Freedom of speech matters

To the provincial government, which has ordered Alberta Transportation to remove signs in the Peace River area opposing the development of nuclear power in Alberta.

Dart…

To the provincial government, which has ordered Alberta Transportation to remove signs in the Peace River area opposing the development of nuclear power in Alberta.

Connie Russell, co-owner of a store in Dixonville, 55 km northwest of Peace River, said a road maintenance contractor removed the No to Nuclear sign from the side of their store last week.

Russell said the store clerk was told the road crew had orders to remove all No to Nuclear signs in the area. “It’s unbelievable,” she said. “I am still in shock.”

Unbelievable is an understatement. This action contravenes the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which guarantees freedom of speech and expression.

In addition, the highway crews that removed the sign from the Dixonville store are courting charges of trespassing, vandalism and theft.

The action suggests Premier Ed Stelmach’s government thinks it’s above the law.

Residents in the Peace River area are outraged, saying the government is violating property rights and attempting to throw cold water on dissent now that the province is courting nuclear power development.

“This whole thing isn’t about the nuclear issue,” Russell said. “This is our rights being taken away. If they’re allowed to come and do this kind of crap, that takes away rights from us that we should have.”

Alberta Transportation, which has identified 26 anti-nuclear signs in the Peace area it wants to rip down, says it is merely enforcing a longstanding law that prohibits advertising signs erected within 300 metres of a highway right-of-way or within 800 metres from the centre point of an “interesting highway or public roadway.” The law, apparently, is in place to protect motorists from being distracted.

Why then are businesses along Gasoline Alley skirting Hwy 2 south of Red Deer, for example, not in contravention of this law? For that matter, why are service stations and roadside eateries across this province allowed to advertise lower gas prices, or a cheese burger and chips that beat all competitors?

The action is shameful and the excuse is embarrassing.

Bouquet…

To Red Deer’s youthful Snow Angels, who are coming to the mercy of local senior s whose sidewalks have been clogged with snow almost on a daily basis this winter.

Snow Angels is a volunteer program where everyone is encouraged to do the neighbourly thing when it comes to shovelling the white stuff.

Earlier this month, the City of Red Deer joined forces with Youth Voice and the Golden Circle to help seniors — and Snow Angels took flight.

Youth Voice, a panel of about a dozen youth that advises the city on bullying, curfew and other youth issues, jumped on the opportunity to pick up a shovel on behalf of our seniors.

One such eager student is Kellie Gustafson. The 17-year-old was itching to arm herself with a snow shovel once classes were done at Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School.

“It’s so nice to see when seniors come out and they are so grateful,” said Gustafson. “You feel like you accomplished something, even something really small.”

But what these youths accomplish is anything but small. An act of kindness, no matter how seemingly minor, speaks volumes to the hearts of seniors, assuring them that our youth are there for them.

It is a rewarding experience for young and old.

Bailie Davidson, 16, a Grade 11 student from Hunting Hills High School is thrilled to be a Snow Angel. “It’s good to know you are doing something good for (the seniors) because they can get ticketed” if their walks are not clean.

There is much good to be said about many of our youth today in Central Alberta. They are tuned into their social surroundings and are quick to react with compassion. Age is no barrier when it comes to helping those in need.

Gustafson summed it up best in an Advocate interview: “Youth do want to be involved in the community.”

Rick Zemanek is an Advocate editor.

Just Posted

RDC cancels championship-winning golf program due to tight finances

Short season, small number of student golfers were also considerations

Fire investigators comb through industrial fire wreckage looking for answers

Industrial building in north Red Deer was completely gutted in Wednesday morning fire

Time for a central Albertan in cabinet, says chamber of commerce

Central Alberta had no cabinet ministers in last government

Trump Russia probe finally delivers some answers

WASHINGTON — After nearly two years of waiting, America is getting some… Continue reading

WATCH video of Innisfail resident creating the world’s biggest caricature

Watch as Innisfail resident Dean Foster creates the world’s biggest caricature of… Continue reading

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

PARIS — A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire… Continue reading

Former journalist pleads guilty to robbing two banks in Medicine Hat

MEDICINE HAT, Alta. — A former journalist arrested almost two years ago… Continue reading

Austria fears for three top climbers missing in Banff National Park

BERLIN — Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said Friday his thoughts are with… Continue reading

As Vancouver fights over 4-20, Seattle’s Hempfest enjoys tolerance, some support

VANCOUVER — They both came from humble beginnings: small protests against marijuana… Continue reading

All eyes on the surging Greens as Prince Edward Island goes to the polls

After a brief provincial election campaign devoid of drama, voters on Prince… Continue reading

North Dakota company where 4 were slain seeks normalcy

MANDAN, N.D. — Camaraderie was so important for the “coffee club” at… Continue reading

Trump blasts ex-advisers who say he tried to stop Mueller

WASHINGTON — A day after celebrating the release of the Mueller report… Continue reading

Sanders claims she didn’t lie, despite Mueller finding

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Sanders pushed back Friday against… Continue reading

Most Read