My First Campaign Promise….

…. ‘TIM BUCK’ Boulevard.

On my previous blog post Spirit of the Crowsnest: The story of unions in the coal towns of the Crowsnest Pass I got to thinking about our proud political and labour heritage here in the Crowsnest and how despite having all sorts of ‘societies’ e.g. Heritage Initiatives, Crowsnest Historical Society, Crowsnest Museum, etc., etc. none do us justice in this regard. Sure they are always raising money to put up monuments to some disaster or other, or to preserve some building or other, or to glorify rum runners (criminals?), etc., but none that I can think of that glorifies real political and labour heroes like the Blairmore Communist Council we had back in the thirties (Canada’s only ever democratically elected communist council) or the legendary labour leader Tim Buck. These were real heroes for their times and should be recognized as part of our proud history, yet we have no lasting monuments or memorials here in the Crowsnest to recognize them as such.

Many people today who have benefited handsomely from the blood, sweat and tears, and in some cases the lost life’s of these ‘socialists’ owe their present day good fortunes and comforts to the sacrifices these people made on their behalf. I’m thinking of teachers, municipal employees, mine workers, etc. all earning good livings in comparison to most, because of people like those I mentioned above, who today are looked down upon and mostly forgotten. Sadly, the acts of hypocrites and carpetbaggers, or ungrateful, ignorant fools.

Anyhow, I think we should recognize our past and in fact promote it to our advantage, much like the Town of Vulcan does with their Star Trek theme. We can start by renaming Main Street Blairmore back to its former name ‘TIM BUCK’ Boulevard. What do you think? Let me know if you want to hang with me… as a ‘commie sympathizer’, or not? :-)


Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians.

from John Prince
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20 Responses to My First Campaign Promise….

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think that’s a very good idea, it is something tangible because it already exists and will only need some signage and is easy to build onto.
    Just the story behind the whole thing alone makes it a destination for tourism because of the image it provokes.
    I would like to see the place get a reputation for something besides that skanky old money pit of a tipple in Coleman. Hardly any history there, 75% percent of the population of the area pre-dates most of that junk pile.


  2. Anonymous says:

    I thought you were going to be the candidate for change? John Irwin proposed the same thing back in 1985!!!!

  3. John Prince says:

    I’m glad you concur. I too think it has lots of potential needing only men/women of imagination and determination to make this a reality.

    Anon @1:56
    He did, did he? Well, I guess he failed at that too. Whereas, I won’t… comrade. :-)
    Because there are those who talk the talk, and those who walk the talk. Your talking to the latter.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Let’s see if I got this right. In your announcement for mayor, you said that you “wanted to take from the rich” and now, with your first campaign promise, you want to change the name of main street Blairmore to honour someone whose hero was Joseph Stalin. How do you expect to attract the investment capital this area so desperately needs, by honouring communists? We have to create an environment that people want to invest in. The banks already think that this area is a bad risk. Why add fuel to the fire? It was a bad idea when Irwin suggested it and it is still a bad idea.

  5. John Prince says:

    Anon 4:15
    “… it is still a bad idea.”

    So you say. I beg to differ, as does CR above. I think there’s lots of potential here that needs to be explored further for its possibilities. We’re talking about creating a ‘theme’ here, right smack in the middle of capitalist mammon country. Why wouldn’t it work? It’s exactly the kind of thing that would. Try thinking outside the box.

    “… taking from the rich,”

    Maybe next time read the whole post including my comments before you jump to wrongful conclusions, resulting in twisting things around to serve your own purposes.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well one benifit about it is that the history is already published so new “funding” (which comes from the “taxpayer” to begin with) is not needed.
    Sounds like an opportunity to CAPITALIZE on work that is already completed.
    So it’s a theme about Communism, big deal… Walt Disney made an entire society live and breath around a mouse.


  7. Anonymous says:

    John, I think you are losing it. As others have pointed out, first it was “steal from the rich” and now “Tim Buck Avenue.” I think it would make more sense to rename Main Street as Tim Horton’s Avenue, especially since Timmy’s is the first thing people see on Main Street when arriving from the west. At least everyone would know who you’re talking about. As far as Tim Buck is concerned, anyone under 55 doesn’t have a clue who he is, and when they find out, they won’t care. Anyone over 55 (that’s me) will recall him as a bad joke. As for communism, which your idea seeks to glamorize, it’s been a loser everywhere its been tried. You’ve got a lot of ideas that I can support, but these two are duds.

    • Fellow Traveller says:

      Communism seems to be working quite well in China and Vietnam. I for one love seeing Karl Marx park when I drive through the pass. Wouldn’t mind seeing a Tim Buck street, slim Evans street, and even Norman Bethune street. The latter might bring you some tourists from the PRC.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Maybe you could rename Blairmore to “Tim Buck Too”

  9. John Prince says:

    Today, most people are nothing more than walking billboards for corporations, wearing clothing that advertises Nike, Ford, Microsoft, VISA, etc. and think nothing of it. Naming Main Street Blairmore to Tim Horton’s Blvd. would obviously fit right in there for people like you but do very little to draw tourism to this area, as most towns nowadays have a Tim Horton’s. On the other hand, we are unique in that no other town in Canada has had a democratically elected communist council. We could/should capitalize on that fact, is what I am saying?

    Along this line (theme) we could rename Gibos Park to its former name of… sit down… are you ready for this? KARL MARX Park. This idea is just never ending. I mean we can have Che Guevara Boulevard, Lenin Street, Stalin Drive, etc. :-o :-)

    Let’s beat the capitalist corporations at their own game and give them a run for their money, I say. :-) Then again, we can drop this whole idea and continue being just like everybody else… mediocre, dull, boring and a dead (dying) community. Just an idea, whose time has come… or not?

  10. Anonymous says:

    A bad idea is a bad idea no matter how you want to dress it up. We would become a laughing stock!!! How would that draw tourism? If you want to honour anyone, how about honouring those who actually made a difference to the community? Locals who contributed like Fred Alderson who died trying to rescue those from the Bellevue mine disaster not a bunch of commies who were responsible for the deaths of millions of people.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Why don’t you lighten up?. Next you`ll be seeing commies under your bed, instead of on a street sign on a lamp post. :-)
    Don’t think our side has not murdered millions of people too. Ideology, nationalism and modern corporatism does that to people… on both sides.

  12. Anonymous says:

    After all, was the Belleview mine disaster not related to a corporation as well?
    Hero’s like Mr. Alderson need to be remembered, that’s a fact.
    But we should remember as well that he would not have been put into the position that he was if it had not been for a need of the product that the mine was built for.

    Thousands of people who have heard about the Italian Hall and Holick’s store buildings in Coleman always tell of those buildings histories with excitement beings that the upstairs of Holick’s was where the Communist party was born. With Anon 10:35’s attitude that history should be washed over?
    Not exactly a visionary are we?
    Communism is part of the Pass’s history, doesn’t mean your going to see a parade of tanks rolling down Main street. Tons of towns would love even a snippit of the history we have.


  13. Anonymous says:

    I think actually that it is a win-win situation because of the cotraversy that it makes. If the street was namesd Tim Buck again, I bet it makes national headlines and nothing makes a story more interesting then people who rally against something. We could ride that one for years. It even helps out that people over 55 would have something to add to the story because you could bet your bottom dollar that if we don’t capitalize on it now, someone 20 or 30 years from now will. And who knows how twisted and mangled the facts will be then.
    I say go for it!

  14. Anonymous says:

    I just googled Tim Buck. I checked a couple sites and couldn’t see any reference to the Pass, Coleman or even Alberta.
    If you absolutely have to rename 20 Ave, I think it would be better to name it after someone who lived here and made some sort of positive contribution to the area.

    Perhaps the communist connection could be made some other way.

    Or, how about giving highway 3, from the border to the eastern edge of the municipality, a new name. Like the province did with highway 2 from Calgary to Edmonton. And for those who forgot, it was renamed the Queen Elizabeth II highway (or QEII).

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hi John,
    I’m not sure if my comment came through or not. I got a weird error when I tried to post it.
    So I’ll try this again.

    I just googled Tim Buck. I checked 2 of the sites and there was no mention of the Pass, Coleman or Alberta.
    So, perhaps if you must rename 20 Ave, it might be best to do so after someone who lived in the Pass and made some sort of contribution to the area.

    Your reference to the communist era in the Pass could be done some other way.

    Perhaps we could get highway 3 renamed, from the border to the eastern edge of the municipality. They did it for highway 2 from Edmonton to Calgary. For those who don’t know, it’s now the Queen Elizabeth II highway.

  16. John Prince says:

    Anon @3:55
    You`re right. From what I understand the communist council in the thirties named the street after Tim Buck in recognition and support of who the man was and what he stood for… the working man.

    Naming streets, parks, etc. after long time residents, miners, politicians, etc. would accomplish the same thing i.e. a mining, labour, gangster, communist, etc. ‘theme’ that promotes our community as something different and special from most other communities. That alone would make us unique and put us on the map, while being something to build on as time goes on.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Now all we need is a P.R. person that can sell the place.

    The only thing that seems like it might work is a full time mayor with sales experience.

    Your the man John!


  18. Anonymous says:

    Karl Marx Park was in Michel-Natal.

  19. Fellow Traveller says:

    My condolences and sympathies to you and your fellow townsfolk. What a horrible, unfathomable thing to have happen.
    Also, sorry to find out you aren’t mayor.

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