Tag: Alberta

Blue mailbox with envelopes spilling out – Shootin' the Breeze letters to the editor

If the trout are gone, is it still Trout Creek?

On a summer’s day an unknown photographer focused his Kodak Brownie on four adults and a child, out for a day’s fishing on Trout Creek. The photograph, now in the Glenbow archives, is labelled “Fishermen with catch, Trout Creek, Alberta. July, 1902.”

And what a catch it was — a pile of native cutthroat trout, well over a hundred, and maybe 75 kilograms in total.

Native cutthroat trout lingered, though declining, over the next century or so in this tiny stream that flows off the east side of the Porcupine Hills in southwestern Alberta. They were still present in 2013 when Elliot Lindsay, a biologist with Trout Unlimited, caught his first cutthroat trout there. When Government of Alberta biologists sampled the stream in 2015 they recorded hundreds of trout.

By 2019, those hundreds had dwindled and Trout Unlimited caught only two from a subset of the same stream reaches. Unfortunately, contagion with genetic material from non-native rainbow trout was already well established.

Further investigations in 2021 by the Blackfoot Confederacy Tribal Council Native Trout Recovery Project, using environmental DNA, failed to find any strong evidence of pure-strain cutthroat trout in the watershed.

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The population may not be functionally extirpated, but is teetering. If it falls off the edge, this is extirpation in real time, not ancient history, but virtually overnight, with a timeline of just yesterday. It might be like Hemingway’s description of bankruptcy: gradual, then sudden.

The loss of a native population of cutthroat trout calls for a post-mortem. How could this have happened, after the species was designated as threatened, a recovery strategy was implemented, and much fanfare was made of restoration efforts? Call it death by a thousand cuts, starting with the cruellest cut, timber harvest.

The Trout Creek watershed has been extensively logged, with large clear-cuts, a web of logging roads and inadequate streamside buffers. Roads begat more recreational traffic, with spirals of off-highway vehicle trails, adding to the linear density and sediment produced. Past cattle grazing may have reduced streamside willows, increasing bank instability.

Climate change brought persistent drought periods. Coupled with hydrologic shifts from logging, and the loss of beaver, the watershed has lost much of its ability to store moisture and stream sections periodically dry up. Recent protracted drought conditions, added to creeping hybridization, may be the last straw.

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In the past, natural conditions may well have produced similar drought conditions and low or no surface flows. However, there would have been connections with other cutthroat populations in the wider watershed, allowing movement and replenishment under better flows. The problem is now there is no rescue option from downstream sources; cutthroat trout no longer exist in the lower watershed.

In the departmental and bureaucratic silos of land and resource management resides little chance for rescue, since few see (and are responsible) for the bigger picture — the additive, cumulative impacts. When no one is assigned to watch, no one seems responsible when the essential pieces of landscape and watershed integrity come unglued.

As Vic Adamowicz, a professor at the University of Alberta, observed, “Under Alberta’s public land management system, the cost of habitat loss is only considered after economics are accounted for, and there is no reason for resource sectors to co-ordinate activities, resulting in destructive cumulative effects.”

We inherit the world we allowed to happen; we find out, sometimes too late, the kind of world we create when things are allowed to proceed unhindered. And so, the native cutthroat population of Trout Creek, having persisted for at least a dozen millennia, comes to a whimpering end.

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So ends a population intimately tied to the watershed, having been tested and evolved to deal with the considerable range of natural variation expressed over time beyond human imagination. This we do not mourn, either because we do not care to know, or we do not know to care.

Fortunately there are a few that do care. Organizations like Trout Unlimited and Cows and Fish plug away, increasing awareness about native trout and their plight. Bit by bit, metre and metre, mind by mind, they rebuild battered stream banks, close off excessive OHV trails, work with ranchers on riparian grazing management solutions, and help people see the trout for the trees.

Provincial fisheries biologists work on the development of a composite brood stock of pure-strain cutthroat trout. Once habitat conditions are stabilized and improved, this offers an opportunity to restock the stream and restore the cutthroat population.

To spell cutthroat trout you need only arrange 14 letters in the right order. But to make a trout you need a huge array of biotic and abiotic material and assemble it in precisely the right sequence.

Beyond water, both quantity and quality, intact forest and watershed, aquatic insects, a combination of stream characteristics, the right genetic code, population critical mass, movement ability, grappling with limiting factors, and the time to evolve to fit the stream environment, even knowing what the essential parts are and how they fit together may not be evident.

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It is decidedly not like baking a cake. That is the challenge to restore native cutthroat trout to Trout Creek, now that they have largely gone missing.

In spite of the challenges, you can’t help but be impressed with the infectious optimism of people like Elliot Lindsay with Trout Unlimited, Amy McLeod with Cows and Fish, and many provincial fisheries biologists who will not give up on Trout Creek. They will need to think big, since real recovery can only happen at a watershed scale. It might require the equivalent of a moon shot to bring native cutthroat back to the stream.

While much work remains to deal with the proliferation of OHV trails and crossings, as well as riparian grazing management fixes, the fundamental task might be to restore the capability of the watershed to retain and store water.

This watershed once had dozens and dozens of beaver dams, effectively drought-proofing the system. When R.B. Miller, Alberta’s first fisheries biologist, initially surveyed the watershed in 1948, he commented on the number of beaver dams.

The Burke Creek Ranch has been situated in the Trout Creek watershed since 1890. Rick Burton, the third generation on the ranch, recalls the headwaters and tributaries being wetter and having more beaver dams in the 1960s and ’70s. Beaver activity is now spotty. But beavers still remain and that is a hopeful sign.

Restoration plans include the installation of multiple beaver dam analogues — structures designed to mimic the form and function of a natural beaver dam — in different reaches of the watershed. These structures are meant to jump-start the growth of woody shrubs and entice beavers to move in and take over.

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Pincher Creek Co-op job fair

As Elliot says, “Ultimately, the beaver are probably the ones who will be able to have the might and persistence to kick this watershed out of the rut that it’s currently in.”

Fingers crossed, I hope habitat restoration, coupled with the availability of pure-strain cutthroat trout for stocking, can someday bring trout back to Trout Creek. With a name like Trout Creek, it seems like the right thing to do.

At the same time, some receptivity needs to be built in the minds of those who contributed to the disappearance of cutthroat trout. If there is no shame in being party to the loss of an ancient element of a watershed, it will happen again, and again.

In an indeterminate future, if all the aquatic stars align, someone may take a picture of a group of anglers on Trout Creek, not with a large stringer of native trout, but with smiles indicating their satisfaction with a day of fishing on a stream brought back to life.

Lorne Fitch, P. Biol.

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Male in orange jacket and brown ski pants snowboards on the slopes at Castle Mountain Resort

Skiers and boarders get early start at Castle Mountain Resort

The immense snowfall that hit the region in late November allowed Castle Mountain to open earlier than ever before in its modern history.

On Nov. 22, a sneak-peek weekend was announced where the Huckleberry Chair, the Green Chair and the Buckaroo Carpet lifts were opened to the public, with the official opening of the season taking place Dec. 2.

By the time Castle Mountain began regular operations, it had already seen a total of 200 centimetres of snow.

While the Westcastle Valley location is well known for having the highest accumulative annual snowfall in Alberta, the initial snowfall proved exceptional even by the resort’s standards.

“It’s been a great start to the season. The snow has been really fantastic,” says Cole Fawcett, sales and marketing manager at Castle Mountain Resort.

“Since 2019, we’ve extended our season by two full weeks and it has had a positive impact on our ability to host people and bring a few more people out.”

 

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When Dec. 18 rolled around, the resort’s 19th operating day, the mountain had seen 300 centimetres of snow, roughly a third of its average annual snowfall, only 15 per cent of the way through the season.

However, snowfall has slowed drastically since hitting the 300-centimetre mark. The mountain has seen only another 79 centimetres of total snowfall and just six in the seven days prior to Monday.

Despite low snow accumulation in recent weeks, the resort is still working with a snow base of 128 centimetres and staff remain optimistic about the season continuing to be a great one. 

“We’ve hit a bit of a dry spell, which is kind of sad, but the alpine is still skiing really nice,” says Kevin Aftanas, marketing co-ordinator at the resort.

“The area is obviously fairly windy, and when there’s wind overnight, even if we haven’t seen much snow in a couple of days, it moves the snow around so it skis like new.”

Five of the six lifts are operational during the week, with the T-Rex lift open only on weekends. 

Additionally, 89 of 95 downhill ski trails are currently open for public use.

 

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While the resort has snowmaking equipment should the dry spell continue to persist, the hope now is that snow will fall at a greater, more consistent pace moving forward.

“If we could get 50 to 70 centimetres every week, kind of just in dribs and drabs, it keeps things fresh, keeps us skiing and riding really good, and it allows us to kind of keep up with things without breaking our backs doing it,” says Cole.

Base-area chairlift operations run every day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until April 9, barring any changes.

 

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Pincher Creek Co-op job fair

 

Male in orange jacket and brown ski pants snowboards on the slopes at Castle Mountain Resort
A snowboarder shreds the slopes at Castle Mountain Resort. Photo courtesy of CMR
Child-care worker, a dark-haired woman wearing glasses and a blue shirt, talks to three preschoolers

Child-care crunch looms amid staffing shortage

 

Pincher Creek’s child-care facilities are operating well below capacity due to a persistent shortage of qualified staff, according to La Vonne Rideout, municipal director of community services. 

There are 159 child-care spots available at the Pincher Creek Community Early Learning Centre between the town’s Canyon Creek and Sage facilities, whose combined staff looks after around 95 children. The facilities are running at 60 per cent of total capacity, leaving about 50 kids on each waitlist, Rideout told Shootin’ the Breeze, Thursday, Jan. 5.

 

Nellie Maund-Stephens, smiling woman with scarf covering head, is a parent with concerns about child care in Pincher Creek.
Nellie Maund-Stephens and her husband waited nine months to get their young son into Pincher Creek’s Canyon Creek early learning centre. Photo by Laurie Tritschler

 

Caught in the middle are parents like Nellie Maund-Stephens, whose three-year-old son Kaysen started at Canyon Creek Friday morning — nine months after he was waitlisted at Sage. 

“I can finally breathe a huge sigh of relief, knowing that I have consistent and good child care,” Maund-Stephens said Friday afternoon.

She and her husband Mark are both shift workers. Nellie is a veteran firefighter/paramedic at Pincher Creek Emergency Services, Mark the newest doctor at the town hospital, and the last nine months have been “a scheduling nightmare” for both parents. 

“It was very hard trying to juggle our schedules,” Maund-Stephens recalled Friday.  “We had to call on friends and family a lot — often at the last minute.” 

Maund-Stephens hopes to ramp back up to full-time at PCES now that Kaysen is at Canyon Creek. 

“Childcare is something that seems to fall on women. It makes it incredibly hard for a woman to advance her career when she has to take time off to take care of her kids,” she said, qualifying that it’s just as hard for single dads. 

 

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Rideout agrees. 

“The reality is that child-care is an essential service,” she told Shootin’ the Breeze. Town hall realized as much when Children’s World Daycare, which had been a mainstay in the community for decades, closed down in 2018. Child care became vital to Pincher Creek’s economic development when families started turning down jobs in town Creek for lack of child-care options. 

The town purpose-built Canyon Creek and Sage next to Canyon Elementary and St. Michael’s schools, leasing the facilities to the Pincher Creek Community Early Learning Centre when construction finished in the summer of 2020. 

PCCELC has been up against a staffing crunch from the start, despite the federal government’s initiative to reign in child-care costs. 

The Government of Alberta was one of the last provinces to sign on to Ottawa’s affordability grant, which seeks to deliver child-care at $10 per day. 

“The (provincial) government recognizes the need, but they’re not doing what they need to do for service providers to recruit and retain staff,” Rideout explained. 

 

La Vonne Rideout – a smiling woman with long blonde hair – is director of community services for the Town of Pincher Creek
As director of community services for the Town of Pincher Creek, La Vonne Rideout oversees both sites of the Pincher Creek Community Early Learning Centre. Photo by Laurie Tritschler

 

Child-care programs in Alberta are licensed by the ministry of children’s services, which sets certification requirements for child-care workers and minimum staff-to-children ratios at licensed facilities. 

The ministry puts child-care workers through three certification levels: Level 1 workers need to complete an online orientation course that runs between 60-70 hours. Level 2 workers have to finish a one-year program at an accredited post-secondary institution, while Level 3 workers need a two-year diploma or higher.  

Rideout said staffing shortages are the norm when the industry rewards extensive training with perennially low wages. Level 1 workers made $16.75 per hour last January, with roughly $18 and $20 hourly wages for Level 2 and 3 staff, according to recent statistics posted to the Government of Alberta’s website. 

The United Conservatives’ Child Care Grant Funding Program supplements employer-paid wages based on certification levels. At most, these “top-ups” add around $8.50 per hour for Level 3 employees, amounting to an average wage of $28.50 per hour starting this new year. 

PCCELC pays better than the provincial average, but Rideout said child-care workers aren’t making a living wage even after the government top-ups. 

“Child-care has always been provided on the backs of people who enter the field. And it’s mostly women who do the work,” Rideout said. 

 

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At a broader level, Rideout said the federal child-care initiative is filtered through a provincial framework that undermines child-care programs. 

In order to receive affordability grant funding, child-care facilities must agree to cap fee increases at three per cent per year. For comparison, the national consumer price index rose by around 5.5 per cent, excluding food and gas, according to a December 2022 report by Statistics Canada. 

“It’s always been about making child-care more affordable, which I get,” Rideout said. The problem is that the province’s user-pay model can’t sustain the child-care industry over the long-term. Public schools and hospitals don’t run on a user-pay model, because education and health care are essential services rather than money-making businesses.  

“[The UCP] is all about supporting business in this province, but they’ve tied childcare’s hands. I’d love for them to tell dentists that they can’t charge more money,” Rideout said. 

In the meantime, Rideout said the PCCELC would probably need to hire the equivalent of four to five full-time staff at Canyon Creek and Sage in order to clear their waitlists. 

Rideout then thanked the staff that have stayed on throughout the pandemic. 

“It’s a hard job. It’s a really hard job. My hat’s off to our team: They do amazing work.”

 

Three preschoolers gaze out a window
Photo by Laurie Tritschler

 

 

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Young woman with brown hair and beige shirt dumps entry slips over another young woman with a wide smile wearing a colourful striped shirt, who sits on the floor in a pile of draw slips.

Dec. 21, 2022

Breaking news – we have winners!

Shootin’ the Breeze’s Shop Local for Christmas promotion has wrapped up, with winners of nearly $4,000 in prizes announced in this issue!

 

Two young hockey players battle for the puck

Dec. 14, 2022

Crowsnest Pass U13 Thunder host tourney

Thunder player Jameson Patrick, left, battles an Okotoks Goats forward for the puck in the first game of a weekend tournament.

 

Blue mailbox with envelopes spilling out – Shootin' the Breeze letters to the editor

Reader opposes Sovereignty Act

 

If adopted, the Sovereignty Act will forever change how Alberta functions inside or outside of Canada.

There has been a lot of press coverage of the Sovereignty Act over the past few months. It was a major plank in Danielle Smith’s campaign to become leader of the UCP.

As we all know, Danielle won with just over 60,000 votes, in a province with more than four million citizens. With that as a mandate, she took over as premier, and has embarked on a program that will fundamentally alter the relationship of Alberta with the rest of Canada.

The premier had repeatedly asked that the Sovereignty Act not be judged until it had been tabled in the legislature. That happened last week, and there were some surprises in the package the government submitted.

Taking the premier at her word, I read the act carefully, and was surprised. I am not a lawyer, but I cannot help but think most members of the cabinet must have skipped the high school classes on how our democracy works.

The first and most important point is that you rarely get everything you want. You have to be gracious when you win, and accept it when there are outcomes you are unhappy with.

 

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Canada and its laws are not a smorgasbord. You do not get to pick and choose the laws that you like, and ignore the ones you do not like.

If you believe a law, any law, is wrong, there are ways to express your views. The most serious is to take the law to court, and to abide by the ruling.

If we adopt a pick-and-choose approach, things start to fall apart. If the provincial government can ignore certain laws, why couldn’t a city do the same thing to provincial laws? Indeed, why would a private citizen be required to follow a law that disadvantaged them?

The situation gets even more complex when you note that Bill 1 would allow the provincial government to rule against things that have not even happened. The language in the bill allows government to act against any perceived intention by the federal government to do something.

 

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A basic aspect of our laws is that we cannot be convicted for simply thinking about doing something illegal. Even talking about doing something is not usually a crime. In Bill 1, that assumption of innocence seems to have been forgotten.

Our system also requires that the legislature have an opportunity to debate changes to laws. Bill 1, as written, will allow cabinet to make laws and proclaim them, without any debate in the legislature. Those laws are in force for up to two years, and can then be renewed without legislature debate for a further two years.

There are news reports that the bill will now be amended to remove the lawmaking portions. This raises the question of why the bill was introduced with that language in it. Do the politicians not read their own legislation? Or was it a power grab that they hoped no one would notice?

Neither option is reassuring. In one reading, they are just incompetent. In the other, they are dictators-in-waiting.

 

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So, we have a bill that will allow a small number of legislators to try and cancel a national law. It further allows cabinet to direct a large number of other bodies, including your local hospital, police force and the whole educational system, to also ignore federal law.

There appears to be no consideration of the degree to which at least some of those bodies must interact with the federal government, and that interaction requires the bodies to follow federal rules.

I find it disturbing that there does not appear to have been consideration of what the federal response to Bill 1 might be. There seems to be an assumption that the federal response will be either a legal challenge or nothing. However, that may be incorrect, as there are many actions that Ottawa could take that would have dramatic impacts on Alberta.

The premier has been loud in her demands that the Canadian government stay out of areas of provincial jurisdiction. Exactly what that might mean has not been spelled out, but there are some obvious areas where dramatic change might happen.

Health care is a provincial responsibility under our Constitution. Despite that, there are multiple shared-cost programs, where the provinces receive federal dollars to help deliver programs. If Ottawa stopped their cost-share, Alberta would lose several billion from the health budget.

 

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The UCP government has vigorously promoted a provincial police force. They admit that would cost tens of millions of dollars more than the current arrangement. They also note that it would take several years to set up a completely new force. But, the current contract allows either party to cancel on two years’ notice. If Ottawa simply exercised that option, Alberta might have a very hard time replacing the RCMP by 2025.

Many students receive scholarships and similar support from federal bodies, especially at the university level. The universities and such also receive large sums from the federal government. If Ottawa decided that since education is a provincial responsibility they would stop their financial contributions, many students and institutions would be in serious trouble.

There will also be economic impacts. No large company is likely to start or expand operations where two levels of government are in a fierce battle. If there is an alternative place to invest, they will likely avoid Alberta until things are sorted out.

In short, this bill, if adopted, will forever change how Alberta functions inside or outside of Canada. If Ms. Smith really wants to make such sweeping changes, she should at least wait until after we have an election.

Shootin’ the Breeze welcomes submissions about local issues and activities. Personal views expressed in Mailbox articles are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect views of Shootin’ the Breeze management and staff. 

 

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Santa greeting young child

Dec. 7, 2022

A first Christmas

Holiday cheer was in the air at Heritage Acres Farm Museum, which played host to Breakfast With Santa on Saturday. The event featured snowshoeing, arts and crafts, festive music and, of course, Santa Claus. For some, it was their first time meeting Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick.  

 

Smiling woman wearing an elf costume poses with four children who are looking over Christmas gifts

Nov. 30, 2022

Many hands make light work

Remi and Presley Neufeld, and Violet and Rex Thompson got a hand from one of Santa’s elves at the Pincher Creek Legion.

 

Twin boy toddlers with red hair and blue eyes laugh as they ride on wooden rocking horses

Nov. 23, 2022

Rockin’ into Christmas

Two-year-old twins Cayd and Coy Nelson have a rockin’ time Saturday at A Country Christmas Artisan Market at Pincher Creek Community Hall.

Firefighter gear hanging on fire hall wall

Hillcrest fire station to remain open

Historic buildings play an important role in the cultural identity of a community. As buildings age and their initial uses get transferred to modern facilities, however, rising maintenance costs can bring up questions about how much maintaining cultural identity is worth.

Such was the conversation about Hillcrest’s Fire Station 4 during Crowsnest Pass council’s Oct. 18 regular meeting. Administration brought the topic forward with the recommendation that council close the firehall due to the facility not meeting current fire protection standards, specifically in equipment requirements and staffing levels.

Only two volunteers man the station. One works a mining shift schedule and the other is in their late 70s and has reduced work function. The Fire Underwriters Survey, a fire insurance statistical group, states the minimum staff level for a station to be recognized is 10 personnel.

On top of requiring considerable upkeep and operating costs, the aging hall also is unable to house a front-line fire engine. Currently, the only firefighting truck is a 2001 Ford Type 6 brush/wildland truck that is past its end of life.

Emergency services calls to Hillcrest are serviced from Station 3 in Bellevue. Closing the Hillcrest station would not affect Hillcrest’s emergency or fire protection.

Closing the hall, said CAO Patrick Thomas, would allow the municipality to utilize the building and the respective funds in a more meaningful way, but would in no way be meant as a slight against the legacy of the facility.

“First and foremost, no one wants to go and put forth that there is not an immense appreciation for the years of service that have come out of that hall,” he said.

“That is not the intent, to try and put any slight against that. This is more looking at it from a business sense. It’s essentially just running as a hall on paper and nothing more.”

Though recognizing the financial commitment to the hall did not result in any additional advantages to the municipality’s fire response, Coun. Lisa Sygutek said keeping the hall open would carry a deeper meaning than monetary value could communicate.

“Sometimes there’s things you just do because it’s the right thing to do,” she said.

“It shouldn’t have a cost price attached to it. This is a community that has nothing left in it — it has the Hillcrest Fish and Game, it’s got the Miners Club, and it’s got a facility that matters to them. It matters to them for their perceived safety.”

“Even if we don’t feel that it matters to their safety, for them, it matters for their safety,” Sygtuek continued.

“There’s right things to do and wrong things to do, in my opinion, and in this situation we are removing so many things from the community in such a short period of time, I’m just not willing to do this one.”

Coun. Vicki Kubik agreed.

“As it is, I get the financial part of it, but I also understand the connection that people have that gives them that sense of community, and a fire hall can be an important part of that,” she said.

“The general consensus when I meet with the constituents in that area is they would be really offended to have the firehall closed. They perceive it to be something that speaks to their safety.”

“I wonder if they just don’t even know that there’s nothing in that hall that would service them,” Kubik added.

“There is a lot of concern expressed about the railroad tracks and how long it would take for them to receive service if they needed it. Just on principle alone, given what the constituents in that area have told me, I can’t in good conscience vote in favour of closing the Hillcrest firehall either.”

Although still reliant on Bellevue, Coun. Doreen Glavin said, previous experience showed a station in Hillcrest could make a difference when a life was on the line.

“I know in one instance they didn’t do that [wait for help from Bellevue] and they went and helped with a heart attack patient. And whether it be medical or even a vehicle accident, I would feel better with having it closed if the personnel that live in that community can respond without having to go to the fire station first before they acted on whatever the emergency situation would be,” she said.

“I’m really concerned, we see it all the time with CP Rail, [where] that train is stuck on the tracks.”

Sentiments aside, however, the fact remained: the station did not have enough staff or the right equipment to provide an acceptable level of emergency service.

“Maybe what administration needs to do is to put it out to the public and say, ‘Hey look, these are the options: if we can’t get volunteers from this community to be members of the fire department, we are going to be forced to close this hall,’ ” said Mayor Blair Painter. “Lay it out in black and white and see if anybody steps forward.”

Apart from volunteers, the major issue was lack of equipment, said Coun. Dave Filipuzzi.

“Even if you recruited six people in the Hillcrest area — what are they going to do? There’s not going to be no equipment there,” he said. “You’re still going to have to go to either Bellevue or Blairmore.”

“I mean you’re going to a hall that’s got nothing in it. Even if you got 20 people from Hillcrest, it’s still got no value,” Filipuzzi continued.

“Other than you know what, the value that it’s got, is that ‘Hey we still got the Hillcrest firehall. Even though it’s falling down around us, we’ve got a nice rock outside and we got a nice thing outside and this looks great.’ But the value of it — think of the value of it. Does it have value to the community? No, it don’t.”

Closing Station 4, he said, would mean the municipality could repurpose it to fulfil another need. “It’s not like we’re just going to go there and plow it over,” he said.

Keeping the hall open, added Mayor Painter, would mean ignoring the facts of the issue and the logical course of action for the municipality to take as a whole.

“You’re not thinking with your head, you’re thinking with your heart. And that’s not always in the best interest of the community,” he said.

Council eventually voted not to close Station 4.

At the request of Coun. Sygutek, a recorded vote was taken. Mayor Painter and Couns. Filipuzzi and Girhiny voted in favour of closing the hall, while Couns. Sygutek, Kubik, Glavin and Ward opposed its closure.

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