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Community
Swim shuffle: City prepares for Kinsmen Aquatic Park construction closure at Big Marble Go Centre
Apr 18
2
Min Read

Swim shuffle: City prepares for Kinsmen Aquatic Park construction closure at Big Marble Go Centre

As crews prepare to shut down the Kinsmen Aquatic Park at the Big Marble Go Centre on May 15, 2024 for a $2.8 million upgrade, plans are taking shape at other pools and amenities to accommodate swimmers.

Medicine Hat – As crews prepare to shut down the Kinsmen Aquatic Park at the Big Marble Go Centre on May 15, 2024 for a $2.8 million upgrade, plans are taking shape at other pools and amenities to accommodate swimmers.
Outdoor pools will open as follows:

  • Hill Pool (44 7 Street SW) – May 15
  • Echo Dale Swim Lake (just off Holsom Road SW) – May 24
  • Strathcona Pool (1150 5 Street SE) – June 1
    Patrons can splash around when spray parks open for the year:
  • Ross Glen Spray Park (Ross Glen Road SE) – May 17
  • Saamis Rotary Park (Brentwood Lane SW) – May 17
  • Kiwanis Central Park (900 3 Avenue SE) – June 1
  • Strathcona Island Park (5 Street SE) – June 1
    “We have extended our operating hours at our outdoor pools and Crestwood Rec Centre to accommodate the swim clubs and other user groups who typically operate at the Kinsmen Aquatic Park,” said Scott Richter, interim Recreation Manager with the Parks and Recreation department. “But the public hours are similar to previous years and are kept up to date on our website.”
    On Wednesday, May 15, the entire Big Marble Go Centre will be closed for a planned one-day power outage to conduct electrical work. The outage also affects the ball diamonds, BMX track, Methanex Bowl, outdoor pickleball courts, and outdoor washroom building on the property.
    The gymnasium, fieldhouse and South Country Co-op Fitness Centre at the Big Marble Go Centre will reopen Thursday, May 16 and remain open during construction.
    Admissions and membership fees will be adjusted for construction. Continuous passholders (those who pay monthly) will receive an automatic 15 per cent discount for the four months from May 15 to Sept. 15. Daily admissions, punch cards and 31-day passes will also be discounted by 15 per cent. Existing annual passes will be extended one additional month at no charge.
    Those who wish to cancel their membership are required to provide 14 days’ notice according to the membership agreement by contacting Customer Service in person or by email.
    Access to Hill Pool, Strathcona Pool and Crestwood Recreation Centre is included with an active continuous, 31-day, or annual pass from the Big Marble Go Centre.
    The Kinsmen Aquatic Park is expected to reopen Sept. 15, 2024. The Cenovus Arena at the Big Marble Go Centre is currently closed for upgrades and will reopen in July.
    Information for all City-operated indoor and outdoor swim facilities is available at medicinehat.ca/swim.
    The Big Marble Go Centre opened in 2000 (as the Family Leisure Centre) with an Olympic-sized ice arena and aquatic centre. An expansion in 2016 added a quad gymnasium, a double indoor boarded turf fieldhouse, and an upper-level fitness centre complete with an indoor track.
Community
Woman Charged with Mail Thefts
Apr 17
1
Min Read

Woman Charged with Mail Thefts

Following this investigation, Cassandra Chenoweth, 41-years-old, of Medicine Hat, AB has been charged with several mail / theft related offences. Chenoweth was held in custody for a Judicial Interm Release hearing and was released from custody. Chenoweth is scheduled to appear in Provincial Court on May 8, 2024.

Between February and April of 2024, the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) received 16 separate reports of theft from Canada Post community mailboxes located throughout the city.
During the evening of April 10, 2024, the MHPS received a report a theft in progress from a community mailbox and as a result, MHPS patrol officers attended to the area and located a female suspect leaving the scene. The woman was taken into custody and found to be in possession of break in tools as well as hundreds of items of mail.
The MHPS Criminal Investigation Section took over the investigation and searched a local residence as well as executed two search warrants on storage lockers within the city. Thousands of reported and unreported items of mail, both in letter and parcel form were recovered.
Following this investigation, Cassandra Chenoweth, 41-years-old, of Medicine Hat, AB has been charged with several mail / theft related offences. Chenoweth was held in custody for a Judicial Interm Release hearing and was released from custody. Chenoweth is scheduled to appear in Provincial Court on May 8, 2024.
The investigation is ongoing as MHPS investigators are now working closely with Canada Post Inspectors and its is expected further charges will be laid. Additionally with the assistance of Canada Post the recovered mail and packages will be returned to their intended recipients when they are no longer required for investigational purposes.

Education & Learning
Successful PRPS Spring Council of School Councils
Apr 17
3
Min Read

Successful PRPS Spring Council of School Councils

Prairie Rose Public Schools hosted the spring Council of School Councils recently and had a good turnout, with parent representatives from schools who have never attended before. The activity was learning how to make a vermicomposting bin, which everyone present engaged in with enthusiasm.

On Tuesday, April 9, the Council of School Councils had their spring meet up at Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS) division office. Representatives from the parent councils of Bow Island Elementary, Burdett, I.F. Cox, Margaret Wooding, Parkside, Ralston, Schuler, Seven Persons and Warren Peers schools were in attendance. The evening started off with a supper before moving into the activity for the evening. Roxanne Doerksen of TRAD Worm Industries joined the meeting with enough supplies for attendees to pair up and create a functional vermicomposting bin.

“This was an activity they could learn that the students can do at schools. We are hearing lots about schools building outdoor learning areas. This is the time of year with it being spring and this is curriculum related so why not get the elementary students engaged? The compost can be used in outdoor or flower gardens they are building in the schools,” said organizer of the evening Trustee Patty Rooks. “There is lots of cross-curricular learning here that can be taken back to teachers and it’s a great way to get parents engaged with those teachers where they can show them what they are learning and possibly volunteer in the classroom. You never know what may transpire between what we’ve created here with the parent councils, the parents and the school community.”

At the last meeting in fall 2023, the activity was chair yoga and the PRPS therapy dogs were brought in. A discussion took place about resources available in the schools, such as Family School Liaison Workers (FSLWs). “The aim was to get the word out because the more our parents know and can share with their councils, the more they can engage parents and utilize the resources we have and just engage the whole community so much better,” explained Rooks.

After the activity there was a short break before Karen Blewett, Community Development Officer with Alberta Arts Culture and Status of Women, gave a presentation on designing effective meetings with a focus on creating agendas.  

Rooks feels lucky that the PRPS Board gave her free reign to design the Council of School Councils meetings. The purpose of the meetings is to engage all parent councils from across the district and have them come together to have a learning opportunity. Rooks wanted to create a format that was engaging with topics and activities those in attendance could take back to their schools. She also wanted to enhance, improve and/or build upon their knowledge by providing them with tips and strategies, particularly those schools with new councils.

It was a good turnout with representatives from schools who have never attended the meeting in the past. “I’ll be honest, it can be scary to come to a new meeting you’ve never been to before, but I’m proud of them for coming and picking up on those tips. I’ve watched them throughout the night engaging with other parents and asking for some feedback. That’s what tonight is about as well, is talking to your peers and learning how they are successful or not successful,” concluded Rooks.  

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Community
It’s construction season! City projects ensure reliable infrastructure around town
Apr 16
4
Min Read

It’s construction season! City projects ensure reliable infrastructure around town

With spring thaw complete, the City of Medicine Hat is gearing up for another busy construction season to enhance road and utility infrastructure around town. The 2024 budget includes more than $40 million in capital infrastructure upgrades.

Medicine Hat – With spring thaw complete, the City of Medicine Hat is gearing up for another busy construction season to enhance road and utility infrastructure around town. The 2024 budget includes more than $40 million in capital infrastructure upgrades.
While many projects are taking place in localized areas with impacts to neighbourhood residents only, three major projects are planned on main thoroughfares that will impact the general travelling public:
3 Street SE Utility and Surface Upgrades, Downtown Medicine Hat
The City is upgrading downtown’s water and sewer systems, originally installed back in the early 1900’s, to ensure a reliable and future-proof utility network along 3 Street SE. The project will begin Apr. 22 and is expected to conclude in the fall of 2024. Businesses will remain open through construction. To learn more about this project, visit medicinehat.ca/threestreetdowntown.
7 Street NW and Altawana Drive NE Deep Utility Replacement
Aging cast iron water mains and clay sanitary mains at the top of Altawana Drive NE will be replaced with new PVC pipe this spring. The excavation is expected to be over seven meters deep in places but crews will also employ trenchless technology designed to reduce installation cost and the impact to the neighbourhood. The project also includes the installation of a steel casing underneath the existing stone retaining wall along Altawana Drive. Beginning May 13, 2024, this project is expected to conclude in the fall of 2024, though the Altawana Drive hill is planned to reopen mid-July.
Division Avenue South Rehabilitation
To address poor road condition, the section of Division Avenue South between 3 Street SE and 12 Street SE will be completely removed and replaced. During this necessary reconstruction, the City plans to upgrade and improve this stretch of road. The new design will follow the principles of complete streets, which means it will be made accessible and usable for all types of transportation, and for people of all ages and abilities. Learn more at medicinehat.ca/divisionavenue.
“When it comes to construction season, we often experience ‘short-term pain for long-term gain,’” says Pat Bohan, Managing Director of Development and Infrastructure. “We can’t stand still as our infrastructure degrades over time. If motorists plan ahead and leave themselves extra time to get where they’re going, the disruptions should be manageable.”
Bohan adds that construction is rarely glamourous, but sometimes, projects can really shine. “As long as the sewer is working, most people likely won’t be concerned if it’s a 100-year-old cast-iron pipe or a new PVC tube under the ground, but we’re paying careful attention to the infrastructure you can’t see. In the case of Division Avenue South, we’re excited to present a completely redesigned streetscape our community will certainly notice, and really appreciate.”

Public transportation

Medicine Hat Transit will be affected by this ongoing construction and staff are currently mapping out the timing of various detours to understand the full impact.
“We understand road construction and closures can be frustrating for drivers,” says Gord Dykstra, Transit Manager, Medicine Hat Transit Services. “We too feel the pressures in Transit and must plan alternative routes to ensure our passengers can travel reliably to and from their destinations. During these times, we encourage transit riders to plan ahead and allow extra time.”
Transit will utilize various routes to detour around the downtown construction, including 4th Street and 4th Avenue, as well as River Road. To reach Crescent Heights, buses will detour along Parkview Drive NE to 12 Street NE. Phasing along Division Avenue South will allow for short detours around the work zones.
Transit riders can track the location of their bus in real time online at myride.mhtransit.ca.
For more information on Transit detours and route planning visit, medicinehat.ca/transit.

Stay informed

The City’s interactive Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Project Map helps identify major infrastructure ventures planned for the upcoming year. It outlines major construction projects taking place for parks, utilities and roadways over the next several months. Residents can use the map to see important infrastructure upgrades and learn more about each one. Each project on the map includes a description, an expected start and end date, and information about the project cost.
To stay up to date with road closures (live) and major projects (updated regularly), visit medicinehat.ca/major-projects.
For important updates, residents are also encouraged to follow the City of Medicine Hat on social media and sign up for e-notifications, including a weekly “Neat to Know” feature, at subscribe.medicinehat.ca.

Home & Garden
Home Inspections in a Multiple-bid Scenario
Apr 14
3
Min Read

Home Inspections in a Multiple-bid Scenario

Did you know that A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections provides Pre-offer Inspection services?

In hot housing markets, your buyers are more anxious than ever to get a bid in on their dream home. And while it’s prudent to submit a conditional offer pending a home inspection, many buyers view this as too risky. Thankfully, there are pre-offer home and property inspection services available that can be carried out before the offer is even submitted to provide added peace of mind to buyers and buyers’ agents.

If you’re selling a home in a hot market where multiple bids are expected, setting a conditions inspection date is also a great way to ensure any potential buyers who plan on making an offer can have an inspection completed that day to help mitigate risk.

While traditional home and property inspections are completed after the offer has been accepted, there are three more inspection options available to help Realtors and homebuyers better understand the inner workings of the property before an offer is submitted.

Pre-offer inspection services include:

1. Verbal consultation during viewing

The home inspector joins the Realtor and client during the home viewing to provide a live verbal report. While you’re touring the property, the inspector conducts a condensed 45 to 60-minute non-invasive visual survey of the property’s major systems in a limited capacity.

As an advisory service, this delivers some transparency prior to the offer, although it’s not nearly as detailed as a full inspection where inspectors can go on the roof, look into the attic, and so on. We always encourage a full inspection but, in elevated market conditions when a full inspection isn’t plausible, buyers and buyers’ agents need some reassurance and guidance. As an added bonus, after the offer has been accepted, the inspector can return to complete a full inspection at a reduced rate, which will include a digital report, warranty and lifetime appliance safety recall monitoring.

2. Pre-offer property inspection

The inspector completes a full inspection pre-offer, which includes a digital report, warranty and lifetime appliance safety recall monitoring. Major systems are evaluated, including the interior, heating/cooling, electrical, plumbing, exterior and roofing. This comprehensive report becomes the property’s operations manual, which details deficiencies, safety concerns, system shut-off locations and maintenance suggestions.

Complimentary technical advice is included for as long as the client owns the home when they’ve opted for a full inspection service. While having an inspection pre-offer works well for mitigating risk for buyers and buyers’ agents, there’s a growing trend where sellers and sellers’ agents are also setting a conditions inspection date to ensure any potential buyers who plan on making an offer can have an inspection completed that day to help set their minds at ease and gain added confidence in the property.

3. Technical advice during viewing

A professional inspector is your valued partner and a good community member. This means that even if there’s no obligation for you to send business their way, the inspector is available to provide complimentary technical advice. While this has always been offered to any client who has had an inspection with us, we’ve now extended the free technical advice to anyone who wishes to buy a home and has questions. All you or your client have to do is snap a photo/video and text or email it to any inspector, and we’ll offer free technical advice on that questionable issue to help ensure your buyer is confident in making an offer.

Verbal and technical advice pre-inspection services can never replace the value of a full inspection, which not only provides buyers with a list of precautions, safety and maintenance issues, but also helps them understand the inner workings of the property. These advisory systems are, however, extremely helpful in elevated markets when it’s just not possible to have a full inspection completed pre-offer.

If you have questions about home inspections or pre-offer inspections please contact Steve Fraser at 403.878.7580 or Justin Asham at 403.581.9016

Community
Apprehended: Leroy Sadler
Apr 11
1
Min Read

Apprehended: Leroy Sadler

Leroy SADLER is described as a white male, six foot three inches (6’3”) tall and weighing approximately two-hundred and twenty-one (221) pounds. SADLER and may have visible signs of a facial / jaw injury. There is no information available on what clothing Sadler may be wearing.

APREHENDED
The Medicine Hat Police Service is requesting assistance from the public to locate 52-year-old, Leroy James SADLER, of Medicine Hat, Alberta. Leroy Sadler has an outstanding arrest warrant from the MHPS for a Shop Break and commit theft from August 22, 2023, and a Breach of Probation order offense date October 30th, 2023.
Leroy SADLER is described as a white male, six foot three inches (6’3”) tall and weighing approximately two-hundred and twenty-one (221) pounds. SADLER and may have visible signs of a facial / jaw injury. There is no information available on what clothing Sadler may be wearing.
Leroy SADLER has a history of violence. If observed DO NOT approach or attempt to apprehend. Anyone with information is asked to contact the MHPS by calling 403-529-8481.
Media Contact:
Patrol S/Sgt
Medicine Hat Police Service
Ph: 403-529-8461

Community
City launches community clean-up initiative for Earth Day
Apr 10
1
Min Read

City launches community clean-up initiative for Earth Day

Residents are encouraged to join a community-wide clean-up to celebrate Earth Day on Monday, April 22, 2024.

Medicine Hat – Residents are encouraged to join a community-wide clean-up to celebrate Earth Day on Monday, April 22, 2024.
“Every small action contributes to a greener, healthier community,” says Scott Richter, Business and Innovation Manager of Parks and Recreation. “Our annual ‘Litter Blitz’ campaign not only aims to enhance our natural beauty but also empowers residents to be environmental stewards.”
Beginning on Earth Day, participants—whether individually, with family, or friends—are encouraged to either use their own garbage bags or pick up complimentary supplies, including bags and gloves, for litter collection in parks, natural areas, and coulees. Parks staff will remove any large items that are left near a garbage bin and reported by phone or email.
Complimentary supplies are available at the Parks office main entrance, 88 Kipling Street SE, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting April 10 until May 22, 2024.
The Litter Blitz campaign will run until May 22 to promote a healthy community. Participants are encouraged to share their clean-up photos on social media and to tag the City of Medicine Hat on socials (FacebookX, and Instagram) to be entered to win a night's stay in a comfort cabin at Gas City Campground.
For more information and to get involved, visit: medicinehat.ca/earthday

Commentary
Clark and her Supporters Continue to Fan Flames of Discontent and Conspiracy
Apr 9
3
Min Read

Clark and her Supporters Continue to Fan Flames of Discontent and Conspiracy

For a group that wants the role of Mayor respected, Clark and her supporters are not very respectful of council as a whole. Clark could at anytime ask her supporters not to cheer her when she enters, or jeer other councilors, but she chooses not to lead and continues to antagonize council with her requests of information regarding spending and severance issues that she, as Mayor, signed off on. If that is not grandstanding then what is?

It was a long and contentious council meeting on Monday with Mayor-in-name-only Clark and her boisterous supporters continuing to create waves in council chambers.

After multiple signs were posted outside of council chambers to be respectful of councilors and refrain from outbursts and disruptions, supporters of Clark cheered as she was last to enter the council chambers and posted the applause on social media.

Acting Mayor Allison Knodel made a statement to the gallery prior to council calling the meeting to order to refrain from outbursts but attendees had little respect for the request as many in attendance cheered as Clark entered chambers and continued to whisper during the marathon session with security being asked to inform the offenders to tone it down.

For a group that wants the role of Mayor respected, Clark and her supporters are not very respectful of council as a whole. Clark could at anytime ask her supporters not to cheer her when she enters, or jeer other councilors, but she chooses not to lead and continues to antagonize council with her requests of information regarding spending and severance issues that she, as Mayor, signed off on. If that is not grandstanding then what is?

The request for more information on spending and staffing changes seems to be part of Clark's ongoing disagreement with COA Mitchell. Clark is inferring that there are dubious things going on down at city hall and she's going to be the one to get to the bottom of it. If there was such a conspiracy of mismanagement, why would the other 8 councilors not say something as well?

Our community is relatively small. There are many that know people that work in city hall and know the truth about what has been going on beyond the code of conduct issue that has been made so painfully public. It is understandable there is frustration within Clark's group of supporters that not all the information is public. That doesn't mean that they have a right to bully or harass councilors individually, or as a whole, in person, online or through emails because they don't like an outcome or a comment from council or a councilor.

Just because there is policy and protocol for council to follow does not mean that there is some conspiracy regarding sanctions for Clark or dealings at city hall. Usually when it's 8 with one view and 1 with another view of the issue, more rational thinking would say there has to be more to the story that we are not privy to and we should trust those we elected to do the right thing because we are not privy to the information provided them and we are not in their shoes.

Clark and her supporters fail to realize the longer they continue with these tactics and not act with a level of decorum, the more the public will lose any sympathy there may still be for Clark. But alas, there will always be conspiracy theorists and internet trolls and those that believe there is no side to their story but their own. Clark is not a victim in this but the architect of her own demise. Best to ignore their rage, smile at their self inflicted wrongdoings and move on.

Sports
2024 Sports Wall of Fame Inductees selected
Apr 9
2
Min Read

2024 Sports Wall of Fame Inductees selected

The City of Medicine Hat will welcome Joseph Fisher and Zorislav Krco, to the Sports Wall of Fame during an induction ceremony on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at the Big Marble Go Centre.

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat will welcome Joseph Fisher and Zorislav Krco, to the Sports Wall of Fame during an induction ceremony on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at the Big Marble Go Centre.
Joseph's impact on hockey in Medicine Hat began with his playing career, as the first local to join the NHL with the Detroit Red Wings and a Stanley Cup win in 1943. Transitioning to coaching and then to franchise ownership, he co-founded the Medicine Hat Tigers in the Western Hockey League in 1970. Under his leadership, the Tigers became a powerhouse, nurturing NHL talents and winning back-to-back Memorial Cups. Fisher's legacy, marked by his role in establishing one of North America's most respected hockey franchises, solidifies him as a significant figure in the sport's history in Medicine Hat.
Zorislav's distinguished journey in Karate spans 48 years, highlighted by attaining the 8th Dan rank, a testament to his dedication and mastery of the sport. His contributions extend beyond his time as an athlete; as a Class A certified international instructor, he has left a lasting impact on students in Europe and Canada, many of whom have achieved success at various levels, including World Championships. Having taught in Medicine Hat for more than 23 years, Zorislav has contributed significantly beyond his expertise in Karate; he has instilled a passion for the sport among countless students. His role has firmly established him as a key figure within the local Karate community, as the sport's first inductee.
“The Sports Wall of Fame recognizes leaders in sport and honours individuals and teams of the past and present to inspire the future,” says James Will, Managing Director, Parks and Recreation, City of Medicine Hat. “Both Joseph and Zorislav have proven their outstanding commitment to their respective sports have made significant contributions to the sporting community in Medicine Hat.”
The City of Medicine Hat recognizes community leaders, honours individuals and teams while instilling a sense of pride in outstanding sports achievement through the Sports Wall of Fame. The selection criteria includes:

  • Signification local, provincial, national or international recognition
  • Sustained ambassadorship of Medicine Hat in sports
  • Longevity of achievement in sports
  • Contribution towards the betterment of the sports community
  • Born in or has moved to Medicine Hat or area within the last 10 years and considers the Medicine Hat area an important part of their life experience
  • Excelled in sports as a leader (an athlete, builder, administrator, official, media/broadcaster, sportswriter, team, sponsor)
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in their field and has had outstanding or extraordinary experience success
  • Athletes must be retired from competition, but can still be involved in the sport in other ways
    Nominations for the Sports Wall of Fame are accepted year-round with an annual cutoff date September 30. For more information, visit medicinehat.ca/walloffame.
    The Sports Wall of Fame ceremony is open to the public – more details to come. A livestream will also be available on the Big Marble Go Centre Facebook page.
Education & Learning
First student organized and run Wellness Day at Senator Gershaw School
Apr 9
3
Min Read

First student organized and run Wellness Day at Senator Gershaw School

Members of the student Wellness Committee at Senator Gershaw School in Bow Island held their first successful Wellness Day on the Thursday before Easter weekend. Staff and students took part in a variety of activities aimed at promoting personal wellness while having fun and connecting with each other.

As the oldest member of the Wellness Committee at Senator Gershaw School, Sophie Wever became the leader of the group. The idea for the committee sprang out of the annual leadership conference Wever and fellow members of the leadership group at the school attended back in November 2023.

“We took away from that day and planned it all out,” explained Wever.

“Every year they do the healthiest school cup and plan out what the school will do to be healthy. It’s not a competition, just how they ensure we are having good wellness in our school as that is becoming a more popular thing in Alberta. We like to take away from that day because it gives us a bunch of ideas and gets us thinking of things we could do in our school.”

The Wellness Day, which took place the day before Easter weekend, was split into 40-minute sessions with time for breaks between each one. Healthy protein and how a healthy diet can affect one’s wellness was covered with students making protein balls in the home economics room. Representatives from Miywasin Centre were in the gymnasium for Indigenous team building games. Ever Active Schools were running yoga sessions, and Painter Girl offered the chance for students to discover some creative fun. Teachers and staff also got to take part with members of the Wellness Committee leading them in a variety of activities.

The Wellness Committee is composed of elementary and junior high students at the school, who were supported by teachers and school administration along with the parent advisory council.

“It’s all elementary and junior high run and that is what we wanted to do because it brings more opportunities for the younger kids to be in our Wellness Committee in our school,” said Wever. “I was a little nervous at the start but after we had our intro and we went over everything, I’m excited now. We’ve done so much planning and scheduling with our group that it’s surreal we actually made it happen. It’s wonderful, I’m so happy now, it turned out great. The last week was crazy, I had surgery on my knee in February. We were going to have our wellness day in February, but due to that we changed it around. It’s been chaotic for sure, but it’s coming to play really well.”

The biggest challenge for the committee was planning the schedule for Wellness Day and creating groups that account for differing student characteristics and having enough variety so there was at least one thing each student would find enjoyable. Each group was composed of 30 students and feeding them all also had to be taken into account.

“For my wellness, it’s been great because I get to see how much the kids love it. They came in this morning and were excited about what group they were in and all the fun stuff they get to do. That has been satisfying for me and how I get to make someone’s day and see them excited about it and it makes me so excited. I am a scheduler and I loved scheduling this day,” stated Wever.

She hopes Wellness Day will become a yearly event at Senator Gershaw and is hopeful the younger students on the committee, some in Grade 4 who were responsible for making posters, will continue on. “It’s really nice to see they want to keep doing it too,” said Wever. “I’m so glad it all worked out and I’m so thankful for everyone that has been helping because I was raised that when you put the hard work in, good things come. After seeing this and putting all my hard work in, and we get to see all the kids enjoying it, it’s such a good feeling, that feeling of achievement.”

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Commentary
Rampant impolite behaviour
Apr 8
1
Min Read

Rampant impolite behaviour

It saddens me to see in retail stores and medical offices signs warning people that foul and abusive language will not be tolerated. I agree with the signs just saddened to see we have sunk that low as a society.

It saddens me to see in retail stores and medical offices signs warning people that foul and abusive language will not be tolerated. I agree with the signs just saddened to see we have sunk that low as a society.

Does anyone really believe being rude or ignorant will get them a better deal or faster service? I am retired now but not long enough to forget that my level of service depleted the ruder the client.

Foul language is common in the military, no surprise there they have a dirty job that no one else wants. I had an instructor one time many years ago who said the only time you should swear, shout or both is if you have an emergency or a large group of people to move in a small space. He was right, many folks I worked with used foul language as a normal part of their everyday speech, when asked how they would attract attention during an emergency I was usually presented with an open mouthed blank stare.

If we are not prepared to respect each other how on earth can we be respected? It is no wonder our Federal Political leaders are telling us to stay home and stay safe while they swan off to exotic climates, feed us large plates of Bovine excrement and ignore our requests. They do not have any respect for the electorate and who can blame them, the electors do not hold them in high esteem either. Time to follow grandma’s instructions, if you would not say it to your mother then keep your mouth shut.

Commentary
Alberta’s Regiment, the South Alberta Light Horse (SALH) lives on
Apr 7
0
Min Read

Alberta’s Regiment, the South Alberta Light Horse (SALH) lives on

Alberta’s Regiment, the South Alberta Light Horse (SALH) lives on

Alberta’s Regiment, the South Alberta Light Horse (SALH) lives on

At meeting on Monday evening with the Comd 3 Division and several Foundation members. At that meeting, Comd 3 Division announced that the Army will not implement its plan to rebadge SALH troops in Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. Those troops will instead fall under the Operational Command of the KOCR for the foreseeable future, meaning they stay as SALH troops, but will conduct most exercises and training with the KOCR.

Politics
The Economy: Why the UCP Receives a Failing Grade
Apr 6
3
Min Read

The Economy: Why the UCP Receives a Failing Grade

Albertans trusted the UCP on managing the economy well in Alberta - that was a huge mistake!

The Economy: Why the UCP Government Receives a Failing Grade

In May 2023, Albertans once again chose the UCP to form government. There are several opinions on why the Alberta NDP lost the election they seemed destined to win, given the chaos created by Smith government: too much focus on Edmonton and Calgary, not enough focus on other small cities and rural ridings, too much negative campaigning, not enough promoting the NDP’s record when they were in government and how well they did to keep Albertans employed in spite of a world wide recession and crashing oil prices. . .  

Most Albertans know that the Alberta NDP wins unquestionably when it comes to managing public health, education, and other public services. In a province where healthcare is in chaos, education is crumbling, the income gap between the rich and the poor is ever widening, in the May 2023 election, people STILL put their faith in a government that seems intent on padding the pockets of the wealthiest while ignoring hard-working Albertans. And as more and more Albertans slip below the poverty line, it makes the tax burden even harder for those in the middle class.

So, we should not be surprised that healthcare is still a mess, classrooms are still underfunded, and citizens are still struggling to make ends meet!

When Rachel Notley formed government in 2015, she not only inherited a mess, but she also started her term during one of the worst economic world recessions with crashing oil prices that we have not seen since the early 80s. Yet, she managed to keep Albertans employed, classrooms funded, and healthcare functioning. By the end of her term, she was already paying down debt and building a strong and resilient economy.

And yet, in 2023, Albertans didn’t trust the Alberta NDP to manage the economy! They trusted the UCP! That was a big mistake. Truth be told, the Alberta NDP had a much better plan for the economy than the UCP. Alberta now has the highest inflation rate in all of Canada. Let’s explore some reasons how the UCP is failing the economy and the people of Alberta!

Let’s begin by examining the UCP's policies pertaining to the business environment in Alberta. Many of the UCP’s policies that favor big corporations over small and medium-sized enterprises are stifling innovation, entrepreneurship, and job creation. In addition, their approach to regulations is creating an unstable business environment. Reduced regulations, which result in a lack of oversight, may lead to irresponsible business practices, environmental harm, and lower quality standards. This approach is discouraging investment and hindering economic growth in Alberta. And this is hurting middle class Albertans!

The UCP's approach to the energy sector is also damaging the Alberta economy. Smith’s obsession with the oil and gas industry lacks vision and leaves little room for diversification. Over-reliance on one sector of the economy without a plan for the future, makes our province vulnerable to the fluctuations in commodity prices, environmental regulations, and global market trends. Moreover, the moratorium on renewables has had a disastrous effect on Alberta’s economy: stifling investment and hindering long term economic sustainability and competitiveness on a global scale. As a result of this short-sighted decision, we’ve lost out on trillions of dollars in investments, and significant potential income streams from revenues generated from taxes, royalties, and lease payments.

         Smith’s lack of vision for the future can also be seen in her treatment of public sector employees. To be exact, Smith offered public sector employees a 7.5 percent increase in wages over the next four years. This, however, does not even allow these workers to keep up with inflation which has increased by 15 percent in the last three years. Experts predict this move will further detract doctors, nurses, teachers, and other professionals from moving to Alberta or staying in Alberta. And this short-sighted plan creates huge instability to the future prosperity of our province. Such a decline in public services is bound to weaken Alberta’s overall competitiveness and attractiveness for investment.

         There is much more to be said, but I will save that for future articles. All I hope for now is that Albertans will chose better in 2027!

Community
Province supports Airport growth and development with $150,000 investment
Apr 4
1
Min Read

Province supports Airport growth and development with $150,000 investment

The Government of Alberta announced today that the Medicine Hat Regional Airport is one of ten regional airports to be awarded the Regional Airport Development grant.

Medicine Hat – The Government of Alberta announced today that the Medicine Hat Regional Airport is one of ten regional airports to be awarded the Regional Airport Development grant. The $150,000 investment will fund a feasibility study and business case to justify airport capital development and investment opportunities.
“We are thrilled by the province's commitment to facilitate growth of our airport,” said Logan Boyd, Airport Manager. “This work will precede the Airport Masterplan Project, during which we will closely examine the recommendations arising from the strategic framework developed through completion of the study and business case,” adds Boyd.
The Airport Masterplan was endorsed by City Council in November 2023.
“With support of the province, we can conduct a detailed facilities assessment to evaluate the lifespan, condition, and capacity of airport infrastructure across all major asset classes,” said Pat Bohan, Managing Director of Development and Infrastructure. “This endeavor will pave the way for boosting the airport’s economic output and toward keeping Medicine Hat connected to other economies and major markets,” adds Bohan.
This first phase of the project is expected to be complete by September 2024. 

Education & Learning
Prairie Rose Home Plus Learning Network fits around different family circumstances
Apr 4
3
Min Read

Prairie Rose Home Plus Learning Network fits around different family circumstances

Prairie Rose Public Schools Home Plus Learning Network supports about 50 students who, for various reasons, do not attend a regular school. The majority of the programming is a parent-choice model, which can work better for certain family circumstances.

Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS) Home Plus Learning Network currently has just under 50 students enrolled. Most of the programming is a parent-choice model, primarily home education directed by the parent(s). Two options are available, one is to follow a 22-outcome model from K-12 and the other is to follow the Alberta Education curriculum. With the second option, the parents are funded to buy all the resources and are responsible for the education of their child(ren).

Home Plus is more involved in the learning process with the online program where software platforms, such as Seesaw or Google Classroom, are populated with learning materials and education is guided at home. Each student has regular virtual check-in meets with Home Plus where successes and concerns can be shared.

Distance learning is also an option, with some students attending school while living in other countries or long-distance sailing with their parents. Outside of assessment and marking, there isn’t a component for teacher time with distance learning, thus it is more suitable for students who are able to work independently,

Additionally, there are five students who currently have in-person programming with Home Plus. This is for students who aren’t attending a regular school but require an in-person experience and their schedule, along with if they also have blended online learning, depends on the needs of the student and schedule of the parents.

“There are so many different family circumstances out there and this can fit around various scenarios,” said Principal Carol Carlson.

Home Plus staff are very attuned to mitigating students feeling isolated. “Many home-ed parents bring that up,” stated Carlson. “At the same time, because they are so aware of it, they do a beautiful job of getting their kids involved in things in the community. Many of those kids are in 4-H, sports, their parents have memberships at the Y, or they go to music lessons. They are doing so much and there is an opportunity for them to be around other kids. It inspires what we try to do to support that.”

Michelle Kuzik is the Behaviour Education Assistant with Home Plus and compiles a regular newsletter that outlines all the events and age-appropriate activities available in the community.

“I take the extra time to do the legwork and put it all on an easy document along with a calendar for them to see. We also update what we are doing in school so they can get involved on some of the projects or research going on (such as for Passion Projects),” added Kuzik.

Her role supports unique learning where Kuzik finds strategies and ways to strengthen weaknesses or enhance strengths to build student’s confidence and self-awareness so they can move forward. Kuzik meets with most of her students daily, but the schedule is constantly changing depending on their needs. Some require more support than others and there is often shyness to overcome when there has been in-person learning and a student is now moving to home learning.

“We often support them more in the beginning to get them into a routine,” said Carlson. Helping students establish routines and walking them through how to start their day is a key aspect when joining Home Plus. “Even for online learning, you still start your day with your regular things, whatever that looks like in their household, to stay balanced,” added Kuzik.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Community
Neighbors Stand Together: Medicine Hat's Battle for Neighborhood Integrity
Apr 2
2
Min Read

Neighbors Stand Together: Medicine Hat's Battle for Neighborhood Integrity

In the heart of Medicine Hat, one neighborhood is standing up against big changes. Dive into their story and see how they're fighting to keep their neighborhood special.

A David vs. Goliath Battle in Medicine Hat

In a peaceful part of Medicine Hat, Alberta, a big problem is stirring. A company from another province wants to build two tall apartment buildings where houses were supposed to go. Many Harlow residents are upset and worried about what it will mean for their homes and way of life.

What's Got People Worried?

Privacy and Quality of Life at Risk
For one family, this issue hits close to home—literally. Their backyard is where friends and family come together, especially in the summer. But with the new buildings, dozens of balconies would look right into their private space. The thought of losing their little oasis is heartbreaking.
Zoning and Environmental Oversights
The project has raised significant questions about zoning practices and environmental considerations. Residents are worried about flooding because the current drainage system is already overloaded. The buildings will block sunlight to the neighbours' gardens. And there's the very real fear that everyone's homes will lose value. Some estimates suggest about $80,000 each.
Traffic and Safety Concerns
The nearby Trans-Canada Highway entries would become an even bigger headache. Increased traffic increases risks to pedestrian safety at a nearby already-controversial playground zone.

Infill Concerns Clash with City Guidelines

Resident concerns highlight mismatches with the city's own guidelines for residential infill, including:

  • Be respectful of the design of existing developments
  • Maintain the privacy of new residents and existing neighbours
  • Sensitively increase the number of residents
  • Use good overall urban design practices
    The proposed apartment buildings seem to disregard these principles. They focus on maximizing occupancy. They don't consider the existing community's design, privacy, or population density.

    Calling for Support

    Over 180 community members opposed the project on the city's website. And the city still approved it. Now, the neighborhood has only 15 days to challenge this decision. They're hoping that by coming together, they can make a difference.
    They're planning a protest on Wednesday night (April 3rd) at 6:00 pm at 1064 1 ST SW to draw attention to their cause. The local news will be there, too, to share their story with more people.

    Stand Up and Be Heard

    This fight is about more than just a building. It's about people wanting to protect what makes their neighborhood a great place to live. If you live in Medicine Hat and love your community, come out and help. By joining together, we can show that our voices matter.

If you want to keep up with what's happening and help out, stay tuned. Every person who joins makes us stronger. Let's show that we care about our homes and our neighborhood.

Community
Adult leadership needed
Mar 30
2
Min Read

Adult leadership needed

By now, most Medicine Hat residents are well aware of the recent infighting within City Council. Months of behind-the-scenes squabbling between management, elected officials, and the Mayor has boiled over, resulting in an ongoing series of embarrassing headlines and media stories.

By now, most Medicine Hat residents are well aware of the recent infighting within City Council.

Months of behind-the-scenes squabbling between management, elected officials, and the Mayor has boiled over, resulting in an ongoing series of embarrassing headlines and media stories.

As a former MLA, it is not my place to take sides in this public spat, other than to gently remind council that nobody really wins in situations like this, least of all city residents.

It is extremely frustrating for local citizens, who find themselves stuck with rapidly rising tax bills and utility costs, to watch elected representatives sniping at each other over codes of conduct and procedure.

The whole situation reminds me of a saying by late author and renowned management expert Peter Drucker: “Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things.”

All sides of this dispute need to put their issues in perspective, and remember that their first duty is to put the interests of local families and business owners first. If not, voters certainly will be well within their rights to make necessary changes in next year’s municipal election.

In the meantime, there are several things the Provincial Government needs to do to reset and clarify the roles of our elected officials and municipalities. 

The fact is, the Province has exclusive jurisdiction over municipalities under Section 92 of the Constitution. As such, it is the Provincial Government’s duty to quickly clear up any confusion over the powers that may be exercised by municipal officials. Yet the Province has spent much of the past three years ragging the puck on its review of both the Municipal Government Act and the Local Authorities Election Act. Issues concerning such matters need to be resolved decisively to ensure transparency and accountability in all municipal operations. Voters expect clear rules to be applied evenly across all municipalities, and when these rules are broken punishments should not be applied on an ad hoc basis.

In the long term, the Province also needs to work with municipalities to create a clearly defined separation duties. Over the past decade, the Provincial Government has cycled between PC, NDP, and UCP administrations, each with their own idea of what services municipalities should provide. At the end of the day, the Province should provide predictable, long term funding, while municipalities need to know exactly what services they are expected to provide (and what services they are not). 

Whether its infighting within City Council or partisan sniping between governments, the public has had more than enough blame shifting and finger pointing.

Taxpayers are currently being asked to provide more of their paycheques than ever before in difficult economic times. At the very least, government officials need to stop acting like squabbling children. 

Adult leadership is needed.

Commentary
Clark Drama Only Inflamed Further by Release of One Sided Documents
Mar 28
2
Min Read

Clark Drama Only Inflamed Further by Release of One Sided Documents

Clark’s release of redacted documents questions her integrity as far as the “whole truth”, transparency regarding her behaviours and actions beyond the August 21st council meeting at the centre of the code of conduct breach.

Medicine Hat - The ongoing saga of Mayor Clark and council got a little more dramatic this week as Clark took to the steps of city hall and in front of supporters and media made her statement on the sanctions.

After her press conference she released documents on social media from her side of the argument and shed some light on what may be at the core of the conflict with the CAO.

In an email that was part of her document release there were questions regarding CAO Mitchell’s authority to eliminate the Chief of Staff and Public Relations positions from the Mayor’s team.  In Clark’s email to Mitchell dated October 23, 2023, she referenced a closed council meeting of July 4, 2024 in which she stated Mitchell had told Clark that Mitchell had unilateral authority to eliminate the two positions in question.  

Clark redacted parts of the email and one could only assume the info redacted would reflect badly on Clark.  So much for the transparency she stated should stood for in her press conference.

No Mayor in the history of Medicine Hat has ever needed a Chief of Staff or a Public Relations position to assist in their execution of duties.  The Mayor is a full time job paid $154k and these positions were costing taxpayers approximately $200k a year and were deemed not beneficial to the role when it was decided to eliminate them.

Since any items discussed in closed council are not to be disclosed in public, it could be argued that Clark has now further violated all of section 9 of the Code of Conduct bylaw as she has now disclosed information from an in camera meeting. Read the Code of Conduct bylaw here. https://www.medicinehat.ca/en/government-and-city-hall/resources/Documents/Bylaws/4492.pdf

So even though she is seeking a judicial review of the sanctions against her, council and administration is now reviewing further breaches as a result of her release of documents on Facebook.

Clearly this will not come to a quick conclusion and with council united against Clark her continual actions will only alienate council further. Her handful of vocal supporters may not find satisfaction they wish in the outcome.

Education & Learning
AgPRO students at Irvine School excelled in course
Mar 27
2
Min Read

AgPRO students at Irvine School excelled in course

New agricultural related option courses are now available at Irvine School and the first AgPRO Beef six-week course recently wrapped up. In addition to a variety of field trips, many guest speakers came to speak with the students. At the last class of the course, students presented models of their low-stress cattle handling system with first and second place winners taking home prizes.

The first AgPRO Beef course at Irvine School wrapped up recently with students presenting their final project, a low-stress cattle handling system, to teachers Logyn Jacksteit, Nichole Neubauer and Toby Newton, Livestock Specialist for South Country Co-op Cypress Agro Centre, stepped in as the judge. The project aimed at giving students the chance to apply what they learned over the six weeks of the course and was done in groups of two.

Newton was impressed with the quality of all the cattle handling systems presented. “You all did an awesome job, the way you thought about how you laid it out, put water in all the pens, you thought about places for them to calve, the way the alleys work. You’ve all done a marvelous job and I did have trouble finding a first and second place,” Newton told the students. “You’ve taken a lot on board and justified what you’ve done…that is testament to how much you listened.”

Even though the girls were outnumbered two to one in the class, both the winning pairs were female. The second-place team, Katelyn Sheppard and KariDee Millington, spent about 30 hours on their project and said they learned lots on the field trips and appreciated being able to apply that information when they were in class.

The first-place team, Alexis Weir and Senya Hietamaa, each won a hat and a $50 Co-op gift card. They didn’t think they were going to win as there were so many good handling systems presented. During the past week before the project presentation, the group worked on their system each day for a couple of hours to perfect it.

The week before the final project, the class took their final field trip to the Medicine Hat Feeding Company where they spent a couple of hours learning about selling and auctioning cattle. After a general introduction, the class headed upstairs to hear about the importance of brands and how they are checked when cattle come in. They also heard how cattle rustling is still an issue, although not so much in Southern Alberta as up north and in Texas.

Outside, the students had a tour of the holding and sorting pens, which took about 20 minutes. Before heading back inside, the group, minus the teachers, gathered on the cattle weigh scale and their combined weight came in a just over 3,000 lbs. Once inside, the students sat in the seating above the auction pen and heard about how much organization and administrative work is required for an auction house to run smoothly. An auctioneer was available, so a mock auction was held, with one student volunteering to be sold.

In previous weeks, the group took field trips to Co-Op Agro Centre, Shortgrass Ranch and Deer View Meats. Various guest speakers also came into speak with the class, including veterinarians, vet technicians and producers. 

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Politics
Clark Code of Conduct Report Released
Mar 26
1
Min Read

Clark Code of Conduct Report Released

Code of Conduct report released and it’s heavily redacted.

**Medicine Hat - **The **investigation report **referenced during the March 21 Special Meeting of Medicine Hat City Council is now available to the public.

It is heavily redacted for privacy reasons and some elements are clear and others are not. It was clear that Mayor Clark delayed the process of responding beyond what was deemed reasonable by the investigator. She believed that she was following procedures when questioning why certain steps were not taken regarding reorganization of city operations.

While much of the decision and content is redacted the investigator is clear in pointing out that the CAO is accountable to council as a whole and not one single councillor or Mayor. That in essence was the breach, the public interrogation by one member of council, Mayor Clark. That complaint was found to substantiated by the investigator.

It will be hard for the public to reconcile the punishment with the breach as the public is not privy to details in the report that council would be privy to. Again, they were unanimous in their decision and that should be respected.

Creative Writing
Models On The Wall - A Spoken Word Poem
Mar 26
1
Min Read

Models On The Wall - A Spoken Word Poem

This poem addresses issues with modern-day beauty standards - should we be comparing ourselves to the models on the wall?

Models On The Wall 

By Reyna Woodruff (Grade 11)

The little boys and girls ask, “Mommy, why don’t I look like the models on the wall?”

Because it’s everywhere, on our phones, in our heads, in the clothes at the mall 

Nothing really fits, not standards, not opinions, nothing at all

My hips, my lips, my hair 

Never really seem to compare 

To the models on the wall 

But how do they do it after all?

You could do everything you can 

Try on clothes, put on makeup, fake tan

And still look at yourself with appall 

Because you don’t feel like the models on the wall

They say beauty is subjective, but what does that change? 

When everyone still wants the models on the wall, isn’t that strange? 

The models on the wall have the right clothes 

The right face 

The right body

But what really are the right clothes 

The right face 

And the right body? 

Do they exist? Or is it all just an allusion? 

Something that lingers in a state of confusion 

Is that we don’t see the pills 

The hunger 

The pain

We don’t know about the surgeries 

And the tears of acid rain

The Photoshop, the withdrawal

That it takes to look like the models on the wall

But when the glass is shattered and broke 

The pieces spread on the floor and we see through the smoke

Then you’ll see 

Your mind can be free

And realize that after all

No one really is the model on the wall.

Creative Writing
Flowers - A Spoken Word Poem
Mar 26
2
Min Read

Flowers - A Spoken Word Poem

The pain of diseases hit the patients so hard. Almost as hard as the people in their wake. But with each disease there are symbols that represent them. These flowers are mine.

Flowers

By Grace Allen (Grade 11)

outside is covered with flowers.

They are blue, and purple, and yellow and red

And those colours transport you to a place unlike the reality 

It is a fairytale; 

but it is only a facade to cover up the desolate interior. 

When the doors push open

It smells almost like a hospital

the buzz of the oxygen tanks and the hum of the aircon 

It makes my heart race faster

The stale air hits my lungs,

bleak colours,

brown are paintings hung on the walls,

And dr phil playing over the tv in the main room.

lifeless people surrounding me;

but it is so much more than the depression it exudes, 

because within these dreary walls holds something close to my heart.

hi there. 

hello who are you? 

the pain of the words makes my mind foggy,

almost as foggy as hers but my world begins to spin,

i forget why i came here just like she forgot who i was;

And they say ignorance is bliss but her ignorance is the cause of my pain 

Then the air escapes my lungs.

i knew it was coming but the reality is all the more painful than what i had in my head.

her mind left her skull;

It escaped and started running for the the hills,

running faster than she can catch up to,

every moment she gets close she loses it again.

running a race to catch up to her memories, her love and her life

But shes running a race she can never win.

they say alzheimer’s is the mind deleting itself; 

erasing memories it wished to forget

But, in the process it erases its entirety 

the disease gets rid of the worst on purpose but the best on accident.

the memories of childhood remain until they can’t any longer

And, memories of loved ones cling on to whatever strand left they can find.

But, ultimately the disease will win

taking every inch of bliss from the people surrounding,

only leaving only ignorance in its place.

those flowers outside the doors no longer remind you of a fairytale. 

they no longer bring life but, only a reminder of death.

a reminder you wish to forget;

A reminder that she could forget just so easily.

Education & Learning
New Equine Program Starting at Eagle Butte High School in September
Mar 26
4
Min Read

New Equine Program Starting at Eagle Butte High School in September

Registration is now open for a new equine program at Eagle Butte High School that will start in September 2024. The school has partnered with Coyote Creek Riding Arena and students interested do not need to own a horse to be eligible for the program. Students will have two hours each school day in the program with three of them at the arena and the other two dedicated to completing certificate requirements, undertaking physical training and hearing guest speakers.

A new equine program at Eagle Butte High School will launch this coming September. Cory Schiebelbein and Cassandra Leung will be teaching the program, which already has close to 10 students registered.

Schiebelbein taught at Senator Gershaw for 20 years and transferred to Eagle Butte this academic year. He starts colts and has worked with horses for the past 20 years so was a natural fit for the new program, which is partnered with Coyote Creek Riding Arena, a short 4 km distance from the school. The best part of the program is students who register don’t need to own a horse. If they do, they can board at Coyote Creek or trailer in and pen the horse for the three days the students are at the arena each week.

Students have the chance to obtain their Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 of their Western Riding Instructors through Certified Horsemanship Certification (CHA) in the USA and will be able to test for those levels once they are 18.

“Insurance companies recognize CHA as a viable horsemanship program and understand someone with it knows what they are doing around horses and give insurance deductions for people who are trained with that certification. This company is recognized throughout North America, so students can cross the border to work in the States in camps, equestrian facilities or at ranches. It’s not like we are just letting them ride horses, they are coming away with some certifications that will give them a jump up in the horse industry,” stated Schiebelbein.

Students will have two hours each school day dedicated to the equine program while still being responsible for all their other required classes. Three days will be spent riding at the arena and two days will be at the school for physical fitness related to horsemanship or working on green certificate books and the CHA manual. Additionally, various guest speakers are booked to come in and speak to the students on topics such as working as a farrier, veterinarian, saddle maker, leatherworker, colt starter, roping, barrel racing and hat shaping. Field trips to Cypress Hills, Historic Reesor Ranch and other destinations are also being planned.

“This whole area is steeped in a ranching history and horses are a big part of that. The program is going to be a positive influence because nothing has been offered before, that I know of, where we can get them CTS credits and certificate credits,” added Schiebelbein. “They are going to come away with so much stuff from this program along with the knowledge of all the clinicians we are bringing in, to have access to that as part of the school program is amazing.”

Grade 11 student Kiandra Gaetz is excited about the new program and the work Schiebelbein and Leung have done to start it and make it easy for students to do something they love while at school.

“We are a school outside the city and lots of the kids who come here rodeo and are doing that sort of stuff. I’ve been riding my whole life, I own horses, rodeo, jackpot, and train,” said Gaetz. “The certificates would be very useful, I could coach, teach, help my clinician who I study under with clinics and make the equine and horse program bigger and better to help people to learn and teach and do everything surrounding horses at school.”

Leung is aware of the diverse population of students at Eagle Butte and the way the school is unique in bringing different opportunities forward for them to learn and grow.

“We noticed this was an area we hadn’t developed as a school yet. This is an opportunity for students to get to spend time at school doing something they love that they’ll hopefully grow into in the future after school. It also involves the community we have around here. We have such a rich resource of knowledge and people who have worked hard to set up some excellent facilities. I love that we are getting to involve the students in building a community and being part of it,” said Leung.

Space in the program is limited so anyone interested should register as soon as possible. For more information, contact Eagle Butte High School at 403-528-1996.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Creative Writing
Score Me - A Spoken Word Poem
Mar 25
2
Min Read

Score Me - A Spoken Word Poem

While it may not be spoken here, this poem poignantly communicates the effect of a student placing their identity in their grades.

Score Me by Kat Fairbrother (Grade 11)

It is a funny thing

How time can change so much

How time can change so little

How time can do nothing at all

I recall being very young

And being proud in knowing

How to count to 200

200

Two hundred and ten kids

In my school

And we all wanted to be loved

Love the players, who hated our work

I remember finding all of my assignments

Too easy,

easy;

See me work through these problems

One by one, faster, answer it and get a prize

I did it perfect the first time and was the best

Best for me, beats me why it was so easy

The rest of the work was

for those wide smiles that followed

So smart, they said, so talented, bright as a new friendship

You, youth fleeting as soon as I realized

These smiles and words were like gold

Do the work, get the reward

It was so simple

Simply wonderful

As I got older they were my salvation

Signs and notes that proved I

Was good, good enough, good for them 

Rest assured I felt invincible

When teachers and parents, mentors and friends

Praised me for this thing that came so effortlessly

I breezed through these assignments

Getting handed symbols and signs

That told me I was worth something

But these numbers and letters, notes and grades

Were not as solid, not as comforting

As the praises and validation and words that followed

I always tried to grab for them, reaching

Reach them and feel full, feel fulfilled

Fill me with something else, please, something that matters

But if a dog does a trick once it is incredible

If it does the trick hundreds of times it is boring

Bury me in grades that mean nothing

Note that the thing I did not learn

Was that I was so trapped in these A’s, A Plus

Plus the walk of time never took me with it

I was left behind and the praises stopped

I proved I could do it, so why did it matter to them

My work started to die, grades dropping and smiles stopping.

“You used to be so good, what happened?”

No, I can’t ask for help

Do not drop me into the throne and then 

Expect me to ask for aid once I fall from it

It is a cruel way to hurt someone

If I am not talented, what am I

If I am not better, I must be terrible then

For all the praises have turned sour

Swear to me that I am not my grades

And do not tell me that I will be fine

If all I have from my time here

Is the validation, the happiness that came from my work

What else is worth more

More smiles, bring back the love

For if I am not my academic success

What is the point of letting time shape me

Into something that is not marked and scored

Into perfection

Commentary
Mayor Clark Sanctions Were the Correct Decision
Mar 24
3
Min Read

Mayor Clark Sanctions Were the Correct Decision

The code of conduct complaint, and outside legal council's determination that Mayor Clark breached the code, was the trigger to try to deal with a number of Mayor Clark's behaviours that had created a working environment in city hall that neither the rest of council or administration were willing to continue to allow.

It was a hard lesson that you'd hope Mayor Clark would learn...humility.

After 2 days of deliberations in closed council sessions, city council unanimously agreed Thursday that Mayor Clark would be Mayor of Medicine Hat in name only on a go forward basis, or at least until she accepted some responsibility for her actions.

Other local news outlets have asked Hatters if they thought the sanctions were too "harsh" or have asked former councilors what they thought of the outcome of the code of conduct review. To their credit, most Hatters said they didn't know enough to comment on the issue. Some felt that if council unanimously decided on this course of action then maybe there is more to the story. Some of course felt it was over the top.

Former councilor Turnbull felt that it may deter others from running for the Mayor's seat in future elections and is concerned about council being able to manage the affairs of the city with a rotating acting Mayor. These sanction only apply to Clark and when this council's term end so will the sanctions.

As stated when the Sentinel published the outcome of the special council meeting to decide Mayor Clark's fate, sources that wished to remain anonymous for a number of reasons, said there has been an ongoing pattern of behaviour by Mayor Clark inside city hall that needed to be addressed.

The Sentinel has been told that Clark has continually disrespected city administrators at multiple levels of authority, from the CAO on down, when it came to policy or procedures she felt should be changed. This is even after the code of conduct incident that occurred in August 2023. It was mentioned to the Sentinel that she has been trying to do the CAO's job, which is outside her job description as Mayor, nor is she qualified to do.

The code of conduct complaint, and outside legal council's determination that Mayor Clark breached the code, was the trigger to try to deal with a number of Mayor Clark's behaviours that had created a working environment in city hall that neither the rest of council nor administration were willing to let continue.

The reality of the situation is that council UNANIMOUSLY decided on the sanctions. There were no dissenters when the vote was called which should reinforce for Hatters that council was unified in what they felt was necessary. Councilor Sharps recused herself from the vote to remove any appearance of influence in the outcome of the vote.

Probably the most telling of all regarding Clark's behaviours was her response to the decision that she published on social media. The response in itself shows she is unwilling to respect the will of council and reflect on that fact that 8 of her peers were united in sending her a message. She needed to hear in the strongest terms that her behaviour was unacceptable, to reflect on the decision and eat some humble pie. Unfortunately she decided to do the opposite and has shown in writing her insolence, disrespect of the law and the right of council to do what it did.

The decision of council was not easy and not taken lightly. Councilors have told the Sentinel that there has been a number of hate emails received after the decision and that they were prepared for backlash.

The lesson to be learned in this exercise is that in municipal governance the Mayor does not have the same level of power as "Prime Minister" or "Premier". The Mayor is one of 9 votes on city council. The Mayor is to speak on behalf of council and the community.

Clark can state she is fighting for her vision of the city. There are procedures to do just that. Clark needed to work with others, stay in her lane as far as her role, and lead by creating and fostering a good working environment for council and administration to get things done that Hatters feel are important to them and their community.

Clearly council felt Clark was unable to change her behaviours and therefore exercised their legal right to do it for her.

Politics
Mayor Clark Breaches Council Code of Conduct and Severely Sanctioned by Council
Mar 21
2
Min Read

Mayor Clark Breaches Council Code of Conduct and Severely Sanctioned by Council

Medicine Hat city council has found Mayor Linnsie Clark in substantial breach of the council code of conduct bylaw and severely sanctioned as a result.

Medicine Hat, AB - Medicine Hat city council has found Mayor Linnsie Clark in substantial breach of the council code of conduct bylaw and severely sanctioned as a result.

Legal council found Mayor Clark to be in substantial breach of the council code of conduct bylaw and council moved unanimously to do the following regarding Mayor Clark and her actions toward CAO Ann Mitchell:

  • Publication of a letter of reprimand and request for apology, in the form read out by the Acting Mayor on behalf of Council
  • Suspension of her duties related to her role
  • She can no longer speak on behalf of council
  • She is prohibited from having contact with administration other than by email which will be required to have all of council carbon copied and if in person only in the presence of another member of council
  • She can no longer be present at administration committee meetings
  • Her salary will reduced by 50% effective immediately due to her reduced role

Council has made a very clear statement that her ability to work collaboratively is non existent and that in light of her actions she will be Mayor in name only.

Mayor Clark responded to the decision through social media only by stating the following:

“I ran on a platform of change for the citizens of Medicine Hat who were concerned about administrative overreach and poor governance at City Hall. I stand by those principles. I believe holding the City’s administration to account is the role of Council. 

I gave up my job as a lawyer for the City to fight for what I believe is right for Medicine Hat. That is what I did, and will continue to do that now.

I fundamentally disagree with the decision of Council. I find Council’s sanction shocking and absolutely disproportionate. I am reviewing my legal options and expect to be in a position to provide a further public response after I have done so."

Mayor Clark declined to comment directly to media outlets on the decision. As much as Clark disagrees with council on the nature of the sanctions, sources have told the Sentinel on the condition of anonymity that Mayor Clark's behaviour and treatment towards others in city administration has been disrespectful and unprofessional bordering on harassment.

This would suggest that the Clark has a pattern of behaviour that was untenable to council and was clearly unwilling to change that behaviour.

Education & Learning
Rodeo Academy at Foremost School continues to look for ways to improve and grow
Mar 21
4
Min Read

Rodeo Academy at Foremost School continues to look for ways to improve and grow

Foremost School Rodeo Academy gives students enrolled something to look forward to each day, which motivates them to get their other schoolwork done. The Academy is looking for interest from students in Medicine Hat and will explore transportation options if there is enough.

The Rodeo Academy at Foremost School is now in its second year with 11 students enrolled, two who are from the Medicine Hat area and billet in town. Recently, the Academy put out feelers over social media to find out if there is enough interest from students in the Medicine Hat area to run a bus out to Foremost School each day.

“This is our second year and over the past two years we’ve had lots of enquiries from all around the province,” stated Principal of Foremost School Corey Steeves. “This year we have two students who attend from the Medicine Hat area and billet in town and a couple of students transferred from the Horizon School District.”

Connor Harty is in Grade 12 and finds the most challenging part of the Rodeo Academy is staying focused and taking opportunities as they arise. Alternatively, being involved with the academy helps motivate Harty to get his schoolwork done early so that he can go to practice because he knows he won’t have time after.

Grade 8 student Roan Bosch was born and raised on a ranch bull yard and joined the academy to improve his roping skills. “When we do roping and steer wrestling, you are riding up to a calf you have to brand or treat. You can rope them, flip them and get them treated and it helps to know how to do that,” explained Bosch. Feedback from the instructors is incredibly helpful for Bosch and he’s learned to overcome his fears and make a run without overthinking.

Kendyl Hollingsworth used to barrel race but now focuses on goat tying and breakaway roping. “The year I started Rodeo Academy I was leaning towards the livestock end of rodeo and was getting out of barrel racing and entering the roping side,” she stated.

While it was a long process, Hollingsworth persevered and has seen lots of improvement in her technique. “I didn’t know how to swing a rope about a year ago and now I’m competing with the girls in high school rodeo,” said Hollingsworth. “I think it helps push me to do my schoolwork because if I’m going to practice, I’m finishing my schoolwork first. That kind of thing helps me keep in track.”

Brittney Chomistek began teaching at Foremost School two years ago just as the Rodeo Academy was launching. With a lifetime of rodeo experience and as the 2018 Miss Rodeo Canada, Chomistek is able to bring the connections she made on the circuit into the school to provide different opportunities for students.

Outside of instructing at the Rodeo Academy, Chomistek teaches Grade 2 and is thrilled about how the academy filters down to the younger kids. “We let them go rope dummies sometimes, or we’ll have the high school kids teach them how to tie goats. There are kids who have never been around horses and just want to be a part of it, so it’s also building that sense of community,” explained Chomistek.

Based in Medicine Hat, she thinks the commute out to Foremost each school day is worth it. While the roads can be challenging at times, this year has been much easier now that her dad, Guy Chomistek, is also teaching at the school and they commute together.

Chomistek is a huge advocate for Prairie Rose Public Schools and what the division offers all students. When she talks about the academy to those on the pro circuit, they often respond by saying they might have tried harder in school, or stayed in school, had they had an option such as the Rodeo Academy to look forward to most days.

“What I love about Prairie Rose is that we have all these specialized areas in all these other communities that allows us to have other kids involved,” stated Chomistek. “The division goals of fostering futures and igniting minds, that’s what we are doing with these academies while also keeping them accountable in school. We hold our academy kids higher than average students because we expect them to be attending their classes, we expect them to be doing their best, whatever their best is. We’ve taken away practices because we want a well-rounded student athlete, which is what PRPS promotes.”

It’s important to note that not all students in the rodeo academy have their own horse and gear. “It’s about giving kids experience in rodeo and our western heritage while also giving them practice so they can see if this is an avenue they want to pursue or not, which is another beautiful thing about it,” concluded Chomistek.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Politics
Special meeting of Council: March 21 at Noon
Mar 20
0
Min Read

Special meeting of Council: March 21 at Noon

A special meeting of Medicine Hat City Council has been scheduled for Thursday, March 21 at 12 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

Medicine Hat - A special meeting of Medicine Hat City Council has been scheduled for Thursday, March 21 at 12 p.m. in City Council Chambers.
The purpose of this special meeting is to address a singular agenda item, Council Code of Conduct Matter.
The City Council calendar and agenda portal on www.medicinehat.ca will be updated on the morning of March 21.
The meeting will be available (live and recorded) on the City of Medicine Hat’s YouTube channel.

Education & Learning
Prairie Rose Public Schools announces Brooklyn Burzminski as the 2024 Edwin Parr nominee
Mar 20
5
Min Read

Prairie Rose Public Schools announces Brooklyn Burzminski as the 2024 Edwin Parr nominee

Brooklyn Burzminski teaches science and English at Eagle Butte High School. She completed a degree in pharmacology prior to completing her education degree. In her first year of teaching, she feels this is her perfect job. Students are excelling in her classes due to Burzminski's teaching style and caring manner.

The 2024 Edwin Parr nominee for Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS) is Brooklyn Burzminski, who currently teaches at Eagle Butte High School. She feels honoured to be the nominee for PRPS and says it makes her want to do more and work harder at her job.

“I like what I am doing so much, which is potentially making a difference and I want to keep expanding and hopefully live up to the nomination,” stated Burzminski.

Teaching wasn’t a career choice Burzminski had considered and during high school contemplated either a science or English degree. She took science as there seemed to be more career options available, starting at the University of Saskatchewan before transferring to the University of Alberta (UofA) to complete her pharmacology degree. Career choices were primarily in research, which Burzminski felt wasn’t a good fit as it would be isolating. Remaining in Edmonton long term wasn’t ideal either as she wanted to move back to Medicine Hat to be close to her family.

While working for a year in healthcare and at an auction house, she considered her options and settled on an education degree after someone recommended it. After exploring this path further, Burzminski realized it was the perfect fit. She decided to remain at UofA for two more years to obtain her degree in education and appreciated how her chemistry transferred along with all her English classes, which she minored in.

Landing the job at Eagle Butte High School has been ideal as she gets to teach Science as well as English classes. Last semester she taught Chem 20 and English 10-1 and this semester she is teaching Chem 30 and Science 10. Initially, she was stressed about her first year of teaching as she’d been told how crazy it would be.

“I’ve had an awesome experience, in part because of where I am and I am teaching the perfect job right now. It is exactly what I could have asked for, which I didn’t expect for my first year. All the students have been amazing and I like the work I am doing,” said Burzminski. “I’m working long hours, I come early and stay late because I am a perfectionist, but I enjoy what I am doing and don’t feel like it’s draining on me.”

She’s putting in extra hours to ensure her lesson plans are the best she can make them and to be certain she knows how to teach the material, particularly for Chem 30. Her goal is to make the lessons interactive and find fun activities the students want to do, rather than only discussing what is on the board and giving worksheets to complete.

Additionally, Burzminski attempts to add in cross-curricular lessons between her English and my Science classes, such as reading comprehension strategies in chemistry. Her goal is to make school more relevant and easier to understand for students and to help them understand how material transfers from one subject to another.

In the first semester, Burzminski helped with the Eagle Butte cross-country team and plans to continue her extra-curricular involvement this spring with track and field. “It’s a different experience to be involved with those sports and the school activities,” stated Burzminski. “All of it is fun, so it doesn’t feel like you are being forced to stay when the kids are here.”

Grade 10 student Talayna Miller was in Burzminski’s English 10 class last semester and is taking her Science 10 class this semester. “She is a caring teacher and thinks about all her students,” said Miller. She’s really amazing and thorough with the material, so she doesn’t just give what is there. She goes beyond and explains it, so we have a good understanding.”

Grade 12 students Kelsie Pleau-Stewart and Samantha Lentz are both in Chem 30 with Burzminski. All three students talked about how understanding Burzminski is and that she not only cares how students are doing in her class, but also outside of school. They also mentioned her availability for students, including before and after school, and during Tag and her prep period.

“Whenever a class is missed, I can go back in and she’ll teach a mini lesson and be open to questions,” explained Pleau-Stewart. “She is open to giving us time to work on our assignments in class and offers help if needed and gives us direction if we are doing something wrong. Right now, I have an 83% in the class, normally I’m around the 60% area, so this is a big upgrade for me.” Pleau-Stewart is planning to go to Lakeland College to become a veterinary technician after graduating from high school.

Samantha Lentz, who intends to pursue her post-secondary nursing education in Lethbridge after graduating, feels having Burzminski as a teacher is why she is doing so well in Chem 30.

“I’m sitting with an 87% right now, which I think is great and I have a higher grade now than what I finished Chem 20 with,” stated Lentz. “I like her as a teacher, she cares about each of her students mentally and physically. If you are having problems outside of school, she is always there for you. She is such a welcoming teacher and is easy to talk to.”

What is key for Lentz is that when she asks questions, Burzminski doesn’t make her feel inadequate and is always non-judgmental. Additionally, each week Burzminski provides old Chem 30 diploma exam questions for the students to attempt. “It’s for us to get a better understanding of what the Chem 30 diploma questions might look like this year, which I find awesome because I struggle with writing diploma exams, so having a small understanding of what diploma questions look like make it so much better,” concluded Lentz.

Education & Learning
Eagle Butte teacher earns commercial pilot's license
Mar 20
2
Min Read

Eagle Butte teacher earns commercial pilot's license

Getting a commercial pilot’s license can be a fulltime endeavor, yet Eagle Butte teacher and co-lead of the DR South Alberta Flight Academy managed to achieve this goal last month.

Not only is Dana Marshall a co-lead at the Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS) DR South Alberta Flight Academy, but she also teaches chemistry, physics and math at Eagle Butte High School, is the local ATA president, a mother, rancher, along with being a volunteer wildland firefighter with the Cypress County Elkwater Fire Station. Since October of 2022, Marshall has also been training for her commercial pilot’s license, which she completed earlier this month.

Marshall explained, “with the commercial, they want the written test passed first and then you do the flight test. You can do the flight test as early as 150 hours and then you just get all the other flight hours in.” She took her flight test in September 2023, which is similar to the private license flight test except the pilot must be more precise in their flying. Marshall has been working towards fulfilling the remaining requirements, mostly flight hours, for the commercial license since passing the flight test.

“I flew all around Alberta, Saskatchewan and went to BC a couple of times. Part of the commercial is a 300 nautical mile flight from your starting point to the destination and there are approved routes you can do. I went to Yorkton, SK and you have to stop twice, at two places that aren’t your destination,” stated Marshall. “It’s all about gaining more experience, getting to more airports, being able to be in different types of airspace, that is what they are trying to teach you by having these certain rules.”

Her two children, the eldest 11 and the youngest 5, flew with her during some the solo hours, a minimum of 100, needed for the commercial license. When they got bored, Marshall would take up PRPS staff or Flight Academy students with her.

“If they want to hang out and go for a trip, all those solo hours get lonely after a while so it’s better to fly with someone,” said Marshall.

For now, Marshall is going to enjoy this accomplishment and relax from being in training. Now that she has her commercial pilot’s license, she can train to become a flight instructor and while she is thinking about it, she isn’t quite ready to jump in just yet.

Community
Medicine Hat Potters’ Association’s Clay It Forward silent auction will benefit The Honeycomb House
Mar 19
2
Min Read

Medicine Hat Potters’ Association’s Clay It Forward silent auction will benefit The Honeycomb House

MHPL has increased teen programming 300% thanks to The Honeycomb House

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing and Community Engagement

Handmade pots out for viewing and bidding at 17 community businesses until March 29

Medicine Hat boasts an impressive amount of artistic talent and a generous spirit.

Members of the Medicine Hat Potters’ Association have both and this month are utilizing their talents to help teens in the community and The Honeycomb House at Medicine Hat Public Library.

The group has partnered with 17 local businesses for the Clay It Forward silent auction, featuring a wide variety of handmade collaborative pots, each made by one member of the association and decorated by another. From now until March 29 the pieces are on display at the local businesses along with a sheet for bidding.

“We have a wide variety of items including vases, bowls, a plant pot, a jug, a platter and some items that could be used for a variety of purposes,” explains Corley Farough of the association’s special events committee. “Some of the pots are glazed, some are hand carved, and all created with careful thought and detail.”

Farough says when members were deciding where the funds would be donated, they looked for a place that was playing a positive role in mental and among the younger population. 

After learning about what The Honeycomb House specifically and library overall has to offer to local youth, it was a natural fit, Farough says.

“While the Honeycomb House isn't necessarily a space designated for mental health, we recognized the extremely positive influence that a space like this has the opportunity to provide for youth in our community, and felt that it was such a great addition to our very loved public library that we wanted to help ensure the success and amenities available within.”

Youth and community librarian Stephanie Kuhn says she was flabbergasted to learn The Honeycomb House was the chosen recipient for Clay It Forward.

"The Honeycomb House has only been open for six months, so to have community members rallying behind us goes to show how important this teen space is for the community, she says. “We've increased our teen programming at the library by 300% thanks to The Honeycomb House, so the funds from the Clay It Forward initiative will be put to good use to continue providing quality programming to Medicine Hat teens."

You can find a map of all the locations and the pieces up for auction on the Medicine Hat Potters’ Association Facebook page.  

To learn more about the Medicine Hat Public Library visit www.mhpl.shortgrass.ca.

Politics
Fair Deal progress stalled… again.
Mar 12
2
Min Read

Fair Deal progress stalled… again.

Under the Constitution, every Canadian province has the right to collect its own taxes. Quebec, for example, has been collecting its own provincial taxes since 1954. Alberta collecting its own provincial taxes only makes sense. It creates jobs in Alberta for Albertans using tax money that would have been sent to and misused by Ottawa. As our province already collects its own provincial corporate income taxes, an administration system is already in place, minimizing the need for any new expenses

There’s no question about it, Alberta is getting a raw deal in Canadian Confederation.

Whether it's Ottawa land-locking our resources, seeking to kill our leading industries through regulation, or penalizing our families and communities through equalization, Albertans are fed up.

As a member of Alberta’s Fair Deal Panel, I heard from thousands of people across our province, begging the government to defend provincial jurisdiction and fight back against Ottawa’s overreach.

Under Premier Kenney, the UCP government promised progress. Yet within a year of taking office it became clear the government had no intention of taking real action.

It’s why I brought forward Motion 505, calling for Alberta to deploy every legal, economic, and constitutional tool at our disposal to win a fair deal. I was hoping to shame the government into action. Unfortunately, the Kenney government chose to continue playing politics with the issue rather than seek real results. It’s one of the reasons Kenney was turfed as UCP leader.

Albertans hoped for better with the election of Premier Danielle Smith. Yet here we are, over a year into Smith’s leadership, and progress is once again at a stand still.

The government has no plan to force Ottawa to the table to fix the equalization program, despite the democratically expressed wishes of Albertans in the 2021 referendum. Any concrete movement towards the creation of a provincial police force has stalled, with no resources for this initiative included in the budget. A proposed referendum on the creation of a provincial pension plan won’t be held until at least 2025, if ever.

Perhaps the worst part is that the government hasn’t made any real effort to move forward with the easiest and quickest way to strengthen Alberta’s sovereignty.

Under the Constitution, every Canadian province has the right to collect its own taxes. Quebec, for example, has been collecting its own provincial taxes since 1954.

Alberta collecting its own provincial taxes only makes sense. It creates jobs in Alberta for Albertans using tax money that would have been sent to and misused by Ottawa. As our province already collects its own provincial corporate income taxes, an administration system is already in place, minimizing the need for any new expenses.

The creation of an Alberta Revenue Agency was a key proposal in the Free Alberta Strategy, a policy I personally endorsed. Smith also endorsed the strategy when running for the UCP leadership. Yet since taking office, her government has taken no concrete steps towards implementing it.

For months now, the government of Alberta has been stuck playing defence against Ottawa’s increasing overreach into areas of provincial jurisdiction. Federal plans to impose a half-cocked pharmacare plan, and put a de facto hard cap on oil production make Smith’s government look increasingly weak.

If the Premier truly wants to retake the initiative, she can do so. She doesn’t need federal approval to create an Alberta Revenue Agency. She can take decisive action, and she can do it immediately.

Or, she can run the risk of becoming just another Kenney.

Politics
KPMG will conduct Medicine Hat’s energy business review
Mar 7
2
Min Read

KPMG will conduct Medicine Hat’s energy business review

On Sept. 5, 2023, Medicine Hat City Council directed administration to convene an independent third-party review of the City’s energy business to confirm overall strategic approach to ensure best value for the community. Through a request for proposal (CMH23-113), the City of Medicine Hat awarded the contract to KPMG LLP.

Medicine Hat – On Sept. 5, 2023, Medicine Hat City Council directed administration to convene an independent third-party review of the City’s energy business to confirm overall strategic approach to ensure best value for the community. Through a request for proposal (CMH23-113), the City of Medicine Hat awarded the contract to KPMG LLP. A number of strong parties submitted proposals and KMPG LLP emerged as the top vendor with their combination of proven expertise across a number of the required knowledge areas including municipal government, Alberta electricity market, commodities, rate design, financial strategy, regulatory and more.
The City of Medicine Hat owns and operates its own electric generation and natural gas production business and remains the only municipally-owned commodity business of its kind in Alberta. The City also owns and operates its own electric and natural gas distribution businesses and is the sole electric retailer within the local electric franchise area.
The intent of the review is to ensure that ownership, governance, financial, rate design approach, and other relevant considerations are assessed to deliver optimal value for the community in light of changing community and external circumstances.
“The innovative spirit of our forefathers established an energy business that provided an exceptional quality of life for Medicine Hat residents for more than a century,” said City Manager, Ann Mitchell. “With the transition to a low-carbon future looming, we must ensure that the way we manage this business makes sense, and that we are willing to adapt in a way that benefits both our current and future generations. I am eagerly awaiting the results of this review to shape the future of our energy business.”
During contract negotiations, the City of Medicine Hat and KPMG mutually agreed to include the City’s electricity and gas distribution business in the project, shifting the focus from a ‘COMCO review’ to an ‘energy business review’ to consider all energy related business units given their natural interdependencies and synergies. However, KPMG will not review the current 'cost-plus' rate design for distribution, as it already aligns with the standard approach used by other regulated utility distribution systems.
“We are undertaking this exercise largely in response to public feedback and plan to openly share status updates and milestones as appropriate through Energy, Land and Environment Committee and on our website,” said Mitchell. “However, it is important that the community understands up front that KPMG is bringing their expertise to bear on these complex topics and, consistent with their RFP response, will not be conducting community consultation as part of their review.”
The results of the independent third-party energy business review are expected to be presented to City Council by the end of 2024. Follow along at www.medicinehat.ca/EnergyBusinessReview

Community
City confirms no funding from Housing Accelerator Fund
Mar 4
1
Min Read

City confirms no funding from Housing Accelerator Fund

The City of Medicine Hat’s application to the Government of Canada’s Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) has been denied. The HAF is a $4 billion federal funding program administered by Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation for municipalities to incentivize the implementation of local initiatives that remove barriers and accelerate the growth of housing supply.

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat’s application to the Government of Canada’s Housing Accelerator Fund (HAF) has been denied.
The HAF is a $4 billion federal funding program administered by Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation for municipalities to incentivize the implementation of local initiatives that remove barriers and accelerate the growth of housing supply. The City applied to the program in the summer of 2023, identifying nine local initiatives to encourage more housing supply over the short and long term. No feedback was provided as to why the application was denied.
The City’s application to the HAF included an action plan that described nine initiatives intended to create an environment ideal for housing development, including but not limited to streamlining of permitting and applications processes, pre-approved designs to reduce costs and timelines for developers, and refining current City of Medicine Hat incentives. Grant funding from the program would have been used to facilitate additional housing projects by addressing some of the challenges faced by our local building community.
“We will be regrouping to see how we can still look to implement some of the objectives identified in our application to ease our housing shortage,” says Pat Bohan, Managing Director of Development and Infrastructure. “Without these grant funds, we’ll need to carefully plan and manage expectations around timelines, and be innovative in our approach.”
Through the regular course of business, the City will continue to seek relevant grant funding opportunities.
“We’ll be watching closely for grant opportunities to support these initiatives,” added Bohan. “We know this is a growing challenge in our community, and we are committed to be an active partner in finding solutions.”

Commentary
Spring Forward: Medicine Hat Prepares for Daylight Saving Time
Mar 4
2
Min Read

Spring Forward: Medicine Hat Prepares for Daylight Saving Time

It's time to SPRING AHEAD in 2024

Medicine Hat, Alberta – As the snow melts and the first signs of spring appear in our picturesque city, the residents of Medicine Hat are reminded of the upcoming time change. This year, on March 10th, 2024, we will "Spring Ahead" into Daylight Saving Time (DST).

This annual tradition, which involves setting our clocks forward by one hour, signals the end of the winter season and the beginning of longer, sunnier days. While it might mean one less hour of sleep on the night of the change, it also promises extended evening daylight, which is a boon for everyone from outdoor enthusiasts to local businesses.

The concept of DST was first introduced to conserve energy during World War I and has since become a customary practice in many parts of the world, including here in Medicine Hat. The additional hour of daylight in the evening is designed to reduce the need for artificial lighting and heating, contributing to energy savings.

However, it's essential to remember that this time change can impact our daily routines. The "Spring Forward" adjustment can temporarily affect sleep patterns, so it's advisable to gradually prepare for the shift by going to bed a little earlier in the days leading up to March 10th.

For those relying on digital devices, most smartphones, computers, and smart home devices will automatically adjust to the new time. However, don't forget to manually change any analog clocks, watches, and appliances around your home or business.

The Medicine Hat Fire Department also encourages residents to use this time change as a reminder to check and replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, ensuring they are functioning correctly for your safety.

As we welcome the arrival of spring, let's embrace the longer days and the fresh opportunities they bring. Whether it's enjoying a stroll along the South Saskatchewan River, visiting our beloved parks, or simply enjoying the vibrant community life, there's plenty to look forward to.

Remember, on the night of Saturday, March 9th, before you head to bed, set your clocks forward by one hour. Here's to a bright and energetic start to the spring season in Medicine Hat!

Health & Wellness
LaGrange should check her facts before blaming AHS managers
Mar 4
4
Min Read

LaGrange should check her facts before blaming AHS managers

Health Minister Adriana LaGrange has taken off the gloves, suggesting Alberta Health Services managers who aren’t on board with changes to AHS should find “greener pastures.”

By Braden Manns

Health Minister Adriana LaGrange has taken off the gloves, suggesting Alberta Health Services managers who aren’t on board with changes to AHS should find “greener pastures.”

She repeated messages spouted by the premier in the fall — AHS has layers upon layers of middle managers — and she’s going to review every single manager position to see if it’s needed. She’s added in some new concerns she’s heard as well, like having to go up seven layers of bureaucracy to buy a new hospital bed and about 27 patients who “were stuck in hospital beds because they don’t have their taxes done so they couldn’t qualify for other services.”

The minister might want to check her facts before spewing inaccuracies. Frankly, the media should have checked their facts with AHS — though I say this knowing AHS isn’t allowed to speak to media without having their messages approved by the government.

Who cares about facts these days anyways? Facts like that AHS has the lowest spend on administration in Canada — around 2.6 per cent.

This talk of umpteen layers of bureaucracy is tired UCP rhetoric. If you’d asked AHS, you would have found that they implemented a policy over two years ago to provide funding to cover the cost of continuing care in situations like those mentioned for these 27 individuals. So that’s not why these people are still in hospital. It’s more likely there aren’t any continuing care beds for them.

From my past role at AHS, I know that AHS has been raising alarm bells for years about the need for new continuing care beds. New beds are the government’s responsibility and they’ve been stonewalling. No reorg will fix this. Facts can be so inconvenient.

The minister’s message reminds me of the saying “the beatings will continue until morale improves.” Just get rid of managers? I’m assuming you’re talking about the same managers who worked countless hours last summer finding places for patients and residents displaced by the wildfires? The ones taking calls in the evening while at their children’s events when emergency departments are overcapacity? The ones helping patients and families under challenging situations every day?

The problem isn’t managers. If change is slow in the health-care system, it’s because even for AHS — which is meant to have some independence, and the ability to make rapid decisions — the minister feels the need to micromanage every significant decision for fear it might create a PR mess for the government. That’s what leads to gridlock.
If you’re having trouble getting managers on board with your proposed “Health System Refocusing,” perhaps it’s because it’s not clear how the refocus will actually benefit patients or the beleaguered system. I’ve been travelling outside Alberta recently, speaking with other health ministries and systems.

Guess what? Other health ministries actually talk with leaders in the health-care system, the people taxpayers pay to operate it. They exchange ideas in a civil way and solve problems together. What’s more concerning is that people in the ministry (frankly, Albertans as well) take their cues from their leaders, and they are setting a terrible example of the type of collaboration that needs to happen between the ministry and AHS.

When did it become normal to hate on people working in the health-care system? Why is government so intent on creating an environment of fear and intimidation?

I’ll end with a plea to government leaders. Please stick to the facts. Engage in a dialogue with the leaders in the health-care system, including the managers. They have lived experience that can help you. There clearly are issues for patients — long waits, backlogged hospitals and emergency departments — though it’s still not clear that your proposed refocusing will address these issues. When trying to achieve system transformation, good leaders know that it’s critical to capture the hearts and minds of people doing the work. You would be wise to try this.

And yes, there are greener pastures out there, including for our frontline workers and physicians. Our leaders shouldn’t be the ones herding our desperately needed workforce off to other provinces.

Braden Manns is a physician and professor of medicine at the University of Calgary where he holds a research chair in health economics. He was an interim vice-president for Alberta Health Services until he resigned on June 11, 2023.

Community
Information Session at MHPL to Discuss Supporting Literacy at Home
Mar 4
2
Min Read

Information Session at MHPL to Discuss Supporting Literacy at Home

Participants can leave with quick, easy, and fun ways to improve children’s literacy at home in five key areas

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing and Community Engagement

For parents, guardians and family members with young children learning to read, and older children who are struggling

Medicine Hat Public Library is all about any chance there is to improve literacy and learning in the community, and so we jumped at the chance to host an expert in the field.

Next week at the library, Marnie Heintz, an instructional coach at Medicine Hat Public School Division, will lead an informational session called Supporting Literacy at Home. The session, on Thursday, March 7, from 6-7 p.m. in the Honor Currie Room, will focus on sharing current, research-based best practices in literacy instruction to empower parents to support their children to read and spell proficiently.

Heintz breaks down who could be interested in attending: 

• Parents/guardians/family members of preschool aged children who would like to learn ways to support their child as their language and literacy skills are developing

• Parents/guardians/family members of children in Kindergarten-grade 3 who are learning to read and spell

• Parents/guardians/family members of children in grades 4 and above who have difficulties with reading and spelling

• Teachers and service providers interested in learning more

She says participants can leave with quick, easy, and fun ways to improve children’s literacy at home in five key areas, tips to making reading and writing at home enjoyable and easy to incorporate into busy lives, and links and recommendations for further support.

They can also gain a greater understanding of resources and strategies that teachers are using in their classrooms and why; a brief, simplified understanding of how the brain learns to read and spell; and why many children and adults find reading and spelling challenging. 

MARNIE HEINTZ

Marnie Heintz has worked as an instructional coach for Medicine Hat Public School Division for the past 7 years. Prior to her current role, she taught grades 7-11 Humanities, mostly to students with a variety of learning differences. Marnie has a deep understanding of, and a passion for, the Science of Reading. She has completed Units 1-8 of LETRS training (Moats & Tolman), Orton Gillingham Training (IMSE), Overcoming Dyslexia (Shaywitz), and recently completed a Master’s in Education in Literacy. As an instructional coach she supports teachers in their classrooms as well as in their professional learning. She has a specialization in Special Education and has always felt driven to support students who find difficulties in regular classroom environments. She is kept busy at home with her own three children and their sports and passions.

To learn more about Medicine Hat Public Library visit mhpl.shortgrass.ca.

Politics
Alberta’s Groundhog Day budget promises more of the same, forever
Mar 1
2
Min Read

Alberta’s Groundhog Day budget promises more of the same, forever

But nothing changed. The 2024 budget, released this week, calls for $73 billion in spending. When you include population growth and inflation, spending remains at NDP levels. Fed up with Jason Kenney’s Ontario-style big spending policies, Albertans expected change under Danielle Smith, who took the reins as Premier in October of 2022.

One of my family’s favourite movies is Groundhog Day.

In this 1993 classic, a self-centered weatherman named Phil (Bill Murray) finds himself in a time loop. He disingenuously promises, and pleads, and postures, hoping to snap the loop. But he eventually comes to the realization that he is doomed to repeat the same day, doing the same things, for eternity. It isn’t until he fundamentally changes as a person that Phil can break the loop.

You can forgive Albertans for recognizing similarities between this plot and the provincial government’s irresponsible budgeting.

In 2019, when the UCP won its first general election, it was widely recognized that NDP spending levels (then under $60 billion) were not sustainable. I was at the front of the line calling for spending restraint. The UCP promised change.

But nothing changed. The 2024 budget, released this week, calls for $73 billion in spending. When you include population growth and inflation, spending remains at NDP levels.

Fed up with Jason Kenney’s Ontario-style big spending policies, Albertans expected change under Danielle Smith, who took the reins as Premier in October of 2022.

But once again, nothing changed.

Shortly after Smith took the reins as Premier, 2024 spending was estimated to hold steady at slightly over $64 billion. Somehow, the government missed this projection by $9 billion (12 per cent) in just two years.

Worse yet, the Alberta’s Groundhog Day spending plan calls for $76 billion in spending by 2026. If the government misses this new target by another 12 per cent, it means $85 billion in total spending. At those levels, even with wartime oil pricing we are on the path back to systemic budget deficits.

But what of the government’s other budget promises?

In her televised address, the Premier promised to get Alberta off the resource revenue rollercoaster. It’s a pledge that has been repeated by virtually every Premier, in one form or another, since Lougheed. And, once again, it appears to be an empty promise. Where last year’s budget relied on $68 oil prices to reach balance, 2024’s relies on $73 oil.

But what of the promised tax cuts? In the 2023 election campaign, the government promised a sizeable income tax cut for working families. The budget puts that plan on ice, to be phased in over future years. Instead, the government is raising a variety of regressive fees and taxes, including a new land transfer tax. I guess when you’re addicted to spending, tax cuts are easy to push back… especially in a world where tomorrow never comes.

Alberta’s government is stuck in its own version of Groundhog Day. Every Premier promises to control spending, lower taxes, and end the dependence on resource revenue. But change never comes.

So what’s it going to take to snap Alberta out of its loop? Disingenuous promises, and pleading, and posturing haven’t worked. It’s going to take real, fundamental change.

If Phil the weatherman can rediscover human empathy, maybe Alberta’s government can restore fiscal responsibility.

That’s the Hollywood ending Albertans deserve.

Health & Wellness
2024 Alberta Budget Health Care Summary
Feb 29
3
Min Read

2024 Alberta Budget Health Care Summary

The following is a focus on the health care spending in Budget 2024 which takes a hard look at rural health delivery and increases spending for rural practitioners.

Refocusing Alberta’s health care system

Budget 2024 invests in a refocused health care system, so every Albertan has access to the care they need, when and where they need it.

Improving service delivery

Budget 2024 prioritizes the delivery of high quality, reliable health services across the province with an operating budget of $26.2 billion for the Health ministry, up $1.1 billion, or 4.4% from the 2023-24 forecast.
·  $475 million to support the continued implementation of the Modernizing Alberta’s Primary Health Care System, including:
o $200 million over 2 years to improve access to family physicians
o $10 million for primary health-care initiatives in Indigenous communities
o $15 million to further develop a compensation model for nurse practitioners
·  $300 million for Primary Care Networks to provide additional support for collaborative primary health-care services
·  $8 million allocated over 2 years to expand the Alberta Newborn Screening Program
·  $10 million to support the development of a province-wide midwifery strategy
·  $10 million over 2 years allocated to the Alberta Women’s Health Foundation Legacy Grant in Edmonton and $10 million to the Calgary Hospital Foundation, to support women’s health initiatives
·  $140 million per year over 3 years for the yet-to-be signed, Federal Bi-Lateral Aging with Dignity Agreement, which includes $70 million for long-term care initiatives and $70 million for home and community care initiatives
·  $1 billion over 3 years to transform the continuing care system in response to the Facility-Based Continuing Care Review
·  $1.55 billion total expense to continue building the Alberta Recovery Model and ensure anyone suffering from the deadly disease of addiction or facing mental health challenges has an opportunity to pursue recovery
Prioritizing patients
Budget 2024 invests in world-class care by reducing wait times and improving access.
·  $3.6 billion over 3 years in capital funding to maintain or expand health-care facilities throughout the province including:
o $810 million to advance the redevelopment and expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital, including Ambulatory Services
o $35 million to purchase new Emergency Medical Services vehicles and ambulances, upgrade the existing fleet and acquire additional equipment
o $25 million in additional funding for the Beaverlodge Municipal Hospital replacement project to support better access to health care for area residents
o $20 million over the next 3 years, including $17 million in new funding, to continue planning for a standalone Stollery Children’s Hospital
o $313 million for Alberta Surgical Initiative to help increase the number of surgical procedures performed in Alberta annually
·  $2 billion per year for Drugs and Supplemental Health benefit programs, including $883 million for the seniors drug program that supports over 700,000 seniors
Empowering health-care professionals
Budget 2024 prioritizes Alberta’s health-care workers.
·  $126 million over 3 years for the Rural Physician Expansion Program to increase rural and Indigenous access to medical education and increase the number of family medicine and generalist physicians
·  $6.6 billion for physician compensation and development programs, including:
o $129 million annually for recruitment and retention of physicians who practice full-time in underserved areas
o $12 million increase for the existing Rural Remote Northern Program
o $12 million annually to enhance physician support programs
·  $20 million per year to the Business Costs Program to enhance physician practice viability
·  $200 million over 2 years will improve access to family physicians and primary health care
·  $26 million in capital funding over 3 years for the University of Lethbridge Rural Medical Teaching School to provide more opportunities to train doctors in smaller communities

Community
Sunrise Rotary E-bike Raffle Adds Extra This Year
Feb 27
2
Min Read

Sunrise Rotary E-bike Raffle Adds Extra This Year

The annual fundraiser for the Sunrise Rotary Club includes a raffle for two electronic bikes and this year there will be a 50/50 cash draw as well.

For a fifth year the Sunrise Rotary club is holding a raffle draw for e-bikes, with the winner wheeling home two bikes, one yellow and one brown. This year the club is adding an extra draw for an always-popular 50/50 cash prize. This gives an option for those who may already have bikes and/or who would rather try their luck at the cash.

The club started the e-bike raffle in spring 2020, just as the first COVID-19 pandemic lockdown began and the members were amazed when the tickets sold out within just two weeks. People were looking for ways to get active during the period of isolation and wanted to try the relatively new electronic-assist bikes. These bikes can be ridden without the assist on and work just like regular bikes, or with the assist in operation riding up the hills of Medicine Hat is much easier, and the higher speed ,with less leg work, makes biking fun.

Now with four years of selling the bike tickets, the club has decided to give people an easy option this year with the cash draw. Tickets for both the e-bikes and the 50/50 are just $10 each. They can be bought from any member of the Sunrise club; members will be at a table in the Co-Op food stores on some Saturdays during the March to June months; or they can be bought online through the Sunrise Rotary Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MedHatSunriseRotary/ or https://www.zeffy.com/en-CA/ticketing/f99fe892-239d-44d9-b167-eb1921b8f685
The QR code is also included with this article in the picture.

The brown bike is on display at the 13th Avenue Co-Op mall while the bright yellow one is displayed at the entrance to the Excel Physical Therapy office at 568 South Railway Street. The draw will take place on Tuesday, June 25 so that there is time to enjoy the bikes and the cash during the summer.

The funds generated from the fundraiser are used by the club for some of the 25 causes that the members support, both locally and internationally. An emphasis of the club is to support literacy through such initiatives as the Sunrise Rotary Ride the Road to Reading program at the Medicine Hat Public Library, sponsoring free memberships at the library, funding scholarships at the Medicine Hat College, providing educational trips for school children on the Sunshine Trolley, and helping to fund the SerNINA project for children in Guatemala. 

For more information about Sunrise Rotary, or the other Rotary clubs in Medicine Hat, contact Keith Walker at kvwalker@telusplanet.net or visit the website at https://portal.clubrunner.ca/969.

Creative Writing
Contributing Your Creative Writing is EASY!
Feb 26
3
Min Read

Contributing Your Creative Writing is EASY!

Creative Writing comes in ALL Styles!

Submitting your creative writing on Sun City Sentinel is easy and fun! Just sign up for an author's account and send us your most creative thoughts.

Creative writing can be written in any style...

Like... Shakespeare:

In Sun City's realm, where tales do sweetly dwell,
A sentinel stands, in web's wide expanse.
In Medicine Hat, where prairie winds compel,
It calls for scribes to join the merry dance.

"Come forth, ye bards, with stories rich and grand,
Of local lore, where prairie rivers flow.
Let every voice, from this fair Alberta land,
In iambic beats, its unique story show.

Lend ears to whispers of the wind's soft song,
And eyes to sights where only locals tread.
In Sun City's pages, your tales belong,
Where truth and fancy in fine lines are wed.

So, sign thee up, contribute with thy quill,
In this digital stage, let thy words spill."

In rhythm sweet, the Sun City Sentinel,
A platform for the voices pure and true.
In Medicine Hat, let each tale gently swell,
A chorus of the many, not the few.

Or limericks:

In Medicine Hat, there's a site,
Where news stories dance in the light.
The Sun City's call,
Is for one and for all,
To write tales that shine bright and excite.

There's a sentinel known far and wide,
In Alberta, its fame does abide.
So, come join the fun,
Let your stories run,
And in Sun City's pages, take pride.

For the locals with tales to impart,
This platform's a true work of art.
Sign up, take a chance,
In the word dance,
And let your storytelling start.

Perhaps haiku:

Sun City's news calls,
Medicine Hat tales enthrall,
Join, let stories fall.

Sentinel beckons,
Alberta's voices reckon,
Words weave a sun's son.

In prairie's embrace,
Stories find their rightful place,
Write with heart's own grace.

How about Dr. Seuss:

In Medicine Hat, oh what a place,
Lies a site that's full of grace.
The Sun City Sentinel, bold and bright,
Gathers stories day and night.

"Come write with us!" it cheerily calls,
From bustling streets to quiet halls.
"Share your tales, both big and small,
In Sun City, there's room for all!

With a tap, tap, tap on your keyboard so,
Let your wildest stories flow.
From the tips of your toes to the top of your hat,
Write about this, write about that!

In a land where the prairie winds sing,
Your words can dance, your tales can ring.
So why sit still, why just read?
When you can join in, yes indeed!

Sign up, sign in, let's begin,
There's a world of stories to spin.
In Medicine Hat, be part of the news,
In the Sun City Sentinel, where we share all views!"

So come one, come all, don't delay,
In this wonderful world of wordplay.
Where your stories, your tales, your whispers, your shouts,
Can all come together, that's what it's about!

Or in acrostic poetry style:

Stories unfold in Medicine Hat,
Under the Sun City's watchful eye.
New tales emerge, both this and that,
Shared by folks who live nearby.
Hailing from places both far and near,
In every nook of this vibrant town.
News, anecdotes, joys and fear,
Echoing life's rich ups and downs.

Sentinel of the Sun, a beacon bright,
Enticing writers with open arms.
Narrating life's tales, day and night,
Tales of charm, and all life's harms.
Inviting all to share their voice,
Nurturing a community strong and wise.
Eager to listen, to celebrate, rejoice,
Lending an ear to each story's rise.

So remember:

Every voice matters, so come and write,
New stories await, in the Sun's warm light.

Politics
2024 Pre-Budget Survey
Feb 22
1
Min Read

2024 Pre-Budget Survey

Complete this survey to allow me to bring your voice to Ottawa in anticipation of the 2024 Federal Budget.

MP Glen Motz Launches Surveys in Advance of Federal Budget

February 22, 2024                                                                               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Medicine Hat, AB – Glen Motz, Member of Parliament for Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner launched his annual Budget surveys in an effort to bring constituents’ views to Ottawa. This year there are two survey streams designed to gather specific information. One for municipal leaders to better understand what communities need, and one for individual constituents to provide input with questions included at the end of for business owners about the unique challenges they face.

“Ottawa needs to hear from you,” MP Motz said. “Decisions made by the NDP-Liberal coalition continue to punish hard working families, farmers, energy workers and small businesses. These surveys will allow me to bring your voice to Ottawa, but I need your input to do it,” he said.

The short surveys are intended to get a clear picture of how people in the riding are impacted by taxes, debt, and inflation as well as what is needed for families, small businesses and municipalities to move forward in restoring jobs and our economy.

Constituents of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner are encouraged to take the survey available at:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/NG5W8WR

Municipality surveys have been emailed directly to mayors, reeves and councils to collect responses.

The deadline to submit the surveys is Friday, March 15, 2024.

Community
MHPL Launching Meeting Mondays for Room Rentals
Feb 16
2
Min Read

MHPL Launching Meeting Mondays for Room Rentals

Are you a community group or not-for-profit struggling to find meeting space? This is for you.

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing and Community Engagement

Three booking times to choose from each Monday until June

Medicine Hat Public Library is expanding its room rental availability next month in an effort to meet a growing demand among community groups for spaces to hold their meetings.

Beginning on March 4, the Honor Currie Room, Legion Room and Library Theatre will be available to rent Monday evenings on what we have dubbed Meeting Mondays.

The spaces are available in three different times slots: 5:30-6:30 p.m., 6:45-7:45 p.m. and 5:30-7:45 p.m. Bookings will open on Feb. 15 for March through June and can be made by calling the MHPL office at 403-502-8527 or by emailing mhploffice@shortgrass.ca. Up to one Monday night meeting a month can be booked by each renter.

Chief librarian Ken Feser is excited the library is providing even more value to the community.

“The library’s rooms are popular spaces community groups and not-for-profits book for everything from AGMs and monthly meetings to yoga classes and markets,” he says.

“We know these groups contribute greatly to the vibrancy of Medicine Hat and think this additional availability combined with our reasonable rental rates will help them continue to provide those services at affordable cost.”

As well as traditional meetings, the theatre is often booked by families to have their own movie or video game night and for performing arts.

Feser adds more room and theatre rental availability was identified as one way for the library to demonstrate city council made the right decision in approving a budget increase for the library last year.

“We’re going to do everything we can to make the most of our new funding for current members of our library community and new ones we hope to attract.”

Rental rates for the rooms start at $15 per hour. Visit the Meeting Room Rentals page on our website for more information on the rooms, capacity limits and what they are equipped with.

To learn more about Medicine Hat Public Library visit mhpl.shortgrass.ca.

Health & Wellness
Driving Donations for Local Healthcare
Feb 14
1
Min Read

Driving Donations for Local Healthcare

Support Local Healthcare & You Could Win a 2024 GMC Terrain Denali!

**For Immediate Release - **February 14, 2024
The Medicine Hat Health Foundation, in partnership with Davis GMC Buick, is back with another fundraising champaign. Driving Donations for Local Healthcare is your chance to win a brand new 2024 GMC Terrain Denali. 
This vehicle is equipped with a 1.5L turbo four-cylinder engine, leather seating, remote start, sliding glass & fixed glass roof, heated rear sets, heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control and much more!
In supporting the Medicine Hat Health Foundation, you are supporting local healthcare. All money earned goes back into our community and surrounding area’s. 
Raffle tickets are available through www.mhdhfraffle.com, the Medicine Hat Health Foundation’s website ourhealthfoundation.ca or by calling the office 403-528-8133. Draw will take place April 8, 2024.
For further information, please contact the Medicine Hat Health Foundation:
P: (403) 528-8133  
E: info@ourhealthfoundation.ca

Commentary
Auto Theft Happens
Feb 14
6
Min Read

Auto Theft Happens

Check your license plate more often than you should - it might not be your plate on your car!

We live in a country where a vehicle is stolen every five minutes.  This epidemic is hitting hard, with full-size pick-up trucks being the most sought-after prize on thieving industry list in Alberta. Our federal government recently held a National Summit on Combatting Auto Thefts.

Stealing vehicles and fencing them abroad has unexpectedly become a source of income for individuals or groups of organized crime bandits. I noticed a few Facebook pages where the general public can post a photo and description of their stolen vehicles so others can be on the look out and report a sighting. I had my car stolen in 2003 – well before the statistics dramatically increased to what we see now. My car was a red, 2-door sportscar, stolen by a couple of young-folk, looking for a joyride. 
Unfortunately, I owned the most sought-after vehicle thieves of that day were on the hunt for. My car was found by local police about a week later, trashed, then left in a dead-end alley in a north flats neighbourhood. I drove a rental car for 2 weeks. My car was not drivable and was towed to the dealership garage. An appraisal on the damages were more than the car’s worth so my insurance company wrote it off. It went to the auto wreckers and I drove a loaned family vehicle until I purchased a new car in 2004. It was a huge inconvenience to go through this process, plus my insurance increased with no fault of my own.

I watched a Global Calgary news story early in the new year where a young lady was interviewed regarding her stolen license plate. I’m sure this might have been a news story on many occasions but I had my license plate stolen twice since 2020 with no media attention. In late March 2020, one evening I walked behind my car to take the trash to the bin and casually glanced at my license plate. I had the same plate since I purchased the car so it was quite the shock to see I had a different sequence of numbers and letters. I immediately checked my registration to compare digits and to make sure I wasn’t mistaken. I called the police station but being away from office hours and not being an emergency, I waited till the next morning to visit the detachment. I spent that whole evening incredibly stressed on when and/or how this happened, how many parking or speeding tickets may come in the mail as my name and address are attached to my license plate. When I visited the police station to report my missing license plate and the strange plate now attached to my car – it was another full exercise on inconvenience. Producing my drivers license, registration and a photo of the strange plate now on my car, I was told the strange plate must be seized by the authorities. Totally understandable, however; I had to drive to the station with this plate and in order to get a new plate, I would have to drive to a registry office. I asked the officer if I could drive without a license plate until I purchased a new one or if someone would drive me to get a new plate – if they needed the strange plate off my car at that moment. Unfortunately, I did not have an entourage accompany me to report the incident so I did not have any other way to get a new license plate. Being somewhat surprised by my query, the young officer agreed that I must use the strange license plate to drive to the registry to acquire a new one, then switch them out and bring in the strange license plate. I asked for the police report file number as I would need that information to get a new plate so then the paperwork began. I was given a “victim impact” statement form and I filled that out – front and back. (I am long winded when it comes to forms.) As he filled out his forms & I filled out mine, I finally left with what information I needed and proceeded to procure a new license plate. 

After waiting in line at the registry office for a new plate, the receptionist provided me with a screwdriver so I could remove the strange plate and attach the new one. Since my renewal was July, I paid the cost to renew my registration for the year and took the strange plate back to the police station. This process took over an hour of my time and many hours of lost sleep with the worry of not knowing if whomever has my stolen license plate accumulated speeding or parking tickets as I had no idea how long it was missing from my car. About a month after the theft, I got a call from the officer who attended to my dilemma. He let me know my license plate was found on a stolen car in Crowsnest Pass and the plate left on my car was from that stolen car. 

The full circle of vehicle theft and license plate theft came together and I was an innocent bystander in that crime. In August 2023, once again I noticed my license plate was not the same one, I had become accustomed to since the 2020 replacement. By this time, I found myself glancing at my license plate on a regular basis. When I saw the strange plate, I knew immediately my plate was taken from the south parking lot of our local casino. As it turned out, that evening it was stolen, I was a volunteer for a not-for-profit group working the 8pm-2am shift in the count room. I didn’t discover the strange plate till the next day as when I left the casino, it was very late and very dark as I walked towards the nose of my car and drove home. Being a Sunday, I could not report the theft until Monday morning. 

I went through all the same trials and tribulations I had experienced in my 2020 theft. This time when I was replacing my new license plate after taking off the strange plate, I was in the parking lot of the registry office when a truck pulled up beside me. The fellow driving the truck was ready to administer a citizen arrest as he assumed I was trying to steal the license plate off someone’s vehicle. We stood in that parking lot for a very long time as I explained myself, showed him the police report file number and assured him I was legit. Since I just renewed my registration a month prior, this new plate cost me $28.00 plus all the time and inconvenience. A week after this replacement, I received a call saying my license plate was found on a local vehicle, a very similar make and colour as mine. That driver did not know his/her license was stolen and replaced with mine until the police told them. I can only assume their plate was part of another vehicle theft with rotating stolen license plates as part of an auto theft ploy. 

I have come to the conclusion license plate theft and auto theft connected. I hope my victim experience has come to an end. I now ask you to be aware.

Politics
Mayor Clark Tries And Fails At What’s Best For The City
Feb 7
2
Min Read

Mayor Clark Tries And Fails At What’s Best For The City

It’s unfortunate that a recall petition and very little confidence from council, in light of stripping away some of her powers, doesn’t make Mayor Clark a little more humble in her role.

Medicine Hat, AB - It’s unfortunate that a recall petition and very little confidence from council, in light of stripping away some of her powers, doesn’t make Mayor Clark a little more humble in her role.
Sources inside city hall make it very clear that, as a lawyer who has worked inside city hall, she can’t keep her hands off of day to day operations.
She easily forgets that the city Manager is hired to be the Chief Administrative Officer and that council is the board of directors, that are elected by the citizenry, to create policy and direction for the city administrators on behalf of the citizens of Medicine Hat.
It is expected there are to be disagreements. She forgets that she is one vote and does not drive policy, that is done by council as a whole. It is not what she thinks is best for Medicine Hat. Her job is to listen to the people and create policy that has the support of council. To do that she has to work with council. Unfortunately that does not seem to be happening.
Other than showing for her interviews on Chat TV, what else has she done except alienate council?
She mentions that she was not happy with the nature in which reorganization was done by the CAO hence the “questions” or rather interrogation of CAO Mitchell. That is the CAO’s job and it is done with informing council of the changes. The only member of administration council can hire and fire is the CAO. Mayor Clark, as a lawyer, knows that. Right now the majority of council feels CAO Mitchell is doing a bang up job.
Why doesn’t Mayor Clark feel the same, because CAO Mitchell is not letting Mayor Clark do the CAO job. And that Hatters…is a good thing.

Business
Dunmore Equestrian prepares to open new indoor riding arena
Feb 6
2
Min Read

Dunmore Equestrian prepares to open new indoor riding arena

Dunmore Equestrian prepares to open new indoor riding arena.

PRESS RELEASE
Dunmore Equestrian prepares to open new indoor riding arena
Rain or shine, Dunmore Equestrian Centre will soon have an indoor riding arena available for year-round use to help fulfill its mission of fostering growth, wellness and educational opportunties through the power of equestrian experiences. “I’m excited about the possibilities that completion of the new indoor event centre will bring to Medicine Hat, Cypress County and surrounding communities. We still have a lot of work and fundraising to do but this facility will be ready for use this fall,” President Kelly Creasy said.
The new facility is a 140x275’ indoor arena with bleacher seating for parents, coaches and fans, a restroom, storage area and multi-purpose area. It joins the existing 160x275’ Outdoor Arena on our 25-acre recreational playground. “Breaking ground on a new indoor arena is something that we’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” said Founder Blair Reid. “I’m very happy to see the direction Dunmore Equestrian is going and look forward to seeing 100% community support for this next phase of our development as we build a multi-use, full season facility for our future generations to use, grow and learn in.”
This $2.5 million construction project has a good start with $1,325,000 in funds raised to date through grants and donations. “The indoor arena will be ready for use this fall as a functioning indoor facility, but not a fully developed facility,” Director Paul Blase said. “We need an additional $1 million to complete the electrical, HVAC, water, washrooms, bleachers, announcer’s booth, and offices so fundraising is a top priority for our Board of Directors.”
Site work on the indoor arena building began in January and is on schedule.
The construction of this new indoor riding arena will provide year-round opportunities for Dunmore Equestrian to engage in riding and related activities, benefiting southern Alberta and its residents. This enclosed, climate-controlled space will enable us to fulfil our mission in ways that were previously unaaainable, while contributing to the long-term sustainability of this equestrian facility.
Each year, Dunmore Equestrian hosts 10-12 public events at the equestrian centre, including classes, competitions and clinics. During the summer months, the outdoor arena hosts multi- week team roping, roping, barrel racing, mounted shooting, heavy horse chore team, and dressage competitions. Additionally, we host indigenous culture demonstrations and markets during The Heritage Gather in July and the Liale Britches Rodeo in September. We will be adding Equine Wellness Therapy programs to our yearly schedule, along with education programs in partnership with area agencies and school districts.
A fundraising campaign is underway, with a goal of $2 million. There are numerous opportunities for those interested parties. To learn more about the Dunmore Equestrian Centre and/or its fundraising campaigns, please contact Dominique Hirsch, Business Development at 403.502.0166 or visit haps://www.dunmoreequestrian.com.

Health & Wellness
Multiple Sclerosis: A Neurological Condition
Feb 5
2
Min Read

Multiple Sclerosis: A Neurological Condition

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and often disabling autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic and often disabling autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. It occurs when the immune system attacks the myelin sheath, which is the protective covering around nerve fibers, leading to damage and scarring. This can result in a range of symptoms that can vary greatly from person to person. For example, physical movement may become challenging.

Signs and symptoms of MS can include fatigue, muscle weakness, numbness or tingling, vision problems, difficulty with coordination and balance, and problems with thinking or memory. These symptoms can be unpredictable and can come and go over time, making MS a challenging disease to manage.

Treatment for MS typically involves a combination of medications and lifestyle modifications. Medications can be used to slow the progression of the disease, manage symptoms, and prevent relapses. These can include corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and disease-modifying therapies.

Lifestyle modifications such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and stress reduction techniques can also be helpful in managing symptoms and improving overall quality of life for those with MS.

In addition to traditional medical treatments, some individuals with MS may also benefit from complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and herbal supplements. However, it is important to talk to a healthcare provider before starting any new treatments or therapies.

In some cases, rehabilitation may also be necessary to help individuals with MS maintain mobility and independence. This can include physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. Virtunurse has an in-depth referral network of allied health professional that can help.

Putting it together, MS is a chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system and can cause a range of unpredictable symptoms. Treatment typically involves a combination of medications, lifestyle modifications, and rehabilitation. Complementary and alternative therapies may also be helpful in managing symptoms, but it is important to work closely with a healthcare provider to develop an individualized treatment plan.

Stay well,

Matthew Jubelius, RN

Community
Something For Everyone Market
Jan 31
1
Min Read

Something For Everyone Market

We have up to 60 booths filled with crafters, artists, direct sales, and small businesses. These vendors come from all across Alberta and Saskatchewan to display their products for you, come out and show them support. And as always, there will be FREE ADMISSION to the public.

Something For Everyone Market takes place as follows:

Date: February 17, 2024 

Time:10 AM – 4 PM 

Registration Closing Date: February 2 for food or 9th for everyone else, 2023 @12pm 

Non-Profit: Medicine Hat Music Lesson 

Location: Medicine Hat Exhibition & Stampede Auditorium 

Info: We have up to 60 booths filled with crafters, artists, direct sales, and small businesses. These vendors come from all across Alberta and Saskatchewan to display their products for you, come out and show them support. And as always, there will be FREE ADMISSION to the public. 

For a full list of vendors, please check our website: www.somethingforeveryonemarket.com/february-17-2024/ 

For a full list of future markets please see our home page: www.somethingforeveryonemarket.com

Community
Southridge Community Park landscape and irrigation upgrades update
Jan 31
1
Min Read

Southridge Community Park landscape and irrigation upgrades update

Work on the landscape and irrigation project at Southridge Community Park is ongoing throughout the winter, with the current focus on activities inside the pumphouse. While the park’s washrooms remain open to the public, please be aware that there might be some short-term closures in the upcoming months as work continues.

Medicine Hat, AB – Work on the landscape and irrigation project at Southridge Community Park is ongoing throughout the winter, with the current focus on activities inside the pumphouse. While the park’s washrooms remain open to the public, please be aware that there might be some short-term closures in the upcoming months as work continues.

The construction of a new wall on the west side of the washroom building has been completed and the wall on the east side of the building is slated for completion this spring. Construction fencing has been placed in areas where work is still in progress, and we kindly request that visitors adhere to all construction signs and barriers within the park.

Rehabilitation work on the trail surrounding the pond will be completed in 2024. This work is expected to begin in the spring and an update on trail closures will be provided once the schedule is finalized.

The seeding of the southeast corridor section of the park, originally scheduled for fall 2023, will be completed this spring. This area of the park has had to maintain its current state for much longer than originally planned, however the postponement was a strategic move to manage our water resources responsibly, understanding that new seeding requires substantial and consistent hydration.

The City thanks residents for their understanding and patience as the necessary improvements are completed.  

Community
HAT Smart launches 2024 residential incentive program
Jan 31
2
Min Read

HAT Smart launches 2024 residential incentive program

The City of Medicine Hat announces the 2024 launch of its popular and award-winning HAT Smart Residential Incentive Program with energy conservation and renewable energy savings for local utility customers.

Medicine Hat, AB – The City of Medicine Hat announces the 2024 launch of its popular and award-winning HAT Smart Residential Incentive Program with energy conservation and renewable energy savings for local utility customers.

The 2024 program includes four separate incentives:

Existing Homes
New Homes
EnerGuide Home Evaluations
Scratch and Win

“Each year, we evaluate the success of our incentive program, examine other external offerings and modify to help homeowners achieve maximum benefit for their energy-conscious home upgrades,” said Pat Bradley who implements the program in the City’s Customer Care and Billing department. “Last year’s incentives seemed to hit the mark so we are staying the course but are adding an additional $100,000 to the program budget so more applicants can participate.”

Funding
The HAT Smart program is funded through collection of an Environmental Conservation Charge (ECC) levied to residential natural gas and electric customers. The program raises awareness and provides education about the importance of reducing our environmental impact and supports renewable energy projects throughout the city.

In 2023, HAT Smart distributed $254,707 to property owners who made environmental and energy-conscious upgrades or new construction, $168,273 under Existing Homes, $23,245 for New Homes, $29,200 for EnerGuide Home Evaluations, and $33,989 for Scratch and Win.

The incentive budget for the 2024 HAT Smart program is $360,000, an increase of $100,000 over 2023 using funds from an account that collects and tracks any unused ECC revenues.

Incentive details
Under the Existing Homes incentive, HAT Smart will rebate up to $5,000 for combined eligible retrofits including home insulation, windows, doors, tankless water heaters or heat- and energy-recovery ventilators (HRV or ERV).

The New Homes incentive encourages construction of more energy efficient homes. Reducing a home's energy consumption by just 10 gigajoules per year can reduce lifetime energy costs by about $3,000. This incentive will rebate up to $10,000 based on the level of energy savings achieved.

Residents considering adding Solar Photovoltaic (PV) systems can find rebates within the Existing Homes incentive.

Energy-efficient upgrades recommended by an EnerGuide home evaluation can save from five per cent to 30 per cent on energy bills. Reducing residential energy usage is beneficial for both residents and the environment. HAT Smart will rebate up to $200 directly to the energy advisor who completes the evaluation, passing savings onto customers in Medicine Hat.

Scratch and Win allows residents to apply twice this year to recover up to $100 (each time, for a max total of $200) of the cost of small ticket energy conservation items, such as energy efficient lightbulbs, programmable thermostats, block heater timers and ENERGY STAR® certified appliances including furnaces and air conditioners. For a full list of eligible products please visit the HAT Smart website.

Visit www.hatsmart.ca or call 403-529-8249 for full program details, including information on how to apply for rebates, and to stay up to date on the current level of funding. Applications must be submitted online unless other arrangements are made through the HAT Smart office.

Creative Writing
Kicking off the new year with a new Creative Writing section!
Jan 31
2
Min Read

Kicking off the new year with a new Creative Writing section!

Ring in the new year, with a brand new content section!

In Sun City, a new page unfurls,
For writers, both boys and the girls.
"Creative Writing" - a start,
For your stories and art,
In the Sentinel,
give it a whirl!

Medicine Hat AB – Today marks a new chapter in the vibrant history of the Sun City Sentinel as we proudly announce the launch of our brand new article category: "Creative Writing." This addition to our online newspaper is an open canvas for you, our cherished readers, to paint your own stories.

At the Sun City Sentinel, we've always celebrated the diversity and creativity of our community. Recognizing the wealth of talent and imagination among our readers, we've created this new category as a platform for budding writers, seasoned storytellers, and everyone in between.

Whether it's a gripping short story, a heartfelt poem, or a thought-provoking opinion piece, our "Creative Writing" category is your space to shine. This is more than just a section in a newspaper; it's a community of storytellers, dreamers, and thinkers who are eager to share their unique voices with the world.

Submitting your work is simple. Visit our website, sign up to become a contributor, and follow the easy submission guidelines. Our editorial team will review all submissions and select pieces for publication based on originality, creativity, and alignment with our community standards. If you prefer to submit anonymously, just send our news team your story!

In this digital age, where everyone has a story to tell, the Sun City Sentinel is thrilled to provide a platform where those stories can be shared and celebrated. We believe that everyone has a unique voice, and we can't wait to hear yours.

Let your imagination run wild, and who knows? The next viral story might just be yours.

Join us in this exciting venture and be a part of something truly special. Happy writing!

Sun City Sentinel – Local "Creative" Stories Told by You!

Community
City MLAs to Hold Townhall at Medicine Hat Public Library
Jan 30
1
Min Read

City MLAs to Hold Townhall at Medicine Hat Public Library

The townhall runs from 5-6:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 in the MHPL theatre. Seating is limited and on a first come, first seated basis.

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing and Community Engagement

Submit Your Questions

Medicine Hat’s MLAs will return to the Medicine Hat Public Library in early February for another townhall event. 

The Honourable Danielle Smith, MLA for Brooks-Medicine Hat, and Justin Wright, MLA for Cypress-Medicine Hat, are holding the event in partnership with the library. 

The townhall takes place on Feb. 2 from 5-6:30 p.m. in the library theatre. The evening will be open to everyone with seating on a first come, first seated basis. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m.

Ken Feser, chief librarian at MHPL, will serve as moderator for the townhall.

“We are excited to once again host a townhall with our city’s MLAs,” says Feser. “These events give library patrons and the community the chance to hear their elected officials speak to the issues that are important to the citizens of Medicine Hat and the region.”

A capacity crowd of more than 150 people filled the library theatre for the last MLA townhall on Oct. 18, 2023.

The upcoming townhall will follow the same format, with questions to be submitted in advance through an online form. The form will be closed on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 9 a.m.

To learn more about the Medicine Hat Public Library visit mhpl.shortgrass.ca.

Sports
Now accepting registrations for the 59th Annual Jam Pail Bonspiel
Jan 25
1
Min Read

Now accepting registrations for the 59th Annual Jam Pail Bonspiel

Medicine Hat’s longest running sporting event, the Jam Pail Bonspiel, will take place this year on February 21 and 22 at the Kinplex. Registration is now open.

Medicine Hat, AB – Medicine Hat’s longest running sporting event, the Jam Pail Bonspiel, will take place this year on February 21 and 22 at the Kinplex. Registration is now open.

Each year, the ice at the Kinplex is converted into 13 curling rinks and welcomes students from Grades 3 to 6 from all over the city. The bonspiel was originally created to provide students with an activity during Teacher’s Convention that focused on participation, sport, and fun. For many, it is their first introduction to the concept of curling.

“We are excited to be back at the rink for this family-friendly event,” says Mark Risdon, recreation program coordinator, City of Medicine Hat. “We consistently see over 300 students participate in the event and encourage families and friends to come out and cheer their student(s) on in a friendly-competition.”

Event dates:

Grades 3 & 4 - Wednesday, February 21, 2024
Grades 5 & 6 and Open/Family - Thursday, February 22, 2024
The event typically begins around 5 p.m. on both days however, depending on the number of teams that register, the event may begin earlier to accommodate all the games. Each team is guaranteed three games.

Did you know? In the early years, tin pails used for storing jam were filled with water and frozen and used as curling rocks? That’s how the Jam Pail Bonspiel got its name!

For more information and to register, visit: medicinehat.ca/jampailbonspiel

Sports
Kinsmen Aquatic Park, Cenovus Arena at Big Marble Go Centre to receive significant upgrades in 2024
Jan 25
2
Min Read

Kinsmen Aquatic Park, Cenovus Arena at Big Marble Go Centre to receive significant upgrades in 2024

The Big Marble Go Centre will see major upgrades in 2024 on both the pool and arena infrastructure to ensure the longevity of the facility. The Cenovus Arena will close from the middle of April 2024 until July, while the Kinsmen Aquatic Centre will be closed from May to September.

Medicine Hat, AB – The Big Marble Go Centre will see major upgrades in 2024 on both the pool and arena infrastructure to ensure the longevity of the facility. The Cenovus Arena will close from the middle of April 2024 until July, while the Kinsmen Aquatic Centre will be closed from May to September.

The 2023-2024 capital budget included $100,000 to rebuild the ice plant and $2.8 million to replace water filters, pool filters (which are original to the building), upgrade amenities and address staff safety by improving access to the wave pool surge tanks.

“With a project of this scope, we weigh the benefits of a longer, single, scheduled shut down period to minimize the risk of multiple unscheduled disruptions, versus repairing individual building components as they fail, which may lead to interrupted programming and longer wait times,” said Jeff Hoglund, Director of Fleet, Facilities and Asset Management.

“Now that the building systems are nearly a quarter-century old, it’s beneficial to make scheduled component replacements and take care of these two significant upgrades at once rather than risk unscheduled closure. This way, we’re back to full operation sooner to start fresh for the fall swim and ice seasons,” adds Hoglund.

The City’s realty asset management plan prescribes regular condition assessments at City-owned facilities and identifies timing for planned upgrades and maintenance to extend the life of an asset, operate more efficiently, and reduce the risk of unplanned breakdowns and disruptions.

Manager of Recreation Lisa Kennedy confirms swim and ice user groups who typically operate out of the Big Marble Go Centre have been made aware of the shutdown.

“We’re working with our community partners to accommodate them in other pools and arenas so that the impact to their own operation is minimized. We have levers we can pull, like extending hours at our other facilities, but it will require all users to be flexible during the upgrades,” adds Kennedy.

The gymnasium, fieldhouse and South Country Co-op Fitness Centre at the Big Marble Go Centre will remain open during the work. Staff are working to determine adjustments for admission and membership fees to reflect the impacts of the work.

Updates will be shared regularly at www.medicinehat.ca/bmgc.

The Big Marble Go Centre opened in 2000 (as the Family Leisure Centre) with an Olympic-sized ice arena and aquatic centre. An expansion in 2016 added a quad gymnasium, a double indoor boarded turf fieldhouse, and an upper-level fitness centre complete with an indoor track.

Community
A library card is your connection to everything
Jan 25
2
Min Read

A library card is your connection to everything

A tiny piece of plastic that brings the world to you

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing and Community Engagement

“Libraries store the energy that fuels the imagination.” ― Sidney Sheldon

It’s a tiny, 5-centimetre-by-8-centimetre piece of plastic that connects you to everything. What is it? A library card, of course, and we think everybody should have one. 

A library card, FREE right now thanks to generous community sponsors, connects you to everything you could want to grow your mind. Read on to learn more. 

What does my library card do for me?

You can borrow physical materials – the newest best-selling fiction and non-fiction titles; books to learn a new skill from, movies, video games, music, audiobooks and so much more. Visit mhpl.bibliocommons.com to search our catalogue.

You can access online resources – Let’s face it, the internet puts basically everything at your fingertips. We have SO MANY online resources. Some of them are: 

  • Udemy - more than 20,000 courses in multiple languages so you can earn and improve skills across business, tech, design and more. 
  • Overdrive – download ebooks, comic books, audiobooks and magazines. Use the Libby app to get them on your smartphone or tablet.
  • Solaro – offers homework help for students in Grades 3-12, all aligned with the Alberta curriculum.
  • Ancestry Library Edition and Family Search – do a deep dive into your family history. (in-library use only)
  • PressReader – Digital newspapers from at home and around the world.
  • Niche Academy - tutorials so you can get the most out of your library's electronic resources.

This is only a small sample of All Online Resources available.

Your library card also allows you to register for the many programs we offer like family storytimes, playgroups, book clubs, video game tournaments and much more.

How do I get a card?

All you need to do is bring a piece of photo ID to the library and we’ll hook you up. If you already have a card and need to renew it you can complete our online renewal form.

Now we humbly ask you tell everyone you know about this. Thanks in advance.

Community
City invites community to public engagement event at the Esplanade
Jan 24
1
Min Read

City invites community to public engagement event at the Esplanade

The City of Medicine Hat is inviting residents to ‘Municipal Mingle’, a public engagement event, at the Esplanade Studio Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. The event is an opportunity for community members to connect, engage, and share their feedback on a range of local initiatives.

Medicine Hat, AB – The City of Medicine Hat is inviting residents to ‘Municipal Mingle’, a public engagement event, at the Esplanade Studio Theatre on Tuesday, Feb. 13, from 4 to 7 p.m. The event is an opportunity for community members to connect, engage, and share their feedback on a range of local initiatives.

“Following the success of the public engagement open house last fall, we are excited to host this community event at a new venue,” says Colleen Graham, director, communications, marketing and engagement. “Our goal is to establish an in-person event as a regular platform for meaningful community dialogue.”

The event is designed to foster a collaborative environment between City staff and community members. The aim is to provide insights, gather feedback, and encourage community participation in new and ongoing projects that shape the future of Medicine Hat.

The departments and projects currently involved in the Municipal Mingle include:

Community Development – Arts, Heritage, and Entertainment Master Plan
Environment Land & Gas – Residential and Commercial Land
Medicine Hat Economic Development – Four pillars of Economic Development
Municipal Works - Transportation Master Plan, Division Avenue Project
Planning and Development – Land Use Bylaw
The open house format allows informal interaction where all attendees can engage in discussions that interest them the most. It's an opportunity to ask questions directly to those involved in the forefront of the city's development and services.

Stay information on current engagement opportunities and projects at shapeyourcity.medicinehat.ca. 

Commentary
Vacations & Visitors
Jan 22
2
Min Read

Vacations & Visitors

Our badlands aren't that bad & our city is a fabulous place to be.

The 2023 holiday season is now just a memory. Many folks might have already travelled or booked a warmer climate vacation this new year. I have made trips to southern locations over the years – always between November and March. I have found Medicine Hat weather between April and October to be quite reasonable (for the most part), with not much winter to deal with. We are fortunate to live in “Canada’s Sunniest City”. Environment Canada has done the math; 2,544 hours, averaging 330 sunny days per year. (Yuma, Arizona claims to be the sunniest city in the world – 4, 015 sunny hours per year.) Our long, hot summer days and winters interrupted by warming chinook winds make this city a comfortable place to live, work and play. Any summer travels I have taken usually don’t see me going any further south than Montana. Our region is truly amazing for a Canadian climate. Southern Alberta is a gateway to the Canadian Badlands. In my eight years working in the visitor services sector, one of the most asked questions was, “Why is this the badlands?” Most locals understand the area around Drumheller is what we know to be the heart of the badlands. Driving into Alberta from the east, on the Trans-Canada highway, there is a sign welcoming you to the Canadian Badlands but there are no hoodoos to be seen around here. East from Drumheller, to the Saskatchewan border, south to the US border, then southeast to the Cypress Hills are random layers of sedimentary rock – home to the largest deposits of dinosaur bones in the world. The multicolored canyons and wind carved hoodoos are truly a sight to behold. Early French explorers cursed the steep-sloped flat-topped mountains and deep winding gullies as “bad lands to cross” hence the badlands region as we know it today. Many visitors to our area have never heard the terms “hoodoo” or “coulee”. There were always reference pages and photos available to explain these wonky local phenomena. One more interesting ask was directions to the “Badlands Guardian”. A geomorphological land feature was discovered in 2005 by someone in Gravelbourg, Saskatchewan using Google Earth. Until satellite images were readily available, this so-called “face” is just a valley eroded into the clay banks. The television series, “Ancient Aliens” has literally put this formation on the map. What most of us find more of a nuisance on the prairies, who knew gophers could be a tourist attraction? I was surprised to learn our typical prairie gopher is not found in Australia. An Australian visitor ran around, chasing gophers to photograph as he had never seen or heard of these creatures before. The reference binder had a couple of pages on the Richardson ground squirrel and I certainly became more aware of how interesting they really are. Seeing my city and region through the eyes of a visitor has made me appreciate what we have even more. I believe we are all ambassadors. Each of us has local knowledge to share.

Community
Province must take action on electricity reliability and affordability
Jan 16
3
Min Read

Province must take action on electricity reliability and affordability

The Government of Alberta has a responsibility ensure electricity service remains reliable, affordable, and safe. Brownouts and/or rotating blackouts are unacceptable, as are further increases in Albertans’ electric bills. A new approach is needed. Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Affordability and Utilities Nathan Neudorf must immediately and publicly present a plan to restore affordability and confidence in our electric system.

On January 13th the Alberta Electric System Operator (AESO) was forced to declare a Grid Alert, forecasting a 100 to 200 MW shortfall during peak evening hours, with the potential for rotating blackouts.

Such alerts were issued three more times in ensuing days. Albertans rose to the challenge of temporarily cutting usage to stave off blackouts, but this crisis should never have occurred in the first place.

At the same time, Albertans’ electric bills are soaring. The price the electricity has grown increasingly volatile in recent years, while service charges and taxes continue to increase. These rates, fees and taxes are impacting every family and business in our province.

The Government of Alberta has a responsibility ensure electricity service remains reliable, affordable, and safe. Brownouts and/or rotating blackouts are unacceptable, as are further increases in Albertans’ electric bills. 

A new approach is needed. Premier Danielle Smith and Minister of Affordability and Utilities Nathan Neudorf must immediately and publicly present a plan to restore affordability and confidence in our electric system.

Fast tracking new natural gas generation is important to addressing reliability concerns in the short term. However, Albertans have learned through experience that the price of natural gas can be volatile. With our grid already relying on natural gas for so much base load, diversification is necessary.

Our vast supply of coal, which we continue to export for electrical generation around the world, has given Alberta a competitive advantage for a century or more. A return to clean coal generation offers both the potential for lower prices and increased reliability.

In addition, small modular nuclear generation offers the potential for increased reliability. Should such systems proceed, it is important that local communities have the final say on location. Government needs to learn from its mistakes when it opened supervised drug consumption sites in communities that oppose them.

Some renewable generation options, like hydroelectricity, have proven reliable. Some, like wind and solar, have not. To restore confidence in our grid, it’s time to end subsidies, credits, and tax deferments for unreliable projects.

At the same time, we need to better protect consumers from rising prices. In recent years, many advances have been made in renewable technology. It’s time to remove the subsidy safety net and let these projects compete for their place in the free market. Those that can adapt and earn a profit without taxpayer subsidies will make Alberta’s grid stronger. Those that cannot compete need to make way for those that can.

In addition, our province has an interest in protecting agricultural production, which is being lost to sprawling solar farms. Of Alberta’s 160 million acres of land, only 23 million acres (16 per cent) is available to grow crops. We are on pace to lose more than 350,000 acres of prime agricultural land in coming decades, and this will only increase as population growth is exceeding estimates. It’s well past time to ban wind and solar farms on prime agricultural land.

In the wake of the AESO’s Grid Alerts, many politicians have been scrambling to assign blame. Blame won’t keep the lights on, and blame won’t bring down electric bills. For that, we need the Government to come to the realization that the status quo isn’t working and changes are needed.

In short, we need real action.

And if the politicians insist on pursuing business as usual, we’re going to need some new politicians. #ableg #medhat

- Drew Barnes is the former MLA for Cypress Medicine Hat

Community
Community Vibrancy Grant is accepting applications for 2024
Jan 9
1
Min Read

Community Vibrancy Grant is accepting applications for 2024

The City will begin accepting applications for its Community Vibrancy – Community Projects and Activities grant on Jan. 8 through to Feb. 7, 2024, at 3 p.m.

Medicine Hat, AB – The City will begin accepting applications for its Community Vibrancy – Community Projects and Activities grant on Jan. 8 through to Feb. 7, 2024, at 3 p.m.

The City values community activities and events as they bolster community spirit, emphasize opportunities that contribute to quality of life, and enhance a sense of belonging to a community that is welcoming, safe, resilient, and full of opportunity.  

The Community Vibrancy Grant is available to non-profit organizations whose project or events support one or more of the following objectives:

  • Promote vibrancy, energy, and enthusiasm in the community of Medicine Hat
  • Emphasize the community and celebrate living in the community
  • Promote recreation, leisure, social, arts, cultural, or opportunities that contribute to the well-being and quality of life in Medicine Hat
  • Create increase knowledge of community
  • Deepen awareness of opportunities and challenges, and the factors that impact change
  • Increase appreciation for the community
  • Generate interest for residents to get more actively involved in their community
  • Promote a sense of belonging in the community

Example of previous Community Vibrancy grants include:

  • Brain injury awareness month
  • Reconnecting with play at the Medicine Hat Public Library
  • Learn to weave in Medicine Hat
  • Addictions Don’t Discriminate
  • The Urban Trees Collective

For more information on grant guidelines and to apply now visit, medicinehat.ca/grants. Interested applicants can also by emailing bonyar@medicinehat.ca.

Community
Operation Cold Start Underway
Jan 9
1
Min Read

Operation Cold Start Underway

With the arrival of cold weather across the province, the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) is partnering with law enforcement agencies across Alberta to launch Operation Cold Start, a crime prevention initiative aimed at addressing the high number of warm-up auto thefts that occur during the winter months.

With the arrival of cold weather across the province, the Medicine Hat Police Service (MHPS) is partnering with law enforcement agencies across Alberta to launch Operation Cold Start, a crime prevention initiative aimed at addressing the high number of warm-up auto thefts that occur during the winter months.

Warm-up thefts are crimes of opportunity, where car thieves target vehicles that are left running and unattended.

Stolen vehicles are often used by criminals to commit other crimes in the city, victimizing other residents. We are asking for the public’s help to keep our city safe and reduce the number of preventable thefts.

“A cold car is better than a stolen car, so as the temperatures drop, if you need to warm up your car and you don’t have a remote starter, make sure you bundle up and stay with your vehicle until you’re ready to drive away,” says MHPS Traffic Sgt. Stacey Fishley

Drivers who are planning to warm up their vehicle are reminded to:

Never leave a running vehicle unattended if the keys are inside the vehicle, or if the vehicle has been started with a keyless ignition or push-button start.

Use a remote starter whenever possible and keep your vehicle locked.

If you are warming up your vehicle with the keys in the ignition or with a push-button start, stay with your vehicle.

Use a steering wheel lock to deter thieves.

Never leave spare keys or garage door openers in or around your vehicle.

Never leave children or pets in a running vehicle.

Do not leave valuables, including identity documents and bank cards, in your vehicle.

Report suspicious activity to police immediately by calling (insert appropriate number). If you witness a crime in progress, call 9-1-1.

Community
Peace and prosperity in 2024
Jan 3
2
Min Read

Peace and prosperity in 2024

For a vast country like ours, home to abundant natural resources and one of the world’s leading agricultural industries, continued population growth should come as great news. We have the tools and the skills to feed world markets for years to come.

Happy New Year!

As the clock struck midnight on December 31st, our world’s growing population reached about 8.1 billion, up about 75 million from last year. 

In the coming year, experts predict there will be 4.3 births and two deaths every second, as the global population is poised to reach nine billion in 15 years.

Western countries like ours have struggled to keep pace with the global growth, but Canada is closing in on 40 million, with Alberta growing closer to five million.

Contrary to what some alarmists preach, global population growth is a good thing.

It is an indication the food is plentiful, the healthcare is improving, economies are advancing, and wars remain less prevalent.

For decades now, our species has possessed the tools to wipe itself out with nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. The fact that we have maintained a lasting peace and largely found other ways to advance ourselves should give us hope. 

In fact, since the Second World War humanity has grown and thrived like never before, largely thanks to technological advancement and our willingness to trade.

For a vast country like ours, home to abundant natural resources and one of the world’s leading agricultural industries, continued population growth should come as great news. We have the tools and the skills to feed world markets for decades to come. 

In fact, for global peace and prosperity to continue in the long term, we have the moral obligation to do so. This is no time for governments to hoard our natural resources by blocking exports. This certainly isn’t a time for arbitrarily reducing agricultural production. 

The world needs more of what we produce: more food, more oil, more gas, more lumber, more coal, more technology, more of everything. Not only should we supply it, but we should prosper from it.

The sad reality is that even as global need for Alberta’s products increases, some are doing everything they can to reduce our production, most notably our own governments. 

To those who would regulate away our prosperity, I would say simply this: Trade is a two way street that benefits both the seller and the buyer.  If Alberta produces less food, which country should starve? If Alberta produces less gas, which country should freeze? 

In our global economy, there is no moral superiority in our governments voluntarily killing our own industries. The damage that is done through misguided regulation is real, and it is felt everywhere.

That’s why my New Year’s resolution in 2024 is to push back against those who would seek to impose their ideology on the world through regulation. If we want a peaceful and prosperous world, the free market is our best bet.

From my family to yours, please accept my best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.

Commentary
Story of the Year 2023: POWER!
Dec 30
1
Min Read

Story of the Year 2023: POWER!

The Sentinel has chosen local power prices and the political posturing on behalf of city council and the broader community is it's top story for 2023. Read more to find out why.

Medicine Hat, AB - As 2023 comes to a close many news outlets publish their story of the year or newsmaker of the year.

It is a subjective issue as in every community some stories impact more people than others, some are closer to the heart than others and some hit home a little too closely compared to others.

The Sentinel has chosen local power prices and the political posturing on behalf of city council and the broader community is it's top story for 2023.

Never in the history of our city has council felt so pressured as to provide some relief from rising costs of electricity. Never has the city provided so much back to ratepayers at any time in the history of the city owned utility.

The community activism that arose as a result of the power issue has never been so vocal. Multiple groups with differing agendas have used the issue as a catalyst for organizing and taking action.

We have two ratepayer groups now focused on this issue, recall petitions from others and letters of complaint and a demand for an audit to the Minister of Municipal Affairs. We have individuals, with unique backgrounds to say the least, already posturing and positioning for Mayor in the 2025 election as a result.

It is the story that has had the most impact on our community in 2023 and with the changes that were made to utilities pricing for 2024, along with a review of utility operations, we'll see if that carries over to 2024.

Happy New Year to all!

Health & Wellness
$100 million in Stabilization Funding for Family and Rural Generalist Care
Dec 21
2
Min Read

$100 million in Stabilization Funding for Family and Rural Generalist Care

This afternoon Minister of Health Adriana LaGrange and Premier Danielle Smith announced that government will apply $100 million to immediate stabilization of family and rural generalist physician practices.

Dear Members,

This afternoon I joined Minister of Health Adriana LaGrange and Premier Danielle Smith at a news conference to announce that government will apply $100 million to immediate stabilization of family and rural generalist physician practices. 

After months of ceaseless, intense advocacy, this is great news and a critical first of three steps that the AMA’s Strike Team has called for in 2024, including a new payment model option:

  1. Stabilize: $100 million paid in early 2024 for up front stabilization of family and rural generalist practices that are failing. Government also commits to an additional $100 million installment of stabilization funding to be paid in early 2025. This is an unprecedented $200 million solely to stabilize family physician and rural generalist practices, while the following steps are achieved.
  2.  
  3. Transition: Payments to physicians so they can afford to remain in comprehensive care until the new payment model is established.
  4.  
  5. Transform: Implement the Physician Comprehensive Care Model – an option away from fee-for-service that recognizes the special demands of comprehensive, cradle-to-grave care. It includes payment for:
  6. •   visits and related activity
  7. •   hours worked
  8. •   responsibility for managing a panel of patients

I thank the minister and premier for honouring the commitment to prioritize immediate stabilization of family and rural generalist practices with this significant down payment. The minister has also promised to consider the other steps that need to be taken in the context of Budget 2024. 

This is a momentous achievement, reached with your support. We all hope this is the beginning of the road back from the edge of disaster. 
 
For today, I take the opportunity to wish you the best of what this time of year has to offer, including time and celebration with family and friends. You have all given so much, alongside with your health care team colleagues. If you have not seen it yet, please view (below) the special holiday greeting that I signed with the leaders of Alberta’s health associations and unions to honour your contributions and those of all health care workers in Alberta.
 
Regards,

Paul Parks
President, Alberta Medical Association

Community
Expanded Programming in MHPL's Teen Space
Dec 19
1
Min Read

Expanded Programming in MHPL's Teen Space

The Medicine Hat Public Library is offering more for teens than ever before.

Written by Stephanie Kuhn, Youth and Community Librarian

More hours and more fun at Honeycomb House

MHPL is soft launching structure programming in The Honeycomb House during the month of December, which includes an additional day of drop-in hours. Honeycomb House is now open* for drop-in Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays from 3:30 - 7:30 PM; Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays from 1:00 - 4:30 PM; closed Mondays. On most Wednesdays and some weekends, there will be an activity inside the space such as video game tournaments and themed crafts. Check out the teen page on the MHPL website to see the full list of events happening in Honeycomb House during the months of December and January.

*hours are subject to change in case of staff illness/shortage.

What is Honeycomb House?

Honeycomb House opened in September 2023. The members of our TIC TAC (Teens Initiating Change, Together and Committed) volunteer group played a huge role in designing the space to ensure it would appeal to their peers. It's a space just for teens ages 13-19 and offers video games, computers, a study space, a cozy reading nook, and snacks! Whether you need free Internet access to finish that looming homework assignment, a quick nosh on your way home from school, or just to chill out from the stresses of growing up; The Honeycomb House is here for you!

To learn more about programs for teens at the library visit mhpl.shortgrass.ca/services/teens and follow us on social media: @mhpubliclibrary and @mhplteens

Community
Lethbridge City Council responds to request from Lethbridge & District Exhibition
Dec 18
3
Min Read

Lethbridge City Council responds to request from Lethbridge & District Exhibition

An Interim governance body was implemented, excluding any previous board members, to ensure a clean slate. The new governance body will be comprised of Administrative staff from the City of Lethbridge and Administrative staff from Lethbridge County (pending acceptance from Lethbridge County Council)

Lethbridge City Council approved initial steps that would pave a new path forward for Lethbridge & District Exhibition and the Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre. In response to a letter of intent received from the Lethbridge & District Exhibition, City Council passed a resolution that will provide emergency interim resourcing to create stability and business continuity and explore a vision for the future.

“This is not a position we ever wanted to be in,” says Mayor Blaine Hyggen. “But the reality is, this organization is in financial trouble and change is needed. I am extremely proud of how City Council and administration have come together to take a leadership role in this change and work with the Lethbridge & District Exhibition to make that happen. We want to reassure the community, and those who have invested in this facility, that the Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre remains open for business.”

Today, Council put in motion some important transformations that will ensure the clarity and information needed is available to inform good decision making. It will also provide transparency to the community regarding how public dollars are being spent.

The approved Council resolution established the following directions:

Emergency operating grant to the Lethbridge & District Exhibition of $250,000 allocated immediately.
The City will also set aside up to $950,000 in contingency, held under City control, for verified emergent needs.
This one-time funding is from the Municipal Revenue Stabilization Reserve (MRSR) ​
Independent third-party review of the Lethbridge & District Exhibition
Regular reporting to Economic & Finance Standing Policy Committee (SPC)
Phase 1 report to be presented at the November 14, 2024 Economic & Finance SPC.
Administration to provide regular reports on any critical findings to Economic & Finance SPC as they occur.​
Funding of up to $300,000 from the existing 2023-2026 Operating Budget
Funding of $850,000 for contract or term positions to support backfill of key City resources. This will be one-time MRSR funding.
Interim governance body implemented, excluding any previous board members, to ensure a clean slate. The new governance body will be comprised of:
Administrative staff from the City of Lethbridge
Administrative staff from Lethbridge County (pending acceptance from Lethbridge County Council)
Memorandum of Understanding to be developed between the City and Lethbridge & District Exhibition based on the recommendations contained within the letter of intent​, no later than January 19, 2024 subject City Council approval at the January 23 Council meeting.
The City of Lethbridge and Lethbridge & District Exhibition have a long-standing relationship dating back to the early 1900s.

“There have been several points in our history where the City has provided support to the Exhibition,” says Councilor Belinda Crowson. “We have always found a way to work through it, for the benefit of our community, and I am confident this time will be no different.”

Lethbridge & District Exhibition appeared before City Council on November 28, asking for $6.7 million in emergency funding and the immediate takeover of the old pavilions (excluding the West Pavilion). The organization cited the impact of inflation, interest rates, supply chain issues and other lingering COVID-19 impacts as causes of the budget shortfalls. Additional capital costs, as well as the expense of maintaining the old pavilions, has depleted the Exhibition’s reserves which means they would be unable to move forward without additional financial support.

The City owns the land that the Agri-food Hub & Trade Centre is located on and contributed $25 million toward the construction of the facility which began in March 2021.

This now brings into question the viability of the MHES plans to redo their grandstand and run an new facility that has yet to be proven as a needed asset in the community. Councilor McGrogan, who is the council representative on the MHES board has not responded to requests for comment on the scenario playing out in Lethbridge.

Community
City of Medicine Hat - Neat To Know
Dec 12
4
Min Read

City of Medicine Hat - Neat To Know

Thanks for reading Neat to Know - a feature from the City of Medicine Hat to ensure you don't miss important info and some that is really, well...neat to know!

Thanks for reading Neat to Know - a feature from the City of Medicine Hat to ensure you don't miss important info and some that is really, well...neat to know!

You can expect to see this feature regularly as we round up the week's most interesting content and even some that may not have been delivered through our regular channels. 

2024 Saamis Tepee Upgrades
Work to upgrade and repaint parts of the Saamis Tepee will begin early April 2024 and is expected to take several weeks, with an anticipated completion at the end of October, weather permitting. During this period, the Tepee will not be available for the 'Lighting for a Cause' program. 

Congrats on 40 years, Ernie!
This week, we celebrated one of our Transit Operators, Ernie, who reached 40 years of service with the City of Medicine Hat. Ernie is known for his friendly, easy-going attitude and his bright smile. We are lucky to have him!

Holiday hours of operation
Big Marble, Esplanade and Landfill, oh my! When will they be open as the holidays fly by? (Ok, ok... maybe rhyming isn't our strong suit.) We've rounded up a full list of holiday hours so you know exactly when you can, and can't, come visit us at various City facilities as we head into the holiday season.

For Holiday Hours click here

Don't clog your sewer with turkey grease!
As you prepare for your holiday feast, keep in mind that fats, oils, and grease (FOG) do not belong in the sewer. We want your holiday gatherings to be filled with joy, not the hassle of dealing with a sewer backup (pictured: grease buildup in a City sewer pipe). 

Here are a few tips to prevent sewer backups:

Before washing your dishes, scrape leftover food off your plates into the trash.
For liquid FOG, including gravies, sauces, and excess grease, pour them into an empty container like a jar or can. Once they've cooled down, dispose of them in the trash.
Be aware that using a garbage disposal or soaps that claim to combat grease won't reduce the impact of FOG on the sewer system. Instead, they may spread it further down the pipeline, where it can reconvene and solidify, potentially causing blockages and backflows in your and your neighbors' sewers!

Festive lights
Did you know the City puts up and takes down 354 festive lights each year to help celebrate the holiday season? You'll find them on light posts downtown, on arterial roads (like Dunmore Road and 13th Avenue), and along other main roadways to light up your drive.

Holiday energy consumption
During the holiday season, electricity consumption tends to spike due to various festive traditions. Brightly lit Christmas lights, inflatable decorations, and appliances working overdrive for all those elaborate meals and sweet treats will amplify the load on electricity. Here are ten ways to cut down on electricity usage during the season:

LED lights: Choose LED lights which use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs.
Natural decor: Embrace natural decorations like wreaths, pine cones, and plants to minimize reliance on electricity-driven ornaments.
Timers and sensors: Use automatic timers or motion sensors so lights are only on when you need them.
Batch cooking: Conserve oven heat and electricity by baking all your goodies in one day.
Cook efficiently: Use the microwave or toaster oven for smaller dishes; they're more energy-efficient than the oven.
Unplug devices: Unplug electronics if you leave for the holidays, or when not in use. Even when idle, they can still draw power.
Lower thermostat: Turn down the heat when guests come to visit. With more people indoors, lower the thermostat to account for body heat.
Eco-friendly options: Consider eco-friendly or reusable wrapping options to reduce waste and the resources needed for production.
Energy-efficient appliances: If you're hoping for a new appliance under the tree, as Santa for one that is ENERGY STAR® certified.
Family Time without Screens: Organize activities that don’t require electricity, like board games, storytelling, or outdoor adventures, to reduce reliance on electronic entertainment.
This holiday, practice mindful energy-saving practices amidst joyful celebrations.

Holiday fire safety
Did you know? In North America, the three leading dates for home structure fires caused by cooking are Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, and Thanksgiving. As we prepare for holiday entertaining, remember a few key tips to keep you, your family, and your friends safe while celebrating together!

Keep children and pets away from candles
Stay in the kitchen when cooking
Know the address of where you are in case you need to call 911
Ask smokers to smoke outside and wet butts before discarding
Turn off space hearts before leaving a room
Happy Holidays from Medicine Hat Fire and Emergency Services!

THIS WEEK! The Great Disconnect: A Documentary
December 14 - Esplanade at 7 p.m.
Free, reserved seating - Get Tickets

New Years Eve Fest
December 31 - Big Marble Go Centre 
Free, family activities from noon until 4 p.m.
Reserve your spot for swimming and nerf wars here.

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Community
City Transit recent updates: Route 21 and 56
Dec 12
1
Min Read

City Transit recent updates: Route 21 and 56

City Transit regularly monitors and evaluates its systems, routes, and customer feedback to uphold high service standards. With that, recent updates have been made to Routes 21 and 56

Medicine Hat, AB – City Transit regularly monitors and evaluates its systems, routes, and customer feedback to uphold high service standards. With that, recent updates have been made to Routes 21 and 56, as outlined below:

Route 21: Starting January 4, Route 21 will expand its service to include weekday evenings and Sundays. This adjustment aims to ensure reliable hospital access and alleviate the demand on MHTnow. Please be aware that MHTnow on-demand buses will no longer serve Route 21 bus stops but will maintain service at all other Central Zone locations.

Route 21 service will be available:
Weekdays: 6:45 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.
Sundays: 8:15 a.m. to 7:15 p.m. (all day)

Route 56: On Aug. 31, Route 56 in the south was implemented for service dependability, especially during peak hours. This route provides access from Southlands Boulevard and Masterpiece Lodge to key shopping destinations, including Medicine Hat Mall and the Walmart shopping area. Due to its success, the City has added morning service hours; new hours beginning Jan. 4 will be 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Residents and transit users are encouraged to share their feedback online at, www.medicinehat.ca/transit-feedback

Community
MHPS 125th Anniversary Parade
Dec 12
0
Min Read

MHPS 125th Anniversary Parade

On January 13, 2024, the Medicine Hat Police Service will be celebrating 125 years of service to the community.

On January 13, 2024, the Medicine Hat Police Service will be celebrating 125 years of service to the community. To mark this special occasion the Service will be holding a Regimental Parade on January 11th, 2024, at the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede Cypress Centre (located at 2055 21st Avenue SE).

This event is open to the public to attend and is free of charge. Following the parade, a levee will be held. We hope you can join us!

Health & Wellness
Southern Alberta Patients Benefit From State-of-the-Art Simulation Lab
Dec 12
3
Min Read

Southern Alberta Patients Benefit From State-of-the-Art Simulation Lab

Southern Alberta patients benefit from the state-of-the-art simulation lab at Medicine Hat Regional Hospital (MHRH) - Source AHS with story & photos by Jennifer Vanderlaan

MEDICINE HAT, AB — Southern Alberta patients benefit from the state-of-the-art simulation lab at Medicine Hat Regional Hospital (MHRH), which has helped to preserve and enhance healthcare education in the community for more than three years.
Previously a clinical area within MHRH, eSIM’s simulation lab — which is short for Educate, Simulate, Innovate, Motivate — is an educational training space in which clinical events are recreated so healthcare staff can practise critical skills in a safe, controlled environment.
“This is a state-of-the-art facility — and we’re really proud of the work that went into creating this space,” says Dr. Vincent Grant, Medical Director for the eSIM Provincial Simulation Program.
“Simulations allow individuals and teams to test their knowledge, skills, teamwork and local clinical environments, potentially identifying and correcting issues in the care process or environment before entering a real clinical space.”
In the lab, three simulated patient-care areas, a control room and a dedicated debriefing space allow instructors and staff to work through a variety of realistic scenarios as they boost their competency and confidence.
“The new lab gives us the opportunity to work with staff and teams in a safe and controlled environment, ultimately growing and improving skills and knowledge in our communities,” says Amanda Dyck, Simulation Consultant for MHRH and southeast Alberta. “This has great benefits for urban and rural healthcare.”
The lab also boasts an OR simulation lab — the first of its kind in the province.
“The dedicated OR space allows us to ensure we’re training as many staff as needed without interrupting the day-to-day functions of an active OR,” says, Randi Galenzoski, a Clinical Nurse Educator who specializes in operating room and post-anesthetic care.
The lab is comes with two lifelike mannequins, from babies to adults, that can mimic human physiological responses such as breathing, heart rate and blood pressure. They even have the ability to sweat or bleed, allowing facilitators to simulate cardiac arrests, respiratory distress and other clinical situations.
“This allows staff to learn in a realistic, hands-on way,” adds Galenzoski. “Staff practise a variety of scenarios so that when they occur in real time, they can take care of their patient efficiently and effectively.”
The lab is used to orientate new staff and provide continuing education for existing staff — and facilitates interprofessional training that allows members of the healthcare team to cohesively practise communicating, collaborating, making decisions, delivering interventions and care planning.
“Teams come together and, in doing so, they learn how each other thinks, and what everyone’s priorities and responsibilities are,” says Galenzoski. “It helps us to build communication and improve the team dynamic in a safe space, which translates into better care for patients.”
After each session, teams gather in a dedicated debriefing area to review their scenario and get the kind of feedback that’s critical for team development and continuous improvement.
“The debrief is a great opportunity to sit down and talk about what worked and what could be done better next time,” says Sue Barnes, Provincial Simulation Lead, eSIM Provincial Simulation Program. “The lessons learned are an integral piece for change management, improving confidence and patient safety.”
The lab supports practice areas such as pediatrics, obstetrics, neonatal intensive care, geriatrics, emergency, trauma, EMS, the operating room (OR) and post-anesthetic care, medical units, surgical units, mental health, rural, and intensive care.
The program casts a wide net, as evidenced by the 190 simulation sessions booked across the South Zone in 2022-2023. During this time, 1,540 people participated more than 1,092 hours of simulation at 14 sites.
Recently, to mark three years of successful operation, the lab opened its doors for physicians, staff and partners to gather for an official ribbon-cutting.
“I’d like to thank the Medicine Hat District Health Foundation for funding the project, and to AHS’ Facilities, Maintenance and Engineering and the many staff and community members who stepped up to help this project along,” says Dr. Grant.

Politics
Climate subsidies: Costs outweigh the benefits
Dec 12
4
Min Read

Climate subsidies: Costs outweigh the benefits

The Ottawa Brain Trust announced a new methane credit trading system designed to limit the emissions of cattle burps. The idea here is to pressure ranchers into feeding more corn as well as potentially some chemical additives to reduce methane emissions.

Oops, they did it again.

Despite a constant barrage of attacks from the federal government, Alberta continues its failed strategy of climate appeasement.

In case you missed it, in the past two weeks the federal government has announced new methane and carbon dioxide emissions regulations designed to weaken and ultimately destroy Western Canada’s oil and gas industries. 

In addition, the Ottawa Brain Trust announced a new methane credit trading system designed to limit the emissions of cattle burps. The idea here is to pressure ranchers into feeding more corn as well as potentially some chemical additives to reduce methane emissions.

So how does Alberta respond? In true Jason Kenney fashion, our provincial government fired off an angry press release to protest Ottawa’s presence in areas of provincial jurisdiction. Premier Danielle Smith also criticized the cow burp scheme calling it “a new low for the eco-extremists.”

But the next day Alberta’s government merrily went back to pumping millions into corporate welfare for emissions-reducing projects. This time the government is providing unspecified subsidies through its provincial carbon tax fund for a renewable natural gas plant near Calgary. The plant will produce RNG gas for about 10 times the production cost typically associated with conventional natural gas. It will also, coincidentally, provide “methane-reducing” cattle feed. Yikes. 

A week ago I called on conservatives at all levels to end this failed policy of climate appeasement. I was also pleased to read a similar opinion by Tom Harris, executive director of the International Climate Science Coalition — Canada. In his column, Mr. Harris stated, “Merely contesting the way in which Canada should meet its climate commitments… while continuing to accept the need to reduce emissions is a loser’s strategy. It’s time Conservatives fought this war to actually win it.”

I couldn’t agree more.

You see, taxpayers are currently dumping millions, if not billions, of dollars every single week into wasteful corporate welfare projects of little value. Where Ottawa is subsidizing EV battery plants, Alberta is subsidizing Net Zero plastics and the burgeoning cattle burb reduction industry.

Both governments defend these obvious boondoggles by waving the magic wand of “emissions reduction.” I’m sorry, but for responsible conservatives the concept of emission reductions at any cost simply does not pass the smell test.

Taxpayers deserve to see a full cost-benefit analysis of every subsidy awarded, whether it’s for Trudeau’s cars that nobody wants, or Smith’s magic methane. In addition, we need to start questioning the costs and benefits of emission reductions more generally. 

The costs are numerous and relatively easy to calculate. First of all, there are the direct costs to taxpayers in the form of carbon taxes and corporate welfare. Secondly, there are the indirect expenses associated with the government driving up the cost of virtually every product and service through carbon taxes and climate-driven regulations. In addition, there is the indirect cost of lost competitiveness in global markets, as our competitors are clearly stepping away from the Paris Accord and its arbitrary targets. 

Finally, we must not dismiss the cost to our communities in the form of job losses. For example, when Alberta chose to phase our coal for electricity, the cost of electricity spiked, but the job losses in our coal communities also proved devastating to local economies. 

On the benefits side of the equation, we need to take a more critical eye to government claims. At a time when China, India and others are increasing emissions far faster than we cut them, it seems obvious that any global environmental benefits are null and void. 

So, we need to ask ourselves, “what is the actual dollar value of emissions reduction per tonne? We need to demand receipts, because nebulous claims of investment or job creation don’t pay the bills. 

As rural Albertans have learned the hard way, the so-called green energy jobs are not replacing natural resource jobs, just like EV battery plant jobs are not going to laid off auto workers. 

If somebody is getting rich off all this, it ain’t us.

The fact that governments are not giving us an accurate cost-benefit analysis of green energy subsidies should tell us something. 

If the costs are unlimited and the benefits are largely imaginary, this is the very definition of a bad deal.

the very definition of a bad deal.

Community
Possess Dangerous Weapon
Dec 9
0
Min Read

Possess Dangerous Weapon

On December 7 at approximately 7:00 PM members of the Medicine Hat Police Service responded to a report of a suspicious person possibly armed with a pistol in the 100 block of South Railway Street.

On December 7 at approximately 7:00 PM members of the Medicine Hat Police Service responded to a report of a suspicious person possibly armed with a pistol in the 100 block of South Railway Street.

When officers arrived on scene, they located a man matching the description provided. The man was non-compliant with directions provided by police, however, was taken safely into custody on North Railway Street. Following the arrest officers located an air pistol and the man was charged with one count of possessing a weapon dangerous to public peace.

Community
New Swag at Medicine Hat Public Library
Dec 6
1
Min Read

New Swag at Medicine Hat Public Library

Buy a gift for yourself or a loved one and support Medicine Hat Public Library. Everyone wins!

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing and Community Engagement

Come to the library or visit our online store to see what we have

It's been a while since we've be able to say this: There's new swag in our MHPL store!

We've added gorgeous, soft and warm toques and scarves to our collection, just in time for winter. There are three colours available - black, blue and grey.

Plus, we've restocked out popular, fuzzy and oh-so-warm "Book Nerd" socks, also available in three colours - blue, pink and purple.

Whether you're outside walking in a winter wonderland (whenever that arrives) or you're snuggled up with your favourite book inside when the mercury drops too far to enjoy outside, you can proudly show your love for the library.

Want to know what else we have? Sweaters, shirts, candles, greeting cards... You know what? Instead of us listing everything why don't you take a look for yourself at www.mhplstore.ca.

You know your friends and family will be jealous when they see you sporting the library swag, so we advise you to pick something up for them, too.

Thanks to Tiki Press and Boylan Imaging for their work on our swag.

Commentary
Civilian Forces
Dec 5
3
Min Read

Civilian Forces

A plumber, not a pilot, my family was transferred to MH.

In this world of easy access to information – this trend wasn’t always so readily available. Before the world wide web was populated, that daunting set of encyclopedias was where I found my information. Britannica, Americana and Collier’s Encyclopedias were the three major English-language general knowledge encyclopedias I had access to in my school years. Unfortunately, not all the questions I had could be answered within those pages. “What does your dad do?” An elementary school question on many occasions with the direction to draw a picture of my dad at work. I learned my dad was a plumber and he worked at the “base”. How does a child draw that?! I wasn’t sure what a plumber did and I didn’t know what the base was in my early school years. When I figured out what to do with a dictionary, many of my queries were answered by definition, noun, verb or adjective. Understanding what a plumber did was a bit of a shock, but over the years I learned to appreciate all he did to keep the water running or flushing. The “base” was a mystery for many years as I must have been ten years old before I realized my dad worked at CFB Gimli. I had to ask what the CFB meant – of course it meant “Canadian Forces Base”. We were not a military family. My dad was a civilian employee, the maintenance plumber at the base, looking after all the buildings and PMQ. There was nowhere I could look up what PMQ was but I tended take more interest and ask more questions by junior high school. Private Military Quarters became a common term of reference where household plumbing was concerned. Only after CFB Gimli closed in 1971 and my dad was transferred to CFB Suffield in 1972 did I do some research on why my family was uprooted and moved out west. September 1946 the British Commonwealth Air Training established No. 18 Service Flying Training School. By 1950 jet aircraft training was added. From 1943 to 1968 it was known as RCAF Station Gimli. From 1968 to 1971 it was known as CFB Gimli – the only name I knew but  growing up there, it was just the “base”. My dad worked there as a maintenance plumber/pipefitter for over ten years, then had a similar position at CFB Suffield for a number of years. On June 29th, 1971 a Silver Star T-33 jet fighter was presented to the town by the CFB to commemorate many years of cooperation and friendship. The monument is known as the CFB Gimli Memorial, now a designated historic site in Manitoba. CFB Suffield has hosted the largest live-fire training exercises in Canada since 1972. The base operates its own sewage and water treatment systems, landfill and fire services to residents and rural neighbors. It makes sense my dad’s skills were required at CFB Suffield and my family moved from Gimli, MB to Medicine Hat, AB. In my eyes, my dad was a superhero. I am sure he could a been a pilot and a plumber. I probably could have drawn an airplane in elementary school. As for the Gimli Glider Air Canada Boeing 767 aircraft story – perhaps another time.

Commentary
Will The MHES Grandstand Project Be A Money Pit?
Dec 3
2
Min Read

Will The MHES Grandstand Project Be A Money Pit?

This week the Lethbridge Exhibition came hat in hand to Lethbridge city council to ask for more money for budgetary shortfalls of the new multi-million dollar Agri-Food Hub facilities.. How will the taxpayers of Medicine Hat be protected from the same continuing funding asks if the city does fund the MHES to build its new grandstand facility?

This week the Lethbridge Exhibition came hat in hand to Lethbridge city council to ask for more money for budgetary shortfalls of the new multi-million dollar Agri-Food Hub facilities.

As reported by the Lethbridge Herald, Mike Warkentin, Chief Executive Officer of the Exhibition, made a presentation asking the City for a capital grant in the amount of $6,742,315.72 or a capital grant in the amount of $2,081,093 to cover the unfunded capital of construction and a four-year debt deferral to be repaid on the back of the loan, totaling $4,671,309.72.
The presentation said the original approved budget for the new Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre was $70,600,000.

This ask is after receiving provincial funding and city funding to build the new complex. Earlier in the year the group asked for further funds in the millions to demolish old buildings on the grounds that are unused and causing ongoing operational expenses. What it does show is that even when you have many partners working together at multiple levels in a community, it does not assure that the business plan will be a good one.

It then begs to question how the taxpayers of Medicine Hat will be protected from the same continuing funding asks if the city does fund the MHES to build its new grandstand facility. As shown by GM Ron Edwards, the MHES has no business plan or estimates of new operating costs if the new facility is built.

What's even more concerning, unlike with the MHES, is that Lethbridge put together a team of individuals from across the community and different stakeholder groups, was transparent with the community on their financial situation, brought in people outside their board to work on the project, worked closely with the city and council and still they are faced with millions in shortfalls.

When it comes to doling out millions in public money to any entity, there has to be a high level of confidence in why it is a good investment and a plan to make good on the agreement to repay those funds. If our elected officials are not confident the MHES plan is a good one, then the simple answer to the MHES ask is no.

Health & Wellness
CMHA-ASER Statement on Ceasing Operations
Nov 30
2
Min Read

CMHA-ASER Statement on Ceasing Operations

CMHA-Alberta Division has been informed by the CMHA-Alberta Southeast Region (CMHA-ASER) Board that they have made the difficult decision to cease operations effective immediately due to financial pressures.

UPDATE!
The Sentinel spoke with Board Chair Carole Hillson to find out further details as to why the abrupt ceasing of CMHA-Alberta Southeast Region operations occurred.

As with many non-profit organizations in our community and elsewhere, the CMHA-ASER was faced with financial obligations that had unfortunately overwhelmed the organization. "There is always an ebb and flow to funding operations. Funds hit a low point and then a scheduled fundraiser brings it back up. Then some program is funded, (or not) and the bank account changes accordingly. Unfortunately CHMHA-ASER did not have enough funds for all expenses such as loan payments, staff salaries and general operations while still meeting the programming requirements agreed to with those funding our programming.", stated Hillson.

Hillson also stated it was unfortunate that The Post had to close its doors and knows how valuable it was to our community. "The Post actually contributed funds to CMHA-ASER operations", she stated.

Hillson commented that a number of financial decisions over the years by previous boards and management built up and made it difficult for the organization to keep its head above water. Reducing cash flows, debt obligations and a shrinking board created the perfect storm.

Hillson, like so many others in our community, was on the CMHA-ASER board as a volunteer to improve mental health services in our community. Over the last year, due to personal and professional reasons, many board members had resigned. This left the governance board in a position where there were 5 board members left at the time of the decision to cease operations.

Hillson continues to speak to the announcement with multiple members of the media and thanks all that have reached out with questions regarding the situation. There may be more to say at a future date.

Providing community mental health care programs and services, including suicide prevention support, in Medicine Hat and throughout Alberta is a priority to CMHA-Alberta Division. We are dedicated to ensuring the ongoing delivery of effective programming in Medicine Hat. CMHA-Alberta Division will be working with local partners and other CMHA regions as part of this process to determine the best path forward.
All questions specifically related to the current CMHA-ASER operations should be directed to CMHA-ASER Board Chair Carole Hillson, mcarolehillson@gmail.com. Questions regarding programming can be directed to CMHA-AB Division CEO (interim) Mara Grunau, ceo@cmha.ab.ca.

Business
Knowing when it's time to grow your business
Nov 30
3
Min Read

Knowing when it's time to grow your business

Learn the pivotal signs signalling the need for business growth, from overwhelming workloads to limitations on scalability and mental health impact. Get actionable steps to delegate tasks, reassess scalability, and prioritize well-being, ensuring a more sustainable and fulfilling entrepreneurial journey

As entrepreneurs, we often find ourselves juggling numerous tasks, wearing multiple hats, and feeling the weight of an ever-growing to-do list. There comes a pivotal moment when our plates are not just full but overflowing, signalling the need for a change—a moment when growth becomes essential to your business. Understanding these signs can pave the way for a more efficient and thriving business.

Recognizing the Signs

1. Overwhelmed + Overloaded

When the day-to-day responsibilities start encroaching on your ability to strategize, innovate, and focus on critical business aspects, it's an obvious sign that you're stretched too thin.

Take my experience with social media—I was swamped with it, barely leaving any wiggle room to work on larger items, reach out to clients etc. That realization pushed me to contract another individual to help me with the more day-to-day items which has significantly helped my work process! I try to keep a number of freelancers/contractors in my back pocket to ensure I have access to professionals who could help fulfill projects, responsibilities etc.

2. Limited Scalability

A successful business isn't just about meeting current demands; it's about having the bandwidth to scale and grow for the future. If your workload inhibits your capacity to take on more clients or projects without compromising quality, it's an indicator that your business model might need reevaluation.

3. Mental Health Impact

Statistics shed light on a concerning trend: entrepreneurs tend to sideline their well-being in the relentless pursuit of business triumph. Neglecting self-care amidst the pressures of running a business catapults burnout rates. It's crucial to recognize that nurturing your mental health directly influences your business's effectiveness.

However, let's be honest—it's far easier said than done. Entrepreneurs often pour every ounce of energy into their projects, clients, or the overall business. Struggling to strike that balance? Consider seeking guidance from a mentor or coach to help navigate those barriers. I understand this struggle firsthand—I'm deeply passionate about my work, and as a result, I've found myself skipping meals, up at all hours of the night and sacrificing personal and family time for work commitments.

Steps to Ready Yourself for Growth

1. Assess Your Workload:

Create a detailed inventory of your tasks. Identify repetitive or time-consuming responsibilities that could be delegated or automated. For instance, social media management, administrative tasks, sales, or customer service might be prime areas for offloading.

Consider bringing on a contract position, part-time, (or if needed) full-time employee to help manage the workload. One of the biggest 'clicking' moments in my career was understanding that 'in order to make money - you need to spend money' which really speaks to the importance of investing in your business.

2. Evaluate Your Scalability:

Consider your current workload in relation to your capacity. Are you turning down opportunities due to limitations in time or resources? Assess the potential for expansion and determine if additional support or restructuring is necessary.

You may find yourself wanting to take on more even with your overflowing plates, thinking ‘I’ll find a way to make it work.’ But the question truly is.. Can you? Maybe you put more effort into this project but by default, something else will suffer in return. As entrepreneurs, it is extremely common for us to take on too much and we find it very hard to ask for help, or admit that we may need assistance.

3. Prioritize Mental Well-being:

Entrepreneurship can be demanding, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of your health. Incorporate self-care practices into your routine and be mindful of stress triggers. Remember, a healthy mind drives a successful business. 

‘‘Work-life balance” is something every business owner has heard and strived for. Find ways to shut off your ‘work brain’ and fill pockets of time for self-care, family, or friends. You are more than your business, remember you are a human who has needs, wants, goals, desires etc. If it helps, try scheduling personal time in your calendar - force yourself to prioritize your mental well-being.

Conclusion

Recognizing the signs that it's time to grow your business is the first step towards a more sustainable and fulfilling entrepreneurial journey. Delegating tasks, reassessing scalability, and prioritizing mental well-being are not just business strategies but essential components for success. Embrace growth not only for your business's sake but for your own personal fulfillment.

Business
2024 Canada Summer Jobs Accepting Applications
Nov 29
1
Min Read

2024 Canada Summer Jobs Accepting Applications

Canada Summer Jobs now accepting employer applications for Summer 2024.

Glen Motz, Member of Parliament

Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner

November 28, 2023                                                                                     For Immediate Release

News Release

MEDICINE HAT, AB – The launch of the 2024 Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program is now open. When young people have the skills and experience they need to join the workforce, they benefit our communities and economy.

Employers from not-for-profit organizations, the public sector and private sector organizations with 50 or fewer full-time employees can apply for funding to hire students next summer. Full-time job placements will become available starting in April 2024.

Glen Motz, Member of Parliament for Medicine Hat–Cardston-Warner stated, “I would encourage not-for-profit organizations and eligible employers in Medicine Hat–Cardston–Warner to apply. Let’s empower our young people by assisting them in developing their skills and gaining valuable workplace experience.”

National priorities include: youth with disabilities or organizations that provide services to persons with disabilities; youth underrepresented in the labour market; youth in rural/remote areas; experience related to skilled trades; sustainable jobs that support the protection of the environment.

In Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warne_r, MP Motz’s local priorities will also focus on:_ not-for-profit organizations; small businesses; municipal activities; agriculture; and projects supporting local and regional tourism development.

Canada Summer Jobs employer applications are being accepted from today until January 10, 2024. Employers interested in applying for CSJ 2024 funding can submit their applications electronically through the Access Grants and Contributions Online Services - Canada.ca website – Youth Employment and Skills Strategy (YESS).

For more information and to apply, please visit Canada.ca/Canada-summer-jobs or phone 1-800-935-5555.

Politics
All aboard the Net Zero express
Nov 29
3
Min Read

All aboard the Net Zero express

"Sure, Smith talks tough when the cameras are on – but she’s more than happy to play ball with the federal government and the World Economic Forum the second you’re not looking."

In the end, all that was missing was the, “Build Back Better,” logo.

On Nov. 29th, Danielle Smith’s United Conservative government went all-in on the Net Zero agenda, announcing one of the largest subsidies in provincial history to one of the world’s largest corporations to help retrofit a Fort Saskatchewan plastics plant.

The Dow Chemical plant was rechristened as the Path2Zero project, referring to the plan to capture all carbon emissions from the plant’s operations.

The cost to Alberta taxpayers will be $1.8 Billion, not in loans or guarantees, but in direct subsidies. Federal taxpayers (including Albertans) will be on the hook for another $400 Million.

Sharing the stage with Smith at the announcement was Justin Trudeau’s handpicked Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland, a member of the World Economic Forum’s Board of Trustees. Dow is also listed as a partner on the WEF’s website.

It should also be noted that back in April, Dow’s board officially selected Linde as its clean hydrogen partner for the project. Linde is a participant in the United Nations Global Compact, a group dedicated to pushing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Folks, something stinks and it isn’t carbon dioxide.

While many countries around the world are currently stepping away from expensive and often counterproductive Net Zero commitments, there appears to be no closing the 24/7 corporate welfare buffet here in Alberta.

While Smith’s government ostensibly opposes the federal carbon tax, it has done nothing to curtail its own industrial carbon tax – which is tied directly to the federal carbon tax’s rates (which are set to increase from $65 per tonne today to $170 per tonne in 2030).

Even worse, the government’s joint statement on the Path2Zero project went so far as to praise the provincial carbon tax, stating, “We are pleased that Alberta’s… stable industrial carbon pricing system… made Alberta the most attractive choice.”

You heard that right, tripling the provincial carbon tax over seven years is apparently, “stable.”

Just shut up and pay more. We’ll tell you what’s good for you.

If it wasn’t clear before now, Alberta’s government is back to playing the Jason Kenney game.

Sure, Smith talks tough when the cameras are on – but she’s more than happy to play ball with the federal government and the World Economic Forum the second you’re not looking.

Keep this in mind as Ottawa and Edmonton continue their feud over electricity regulations.

As I have written previously, virtually every industry expert agrees that the Trudeau Net Zero 2035 plan is unworkable in the real world, and will lead to brownouts. But Smith’s Net Zero 2050 plan will also cost Albertans tens of billions in higher rates, delivery charges, and taxpayer-funded corporate welfare.

As it happens, both plans are deigned to meet arbitrary objectives that were set by foreign bureaucrats, and neither plan has ever been directly ratified by Canadian voters.

Funny how that works.

There is a term that perfectly describes these Net Zero plans, which are supported by both provincial and federal governments, backed by lobbyists from global companies, and driven by international organizations like the WEF and UN.

The term is railroaded. We’re being railroaded.

So, for now, it’s, “All aboard the Net Zero express.”

You’re getting a ticket whether you want one or not.

Home & Garden
Is Your Home Winter Ready?
Nov 27
3
Min Read

Is Your Home Winter Ready?

Winter maintenance on your home will keep your home in good order and is the best way to protect your investment. Whether you take care of a few tasks at a time or several all at once, it’s important to get into the habit of completing seasonal checks.

Is your home winter ready?

By Valerie Fraser

As the weather begins to dip into the negative digits, we all start to pull our winter coats, toques, mitts and scarves out of storage. As you get yourself prepared for winter, don’t forget to also get your home winter ready. Steve Fraser, Owner/Inspector at A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections in Medicine Hat and SW Saskatchewan, assists and educates his clients on effective winter property maintenance tips that will help preserve the lifespan of the properties and save them money in the future.

“A home inspection isn’t just about protecting your investment, but also about protecting you and your family,” says Fraser, who is a licensed professional property inspector as well as a certified WETT (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) inspector. “Our inspections provide the homeowner with a customized home maintenance schedule as a way to assist them in maintaining the value of their investment.”

According to Fraser, cleaning gutters with downspouts and downspout extensions is vital to ensure that when the snow melts on the roof it is able to travel away from the home. Fraser says if the water is not allowed to travel away from the home, blockages in the drainage system can create stagnant water that can freeze and thaw, which will eventually cause unnecessary wear to the shingles, which can cause leaking into the home.

Fraser also suggests homeowners check their attics for proper ventilation.

“During colder months, there’s an increased risk of moisture within a home’s attic space. If given a pathway, warm, moist air finds its way into the attic and condenses before it’s able to exhaust through various venting systems,” explains Fraser. “The harsh, cold temperatures turn this condensation into frost and, as the weather warms up, the frost melts and can cause serious damage to the sheathing, roof framing, insulation, and living space below.”

Additionally, Fraser encourages homeowners to conduct a walk-around of the home's exterior with an outdoor sealant. “If you find a worn out or cracked sealant at the windows or holes on the exterior, it is best to seal those areas,” Fraser says. “This home maintenance routine will pay off in avoiding leaks into the house.”

Not sure how to accomplish some of your winter home maintenance tasks? Not to worry. Fraser and his team at A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections are the experts in providing personalized property consultations. However, for those more keen on DIY, here are a few tips on how to save time, money, and frustration this winter.

Furnace and heating systems

“Check and clean or replace furnace air filters each month during high usage season to reduce energy costs. It is also beneficial to switch thermostats out for programmable options. Ventilation systems, such as heat recovery ventilator filters, should be checked every two months.”

Hot water tanks

“After consulting your hot water tank owner’s manual, drain off a dishpan full of water from the clean-out valve at the bottom of your hot water tank to control sediment and maintain efficiency.”

Faucets

“Check all faucets for signs of dripping and change washers as needed. Faucets requiring frequent replacement of washers may be in need of repair or replacement.”

Prevent pipe freezing

“Have your underground sprinkler systems blown out and winterized, and exterior faucets and water lines drained and insulated.

Prepare winter essentials

“Locate snow removal tools, such as snow shovels, plows, and snow blowers. Make sure they are ready to go.”

Electrical cords

“Check electrical cords, plugs, and outlets for all indoor and outdoor seasonal lights to ensure fire safety. If showing signs of wear, or if plugs/cords feel warm, replace immediately.”

Steve and his team at A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections are available for a winter home consultation to ensure that your home is winter-ready!

Contact Steve at 403.878.7580 and check out A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections website for great home maintenance tips at www.abuyerschoice.com/medicinehat.

Health & Wellness
Letter to AMA Members from Dr. Paul Parks
Nov 24
1
Min Read

Letter to AMA Members from Dr. Paul Parks

Our colleagues across the health care spectrum deserve respect and support. So do family physicians, who cannot be replaced by nurse practitioners. Integrated teams have been demonstrated to be the best model for primary care — evidence supports the model. It is misleading to suggest otherwise.

November 23, 2023

Dear Members,

Yesterday we cut through the fog created by government about who provides primary care in Alberta. Our colleagues across the health care spectrum deserve respect and support. So do family physicians, who cannot be replaced by nurse practitioners. Integrated teams have been demonstrated to be the best model for primary care — evidence supports the model. It is misleading to suggest otherwise.

I made that point on Global News, CBC and AMA's X account. The Section of Family Medicine spoke out in a communication to section members. And I have submitted and hope to see a similar op-ed in tomorrow’s Edmonton Journal

I want to say thank you to the members who are working so hard with the AMA to develop a new model for longitudinal family practice. Government has invited this work and promised to address the crisis. You can read about that work on the AMA website (member login required), and I urge you to stay informed and share your input.

Regards,

Paul Parks
President, Alberta Medical Association

Community
Kipling Community Garden relocating to Crescent Heights
Nov 24
1
Min Read

Kipling Community Garden relocating to Crescent Heights

The City of Medicine Hat, in partnership with the Community Food Connections Association, is relocating the Kipling Community Garden to Osborne Park in Crescent Heights. Starting Spring of 2024, the tennis courts in Osborne Parks will close, paving the way for the community garden.

Medicine Hat, AB – The City of Medicine Hat, in partnership with the Community Food Connections Association, is relocating the Kipling Community Garden to Osborne Park in Crescent Heights. Starting Spring of 2024, the tennis courts in Osborne Parks will close, paving the way for the community garden.

Much of the infrastructure for the facility will remain onsite, such as the perimeter fence, lighting, asphalt court surface, and parking lot. The gardens will comprise of above-ground planters, thus minimal modifications are needed to repurpose the facility.

“This location was strategic as the current tennis court is nearing the end of its service life and boasts an established irrigation system for the gardens,” says Jamie McLeod, Manager Asset Planning, Parks and Recreation. “By repurposing underutilized spaces, the City is emphasizing responsibility and sustainable urban planning.”  

In December 2022, City Council endorsed and approved the donation of land where the Kipling Community Garden currently resides. This parcel of land will facilitate the construction of an affordable housing complex with the local organization, Medicine Hat Community Housing.

“Relocating the Kipling Community Garden to Osborne Park is an example of how challenges can be transformed into opportunities for the betterment of our community,” says Ryan Staples, Project Coordinator/Surface Landman, Environment Land and Gas Production. “With its existing infrastructure, Osborne Park is an ideal location that minimizes waste and maximizes utility, benefiting both the Community Food Connections Association and our local residents.”

With the impending closure of the tennis courts at Osborne Park, residents are encouraged to utilize other tennis facilities in the community. Additionally, developments at Jeffries Park will be soon underway to create a multi-season playing surface. 

To learn more about Community Gardens in Medicine Hat and their benefits, visit: https://www.foodconnections.ca/garden

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For media inquiries, please contact: media@medicinehat.ca

Read this article on our website.

Community
City launches weekly Neat to Know feature to support public communications
Nov 24
2
Min Read

City launches weekly Neat to Know feature to support public communications

Recognizing the challenges residents face in finding reliable and timely information amidst an abundance of internet content, the City of Medicine Hat has launched a weekly digital feature, Neat to Know, a communication initiative that will compile significant City-related news into a single, easily accessible link.

**Medicine Hat, AB **– Recognizing the challenges residents face in finding reliable and timely information amidst an abundance of internet content, the City of Medicine Hat has launched a weekly digital feature, Neat to Know, a communication initiative that will compile significant City-related news into a single, easily accessible link.

"Launching this effort is part of our ongoing strategy to continually improve communications to residents in Medicine Hat,” says Director of Communications, Engagement and Marketing, Colleen Graham. “We have a high volume of information to share with the community, some of which is very complex, yet we know that everyone is inundated with information every day. Neat to Know is not a fix-all, but it is designed to streamline information into one source, offering a singular, weekly digest that makes City news consumable and readily available with one click."

This initiative will compile a weekly digest of key updates from the City of Medicine Hat such as new projects, service disruptions, road closures, arts and culture events, educational features, City Council highlights, and more. Each item will be summarized to highlight the main takeaways, with an option to access more detailed information via a link to the City of Medicine Hat website for those interested in exploring a specific topic further.

Neat to Know will not replace other communication tools like social media posts and feature stories, news releases, and public advisories, but will enhance current efforts by providing a consistent, predictable source of City news and information for residents, ultimately simplifying how they receive and process news in an ever-changing technology landscape.

"As a communication specialist, our team is constantly navigating the complexities of the misinformation age and the evolving landscape of technology, particularly in social media," says Kelli Ireland, corporate communications specialist. "Social media is a primary information source for the public so we need to be constantly adapting our strategies. This involves leveraging new tools and trends, strategically circumventing algorithms, and choosing optimal times and days for posting. The platforms are always changing, and we need to be changing with them.”

Residents can expect to see a weekly edition of Neat to Know on City social media accounts and published on the City website, and can even sign up to have it delivered to their inbox.

Read the first edition of Neat to Know on the City’s news page.

Receive Neat to Know and other City news by signing up to our e-notifications at subscribe.medicinehat.ca. 

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For media inquiries, please contact: media@medicinehat.ca

Read this article on our website.

Community
The Great Disconnect Documentary
Nov 24
1
Min Read

The Great Disconnect Documentary

In partnership with Family and Community Support Services, the Digital Wellness Coalition, Students Association of Medicine Hat College, and What Matters to Hatters, the City is hosting a series of film screenings and interactive discussions centered around the documentary, The Great Disconnect.

Medicine Hat, AB – In partnership with Family and Community Support Services, the Digital Wellness Coalition, Students Association of Medicine Hat College, and What Matters to Hatters, the City is hosting a series of film screenings and interactive discussions centered around the documentary, The Great Disconnect.

The Great Disconnect is a film that delves into the importance of community connections at the grassroots level. It explores the critical reasons and methods for establishing and nurturing these connections, thereby encouraging a dialogue about creating inclusive social spaces and enhancing community well-being.  

"The value of community and neighborhood connections cannot be understated,” said Anabell Marroquin, Community Resource Worker, City of Medicine Hat. “Research shows that people who feel connected in their community, whether at a geographic level or in an interest group, live a more fulfilled life and can give back to the community. Social connections have a significant benefit on both physical and mental wellbeing.”

To make the film accessible to as many residents as possible, there are multiple viewings of the film at four different locations. 

Scheduled Viewings:

Thursday, Dec. 7 at 1 p.m. – Medicine Hat Public Library*. Seats are on a first come, first serve basis. 
Thursday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. – Esplanade*. Reserved seating. Free tickets can be accessed at tixx.ca.

*Events also feature a round table discussion planned after the film viewing.

Following the film, attendees will have the opportunity to engage in roundtable discussions, sharing insights and ideas on building community connections.

For further information, see the Great Disconnect Trailer: https://vimeo.com/297421782

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For media inquiries, please contact: media@medicinehat.ca

Read this article on our website.

Community
Drug Traffickers Arrested in Medicine Hat
Nov 21
2
Min Read

Drug Traffickers Arrested in Medicine Hat

A joint investigation between ALERT and the Medicine Hat Police Service has led to charges against three suspected drug dealers.

MEDICINE HAT, AB - A joint investigation between ALERT and the Medicine Hat Police Service has led to charges against three suspected drug dealers.
The investigation concluded on November 14, 2023, when a search warrant was executed at a home in the city’s North Flats neighbourhood. ALERT Medicine Hat’s organized crime team seized 126 grams of fentanyl, 43 grams of methamphetamine, as well as two conducted energy weapons.
 
Jewelry, and a large number of bicycles, including several e-bikes were also seized as investigators believe it to be stolen property.
 
The drugs seized have an estimated street value of nearly $30,000. Meanwhile, investigators are trying to return the stolen property to its rightful owners.
 
“It’s common that these types of investigations also lead us to seizing stolen property. The impacts of drug activity in a community, big or small, affect our neighbours and sense of community safety,” said Staff Sgt. Ryan Thorburn, ALERT Medicine Hat.
 
The investigation began in October when ALERT received information regarding the trafficking of methamphetamine and fentanyl in the city.
 
 
Three people have been charged, while charges are pending against three additional suspects.
Jacqueline Dopp, 45 years old of Medicine Hat, is charged with:  

  1. Possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking;
  2. Possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking; and
  3. Possession of a prohibited weapon x2.

 
Tammie Melnick, 39 years old of Medicine Hat, is charged with:

  1. Possession of methamphetamine for the purpose of trafficking;
  2. Possession of fentanyl for the purpose of trafficking; and
  3. Possess Identity Documents x 10.

Cole Mowatt, 40 years old of Medicine Hat, is charged with:

  1. Forgery x 3;
  2. Possess Identity Information

 
Members of the public who suspect drug or gang activity in their community can call local police, or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Crime Stoppers is always anonymous.
ALERT was established and is funded by the Alberta Government and is a compilation of the province’s most sophisticated law enforcement resources committed to tackling serious and organized crime.

Education & Learning
Learning for Families
Nov 20
1
Min Read

Learning for Families

Build relationships with your teen

Parents looking for help understanding and guiding the development of their children from age 12 to 18 can now turn to a workshop series available at Medicine Hat College.

Parenting Through Adolescence is facilitated by clinical psychologist, Dr. Emily Wang, and Master of Social Work/registered social worker, Shawn O’Grady, who together help parents understand what can be a challenging time in their children’s lives.

“This program will help parents better understand their child and learn strategies to effectively communicate, avoid conflict, and work through negative behaviours, in a way that helps instill positive mental health in children as they approach adulthood,” says O’Grady.

Made possible through The Brandon Niwa Legacy Fund – The Beej Project -- the five modules within the workshop series are designed to help parents better understand their adolescent’s brain, develop strategies for relationship building, navigate neurodivergent diagnoses, and manage high-risk behaviours in adolescents. Parents are welcome to join the second module scheduled for Saturday, November 25.

Jennifer Kerslake, director of community engagement at MHC, says the need for the workshop was identified by MHC and its advisory panel, a group of professionals from the Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education, Medicine Hat Public School Division, Prairie Rose Public Schools, and Medicine Hat Police Service.

“At Medicine Hat College, we believe it is important to offer opportunities that help to meet the needs of our communities,” says Kerslake. “We are grateful to be able to provide our region with these exceptional mental health resources and partnerships because of the generosity of the Niwa Family.”

To learn more and to register for the upcoming workshop series, please visit www.mhc.ab.ca.

For information about The Beej Project, visit www.mhc.ab.ca/BeejProject

Community
Get Downtown for Midnight Madness!
Nov 17
1
Min Read

Get Downtown for Midnight Madness!

Get ready for a night of holiday magic! Medicine Hat's Midnight Madness is in full swing, with live music, exclusive deals, and festive cheer lighting up downtown tonight until midnight. Join us for an unforgettable celebration and kickstart your holiday season with local flair!

Launching Midnight Madness Tonight

Tonight's the night! Medicine Hat's eagerly awaited annual event, Midnight Madness, is set to dazzle downtown from 4:00 pm to 12:00 midnight. Hosted by The Downtown Collective and the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce, this celebration brings together the community for an unforgettable start to the holiday season.

A Festive Downtown Extravaganza

Right now, downtown Medicine Hat is transforming into a festive wonderland. Scheduled strategically on the Friday before Black Friday, the event encourages early Christmas shopping while highlighting the charm of local businesses.

Vibrant Activities Underway

From now until midnight, downtown comes alive with an assortment of activities. Live music fills the streets, and the holiday tree lighting ceremony promises to brighten the night with festive spirit.

Support Local, Shop Local

Participating shops and boutiques are offering exclusive deals and discounts, inviting everyone to kickstart their holiday shopping while supporting local entrepreneurs with incredible deals!
Check out the shopping deals!!
https://chamber.medicinehatchamber.com/midnightmadness

Check Out the Agenda

For a detailed breakdown of events, refer to the Midnight Madness Agenda and ensure you make the most of this evening's entertainment and community spirit.

Community, Unity, and Countdown

Midnight Madness isn't just about shopping; it's a celebration of unity within the community. It's a time when locals gather to embrace the festive season and the lively atmosphere of downtown Medicine Hat.

Embrace the Current Magic

As the clock ticks toward midnight, downtown Medicine Hat is pulsating with energy. Whether you're seeking fantastic deals, live entertainment, or simply want to soak up the holiday spirit, tonight promises an evening filled with joy and camaraderie.

Join the Festivities Tonight

If you're in Medicine Hat, tonight's the night to experience the enchantment of Midnight Madness. Head to downtown Medicine Hat and be part of this magical celebration, creating lasting memories of this special event.

Community
Doomsday for the Middle Class
Nov 16
4
Min Read

Doomsday for the Middle Class

Carbon taxes and inflation are driving up the cost of everything, the housing crisis has made home ownership a distant dream for our kids, and the gap between rich and poor has never been larger. This might sound like some far off doomsday prediction. It’s not. In fact, it’s a simple restatement of headlines from this year, 2023. The doomsday scenario as we move towards to 2030 is much worse: The disappearance of Canada’s middle class.

The year is 2030.

Carbon taxes and inflation are driving up the cost of everything, the housing crisis has made home ownership a distant dream for our kids, and the gap between rich and poor has never been larger.

This might sound like some far off doomsday prediction. It’s not. In fact, it’s a simple restatement of headlines from this year, 2023. The doomsday scenario as we move towards to 2030 is much worse: The disappearance of Canada’s middle class.

Since the Second World War, our economy and society has greatly benefitted from having a strong middle class. It has afforded us social cohesion, higher levels of education, improved healthcare, not to mention scientific and technological advancement.

Yet for decades, the pressure on the middle class has grown more acute, with the cost of living outstripping wage growth. And every step of the way our politicians have promised to do better while objectively making things worse.

While governments like to crow about economic growth, the fact is the growth we are experiencing today is not lifting living standards. By one estimate, food prices have risen by 41 per cent since September of 2013, while hourly wages have only increased by 24 per cent. The numbers are even worse for housing, as various levels of government have simultaneously restricted supply while increasing demand.

The current federal government’s decision to keep increasing its inflationary carbon tax at the same time it vastly increased the money supply was just gas on the fire.

But that isn’t even the whole story. The federal government alone increased taxes on Canadians in five areas in 2023 alone, imposing a second carbon tax, ramping up mandatory CPP and EI contributions, and hiking liquor taxes. Here in Alberta, the government gave with one hand while it takes with another. Yes, the province suspended provincial fuel taxes, but it also hiked its industrial carbon tax with committing to Net Zero 2050 objectives, which will drive up the cost of electricity and heat for decades to come.

Is it any wonder that cost of living/inflation is the top concern of 69 per cent of Albertans, according to a recent poll? In fact, the Angus Reid’s economic stress index suggests 39 per cent of Albertans are struggling financially. This is the second highest result in Canada, behind only Manitoba at 42 per cent.

In the short term, however, Canada faces a much larger problem: Interest rates.

To fight inflation, last year the Bank of Canada started ramping up interest rates, from 0.25 per cent to 5 per cent today.

Officials started out dismissing concerns about short-term rate increases because inflation was “transitory.” More than a year later, Bank officials are now warning the high interest rates might be here to stay.

So what’s the big deal?

Our country has the highest levels of household debt in the G-7, and three quarters of that debt is mortgage debt. About two thirds of that mortgage debt will need to be renewed prior to 2026, with half in 2024-25. Higher interest rates will mean substantially higher payments.

We’re seeing the spike already. In February 2022, the average monthly mortgage payment was $1,460. It’s now above $1,900, up more than 30 per cent. Those payments could rise another 15 per cent by the end of 2024, 30 per cent by the end of 2025 and potentially 45 per cent by the end of 2026.

In practice, this means billions in disposable income disappearing, all while mortgage defaults start increasing. It also means a once in a lifetime recession that can’t be papered over with borrowed money.

The temptation, for politicians, will be to simply extend amortization periods for mortgages, and carry on as usual.

This passing-the-buck solution allows them to keep doing what they have grown accustomed to doing - keep increasing spending, keep running up debt, keep hiking taxes, keep printing money, and keep whittling away at the middle class. Given the opportunity, most politicians would be happy to keep whistling as the economy falls of a cliff.

The better long-term solution is for government to come to the realization that inflation is caused by inflationary policies, and reverse those policies. This means abandoning pointless green energy schemes that do nothing for the environment while making people’s lives more expensive. It means ending corporate welfare for subsidy-dependent industries that the private market does not support. It means reducing the burden on taxpayers, particularly the working class.

If politicians ever get serious about reducing inflation through government policy, it would allow the Bank of Canada to decrease interest rates sooner. Of course, that approach requires governments to do what families do and live within their means.

At this point, I’m not taking bets that politicians are interested in doing the right thing… even if it means doomsday for the middle class.

Community
New Public Electric Vehicle Chargers Available in Medicine Hat’s Downtown
Nov 14
1
Min Read

New Public Electric Vehicle Chargers Available in Medicine Hat’s Downtown

The City of Medicine Hat has recently installed two new Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at Towne Square in the city’s downtown.

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat has recently installed two new Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations at Towne Square in the city’s downtown.
“We’re charging forward to support the transition to low-emission vehicles,” said Grayson Mauch, Director of the City’s Utility Distribution Systems. “Improving access to charging stations ensures our community can welcome tourists and residents who have made the switch to electric vehicles.”
Funding for this project was provided by the SouthGrow Regional Initiative (SGRI), in partnership with the Municipal Climate Change Action Centre (MCCAC), and Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), through the Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP). The grant covered $20,000 while the City contributed just over $27,000 for the upfront capital costs.
Two Level 2 pedestals, each with two charging ports, are located at the northeast corner of the Towne Square parking lot at 603 First Street SE.Each of the four ports can provide 8.3 kilowatts (kW) each.
Mauch adds, “We chose Towne Square for our first install because it is a high use, well illuminated lot that is always open to the public. We’ll continue to seek out and commit funding to build out our public EV charging network from here.”
Users will initiate a charging session and pay $2 per hour through the Hypercharge iOS and Android application. Drivers are not subject to Hot Spot parking fees while hooked up to an EV charger.
EV drivers can map charger locations, including Towne Square, on the PlugShare website or app.
For more information, visit www.medicinehat.ca/ElectricVehicles

Community
The Book Sale is Back
Nov 14
2
Min Read

The Book Sale is Back

Discover a new author or find forgotten favourites and hidden gems at the Book Sale

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing and Community Engagement

Book Sale supports buying materials, running programs

Set a reminder for Thursday and then set your alarm for Friday.

It’s Book Sale day. Day one to be specific.

Yes, the traditional fall Friends of the Medicine Hat Public Library Society Book Sale is back on Nov. 17-18. It’s been known to attract a long lineup well before the library doors open at 10 a.m.

"The Friends of the Library book sale is an important event for the library and the community,” says chief librarian Ken Feser. “It provides extra revenue for the library and provides a new home for our old books that have been removed from our collection. It is also much loved and anticipated by the community. Book sale days are among our busiest days of the year."

The Friends of the Library says the money raised from the book sales are used by the Library to purchase materials or to run programs. There are usually two book sales each year – one also takes place in the spring – and between them typically raise between $5,000 and $7,000 for the library.

“Beyond raising funds for our public library, the book sale makes reading accessible to all,” Lisa Galecki, a member of the Friends of the Medicine Hat Public Library Society, told the Medicine Hat News. “Books and stories take people to new worlds – they entertain and enrich. In past years, readers have been able to find up to five books for a dollar. We have books for kids of all ages, easy readers, teens and young adults, and fiction and non-fiction books. There’s something for everyone, and we always have rare and unexpected treasures.”

There will be thousands of gently-used books available as well as DVDs and CDs.

The sale is a great opportunity to stock up on all the reading, watching and listening materials you need for the next few months.

“It’s also a perfect opportunity to sign up for a library card if you don’t yet have one. Cards are free for city residents thanks to the generous sponsorship of local businesses,” added Galecki.

The sale takes place on Nov. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Honor Currie Room and the Legion Room downstairs at the library.

Redcliff Public Library is holding its own book sale on the same dates from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. As one commenter on our Facebook page said, “2 used book sales! This must be a dream.”

Follow us on social media: @mhpubliclibrary

Community
Three Medicine Hat Men Charged With Assault
Nov 11
1
Min Read

Three Medicine Hat Men Charged With Assault

Three Medicine Hat men have been charged with assault following a disturbance that occurred during the afternoon of November 8, 2023, in the 200 block of 2nd Street NE.

MEDICINE HAT, AB - Three Medicine Hat men have been charged with assault following a disturbance that occurred during the afternoon of November 8, 2023, in the 200 block of 2nd Street NE. Upon arrival patrol officers located a man who had been seriously assaulted and required treatment for his injuries.
The MHPS Criminal Investigation Section investigated the matter and identified three men in connection to the incident. Resulting from this investigation the following individuals have been arrested and charged with;

Jeremiah James Alfonse Amero (33 years of age)

  • Assault Causing Bodily Harm
  • Breach of Release Order x 5

 
Isaiah Cole Wawia (28 years of age)

  • Assault Causing Bodily Harm
  • Breach of Release Order x 3

 
Ryan Joseph Paskaluk (26 years of age)

  • Assault Causing Bodily Harm

The three males were held for Judicial Interim Release Hearings and remain in custody pending their next appearance in Medicine Hat Provincial Court.
The victim of the assault remains in hospital. 

Commentary
Remember Them, But Also Embrace Their Legacy
Nov 11
4
Min Read

Remember Them, But Also Embrace Their Legacy

Many of us have a personal connection to Canada’s military history. For me, my Great Uncle was wounded in the First World War. My wife lost two people close to her family in the Second World War, including an uncle and her mother’s first husband. I’m sure your family lost loved ones as well. Remembering their courage and sacrifice is a duty we can all be proud to accept.

This Remembrance Day marks the 75th anniversary of United Nations Peacekeeping.

As many of you know, Canada was instrumental in creating the first UN peacekeeping mission during the Suez crisis in 1956. Since that first mission, more than 125,000 Canadians have served in peacekeeping efforts in dozens of countries. About 130 of them lost their lives. Like those who served for our country in the First and Second World Wars, the Korean War, the Gulf War, as well as more recently in Afghanistan, many of our peacekeepers also returned home with life-altering physical and mental injuries.

Many of us have a personal connection to Canada’s military history. For me, my Great Uncle was wounded in the First World War. My wife lost two people close to her family in the Second World War, including an uncle and her mother’s first husband. I’m sure your family lost loved ones as well. Remembering their courage and sacrifice is a duty we can all be proud to accept.

Unfortunately, even as Canada increases our military presence in Europe and the Middle East, it seems appreciation for our military history is waning at home.

Back in May, the Government of Canada announced changes to the passport, including the removal of the Vimy Memorial. For shame. This battle in April of 1917 saw four divisions of Canadian farm boys ordered to do something that no other Allied force had done in the First World War: take Vimy Ridge. Marching into a wall of screaming lead, they accomplished the impossible at a horrendous cost, with more than 7,000 wounded and 3,598 killed. In retrospect, historians and political leaders alike have argued that this battle was the place where Canada truly became a nation. Removing the Vimy Memorial from the passport is inexcusable.

As far as 2023 is concerned, the news gets worse. Earlier this fall, the Parliament of Canada went so far as to honor with a standing ovation a former Nazi SS soldier, sparking a scandal that ultimately resulted in the resignation of the Speaker. That any federal official could be so ignorant of history as to praise one of our nation’s enemies in the Second World War as a “Canadian hero,” is astounding.

These are just the latest incidents in what is becoming a trend.

According to a 2021 article in University World News, two of Canada’s most prestigious universities - McGill and the University of Toronto – don’t require a military history course to earn a PhD in history. In fact, our nation’s only military studies department (outside of military college) is at the University of Calgary.

Going back a few years earlier, a public opinion poll found a shocking lack of public knowledge about the Battle of Vimy Ridge, with only 47 percent aware that it took place during the First World War. When presented with a photo of the Vimy Memorial, just 12 percent could identify it, despite the fact that many of us carry a picture of it with us every day. It has been depicted on the $20 bill since 2012.

For me, this declining military history knowledge and appreciation is just sad. There are many lessons to be learned from the victories and the sacrifices of our armed forces. We can learn from their example that every single one of us is capable of summoning courage, living with honor, and acting with resilience in the face of great adversity. To me, there is no more important lesson we can pass on to future generations.

This is partly why I believe it is so important for us to support organizations like the Royal Canadian Legion. In addition to serving our veterans, they work with our schools to bring a different perspective to students. They have the ability to go beyond the impersonal dates and statistics to spark children’s imaginations, helping them to gain a deeper understanding of what it means to be Canadian.

This Remembrance Day, many of us will make our annual trip to the local cenotaph to remember those who fought for us and the freedom we enjoy. I was raised to believe that honoring them is important, we also need to find inspiration in their courage and sacrifice.

When we do that, we can more fully embrace their legacy.

Politics
Our Military Deserves Better
Nov 9
3
Min Read

Our Military Deserves Better

Members of our Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) wholeheartedly commit to protecting our great nation and place themselves in harm's way if the call of duty demands it. However, it is painful when one considers the many ways in which this Liberal government has failed them.

Our Military Deserves Better

As we approach Remembrance Day, I wanted to take a moment and reflect on the service of our men and women in Canada’s military.

Members of our Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) wholeheartedly commit to protecting our great nation and place themselves in harm's way if the call of duty demands it.  However, it is painful when one considers the many ways in which this Liberal government has failed them.  

All too often, this government has failed to supply our deployed troops with the equipment they require to be successful.  Verifiable stories of gear shortages left soldiers purchasing their own modern ballistic helmets and hearing protection, rain gear, vests, and belts to carry water and ammunition while deployed in Latvia. Our female soldiers struggle with the ill-fitting body armour issued in haste. Even basic food supplies have been problematic on deployments.  When soldiers were told to eat at local restaurants while posted overseas, bureaucratic backlogs left troops thousands of dollars in personal debt and their families back home struggling to offset the financial stress.  

This broken system has reached a point where soldiers are leaving the military faster than the pace to replace them. But who can blame them when we are not able to supply the tools they rely on or food while they are deployed on active duty. Adding to that, this government’s domestic natural disaster focus, rather than a national defence and NATO obligation focus, it’s no wonder CAF is currently 16,000 personnel short, are in a constant state of crisis and have low morale.

To make matters worse, the military's Chaplain-General has had to brief the Chief of Defence Staff, about the increasing number of active CAF members seeking food and housing assistance just to make ends meet at home. It's a troubling situation that shouldn't be happening in a prosperous and caring nation like Canada.

But let's be honest - actions speak louder than words. If the government genuinely appreciates the dedication and sacrifices of our soldiers, then it's time to rectify this situation.

Back in 2017 the Senate of Canada reported that the government was only funding 1/3 of the military’s needs and would require $2 Billion in new money per year to maintain operations. Yet, just weeks ago, Trudeau announced he would be cutting CAF funding by $1 Billion, leaving us astoundingly short to meet our NATO obligations. It’s no wonder that Canada’s allies don’t take us seriously. They even excluded us in the security partnership agreement between Australia, the Unites States and the United Kingdom (AUSUK).    

As we approach Remembrance Day, we honour the sacrifice, dedication and selflessness of the men and women that serve our country and those that served before them. But it is also time to recognize that our military members deserve better. It's time for a new government that will demonstrate its commitment to the well-being of our men and women in uniform and the financial commitments that our military requires. It's time for real change. Our Canadian Armed Forces cannot protect our country with the Liberal Government’s apathetic approach.  This Prime Minister is just not worth the cost!!

Health & Wellness
AMA President Addresses UCP Changes To AHS In Letter To Members
Nov 8
3
Min Read

AMA President Addresses UCP Changes To AHS In Letter To Members

Today, in a letter to AMA members, President Dr. Paul Parks stated the following regarding concerns about potential changes to AHS structure and delivery of medical services by the UCP government.

Today, in a letter to AMA members, President Dr. Paul Parks stated the following regarding concerns about potential changes to AHS structure and delivery of medical services by the UCP government.

Dear Members,
 
You are likely already aware the government has now unveiled plans to “disaggregate” health care services in our province. This restructuring will ultimately see the establishment of four separate crown corporations responsible for various aspects of health care:

  • Primary Care
  • Acute Care (remaining within AHS)
  • Mental Health and Addictions
  • Continuing Care

For some time, there have been concerns about the effectiveness and quality of health care delivery in Alberta. We have heard this from members, who have told us that they want government to address suboptimal health care outcomes. We also know that many members support more authentic local decision-making in the health care system.
 
Nevertheless, it is crucial to approach this restructuring responsibly and carefully to ensure these changes do not have adverse impacts on patient care or lead to longer wait times and poorer access for Albertans. As these new functional organizations are being established, our primary concern is continuity of care for the people of Alberta. We must make sure that patients can navigate this new system seamlessly, without disruptions.
 
I have told government that physician co-design is vital, and the AMA has a role to play in guiding the path forward. Our health care system is already in a fragile state. The consistent message I have been hearing from physicians across Alberta is that any changes made in our system must involve input from experts on the front lines – the physicians and allied health care workers who are dedicated to patient care. While it is reassuring to see that the government is committed to consultation, we will be working diligently to make sure they get and heed our input.
 
As government moves forward with their proposed new structure, we will be attentive to the representation rights of physicians working in these other organizations. We will be working to ensure there are answers to questions like: what is the most effective physician representation in a disaggregated system? How will physicians who work in more than one of these entities be compensated? Will physicians have privileges in more than one of these organizations? These and other questions will all require clear answers that support physicians as system leaders.
 
With respect to the proposed governance structure for primary care, government has told us their new model does not propose operational control over clinics. But this will be another area where physicians will need clarification and reassurance and the AMA will be working with members to ensure family physicians and rural generalists are heard and their input respected.
 
While the details and impacts are unclear, what is clear is that physician engagement in each of these new organizations will be critical. The AMA will advocate for our voice at the decision-making tables. Physician representation will remain our priority as these new governance structures are stood up. Physician involvement at the ground-level will help to ensure proper functioning and collaboration across these functional domains.
 
We will be working to ensure that the interests of physicians and our patients are safeguarded during this transformation. Your dedication and expertise are invaluable, and your insights are critical in shaping the future of health care in our province. Together, we can work to ensure that these changes result in a more efficient, effective and patient-centered system for all Albertans.
 
Regards,

Paul Parks
President, Alberta Medical Association

Politics
Medicine Hat City Council Highlights November 6 2023
Nov 7
5
Min Read

Medicine Hat City Council Highlights November 6 2023

This summary provides a brief overview of City Council meetings and does not reflect all discussion and debate. For full details, download the  agenda package  or watch the full meeting on the  City of Medicine Hat’s YouTube channel. 

This summary provides a brief overview of City Council meetings and does not reflect all discussion and debate. For full details, download the  agenda package  or watch the full meeting on the _ **City of Medicine Hat’s YouTube channel_**. 

City Council adopted the following items into the corporate record:

  • Audit Committee meeting minutes of October 10, 2023
  • Development and Infrastructure Committee meeting minutes of October 10, 2023
  • Public Services Committee meeting minutes of October 10, 2023
  • Corporate Services Committee meeting minutes of October 12, 2023
  • Council Committee of the Whole meetings minutes of October 23, 2023
  • Public Services Committee meeting minutes of October 23, 2023
    City Council received the following items for information:
  • Police Commission meeting minutes of September 27, 2023
  • 2022 Municipal Indicators
  • Tri-annual Management Report for the period ending August 31, 2023
  • Audit Committee Outstanding Items – October 10, 2023
  • Development and Infrastructure Committee Outstanding Items - October 10, 2023
  • Public Services Committee Outstanding Items - October 10, 2023
  • Corporate Services Division - Introduction of New Directors
  • Corporate Services Committee Outstanding Items - October 12, 2023
  • Medalta 2022 Annual Report
  • Memorandum of Agreement - Firefighting Services with Cypress County
  • Community Vibrancy Advisory Board Meeting Minutes - July 26, 2023
  • Public Services Committee Outstanding Items - October 23, 2023
    Natasha Carvalho, Executive Director and Peggy Revell, Community Education and Awareness Coordinator of the Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society (MHWSS) presented to City Council on Family Violence Prevention Month. Ms. Carvalho summarized the services that MHWSS provides in the community and shared information regarding the launch of a significant capital campaign to expand and enhance the shelter’s facility to address current and anticipated demand.
    Under unfinished business, City Council passed Bylaw 4736, a bylaw to Amend the Public Roads Bylaw. The amendments include the ability to establish multi-use crossings at specific locations within the City’s Heritage Trail System where a multi-use trail crosses over a roadway and where it is appropriate to require motor vehicles to yield not only to pedestrians, but also to persons crossing the roadway while riding or using a bicycle, skateboard, scooter, e-scooter, inline skates or roller skates. It also includes an amendment to allow children under fourteen to legally ride on a sidewalk. First reading was given at the September 18, 2023 meeting of City Council.
    Under new business, City Council approved a motion to take no action on a funding request from the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede (MHES) until the following has been received:
  • 5 years income and expense projections for the MHES operations and events including proposed new/expanded facilities.
  • Business plan outlining operations of MHES proposed facilities including:
    • Current utilization rates of MHES facilities and event attendance
    • Projected utilization rates of MHES facilities including proposed new/expanded facilities
    • A description of how the new/expanded facilities will promote Medicine Hat as a hub in the agribusiness corridor
  • Analysis on scaling of existing facilities to accommodate desired target events
  • 10-year capital expenditure plans for all MHES facilities identifying any backlog of required maintenance
  • Detailed repayment plan for the requested $7.5M interest-free loan
    City Council approved the 2023-2024 Waste Management Strategy. This plan will replace the now expired 2012-2022 Waste Management strategy. This in-depth strategy guides the development of robust and cost-effective programs and systems related to waste reduction, diversion, and disposal. The City of Medicine Hat benefitted from the 2012-2022 waste management strategy with noteworthy outcomes including residential curbside recycling, leaf and yard waste collection/composting, annual waste roundups and landfill airspace enhancements.
    City Council approved a 2023 capital budget amendment of $1,000,000 for a food waste composting piloting project, funded through working capital (which, subject to grant funding, would be offset on a 50% cost-sharing basis up to a maximum of $500,000). The City of Medicine Hat’s 2023-2032 Waste Management strategy identifies food waste composting as one of the biggest opportunities for waste diversion with conservative estimates of 3,700 tonnes of residential waste diverted from the landfill to the composting site.
    City Council approved an increase of funding in the Parks and Recreation 2023 Tangible Capital Asset Drainage & Erosion Remediation Infrastructure program from $378,000 to $478,000; provided by a third-party grant (Trans Canada Trail), as well as a recommendation to accept funding of $2,000 from third party (Trans Canada Trail) for operating; to be used for the decommissioning and repurposing of the Trans Canada Trail Pavilion in Strathcona Island Park. This remediation is to stabilize the location east of the 3rd Street NW trail connection previously impacted by overland drainage erosion and river scour. A section of the multi-use trail (Trans Canada Trail) will be repaved at the project location.
    City Council approved a motion to enter into new lease agreements with the Medicine Hat Golf and Country Club and the Connaught Golf Club, with the agreements containing key terms and conditions as stated in the report and other terms and conditions to the satisfaction of the City Manager and City Solicitor.
    City Council gave first reading to Bylaw 4798 to amend the Gas Utility Bylaw. The amendments would see the implementation of a single commodity rate for gas for residential, small business and commercial customers that is based on wholesale market commodity prices and is calculated monthly. This proposed structure would be in effect until a third-party review of the City of Medicine Hat’s energy business (COMCO) is complete. A non-statutory public hearing will be held on November 20, 2023.
    The next City Council meeting will be held in Council Chambers in City Hall on Monday, November 20, 2023 at 6:30 p.m.

Read this article on our website.

Politics
UCP in no danger of becoming Wildrose 2.0
Nov 6
3
Min Read

UCP in no danger of becoming Wildrose 2.0

As a proud former Wildrose MLA, I can tell you for certain that the UCP is in no immediate danger of becoming Wildrose 2.0. But you probably won’t hear that from the CBC. It doesn’t fit their narrative.

News Flash---

UCP in no danger of becoming Wildrose 2.0

The hot topic of the week seems to be the United Conservative Party’s recent annual general meeting.

Like every other political party AGM, members in attendance elected new board members, and approved new policies aimed at influencing the government’s future priorities. Upon its creation, the UCP was supposed to be a grassroots-driven party, so member input was supposed to be encouraged and embraced.

Apparently, this concept is controversial to some political commentators, who resorted to click-bait headlines and outdated narratives to describe the meeting.

In a display of bias worthy of the CBC, probably the dumbest take coming out of these reports was the idea that the UCP is becoming Wildrose 2.0.

I mean, I wish.

Of the 27 policies approved by UCP members last week, the vast majority can be seen as the grassroots rejection of the intrusive agenda adopted under the Kenney administration.

The members strongly opposed vaccine passports and mandates, demanded stronger protection for freedom of speech, and called for legislative changes to better protect the rights of parents in the K-12 education system.

These are issues I have personally raised both inside and outside of government, and contrary to the bleating of Kenney’s inner circle, they are issues that can be easily resolved. All the government has to do is admit its failures and start listening to the grassroots.

I certainly applaud the efforts of UCP members to fix these failed policies; there is plenty of room for improvement. Will the Smith government turn over a new leaf? Anything is possible, but the fact that none of these issues were adequately addressed over the past year does not give me much hope for meaningful change.

What the media commentators don’t seem to understand is that even if the government adopted every one of these 27 new policies wholeheartedly, a complete overhaul would still be necessary to restore the government to fundamental conservative principles.

Here is a short list of the basic economic issues that were not addressed by the party’s membership:

• Government spending. The government of Alberta has a spending problem. Under the NDP the UCP complained about it, but once in government, the UCP saw fit to increase spending. The government needs to spend less so that it can tax less.

• Taxes. The government may have tabled legislation to require a referendum for income tax increases, but that doesn’t do anything to reduce income taxes or prevent other tax and fee increases for Albertans. And like the former PC government’s balanced budget legislation, this new legislation can be easily repealed, making it effectively useless in the long term. It’s an empty gesture.

• Free markets. No single force interferes in our free market more than the government, whether it’s through regulation, subsidies, corporate welfare, or the direct investment of taxpayer money in corporate ownership. Alberta needs “No more boondoggles” legislation to prevent governments from rigging markets for its friends, and to get the government out of the business of being in business.

• Property rights: Property rights exist in Alberta as part of the Bill of Rights. Unfortunately, the Bill of Rights doesn’t apply to the Government of Alberta, which can legally seize property on a whim. If we’re asking Albertans to invest in Alberta, this must change.

• Lobbyist and Electoral reform. Nothing kills investment like corruption. Alberta needs to significantly tighten the regulation of lobbying, which is surprisingly more lax than in Trudeau’s Ottawa. Furthermore, the Kenney government’s changes to electoral finance laws opened the door to foreign funding of PACs, leaving our system prone to undue foreign influence.

These economic issues are at the heart of what it means to be a conservative, and they were at the core of Wildrose policy. More than any other party in recent history, Wildrose championed smaller government and economic freedom.

As a proud former Wildrose MLA, I can tell you for certain that the UCP is in no immediate danger of becoming Wildrose 2.0.

But you probably won’t hear that from the CBC. It doesn’t fit their narrative.

#ableg #medhat

Commentary
Historical Reflections
Nov 6
3
Min Read

Historical Reflections

Thrift shop purchase gone rogue!

This past summer, I was out and about thrift store shopping. I was on the hunt for toy dinosaurs – larger size, not the 2-inch variety – as to turn a flower bed into a dinosaur habitant in my daughter’s back yard. Finding a few good specimens to purchase, I took a walk around the store to see what other treasures might catch my attention. As it turned out, that day I found a wall plaque that certainly did catch my eye. It was a RCMP centennial crest wall hanging. Heavy for its size, looked like wood but probably fashioned of some resin composite – carved or stamped with provincial crests within a 13-inch circumference. I had to buy it! I have a small connection with the RCMP with my nephew a more recent 3-year member and my uncle, a retired, long serving, highly regarded member. The 1873-1973 centennial commemorative plaque brought back memories of my high school history class where I remember learning of the 100-year history of the force. This lovely wall hanging celebrated this centennial and this year (2023) is the 150th anniversary of the RCMP – leaving no question my treasure was 50 years old. 

A flood of RCMP trivia came back to me. Does anyone else remember the Charles Dickens connection? Frances Jeffery Dickens (son of Charles) was one of the first officers of the NWMP in 1874. Frances’s arrival to Canada closely followed the “march west” which brought the original 300 NWMP members to SK and AB. Frances Dickens served at Fort Walsh, Fort Macleod and Fort Pitt. By 1880 he was promoted to Inspector. Awaiting a pension in 1886 – at the age of 42 – he died of a heart attack in Moline, Illinois while on a lecture tour. I have many memories of telling the story of the “Red Coat Trail” during my eight years working in visitor services. Some paper maps refer to a highway route as such. The question always came up with many travelers, “What does the Red Coat Trail mean?” The outstanding nature  of the RCMP’s red surge uniforms is obviously why the 1300 km historic land trail was named. The 1874 march west from Winnipeg (Fort Dufferin) to Lethbridge (Fort Whoop-Up) is south of what is now the Trans Canada Highway. Being on this route, it’s no surprise Medicine Hat has a Royal NWMP monument, situated near the third tee of the MH golf and country club. Just a stone cairn remains of the former NWMP barracks. From 1883 to 1893, there were 13 buildings which housed 25 members and their horses.  The river crossing included a ferry landing in the area of what is now Police Point Park. Another obvious naming of a significant historical location. Most Canadians know Regina, SK is the sole training academy for RCMP recruits and the prestigious heritage center, dedicated to sharing the stories of our national police force. It is only fitting my thrift shop find made its way back to Regina. My aunt and uncle from Regina visited Medicine Hat last month – my same uncle who spent his whole career in the RCMP. I showed them the commemorative plaque I purchased months before. He recounted being on duty during the 1973 centennial celebrations in Regina -- standing guard while Queen Elizabeth’s entourage drove from Hotel Saskatchewan to the RCMP Depot for the celebration. I am thrilled my unusual artifact allowed us to remember such interesting stories. I am glad my family took it back to Regina where it belongs.

Sports
Tigers Down Silvertips 4-1 in Convincing Fashion
Nov 5
2
Min Read

Tigers Down Silvertips 4-1 in Convincing Fashion

Ethan McCallum (Brandon, MB) and the timely saves that followed him in his second career start proved to be the difference needed, while Hayden Harsanyi (Calgary, AB) would score his first goal in the Western Hockey League. As part of the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips Saturday night at Co-op Place.

Gino De Paoli - Tigers Staff Writer

Medicine Hat, AB – Ethan McCallum (Brandon, MB) and the timely saves that followed him in his second career start proved to be the difference needed, while Hayden Harsanyi (Calgary, AB) would score his first goal in the Western Hockey League. As part of the Medicine Hat Tigers 4-1 victory over the Everett Silvertips Saturday night at Co-op Place.

A fast paced first period saw both starting goaltenders busy as Tigers starter McCallum & Silvertips goaltender Tyler Palmer would deal with 12 & 13 shots respectively. On a Silvertips power play, Tigers captain Tyler MacKenzie (Red Deer, AB) would set-up Andrew Basha (Calgary, AB) for his 5th of the season and second shorthanded goal of the campaign to make it 1-0 Tigers at 15:25. But on that same power play, the Silvertips would solve McCallum as Beau Courtney would one-time the tying goal in the 1st making it 1-1 at 16:21.

Another busy period in the 2nd period for both goaltenders as Ethan McCallum made twelve saves in the period including a handful of opportunities on the second power play of the game for the Silvertips. Tyler Palmer would make 11 saves in the second, but no one would be able to solve either goaltender to push that 1-1 score to the third period.

In the third period the first 1:44 would prove to be the difference as Hayden Harsanyi (Calgary, AB) would score his first WHL goal at 1:27 from Oasiz Wiesblatt & Tomas Mrsic (Surrey, BC). Then 14 seconds later, Bogdans Hodass (Jelgava, LAT) would score his first of the season from Wiesblatt & Harsanyi. Everett would get a pair of power plays to try and cut the lead but McCallum stood tall making 29 saves for his first WHL win in his career. While Hunter St.Martin (Edmonton, AB) would finish things off with an empty net goal.

With the win the Tigers are the 4th WHL team to ten wins with a 10-5-2 record. Sitting alone atop the Central Division standings.

For more details visit the article here.

Sports
TIGERS DROP 6-3 DECISION TO WINTERHAWKS
Nov 2
2
Min Read

TIGERS DROP 6-3 DECISION TO WINTERHAWKS

Despite a one goal lead heading to the third period. The Medicine Hat Tigers dropped a 6-3 decision to the Portland Winterhawks Wednesday night.

Medicine Hat, AB – Despite a one goal lead heading to the third period. The Medicine Hat Tigers dropped a 6-3 decision to the Portland Winterhawks Wednesday night.
The first period saw plenty of action from both sides as starting goaltenders Evan May (Nanaimo, BC) & Jan Spunar would be busy until the Tigers found the back of the net at 5:37. Captain Tyler MacKenzie (Red Deer, AB) would re-direct a Reid Andresen point shot that would bounce off the post, off Spunar’s skate and in to make it 1-0 Tigers. Portland would respond on a turnover in the Tigers zone as 03′ born Gabe Klassen would wrist home his 8th of the season putting things all square at 1-1.
Medicine Hat would have the last response of the period as on the power play, Hunter St. Martin (Edmonton, AB) would tip home his 4th of the season from Dru Krebs (Okotoks, AB) & Shane Smith (Cessford, AB) at exactly eight minutes left in the opening period.
The second period would start on the right foot for the Tigers as Kadon McCann (Cochrane, AB) would be open at the side of the Winterhawk net at 3:26. Reid Andresen (Saskatoon, SK) makes the perfect pass over for McCann’s mark in the second.
Portland would respond late on the power play as Josh Davies would tip his 6th of the season at 15:36 to keep things tight heading to the 3rd.
In the third Portland would tie it as Jack O’Brien would sneak his 4th of the season past Evan May to make it 3-3 at 2:55. Followed immediately by Josh Davies banking a shot off a skate 54 seconds to give the Winterhawks their first lead of the game. Then penalties would hit the Tigers as Diego Buttazzoni would bury two different power play marks at 8:44 & 9:28 on route to the 6-3 win.
For more details visit the Medicine Hat Tigers page here.

Business
Nickel Group Developers Left Owing Contractors
Nov 2
1
Min Read

Nickel Group Developers Left Owing Contractors

Sources who wish to remain anonymous have told the Sentinel that they are owed thousands of dollars by the Nickel Group Developments.

MEDICINE HAT, AB - Sources who wish to remain anonymous have told the Sentinel that they are owed thousands of dollars by the Nickel Group Developments who are known for tearing down the heritage home at the corner of Division Ave and First Street and building 4 multi-story town homes.

The Sentinel called the number listed online only to get a recording that they were not available to take the call. The development at the corner of First and Division currently has two of the properties occupied by owners and 2 that have been listed for almost 2 years and are yet to be completed.

Upon further investigation, the Sentinel learned that multiple contractors are potentially owed thousands in unpaid invoices.

The Sentinel was able to connect with Nickel Group Developments principal, Chris Nickel, by email for comment and he stated that “the properties are owned by the first mortgagee on title. The 1st ST properties were all once sold, material prices went through the roof and people backed out of deals. The company was then unable to operate.”

If you are a contractor affected by this or a similar situation the Sentinel would welcome you to tell your story. Contact us Here or news@suncitysentinel.ca

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