Local student honoured with provincial award

Lucy Beaverbones dancing as a jingle dress dancer.
Christine Hancock Photo (submitted by Blaine Beaverbones)

Masha Scheele

When Lucy Beaverbones’ mom proudly told her she won an award, the Grade 4 student was curious to find out which award she was talking about.

Beaverbones had been nominated early in 2020, and after the long months during the pandemic she and her mom had nearly forgotten about the award until an email popped up in her inbox to congratulate her.

She was one of 12 winners in the province of the 2020 Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Award from the Alberta School Boards’ Association. 

“To me and my family, it’s pretty amazing. Very proud of her. She’s an amazing spitfire girl,” said her mom, Blaine Beaverbones.

The award celebrates First Nations, Metis and Inuit students from across Alberta who model strength and commitment in the pursuit of their personal education path and who embrace their own gifts, strengths, and potential while celebrating the ways of their people.

Lucy’s school teacher, Hywel Phillips, nominated her for the award, and the Friendship Centre also wrote a letter in support of Lucy’s nomination.

Phillips explained that a group of teachers decided that the students leading the indigenous cultural activity within Crescent Valley Elementary School deserved an opportunity to be nominated for this prestigious award.

“We decided that Lucy would be a prime candidate, she was one amongst others that were nominated for the award,” he said.

Phillips got to know Lucy in his Grade Three class last year, where she displayed a passion for her culture. 

“When she was dancing within the school, that’s where I got to see Lucy’s passion, that was dancing for the school kids. You could just see her beam with pride as she was able to share her culture with the other students in the school. She has also been a role model and a leader for our younger indigenous students, taking them under her wing and helping them through the process of dancing and promoting her culture,” Phillips said.

Lucy dances in the pow wow circle as a jingle dress dancer, is part of the youth group at the Hinton Friendship Centre, and tries to be involved with pretty much everything she can be involved with.

Her family is in tune with their culture and it’s important to her to follow in their footsteps. Her mother added that while it’s sometimes hard, she follows their cultural protocols of womanhood.

“There are certain things that young women cannot do in our culture. A prime example is not to bother with boy stuff, it’s really hard on her but she does try,” Blaine said.

The nine-year-old is very close with her grandma, her kookum, who Blaine believes is a knowledge keeper and shares her stories with Lucy. Her kookum is also an elder for the Friendship Centre.

“She’s a pretty resilient little girl. She has a really big personality. She’s very in tune with her culture and she strives to be great in school,” Blaine added.

Last year, Lucy also won the student of the week award, which was a big accomplishment for her. Blaine added that it’s important for her family to keep up the traditions and keep the culture alive throughout the next generation.

While Lucy understands a little bit of her family’s language, she doesn’t understand it all.

“I understand my language, that’s Saulteaux. That’s a really big importance for us, it’s more of an art than anything now. It’s really rare to find Saulteaux-speaking natives within her generation. Language is pretty important for us,” Blaine said.

Blaine’s father is a pipe carrier, and it would be pretty significant for her children to pass that on, as well as the stories and knowledge from her mother.

Blaine believes her daughter won the award due to her dedication to their culture and her involvement in the community.

“I believe she is one of the first ones within our school division to get it. So it’s a pretty important one,” Blaine added.

Blaine was told that no ceremony would take place this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but that her daughter will still receive an award.

Lucy was one of 12 recipients of the award, and 18 students from across the Grande Yellowhead Public School Division (GYPSD) received an Honourable Mention.

The Alberta School Boards’ Association received over 240 submissions from around the province this year.

These awards offer the opportunity to celebrate exceptional students nominated by members of their education communities. 

Students are nominated by other students, teachers, principals, superintendents, education directors, trustees, school staff, Elders, or a member of the education community.

These nominations include detailed examples related to why the student is nominated and how they exemplify certain attitudes and characteristics outlined by the award.

Those characteristics include perseverance, maintaining strength, self-care and a healthy attitude, embracing cultural identity and promoting the strength, beauty and value of culture and community, modelling leadership through a cultural lens, respecting and honouring the autonomy, empowerment, and agency of others to self determine, improvement in work ethic, attitude, attendance and interaction with others, honesty and honour, and kindness towards others.

The nominations also include detailed examples on how the student has demonstrated commitment to their culture and community. 

Some examples are assisting in community functions, celebrations and ceremonies, volunteering in the community or school, chopping and hauling wood, traditional dancing, learning or speaking their traditional language, and teaching others about their culture.

Recipients are then selected by the awards committee, comprised of the ASBA Indigenous Advisory Circle members and one member from each partner organization: the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS); Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA); and, the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA).

This was the third annual Honouring Spirit: Indigenous Student Awards.

Other honourable mentions for the award from Hinton’s nominees included Bryson Strawberry, Chance Thompson, Jacob Thompson, Ehriennlucy Beaverbones, Kendra Beaverbone, Kiya Kelley, Matisiwin Beaverbone, Pyriel Kelley-Beaverbones, Taya Beaverbone, Xander Kelley, and Brea Oshanyk.

Golf course asset acquisition agreement approved

Masha Scheele
Local Journalism Initiative

Council approved the Asset Acquisition Agreement between the Town of Hinton and the Hinton Golf Society and directed Administration to proceed with establishing a one-year Operating Agreement with the Hinton Golf Society.

“This has been in the works for many months. Administration and the Society worked hard to get to this point. I think this year has gone exactly as we hoped, the society is doing better, the golf course is doing better, and we’re in a more certain place as far as the municipality so I’m pleased with where we are currently at,” stated Coun. Dewly Nelson during the regular council meeting on Oct. 6.

The golf course will be exchanging their assets for a waiver of their existing loan in the amount of $1,350,000, which is the outstanding amount owed to the Town as per the June 2017 Loan Agreement of $1,5000,000. 

The Town allocated $250,000 to the Society in 2019 to assist with 2020 operations, and the $235,000 expensed by the Society remains payable under the terms set out in the Asset Acquisition Agreement.

Based on current projections, the Society may be able to repay the additional allocation amount within four to six years.

“Having been on the board as councils’ representative, I’m very happy with some of the strategic planning they have and vision for the next year. I think it’s well thought out, not too much, it’s responsible and reasonable and will help protect the asset moving into the next year,” said Coun. Ryan Maguhn.

Upon the closing date, the Town will be responsible for several unbudgeted expenses until a new operating agreement is complete.

Those include a debenture payment of $15,000 per month, utilities between $1,348 and $2,000 per month, insurance of $22,000 per year, the security system of $40 per month, and asset maintenance between $0 and $15,000 per month.

A portion of these costs can be recuperated by charging them back to the operator in the form of an operating agreement, which will reduce the overall amount that is repaid annually with respect to repayment of the $235,000.

Due to the amount of funds still payable, a one-year Operating Agreement with the Hinton Golf Society effective between Oct. 31 this year and Oct. 31 in 2021 was established to determine if the repayment method is sustainable.

The remaining Society debt that is not associated with the Asset Acquisition is the Golf Cart Lease, approximately $75,000 in 2021 alone, which was included in the Acquisition Agreement as an exempt asset.

Coun. Maguhn asked whether the Town is appropriately positioned to offer the sole source to the Society or if a request for proposal (RFP) should go out.

“At this time, administration feels that sole sourcing is the appropriate course of action due to risk in maintenance to the asset and then the impact to the next golf season,” said CAO Emily Olsen.

Despite a tough summer for many local businesses and organizations, the Hinton Golf Club had a net income of more than $130,700 this year.

Expenses at the course include greens and fairways, administration, pro shop, golf carts, and food and beverage, which added up to $823,106.87 between November 2019 and September 2020. In that same time period, total revenue was $953,830.01.

“In the Last week or so that revenue number is looking more like $975,000. We’re trying to hit that million dollar mark here by the end of October,” said Kyle Crawford, director of the Hinton Golf Club during his presentation to council.

Due to the pandemic and the limitations on gatherings, the course missed out on revenue from building rentals this year, Crawford added.

Other revenue streams included memberships and leagues, green fees, golf carts, pro shop merchandise, driving range, club storage, equipment rentals, and food and liquor.

Profitable months included December, May, July, August, and September.

Memberships sold in December allowed for a net income of around $35,000, followed by several months of negative net incomes. Memberships were again being sold in May, allowing for the first profitable month of 2020.

“We had a net income of $118,000 [in May]. So we were just pretty much mirroring 2019 on the memberships, we sold about 187,000 this year, versus I think 189,000 in 2019,” Crawford said. 

June saw another negative net income due to some expenses that could have been pushed to July or been paid in May.

A substantial amount of work was done on the golf course this year, including bunker updates and the purchase of a new sprayer.

The old sprayer would have cost roughly $12,000 to $15,000 to fix. A new sprayer was quoted at $53K and bought for $46,916.

“Going with RCAP leasing, we saved the golf course about $5,600, just kind of maneuvering the lease and how it worked,” Crawford said.

In 2019, the course saw 12,000 rounds, while this past season had 21,000 rounds of golf, almost doubling the rounds. The majority of rounds, or just over 10,000 rounds were members of the public.

Key additions in 2021 include the addition of an assistant superintendent, Golf Course improvements, updated golf shop renovation, improved drainage, and landscaping of core area.

“Our maintenance staff is very small, especially for a golf course this size. We are going to add an assistant superintendent to work under our head superintendent for 2021, so there is going to be an increase in cost,” Crawford said.

The maintenance budget includes $25,000 in planned funds for course improvements and pro shop renovations, used to update the golf course and to maximize merchandise sales.

Drainage work on hole five started this year and will continue as it has caused a lot of problems in past years, as well as landscaping in around the clubhouse.

The projected budget in 2021 includes $1,198,3310.65 in revenue, leaving $81,695 in profit projected for 2021.

“We are in great financial shape this year to pay the $50,000 loan payment back and then also now moving forward until we pay it back. It’s going to be in the budget,” Crawford added.

He clarified that the big jump in projected 2021 memberships is solely due to talking with past members that were on edge this year but committed to purchasing a membership next year.

Crawford is hoping to create more corporate memberships and has talked to a few local companies in Hinton that were very open to the idea.

He hopes to see an increase in driving range revenue as well with an integrated driving range machine that will eliminate the token system.

The Hinton Golf Club is partnering up with an organization to provide access to a virtual golf machine, which will increase revenue during winter months. 

“Good season this year but we’re hoping for a better one next year,” Crawford concluded.

He responded to several questions from council, including that green fees will increase next year by $2 and memberships will increase by $50. He added that revenues and expenses are tracked daily and changes will be made to mitigate financial risks as they come up.

“It’s remarkable to see the work that’s been done this year in context of COVID and also in the sense that Mr. Crawford showed up remarkably late actually in the planning cycle for the upcoming season. I’m excited to see what him and the board can get done with this upcoming golf season ,” said Coun. Tyler Waugh.

Town Administration was first made aware of the Society’s financial challenges over the course of a two-year period from June of 2017 to June of 2019.

The Town entered into a Loan Agreement with the Society in June of 2017. A condition of this Agreement included the transfer of all Golf Course assets to the Town in the event of default on the loan payments. When the Society defaulted on their payment in 2019, the process of transferring assets to the Town began.

Conditions for the allocation of the $250,000 in late 2019 included the hiring of a Director of Golf to ensure adequate course management, financial oversight from Town Administration related to the use, and repayment of the $250,000.

Administration worked collaboratively with the Director of Golf and the Society to finalize all the components of the Asset Acquisition Agreement. 

Focus on serving up fire safety in the kitchen

Masha Scheele
Local Journalism Initiative

It’s Fire Prevention Week in Canada and this year’s theme for the Hinton Fire Department is “Serve Up Fire Safety in the Kitchen.”
Fire Prevention Week from Oct. 4 to Oct. 10 brings awareness to fire hazards while identifying serious cooking risk in the kitchen.

“A number of fires start as a result of overheated cooking oil in deep fryers or pans heated directly on kitchen stoves,” stated Todd Martens, Hinton’s fire chief and protective services manager.

Cooking fires are the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries, he added, and the Hinton Fire Department is focusing on preventing kitchen fires.

Five quick tips to prevent cooking fires include staying alert and never leaving cooking unattended, checking on food regularly and possibly with a timer, heating cooking oil slowly and keeping the temperature below 200 degrees Celsius, avoiding cooking when sleepy or drowsy from medication, alcohol, or cannabis, and keeping cooking areas clear of children, pets, and materials that can catch on fire, such as potholders, towels, drapes, and food packaging.

Martens stated that in case of a grease fire, don’t use water to put it out and keep the pot on the stove. Slide a fitted lid over it to smother the flames. When safe, turn off the heat and the exhaust fan to stop flames and gases from spreading.

For an oven fire, turn off the heat and keep the door closed to prevent flames from escaping.

For a microwave fire, keep the door closed and unplug the appliance if it is safe to do so.

It’s important to have tested and maintained smoke alarms on every level of the house, including the basement and sleeping areas.

More than one-third of all fire fatalities are associated with having no smoke alarm, Martens added.

“If your smoke alarm sounds and you see or smell smoke or fire, you and your family need to get out of the home as quickly as possible and call 9-1-1,” he said.

Smoke alarms should be tested once a month with the test button and batteries should be replaced once per year at least. A smoke alarm should be replaced every 10 years to make sure it stays in proper working condition, and the expiry date should be checked.

Firesmart work in Hinton is always ongoing if funding is available. 

The Hinton Fire Department did apply for grant money for maintenance on a few of the older areas recently but was denied. 

“We will be looking at having the five year mitigation strategy redone in 2021 hopefully through grant funding which will help us identify high hazard areas in the community on projects moving forward,” said Martens.

Over the last seven years, the department has done about $2.1M in firesmart grant funding work in the community.

The Hinton Fire Department ran recruit drives through 2019 and 2020 and will be starting a new class in early 2021.

“We try to bring on at least one class of eight to ten people a year but with individuals work, family time, and the commitment it takes to get certified or deemed competent requires a lot of hours of training as a volunteer,” Martens said.

Martens added that when he started in the fire service 23 years ago there was a long waiting list to get on the department and only a few courses were mandatory.

With changes to occupational health and safety (OHS) legislation, training requirements, and time commitments, it is getting harder and harder to find people who want to volunteer their time, Martens said.

Once a new recruit starts it takes about a year and half until they complete their 1001 Level 2 firefighter courses, which is recognized across Canada. 

A recruit starts with just the basics over the first three months, in order to get them responding to calls. 

Book work, classroom, and hands on training follows this for the next year and three months. 

“Most departments are all having the same issues with recruitment across Alberta. It is one of the town departments that is almost completely run with volunteers,” Martens said.

Hinton currently has 26 volunteer firefighters and without their dedicated commitment the department could not do what they do, Martens added.

The work experience program (WEP) is still up and running, which adds a big value to the town of Hinton and residents, he said.

Two fully trained firefighters have worked out of the firehall for the past year. They helped with keeping equipment up to date with legislation and in working condition, and with manpower shortages during the day and overall time savings for calls. 

“We currently just had two firefighters from Ontario in the program and we have application open for the next hires,” Martens added.

The Junior Firefighter Program is put on hold in 2020 due to challenges with the pandemic but the department hopes to start it up again in 2021.

Applications are open for volunteers for the upcoming 2021 recruitment class. Go to hinton.ca/129/Fire-Department for more information.

The wildfire danger in the Edson Forest Area, where Hinton is located remains very high and as of Oct. 5, there were two active wildfires in the area.

One of those wildfires is now extinguished and was located 1.5 km northwest of Grande Cache along the Smoky River. It burned 0.01 hectares.

The second fire is now under control and located 22 km northwest of Hinton along a gravel road and is estimated to be 2.89 hectares in size. There is one water truck, five firefighters and one helicopter on site working to extinguish the fire.

Both wildfires are under investigation and were reported by the public using 310-FIRE.

Humans generally account for the cause of 60 per cent of wildfires in Alberta. Due to a lack of rain and above seasonal temperatures, a fire advisory in the area was put in place. Safe campfires are still allowed and existing fire permits remain valid.

Since March 1, 2020, there have been 56 wildfires in the Edson Forest Area burning approximately six hectares. There are currently 17 wildfires provincially in the Forest Protection Area of Alberta, with one of these wildfires out of control. Three are being held, eight are under control and five have been turned over to the responsible parties.

Since March 1 in Alberta’s Forest Protection Area, there have been 675 wildfires burning a total of 1,423.92 hectares. According to Alberta Wildfires, 989 wildfires and 883,411 hectares burned in 2019. In 2018, 1,288 wildfires and 59,809 hectares burned.

A fire restriction, fire ban, and ATV ban early in the season this year shut down any fire activity which is usually the cause of multiple fires.

For more information on the current wildfire situation across the province of Alberta, visit wildfirestatus.alberta.ca

Alberta’s wildfire season begins March 1 until Oct. 31. At this time of year, grass and fine fuels become very dry, stated the Alberta Wildfires fire advisory. The advisory cautions individuals when camping, hunting, or working in the outdoors to ensure they fully extinguish campfires and never leave it unattended.  

Even on top of snow, it is important to fully extinguish a fire as snow can quickly melt by afternoon. The fire can smoulder in the debris below and reemerge as a wildfire.

Check for fire bans at albertafirebans.ca and report a wildfire at 310-FIRE(3473) toll-free from anywhere in Alberta. 

Share Shop overwhelmed with donated items

Masha Scheele Photo
The volunteer group from the Friendship Centre sorted through donated items on Wednesday morning, Oct. 7. Volunteers spend their morning sorting items to put out on the shelves before they open the shop at noon. Any excess items are normally shipped to Edmonton, and any unusable items end up in the landfill.

Masha Scheele

Hinton’s Share Shop is asking the public to be more selective in their donations as they deal with the aftermath of the pandemic and the backlog of items.

The Share Shop opened its doors again in late June after being closed for three months due to the pandemic.

“At the current time we find ourselves in a challenging situation, as our excess donations, which comprise around 35 to 40 per cent of what we receive, cannot be picked up for three to six months. In order to avoid sending too much to the landfill, we need to severely limit the amount of goods that we accept from the community,” said Barb Meredith, chairperson of Hinton’s Share Shop. 

Most people don’t realize that only about 50 per cent of all donations are able to be put out in the store, she added.

Roughly 25 per cent is sold to a non-profit organization in Edmonton, called Inclusion Alberta, who sells it to other organizations like Value Village. The other 25 per cent most likely goes to recycling or the landfill, Meredith said.

Inclusion Alberta helps educate and advocate for people with disabilities with the funds they raise from selling goods to Value Village.

Currently, the organization has to rent trailers to store the excess donations that have come in since shops opened back up in the early summer months, and they have little funds left over to fund their programs.

“They felt they had to completely shut down until the backlog is cleared,” Meredith explained.

Once they gradually clear the backlog, they will start picking up donations again. They estimate this could take three to six months.

Value Village can’t buy everything as fast as it is available because they were also shut down during the early pandemic months.

“Everyone was shut down and then when things opened up again people had been cleaning out their houses for months and they wanted to get rid of all this stuff,” Meredith said.

The Share Shop collects a semi trailer load of excess donations every two to three weeks, Meredith said.

“That’s how much is sent away, we do not have the space in the store to store that,” Meredith said.

Besides slowing down the flow of donations, another option is to find some other outlet for excess donations.

Unfortunately there is a lot going to the landfill, something the Share Shop is trying to avoid.

“That’s one of our mandates as well, recycling and reusing is to avoid sending everything to the landfill,” said Meredith.

The Share Shop appreciates the support and the donations from everyone in Hinton but the challenging time means donations need to be selected more carefully, she added.

The shop can only accommodate a certain percentage of donations and they ask that people only send clean saleable merchandise that is still in good condition. Clothes with holes and stains or with missing zippers will most likely end up in the landfill. Volunteers at the Share Shop go through all donations to sort the good saleable items from the items that can’t be sold, and then they select what they can put out on the shelves and what can go to Edmonton.

“If you give us books, toys, puzzles, games, we ask they be in good condition, not damaged in any way, no missing parts, books not having torn pages, tattered spines, again these things would either have to go to recycling or put in the garbage,” Meredith explained.

Anything that isn’t in good shape can be recycled directly as that is what volunteers at the Share Shop will need to do with items that aren’t saleable.

Additionally, they are asking the public not to send anything that is non-seasonal, like clothing or sporting equipment. This means no shorts or golf clubs and life jackets. Winter clothes and skates are more acceptable during this time.

“If we are being continuously overwhelmed with donations, as much as we appreciate them, we would possibly have to shut down entirely for a period of time. Which we don’t want to do and the community doesn’t want us to do. The community can help us by being selective in what they send,” Meredith said.

The Share Shop doesn’t collect things like car seats, large furniture, large, old, or outdated electronics, VHS tapes, and VCR’s.

Furniture can be brought to Neighbourlink in Hinton, who donate furniture to families in town.

The Share Shop is operated by eight different non-profit groups and churches. At the end of the year, any proceeds are divided amongst the groups who use it for various programs. 

“Most of the money stays right in town,whatever people are spending at the Share Shop is benefitting Hinton as a whole,” said Meredith.

Currently there aren’t as many volunteers due to the pandemic and most of the volunteers are seniors. Meredith added that it is sometimes difficult when people donate large bags and heavy boxes of stuff as the volunteers are mostly elderly.

“Hefting these bags and boxes can be quite challenging. If people could be aware of that and not send things that are quite so heavy or bags that are not quite so full. We do appreciate all the things people are doing and we appreciate the support,’ Meredith said.

Protocols at the Share Shop include mandatory facemasks for anyone who enters the shop, and the use of hand sanitizer as they come in. The number of shoppers at one time inside the shop was limited and they initially said no children under 16 would be allowed.

“I realize this has been hard for some people but I hope the community can understand that it is necessary to protect our volunteers and our customers,” said Meredith.

The majority of volunteers are elderly and that is the most vulnerable population. The eight volunteer groups are currently rotating each day due to the lack of volunteers available.

Meredith added that the shop is a good space for volunteers to socialize, and it’s a great place for those looking to donate and looking to shop.

Precautions urged, but Halloween not cancelled

Masha Scheele
Local Journalism Initiative

Halloween is not cancelled this year, but some simple precautions are recommended by the province to make it as safe as possible.

The province is promoting the celebration of the spookiest time of year without the fear of spreading COVID-19. Dr. Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s chief medical officer, stated that Halloween may actually be safer in many ways to celebrate than any other holiday.

“I have no plans to suggest that Albertans cancel Halloween this year. My own children would never forgive me,” Hinshaw said.

Unlike Thanksgiving, most Halloween activities take place outdoors and largely within one family. The province has created posters that can be printed and put in windows or on doors, to let trick-or-treaters know which houses are handing out candy this year.

Hinshaw asked Albertans to avoid hosting group get-togethers or Halloween parties, and instead trick or treating should be done within a cohort, staying within the community, and avoiding contact with common touch-points like doorbells or hand railings. Bring hand sanitizer and knock on doors instead of using doorbells.

“Dressing up and trick or treating is the best part of Halloween for many children, and this can be done safely by choosing costumes that allow children to wear a non-medical mask,” Hinshaw said.

She urged the public to continue trying to minimize contact with others and maintaining two-metre physical distancing whenever possible. 

Wear a mask when handing out candy, and consider handing out treats outside on the driveway or front lawn.

“Try to get creative and have fun with ways to minimize the risk of exposure that comes when giving out candy, like the candy slide I mentioned earlier this week, and please use prepackaged candy, not homemade treats,” Hinshaw said.

A candy slide could be built along front steps or railings, which would allow treats to be dropped at the top of the slide straight into kids’ bags at the bottom. This allows the public to have some fun with social distancing and, non-touch delivery methods, and other suggestions included a candy catapult.

The province suggested using tongs to hand out pre-packaged candy to avoid handling treats, setting up a table or desk to help enforce distancing, making candy bags and spacing them out on a table or blanket, and don’t leave out self-serve bowls of bulk candy.

When it comes to Halloween parties, the recommendation is to spend time with people within a cohort. Games and activities should avoid shared items and allow people to stay two metres apart. Drinks, food, cigarettes, vapes, or cannabis should not be shared.

If possible, parties should be hosted outdoors.

Most importantly, the province advised those who feel even slightly sick not to go trick-or-treating, not to hand out candy, or attend any Halloween activities.

Hinshaw stated that the best way to ensure a safe Thanksgiving, Halloween, and school year is to limit community transmission.

“Particularly with the rising numbers we have seen over the past few days, I want to reiterate my strong recommendation for safe Thanksgiving events this weekend,” she said on Oct. 5.

She urged the public to keep Thanksgiving gatherings limited only to one household and cohort members, no more. 

Gatherings should be as small as possible, eating outdoors if possible, and not sharing serving utensils or dishes.

“If you are even slightly sick, don’t go to a Thanksgiving event and don’t host one at your home. The greatest tragedy would be to have Thanksgiving dinner turn into an opportunity for COVID to spread to our loved ones, potentially with severe consequences,” she said.

As of Oct. 6, Alberta had 1,900 active cases of COVID-19 with 61 hospitalizations and 13 in the intensive care unit. Alberta has had 281 confirmed deaths from COVID-19, since it arrived in the province.

The Town of Hinton currently has zero cases of COVID-19, while Yellowhead County has one confirmed active case.

For more tips on how to stay safe during Halloween, go to alberta.ca/halloween-during-covid19.aspx