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Cochrane history: Higher phone bills, and one newspaper sets the record straight

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A “whoops!” moment is one of our stories this week from Cochrane history.

The January 9th, 1998 front page of The Cochrane Times has a story about the CRTC ordering Cochrane PUC to raise telephone bills by two dollars a month.

Cochrane Public Library archivist Ardis Proulx-Chedore reads from the article.

“That came as a bit of a surprise to PUC engineer/manager Peter Murray, who came across the official order on the internet on January 5th, five days after the increase was to be officially implemented.”

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Murray figured he should have received early formal notice from the CRTC.  Other independent public utilities agencies had been given 21 weeks to implement the increase.


Controversy and one local newspaper correcting inaccuracies reported by its competitor made headlines that same week.

The Cochrane Times was reporting on a story run by the Northland Post.  It was about a British woman dogsledding across North America.  The regional organization of snowmobile clubs denied her request to use its trails, due mostly to safety concerns.

Proulx-Chedore has a quote from the Times article.

“’As governor, I am very upset that this was not reported correctly. We’re made out to be the bad guys, because her safety was paramount to us,’ said Stephanie Wright, OFSC governor for District 15.”

Wright went on to point out that the dogsledder had been offered an alternate route, but did not respond.

The archives at the Cochrane Public Library have tens of thousands of tidbits on local history.

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