Column: Joe Morinville

I was late getting my column in this week because it is harder to write about stuff going on around Town when nothing is going on around town. You can sure tell summer is here. The only thing that seems to be moving is the moving vans. It got me to thinking about what folks who move here might get to thinking about or asking questions about in their first couple of weeks here.

1/ Folks might wonder why there is scaffolding on the church steeple. I know visitors I’ve talked to over the years have told me how lucky we were to have such an old beautiful building on our Main Street. Tourists are out of luck this year, but maybe they can return next year after the steeple gets some needed attention. At least there’s still the park for them to look at.

2/ If they got here in time for Canada Day, they might wonder how we could have St. Jean Baptiste Park full of people having a good time on July 1 and then let it be used only as a pathway to the museum and apartment building the rest of the year. Okay, maybe they wouldn’t wonder that, but I sure do. It’s a great park and we ought to be doing more in it instead of shoving everyone down to the old arena for festivals and Farmers’ Markets.

3/ New folks going to Town Hall or the library probably wonder why we are growing purple cabbage in front of a brand new $4.2 million building and growing tomatoes and peas out back. They might wonder if it’s because we spent so much on the building that nobody’s got any money left for lunch. Same with the big cement planters downtown. When did we become a town of tree huggers? If this keeps up they’ll spend another million to put a barn roof on Town Hall and our next Council can skip naked through the raspberry bushes and manure piles coming and going to our meetings. I’m not saying this fruit and vegetable fad is a bad idea, but I’ve seen these things get out of hand in the 1960s.

4/ Newcomers sometimes comment on how many liquor stores we have here. I heard a guy say once that we had as many liquor stores as we do churches. Sad thing is after losing two churches in nine months we now have more liquor stores than churches. I don’t think five liquor stores for a population of 9,000 is too many. I think 9,000 is too few a population for five liquor stores. So we need to do something to increase our population right away so we have enough people to support the liquor stores in the community. Then we can become a city, which will attract more liquor stores.

5/ If the newcomers moving to Morinville are coming up Highway 2 from the south they are probably wondering what all that unfinished road construction is about. Was it an old road the Town decided to get rid of to create an intersection where folks can’t see to get on the highway? That doesn’t make a lick of sense. No, it must have been the start of an overpass that the government put the kybosh on. They must wonder why the Town’s leaders aren’t standing outside the MLA’s office pushing to get something going on that project.

6/ When fall comes, the newcomers will all flock to their new home’s arena so their kids can learn to be the next Gretzky. I don’t mean the lying around flaunting yourself on the Twitter Gretzky. I mean the great one. The dad. Anyway, they’ll go into that arena and think it is a pretty crumby arena not realizing it was an old aircraft hanger that got brought here in the 1950s, which is a pretty good story none of these newcomer editors know about. Then some parent is going to tell them there was a report done what found mold in the roof but nothing much more was said about it or the rotting timbers in the roof and what happened about that. Then there’s going to be a fall election and people will ask questions. I hope there’s some good answers.

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