Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Reporter Bobby Roy traded in his camera for a chef hat and apron today after receiving the outfit made by Leduc County's Summer Cooking Camp staff.

The roads in Alberta are paved with slow drivers

With the new distracted driving law coming into effect yesterday, I fear it will only make Alberta drivers that much worse.

Not allowing people to text, talk on their phone and the overall hands-off-the-wheel legislation will mean that some drivers will be coming up with ways to scoot around the law, thus concentrating less on their already slow driving skills.

I admit, I have a moderate case of Quebec road rage, and that does translate to me already being upset with other drivers, but I find Edmonton area drivers to be the most frustrating drivers that I have ever encountered.

Slowing down to below the speed limit in the fast lane, failing to use their flashers and an overall lack of knowledge on how to merge onto a highway never fails to surprise me during my daily commute.

Since moving to this province, I have come to realize that driver stereotypes are true. In my opinion, Ontario drivers are known to be painfully slow, Maritimers are known for their lack of signaling usage and B.C. drivers are known for their slow pace. Yes, Quebecers are known for their lead foot and angry tendencies, but I have come to realize that some Edmonton drivers must be known for their lack of common sense when it comes to simple driving techniques.

I’m not saying every Edmonton area driver is bad and they all lack common sense when it comes to driving, but I do think there are definite discrepancies when it comes to driving schools of thought.

Personally, I was taught by my driving school instructor to always drive in the left lane if I wanted to go faster than the speed limit or if I wanted to pass someone. Apparently, the same can’t be said for all Capital City drivers who believe that the left lane is place to idle along well below the speed limit. My main beef with drivers, whether it is in Alberta or any province, is that most aren’t courteous to other drivers. Most drivers are only thinking about how late they are for work or content with driving at their speed, but that’s not how it should be. It should be about sharing the road and moving over if someone is tailgating you or allowing someone to merge into your lane. There have been countless occasions that I have had to drive in the right lane in order to pass someone, only to be copied by several other drivers. It’s not right. If you are going to travel at turtle-slow speed, then move over for the rest of us who are willing to put the pedal to the metal.

Although it may seem that I am a speed demon, I don’t drive extremely fast and in fact have never got a speeding ticket, I mean c’mon, I drive a four-door Saturn.

I do however, like to have the option of speeding and there is nothing more frustrating than people who don’t obey the general rules of the road.

I do have to give Edmonton area drivers some credit though where deserved. Most drivers in the area are very courteous in letting pedestrians cross the road at non-intersections and rarely use their horn. It’s polite and I do respect the nature of local drivers, which is a refreshing change. As a result of the composed commuters in Edmonton, I realize that I have rarely used my horn since being in this province, which is great. My theory is that the few times I have used it here was probably at another Quebec driver who has since changed his license plate for Alberta’s.

I don’t have a suggestion as to how Edmonton area drivers can improve their skills — because I think good driving techniques are acquired through experience and common sense — but I do think that drivers should be considerate.

So drivers, look in the review mirror every once in a while for speedy driver, and if you do happen to see a blue Saturn tailgating you, I apologize, but please move over.

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Community comes together

After the devastating fire in the Suntree neighbourhood, messages started popping up all over Facebook regarding donation collection and fundraisers.
The Leduc Rep posted a note on their Facebook page, encouraging those fundraising and collecting donations to contact us so we could put the info in the paper.
Here is some of the info we had as of press time Wednesday, Aug. 24 as well as some new ones as well.

NOTE: City of Leduc resident Kelly Willner baked more than 450 cupcakes in hopes of raising money for the Suntree fire victims. The mother of four sold the baked goods out of her home for $20 a dozen on Aug. 24. Just under $1,900 was raised. Way to go!

Fire trust fund account
Donations will be accepted at the ATB Financial in Leduc under the name of Sunrose Lane Fire Trust.
Ask to donate money to the “Sunrose Lane Fire Trust.” Cheques will be accepted. For more information on the trust fund contact Michael White at 780-980-4285.

Fundraiser at Kosmos
There will be a fundraiser at Kosmo’s Restaurant and Lounge on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. Feature acts will include Owls by Nature and Cory Dee.
There will be a silent auction set up in the restaurant and cash donations will also be accepted. The six families who lost their homes due to the fire will also be present at the event. For more information on the fundraising event visit and for updates visit the Leduc Rep’s Facebook and Twitter page.
Contact Rosemary Kuntz to donate items for the silent auction or for more information on the upcoming event at 780-938-9495.

Donation drop offs
Donations can be dropped off at Rosemary Kuntz’s home at 97 Sunrose Lane. Contact Rosemary Kuntz at 780-938-9495 if you would like to help those affected by the fire. You can also email her at
Donations can be dropped off at Paws in Paradise (located beside Herber’s Auto Body). If there are questions about things to drop off call 780-739-3647. Hours are Monday- Friday 6 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Minuteman Press Leduc will be accepting donations. Minuteman is located at 4922 51 Ave. The phone number is 780-986-8873.

Get active to raise funds
Yolo Bootcamp is offering two weeks of bootcamp in Leduc for donations starting at $25 per person. Help out the victims of the Suntree fire and come get a work out in. Go to for details.

There will be a Suntree Fires Benefit Swim at the Kinsmen Alexandra Outdoor Pool on Wednesday, Aug. 31 from 6 - 9 p.m.
All proceeds from admissions will be donated to the families affected by the fires. For questions regarding this event, please phone 780-986-6021, email or visit


There will be a BBQ fundraiser for the victims of the Suntree fire on Sept. 3 and 4 in the Brick parking from 12 – 5 p.m.

Brendan Guy is holding a concert in the park in Suntree on Sept. 10 starting at 7pm with special guest Payton Klassen. There will also be a donation drop off bin for people to drop off items for the Leduc and District Food Bank.More info on the Brendan Guy Facebook page or

Monday, 22 August 2011

That’s a big 10-4 on an interesting ride along experience

Bobby Roy

The Extra Point

For most of us civilians, what we read and see on the news and television on a daily basis regarding what the police do is usually the best source of information.

Most of us don’t know the intricate details of what an RCMP or police officer does during a day or night shift.

On Aug. 20 I got a closer, but short, look at what the job of a Leduc RCMP officer entails during a ride-along.

The purpose of the ride along wasn’t an investigative expose on a certain police case or anything of that nature. I wanted to see and experience the process of the justice system from the grass roots. When we read, see or hear about murders, accidents, incidents or anything the police have to be involved we usually see the end result and only some of the details of what happened.

Anyone can do a ride along and after doing one, anyone interested in what an officer does for a living should definitely go and do one.

I wanted to learn and experience what it was like to initially receive a call, do research on the person or persons involved, respond to the call, see how the officer or officers interact with the people in question, see how the situation evolves and if it is resolved or other steps must be taken.

It’s the little details that make a police officer’s job so interesting, dangerous and important.

I got a little taste of that during my ride along (and if you’re wondering, we did stop at Timmy’s for coffee, but no donuts).

I figured a Friday night would offer up some pretty interesting situations across Leduc and the county. For some, Friday nights usually mean party time and more times than not, there is alcohol involved.

Unfortunately, the influence of alcohol on some people’s systems can result in interesting, but volatile situations.

The night started off pretty bland, but the Leduc RCMP officer said the problems and calls don’t usually start until later in the night.

He was right to some extent on that night.

During the happenings of the night, we ended up investigating a possible drug pick-up, which didn’t come to fruition, dealt with a couple of speeders who smartly took their lumps and responded to a domestic assault.

Throughout the night, talking and listening to stories from the officer, the RCMP are not out to get everybody, hand out as many tickets as possible or try to ruin one’s night.

They want to make sure people in their community are safe and don’t have to worry about driving on our roads, walking down our streets during the night or who they’re going to run into.

That also doesn’t mean if someone gets pulled over or questioned by police they will automatically receive a severe penalty. We all make mistakes and the police recognize it and give people breaks when they deserve.

It’s when people don’t get the message they’re doing something wrong is when the police have every right to make sure that message gets home. Tickets, charges and jail time are an officer’s best friend when it comes to making sure criminals get the message.

So, although the night wasn’t too crazy in terms of the calls we responded to, it was still a very interesting night, I learned a lot and gained even more respect for the boys in blue.

No one likes getting tickets or dealing with the police when it looks like you’re in trouble, but more times than not they’re looking out for your best interests.

Police officers wouldn’t be spending hours upon hours with paperwork, speaking with people, investigating and patrolling if they didn’t care about people’s safety.

They deserve the respect that their uniforms represent and I’m glad I got the opportunity to experience the night with Leduc RCMP Const. Fox and Const. Bannerman. A big thanks to them is needed.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Being vegetarian is as cool as a cucumber

Stephanie Dubois

Having been a vegetarian for almost six years, I’ve definitely got used to getting weird stares, odd comments and been made fun of for skipping out on the chicken pot pie or medium rare steak.

But you know what? I think it is catching on.

Laugh as you will, but I do think that people are starting to become more aware of their veggie counterparts who are usually stuck eating salad because some meat eaters don’t really know what to feed us. (We do enjoy a good salad but we do/can eat other stuff just for future reference)

And sure, I guess I deserve to be made fun of for moving from the poutine capital to a province known as the beef capital of Canada. But what I have noticed is the joke making is just people being generally misinformed about vegetarians. Since I moved here almost two years ago from La Belle Province, I have encountered some people who think that vegetarian is a synonym for vegan, that I still eat beef and that I share the same diet as a rabbit. But I want to clear that up right now, right after I eat this carrot. Being vegan means eating nothing from an animal and that includes no cheese, milk, eggs and sometimes honey for some hardcore vegans. For the record, I personally enjoy cheese and a good milkshake way too much to stray away from that food group so I am not vegan.

And just to give some facts about vegetarians, there are several different types or degrees of vegetarianism. Due to health reasons, I’m the type that still eats fish. Yes, they are alive and I have received flack from fellow vegetarians but hey, it’s doc orders.

I know I said that vegetarianism might be catching on and I still stick to that statement. So Albertans might not be giving up their meat as willingly as others, but I have noticed that more restaurants, hotel menus and hot dogs stands (yes, Fat Frank’s in Edmonton has a veggie dog) are becoming more accommodating towards us veggie lovers. I’m not sure if it’s because restaurant owners want to profit on this untapped market in Alberta or if it’s because we complain and moan too much but either way it is refreshing.

When I became a vegetarian almost six years ago, coworkers, family and friends became frustrated with me when it came to dinner parties or going out for a bite to eat because they thought I was a picky eater. Maybe I am, but I would tell them that almost every restaurant has a vegetarian option and above all else, take me into consideration. That’s all I ask. So when you meet a vegetarian, know this: We’re not that different. We all eat fruits and vegetables, but some of us just choose to not accompany them with a piece of meat.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

One of my childhood regrets

Bobby Roy

Having worked as a full-time journalist for more than a year and a half, I've had the opportunity to take pictures and report on minor football in several communities in Alberta.
At this time of the year as summer begins to wane, I can only think about the NFL season ahead (I'm a CFL fan too, but it's just not the same).
I love following everything a new NFL season offers and on many occasions I've thought to myself how great it would be to be a professional NFL player.
Obviously, that dream is long dead, but for those who love the game as much as I do, how great would it be to suit up in front of thousands of hardcore fans, run out onto the field on opening day and get paid millions to play the game you love?
There's no need to answer since the answer is so obvious, which brings me to one of my childhood regrets.
I never played minor football at any point in my youth and I really regret it.
I've played plenty pick up games with friends over the years, and on a warm, fall afternoon I can't of many better things I'd rather be doing.
Watching, talking with and taking pictures of youth practicing or playing football games brings back that regret every time.
Thinking back, I contemplated trying out for my high school team every year, but I never thought I was big enough or in good enough shape to make the team.
Looking back at it now, even if I didn't make it, at least I wouldn't have anything to regret if I would have tried out.
Football provides kids with so much more than learning the game.
It provides them exercise, confidence that can be used in other aspects of life, a new group of friends, a hard-working attitude (for most) and so many other important life skills.
Obviously most of these kids won't be able to make a career out of football, but until it's time they realize they won't make the big show, the game has so much to offer them.
At 5 foot 9 and not in incredible shape, I doubt I would have even had a chance at any professional career in football even if I did play throughout my childhood, but at least I would have had the opportunity to enjoy everything else the game of minor football offers.
At 24-years-old now, at least I'll be able to live my NFL fantasy through my fantasy football team for many years to come.
If you have any comments please post them or email me!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Weekly roundup for August 12, 2011

• Leadership candidate Gary Mar stopped by the Executive Royal Inn to talk about the issues important to him

• Wildrose Alliance leader Danielle Smith visited Calmar, Devon

• City of Leduc issues blue-green algae advisories for storm ponds

• Leduc getting ready to rock the rails

• Leduc County's new website

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Loving everything the NFL has to offer

Bobby Roy

The Extra Point

On July 25 National Football League (NFL) fans across the world breathed a sigh of relief as the news surfaced the lockout was finally over.

It wasn’t the most surprising news the sports world has ever seen in its history of lockouts in professional sports, but it meant the most successful professional sporting league in North America will return to action for its 92 regular season this September beginning with the New Orleans Saints travelling to the hallowed Lambeau Field to take on the Super Bowl champion, Green Bay Packers on Sept. 8 as the kick off to week one of the new NFL season.

When the lockout first began I was pretty optimistic the players and the league would get a deal done before any real damage would be done to the 2011-2012 season, but the thought of not having any NFL action to watch during the fall and early winter months made me shiver.

As a huge NFL fan (and rabid Tampa Bay Buccaneer fan) I wouldn’t know what to preoccupy myself with on NFL Sundays, the week leading up to the great all day NFL filled action Sundays, who I would start/sit for my fantasy football team and all the analysis, news and reactions that wouldn’t be there if there wasn’t a season.

Now that the lockout is but a piece of forgettable NFL history and preseason action has already started NFL fans are smiling from ear to ear with renewed optimism for each of their teams.

The free agent frenzy was exactly that this year — a frenzy.

Big free agent signing changed several team’s rosters, trades restructured how opponents will view each other and rookies full of potential have fans and teams plenty to look forward to once the regular season kicks off in less than a month.

For anyone who has lived in Alberta, the end of August may not mark the end of summer on the calendar, but it is usually a time that means summer is nearing its regrettable end.

That means darker days, cooler nights and the unmistakable signs that winter is coming.

For me, having everything that an NFL season brings to the table is a reprieve from the sometimes depressing fall and winter seasons.

Once the season begins I usually try and make sure my Sundays are free to get amped up for Buccaneer action and all of the other games that start at 11 in the morning and end at 8 p.m.

Whether if you’re counting on a quarterback, runningback, receiver, defense, special teams, or a surprise pick to win your fantasy matchup each week, an upset pick to win a juicy sports select or you just want to sit down and watch some great football games, each Sunday provides an opportunity that something special can happen.

So for now I’ll enjoy the last weeks of what summer has to offer Alberta, but come September long live NFL Sundays and all the glory they have to offer its many fans.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Here we go!

After being absent for way too many months, the team at the Leduc Rep will be blogging once again!! Look for blog posts from Bobby Roy, Stephanie Dubois, Dave Lazzarino and myself, Michelle Minnoch, er Clarke - I should probably change my last name ........