapers emerged in the 1600s.

 

Orange and blue flames on SGB Fitbodies ad promoting Fire and Ice classes

 

Growing literacy promoted these historical developments and newspapers became essential for informing the masses of relevant events and issues.

Just as you may have read Shootin’ the Breeze articles on Covid-19, newspapers were responsible for reporting the small-pox epidemic.

And like books sparked religious reformations, newspapers sparked political reformations. Political change has often been measured as the changes in the ways in which people exchange ideas, and newspapers offer a forum for information and opinions coming from the people, rather than from power. 

News also grew as an important democratic player. The “Fourth Estate” emerged when the media began to have a place in democratic structures in their efforts to keep the public engaged and involved.

Today, you might look to your local paper for the latest on big events and political controversies, but also for the latest on your neighbours and the community you call your home.

In journalism school we talk about all the ways our practice has changed, along with all the ways it has stayed the same.

At Shootin’ the Breeze, we want to share knowledge and community connections with you — to see you in the past, report to you in the present and walk with you into the future.

Right now, you might be holding our print paper in your hands, staring down at an email link, or reading on the Breeze website. No matter how you choose to be with us, we’re happy to share our journalism with you, and I’m happy to share all this jaunty jargon with you as your local journalism student.

 

Smiling young woman wearing a grey suit poses with an old-fashioned printing press

Shootin’ the Breeze community reporter Mia Parker checks out the old printing press in the Pincher Creek Echo exhibit at Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village.

Photo by Elena Bakker

Large tractor trailer leaves cloud of dust while driving on gravel road.

Resident concerns grow amid ongoing pipeline construction

The TC Energy Nova Gas Transmission Ltd. (NGTL) West Path Delivery 2023 Project has been progressing, and with it, the concerns of some MD of Pincher Creek residents.

This project, announced in 2019, seeks to invest $1.2 billion into 119 kilometres of pipeline and associated facilities. This includes current construction in the MD of Pincher Creek, causing some residents to express concern.

MD resident David McIntyre has raised a number of concerns, including traffic-caused dust on North Burmis Road, the condition of the affected waterbody, Rock Creek, and the treatment of local wildlife.

He feels there has been a lack of an opportunity for adequate public involvement in this conversation.

“I’m looking for them to finally listen to the concerns that they said they wanted to hear and that they said they were very receptive to hear two years ago,” McIntyre says.

He and some neighbours highlight concerns over the use of lands, roads and waters.

In an email to Shootin’ the Breeze, Rolf Brinkmann, a resident of North Burmis Road, said he and his wife frequently see heavy traffic from TC Energy, often travelling at high speeds. He noted that when he and his wife are seen working at the front gate, the vehicles slow down.

Brinkmann said high speeds in times of dry weather cause significant dust clouds that are “mitigated only sometimes.”

 

Notice of operational days for Crowsnest/Pincher Creek Landfill

 

Before, he and his wife used to go for walks on the then quiet road. Now, he describes this as impossible because of risks posed by heavy traffic.

“Although we are seniors,” Brinkmann said, “we value our lives and don’t want TC Energy’s contractors to put us at risk.”

Echoing similar concerns, Monica Field wrote an open letter to MD of Pincher Creek CAO Roland Milligan. She highlighted a number of concerns but focused primarily on the impacts of the dust.

“Once airborne, dust is an issue that profoundly impacts my life and enjoyment of living within an area characterized by its magnificent natural beauty,” she wrote.

Not only is the dust an issue for the human inhabitants of the area, but Field’s letter emphasized how dust in hay crops makes bales heavier and causes excessive tooth wear for livestock.

Furthermore, Field said, a lack of adequate dust control measures may limit and sometimes obscure visibility for traffic, potentially translating to deadly situations.

Regarding Field’s letter, Milligan told Shootin’ the Breeze, “We are working with [TC Energy] to make sure that the dust-control issues are mediated.”

 

 

These concerns are not necessarily echoed by all. In an interview with Shootin’ the Breeze, John MacGarva, an MD of Pincher Creek councillor, said the disruptions caused by the project are “certainly nothing abnormal.”

He said he has gone down North Burmis Road a couple of times since the onset of the project, and has seen TC Energy contributing to dust control and the project’s vehicles operating at a “very reasonable speed.”

MacGarva also noted that he’s had personal experience with courteousness when travelling along the road in question and, as a longtime logger, recognized truck drivers’ efforts to slow down when he encountered them.

“You’ve got additional traffic on the road so some may call that disruptive, but it’s nothing above normal,” he added.

Another concern among residents is what many feel is a lack of adequate communication and consultation with residents impacted.

In her letter to Milligan, Field referenced a Zoom meeting in 2021 in which the public was assured of inclusion in consultation meetings.

“We, impressed and thankful for TC Energy’s apparent interest and concern for area residents, were promised regular and meaningful involvement in planning for the upcoming pipeline construction,” she wrote. “But then the bottom fell out. The TC Energy-promised consultation never occurred.”

Brinkmann raised a similar concern regarding local involvement: “TC Energy’s employees should realize that working without residents’ involvement is not the best idea.”

 

Man and woman with their dog in ad for Vision Credit Union profit sharing

 

However, MacGarva has been “very happy with [TC Energy’s] openness.”

“Two representatives came in to council, explained it well and asked us if we had any questions,” he said.

“They were very, very upfront.”

As the representative for the district in which North Burmis Road is located, he said that not too many complaints about it have come to him.

“I think they’ve done a great job, and certainly my number of phone calls indicates that they have,” he said.

He described this project as “a necessary thing as were improving pipelines.”

However, some residents continue to raise concerns about the methods by which the company is going forward.

In an email responding to an inquiry from Shootin’ the Breeze, TC Energy reinforced its commitment to the community and to regulatory requirements.

 

 

“In addition to our consultation on the Lundbreck section that began in 2020, we continue to work with municipalities, stakeholders and rights holders to provide information on the project and have recently provided details on project mitigation measures such as dust control on unpaved surfaces to interested parties,” a company spokesperson said.

“We also work with regulatory agencies and update them on our efforts that ensure regulatory compliance, in addition to participating in any audits or inspection.”

The Canadian Energy Regulator told Shootin’ the Breeze that it’s aware of such concerns and is working to address them, with the primary objective of protecting people and the environment. 

“We have lots of tools and processes in place to make sure things are done properly,” a CER spokesperson said.

According to CER, receiving concerns from citizens, following up and having regular check-ins with the construction project is the usual process for the approval and progression of such projects.

TC Energy shared a document with Shootin the Breeze containing the project’s environmental protection plan, which outlines what some of the expectations for the project would entail.

On dust, the document states that, “Where traffic as a result of the project has the potential to create a hazardous or irritating level of dust to nearby residents, dust control on existing access roads will be achieved through the application of water or calcium chloride (or equivalent).”

Regarding noise, the document says the project site would “take reasonable measures to control construction-related noise near residential areas.”

 

 

However, some residents, such as David McIntyre, are concerned this may not be the case.

“When you can hear a project miles away and it causes you to jump — it’s noisy,” McIntyre says.

In addition to impacts on the residents from this project, he worries about the impact on the local environment.

“There are people that feel that I have stepped beyond what I should in standing up for the area and its ecological integrity, its beauty,” he says. “What I would say that I am for is that I respect and love the natural integrity that I would say we have left here.”

Having moved to the area long ago, McIntyre says he was initially drawn by its “incredible beauty.”

“I happened to have landed in, and now live in, a place that I feel is threatened,” he says, and he encourages his fellow MD residents to recognize the voice they each have in the future of their community.

 

Large tractor trailer leaves cloud of dust while driving on gravel road.
July 15 photo by David McIntyre, taken on North Burmis Road, depicts the traffic and dust concerns shared by some MD residents since the onset of TC Energy’s pipeline construction in the area.
View of TC Energy pipeline construction site in a forested mountain area near Crowsnest Pass, Alberta.

Pipeline construction causing concern for some MD residents

The recent uptake in construction for TC Energy’s West Path Delivery Program pipeline project has been cause for concern in some residents.

David McIntyre, who lives in Rock Creek valley, has raised concern with the company and with Shootin’ the Breeze over implications of the construction for residents and for the environment.

“Residents have been living with the problems for months, and work appears to be intensifying,” he says in an email to Shootin’ the Breeze.

He references conversations with other residents, including one where a 101-year-old woman and her granddaughter expressed worries about the dust on North Burmis Road.

The image above shows what McIntyre describes as a “massive, over-the-Livingstone-Range pipeline project.”

From his regular vantage point, McIntyre saw what he describes as a steady stream of truck traffic from the primary staging area along with a lingering cloud of dust.

 

 

The MD of Pincher Creek’s council package for its June 27 meeting reports submitted complaints regarding road conditions in the area and McIntyre believes such complaints are related to TC Energy’s use.

There have been recent requests for dust control and management of washboarding, and a request for councillors to see the “rough” condition of the road. One caller suggested “TC Energy [is] making a mess.”

According to public notes from a presentation given by TC Energy to MD council May 23, dust control is to be managed by the county (MD) in consultation with the company. 

Documents from the delegation state that TC Energy “strive[s] to limit noise, dust and smells throughout construction and operation of the project” and “make[s] every effort to minimize the impact of traffic during the life of the project.”

“TC Energy can, of course, do much better or, if it can’t, what’s to be said of the integrity of its pipelines?” asks McIntyre.

He has also raised concerns about the condition of Rock Creek, which he has described to TC Energy as being a “blackish hue,” then clear, then “decidedly muddy.” He raises particular worry for the condition of the already threatened cutthroat trout population in the nearby waters.

One of his biggest concerns is what he feels is the lack of public consultation the company has done.

 

 

In a media statement to Shootin’ the Breeze, a TC Energy spokesperson said, “Specific to the NGTL Lundbreck section, since 2020, TC Energy has been actively engaging communities in southern Alberta.”

They note a community and business engagement open house hosted in Blairmore in March.

“We are open to engaging with community members and groups who are interested in the project and have planned a meeting with interested community members along our access route in the area for later this month.”

TC Energy encourages directing any questions on the project to the project team at 1-855-895-8754 or to public_affairs_ca@tcenergy.com.

McIntyre hopes to see more engagement and public consultation on the part of TC Energy as the project moves forward.

“TC Energy, despite its abysmal track record to date, still has an opportunity to show residents and others impacted by its work that it is capable of living up to its promises, capable and willing to invest in measures that lessen its impact on the land, and the people living in close proximity to its pipelines,” he says.

 

View of TC Energy pipeline construction site in a forested mountain area near Crowsnest Pass, Alberta.

TC Energy’s pipeline construction zone as seen looking west over Rock Creek on July 7. Photo by David McIntyre