Roland’s Jewelry about to closeNEWS/Entries/2020/2/13_Rolands_Jewelry_about_to_close.html
Layoffs start at Families FirstNEWS/Entries/2020/2/13_Layoffs_start_at_Families_First.html
Lt. Governor praises Fort libraryNEWS/Entries/2020/2/13_Lt._Governor_praises_Fort_library.html
Hit and run by tanker truckNEWS/Entries/2020/2/13_High_and_run_by_tanker_truck.html

Volume 25, Number 6, Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Murder Saturday south of Fort

This is now the third recession of my career, and every one has been different.

The 1980s saw many families lose their homes, due mostly to high mortgage interest rates, as well as layoffs.

Fortunes were lost in the 2008 recession, when stocks tumbled and housing and oil prices crashed.

Both previous recessions also saw major projects cancelled. In 2008 and 2009 we lost at least six promised oilsands upgraders.

Some of these conditions are with us today. Oil prices are low, and housing sales are down. But we have several major petrochemical projects underway in the region and more confirmed for the coming year. New houses and new businesses are being built, and Fort Saskatchewan's population continues to grow.

Some might even argue we are not in a recession. But not many families would agree with this.

First there are Alberta's undeniably bad employment statistics, with 19,000 jobs lost in January alone, and the unemployment rate now at 7.3 per cent, which is 0.5 per cent higher than in January, 2019.

Fort Saskatchewan fared well in the 1980s and in 2008, thanks to our healthy industrial job base. But I think this recession is actually hitting us harder, because even those with jobs are being hurt. New Alberta government actions have increased school fees, especially school bus fees, costing local families hundreds of dollars more a month. Lifting the cap on auto insurance rate increases is also hitting everyone.

Worst, we all know more fees, more service cuts, more government layoffs and more pay cuts are coming. Families are worried, which means they are not spending.

This trickles down pretty quickly to local restaurants, shops and home improvement businesses like plumbers, electricians, carpenters and flooring shops.

It's time we all stood up and told our new government to reverse these policies of cutting taxes for wealthy corporations while squeezing families. This is a recipe for disaster. If we don't turn this ship around soon, we're all going to be sunk.

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Mayor says Fort weathering stormNEWS/Entries/2020/2/13_Mayor_says_Fort_weathering_storm.html

Alberta headed for disaster

A man was murdered south of Fort Saskatchewan Saturday.

RCMP were called about a seriously injured man in Strathcona County Saturday evening, Feb. 8. They located the man near Township Road 534 and Range Road 225.

The man was rushed to hospital, but pronounced dead a short time later.

Police closed the intersection just south of Bremner House that evening and through most of Sunday while the matter was investigated. On Monday, Feb. 10, they declared it to be a homicide.

RCMP have identified the victim as Blair Joshua Cross, age 35, of Edmonton. He is described as a five-foot, seven-inch tall indigenous man, with black hair and brown eyes and weighing about 140 pounds.

Police would like to speak with anyone who may have been in contact with Blair or saw him in the Edmonton area in the days leading up to his death.

Contact Strathcona County RCMP at 780-467-7741 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, or online at

Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020