The Page – December 20, 2023

Many years ago, there was a Christmas tradition gone noticed by many in the High Prairie area.
High Prairie has had its share of homeless people. Each year in early to mid-December, these homeless people would show up in High Prairie provincial court charged with public toxication.
The late Roger P. Smith was the local judge at the time. He would inevitably send them to jail, instead of the usual “time to pay” and/or fine option program.
Why? So they could enjoy a good Christmas dinner instead of roaming the streets.
Can’t blame a guy for having a bit of compassion at Christmas!
May Judge Smith rest in peace!


The Page moved to High Prairie in 1988 and has a fond memory of Christmas. Not fond enough to remember whether it was 1988 or 1989, however!
A fellow lived on the west end of town in a shack. He lived quite poor but seemed happy scratching out a living doing odd jobs. He could often be seen pushing is wheelbarrow down the highway. We all called him Frenchy. He was quite the character. A local legend. The Page decided to interview him and went to his place. Frenchy knew who The Page was.
“Come,” he said, beckoning me to follow. He was headed toward the shack. Once inside, he reached for a box of maraschino chocolate cherries. He offered me two.
“Everyone who comes to visit me at Christmas gets a treat!” he said.
Warms the heart, doesn’t it! Christmas is, indeed, a time of sharing and giving!


Still no snow at the time of this writing (Dec. 17) with the forecast looking very bleak if you want to enjoy a white Christmas. The Page is confident the sled dealers are hoping for snow!
The Page has no idea the last time the Peace region enjoyed a brown Christmas. Perhaps a reader can drop us a line and let us know.
The “Men of Knowledge” (coffee shop gang) at High Prairie A&W are saying it was in the 1990s. We all know there is no way they could be wrong!
To make it snow, perhaps we should sacrifice a few old Ski-Doos, Arctic Cats or Polaris machines to appease the Snow Gods!


The Page is worried!
Spies at the North Pole tell him that his Christmas list was just used to start another fire in Santa’s fireplace!
So much for the rumour The Page was so good this year Santa has to make two trips to his house to deliver all his presents!


An announcement from the Alberta government Dec. 16 about the Royal Helium Ltd. Plant opening its Steveville Helium Purification Facility northeast of Brooks.
In case you did not know it, Canada is the fifth largest helium producer in the world.
For those of you more educated than The Page, you already know helium is needed for medical imaging equipment, nuclear magnetic resonance, aerospace, defence and energy programs. Better not tell Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. He will want to shut that down, too! No worries, however, Trudeau doesn’t bother reading educational material like The Page provides.
Helium is also used in the manufacture of fibre optic cables and semiconductors.
And – apparently – it is in very high demand.
And The Page thought it was just good for balloons! Anway, nice to see Alberta diversifying its economy.


Closer to home, congratulations to Sucker Creek First Nation just east of High Prairie. They were one of five Indigenous Nations in northwestern Alberta to receive $20.5 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation is providing the money. The five Nations (united as Niyanin Nations LP) are partnering as investors in a 15-Megawatt cogener- ation unit at the Wembley gas plant in the County of Grande Prairie, with NuVista Enegry Ltd. Niyanim assumes a majority interest in the project.
In short, the plant will offset over 9,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year. Good news for the environment!
Partners include Horse Lake First Nation, Duncan’s First Nation, Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, and Aseniwuche Winewak Nation of Canada.


What dop you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?
Frostbite!


How does Santa keep his bathroom so clean?
He uses Comet!


Did you hear about the brown-nosed reindeer?
He can run as fast as Rudolph, but can’t stop!


A word of advice: don’t get too ‘Santa’mental this Christmas!

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