The Page – January 3, 2024

“Yes, we are planning a holiday down south this winter. And I’m telling you, if that airport security staff tries body-searching me, they’ll get more than they bargained for. At the very least, I’ll let a big cabbagey one right in their faces.” – Grandma Smithers
“You are not kidding when you say you got two left feet. But the dog’s got two left feet and even he can dance way better than you.” – Grandpa Jonesy


Richard Needham once said, “You can buy the average fool for a couple of bucks.”
Truth is, you can buy the average fool with a pat on the back as you pretend to be a friend. A coffee in the morning. Perhaps a drink at the watering hole. A promise you will ‘send some things his (or her) way.’
Needham also said a wise and honest man (or woman) however, will cost you plenty, Perhaps way too much. Being honest, he knows what he is worth. And being wise, he knows how to get much, much more than what he is worth.


Do you pay much attention to those signs that say “Watch For People Walking On Highway”?
How come it has to be you! Watching for people? As in, how come there isn’t a law that says anybody walking on a highway has to wear reflective safety gear? Why do people get away with wearing dark or even black boots, black pants, black hoodies and even black face masks on highways? Fine them!
This is one of those “If it saves one life, I’m all for it” things politicians love to trot out for so many ideas. But this isn’t a bad idea at all.
It took many years for the simple idea of high visibility safety wear be common for firemen, first responders, and police as they were for construction workers on job sites. Now it is very unusual to see anybody who might be in traffic not wearing safety gear, night and day. In fact, even homeless people are wearing the gear. Voluntarily!
But why not one step further and make it a law? Remember, “If it saves one life …”


We were quite interested in reading that Cochrane was going to be selling residential lots in that fair community for $10 per lot. With a few conditions, of course. Like a limit of one per buyer.
The idea was the town wanted to encourage development. So, while some communities think the way to “encourage” development is increase taxes on empty lots, or tax the crap out of empty buildings, Cochrane figures doing the opposite is a better plan. So the $10.
And gosh, in Cochrane, the booming bedroom community just a bit out of Calgary. Population almost 35,000. Rapidly becoming another Airdrie, population 80,000. For comparison, Grande Prairie is almost 68,000.
Alas, it is not to be. Or at least, not in Alberta today. It turns out this particular Cochrane is in Ontario, a province not usually noted for great innovation. But good at slurping up tax money. Population in Cochrane, ON is about 5,500. The city fathers think their growth is kind of stalled out, hence the new plan.


It is still a bit early to ring in 2024 as The Year of the Dragon, but we are welcoming it anyway. The official start matches Feb. 4 on our ‘western’ calendar.
The Chinese Year of the Wood Dragon is forecast to be a year of potential and opportunity. It is to be a year of problem solvers, innovators and visionary leaders.
Businesses expected to thrive include renewable energy, AI, cybersecurity, businesses in what is called fintech, financial technology, and blockhain enterprises.


We are counting down to Jan. 18. This is the new must pay back deadline for businesses which took out $40,000 or $60,000 loans from the federal government during the pandemic.
So far, businesses can pay the loan back in cash, and get up to $20,000 “forgiven”. Or borrow money from a bank or credit union in a new loan, pay the government loan back and get the forgiveness. Or just hide.
At the same time, the Canadian Federation of Independent Business has organized a petition asking the feds for another year of extension. There is another petition organized in the Maritimes doing the same thing. The CFIB petition can be found on their website. The Maritime petition can be found on our own website at smokyriverexpress .com or southpeacenews. com.
There is also a story there with more information.
Deadline for the Maritime petition is Jan. 10. Sign up. But don’t count on it coming to happen.


ShortBits: “Career opportunity for a firefighter position. We offer a smoke-free environment.” – ad from the Calgary Herald newspaper.


“Keeping up the appearance of having all your marbles is hard work, but important. Ask any politician.”


“If only I had just initialed them” – thoughts from then bicycle champion Pedro Delgado. In 1989, he forgot he was on the clock and spent the first three minutes of the Tour de France race signing autographs. He did not win.
Have a great week!

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