Preserving Bighorn too important for political squabbles

Natural beauty distinguishes Alberta from so many places. Let’s follow the will of the majority and protect this beautiful region

Preserving Bighorn too important for political squabblesIt’s disappointing to see that the Alberta government's proposal to create new protected areas in west-central Alberta has led to a partisan political brawl.  Over the last week, the government cancelled public information sessions for the Bighorn Country proposal because of reports of intimidation and threats by opponents to the proposal. The local MLA, Jason…

Real country folk a welcome change from the urban posers

Teaching Country Dance for Beginners to actual rural folk proved to be an eye-opener

Real country folk a welcome change from the urban posersBack in my not-so-halcyon days of youth and yore, when I practised the challenging social craft of ballroom dance instruction, I accepted a contract to teach 'Country Dance for Beginners' at a community centre in the small hamlet of Thorhild, Alberta. I had taught at various community centres in and around Edmonton to urban posers,…

We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crime

Trotting out historical excuses for criminal actions will only leave rural residents to continue to be terrorized by gangsters

We can’t ignore the roots of some rural crimeRural crime near troubled reserves on the Prairies must be acknowledged if there’s any hope of remedying the situation. Doug Cuthand, an Indigenous Saskatchewan columnist, believes the phrase ‘rural crime‘ is code for crimes committed by Indigenous thugs. But in Saskatchewan, for example, an Indigenous man is 33 times as likely to be convicted of…

Realized net income for Canadian farmers declines

Livestock revenues were up 5.1% in 2017, following a 6.7% drop the previous year

Realized net income for Canadian farmers declinesRealized net income for Canadian farmers  fell 3.6 per cent in 2017 to $7.0 billion, following three consecutive annual increases, according to a report released on Tuesday by Statistics Canada. The federal agency explained that realized net income is the difference between a farmer's cash receipts and operating expenses, minus depreciation, plus income in kind.…

Canadian farming families smaller but more affluent

Statistics Canada said the farm population is gravitating towards crop types that produce higher household incomes, like oilseeds

Canadian farming families smaller but more affluentA new study by Statistics Canada says the face of the country’s farming population has changed. The 2016 Census of Agriculture found there were 187,492 agricultural businesses in Canada and an additional 6,000 hobby farms. The federal agency said on Tuesday that “not only are farm families smaller than they once were, but they are…

A century later, UFA still providing farmers with supplies and leverage

CEO Carol Kitchen talks about how UFA is part of the fabric of rural Alberta, helping agriculture feed people around the world

A century later, UFA still providing farmers with supplies and leverageCarol Kitchen is president and CEO of UFA. Calgary’s Business: What’s the United Farmers of Alberta and what does it do? Kitchen: United Farmers of Alberta (UFA) is a member-owned co-operative. We’re a progressive and diversified business that provides the products, services and solutions our owners and customers in rural communities need to successfully run…

Meet the people who put food on your table

Sixth-annual Open Farm Days, set for Aug. 18, 19, promotes Alberta's agri-tourism industry

Meet the people who put food on your tableMore than 110 farms, ranches and small businesses across the province are gearing up to open their gates for the sixth-annual Alberta Open Farm Days. Taking place Aug. 18 and 19, the agricultural tourism event will include farm tours and family-friendly activities. Albertans will have the opportunity to learn more about a wide variety of…

Putting our health-care workers to better use

It’s not just about having more doctors. It’s time we used all the skills that the wide variety of health workers have to offer

Putting our health-care workers to better useDoes Ontario have enough doctors? Surprisingly, the answer is: Yes, we may have enough doctors. How is this possible when many people don’t have a doctor, or wait days, weeks or even months for a medical appointment? We have more doctors than ever before, but many aren’t located where we need them and many aren’t…

Justice reform can’t just be knee-jerk

Eliminating peremptory challenges during jury selection and restricting preliminary inquiries won't necessarily improve the system

Justice reform can’t just be knee-jerkThere has been considerable talk recently about reforming the justice system. The talk has become particularly shrill following the Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine murder trials in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The federal justice minister has said she plans to eliminate peremptory challenges because, in her mind, not enough Indigenous people were selected for the juries. Peremptory…

My fireplace just helped renew my faith in humanity

A household calamity, an accommodating retailer, some dirty and hard work, and a twofold payoff at the end

My fireplace just helped renew my faith in humanityThis time of year, one of my country morning rituals is cleaning last night’s ashes from the fireplace and laying the beginnings of this evening’s fire. We have what is now considered an old fireplace – it has a brick-lined fire chamber with a small rectangular ash-emptying door in the centre of the fireplace floor.…