Oilers and Golden Bears

Oilers and Golden Bears

August 08, 2020

Here are some short takes where I cut through the fluff and get right to the bottom line on news of the day and what it means to Edmonton Strathcona.

1. Oilers – no better illustration of why hockey is the ultimate team game, especially at playoffs, than we saw this past week as the Oilers were punted by the Chicago Blackhawks. Chicago played far better as a team, got support from across the line-up, and leaned heavily on Stanley Cup veterans to produce when it counted.

We have the best player in the world in Connor McDavid and this year’s likely regular season league MVP in Leon Draisaitil but the supporting cast clearly didn’t show up to play. Simple as that. None of this is lost on Oilers’ management or fan base, for sure. Lesson learned – let’s hope. Especially for McDavid, who will start his 6th year with the Oilers next season and hasn’t come close to competing for the Stanley Cup.

The bottom line here: whether it’s sports, business, hockey, politics, not-for-profits, nothing beats a strong team game.


2. U of Golden Bears Hockey team – I received an email on Friday that was sent out to a large number of U of A Golden Bears Hockey Alumni (GBHA) of which I am one. On June 17th U of A Athletic Director Ian Reade announced that the school’s upcoming Bears and Panda’s hockey, basketball and volleyball programs were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

When I first saw this announcement, my initial reaction was that it made sense and I could understand why it happened. Shortly after, however, I learned that this decision was made without any prior consultation or talks with the teams involved, and that the U of A programs were the only ones to pull out of the Canada West season, if one takes place.

The Bears’ hockey alumni is a very strong and active group that has supported the team financially over the years. In the email I received yesterday, I learned that the GBHA has made a commitment to cover the variable travel and hosting costs for the 2020-21 men’s hockey season if it takes place and that as a result, the Athletic Department applied for and was granted reinstatement in the Canada West for the season.

Total amount that the GBHA is trying to raise is $150,000 between now and the end of this year. If no season takes place, the funds will be deposited into the Clare Drake Hockey Endowment Fund which directly supports annual hockey scholarships for Bears Hockey.

Bottom line here: no other university men’s hockey team in Canada has stronger alumni and a stronger team culture than the Golden Bears. Kudos to the GBHA for stepping up here and taking a leadership role in helping salvage the season if it goes ahead. If you’d like to help this effort as well, let me know and I’ll forward details.


3. Small scale nuclear technology – great news on this front as Premier Jason Kenney announced on Friday that Alberta is the fourth province to say it will help explore emerging small-scale nuclear power technology.

These reactors can be a huge piece in the puzzle of how to diversify Alberta’s economy and still support the best practices in our energy sector. These small reactors can be deployed in on-gridd and off-grid communities, remote areas and can also be used to supply energy to oilsands and mining operations.

Many of the strongest proponents of the move to nuclear are here in Edmonton Strathcona. They believe, as I do, that nuclear can be a strong contributor to a mix of Canada’s energy resources and help move us towards lower greenhouse gas emissions.

The federal government plays a leadership role in putting forth regulations establishing how this small reactor technology will be deployed, and is expected to announce its action plan this fall. As the next Conservative MP for Edmonton Strathcona, I will be a strong supporter of this initiative and do everything I can to assure that Alberta moves as quickly and forcefully in this direction as we can.

The bottom line here, as I mentioned in this previous post, the small nuclear reactors are actually a big deal.


4. Conflict of interest – here we go again. We’ve all learned that the husband of Justin Trudeau’s Chief of Staff didn’t set up a formal conflict of interest screen before his company was awarded an $84 million contract to administer a federal government, COVID-19 commercial rent assistance program.

Rob Silver, husband of PMO Chief of Staff Katie Telford, did not go to the trouble of setting up what’s known as a formal conflict of interest screen with the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner’s office despite the fact that he spoke with the government prior to his firm, MCAP, being awarded a fee increase from a maximum of $56 million to a new maximum of $84 million.

The Liberal government says Silver received an email from the commissioner’s office saying “it does not seem likely” that Telford would have direct dealings with her husband’s firm. That’s not what experts in governance and conflicts of interest say. Remy Trudel, a former Quebec cabinet minister and current professor of governance at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration Publique was quoted in the National Post saying “All conflicts of interests, potential conflicts of interest or even perceived conflicts of interest must be separated by a Great Wall of China that must be formal, written and made public.”

The bottom line here: a steady stream of conflict-of-interest allegations coming from the Liberal government in Ottawa. This can’t end soon enough – bring on an election.


5. Weird weather – my Dad used to have a saying when we’d run into weird weather patterns at home in Grande Prairie.

When we’d get a hot streak and then rain and then wind and then hot sun again – all in the space of two or three days – he’d say “It looks like the Old Man’s away and the kids are playing with the weather controls.”

That’s what Edmonton felt like this week with heat warnings in the middle of the week followed by cold, windy and wet weather on Friday and now great weather on Saturday morning.

None of that stopped our amazing team of Edmonton Strathcona Conservative volunteers who were out canvassing and dropping off our brochures EVERY SINGLE DAY of the week this week, covering nearly 1,200 homes during all this weather.

And here are two of our hardest workers, Ethan and Vassily, picture in the shade of a tree in Lendrum on Wednesday afternoon, when the thermometer hit 31 degrees Celsius and an extreme heat warning was issued.


These guys still went out, dropped off our brochure on 250 doors, and then went out again in the rain on Friday. And we’re heading out with a large team of about 20 volunteers on Saturday afternoon.

That’s why we’re going to win the Conservative nomination in Edmonton Strathcona. And that’s why we’re going to go on and take this riding back from the NDP, who’ve held if for 12 years.

The bottom line here: We have the best team. We’re working the hardest. And we’re committed to winning.


- Rick Peterson


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