Editorial – Waiting for the ‘Right time’

Jeff Burgar

Big deals come. Big deals go. So, is this a deal that “came and went?” Perhaps not. We thought so at first. Maybe we are wrong.

This is not the first time this newspaper was mistaken. There are indeed a few instances we completely got caught holding a bag full of lies and fake news due to our utter misunderstanding of the situation. It is our ever-lasting shame.

Maybe we were wrong a few weeks ago. We expressed our extreme disappointment the integrated high schools – Northern Lakes College concept in High Prairie was a dead duck. Maybe it’s not dead. The idea is alive, kicking, paddling and quacking.

Suddenly, the sky is sunny. Black rain clouds have scudded away to far horizons. The storms left nothing behind but rainbows arcing across the sky, the ends of which hold proverbial pots of gold in High Prairie. The breeze blows warm and lightly. Angels sing softly in the background. Bears, wolves and wildlife frolic together in the grasses. Sweet perfume from millions of flowers fill the air. We hear music. Oh, such fabulous joy!

And, you may well ask, why is this?

To answer, High Prairie Mayor Brian Panasiuk gave the opinion at the last High Prairie council meeting “now is not the right time” to talk about the location of the new Northern Lakes College. This stunning pronouncement indicates, of course, the “right time” is coming. Perhaps just around the next turn of the calendar.

Panasiuk has his finger on the pulse of government. He knows key players. He has inside information to which none of us out here in boonie land have access. Thank you, sir, for sharing this news!

Naturally, we all have confidence you will pull the trigger when “the right time” happens.

Of course, when that “right time” comes, it might help to have at least a modicum of a game plan. By this, we mean having an idea what type of project will satisfy all parties involved.

And by “parties,” we mean everybody who might be called a stakeholder. This means each and every one of our local governments that has students that might benefit from an integrated high school – college. Does East Prairie Metis Settlement have an interest? If they have a student, or will have a student, yes they do. Does Big Lakes County have an interest? If a student in Joussard or Grouard will attend, yes they do.

It’s the same with each local government.

Some might say construction is already underway on the present NLC site. So, someone else might say, let’s not bother with having more meetings or more talk. They might say everything that needed to be said is said, over and done with. Mayor Panasiuk’s comments say otherwise. His optimism must be admired.

Building centralized facilities for multi-users, as the integrated college – schools would do, makes good sense. Having room to grow existing facilities makes good sense.

So, now High Prairie and region waits, breathlessly, for “the right time” for leaders to follow through with ideas that make sense.


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One thought on “Editorial – Waiting for the ‘Right time’

  1. Mayor Panasiuk, as an employee of NLC, has a clear conflict of interest in this matter and should recuse himself from any comment or vote on this issue. The Alberta Municipal Act is very clear on this and I am surprised the Mayor hasn’t realized this.


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