June 17, 2024


By on October 1, 2018 0 1092 Views

Mayor Don Scott

Congratulations, YMM Parent, on your inaugural issue!

As the adage goes: “It takes a village to raise a child.” Every parent needs the support of a community — whether it’s family, friends, colleagues or a broader network of help.  Parenting places a tremendous sense of responsibility on your shoulders and there are countless challenges along the path to raising great children and young people. We all benefit when we share our experiences, lessons we’ve learned, and insights we’ve gleaned along the way.

As a parent, I know firsthand that Wood Buffalo is a great place to build a happy, healthy family. With rich cultural diversity, welcoming spirit, great schools, fantastic parks and infrastructure, and state of the art facilities, it’s easy to see why young families thrive and choose to make their home here.

It’s wonderful that parents in Fort McMurray will now have a new forum for connecting with valuable resources and fresh perspectives as well as keeping up-to-date on local listings.

Once again, congratulations to YMM Parent on the launch of this new publication. I wish you every success in this exciting venture!

All the best,

Don Scott, QC
Mayor of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo


As the Member of the Legislative Assembly of Alberta, it is my privilege to Congratulate YMM Parent and editor Dawn Booth on its inaugural edition. YMM Parent will no doubt be as successful as the other publications produced under the Balsom Communication’s umbrella, such as past released The Indigenous People of Wood Buffalo, the 2016 Wildfire Commemorative Issue. as well as the always popular Top 50 Under 50.

YMM Parent will be an excellent resource for those young families looking for support programs or ideas to deal with the challenges and rewards of raising a family in Wood Buffalo.

Whether you are expecting your first child or adding to your family, services do tend to fluctuate and YMM Parent’s information will be a welcomed publication for those seeking information.

I trust YMM Parent readers will enjoy the variety of topics covered by the contributors as well as obtain a greater understanding of the different options available in this day and age. While natural birth utilizing doctors and nurses is common, there is an upward trend of giving birth with the help of midwives and doulas. In the past, Wood Buffalo has experienced a higher than average birth rate and a publication such as YMM Parent will be a welcome addition at the waiting area during delivery.

Once again congratulations to all those who have contributed to the edition.

Tany Yao,
Member of Legislature Assembly, Fort McMurray – Wood Buffalo


I was born and raised in Fort McMurray – the same as most of my extended family. This is also where my sister and brother-in-law have chosen to raise their family. (It’s worth noting I have the cutest niece and nephew!)

My grandparents moved to Fort McMurray in the 1970s and, to them, it represented a chance at a better life. Like many others during this time, my parents were here on a five-year plan – which ended up being close to 40 years. My family has owned and operated small businesses here, worked in the oilsands, and – most importantly – chose to stay in Fort McMurray to raise their family.

I believe our city is the best place in the world to grow up. It offers the opportunity to explore nature. And I spent more hours discovering every corner of the Birchwood Trails, swimming in Gregoire Lake, walking up and down the various riverbanks and watching the Northern Lights, gracefully dance across our night sky.

We have many amazing, family-friendly amenities, such as the Keyano Theatre, MacDonald Island and my favourite place to spend time as a kid – the Westwood YMCA. While the amenities available have multiplied since I was a child, I still think it is the unparalleled opportunities to connect with nature that make Fort McMurray so special.

I challenge everyone to take their children outside and explore – you may even be lucky enough to find one of many painted rocks, known as the  ‘Fort Mac Rocks’ activity. If you haven’t heard of this amazing community activity, check it out on Facebook.

It’s an honour to be able to contribute to the very first issue of the YMM Parent magazine in my first months as the MLA for Fort McMurray – Conklin.

Laila Goodridge
Member of Legislature Assembly, Fort McMurray – Conklin


Dear Fort McMurray Parents,

I am writing to you as a father to Dustin and Melissa and as a grandfather to Ethan, an energetic, hockey-playing 10-year-old that lights up every room he walks into.

I have always said the best day of my life was the day I married my beautiful wife Kathy, followed closely in a tie for second-place by the days each of my children and grandchild were born.

When I first became a parent, I thought I was ready for all the struggles and horror stories you read and hear about in books or online. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and I would be lying if I said it got any easier the second time around.

It took a lot of effort from both Kathy and I to raise our children, but we couldn’t be happier with the adults they have grown up to be.

We, Conservatives, acknowledge how hard it is to raise children, so we recently proposed legislation that would create a new tax credit that would let parents of young children claim a tax deduction for any income earned through Employment Insurance, maternity, or parental benefits.

As Andrew Scheer’s first concrete policy proposal since becoming the Conservative Party Leader, the Supporting New Parents Act represents another example of Conservatives trying to support parents directly. We believe that that the government shouldn’t be taxing the time parents take off to bond with their newborns.

YMM Parent represents everything that all first-time or veteran parents want and need. It’s a resource unlike anything available in today’s information-saturated world.

Led by Krista, a step-mother of two, and Dawn, a mother of three, readers are sure to receive the very best information from the YMM Parent team. This family-focused magazine will highlight our amazing community in a real and honest way from our local parents’ perspective and act as an irreplaceable resource for all.

I am very excited to see what they have in-store for their inaugural publication, and you can bet I will be recommending it to anyone and everyone who wants to learn more about parenting life in Fort McMurray.

Thank you to the YMM Parent team for their countless hours of hard work to benefit our great community, and thank you to all the parents of Fort McMurray.


David Yurdiga
Member of Parliament, Fort McMurray-Cold Lake

About the author

YMM Parent Team is a collaboration of authors and contributors from in and around Fort McMurray.