Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Video by Hansen Wei Cottrell  and Bianca Candalera showing the importance of wearing a face mask to prevent COVID virus infection. Commissioned by Helge Nome. Please make this video go viral!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Friday, December 20, 2019

Friday, December 6, 2019

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Friday, November 29, 2019

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Friday, November 8, 2019

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Politics, American Style

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Induced Earthquakes Presentation

In the wake of two local earthquakes that occurred in early March in the foothills west of Red Deer, the Sundre Petroleum Operators Group (SPOG) hosted an information session at the Crammond Hall near Caroline on May 8.

Todd Shipman from the Alberta Energy Regulator

Main presenter to a packed hall was Todd Shipman, Senior Advisor on Induced Seismicity and Geohazards  with the Alberta Energy Regulator (
The meeting was facilitated by Tracey McCrimmond, Executive Director of SPOG (

After an initial introduction to the subject of seismicity, Shipman emphasized the fact that "all earthquakes happen on faults", be they induced by human activity or naturally occurring.

In order to regulate fracking operations in the oil and gas industry a seismic "traffic light system" has been established by the AER where the red light signal to industry comes on when a 4.0 or larger magnitude earthquake possibly induced by fracking occurs. Operations must cease immediately.

Between a 2.0 and 4.0 measurement by local seismic instruments, the AER must be informed and the company response plan must be invoked. Below 2.0 no action is required. That was the case until the Sylvan Lake Earthquake, west of Red Deer occurred at 5:55 am MST on March 4 this year.

In light of that event, the AER issued recommendations on March 15 to reduce the red light number to 3.0 and the yellow light number to 1.0 because of ground movements felt by people over a wide area.

Another quake occurred a few days later in the Rocky Mountain House area, adding to local concerns, but Shipman suggested that it may have had natural causes.

A question and answer session followed the main presentation with many concerns being raised by those present.

To listen to the whole recorded presentation, including questions and answers, go to my SoundCloud account here:

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Repsol Hosts Open House

Representatives of Repsol Oil and Gas Canada hosted a community open house at the Arbutus Hall on April 30. The purpose of which was to inform local people about upcoming company operations in Clearwater County in 2019.

Following a complimentary beef-on-a-bun supper, JoAnne Volk and Sara Barcelo from the company's Calgary office made a presentation which included an overview of the world wide operations of the company and investment in local community enterprises.

Repsol's operations in Clearwater County have been cut back from original plans to one well drilled in January this year and three wells to be fracked over the summer. (Fracking opens up the oil/gas bearing formation for production). Each well is about 3 kilometres deep and runs horizontally within the formation for another 3 kilometres or so.

Two of these wells are located on a pad on the east side of Highway 22 in the Dovercourt area (legal 16-31-037-07W5M) and will be supplied with some 150 million litres of fracking water from a water storage pond constructed last year directly to the west of Highway 22 at "Qually's Corner" (legal 03-03-038-07W5M). This dam will be filled from the Clearwater River prior to fracking from a point of diversion on the river (legal NE 15- 038-07W5M) to the north of the storage pond.

The third well, located on the north side of Highway 11 a few kilometres to the east of its intersection with Highway 22 (legal 07-02-039-06W5M) will have its fracking water (about 75 million litres) supplied by hose from a third party water storage pond located a few kilometres further east on the south side of Highway 11 (legal 11-32-038-05W5M).

The cost to Repsol for drilling, completing and tying in a well is about $15 million.

Sara Barcelo spoke about Repsol's Good Neighbour Program

In 2018 Repsol contributed some $90,000 to various community groups within Clearwater County boundaries as a form of social investment. Taxes paid to Clearwater County amounted to $301,980 and royalties to the Province were $941,345.

The event was well attended by local people and Repsol staff members were available to answer technical and other questions about the company's operations.

A concern was expressed by some attendees about fracking induced seismic events experienced in the area and also about the use of large volumes of fresh water in fracking operations.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Physical Literacy Workshop

Guessing game: Be Fit for Life coordinator Barb Marsh participates in group activity

A workshop on Physical Literacy was held at the HUB in Caroline on Wednesday May 1. It was facilitated by Red Deer College's Be Fit For Life program coordinator Barb Marsh and two college students. Nine local people working with children and families participated, learning how to engage groups of children (or adults) in activities conducive to physical and mental development.

The workshop in Caroline was the first in a series to train people in the implementation of the Be Fit For Life program in their communities. As stated in a program information sheet:

"Developing physical literacy is an essential part of healthy child development. Children who are exposed to a multitude of movement experiences in a variety of environments are more confident and competent movers, thus giving them a greater chance of remaining active throughout their lifespan.

The first five years of a child's life are the most important in terms of development as the brain is busy growing and creating neural connections with each new experience. The more a child moves their body in different ways, the more connections are created and the more a child explores these movements, the stronger those connections become building a strong foundation for future learning and development."

Towards the end of the workshop some local "HUB kids" came along and joined in the fun.

To find out more about this program, go online to or contact Barb Marsh directly

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Mental Health Presentation in Caroline

Noah Boakye Yiadom spoke about cannabis use

Caroline Neighborhood Place is hosting a series of presentations on mental health for interested community members at this time.
On Tuesday, April 23, Noah Boakye Yiadom from Alberta Health Services made the first presentation with cannabis in focus at the HUB in Caroline to a small but keenly interested audience.

He emphasized the connection between mental health and substance abuse and suggested that the latter is just the "tip of the iceberg".
Legalization of cannabis for recreational use has been a positive step to facilitate intervention, especially where children are concerned.
From a public health perspective it is desirable to have a well regulated market, rather than an illegal one, or one solely based on corporate profits.

Future proposed presentations in Caroline will focus on Mental Health and Mental Illness, Mood Related Problems, Stress Management and others, based on demand.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Volunteer Appreciation 2019

The Caroline Community recognized its volunteers at a Volunteer Appreciation event at the Caroline Legion on Monday, April 8. 261 people were nominated by their peers as volunteers in the community this year and some 100 attended the event.

A highlight of the celebration was the presentation of volunteering awards, based on nominations from the community. Joshua Luoma was given the Outstanding Youth Volunteer Award and Ida Stange was recognized as the Volunteer of the Year. Yvonne Evans, currently enjoying a holiday in warmer climes, was given the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Numerous door prizes donated by local businesses and individuals were greatly appreciated by those in attendance and musical entertainment was provided by volunteers Louis Massicotte and Joshua Luoma.

Check out snapshots from the event here:

Outstanding Youth Volunteer of the Year Award was presented to Joshua Luoma by MC John Rimmer

Ida Stange received her Volunteer of the Year Award

Elisse Flahr announced the upcoming Community Easter Pancake Breakfast at the Caroline Museum on Saturday, April 13

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Appointment of New CAO for Clearwater County

Clearwater County Council with newly appointed CAO Rick Emmons, front, between Councillors Thesesa Laing and Michelle Swanson. Back: Councillors Jim Duncan, Cammie Laird, Daryl Lougheed, Reeve John Vandermeer and Councillor Tim Hoven

News release by Clearwater County

(Rocky Mountain House, AB) – Following a three-month competitive recruitment campaign, Council is pleased to announce that Rick Emmons has been formally appointed to the position of Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) for the County, as of May 1, 2018.

 Council appointed Mr. Emmons as Interim CAO back in November, to allow time for a thorough recruitment process to unfold, in an effort to identify the best candidate for the important administrative role of CAO. “Clearwater County has been fortunate to have Rick’s leadership and guidance over the last five months, and he has been instrumental in providing for business continuity, administrative stability and maintaining the County’s progressive momentum,” said Clearwater County’s Reeve John Vandermeer.
“After our third-party candidate search concluded and Council’s thorough review of applicants, Rick certainly was the most qualified for the job due to his breadth of experience and passion for public service.”

With 33 years’ experience in municipal government, Mr. Emmons was most recently the County’s Director of Planning and Development, previous to that Assistant Director of Public Works.
Mr. Emmons has also worked in many other capacities over his long tenure with Clearwater County. He holds a designation as Certified Local Government Manager (CLGM), he completed a National Advanced Certificate in Local Authority Administration (NACLAA) from the University of Alberta and he has numerous other educational credentials specific to municipal administration.

 Reeve Vandermeer continued by saying, “Rick fosters an open and transparent administration and supports Council’s governance role. We thank him for stepping up to the plate and look forward to working with him for years to come.”

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

It's not that simple, Ms. Notley

By Helge Nome

The Alberta Government's proposes legislation to limit the export of petroleum resources from Alberta.
Information regarding this bill can be obtained here:, where it states that:

"If passed, Bill 12 would require specified individuals and corporations—at the discretion of the minister of energy—to obtain a licence prior to exporting any quantity of natural gas, crude oil or refined fuels from Alberta."

Section 92A.2 of Canada's Constitution Act states the following: 

"Export from provinces of resources. 
In each province, the legislature may make laws in relation to the export from the province to another part of Canada of the primary production from non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources in the province and the production from facilities in the province for the generation of electrical energy, but such laws may not authorize or provide for discrimination in prices or in supplies exported to another part of Canada."

Read the last part of the last sentence: "but such laws may not authorize or provide for discrimination in prices or in supplies exported to another part of Canada."

That means that any limitations placed on exports to BC also apply to all other parts of Canada.

Take some time to consider the implications for Alberta and Albertans.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Caroline Community Celebrates Its Volunteers

Outstanding Youth Volunteer: Lillith Nuzum

 Volunteer of the Year: Amanda Archibald

Volunteer Lifetime Achiever: Helen Willigar

By Helge Nome

The Caroline Community celebrated the work of its volunteers at the Caroline Legion on Monday, April 16. Of the 280 people nominated by their peers as volunteers for the community about 100 attended the event and received due recognition for their work. MC for the event, which is now in its 14th year, was Sharleen Thornberry who introduced speakers and handed out well deserved door prices donated by local businesses, organizations  and individuals.

Special recognition was give to Lillith Nuzum as the Outstanding Youth Volunteer, Amanda Archibald as the Volunteer of the Year and Helen Willigar as the Lifetime Achievement Volunteer with some 50 years of service to the Caroline Legion.

The event was sponsored by the Clearwater Regional Family and Community Support Services Board and carried out by volunteers from the Caroline Neighbourhood Place Society.

 MC Sharleen Thornberry

 Clearwater Regional Family and Community Support Services Manager Andrea Vassallo

About 100 nominated volunteers attended the volunteer appreciation event

Friday, June 30, 2017


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

By Marianne Cole

1.  Possibly the most notable highlight was Earl Graham’s news at the beginning of the meeting that he would not be seeking re-election this fall.  He noted that he had spoken to a couple of others that might be interested in running in his division.

2.  The council voted to uphold their previous practise of not providing maintenance on undeveloped road allowances.

3.  Three readings were given, and passed, to the Crimson lake Cottage Association’s request for a dust control agreement whereby dust control would be provided in 2017 and that a special tax to cover this cost would be applied to their taxes beginning in 2018 for the following three years.

4.  A delegation from the Rocky Ag. Society gave a brief report on the recent public meetings they had held to provide information and gather input on their proposed new Rocky Ag. Rec Facility. They had met with various potential user groups (4-H, equine groups, general public, and contractors/potential sponsors). In his report Art Terpsma stated that the attendance averaged 20-35 at these meetings.  I attended three out of the 4 meetings and at only one of them was there an attendance over 20 (23) and that was that the equine meeting but the count also included the Ag. Society members/presenters.  At the last one for the contractors/sponsors there was a total of 12 people, 5 of whom were Ag. Society members.

Art did mention that they had visited the new facility in Claresholm and that it is only 150 feet wide and geared for a competitor arena.  The previous feasibility study done for the proposed one here had suggested a width of 250 feet.

He also mentioned that a representative from Rimbey had attended one of the meetings to describe the hoops they had had to go through in building their facility.

In conclusion, Art mentioned that there is still lots of work to do and items to be ironed out.  This includes ownership of the land (who will hold title) and the operation procedure.  He was hoping that it could be a community building run by a community board.

Comments from the council included ones from Councillor Laing who asked about grant possibilities; Councillor Duncan who expressed concern about dropping the width as we don’t want to be hindering future possibilities; and Councillor Alexander who suggested that the Ag. Society meet with administration to address some of the concerns, admitting that there is lots of work to be done yet but we need to keep it going.

5.  A delegation from the Cartier Creek Subdivision (in the southwest area of the county, along the Red Deer River) attended to give an opposing point of view to the “encroachment” issues on municipal reserve in that development.  Previously a delegation had attended in December 2016 regarding violations on municipal reserve.  While a different perspective was presented on Tuesday, council decided to uphold their decision to follow guidelines set out in Municipal Government Act and enforce those regulations with their Land Use Bylaw Amendment for Enforcement Provisions. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Tri-Council Meeting Notes

By Helge Nome

A meeting involving the councils of Clearwater County, the Town of Rocky Mountain House and the Village of Caroline was held in the Clearwater County Chambers on Wednesday, June 28. Regional issues were discussed and dealt with. 

On top of the agenda was a presentation on the geothermal potential of formations located several kilometers below county communities, including Caroline and Rocky Mountain House. 

A report prepared by Jonathan Banks, Research Scientist at the University of Alberta, was presented by its author who noted that the extraction of heat from brine that resides in local underground formations could be made commercially viable, especially if existing depleted deep oil/gas wells were used.

The three councils approved some administrative changes to the way regional fire rescue services are delivered in the area: Clearwater County will become the “managing partner” with direct managerial control of the service. The Regional Advisory Committee will not be involved in operational matters. To that end, the three councils individually gave 1st. 2nd. and 3rd. reading to a bylaw that sets out the committee parameters.

In a follow-up to this item. the three councils approved a new Intermunicipal  Regional Fire Rescue Services Agreement.

In line with the changes noted above, this time concerning the Rocky Mountain Regional Solid Waste Authority, the newly appointed manager is now reporting directly to Clearwater County’s Public Works Manager, Marshall Morton, rather than to a committee. This after major problems were uncovered with the operation and governance of the authority in the past.

Alberta’s proposed new electoral boundaries were discussed with a general concern being expressed over the inclusion of the Drayton Valley area in the local electorate. This would add some 14,000 people to the electorate and make it the most populous and unmanagable in Alberta, with Calgary and Edmonton benefiting from the changes.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Clearwater County Council Meeting Notes

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

By Helge Nome

Chickens won the day at the regular meeting of County Council when any household within a county hamlet or country residential acreage was given the green light to keep a maximum of six chickens (but no rooster!).
The decision was unanimous.

Greg Neale and Tom Daniels from Sundre Forest Products/ West Fraser told council about their problems in regards to new American duties of 24.12% slapped on their exports to the US and the pine beetle infestation in BC and Western Alberta, which is not expected to show more than a temporary setback due to a relatively cold winter.

Council was given an update on an invigorated Rocky/Kamikawa Japanese student exchange program by coordinator Kim Hastings.

Bill Shaw from Bill Shaw Consulting presented council with a revised draft of the North Rocky Major Area Structure Plan which covers the area between Highway 22 and the Rocky Airport. This is a work in its early stages with much consultation ahead involving the public and the Rocky Town Council. Many issues remain to be resolved.

New provincial electoral boundaries were discussed with concern being expressed over large urban municipalities benefiting at the expense of rural ones.

Council decided against changing its 2/3 majority requirement in regards to a request from the Hamlet of Withrow to connect it to a municipal wastewater system.