New shrubs create dangerous situation

I think St. Albert’s aggressive tree removal campaign is excessive and disproportionate to the problem. Removing entire streets of trees creates scenes reminiscent of a clear-cut forest. However, I understand the arguments for replacing the unpopular poplars, so I’ve chosen to grit my teeth and turn the other way when I hear chainsaws screaming in my neighbourhood. Continue reading


Time to get involved

Building a new social blueprint for St. Albert plan requires citizen participation.

Since late 2011, the City of St. Albert has been developing a Social Master Plan, a strategic guiding document that will frame and determine decisions about social matters in the city. Continue reading

Editorial on July 21 Column

SAG-logo3The following Editorial gives a summary of the bizarre response to my July column. The online Gazette page can be found here.

Our View – Comforting message emerges despite online bilge

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 06:00 am

A week ago Saturday, the Gazette ran an opinion piece by regular contributor Dee-Ann Schwanke in which she lamented the relative scarcity of visible minorities in this city. In comparison to most parts of the country, she wrote, St. Albert is “rather pale.”

Schwanke’s piece also appeared in the electronic version of the Gazette, which allows readers to submit electronic comments from their home computers or portable devices. Yet all through Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the piece sat unnoticed. Continue reading

st. albert: a pale pocket of the little planet

(Note: This is the extended version of the column written for St. Albert Gazette for Saturday, July 21. Read the published article here.)

Earlier this week I had an engaging discussion with the owner of a local business. He spoke about his previous employment as a tax auditor for the provincial government. Part of the reason why he left the job in 1993 to purchase his own business, was the ongoing limitations of being a visible minority. After 18 years of service, he had watched white people move up in seniority, while he remained in his position without recognition or advancement, Continue reading

Could a Facebook search have prevented this tragedy?


In the late 1990s I worked as an office manager for an accounting firm in downtown Edmonton. One afternoon I was given the task of collecting computer and voicemail passwords from all the staff in the firm. Despite some resistance I was able to secure this information and pass it on to the partners. The explanation was simple: we were told the computer and telephone equipment (and apparently any activity that happened on them) was owned by the firm. Privacy was secondary to Continue reading

Flaherty wrong: Labour problem not solved by EI reform.

I was born in 1970, when the FLQ broke out and the Beatles broke up. It was also six years after the birth of the last baby-boomer. Thanks to frisky folk wishing to proliferate their post-world-war confidence by, well, proliferating, an elephant sized generation was born. Continue reading


Although I don’t own a bat’leth, I do know what one is. I could have purchased the Klingon sword-like weapon one this weekend while perusing through the hundreds of vendors at the Comicon Expo in Calgary, an event that took my husband and me hours to get into, and in which we spent more time waiting in line than participating in activities. The event was beyond monumental as it was the first time in 25 years that the entire nine-member cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation came together for a convention. Continue reading

cosmic comic chaos

ImageFurther to my St. Albert Gazette column of May 2, 2012, I wanted to share more of my viewpoint of the CalgaryExpo Comicon this last weekend.

The Comicon event, presented by CalgaryExpo, April 27-29 was beyond monumental as it was the first time in 25 years that the entire nine member cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation came together for a convention. Other conventions have tried but for some reason the stars aligned and it happened in Calgary. Continue reading

More on the breast: It’s becoming an Alberta provincial political theme.

My most recent blog post and column, “Let the Leaders Speak Their Minds” uncovered a rather amusing discovery.

Leader of the Alberta Party, Glenn Taylor, has an outdated blog to which he has not contributed since his inauguration last June. I mentioned it in my last column. Incidentally, “” is an understatement.

Continue reading

let the leaders speak their minds

Amid promises of civility and decorum, provincial election mudslinging has begun and the media is crying foul. While Ellen and Leno jest about Danielle Smith’s underwire-tire adventure (those hubcaps were real and they were spectacular), we Albertans have moved on and are waiting for real discussion to begin.

The push-up incident is crowded out by the push-poll concern, for instance, Continue reading