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Thursday , 23 September 2021

Good news that happened in 2020

When we look back on 2020, I want the Lakeland to be able to say there was some good news. And if you look for it, you can absolutely find it. I combed through the Lakeland Connect archives looking for the good news of 2020, and here it is.

(Sidebar: my new year’s resolution for 2021 is to tag more stories as ‘good news’ so this list is easier to make next year.)

Lottery winners

At least a few people struck it big this year! Elk Point’s Alan Connor won $5 million in March, Lac La Biche’s Sharon Stevens won $250,000, and Saddle Lake’s Donovan Whiskeyjack came in to $100,000 in June.

National recognition for romance and fishing

Bonnyville and Cold Lake both made national lists in 2020. Bonnyville is the fourth most romantic place in Canada based on per capita sales of romance novels, romantic comedies, relationship books, jewellery and sexual wellness products on Amazon. Cold Lake earned #17 on a list of the best fishing spots in North America, which is sure to be a boon to the local tourism industry when the borders re-open.

Positive things happening in Frog Lake

The Frog Lake First Nation celebrated the opening of a satellite RCMP detachment, the signing of a fire agreement with the County of St. Paul, and announced a new public library set to open this spring.

New doctors get settled

There’s obviously still a lot of room for improvement with doctor retention around the Lakeland, but Vermilion welcomed a new doctor to the community this year, St. Paul announced two coming in 2021, and ten Lac La Biche doctors decided to stick around after resigning en masse during the dispute with Health Minister Tyler Shandro in April.

New fire hall for Bonnyville area

The Town and M.D. of Bonnyville stepped up and will be moving Fire Station 5 to the previously vacant Kopala building just west of town, along with all emergency operations including ambulance response and 911 dispatch.

The M.D. pulled the trigger on the $3.2 million building in late October, which is expected to save a lot of money instead of buying a new centre. This will help with the overcapacity currently for Station 5 and the emergency operation.

People from the Lakeland are doing great things

Maybe 2020 wasn’t so bad after all.

With files from Michael Menzies.

About Meredith Kerr

Meredith Kerr moved to St. Paul for a career in journalism and morning radio in 2014 expecting to stay for six months to a year. Since then, she has put down roots in the form of a husband, a mortgage, two babies, and a poorly behaved dog. She continues to work as a reporter until such time as she finishes her book and becomes fabulously wealthy from the royalties. Meredith also serves as a member at large on the St. Paul Library Board and volunteers as a Beaver leader for the 1st St. Paul Scout Group.