Editorial – Whatever it takes!

Chris Clegg

To the best knowledge of this newspaper, we do not know of one local politician who attended the Community Leaders Camp 2022 at Jasper Park Lodge April 25-28.
Good! If the tax paying public has any right to be alarmed over where they send its politicians, and what they do on said trips, this is a perfect example.
The Community Leaders Camp was held by former MLA Doug Griffiths. He is also the author of the book 13 Ways to Kill Your Community. There were probably many sessions worth attending during the four-day conference although it was actually three days, beginning at 4 p.m. April 25 and ending at noon April 28.
However, several items on the conference agenda are worth noting.

  1. Welcome cocktails from 5-6 p.m. April 25.
  2. Wine Tasting from 3-4:30 p.m. April 26 for only $25 extra. Spa express treatment at the same time for only $125 extra.
  3. Consumer Power Cocktail Hour from 3:30-4:15 p.m. April 27.
  4. High School Mixer from 7:45-11 p.m. later the same day, April 27. As if three events involving alcohol were not enough, the fourth event gives attendees over three hours to soak up more alcohol.
    The final day ends before noon but Griffiths sends you away with a boxed lunch. Hope there is some hangover medicine included in those lunch boxes because some people are going to need it!
    And the cost to attend? Only $3,450 per person!
    Northern Sunrise County flatly declined the invitation at its meeting calling it “overpriced” but it should not have been the only reason. Big Lakes County also declined to send anyone.
    Should it not concern the taxpayers and elected officials there were four activities scheduled which involved and encouraged the consumption of alcohol? With so many opportunities afforded, one may be inclined to call it a three-day drunk. Of course, at the expense of the taxpayer! Yikes!
    When we send local politicians to any event, should they not be learning? Not sipping from a wine bottle or martini glass!
    Make no mistake about this. These activities would not be scheduled if people did not attend them at previous functions. The reality is politicians are flocking to these events involving booze likes flies to manure. Should they not be learning?
    We are not suggesting politicians attending such events are peeing their pants, falling down in a drunken stupor, and ending up in the local Queen’s Hotel drunk tank for the night.
    But we will suggest having four such events on a single conference agenda in three days is a bit much. It seems alcohol was the central theme to the conference. Calling this conference a Community Leaders Camp and offering so many opportunities to soak up booze should not be an example set by leaders, it should be shunned.
    Nonetheless, Griffiths scheduled these events and we know the reason why. People are attending them when held. It is appalling, disgusting and immoral.
    And for only $3,450 all paid by the local taxpayer!

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3 thoughts on “Editorial – Whatever it takes!

  1. Politicians have attended similar conferences for years and events under the guise of socializing and networking. The point of the article is four such opportunities in three days is too much, especially at the expense of the taxpayer. And at $3,450! I do not know if this is “Doug” as in Griffiths who is responding. Would be nice to know. Even better to know which local politicians did in fact attend so they can be accountable to their public. I guess this is why people don’t trust retired politicians. FYI, your comments will be published in our print edition May 18. – Chris Clegg

  2. Chris, I am sorry you have such an issue with our camp. We had people attend from across Canada and the US because of the sessions we run. Of course there are times for socializing, because one the best values out of this type of camp is the chance for community leaders to meet each other and share their stories, their issues, and their ideas. Your criticism of the titles of those sessions is unwarranted and uninformed. If you had called me to find out the camp you would have learned this is the first time this camp has ever run. Instead, you ranted about how these session keep being offered because people keep attending. How can that be the case when this was the first ever one of these we ran? The fact is, we offered many non-alcohol options and most people didn’t drink at all, or simply had one. Professional journalists usually call to fact check and get information before they express an opinion. But you certainly didn’t let truth or information get in the way of you running down and criticizing someone else. This type of editorial comment is why people quit reading local news. It takes work to write real stories. It takes one idiot with an opinion to run down others. If journalism is your profession, trying being more professional.

    1. Read your comment as well as the article and I have to agree with Chris,your seminar isn’t the only one being referred to but the the whole business of these so called seminars and they are a taxpayer rip off,if people want to attend do so on your own dime and not the taxpayer at large we have to many people at the trough.


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