When the flooding began in Canmore on the night of June 19th, nobody expected that the next few days would become such a nightmare for Southern Alberta. When the water finally began to recede, people transitioned from survival to recovery. Now, we're all learning to live with it. The financial devastation is going to be incredibly difficult for many to handle. Even for those who have policies with insurance companies who are covering some of their damage, the floods have obliterated any budget planning and savings for a lot of families. We've been told for years that many Canadians are carrying too much debt. Something like this increases the burden of that weight and some may break under it.
The sun came through the clouds in the city of Calgary. Like the citizens of "WHOVILLE" in the movie "The GRINCH," Calgarians dusted themselves off, stood shoulder to shoulder and reclaimed the pride and dignity of their spectacular city. Leading the charge, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi. Rarely have I seen flood reports on the news accompanied by reports that the local Mayor hasn't slept in 43 hours.
Recovering from one of the most damaging natural disasters in Canadian history also means assessing the toll of the flood. There are some good reasons why New Orleans' situation is vastly different from the challenges Calgary confronts. However, Calgary faces some tests that New Orleans didn't.
High River is just over an hour's drive South East of Cochrane and, as I entered the town, I noticed the first signs of damage. The railway tracks had been twisted like pretzels and sleepers stood up like fence posts. In the silt-covered Co-op parking lot, I spotted a gentleman wearing a Rotary cap. It was Bob, from the Rotary Club of High River. He partnered me up with Alan, from the Rotary Club of Stettler, and asked us to go to an address on 3rd Street West and find Harvie.
Ugly and Apache walk the on-ramp up to me with their pit bull Molly the Dog on the end of a rope, Molly by far the cleanest.
It's all about mommy wars this week. That's what caught my attention. 1. The mommy wars show no sign of dissipating despite the progress we have mad...
The Alberta floods have washed away homes, lives, hopes and dreams. They came quickly and did away with places we loved, mementos and our sense of safety. But just as quickly, neighbours came to the rescue and strangers became life savers.
It's obviously troubling that a small number would use the disaster as an excuse to loot; to violently steal another person's possessions, cause damage and inflict even greater misery on an already suffering community. But is price gouging really at all comparable to looting? I'm disappointed not that price gouging is occurring, but that it's only been isolated.
I've heard it said that a person's true personality comes out in a crisis. If that's true, then thousands of people may well have fallen (further) in love with Calgary's own Mayor Nenshi these past few days. When Nenshi ran for mayor three years ago, he wasn't a serious contender according to the pollsters. Still, my husband and I put a sign on our lawn, believing that this Harvard-educated, articulate, and worldly young Calgarian was the future we wanted for our city.
As we observe the historic flood and the damage it has done to this marvellous city and its neighbours, I wanted to list the great many things to celebrate about Calgary and southern Alberta. It's a reminder of why you should visit, once the water has receded and the restoration has begun.
As I lay here in my home in south Calgary I consider myself lucky and grateful. My home is completely dry, just like my home in Winnipeg back in the Flood of the Century of 1997. Although I was left unscathed I can still feel the confusion, frustration, and shock.
We've only lived here for a year and a half but Calgary has been home to me for much longer than that. As a city we are blessed with incredible public services and fantastic first responders. And I'm watching as our flooded city floods them with love.
Early Monday morning I received a phone call from an urban hen owner and contributing member of CLUCK Canada (Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub). She had just been served by Calgary bylaw for possession of livestock, her three hens (no roosters), and was ordered to remove her hens. She was fearful for her pets.
Why would millions of kids walk away from sports which are meant to be fun? Well, the reason is it's not fun, not when Mum and Dad are "Yellers". Children are embarrassed by parents behaving aggressively on the sideline of junior sports event, especially their own. Telling a 16 year-old, "you're not trying hard enough" or, "you'll be cut from the team" is bad enough. But telling a 6 year-old is, surely, unacceptable.
Speak to Mark McEwan about Top Chef Canada and you'll get the sense the show has many seasons ahead of it. McEwan, the head judge for the popular Food Network cooking competition, said he is thoroughly enjoying the production, which wrapped up its third season on Monday night.
In early January of this year, I met Glenda Zamzow at a book signing in Calgary. A week later, after having read my book she contacted me. Glenda told me that she had been inspired by my story, which led her to organize a family meeting with her husband Richard and sons 11 year old Derek and 14 year old Marcus. As Glenda told me "I really felt we should do something - we've been given such great opportunities. You always hear people say 'Just pull yourself up by the bootstraps.' But disadvantaged kids, they don't have boot straps. If it were me, I'd want someone to advocate for me".