Former Lakeside Leader owner Jerry Wallsten stopped in for a rare visit last week and was wearing something we’d never seen or even heard of. That might not be saying much, given how little we get out shopping, but a battery-powered jacket seems like a pretty cool thing. By pushing a button (it might not be called that), the jacket heats up. Jerry figures it’s got six or seven hours of charge. So if you see him walking around in a light jacket when it’s 20 below, you don’t have to feel sorry for him.

Okay, we know a lot of people aren’t happy with Alberta’s (and the west’s, generally) impotence in confederation. The obvious answer, for those folks, is to support a regional party that at least presents the threat of western separation. As noted in the federal election earlier this fall, that’s exactly what the Maverick Party wants to do. I.e. force the feds to come to terms with what the west wants, by holding the threat of separation over them. That’s more or less what the Bloc Quebecois is all about in Quebec, so why not here?
It’s something to think about. One of the things to think about is what Alberta and the west might lose in the bargain.
However it goes, we’re told we can expect to see Maverick signs showing up on private property around here.

Readers of this page may be getting used to the name Dennis Barton. And here it is again. Recently Dennis stopped by with a 1975 calendar with Inuit art he has been hanging onto since then. It’s in pretty good shape and he says he’s thinking of getting the individual prints framed. In the meantime, here’s a photo we took of one of them. The pictures are ‘reproductions of stonecut prints from the Povungnituk (also known as Puvirnituq) 1972 collection,’ it says in the calendar. Dennis can’t remember where he got it, but it has a price tag from The Bay, for $2.22, down from $5. The picture shown is by Josie Qumaluk.

Povungnituk stonecut, by Josie Qunaluk

The odd tidbit in a municipal council meeting stands out from the rest, usually because it’s something out of the ordinary. An example is from last week’s town council meeting, when the mayor mentioned somebody from a hydrogen production company had made a presentation to a joint meeting of the M.D and town.
What it might amount to is the big fat question. Maybe not much. Sometimes these things are mere fishing expeditions – some corporate reconnaissance man seeing if there are any concessions to be had.
But it should also be noted the province recently announced its ‘hydrogen strategy,’ which almost certainly includes some sort of subsidies. And now somebody is nosing around at the municipal level. No details were offered.

Provincial politics got more interesting recently with Brian Jean winning the UCP nomination in the Fort McMurray Lac La Biche riding for the upcoming byelection. He came out swinging, stating his goal is to replace Jason Kenney as premier. Of course he hasn’t been elected MLA yet, but it seems likely he will. Jean once was an MP for a northeastern Alberta federal riding that included Slave Lake. He resigned from that a few years ago to become the leader of the Wildrose Party, losing out to Kenney for the leadership of the UCP when it was formed out of the Wildrose and the Progressive Conservative Parties.

Last week, The Leader staff noticed that the last line of the Commentary on Page 5 was missing, fixed it, and merrily sent the wrong version to the printer. Here’s what the final sentence should have read. “Christmas can’t be perfect, but don’t let the pandemic rob it of love, joy, hope, and peace.”

It’s that time of year again, when Kinuso and Swan River First Nation residents have their annual ‘Light Up Kinuso’ event.
The 2021 winners are Shawn and Barb Prevost, followed by William Francis (2nd), Heather Boisvert (3rd), Jackson Churchill (4th), and Charmain Sound. There are also four participation winners by random draw.

The Slave Lake Snow and Mud Association has announced it is hosting another day of ‘outlaw’ drag racing for snowmobiles on Lesser Slave Lake. The date is Feb. 19 and the place is Big Fish Bay. For more information, contact JD Dennis at 780-80-2455. A website – – is ‘coming soon.’

We mentioned last week that Smith School students took part in a logo creating contest for SHARA. Here’s the winner! It was created by Memphys Nickel.