Skip to main content

Tag: Pincher Creek

RCMP logo over red and blue flashing lights on heading for Pincher Creek RCMP news

Three charged after weapons call in Pincher Creek

Garret Ouellette and Brandon Ouellette were charged with several offences after the RCMP responded to a complaint of a dispute outside a Pincher Creek residence on April 22.

The complaint call reported that a firearm was involved in the altercation and that one person had nearly been run over by a motor vehicle.

As a result of the arrests and follow-up investigation, numerous weapons and a quantity of methamphetamines and cocaine were seized.


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


Garret Ouellette, 41, of Pincher Creek is charged with

— assault with a weapon

— possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose

— possession of prohibited weapons

— possession of a controlled substance

— failing to comply with a release order

Garret was on release conditions related to several other offences that are still before the courts. He was remanded in custody and will appear on April 25 in the Alberta Court of Justice in Pincher Creek.


Pincher Creek Curling Club – – Pincher Creek Trade Show


Brandon Ouellette, 41, of Pincher Creek was charged with

— assault with a weapon

— resisting arrest

— possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose

— possession of prohibited weapons

— possession of a controlled substance

Following a judicial interim release hearing, he was released and will appear on June 6 in the Alberta Court of Justice in Pincher Creek.



A 67-year-old Pincher Creek woman was also charged with possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking in relation to the incident. She will appear in Alberta Court of Justice in Pincher Creek on May 23.


Alberta Crime Stoppers welcomes anonymous tips at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), online at, or through the P3 Tips app, which can be downloaded from the Apple Store and Google Play.

Please contact the local RCMP if you have information about this incident or any other illegal activity. If you see a crime in progress or an emergency, call 911.

Tips can also be shared anonymously through Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477, through the P3 Tips app (available from Google Play or the Apple Store), or online at Your anonymity is protected and you may be eligible for a cash reward if your tip leads to an arrest.


Ad for Sara Hawthorn, Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass realtor

Shootin’ the Breeze Pincher Creek – April 24, 2024

Double duty at Ascent

“I’m a dentist, not a chef!” you may have heard Dr. Regan Evanson exclaim as he flipped burgers alongside Dr. David Baker at Ascent Dental last Wednesday. The clinic welcomed its clients for a customer appreciation event and chamber of commerce members to a mix-and-mingle. The dentists braved the chill and handily barbecued 200 burgers to go along with tasty potato salad (among other sides) and Italian sodas. The house was full as Ascent Dental celebrated Oral Health Month.

Three women, the middle one holding a decorated violin at a Revive the Roxy event.

Shootin’ the Breeze Pincher Creek – April 17, 2024

A bid and a vote – two ways to support the Roxy

There are two winning ways to support efforts to revive Coleman’s Roxy Theatre — a violin auction and a vote for the project in the Next Great Save. Bids are at your discretion and votes are free!

 Jennifer Batiuk, left, and Stacey St. Jean, right, joined Pat Rypien, fundraising director for Crowsnest Cando, on the red carpet to kick off the auction Saturday at Country Encounters in Coleman. Their donation of violins crafted by their grandfather, Ovila St. John, sparked a unique project that will aid in the restoration of the historic theatre.

These one-of-a-kind violins, personalized by local artists, are now up for auction. The distinctiveness of the violins can be viewed online, with bids accepted until May 15.

 The story of the violins and further contest details will appear in next week’s issue of the Breeze. | Photo by Shannon Peace

Collage of photos at Castle Mountain Resort ski hill near Pincher Creek on front page of April 10 issue of Shootin' the Breeze

Shootin’ the Breeze Pincher Creek – April 10, 2024

That’s a wrap

The vibes were good and a bit of fresh snow was welcomed as Castle Mountain Resort wrapped up its season over the weekend with a retro theme. “It was a tale of two seasons,” says Cole Fawcett, sales and marketing manager for CMR. “The first half of the year was challenging with low snow and high temperatures, but the back half was exceptional and we had the busiest March in history.” He also noted that the resort’s recent investment in snowmaking equipment paid off as it prevented prolonged closures in December and January when the weather didn’t co-operate. The hill is now closed but season pass holders have until the end of the month to renew at this year’s rates. | Photos courtesy of Castle Mountain Resort

Women's hands place on top of one another

Sheltering hope

In Pincher Creek, an emergency shelter stands as a beacon of hope for women grappling with the realities of domestic violence and crisis.

Established by the Pincher Creek Women’s Emergency Shelter Association, this refuge extends its hand to those navigating the darkest corridors of family violence, providing essential support and sanctuary for women and children.

The need for such a shelter was recognized in 1988, following a forum on family violence issues sponsored by Matthew Halton High School. In 1992, PCWESA registered as a non-profit organization and, five years later, the shelter opened its doors in Pincher Creek.

Since then, this haven has offered hope to women experiencing violence within their families.

The shelter’s operations are finely tuned to offer a lifeline to those in need. When a woman seeks assistance, a carefully orchestrated process unfolds. A simple phone call sets in motion a chain of support.


Ad for Ascent Dental in Pincher Creek


“Women can access the residential program of the shelter by calling the shelter to request space. We have criteria that we use to determine if we would be a fit for women who are calling to request space,” says the shelter’s executive director, Lori Van Ee.

In crisis situations, women and children can stay at the shelter for up to three weeks.

“We are only an emergency shelter that provides safe, accessible shelter for 21 days, while women and families are seeking more long-term housing,” Lori tells Shootin’ the Breeze.

Asked about times of high demand, Lori says the association stands ready with contingency plans to ensure that no one is turned away in time of need.

“If we cannot accommodate any individual or families, we would always ensure that they are able to get to another safe shelter. In an emergency, we could utilize the cots that we have at the shelter, that were donated to us by Matthew Halton High School, until we were able to find space elsewhere for the women and/or families,” she says, underscoring the community’s unwavering solidarity and support.


Ad for Aurora Eggert Coaching in Beaver Mines


The safety of occupants is paramount. Lori emphasizes that security measures, including round-the-clock staffing and surveillance systems, safeguard residents from potential threats, ensuring their peace of mind as they navigate the path to healing.

Beyond providing a safe haven, the PCWESA runs several projects to empower women to rebuild their lives beyond fear.

“We provide education to individuals and families accessing our shelter on domestic violence, safety planning and how family violence affects children,” Lori explains.

“We assist women in accessing different resources and services to meet their needs and achieve their short-term goals. We offer various programs within the shelter to help individuals and families become more confident and improve their well-being.”

Currently, the shelter operates three programs: residential, outreach and child support. The residential program aims to provide a safe and supportive environment for women and their children, while the outreach effort assists women in setting goals that will enable them to live more productively and independently.


Your Dollar Store With More Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show


Through community outreach and advocacy efforts, the shelter team strives to raise awareness of domestic violence and its far-reaching effects, collaborating with local stakeholders to amplify the message of prevention and intervention.

The child support program facilitates age-appropriate activities for children staying in the shelter, as per the PCWESA website.

Lori is undeterred by the absence of designated funding for southwestern Alberta in the 2024 provincial budget.

“I am happy for the shelters that were able to receive the funding,” she says. “This funding allows those shelters to operate at a greater capacity, being able to support more individuals and families who are seeking their services.”

The Pincher Creek Women’s Emergency Shelter continues to be a support system, providing vital support and sanctuary for those in need, as they journey towards healing and empowerment.



Ad for Dragons Heart Quilt Shop in Pincher Creek


Pincher Creek Women in Business group snowshoeing

Empowering entrepreneurs

The women of Pincher Creek are poised to drive the region’s evolving business and leadership scene, and Pincher Creek Women in Business is at the forefront of this transformation.

Established in 2018 under the Pincher Creek and District Chamber of Commerce, this group is dedicated to supporting women in their professional development, empowering them to steer their ventures toward success.

“We realized that most new businesses in our area are being opened by women. So, we developed the Pincher Creek Women in Business group to help support women in business, to help educate them and help them with networking,” says committee chairwoman Jill Bruder.

The initiative stemmed from recognizing women’s growing participation in the region’s business landscape, as highlighted by the chamber of commerce board of directors. Leaders like Marie Everts and Cassie Ducharme laid the groundwork for this transformative endeavour, igniting a movement that continues to empower and connect local women.

With over 400 women participating, the group has become a beacon of inclusivity and empowerment. Unlike traditional organizations, Pincher Creek Women in Business has no formal memberships or registration processes; the ethos here is simple — anyone, regardless of her stage in business or industry, is welcome.


Ad for Blinds and More in Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass


“We started very, very small with zero budget, just trying to see what was needed in our community,” Jill explains.

“Our committee is completely volunteer-driven, and we use people’s contacts to find presenters. We do not have a formal registration process. We just open this up to any woman who wants to come.”

The group hosts events throughout the year, ranging from seminars on navigating difficult conversations in the workplace to workshops on leveraging social media for business growth.

They have even delved into more light-hearted activities like snowshoeing and outdoor yoga, ensuring that gatherings are informative and enjoyable for all participants.

Beyond the networking and educational opportunities, the group aims to foster mentorship and support for women at all stages of their careers. Recent events have facilitated open discussions on the challenges of entrepreneurship, allowing women from various backgrounds to share insights and experiences.


Ad for Shadowbar Shepherds Training in Pincher Creek


“We have everyone from house painters to nail technicians to bankers to hotel managers, and everything in between,” Jill notes. “Our goal is to provide a welcoming place to support women, educate them and provide networking experiences for people in all levels of business.”

Looking ahead, Pincher Creek Women in Business is poised to further engage with the next generation of women entrepreneurs, recognizing the importance of nurturing young talent and providing opportunities for exploration and growth.

As it gears up for its upcoming event — Perogies, Planning and Partnership —the group reaffirms its commitment to supporting women in business and creating a thriving ecosystem of empowerment and connectivity.

The event, scheduled for April 11, promises not only to build perogies but also to forge new local partnerships, symbolizing the essence of what this group represents: collaboration, camaraderie and community spirit.

Angela Parnal will be leading the charge, showcasing the spirit of collaboration and partnership that defines Pincher Creek Women in Business.



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


Diana Smith and Trevor Clinton with Golden Garbage award at St. Michael's School in Pincher Creek.

Golden Garbage reward inspires tidy spaces

In a world where cleanliness is paramount, instilling the value of tidiness and respect for one’s surroundings in children is more crucial than ever. Yet, amidst the hustle and bustle of everyday life, this fundamental lesson often falls by the wayside.

Recognizing the pressing need for awareness among children, one school in Pincher Creek is leading the charge in fostering a culture of cleanliness, thanks to its caretaker, Trevor Clinton.

When Clinton was hired by St. Michael’s School in 2017, he quickly noticed a concerning trend. Despite the newly renovated and modernized facilities, students were disrespecting areas of the school, with little regard for cleanliness or the learning environment. Garbage littered the floors, chairs were left haphazardly and personal items were strewn about.

Amidst this, one class stood out for its cleanliness. Seeking guidance, Clinton approached Manon Thauvette, the teacher of that class. She shared her simple yet effective strategy: allocating 10 minutes at the end of the day to pick up chairs and 10 things that can go into the garbage.

Following Thauvette’s lead, Clinton rewarded this class with a box of 50 Timbits and told them to tell others what they did to earn the reward.

“I gave the Timbits to that class and told them they got them because their room was able to be cleaned quickly and properly. I could see that they cared about their learning space and their learners. I also told them to tell everybody why they got those Timbits,” Clinton says.


Riteline Electric Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show


Moving forward, he started picking a class weekly that was doing a good job of picking up their stuff, and what began as a humble endeavour soon blossomed into a schoolwide trend.

With the support of principal Karen Schmidt (the school’s associate principal at the time) and funding from the school, Clinton introduced the Golden Garbage Can reward program. Each week, a class demonstrating exceptional cleanliness and respect for their learning space would receive a reward, initially a box of Timbits.

The impact was immediate and profound. Students eagerly participated in keeping their classrooms tidy, motivated by the prospect of recognition and reward. As word spread throughout the school, a culture of responsibility and pride began to take root.

However, the Covid-19 pandemic presented unforeseen challenges. When schools reopened, neither the school nor Clinton had enough budget to reward students on a weekly basis. Undeterred, Clinton expanded his efforts beyond the school walls, garnering attention and support from parents, local organizations and businesses.

Donations sustained and expanded the program. What began as a simple gesture of appreciation evolved into a movement, uniting the school and its community in a shared commitment to cleanliness and respect.


Blinds and More Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show


Trevor Clinton and Barb Schram of Cowley Lions Club

Barb Schram of the Cowley Lions Club presents a cheque to Trevor Clinton to support the Golden Garbage Can program.  Trevor is grateful for this support and for other donations from the Knights of Columbus, Friends’ of St. Michael’s, Pincher Creek Co-op, The Hut and Epicure.

Photo courtesy of St. Michael’s School

Six years later, the program has expanded to reward three winning classes per week — one each from elementary, junior high and high school — but it is not limited to other learning spaces.

“It has become very hard to reward just one class because of the competitiveness throughout the school. So after getting some funding from the Knights of Columbus and going to some other businesses and clubs in town, I chose to step the program up this year,” Clinton shares.

“Now, we reward elementary classes with the Golden Garbage Can, the junior high with the Golden Dustpan and the high school with the Golden Broom rewards.”

Clinton says parents have praised the initiative for instilling valuable life skills in their children and fostering a sense of community.

Looking ahead, Clinton envisions further growth and impact for the program. Expansion to include additional classes and recognition for individual efforts demonstrates his unwavering dedication to creating a positive learning environment.

Clinton recognizes the long-term implications for the school and its community beyond the immediate benefits of cleanliness and organization.


Jennifer Parker of Pincher Creek with Slaviša Bradić-Brada

Local judo sensei becomes Canada’s first female international instructor

Two weeks ago, Canada added Jennifer Parker as the first woman on its list of internationally trained and certified judo instructors.

Jennifer, the head instructor of Pincher Creek’s Barracuda Judo Club, received this certification after a 12-week theory course culminating in a practical session in Dunavarsány, Hungary. There she was tested on fitness and knowledge of judo techniques.

“One of the things I love about judo is there’s no shortcuts in it,” she says. “You can’t just show up and be amazing.”

Jennifer’s own journey in judo has been defined by decades of studying and practicing, “always chipping away at trying to learn and improve” herself.

Having the International Judo Federation judo instructor certification means Jennifer can be a resource to other local instructors and participate in international tour events.

The training covered not only the technical side of judo but also muscle physiology, exercise theory, and judo history and rules.

This is also a stepping stone in her trajectory as a judo referee. Currently, Jennifer holds continental certification, meaning she can be invited to referee any Pan-American tournament. Being recognized internationally as an instructor is a major stride towards refereeing international tournaments.

“I can’t believe I’m the first woman to do it,” she says, noting her inspiration from the women instructors and coaches who came before her.


Ad for Vape in Pincher Creek


As Judo Alberta’s gender equity committee representative, Jennifer’s first project after receiving international instructor certification was organizing the annual girls camp, a two-day overnight training camp for young girls in judo.

“Judo is an interesting sport. When you are on the mat, you are alone in the race, but you’re still part of a larger team,” she says. “So it’s important to have a welcoming and inclusive environment where women and girls feel safe, to start judo, to try judo, to stick with judo and to excel in judo.”

Though male teammates vastly outnumber women through most of the sport, girls camp offers sessions where girls can learn and grow in a space that’s made just for them. This year’s camp focused on healthy choices and workshopping specific techniques and Kata, meaning judo in its pure form.

“This is a safe environment where girls can come meet other girls from around a bunch of female coaches that are there to help out,” Jennifer says. “It is about support and friendship and the values of judo.”

When women first started practising judo, they did so in secret classes. Jennifer had the opportunity to meet one of these women who pioneered girls’ participation, Keiko Fukuda, and reflects on her as an inspiration. She was one of the first female students of the inventor of judo and the highest-ranking woman in history.

“Somebody had to go first, and somebody had to be the only girl and somebody had to change in a closet because there wasn’t a woman’s change room for her,” Jennifer says.

“All of these people had tenacity and perseverance and they shared their skill and helped judo grow. So I am so grateful to them for paving the way.”


Skyline side-by-side Rentals ad – Pincher Creek Trade Show


Rita Spencer and Joyce Taylor in front of the Windy Slopes Health Foundation recognition wall at the Pincher Creek Health Centre

Windy Slopes has successful year of fundraising

We would like to begin this year’s Windy Slopes Health Foundation report by thanking the people of our community (near and far) for their generosity in supporting what we continue to do to enhance patient care at the Pincher Creek Health Centre.

In these economic times, with the cost of everything on the rise, we have been overwhelmed with gratitude for your continued support. We could not do what we do without all of you.

It has been another successful year for Windy Slopes with donations and equipment purchases. We were able to raise a total of $91,734.72 in donations, memorials, grants, Trees of Hope campaign, etc., making our total purchases for 2023 at $79,093.79.

As of February 2024, Trees of Hope has brought in a total of $25,787.50, once again exceeding our target of $25,000. Donations for the campaign were made by private citizens and local businesses, service groups and interest groups. The Trees of Hope campaign will allow the foundation to help refurbish the palliative family room.

The foundation, with support of the site manager, was successful in supplying the Pincher Creek Health Centre with a variety of equipment and programs.

These purchases range from a Giraffe Warmer for infants, a labour and delivery cart, stretchers, therapeutic drums and other items to enhance the care at our site.


Wild Developments Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show


Our most ambitious undertaking, which took over two years to complete, was the grounds enhancement project. Headed by board member Diane Burt Stuckey, along with consultation from the site manager and grounds employees, shrubs and trees were planted this past summer to enhance the existing grounds.

2023 brought to the foundation three new board members and we thank them for joining our team. One board member moved to our members-at-large list, and one has moved away from the community. We thank them for their participation and dedication to Windy Slopes.

Thank you to the local businesses for their continued support by including us in things such as the Co-op’s Fuel Good Days, Tim Hortons Smile Cookie Day, McDonald’s grand opening, WinWin participation, Co-op Agro, and our local media, Shootin’ the Breeze, for sharing our success stories.

We continue to upgrade the Wall of Recognition at the health centre as needed, with the help of Signs Unlimited. The donation box in the waiting room is checked regularly and acknowledgments are sent out promptly.

Thank you, again, from the Windy Slopes Health Foundation board: chairperson Suzanne Curran, vice-chair BJ Scott, Dennis Robin, DonaLee Smith, Harley Crowshoe, Diane Burt Stuckey, Reona Erickson, Tracey Corriea, Joyce Taylor, Jo Baker, Rita Spencer and administrative assistant Michelle Visser.



MD of Pincher Creek Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show
Moira Robbins

Obituary | Moira Robbins

Moira grew up in Willunga, a small seaside town near Adelaide in South Australia, the younger sister of Tony and Brian Liddy.

An explorer ahead of her time, Moira’s travels took her to all corners of the world. After commencing her teaching career in Adelaide and Darwin, she boarded a boat for London, where she taught for a few years before her next post at a school run by the British Embassy in Lima, Peru.

Her adventures spanned Europe, North Africa and South America, making connections with countless people across the globe with her trademark charisma, warmth and flair. Her journey then took her to Calgary, where she was assigned to teach at a school at which her husband-to-be, Leo, was assistant principal.

After returning to Australia for a few years around the passing of her parents, Moira returned to Canada in 1974, and she and Leo were married that fall. Moira’s fascination with the world and her passion for people never diminished, as she poured her heart and soul into her children, her family and her community.

Moira’s legacy lives on not just through her family, but also the countless lives that she touched. She was truly a unique and unforgettable woman, who shall be missed dearly by many. She left us with so many gifts, including adventure and travel, kindness and a friendly wave to everyone, a laugh and a good party, a love for reading and education, community, cheering for the home team …

Moira is survived by her husband of 49 years, Leo Robbins; her children, Sarah, Michael (Terri) and Tim (Peter McMinn); her grandchildren, Peter, Hannah and Emily; and her brother Brian Liddy in Australia.

She was predeceased by her parents, Michael and Anne Liddy, brother Tony and sister-in-law Pat. There were many family and friends that touched her life and went before her, and many that she leaves behind to miss her.

A memorial mass was held at St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Pincher Creek, Alta., on Tuesday, March 12, 2024.

An interment celebration will be held at a later date in Pincher Creek, Alta., and Willunga, South Australia.




Mark Maunsell in front of Excuses Tavern at the Alberta Hotel on Main Street Pincher Creek

New owner for the Alberta Hotel

One of Pincher Creek’s longest-standing businesses has a new proprietor.

Local entrepreneur Mark Maunsell has taken charge of the Alberta Hotel on Main Street.

“My plan is to try and help rejuvenate the downtown, get some more life down here,” says Maunsell, who bought the establishment from David McQuaig in the fall.

“I know the previous owner of this property and the one across the street [the former King Edward Hotel site] and he’s been great to deal with. We approached him about purchasing across the street, and after we closed that, we started working on a deal for this place.”

First opened in 1885, the Alberta is considered the oldest standing hotel in the province.

With a dozen or so unoccupied rooms upstairs, Maunsell hopes to morph the space into four or five larger rental units.

“We have such a major shortage of housing in Pincher. The upstairs, the old hotel, right now is kind of abandoned and I would like to develop it into apartments, or maybe a B&B,” he says.

The old-style rooms are very small. Each has its own sink and shares a common bathroom. The new design would provide a more up-to-date living space.


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


While focusing on his latest venture, Maunsell was asked if he’s giving some long-term thought to what 729 Main St., the site of the former “King Eddy,” might look like.

While building regulations and requirements have changed, even in the four years since the heritage structure was destroyed by fire, the vision is to bring some of the former features that made it special into the new model.

“I’d like to see something modern,” Maunsell says. “A modern version of what was there. Bring back the frontage, have a restaurant, retail rental, hotel rooms, apartments.”

A return of the renowned stacked balconies is also among the considerations.

For now, though, Maunsell’s focus is on the Alberta Hotel, where patrons can karaoke to their hearts’ content on most Saturday nights.

“I’ve also been able to bring in a couple of  bands since I took over and we’ve had our two pool tables refurbished,” he says.

Once upgrades to the ground-level tavern are complete, the idea is to have live music once a month and hold special events like music trivia nights.



Heritage Acres Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show


Suzanne Hul

Obituary | Suzanne Hul

Suzanne Hul of Pincher Creek passed away peacefully on Monday, Feb. 26, 2024, at the age of 90. May she rest in peace.

Suzanne was born in Belgium and moved with her family to Canada, where they began ranching in Pincher Creek, Alta. Suzanne loved spending time with her friends and family, and taking care of her sheep on the farm.

Suzanne was a dedicated mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She was very strong, an amazing cook, talented seamstress, successful farmer, and wonderful friend and peer.

Suzanne will be terribly missed and lovingly remembered by her grandson Chris, his wife Aleksandra, and their children Evelette and William of Pincher Creek, and by her granddaughter Amanda and her children Eady and Leela (a.k.a. Alex) of Lethbridge.

Her presence will be greatly missed by her siblings: her brother Hugo Meys, her sister Elisabeth Cracau and her brother Paul Meys.

Suzanne was predeceased by her daughter, Claudine Crook; her husband, Rafael Hul; her father, Marcellus Meys of Antwerp; and her mother, Antoinette Maria Muylle of Oudenburg.

A celebration of life will be held on April 7, 2024, at the Pincher Creek Legion, 691 Main St., Pincher Creek, Alta., from 1 to 4 p.m.


Vision Credit Union Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show



Obituary photo of Leonard McGlynn of Pincher Creek on horseback.

Obituary | Leonard McGlynn

July 20, 1938 – Feb. 6, 2024

Leonard Carl McGlynn passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, at the Pincher Creek hospital on Feb. 6, 2024, at the age of 85.

He is survived by his children: Brent (Laura) McGlynn, Gloria (Brent) Barbero, Sheila (Kent) Goudreau, Coralee (Shawn) Anderson; grandchildren: Darla (Wade), Ryan, Laressa (Daniel), Megan (Aaron), Bradley, Shaun (Kyra), Alyssa (Derek), Blair (Kara), Tyson (Taylor), Levi (Sydney), Lewis; and great-grandchildren: Walker, Theo, Tripp and Kesler.

Leonard is also survived by his sister Lucille (Len) Hagel, brothers Fred (Dianne) McGlynn and Dallas (Barb) McGlynn, sister-in-law Jean Parker,  as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Leonard also had many special friends and neighbours that he held close to his heart.

He was predeceased by his loving wife of 55 years, Eileen McGlynn, and by parents Henry and Bernadette McGlynn.

As per Leonard’s wishes, a celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Heritage Acres.


Real Estate Centre Ad – Pincher Creek Trade Show



Aerial map showing proposed site of Sunrise Solar Project near Pincher Creek.

New draft for proposed solar project in MD of Pincher Creek

A revised design for a proposed solar power project northwest of Pincher Creek was front and centre at an open house Jan. 16.

Slightly leaner in size than one presented almost a year ago, the project’s placement of solar panels is the biggest modification.

“We’ve made a number of changes that we think offer advantages relative to our earlier concept,” said Mike Peters, director of public affairs for Evolugen, the company behind the Sunrise Solar Project proposal.

“In spring 2023, we were in the community and held an open house. Subsequent to that, we’ve done a number of follow-up consultations and engagement with the public, with the town and with the MD.”

A visual change in the layout is the most substantive difference, Peters added.

“Within the quarter-section that was closest to town, we’re going to move [those panels] further north,” he said.

“So, that’s going to reduce the proximity to the municipal district boundary. As part of that, we’ve actually ended up reducing the size of the project by 15 per cent.”


Grassroots Realty Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show


Peters believes the new concept will help to reduce not only the visual impact but its effect on existing agricultural land in the area.

“We’re really trying to shrink our footprint,” he said.

While there’s no formal plan in place on who might be connected to the power generated from the solar panels, there’s no doubt it’s needed provincially in light of the recent extreme cold snap that saw power consumption result in grid alerts being issued for five consecutive days.

“We see the benefits of this project on so many levels,” Peters told Shootin’ the Breeze.

“We can look at it as an overall contribution to the electrical grid and this idea of bringing on new power generation to meet rising demand, new less carbon-intensive energy. So, we see that contributing to grid stability.”

Other benefits the company feels Sunrise will bring include stable long-term tax revenue to the MD, a rise in the need for local labour during the construction phase and something new to the table — a community benefits fund.

“We’re proposing initially a contribution of $25,000 annually,” Peters said. “That would be something that would be directed towards community priorities, causes, events, as a way to ensure the community is really benefiting from this project.”

If approved, this would be Evolugen’s second undertaking in Alberta. Its first venture, the Spring Coulee project, northeast of Cardston, with a 42-megawatt capacity, could be fully up and running by next month.



Chief Mountain Gas Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show


Heading for My Little Corner and editorial by Shannon Peace

‘It’s crumbling around us as we speak’

Should there be public consultation when changes affecting health care are proposed? Should there be an opportunity to ask questions? Should we be concerned when budget cuts could drastically affect our community?

I asked these questions in a March 2020 article after Pincher Creek physicians voiced concerns about budget changes at a community town hall.

A key point, one I hadn’t considered before, was that rural family medicine practices are small businesses with fixed costs. And when cost outweighs income, changes must be made for a practice to remain viable.

Financial costs aren’t the only consideration. At the time, Dr. Jared Van Bussel referred specifically to potential changes to maternity care and the cost of losing it. His concerns have not changed.

He also noted that disruptions to maternity care and individual health services impact the viability of the community.

A month later, Associate Clinic physicians announced a planned withdrawal of hospital-based services to come in 90 days. The move was prompted by a continuing lack of trust between doctors and Alberta Health, and ongoing uncertainty for the future. The uncertainty was not just for the physicians themselves but for their staff, patients and community.


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


The point hit home, and Pincher Creek rallied around its doctors. Letters were sent to government officials and a drive-by rally was held in June.

At the same time, Covid-19 was moving in, stretching local, provincial, national and global medical care to its limit.

Negotiating a master plan between the Alberta Medical Association and the provincial government piled even more pressure on Alberta’s medical professionals.

In October, local physicians chose to continue working in the emergency room and hospital rather than withdrawing those services. The community gave a collective sigh of relief, but problems remained unsolved.

By April 2021, a tentative master plan from Alberta Health had been brought forward and voted down by AMA members. Tyler Shandro, then minister of health, had also been to Pincher Creek to meet with Associate Clinic doctors, who were cautiously optimistic that agreement could be found.

It was September 2022 before a new funding contract was agreed to between AMA and the province.

The number of doctors at the clinic began to decline. Some retired while others chose to pursue careers elsewhere.

Finding replacements continues to be a challenge. Meanwhile, the cost of operating the clinic remains.

As we have all seen the cost of living rise dramatically, the cost of running any kind of business has increased as well.

To put this in perspective, as with any business, the financial burden on each partner increases substantially when the number of partners declines.

Speaking from personal experience, the stress and workload also increase significantly when staffing changes occur.



Let’s take stock of what we have in Pincher Creek.

We have a clinic and hospital providing continuity of care under one roof, personal relationships with physicians, an anesthetist and a surgeon, and even a CT scanner. Most importantly, we have a team of family doctors providing comprehensive care.

We also have our medical community working in difficult circumstances and likely losing hope for positive change. The emergency department was closed overnight twice in July due to a shortage of physician coverage.

About 800,000 Albertans do not have a family doctor, a situation especially dire in rural areas.

Our community has amazing medical resources, which are easy to take for granted, but a lack of stability under the very foundation of our health care system leaves it in danger of caving in.

“It’s crumbling around us as we speak.”

Dr. Paul Parks, president of the Alberta Medical Association, spoke those words Tuesday morning while sharing the results of a family and rural generalist physician survey conducted last week.

Asked to put the current state of affairs into medical terms, he likened it to a mass casualty that is bleeding out. The bleeding needs to be stopped and the patient stabilized.

Only then, once the chaos has passed, can treatment proceed.


Ascent Dental Ad – – Pincher Creek Trade Show


About 30 per cent of Alberta doctors participated in the AMA survey. Most have been practising for 11 or more years and 43 per cent are dealing with 1,000 or more patients.

Of respondents, 21 per cent feel their finances can sustain their practices for up to a year, while 20 per cent say they are unlikely to be viable beyond six months and eight per cent say only three months.

While $100 million of federal assistance earmarked for stabilization was announced in December, Parks says “not one cent has flowed to family physicians yet.”

He also noted that financial assistance is available immediately when there are wildfires and other emergencies. The health-care crisis, which physicians and their association have been red-flagging for over a decade, has yet to trigger the same response.

The old model needs to evolve because physicians are leaving Alberta for greener pastures where governments are responding to the crisis. Actions must match promises so health-care workers and all of us can look forward with hope.

If we sit quietly and say nothing, the system will continue to crumble, with disastrous consequences.

At a town hall last May, Dr. Gavin Parker said, “If you want to find someone who can fix this, find a mirror.”

On its website, Alberta Health says, “The future of health care is in your hands.”

Alberta Health is holding public engagement sessions in Crowsnest Pass at 10 a.m. today and in Pincher Creek at 5 p.m. Registration is required.


This long backstory leads to a strong call to action.

If you are concerned about a crumbling health-care system, please register for a session.

Have your say — your life may depend on it.



Ad for Creekview Dental Hygiene clinic in Pincher Creek



Flames engulf black silhouette of Dano's Hydro Heaven in Pincher Creek

Alleged arsonist misses court appearance

Michael Patterson, scheduled to appear in Pincher Creek court of justice today on arson charges, was a no-show.

Duty counsel Vincent Guinan told Justice J.N. LeGrandeur that Patterson, expected to attend via closed-circuit television, “wasn’t able to be produced.”

Reportedly under guard at Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge, Patterson’s condition is unknown.

The 35-year-old Pincher Creek man is charged with two counts of arson after separate fires were reported at a home and a business around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Pincher Creek Emergency Services was called first to a fire at Dano’s Hydro Heaven at the corner of East Avenue and Kettles Street in downtown Pincher Creek and minutes later to a house fire in the 600 block of Adelaide Street.

The structures were destroyed and Pincher Creek RCMP said in a press release Thursday that the investigation revealed accelerant use in both instances.

RCMP said Patterson was apprehended while fleeing the scene of the residential fire. Along with arson, he was charged with assaulting a peace officer with a weapon and disarming/attempting to disarm a peace officer.

The court has also processed a no-contact order against the accused.

A show-cause hearing, which will determine if Patterson can be released from custody, has been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 15, in Lethbridge.


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





"No School" written in the snow

Friday’s forecast for extreme cold prompts school closures

In a rare move, but one many parents can certainly agree with, officials with the Livingstone Range School Division decided Thursday afternoon to close all LRSD schools this Friday, Jan. 12.

With Friday morning temperatures forecast near -33 C, and wind chill values that could reach -50, an LSRD notice says officials chose to “not run buses and close the schools over the safety of [our] students and staff.”

All extracurricular activities, like the Rock the Diploma event, have also been postponed due to the extreme cold.

“We anticipate that buses will run and schools will be open on Monday, Jan. 15, as the forecast shows some improvement,” the notice said.

Updates will be posted to school and division websites and social channels.

Meanwhile, Holy Spirit Catholic School Division has announced that many of its rural schools, including St. Michael’s in Pincher Creek, will also be closed as the buses it shares with Livingstone Range won’t be running.

Monday’s outlook is for moderate temperatures with sunshine and a daytime high near -12.





RCMP officer in cruiser speaks to arson suspect in the back seat

Arson charges laid in Pincher Creek fires

Michael Patterson, 35, of Pincher Creek has been charged with two counts of arson after separate fires destroyed a home and a business on Jan. 9.

Pincher Creek Emergency Services was called first to a fire at Dano’s Hydro Heaven at the corner of East Avenue and Kettles Street in downtown Pincher Creek and minutes later to a house fire in the 600 block of Adelaide Street.

The structures were completely destroyed and investigation revealed accelerant use in both instances, Pincher Creek RCMP said.

Patterson was apprehended by police while fleeing the scene of the residential fire, RCMP said. Along with arson, he is charged with assaulting a peace officer with a weapon and disarming/attempting to disarm a peace officer.

Patterson was remanded into custody after a judicial interim release hearing and appears in court today, Jan. 11, 2024.






End-of-season dry agricultural field near Pincher Creek, Alberta, with granaries and mountains in the background.

Changes proposed to future solar farm near Pincher Creek

The company behind a large-scale solar project planned for construction northwest of Pincher Creek is looking to make changes to its original proposal and, once again, is looking for public input.

Last spring, Quebec-based Evolugen presented the idea of a four-section solar farm just east of the Pincher Creek Colony and north of Highway 507 during an open house held March 28.

The Sunrise Solar Project, it says, will consist of more than 210,000 bi-facial photovoltaic panels on close to 600 acres of privately owned land. Its aim: to generate enough solar electricity to power the equivalent of about 28,500 homes every year.



The original proposal, shown below, would have seen almost all of the project erected to the east of Range Road 303.  It’s had a rethink.


Map of area in the MD of Pincher Creek proposed by Evolugen in 2023 to become a solar farm.


A new configuration, shown below, plans to reposition the solar structures.


Map of area in the MD of Pincher Creek proposed by Evolugen in 2024 to become a solar farm.



Last year, Evolugen spokesman Mike Peters told Shootin’ the Breeze he anticipated the Sunrise project could generate about $140 million in local spending, the bulk of which would pay for solar panelling and construction costs, and could support two full-time positions post-construction.

According to the latest information on the project’s webpage,, noise impact and solar glare assessments have now been completed and it’s entered Stage 3 in the interconnection process with AESO, the Alberta Electric System Operator.

Stage 3 is usually a 32-week process that determines a game plan for filing applications with the Alberta Utilities Commission.

With a new proposal on the table, Evolugen is holding an in-person public open house on Jan. 16, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Heritage Inn, unveiling the new design in detail. Like last year’s session, it’s open to both MD and town residents.

With files from Laurie Tritschler



Pincher Creek Emergency Services on scene of two separate fires

Fire, ambulance and RCMP in Pincher Creek are on full alert at this hour after two separate blazes broke out in the community late Tuesday afternoon.

While exact details have yet to be confirmed by authorities, Shootin’ the Breeze can report that a home in the 600-block of Adelaide Street and a business at the corner of East Avenue and Kettles Street are fully ablaze and both have been completely destroyed.

For now, RCMP have closed off streets near the fires to keep the public safely away from any dangers.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.



Flames light a dark blue sky from a home burning on Adelaide Street in Pincher Creek on Jan. 9.

Structure fire in the 600-block of Adelaide Street, as seen from the Hewetson Avenue bridge.

Photo by Dave Lueneberg

Dano's Hydro Heaven in Pincher Creek engulfed in flames.

Dano’s Hydro Heaven in Pincher Creek has been destroyed by fire.

Photo by Dennis Robin

Billows of flame and smoke from a fire at Dano's Hydro Heaven in Pincher Creek on Jan. 9

Fire engulfed Dano’s Hydro Heaven, at the corner of East Avenue and Kettles Street, shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9. This photo, taken just after 6 p.m., shows large flames behind RBC on Main Street even an hour later.

Photo by Dave Lueneberg