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Tag: Scott Korbett

Weston Whitfield loads recycling into truck

Pincher Creek recycling services set to change June 30 of us are familiar with the three Rs associated with limiting our waste: reduce, reuse and recycle.

As it turns out, there’s a fourth R: renew the recycling licence.

During the Feb. 22 regular council meeting for the Town of Pincher Creek, Coun. Scott Korbett formally announced the town would not be renewing its recycling contract with KJ Cameron Service Industries. Come June 30, only empty beverage containers will be accepted at the bottle depot.

“The Town of Pincher Creek intends to continue to offer a recycling program,” the town’s official statement reads. “We are currently working with our regional partners to have a smooth transition to a new program by the end of June.”

While understanding the town is obligated to make economic decisions when it comes to contracts, Weston Whitfield, owner and manager of KJ Cameron, worries consolidating services on a regional basis might result in an inefficient service to taxpayers.


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The process of gathering, transporting, then re-sorting material, Mr. Whitfield adds, might decrease the price recycling facilities are willing to pay.

“My concern is in the past, places that have done collaborations like that end up with a little bit of contamination and it can affect the resale of the product,” he says.

Although no official details have been released, the plan for future recycling appears to involve the Crowsnest/Pincher Creek Landfill Association.

Discussion recorded in the minutes of the Jan. 20, 2021, regular meeting of the landfill association includes “Recycling Update” as an agenda item.

The minutes describe proposals being sent to each of the municipalities and note that, despite no reply being received, each of the municipal representatives — Coun. Dean Ward from Crowsnest Pass, Coun. Brian McGillivray from Pincher Creek and Reeve Brian Hammond from the MD of Pincher Creek — indicated their respective councils are still considering or interested in the landfill’s recycling proposal.


Recycling was also a topic during last week’s council meetings for both the MD of Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass.

During the MD of Pincher Creek’s Feb. 23 council meeting, chief administrative officer Troy MacCulloch updated council on plans to move collection bins from outside the MD office to a site off Bighorn Avenue and Highway 507, near the Co-op lumberyard.

The site will cover recycling needs for residents from both the MD and town.

“This will be a site that the MD will build,” said CAO MacCulloch. “We will cost-share it with the town, and then going forward it would be operated and manned by the Crowsnest/Pincher Creek Landfill.”

Plans for the new recycling site are still tentative as the MD is working with the current landowner to develop a lease that would permit the property to be used as a transfer station for garbage and recyclables.


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The garbage bins by the MD office, he added, could also be removed. This will allow for further development and easier access of the standpipe, which will remain at the location.

Meetings with Pincher Creek administration have discussed the possibility of the MD taking over the composting facility, which would be included on the site.

Crowsnest Pass council also voted Feb. 23 to direct administration to find a location for their own recycling bin.

Ease of access, along with being sheltered from the weather and from travellers’ field of vision, were identified as main priorities.

Administration was asked to present a location at the March 16 council meeting with hopes that users could begin dropping off recycling by the end of the month.

The goal is to eventually have three sites in the municipality to gather recycling. Beginning with one, said CAO Patrick Thomas, was a good place to “at least start and see what the challenges are,” especially to “see how [building] the fencing and screening goes.”

The Town of Pincher Creek’s full official statement regarding the recycling licence can be found online at More information on Pincher Creek Bottle Depot and Recycling can be found at


Annie Saunders Pincher Creek Pioneer

Town council to name future street after Annie Saunders

The history of the western expansion of Canada is a fascinating account of perseverance, courage and conflict. For a long time, the focus of this time period emphasized the experiences of white settlers who immigrated from Great Britain, the United States and central and northern Europe.

Recent scholarship and activities like Black History Month, however, are now making an effort to ensure other historical voices are heard — and Pincher Creek is taking steps to celebrate its own unique portion of the history of black pioneers in southern Alberta.

During the Feb. 22 regular council meeting, Coun. Wayne Elliott presented a motion to rename a street after “Auntie” Annie (though some sources have her first name as Amy) Saunders, a black woman who immigrated to southern Alberta in 1877.

“Being it’s Black History Month, it seems kind of fitting that we honour someone to that magnitude that doesn’t seem to ever get any recognition,” Coun. Elliott said.


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Ms. Saunders was born in the United States and met Mary Macleod, the wife of Lt.-Col. James Macleod, the North West Mounted Police officer the town Fort Macleod is named after.

In 1877, Ms. Saunders joined the Macleod family and worked as a nurse for the children on their ranch just east of Pincher Creek. She eventually operated multiple businesses in Fort Macleod (then known as the Town of Macleod) and Pincher Creek, including a restaurant and boarding house, and worked as a laundress.

Understanding the historical context makes Auntie Annie’s story all the more noteworthy. Western Canada experienced a great influx of immigrants throughout the late 1800s and early 1900s. Although the Canadian government actively promoted the area as the “Last Best West,” it also sought to exclude and dissuade specific groups of immigrants, including Chinese, Jewish and black people.


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As a former member of the British colonial empire, the Canadian government operated under the notion that white settlers were superior to other races and better suited to homesteading on the Prairies.

Despite the prejudice, about 1,500 black Americans settled in Alberta and Saskatchewan between 1905 and 1912, most leaving Oklahoma to escape rising levels of racial violence.

Rising political pressure from white constituents on the Prairies led to Prime Minister Wilfrid Laurier signing an order in council in the summer of 1911 banning black immigrants from settling in Canada because they were “deemed unsuitable to the climate and requirements of Canada.”

Though the order was never enforced, aggressive marketing by Canadian agents in the United States discouraging black Americans from moving to Canada cut down the number of black settlers, as well as unfair practices at the border that made it more expensive for them to travel into Canada.

The fact Ms. Saunders was one of the first black pioneers to settle in Alberta, along with making her own success despite the racism and general prejudice of that time, is remarkable. She passed away in 1898 and is buried in Pioneer Cemetery in Pincher Creek.


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Coun. Elliott mentioned Auntie Annie was a figure in his own family’s history.

“Going back, I was talking to my mom and she said my grandpa talked about what his dad said about her, and she was a very good cook,” he related. “So that’s going back into the 1880s, 1890s, so there is some history on my side.”

To honour the memory of Ms. Saunders, and her role in Pincher Creek’s history, Coun. Elliott proposed renaming a section of Veteran’s Street to Auntie Annie Saunders Way, Avenue, Street or Parkway.

Pincher Creek businesswoman Annie Saunders

The proposed renamed section would span from Scott Avenue to the eastern corner of Pioneer Cemetery.

While entirely supportive of naming a street after Ms. Saunders, other members of council expressed concerns with renaming an existing road.

“I’m completely in favour of honouring our historical figures, but I’m not in favour of changing street names,” said Coun. Scott Korbett. “New developments is where we should be doing this as we move forward, and I also wouldn’t want to honour someone with a street that’s not open.”

A better location, Coun. Lorne Jackson added, would help commemorate Ms. Saunders better than the proposed section.

“Annie Saunders was an amazing person, someone of colour back in those days that became an entrepreneur and was very successful and one of the richest people in town after a time,” he said.

“I think a new street somewhere in town that’s a viable and well used street, and a sign that people would see and drive by all the time, would honour her in a better way.”


After discussion, Coun. Elliott agreed to amend the motion to add Ms. Saunders to the town’s prioritized list of future street names. Auntie Annie is second in line after Warren Winkler, whose name was previously selected in a motion from 2017.

Mr. Winkler grew up in Pincher Creek and was selected in 2007 by Prime Minister Stephen Harper to be the chief justice of Ontario. He was also named an officer of the Order of Canada in 2016 for his contributions to the advancement of Canadian labour law.

More information on the history of black settlers immigrating to Canada can be read online in The Canadian Encyclopedia at


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