NOVEMBER 2015

By Lloydminster Source staff

January 5, 2016 11:26 AM

Remembrance Day at Lloydminster Comprehensive Hifgh School was a well attended event.

The Alberta NDP’s first budget has been given a grade of “D” for debts and deficits.
At least according to Paige MacPherson, Alberta director for the Canadian Tax Federation, who said the amount of borrowing outlined by finance minister Joe Ceci will likely result in major tax hikes down the road. 
“We’re looking at a deficit this year, $8.9 billion. The debt is increasing by $6.1 billion this year, which is going to bring this year’s debt to $18 billion, and then beyond that, we’re looking at effectively doubling our debt in two and a half years,” said MacPherson.
“We’re looking at a very dramatic, quick increase in the debt in the province and absolutely no fiscal responsibility out of this budget that we’re seeing this year.
•••
The Source welcomed new editor Mike D’Amour and said a sad farewell to Colin Budd, who moved to a communications position after serving as editor for the past decade.
•••
This month saw the grand opening of the Gibney House in Lloydminster, a residence for men who have started work but need time to earn money before finding their own lodgings.
“The fact is a lot of people moving to Lloydminster for jobs don’t have that money readily at hand, so this gives them a little breathing space, a leg up so they can earn the money and get out on their own,” said Michael Stonhouse, president of the Lloydminster Social Action Coalition Society..
•••
After a slight delay it’s been announced that the Pioneer Lodge got a funding grant re-approved for the expansion of their facility, which will in turn increase the number of beds and level of care that they can offer residents.
The $4.4 million Affordable Supportive Living Initiative (ASLI) grant was approved last spring under the previous Alberta PC government, but hadn’t been signed off on before the NDP took office in the May election.
•••
They came, they saw, they commented.
A steady stream of residents trickled into the Lloydminster Comprehensive High School auditorium to speak out on range of city plans and policies during “Your Voice” night on Tuesday.
“From my perspective so for this has been a great success,” said lead organizer Kirk Morrison, the city’s deputy chief administrative officer past the mid point of of the public engagement exercise.
•••
Lloydminster charity organizations say plans for a new bowling alley could take them out of the fund-raising gutter and back into the strike zone.
“It just may change our plans of what we’re going to do,” said Brenda Robinson, executive director for Big Brothers, Big Sisters Lloydminster.
The Bowl for Kids spring fundraiser brought in about $30,000 a year — roughly 14 per cent of Big Brothers, Big Sisters Lloydminster’s annual budget —  until the area’s only bowling lanes, Border Bowl, closed its doors in May.
Shelley Vallier, a Lashburn entrepreneur, who was a part-time manager at Border Bowl, is leading the charge to open a new 5-pin facility.
•••
One overdose a week.
That was the situation in Lloydminster during a recent spike in fentanyl overdoses, RCMP said.
Local cops said they consider that volume of calls — four in a single month — an increase.
And though it’s difficult to pinpoint the reason for the uptick in calls, RCMP Const. Grant Kirzinger said one possible cause could be attributed to what is known as “hot spots” in fentanyl pills.
•••
Call it a new school of thought.
Lakeland College has created a School of Energy and Environmental Sciences to reflect how energy and environmental science are becoming more closely linked in industry.
The new school announced Nov. 9 connects heavy oil and power engineering programs at the Lloydminster campus with environmental sciences taught in Vermilion.
•••
Rachel Latimer is fit, toned and ready to switch on her 21-kilowatt smile to win over the judges in a Ms. Bikini competition this Saturday in Las Vegas.
The Lloydminster mother of three boys will show off her fitness and modelling talents during Fitness America weekend Nov. 20-21 at the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino.
“It’s going out there and presenting ourselves and showing how hard we’ve worked for the last six or seven months,” she during her last week of workouts at the Lloydminster Servus Sports Centre.
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The Lloydminster RCMP are seeking public assistance in tracking down suspects in a brutal car jacking that sent one victim to the hospital with non life threatening injuries.
The RCMP responded to a call about a robbery shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday, when two people were assaulted after being yanked from their vehicle in the parking lot of Microtel Inn and Suites.
•••
The Good Samaritans at St. Anthony’s Roman Catholic Church agreed to help a displaced family of four that have been living in Lebanon for the last three years, after escaping bombs and other violence in their home country of Syria. 
The family — Adel Bittar, his wife Rana and their two children, Sama and Naim — might arrive as soon as the year’s end but will definitely have their feet planted on Canadian soil by March 2016.
•••
Rhonda Zuk Headon knows what it feels like to be a mouse caught in a cheese-trap. 
She would love to continue making her special Tuscan-style cheese from sheep’s milk commercially but not at all costs. Her work, family life balance is off kilter so she is closing The Cheesiry after five years to give more time to her four year old twins Soffeah and Kass.
In an e-mail to her customers she wrote:  “The realization of the amount of work milking sheep and making cheese takes, having a young family and the fact this is also a farm with previous enterprises makes balance difficult.”
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With the winter season knocking at our doors a Lloydminster resident took it upon herself to start a campaign that would help protect the city’s more vulnerable citizens from the harsh elements.
Jessica Tupper organized Wrapping up Lloyd, an activity where she invited residents downtown to hang winter clothes like mitts, scarves and toques from downtown trees, after seeing it done in another city on social media.
The clothes can then be taken as needed by homeless around Lloydminster.
•••
The Hon. Rona Ambrose, Leader of the Official Opposition and interim leader of the federal Conservative Party, announced the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet. Shannon Stubbs, Member of Parliament for Lakeland, was named Deputy Critic for Natural Resources.
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Lloydminster residents may face a property tax increase of up to 2.32 per cent if the city’s draft 2016 budget is approved at a special session of Council next Thursday.
The tax hike amounts to about $60 a year for a home assessed at $351,000 in value and will help the city balance the budget with a projected revenue of about $83.2 million.
That’s $11.5 million less total revenue than in 2015 from all sources including property taxes (33 per cent), user fees (46 per cent), government transfers (11 per cent) and licenses and permits (eight per cent).

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