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OPINION5TuesdayApril92013FortSmithHayRiverWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdayForecastForecastNorms2Cand-10CNorms4Cand-8C-10Low-11Low2High0High-10Low8High0Low-12Low-7Low5High3High-9Low4High-2Low-5High3HighYellowknifeInuvikWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdayNorms-9Cand-20CNorms-1Cand-13C-20Low-17Low-20Low-16Low-12Low-9Low3High1High-12Low8High-2Low-4High-10High-12High-9High-9HighRememberingRalphKleinByDONJAQUERalphKleinsaffablenatureandsaltywaysresonatedwithmanyAlbertansalthoughhispopularitytookahitwhenhehadtomakedeepbudgetcuts.Hewasbasichewascountryandhewastheper-fecttforaprovinceemerg-ingfromfrontierwaystryingtoestablishthemselveswithambitionsofaculturedandafuentfutureyetstillseek-ingthecondenceandmeanstoachievethat.WhenIstartedoffasanewspaperreporterinFortSmithinthelate1970sIwasprettygreenandhadalotoflearningtodo.RalphwasintheAlbertacabinetastheEnvironmentMinisteratthetime.ItwasacontroversialtimefornorthernAlbertawithoppositionmountingoverthedumpingoftoxicefuentintotheriverbythe14pulpmillsandplywoodplantsonthePeaceRiversystem.TheoilsandsindustryontheAtha-bascaRiverwasstillintheadolescentstagewithGreatCanadianOilsandsGCOSlatertobecomeSuncorthebigplayerandSyncrudeget-tingrolling.Thecreationofthosemassivetoxictailingspondswasjustunderway.Therewasalreadyconcernaboutthechemicalsoupbeinginjectedintotheriv-ersbythecombinationofindustries.Thisfastpacedindustrialgrowthwasover-seenbyRalph.InmyyearsattheUniver-sityofAlbertastudyingpo-liticalscienceintheprevi-ousdecadeIhadworkedatInlandCementthemassiveindustrialplantinnortheastEdmontonforthreesummersearningenoughmoneytofundmywintersoncampus.Thetwogiantkilnsthatbakedtheslurrytocreateclinkerhadtallsmokestacksconstantlyspewingacloudofyellowdustessentiallycementthatsettledeverywhere.Ittooktheshineoffeverycarina10-kmradius.InspectorsfromAlbertaEnvironmentwouldcometochecktheemissions.Theywouldcallseveraldaysinad-vanceandletmanagementknowtheywerecoming.Withthatwarningoneofthekilnswouldalwaysbeshutdownformaintenance.Ofcoursethatwouldcuttheemissionsinhalfmakingthemaccept-able.Everyworkeratthatlargeindustrialfacilityknewthatwasgoingonandjokedaboutit.AfterseeingthatroutinelyoverthreeyearsmyopinionofAlbertaEnvironmentwasalittlejaded.BythetimeRalphKleinwaselectedpremierintheearly90stheproblemswiththepulpmillpollutionwerere-solved.ThehueandcryfromaveryconcerneddownstreampublicfromFortChipewyanallthewaytoTuktoyaktukhadforcedchange.Theindus-trysuddenlyswitchedfromusingbleachtowhitenthepulptohydrogenperoxide.Over95percentofthepol-lutionwaseliminated.Hugeprotswerestillbeingmadeandtheproblemoftoxicwastewassolved.NoneofthatwasthankstotheAlbertagov-ernment.Thepeopleactingtogetherloudlydemandingchangewerethecatalyst.AfterhewasnearlyayearinasthenewpremierIcalledRalphforaninterview.Iwaspleasantlysurprisedthathisofceconrmedrightawaythathewouldbeavailablethenextday.Maybeitwasbe-causeIwasfromtheNWTandnotathreatthatheagreedsoquicklyIwondered.ButIwastolearnthatwasnotRalphsway.Aformertele-visionreporterhewasnotinanywayintimidatedbythemediaandwasalwayswill-ingtoengageinaninterview.Sureenoughthenextmorn-ingthecallcameandhewashappytotalktome.Ichal-lengedhimwithquestionsandhemetthemheadon.Itwasanexcellentinterview.ThenextyearIdidthesameagain.Andtheyearafterthat.Somanypoliti-ciansforonereasonoran-otherareafraidtohavewhattheythinkandfeelputontherecordfranklyandopenly.Othersdonotknowhowtohandlereportersorareevenafraidofthem.Inmyexpe-rienceatleastsuchthingswereneveranissuewithRalph.Hewasstraightuptoldyouwhathethoughttakeitorleaveit.Youhavetorespectthat.KeepyourpethealthywithoutbreakingthebankFormanyofusourpetismorethanjustadogorcatheorsheisamuch-lovedmem-berofourfamily.Whenourpetsgetsickweworryandwanttohelpthesamewayaswedoforpeople.Whileveterinarymedicinehasmadehugeadvancesinre-centyearsthecostsoftreatingtheseconditionscanbeover-whelming.Forexampleoneofthemostcommonhealthconditionsthataffectsdogstodayisarthritiswhichcancostmorethan2000peryeartotreat.Veterinarymedicinehasadvancedtothepointthatba-sicallywhateverwecantreatinahumanwecantreatinourpet.Unfortunatelyforpetownersthesetreatmentscanbeextremelyexpensive.Commonchronicconditionsaffectingdogsandcatsareobesityarthritiskidneydis-easehypothyroidismdogshyperthyroidismcatsandheartdisease.Thecostoftreatmentforthesecanbehugesometimedifculttoshoulderonafamilybudget.Itisgoodtobeawareofthiswhenassumingthere-sponsibilityofapet.ForpetownersconcernedabouttheprospectoflargebillsthereareeveninsuranceprogramsNorthernJournal2013JoinusonlineLikeNorthernJournalonFacebookandgettheweeklynewsdeliveredtoyourfeedFACEBOOKFEEDBACKFriedaMartselosischiefofSaltRiverFirstNationoncemore.MartsekisvotedinaschiefofSaltRiverFirstNationnorj.caRayTourangeauCongragulationFriedswishingyouallthebestinthenexttermGOODLUCK.NoraBeaverSadwhenpeopledontfollowSRFNPOLITICSShecouldnttaketheheatbeforeandcostourbandabielectionShewasoverlyvindictiveandcontrollingmywayorthehiwayChiefhastoworkwithCouncilnotgoinswingingAgoodleadershouldbeabeltosetasidethePRINCIPLESOFDIVISIONANDWORKFORALLSRFNMEMBERS.AndyesalotofmoneywasspentonherlasttermasChiefSomePeoplewillsaysheisagoodbusinessPersonwellwhycouldntshedothatfortheSRFNwhileshewasrunningtocoverpethealthcostsyoumaywanttoconsider.Thebestwaytoavoidabigvetbillistofocusonyourpetsdaytodayhealth.Asisneededwithyourownhealthmakepositivechoicesforthem.Thatisintermsofdietexercisedentalhygienevaccinesandregularcheckupstoaveteri-narian.Rememberyourpetcantmakethesechoicesforthemselvessoitsuptoyou.Petownersshouldalsore-searchthebreedofdogorcattheyowntoseewhichhealthconditionsarecommon.Forexamplelabradorretrieversaremorelikelytoexperi-encehipdysplasiathanotherbreeds.Petownersshouldbeawareofgeneticailmentscommonintheirpetbreedsotheycanwatchforearlysymptoms.