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4 Tuesday July 28 2015 The Northern Journal is an independent newspaper covering news and events in the western Arctic and northern Alberta. 2013 CCNA BLUE RIBBON CANADIAN COMMUNITY NEWSPAPER AWARD 2013 C M C A AUDITED The Northern Journal is published weekly by Cascade Publishing Ltd. Printed at Star Press Inc. Wainwright AB. Publisher................................................................................. Don Jaque 867-872-3000 ext.21 Editor.........................................................................Meagan Wohlberg 867-872-3000 ext.24 Reporter....................................................................... Dali Carmichael 867-872-3000 ext.25 Comptroller ..................................................... Dixie Penner 867-872-3000 ext.23 Advertising.............................. Heather Foubert Hay River 867-874-4106 Administration............................................Jeremy Turcotte 867-872-3000 ext.26 Production Manager ......................................Sandra Jaque 867-872-3000 ext.22 Graphics........................................................Paul Bannister 867-872-3000 ext.27 Letters to the Editor Policy The Northern Journal welcomes letters to the editor. Letters must be signed and include a phone number so the author can be veried. Names will be withheld on request in special circumstances where the reasons are determined to be valid. The Journal reserves the right to edit letters for length libel clarity and taste. Opinions expressed in letters and columns are not necessarily those of the publisher or editor. Advertising Deadlines Display ad deadline is Thursday at 400 p.m. Classied ad deadline is Thursday at 500 p.m. Email Subscription Rates Prices include GST. 47.25 in Fort Smith 52.50 elsewhere in Canada 105 in the USA overseas 164.30. EDITORIAL LETTER TO THE EDITOR In the caption for the front page photo of the Journals July 21 issue Angela Hovak Johnstons name was incorrectly spelled as Horak. We apologize for this error. CORRECTION Editor I had the pleasure of attending the Fort Smith Aboriginal Day celebrations when I recently visited there in June. The various talents displayed by the participants such as singing jigging storytelling traditional dress and games of skill were all such a Re Aboriginal Days delight to watch and everyone appeared to be a good sport. Of course its hard to beat the taste of Maggie Sikyeas bannock cooked on a stick. Well done to all the organizers and participants in keeping your traditions alive and healthy Rosemary Moskal Notley and the nasty Nexen pipeline spill Alberta NDP Premier Rachel Notley has her work cut out for her dealing with her provinces open-licence approach to how oil companies have operated historically. The recent Nexen bitumen pipeline spill is currently shining the spotlight on the prov- inces problematic status quo environmen- tal impacts generally bitumen from oilsands and the damaged caused the future of the fossil fuel economy and climate change the integrity and reliability of pipelines and rail road tankers in their place and the constitiu- tional rights of Albertas FirstNation citizens all in one untidy bundle. As much at issue is how Notley will handle all this. She has a tightrope to walk in Alberta we all get that. Petroleum export is critical to the provincial economy and although she may plan to change that Albertans want continued prosperity and they want it now. What the Notley NDP will do about the recent Nexen spill is one of their rst big tests. They have already served notice they will examine the role and effectiveness of the energy regulator AER while at the same time indicating tacit support for pipelines and the oilsands industry but what is be- hind that thinking They are not leftist radicals - that is obvi- ous - but do they have a new better way of managing all those matters - pipelines oil- sands bitumen the fossil fuel economy First Nations rights and environmental impact All of Canada is waiting to nd out hoping somehow they will come up with inspired solutions. Until now the approach to development in Alberta has been an environmental war zone. A spill here a cutline there it all adds up when done thousands of times because there are no regulations and no accountabil- ity. The word cumulative is barely a whis- per in the review process. Northern Journal staff researching wild- res in the Zama and Rainbow Lakes area of northeasternAlbertalastyeararegionknown for its rich oil reserves observed on Google Earth that the forest had been shredded by cutlines for hundreds of kilometres in every direction. It is unbelievable the amount of damage that was allowed there in the search for more oil. Will that kind of wanton abuse change now under the new Notley regime Two Alberta cabinet ministers toured the Nexen pipeline spill site late last week along with a local First Nation representative. The press release that followed praised the First Nations and those working to contain the spill but beyond platitudes there was little of substance. That just wont cut it. Chief Allan Adam of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation pointed out that the muskeg where the Nexen spill took place is permanently damaged. It cannot be reme- diated or repaired by any means. Not ever. It is also an integral link in the ecosystem chain the water in it now contaminated is a source for recharging groundwater in the aquifer. As western North America suffers from severe drought the value of that pure underground water is only just being real- ized. A contaminated wetland peat bog or muskeg may be able to heal itself over hun- dreds of years but the idea that an environ- ment that has been damaged can somehow be returned to its natural state through the efforts of industry is ridiculous. The fact the damage took place on the pipe- line right-of-way seems to somehow make the spill acceptable to some. The thinking behind the development of the oilsands is similar on a much grander scale. The end justies the means when it comes to development espe- cially when there is corporate power behind it. The end is to generate wealth for share- holders at any cost. The hinterland in the northern part of the province has been viewed by Alberta govern- ment ofces in Edmonton and the auspicious ofce towers in Calgary as scrub bush its only inhabitants a few tiny widely-dispersed Aboriginal communities of little value and expendable. It is not the vibrant and valued boreal forest traditional land of First Nations and the lungs of the planet seen by those who admire and respect it. Which side does the Notley government land on They have an opportunity to instill respect for the land as an integral part of any devel- opment. That is what most Canadians want. It is interesting that the prospect of a federal governmentledbyTomMulcairasPrimeMin- ister may well rest with the approach taken by the Alberta NDP in such matters as the Nexen spill - the solutions they nd for making the most of Albertas petroleum industry at the same time demonstrating they can manage it intelligently - will reect strongly on the choice voters make next October. The idea that a natural en- vironment that has been damaged can somehow be returned to its natural state through the efforts of industry is ridiculous. By PUBLIC HEALTH PROMOTION Alberta Health Services ManyAlbertansliketotakeadvantageofthe longsummereveningsandwarmerweatherto get outdoors go traveling or visit with family and friends. Long weekends and celebrations can be fun for Albertans of all ages. Ifyouyourfriendsorfamilyareplanningon usingalcoholaspartofyourcelebratorygather- ingsyoushouldbefamiliarwiththeCanadian Low-RiskDrinkingGuidelinestohelpkeepyou and those around you safe. Drinking alcohol is not risk-free. Canadian healthexpertshavesetlow-riskdrinkingguide- lines to help limit the risks of alcohol. Choos- ing to not drink is okay but if you do decide to drink here are a few tips to help reduce health and safety risks. Men should avoid drinking more than three drinks in a day and 15 in a week while women shouldlimitconsumptiontotwodrinksinaday and10inaweek.Besuretohavenon-drinking daysaspartofyourweeklyroutineandonspe- cial occasions try to avoid drinking more than three women or four men drinks in a night. Therearemanysituationswhenalcoholshould be avoided entirely like if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Dont drink if youre planning on driving or using heavy machinery if youre working or expected to make important deci- sions or if youre responsible for others safety. Those living with physical or mental health problemsshouldalsoavoidalcoholorifyoure taking certain medications. Safe Summer Weekends Low-Risk Alcohol Drinking Guidelines Its important to teach young people about the risks associated with alcohol as well. If you are the parent of a youth be sure to have a conversation with your teen about drinking and its effects. There are a variety of ways to help reduce youralcoholconsumptionthissummerorany season.Setlimitsforyourselfbeforeyoudecide todrinktakingyouragegenderbodysizeand healthintoconsiderationwhendecidingonyour limits.Eatingbeforeandwhileyouredrinking and alternating between alcoholic and non-al- coholic beverages is also a good idea. Also remember to support others in their decisions to reduce alcohol intake. Offer al- ternative beverages for family or friends who dont drink alcohol or are trying to cut back on their use. If youre concerned you can talk to a health care professional about strategies to reduce your use. FormoreinformationontheCanadianLow- RiskDrinkingGuidelinesvisittheCanadianCen- treonSubstanceAbusewww.ccsa.cawebsite. Ifyouhavequestionsorconcernsaboutyour alcohol consumption or that of someone else visityourlocalhealthcareprofessionalorcom- munity health services. Nella Stewart has fun on Water Day in Fort Smith on Friday July 24. The celebration of swimming splashing slipping and sliding was put on by the Town of Fort Smith and the Healthy Family Program. PhotoDaliCarmichael