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Tag: Kevin Van Tighem

Dried Up, What Now? attracts engaged local audience

A locally filmed 30-minute documentary that hones in on the region’s ongoing water crisis offered up its first two viewings last Saturday in Lundbreck and Pincher Creek.

Dried Up, What Now? features close to two dozen voices, including those of residents, scientists, the environmental community and local government, on the current state of the Oldman River Reservoir both upstream and downstream.

While not meant to be politically charged, the Livingstone Landowners Group says it’s a story that needs to be told “to help raise awareness of the impact of declining water levels in the region and spur discussion on solutions.”

The film, part of a trilogy, follows Finding Water and Running Dry by producers Yvan Lebel, who resides in Saskatchewan, and Kevin Van Tighem of Lethbridge, a well-known naturalist and author.

“I’ve been concerned about headwaters health for years,” said Van Tighem, when asked why he became involved in the first venture some five years ago.

“When I retired, I decided to write a book, Headwaters of the Bow River, and what each different creek has to tell us in terms of a story. The more I got into that, the more I woke up to the fact that we just don’t understand that our land-use decisions are actually water-management decisions and we are not always making the best water commitment decisions.”

He added that the province’s population is growing yet its water supply is not improving.

 

Blinds and More Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show

 

Like the Livingstone Landowners Group, Lebel doesn’t necessarily see this film, or the others, as political statements.

“The message is just to warn us to be aware and, in a sense, to invite people to do something,” he said before the second showing of the documentary, at the Vertical Church in Pincher Creek.

“We’re giving the facts. We’re showing what is happening and bringing some solutions. The goal is more to educate people. No ranting. No accusing anyone of anything.”

That sentiment is shared by Bobbi Lambright, communications co-ordinator for the Livingstone Landowners Group.

“We try to be a very fact-based organization. So, when it comes to issues and concerns, we like to do our homework. We want to make sure we have the correct information,” she told Shootin’ the Breeze.

“As this became a major issue, we felt it was worthwhile documenting it and getting some insight.”

In one instance, the film shows the rings of a large tree, which indicate both historical long periods of drought and stretches of high-water flows.

Aerial footage of sections of the reservoir as they looked in 2019 versus bone-dry river beds from last year is also featured during the production.

While those behind the project say they aren’t finger-pointing, Van Tighem, like most, is concerned about what the coming summer will bring, checking the snowpack as recently as last Saturday.

“We’re still about 25 per cent below normal. We have less snow storage in the headwaters than we had last year and last year was a disaster … we had an early thaw,” he said.

“We get an early thaw this year, with that lousy snowpack, it makes our message that much more critical because we don’t want to waste a single bit of water when there’s so little to begin with.”

“Our landscape is leaking like a sieve,” he said. “We gotta get it fixed.”

 

 

Ad for Shadowbar Shepherds Training in Pincher Creek

 

Livingstone-Macleod election forum panelists seated at table – five men and one woman, with white-haired female moderator off to right side

Livingstone-Macleod candidates make last appeals at Crowsnest Pass forum

Riding candidates in Livingstone-Macleod gave mostly stock performances at an election forum in Crowsnest Pass on Wednesday, May 24.

The United Conservatives’ Chelsae Petrovic and the Alberta NDP’s Kevin Van Tighem, certainly no strangers to political controversy in what has been a bitterly contested election, were distinctly on-brand, repeating, defending and doubling down on their parties’ campaign planks. 

A re-elected UCP under Danielle Smith would “embrace the renewed Alberta Advantage,” Petrovic said, warning that to vote for anyone else would jeopardize her party’s recent accomplishments — especially this year’s whopping budget surplus.

Smith’s erstwhile promise to replace the Alberta RCMP with an independent provincial police force “is no longer a topic of conversation,” the candidate said. Nor does Petrovic have “any affiliation with” Take Back Alberta, the right-wing populist movement whose Marco Van Huigenbos watched the forum from the back of the room. 

Petrovic, who told TBA founder David Parker in a February podcast interview that she wouldn’t necessarily cleave to the party line if she were elected, strongly endorsed Smith’s leadership.  

Holding precisely the opposite view was Van Tighem, who wasted little time laying claim to Peter Lougheed’s Progressive Conservative legacy for the NDP. Party leader Rachel Notley would deliver “good government you can trust,” he said, holding up Smith’s “unstable and chaotic leadership” as the mirror opposite. 

An NDP government would eliminate Alberta’s small-business tax, and wouldn’t add to personal income taxes, he promised. He was less keen to engage Notley’s plan to raise the corporate tax rate from eight to 11 per cent, although he said the increased rate would stay the lowest in Canada. 

The Alberta Party’s Kevin Todd, who briefly entertained a run at the UCP nomination, repeatedly positioned himself as an independent voice for Livingstone-Macleod, reminding the audience that his party doesn’t whip votes — unlike the UCP and NDP.

Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

Van Tighem took knocks for his untrammelled opposition to coal exploration on the Eastern Rockies. 

“It’s a terrible position to take,” Pincher Creek MD councillor John MacGarva said from the floor, drawing thunderous applause from roughly half the audience. 

Lougheed’s PC’s blocked regional coal exploration for perfectly sound ecological reasons, Van Tighem shot back, scoring loud approval from the other half. 

Another resident introduced himself to Van Tighem as “one of those entitled rednecks you despise,” alluding to the candidate’s 2021 Alberta Views article wherein the author paints a disconcerting stereotype of oil and gas workers. 

The candidate said the article’s subtext underlined widely held conceptions about a rapacious oil and gas industry — conceptions Van Tighem has consistently said hurt Alberta’s interests on the world stage — but the barb stuck. 

Petrovic and Independence Party candidate Corrie Toone were pointedly asked if they would support a woman’s right to choose an abortion. Neither candidate gave a yes or no answer, despite prodding from moderator Val Danielson. 

Toone and Petrovic each said “life begins at conception,” with Petrovic saying that, while she supported bodily autonomy when it came to vaccines, she and the UCP are “pro-life.” 

The most compelling performance came from the Alberta Liberals’ Dylin Hauser, if audience reactions are to be any guide. 

Ad for Aurora Eggert Coaching in Beaver Mines

When the candidates were asked to defend their leadership credentials, Hauser was the only one who gave a full “with flaws and all” recounting of a life well lived, but also tempered by ordinary struggles. 

“What do I bring?” he asked rhetorically. “I bring failure. I bring hardship. I bring the ups and downs we all face down in life.”

His answer palpably won over the audience, drawing applause so loud and intense, it rumbled the floor. Many cheered as strenuously Hauser’s call to “vote for who you want,” rather than voting in the least offensive party with the most realistic chances of forming Alberta’s next government. 

Toone and independent candidate Erik Abildgaard spent much time trying to convince the audience that climate change was bogus, that pandemic health restrictions were draconian and that the UCP and NDP were fundamentally untrustworthy. 

Albertans head to the polls Monday, May 29.

Advanced voting is open May 23 to 27.

For voter information, including polling stations, see pages 9 to 11.

View Crowsnest Pass election forum videos here: Part 1, Part 2

Individual candidate statements:

Dylin Hauser – Alberta Liberal Party

Kevin Van Tighem – Alberta New Democratic Party

Kevin Todd – Alberta Party

Erik Abildgaard – Independent

Corrie Toone – Independence Party of Alberta

Chelsae Petrovic – United Conservative Party

Related articles:

Livingstone-Macleod Candidates Make Last Appeals At Crowsnest Pass Forum

‘Not Notley’ Sign To Come Down, Says MD Of Pincher Creek

Scheduling Conflicts Derail Livingstone-Macleod Election Forum In Pincher Creek

Pincher Creek Health-Care Forum Draws Large Audience

UCP Candidate Calls Out Heart Attack Survivors

Claresholm Politician Enters UCP Nomination Race For Livingstone-Macleod

Read more Livingstone-Macleod articles

NDP candidate Kevin Van Tighem – smiling white man with short grey hair wearing a grey dress shirt

Alberta NDP candidate Kevin Van Tighem

Six candidates are vying for your vote on May 29, hoping to be Livingstone-Macleod’s next MLA. All were invited to submit a piece outlining their election platform for publication in Shootin’ the Breeze.

Until last year, I was always non-partisan and was never involved with politics.

But that ended when I saw what the UCP was doing to the province I love and call home. 

I started my campaign about a month before being appointed as the NDP candidate for Livingstone-Macleod at a nomination meeting last November.

Since then, I’ve had conversations with people on over 2,000 doorsteps in Coleman, Fort Macleod, Beaver Mines, Pincher Creek, Blackie and High River. When counting the conversations volunteers on our team have had, we’re well past 5,000 doors.

 

Ascent Dental Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show

 

Each conversation has been fascinating, meaningful, and even heartbreaking. After more than three decades of working with neighbours on what matters here, I thought I knew Livingstone-Macleod.

I now realize I had barely scratched the surface.

I’ve talked to people who’ve lost their family doctor and can’t get primary care. The severe challenges facing rural health care under the UCP have forced people to turn to emergency rooms instead of walk-in clinics or doctors’ offices.

I’ve heard about expectant mothers driving to Calgary on winter roads for maternity care because Fort Macleod and Pincher Creek can no longer have it.

On the other side, doctors have told me they are burnt out and frustrated. They’re too busy to take on more patients. A nurse told me she and her whole team are in counselling after three years of constant work, overtime and pressure — all while the UCP government disrespects them.

 

Aerial view of the Cowley Lions Campground on the Castle River in southwestern Alberta

 

I spoke with an elderly woman who has to stretch her pension further to keep up with her rising mortgage and utility bills. Now, she has to rely on the food bank. She used to donate before the UCP took the caps off utility rates. Now she’s a client. 

Doorway after doorway, I’ve learned of our communities’ challenges. It’s been sobering. It’s also been inspiring.

I’m more determined than ever to represent the people in my community and make sure a trustworthy government hears these concerns and acts.

Politics has to be about more than partisanship and political games; it has to be a sincere offer and commitment to deliver a better future.

That’s why my team and I have been to every community in our riding. It’s why we started hosting meet-and-greet sessions in the winter and have gone to school meetings, health workshops, trade fairs and countless other gatherings. 

 

 

We are in this for our neighbours and their families.

And what we’re seeing is more Alberta NDP supporters. Almost a third have told me they are conservatives but cannot vote, in good conscience, for what the UCP has become under Danielle Smith’s chaotic leadership. 

Last November, I chose to fight for a better future for Alberta by stepping out of retirement to run for the party that puts people first: the Alberta NDP. I am running with a real leader who cares and who’s focused on what matters to Albertans: Rachel Notley.

I want people to know I’ve done my homework, and you can rely on me. I am in this for Livingstone-Macleod and the families, communities and land we all cherish.

 

Albertans head to the polls Monday, May 29.

Advanced voting is open May 23 to 27.

For voter information, including polling stations, see pages 9 to 11.

View Crowsnest Pass election forum videos here: Part 1, Part 2

Individual candidate statements:

Dylin Hauser – Alberta Liberal Party

Kevin Van Tighem – Alberta New Democratic Party

Kevin Todd – Alberta Party

Erik Abildgaard – Independent

Corrie Toone – Independence Party of Alberta

Chelsae Petrovic – United Conservative Party

 

 

Related articles:

Livingstone-Macleod Candidates Make Last Appeals At Crowsnest Pass Forum

‘Not Notley’ Sign To Come Down, Says MD Of Pincher Creek

Scheduling Conflicts Derail Livingstone-Macleod Election Forum In Pincher Creek

Pincher Creek Health-Care Forum Draws Large Audience

UCP Candidate Calls Out Heart Attack Survivors

Claresholm Politician Enters UCP Nomination Race For Livingstone-Macleod

Read more Livingstone-Macleod articles

 

Head shots of four men, one woman and one silhouette on election forum cancellation notice

Scheduling conflicts derail Livingstone-Macleod election forum in Pincher Creek

A forum for Livingstone-Macleod candidates scheduled for this evening in Pincher Creek has been cancelled after the top two contenders confirmed they weren’t coming. 

Emails sent Wednesday morning to Marie Everts, who volunteered to organize the forum on behalf of the Southwest Alberta Sustainable Community Initiative, show a last-minute cancellation from the NDP’s Kevin Van Tighem and more qualified regrets from the United Conservatives’ Chelsae Petrovic, who couldn’t attend owing to a work commitment.   

Van Tighem’s campaign manager Stephanie Keyowski emailed Everts at around 9:45 a.m., writing that, “… given the UCP candidate will not be present, I am afraid Kevin must decline to attend as well.” 

Petrovic’s campaign manager Thane Hurlburt followed suit roughly an hour later. Petrovic, who is an ER nurse in Claresholm, was scheduled to work Wednesday night and couldn’t find another nurse to take her shift, despite her best efforts, Hurlburt wrote. 

 

Table setting of wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

Hurlburt notified Everts late Monday afternoon that Petrovic likely wouldn’t be able to attend, but SASCI chose not to cancel the forum in hopes the candidate would find a way to come.  

“When putting together a forum, you have to set a date and hope that the candidates do their best to make it,” Everts said Wednesday afternoon. 

“I am saddened that we were not able to host a forum in Pincher Creek, but I’m grateful that Crowsnest Pass’s chamber of commerce will host a forum next week and that technology allows us to watch recent forums that did go ahead.” 

Both candidates joined the Alberta Party’s Kevin Todd, the Independence Party’s Corrie Toone and the Alberta Liberals’ Dylin Hauser at forums earlier this week in Claresholm and High River. 

 

 

Hauser informed Everts last week that he couldn’t attend the Pincher forum, owing to a long-standing prior commitment, Everts said. 

The Crowsnest Pass Chamber of Commerce confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the five candidates have accepted invitations to attend the chamber’s forum on May 24. 

A sixth candidate, Erik Abildgaard, will not be attending, according to the chamber.

Profiles for all six Livingstone-Macleod candidates are available in this week’s issue of Shootin’ the Breeze.

 

Albertans head to the polls Monday, May 29.

Advanced voting is open May 23 to 27.

For voter information, including polling stations, see pages 9 to 11.

View Crowsnest Pass election forum videos here: Part 1, Part 2

Individual candidate statements:

Dylin Hauser – Alberta Liberal Party

Kevin Van Tighem – Alberta New Democratic Party

Kevin Todd – Alberta Party

Erik Abildgaard – Independent

Corrie Toone – Independence Party of Alberta

Chelsae Petrovic – United Conservative Party

 

 

Related articles:

Livingstone-Macleod Candidates Make Last Appeals At Crowsnest Pass Forum

‘Not Notley’ Sign To Come Down, Says MD Of Pincher Creek

Scheduling Conflicts Derail Livingstone-Macleod Election Forum In Pincher Creek

Pincher Creek Health-Care Forum Draws Large Audience

UCP Candidate Calls Out Heart Attack Survivors

Claresholm Politician Enters UCP Nomination Race For Livingstone-Macleod

Read more Livingstone-Macleod articles

 

UCP candidate Chelsae Petrovic – smiling woman with long, straight, light-brown hair, wearing a grey sweater

UCP candidate calls out heart attack survivors

Chelsae Petrovic, an ER nurse and United Conservative Party candidate for Livingstone-Macleod, is refusing media interviews after flirting with “political suicide” by suggesting that heart attack survivors should bear accountability for their poor health. 

Petrovic offered her remarks, first reported by Global Edmonton’s Saif Kaisar, during her guest appearance on a podcast episode of The Canadian Story published to YouTube on Feb. 21, roughly three weeks before she swept the UCP’s nomination in Livingstone-Macleod.

Social media response to reports on this issue has been overwhelmingly negative. 

Speaking as a hopeful nominee and the mayor of Claresholm, Petrovic also disparaged unions, including her own, and made it plain that she would rather be ejected from the UCP’s legislative caucus if she felt supporting the party line would go against the riding’s best interests. 

Petrovic’s campaign responded to Shootin’ the Breeze’s request for comment with a statement saying her remarks about heart attack survivors had been “taken out of context.” 

A statement attributed to the candidate reads: “I understand my comment could be offensive when removed from the longer interview, and I should have chosen better language. I believe we should be a province that not only focuses on reactive health for those in need but also one that teaches our kids to practise healthy living, which includes taking care of our physical and mental health.”

“No interviews or additional statements will be made regarding the situation,” her campaign team wrote.  

 

Ace of spades card on ad for Chase the Ace at the Pincher Creek Legion

 

Accountability, dependence and heart attacks 

Telling podcast hosts David Parker and Zach Gerber that she’d seen “a lot of similarities” between her roles as a nurse and a small-town mayor, Petrovic started talking about hospital patients.

“Everyone comes in with their problems, and how do you fix it? How do you go about being polite to them when you’re trying to save their lives in a high-stress environment?” 

It’s a matter of “balancing saving their life and doing it with a smile on your face as they’re bleeding out,” she told Parker, who founded the right-wing populist movement Take Back Alberta, according to TBA’s website. 

Asked where she saw “a lack of accountability and responsibility playing out in our Canadian society right now,” Petrovic told Parker that what she was about to say “might be political suicide … which is fine with me, because it needs to be said.” 

Canadians have become “so dependent on being saved” by the government, they no longer take responsibility for themselves, she said.

“And I see it in health care,” she continued, dressing down a hypothetical patient. 

 

 

“You know, I’m going to say it: Maybe the reason why you had a heart attack was because you haven’t taken care of yourself. You’re extremely overweight. You haven’t managed your congestive heart failure. You haven’t managed your diabetes and there’s no personal accountability. 

“But they come into the hospital, and all of a sudden, it’s everyone else’s problem but their own.”

Petrovic went on to say that she wanted to rally behind one of her neighbours she said had recently suffered a heart attack. 

“Well, let’s start shovelling his driveway,” she suggested.  

Kevin Van Tighem, the NDP’s riding candidate, issued a statement Tuesday calling on Premier Danielle Smith and Petrovic to apologize for Petrovic’s comments “blaming Albertans for cardiac disease.” 

“Last year, Danielle Smith said Albertans are responsible for developing cancer. Now her candidate blames Albertans for having a heart attack. This is a pattern of cruel and hurtful language that kicks Albertans when they’re down,” Van Tighem said.

Kevin Todd, the Alberta Party’s riding candidate, wrote in a prepared statement, “People of our constituency shouldn’t be made to feel as though their access to medical care is predicated on whether or not they ‘deserve’ help in one of life’s challenging moments.”  

 

Pincher Creek Co-op Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show

 

‘All the nurses are going to hate me for that’

On the subject of front-line nursing, Petrovic said during the podcast, “We have the unions who butt in [to the nursing process]. Let’s be honest, the unions only have [their] best interests at heart and how they make money.”  

“All the nurses are going to hate me for that,” she went on, adding, “Union reps are going to come after me for that one.” 

Livingstone-Macleod above all else 

Petrovic went on to say she’d represent the interests of Livingstone-Macleod if they conflicted with her party’s policy agenda. 

“I promise that I’ll never cross the floor, but I can’t promise that I will always be a UCP representative,” she said, telling Parker and Gerber that she understood that the UCP, like most parties, would boot her out if she won her riding and then voted against the party as an MLA.  

“If that means that … someone says, ‘You have to vote this way, otherwise you’re kicked out,’ and it’s not in Livingstone-Macleod’s best interest — well, I guess I’m no longer a UCP representative.” 

Petrovic several times stressed that she valued Claresholm’s “very diverse” council, and that effective leadership meant honing the ability to change one’s mind. 

The candidate will face the NDP’s Kevin Van Tighem and the Alberta Party’s Kevin Todd when Albertans head to the polls in May.