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Tourism & Travel
Medicine Hat - Be A Tourist In Your Own Town
Jul 13
3
Min Read

Medicine Hat - Be A Tourist In Your Own Town

Nestled in the southeastern corner of Alberta, Medicine Hat is a charming city that offers a delightful mix of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture.

Nestled in the southeastern corner of Alberta, Medicine Hat is a charming city that offers a delightful mix of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. Known as the "Sunniest City in Canada," Medicine Hat boasts over 2,500 hours of sunshine annually, making it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and sun-seekers alike. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or art aficionado, Medicine Hat has something to enchant every visitor. Here’s a guide to making the most of your time as a tourist in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

Medicine Hat’s history is deeply rooted in Indigenous culture, the fur trade, and the railway industry. Begin your exploration at the Saamis Tepee, the world’s tallest tepee. Located on the Trans-Canada Highway, this impressive structure stands as a tribute to the rich cultural heritage of the Plains Indigenous peoples. The Saamis Tepee overlooks the Seven Persons Coulee, where you can find interpretive panels that tell the story of the area’s history and archaeology.

Next, head to the Medalta in the Historic Clay District. This National Historic Site is part of a 150-acre area that was once the heart of Medicine Hat’s clay industry. The Medalta Potteries factory has been transformed into a museum and contemporary arts facility. Here, you can learn about the city’s industrial past, view stunning ceramic exhibits, and even participate in pottery workshops.

Medicine Hat boasts a thriving arts scene that is sure to captivate any visitor. The Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre is a cultural cornerstone of the city. This modern facility houses an art gallery, museum, and theatre. The art gallery features rotating exhibits showcasing both local and international artists, while the museum offers fascinating insights into the region’s history. Catch a live performance at the Esplanade Theatre, which hosts a variety of shows, from musical acts to theatrical productions.

For a more intimate arts experience, visit the Downtown Medicine Hat area. Stroll through the historic streets and explore the local boutiques, galleries, and cafes. Don’t miss the Hive Artists’ Hub, a cooperative space where you can meet local artists and see their work in progress.

With its abundance of sunshine and natural beauty, Medicine Hat is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The Echo Dale Regional Park is a must-visit destination for a day of family fun. Located just a short drive from the city center, this park features a man-made lake perfect for swimming, fishing, and paddle boating. There are also picnic areas, hiking trails, and a historic farm site to explore.

For a scenic hike or bike ride, head to the South Saskatchewan River Valley. The extensive trail system along the river offers picturesque views and opportunities for wildlife spotting. The Police Point Park is another excellent spot for nature lovers. This natural reserve has walking trails, interpretive programs, and a nature center where you can learn about the local flora and fauna.

No visit to Medicine Hat is complete without indulging in the local culinary scene. Start your day with a delicious breakfast at Inspire Café, a cozy spot known for its freshly brewed coffee and homemade pastries. For lunch, head to Thai Orchid Room to savor authentic Thai cuisine in a warm and inviting atmosphere.

In the evening, treat yourself to a fine dining experience at Redwood Steakhouse & Bar, where you can enjoy premium Alberta beef and a selection of local wines. If you’re a craft beer enthusiast, make sure to visit Medicine Hat Brewing Company. This local brewery offers a range of handcrafted beers and a welcoming taproom where you can relax and unwind.

Medicine Hat, Alberta, is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. From exploring historic sites and embracing the arts to enjoying outdoor adventures and savoring local flavors, there’s no shortage of things to see and do in this sunny city. So pack your bags, put on your sunglasses, and get ready to discover the charm and warmth of Medicine Hat.

Politics
The base is looking for something better
Jul 13
4
Min Read

The base is looking for something better

The conservative movement is restless. In politics, summer is supposed to be the time of barbecues and glad-handing. But away from the carefully orchestrated events hosted by the most partisan insiders, the base is asking questions. Why are we paying so much for power and heat? Why are we having so many grid alerts threatening electricity brownouts? And when exactly did I sign up to support Net Zero decarbonization schemes?

The base is looking for something better

The conservative movement is restless.

In politics, summer is supposed to be the time of barbecues and glad-handing. But away from the carefully orchestrated events hosted by the most partisan insiders, the base is asking questions.

Why are we paying so much for power and heat? Why are we having so many grid alerts threatening electricity brownouts? And when exactly did I sign up to support Net Zero decarbonization schemes?

Where’s the income tax cut we were promised? If the government has such a large surplus, why is it looking to raid the Heritage Fund? Why does the government have endless money for foreign corporations, but not for Albertans? 

Then the frustration kicks in. 

Why support a party that continually wanders away from conservative values, week after week, year after year, leader after leader? When am I going to get the smaller government that I voted for? Who is really running this party anyway?

Folks come to me with these questions, as I am a former MLA with more than decade served in the Legislature. But I don’t have any good answers to give them.

The folks I know best – the grassroots, Alberta-first conservatives - are not getting what they voted for, not even close. For them, the UCP has been a massive disappointment.

Created out of a merger of the Wildrose and the PC parties, the UCP was supposed to banish the corruption of the Redford Toryland era once and for all. It was supposed to put party members back in control of a runaway freight train. It was supposed to be an era of free market optimism, featuring an economy that grows from the ground up, giving every Albertan a chance to compete and prosper. 

Those were the terms of the merger, spelled out in the unity agreement. But that agreement, it turns out, wasn’t worth the paper it was written on. As for the small-c fiscal conservative vision it outlined, no one has seen it in years. Is it any wonder folks are once again searching for something better?

From my perspective, if we’re talking about the need for an alternative, we can take some inspiration from history. I’m certainly not referring to the Frankenstein’s monster that the UCP has become. Rather, I’m talking about the lesser-known merger between the Wildrose and Alberta Alliance parties back in 2008.

This merger was the first domino to fall in the creation of a viable and truly conservative alternative in Alberta. Within four years the Wildrose Alliance shook the out of touch PC establishment to its core by becoming Alberta’s Official Opposition. And, by 2015, this movement helped to successfully end the deeply corrupted 44-year PC dynasty.

Unfortunately, the public image of Wildrose shifted to become a party of dysfunctional power scrabbling, best illustrated by Danielle Smith’s betrayal and floor crossing. But this should not overshadow the selfless efforts of thousands of grassroots conservatives who worked so diligently to create and build the Wildrose Alliance. Their quiet and consistent commitment to grassroots democratic principles, and willingness to put Alberta first, inspire me still.

The goal of the Wildrose Alliance movement was always two-fold: first to end the reign of a government that had completely lost its way; and second to replace it with something better. The first goal was achieved, but the second remains an unrealized dream.

But that dream doesn’t have to remain forever out of reach. 

There is no law of politics that requires constant public subservience to a self-serving class of government insiders and foreign-directed overlords. Our families and communities have always deserved better. 

I’m certainly not willing to give up the fight. That’s why I am calling on all grassroots, Alberta-first conservatives to support a new effort.

Over the past year I have been quietly building a team dedicated to bringing back true grassroots conservatism. We will be advancing this effort on two fronts. First, we will create a foundation to advance grassroots causes that have been ignored, and even vilified by the current UCP government.

Secondly, we will work towards the creation of an association to unite all grassroots conservatives, free from the current administration’s swamp of insiders, foreign backed lobbyists, and other associated carpetbaggers. 

Our vision remains as it has always been: An Alberta, strong and free, where hard work and dedication bring new hope and new opportunity. An Alberta, where success comes from what you do and not whom you know. An Alberta where the little guy begins every day with a fresh start and a fair chance to get ahead.

Albertans are looking for something better. By working together, I believe we can give it to them. Join us.

Sports & Recreation
City Extends Saamis Rotary, Ross Glen Spray Park Hours
Jul 12
1
Min Read

City Extends Saamis Rotary, Ross Glen Spray Park Hours

The City of Medicine Hat will be extending the hours of operation of two spray parks starting Friday, July 12.

**Medicine Hat, AB – **The City of Medicine Hat will be extending the hours of operation of two spray parks starting Friday, July 12. This adjustment is due to the successful conservation efforts within Phase 1 of the Parks and Recreation Water Conservation Measures.
Saamis Rotary Spray Park and Ross Glen Spray Park will now operate from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. These hours align with Strathcona Island Park and Kiwanis Central Park’s hours of operation. Previously, the Saamis and Ross Glen facilities began operating at 1 p.m.
Staff will conduct another review on water conservation efforts at spray parks at the end July. This review will dictate the potential for additional adjustments to spray park hours of operation for August.

Home & Garden
The Importance of Annual Inspections on Investment and Vacation Properties.
Jul 11
2
Min Read

The Importance of Annual Inspections on Investment and Vacation Properties.

Have you thought of scheduling annual property inspections on your vacation homes, cottages, and rental properties? It is a great preventative measure that can save you a lot of money before major issues arise.

INVESTMENT & RECREATIONAL PROPERTIES BENEFIT FROM ANNUAL MAINTENANCE INSPECTIONS TOO

Scheduling an annual property maintenance inspection for all of the properties you own – including vacation homes, cottages, and rental properties that have regular tenants or shorter-term rentals through Airbnb or Vrbo – is a great preventative measure that can save you a lot of money before major issues arise.

By identifying any problems early, they can often be remedied before spiraling out of control. Your investment and recreational properties are valuable investments, and failure to properly maintain them can cause extreme damage and downgrade their value.

A lot can happen to a property’s exterior over the course of a year, particularly when it comes to extreme winter weather conditions such as wind, freezing rain, ice, and snow.

Equally as important is ensuring the mechanical systems within each property are running as intended.

Having a professional home inspector keeping track of your properties on an annual basis will also offer you added peace of mind that your investments are being well monitored and maintained. It’s especially difficult to keep an eye on a property and identify issues when you’re not living there.

Property maintenance inspections examine these key components:

  • Basement walls and drains
  • Gutters and drain spouts
  • Heating and cooling systems (including filters)
  • Plumbing and faucets
  • Electrical systems
  • Roofing
  • Windows and doors
  • Fireplaces and chimneys
  • Smoke detectors and other safety equipment

Following a thorough property maintenance inspection, our inspectors always provide you with three complete action lists: 1) Required Items; 2) Deferred Items; & 3) Future Maintenance Items.

As indicated by their names, Required Items are issues that demand your immediate attention, Deferred Items are problems that need to be addressed in the near future and Future Maintenance Items are noteworthy points that aren’t urgent, but should be monitored during future assessments.

If you have any questions about home inspections, we welcome you to contact Steve Fraser at 403.878.7580 or steve.fraser@abuyerschoice.com

Community
Locals Initiate Bee Beard Show
Jul 11
1
Min Read

Locals Initiate Bee Beard Show

Summer is here and the bees are buzzing!

If you're looking for a summer activity in Medicine Hat, a group of locals have arranged for a non-profit entertainment show called bee bearding as an initiative to create community awareness and engagement for bee enthusiasts. Bee bearding is the practice of wearing thousands of bees on the face and body.

Local beekeeper and expert bee bearder, Russel Solon, will be spearheading the agricultural activity. Food will be provided at the venue. The group is also open for individuals who are interested in participating with bee bearding.

The show is set to commence on July 28, 2024 (1pm) at 11414 Josephburg Trail Cypress County. Balloons will be placed near the venue to set as landmarks for directions.

Arts & Culture
MHC Marks Start of Medicine Hat Stampede Week with Pancake Breakfast
Jul 10
1
Min Read

MHC Marks Start of Medicine Hat Stampede Week with Pancake Breakfast

Days before the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede opens, Medicine Hat College (MHC) is kicking off the week with a free community breakfast on July 22.

**Medicine Hat, AB **- Days before the Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede opens, Medicine Hat College (MHC) is kicking off the week with a free community breakfast on July 22.
Open to all members of the public, the event will feature live music, a pancake breakfast, and activities for kids. “We are excited to once again welcome the Medicine Hat Stampede to our city and the community to our campus with our annual pancake breakfast,” says Kevin Shufflebotham, MHC President and CEO. “We love the vibrant energy that Stampede brings to our community and are proud to be a part of the celebrations leading up to the event.”
Taking place at MHC’s main entrance between 8-10 a.m., this will be the third year the college is hosting its pancake breakfast, thanks to a sponsorship from TD Insurance. Parking is free on campus.
The Medicine Hat Exhibition and Stampede takes place from July 24-27. For more information regarding news and events at MHC, visit www.mhc.ab.ca

Food & Beverage
MP Motz hosts Community BBQ
Jul 10
0
Min Read

MP Motz hosts Community BBQ

Everyone is invited to a Community BBQ hosted by MP Motz on Sunday, July 21.

Glen Motz, Member of Parliament for Medicine Hat–Cardston-Warner, is inviting constituents to a Community BBQ on Sunday, July 21st from 4:00 to 6:00 pm at Kin Coulee Park Band Shelter in Medicine Hat.

MP Motz said, “Summer gives us a great opportunity to be outside and connect with our communities. On July 21st, bring your family, friends and neighbours to Kin Coulee Park to enjoy a great time of visiting and a summer BBQ. I look forward to seeing you there.”

No need to RSVP.

Community
Library Launches BYOB Club
Jul 10
2
Min Read

Library Launches BYOB Club

We provide the theme, and you pick the books you read that match the theme

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing & Community Engagement

Medicine Hat Public Library is putting an out-of-this-world spin on our adult summer reading program.

Instead of our One Book One Summer program where everyone reads the same book after a public vote, in 2024 we’re challenging you to read multiple books within multiple themes. Which books are we challenging you to read? Well, that’s up to each of you. 

That’s right, introducing MHPL’s BYOB (book, not beer), Club. 

“Every two weeks starting July 4 we’re giving you a new theme,” says Miranda Leduc, adult and community librarian. “Every second Thursday we’ll meet for the Bring Your Own Book Club where we’ll talk about the different books we’ve all read.” 

The first theme is Into The Water and runs until July 18. The first BYO Book Club meeting takes place on that day at 6:30 p.m.

“You can read any book that has anything to do with water. That includes books based around water, in water and near water – beaches, oceans, rivers and more,” Leduc explains.

The themes and dates for the rest of the summer are:

  • Into The Woods, July 18-Aug. 1; meeting 6:30 p.m. Aug. 1
  • Into The Mountains, Aug. 1-15; meeting 6:30 p.m. Aug. 15
  • Into the Stars, Aug. 15-29; meeting 6:30 p.m. Aug. 29

That all sound pretty good, right? We haven’t even gotten to the best part yet. For every book you read in each theme you can submit a ballot for a grand prize draw at the end of summer. You can pick up and submit ballots at the library information desk or enter online.

To get you started we’ve created lists of book suggestions for each of the four themes.

Into The Water: Adult Summer Reading Program

Into The Woods: Adult Summer Reading Program

Into The Mountains: Adult Summer Reading Program

Into The Stars: Adult Summer Reading Program

Happy reading!

Follow us on social media: @mhpubliclibrary

Community
Turner Park Landscape and Irrigation Upgrade project
Jul 9
1
Min Read

Turner Park Landscape and Irrigation Upgrade project

Upgrades are coming to Turner Park that will increase the park’s accessibility and functionality while maintaining its beauty. The Turner Park Landscape and Irrigation Upgrade project is set to begin Monday, July 15.

Medicine Hat, AB – Upgrades are coming to Turner Park that will increase the park’s accessibility and functionality while maintaining its beauty. The Turner Park Landscape and Irrigation Upgrade project is set to begin Monday, July 15. Turner Park will be closed during construction. This project is expected to continue into the fall.

  • Area Map (PDF)
    This project will add a trail system to the park, install a shade sail near the playground, upgrade irrigation systems and establish alternative landscaping options. The new landscaping options will minimize the effort needed for weekly maintenance, and include areas intended to promote natural growth. This will enhance these green spaces while reducing water consumption. View the attached site plan for more information on these upgrades.
  • Project Site Plan (PDF)
    Supplemental watering will occur during construction to maintain the health of the existing trees in the area. Establishment of the newly planted areas will take time; the full benefits of these upgrades will not be seen until 2025.
    Residents in the area are asked to please adhere to all barriers, construction fencing and signage in place during this project.
    Families looking for other playgrounds to use during this project can access several nearby, including Taylor Place Park, Taylor Boulevard Park, Redwood Park and Medicine Hat Christian School.
    The City of Medicine Hat would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding as these upgrades are completed.
Health & Wellness
AMA President's Letter: Why are we worried about general surgery?
Jul 8
2
Min Read

AMA President's Letter: Why are we worried about general surgery?

General surgery needs attention and intervention from government! Today we launch the second issue in our advocacy campaign Acute Care Concerns.

General surgery needs attention and intervention from government! Today we launch the second issue in our advocacy campaign Acute Care Concerns. An issue paper is available. Earlier today I held a news conference with Section of General Surgery President Dr. Lloyd Mack. You can view the video of the presentation with media Q&A on our website.
 
Many members of the public may not realize the integral role that general surgeons play in our acute care system. Part of our campaign is simply highlighting their role and expertise.
 
Another key message is to explain why we are so concerned about impaired access to their services.
 
Sadly, patients are used to long wait times in emergency departments, but they expect that if they need emergency surgery once they are “in” it will be provided on the spot. We are highlighting the very worrisome fact that we can’t always meet those expectations anymore. As I said in the news conference this morning, if you show up in an emergency department in the middle of the night and require emergency surgery, there is an increasing chance that you may end up back in an ambulance to travel to another hospital to be readmitted and assessed, and to ultimately get your procedure. For the patient, this obviously means delay, often leading to complications, increased morbidity and sometimes even preventable death. It’s also further demand on already overstretched EMS services, prolonging waits for the surgical patient while shifting this precious resource away from the communities where they are needed for others.
 
Diversions like these are increasingly common, to the point where there are now formalized policies to mitigate their effects. It is a new phenomenon that has been years in the making but is our problem to solve now. We need government to share the sense of urgency and invest in making short- and long-term fixes. The AMA’s Acute Care Stabilization Proposal will help restore the Alberta advantage in terms of physician retention and recruitment. The biggest issue behind these diversions, though, is the availability of Tier 1 and support staff teams who help care for the surgical patient before, during and after their procedures. In order to retrain and recruit these critical Tier 1 supports we must ensure that we are competitive within a global market, and that the government is adequately budgeting to ensure our critical health care services remain uninterrupted.
 
We will have a lot more to say on this topic. Stay tuned.
 
Regards,

Paul Parks
President, Alberta Medical Association

Community
Terry Fox Run Returns
Jul 7
2
Min Read

Terry Fox Run Returns

Terry Fox Run is on Sunday September 15 along the Sunrise Rotary Trail

For the second year the Sunrise Rotary and Rotary Ignite clubs are organizing the Terry Fox Run in Medicine Hat at the Medicine Hat College. Over six hundred Runs will take place across the country and in more than thirty other countries on Sunday September 15, with funds raised going to the Terry Fox Foundation for cancer research.

The Marathon of Hope took place in 1980 when Terry Fox hoped to run across Canada, from St. John's to Victoria, to bring awareness about cancer and the need for research funds to help find a cure. His leg had been amputated because of cancer so he ran a marathon a day on one leg. He had to give up his run in Thunder Bay when the cancer returned but before he died a year later, at age twenty-two, his dream of raising one dollar for every Canadian had been accomplished.

Runs have been held every year in communities across the nation and over ten thousand schools participate. Last year the local organizing committee had a goal of raising $7000 and were delighted when the community came together and tripled that amount. That was more than double the highest raised in the previous forty-three years of the event in the city. This year the goal set by the Terry Fox Foundation is $10,000, with hopes to exceed that again.

The Run takes place along the Sunrise Rotary Trail at the college, starting at 10:30am. As per Terry's wishes, this is not a competitive run (although serious runners are encouraged to keep their own times) and everyone is welcome. The Trail is flat so walkers, runners, joggers, bikers, skateboarders, wheelchairs, and dogs are all welcome. Groups are encourage to make it more fun by forming teams and challenging each other for fundraising.

Music, kids activities, healthy snacks will be provided. The Run will go rain or shine but the committee is hoping it will be bright, sunny, and warm, as it was last year.

To register, donate, or support a participant just Google "Terry Fox Run" and search for Medicine Hat as the run site; or go to run.terryfox.ca.

For further information contact the chair of the organizing committee, Keith Walker: kvwalker@telusplanet.net

Community
City of Medicine Hat receives federal funding for pair of transit projects
Jul 4
3
Min Read

City of Medicine Hat receives federal funding for pair of transit projects

The City of Medicine Hat has received nearly $2.7 million in federal funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s (ICIP) Public Transit Infrastructure Stream, which supports two City and Medicine Hat Transit (MHT) projects.

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat has received nearly $2.7 million in federal funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s (ICIP) Public Transit Infrastructure Stream, which supports two City and Medicine Hat Transit (MHT) projects.
The projects will provide transit bus replacements and a transit scheduling system to MHT. The Government of Canada’s contribution of $2,669,586 accounts for approximately 33 per cent of a total eligible cost of $8,156,000. The City of Medicine Hat will provide the remaining $5,486,414.
“As communities in Alberta continue to grow, it is vital to have active and rural public transportation infrastructure that meets their evolving needs,” said the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Official Languages, on behalf of the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities. “Our government’s investment will encourage Albertans to be active and healthy and contribute to a cleaner environment, creating more resilient and stronger communities for everyone.”
Transit Bus Replacements
The majority of ICIP funding has been allocated to the Transit Bus Replacements project, which has an overall cost of $8,060,000; $2,631,186 from the Government of Canada and $5,428,814 from the City of Medicine Hat.
The purpose of the project is to replace aging transit assets in a timely, yet fiscally responsible manner so that residents can continue to receive a steady, reliable level of service. The City of Medicine Hat will replace 12 transit assets; two para-transit buses and ten additional buses.
“The City would like to recognize the Government of Canada for their thoughtfulness and foresight in creating this funding stream,” said Cory Earle, Manager of Fleet Services with the City of Medicine Hat. “Replacing transit assets is a necessary, yet costly undertaking for municipalities. With this funding, the City can maintain the quality and longevity of our transit fleet in a cost-effective manner.”
The para-transit buses are tentatively scheduled to arrive in late 2024 or early 2025. The other ten buses are anticipated to be replaced at a rate of two per year from 2025 to 2029, though these timelines are subject to change.
Transit Scheduling System
The remaining $38,400 in federal funding will go towards the Transit Scheduling System project. The City of Medicine Hat will provide $57,600 of the $96,000 project cost.
This project includes the one-time purchase of four years of consulting and scheduling services, along with related data reporting tools. It will utilize the Computer-Aided Dispatch / Automatic Vehicle Location (CAD/AVL) system which connects transit vehicles to scheduling and dispatching software. The software collects vital data used by dispatchers for the purpose of improving the quality and efficiency of the City’s existing public transit.
“Medicine Hat Transit evaluates service levels regularly to ensure they are applying their resources most effectively to provide safe, reliable and inclusive options within the budget of all Medicine Hat residents,” said Gordon Dykstra, Manager of Transit Services with the City of Medicine Hat. “With this software and consulting service made possible with funding from the Government of Canada, residents can be sure the quality, reliability and value of this service will be maintained for years to come.”
The City anticipates the software will be operational and in use in advance of the annual September shift schedule change.

Politics
Summer has arrived.  You can smell it in the air
Jul 1
8
Min Read

Summer has arrived. You can smell it in the air

With it comes a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle, and take some time to recharge. It’s also time for campfires and deep thoughts. And for the politically inclined, it’s a chance to take a long hard look at the issues facing our families, our communities, our economy, and the province we love. With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of five things to think about this summer.

With it comes a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle, and take some time to recharge. It’s also time for campfires and deep thoughts. And for the politically inclined, it’s a chance to take a long hard look at the issues facing our families, our communities, our economy, and the province we love.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of five things to think about this summer. 

#1 Alberta’s direction

Is Alberta headed in the right direction? 

To politicians and the most ardent partisans this is a loaded question. The reason is clear, governments rise and fall based on how voters answer it. For them, this question is directly linked to their influence, their livelihoods, and their self-worth. As such, the question becomes indistinguishable from “is the government doing a good job?” 

However, the question isn’t for politicians to answer, nor is it about government priorities. The question is for Albertans to answer, and it is about the real life outcomes of government policies.

So, the question is to you: Is your family better off than it was five years ago? Is your community prospering? Is your Main Street vibrant? Can your kids find work in the community where they were raised? Will the next generation be better off than previous generations? 

Each and every one of us has a political bias of some sort, which can make it difficult to come to an honest answer, free from knee-jerk praise or blame. It’s a question I hope people will spend the summer thinking about. 

If the answer is no, change is required.

#2 Nenshi ain’t nothin’

I recently came across a social media post by a pro-government partisan arguing that Naheed Nenshi’s victory in the NDP leadership race was a good thing for the UCP. 

Apparently, government insiders are salivating at the thought of the next election. I can’t decide if this was a weak attempt at spin, or if this was an individual suffering from a severe case of Dome Disease. The truth is that Nenshi arrives on the scene with many advantages. 

He has strong grassroots connections in many neighbourhoods of swing city Calgary. That has helped him to accomplish something that only a handful of politicians in Alberta’s history have done: successfully unite Alberta’s chronically fractured left. The fact is, at this time Nenshi is much more popular within the NDP than Premier Smith is within the UCP. 

Secondly, Nenshi is politically savvy. He appears to be embracing an opportunity to recast the NDP’s stodgy old union fat cat image. He wants to formally separate his party from the federal NDP, a wise move that removes the threat of a tried-and-true conservative attack. Meanwhile, Premier Smith and the UCP appear unwilling to address the NDP’s best opportunity. The fact is these are difficult economic times. Yes Alberta’s GDP has grown, but it has not kept pace with population growth and inflation. Our unemployment rate remains higher than the national average, in stark contrast to a decade ago. Working families are falling further and further behind. Socialist parties thrive in times like these, and Nenshi will be quick to cast the Conservatives as a corrupt old party of bankers and lobbyists, working to make the wealthy richer. 

Finally, as things stand now the UCP is very much a government stuck in the doldrums of a second term, with no unifying long-term plan. After six years in power the party can no longer credibly blame the NDP for the challenges it faces, and has a growing list of broken promises under its belt. Resentment is real and it accumulates quickly. Time is on Nenshi’s side.

My advice is that the UCP needs to change course, and make changes designed to help the little guy get ahead. This includes eliminating the small business tax, cutting income tax rates, and scrapping corporate welfare programs that give global mega companies an unfair advantage over homegrown Alberta businesses. 

Pretending the economy is great is a recipe for a Nenshi victory. Instead the UCP needs to embrace the debate and draw a distinction between a small government conservative plan and a big government NDP plan.

#3 Where’s the Fair Deal?

With the arrival of yet another Canada Day, it seems a good time to take stock of Alberta’s place in Confederation. 

As a former MLA and member of the government’s Fair Deal Panel, I had hoped that we would be making better progress on this front. The fact is the government of Alberta hasn’t actually done much to win a Fair Deal or push back against federal overreach.

The government talks about an Alberta pension plan, but it has become quite apparent they have no intention to proceed. They talk about provincial policing, but aren’t putting any money or resources into it. Despite Albertans voting overwhelmingly against the federal equalization program, Alberta refuses to move ahead with collecting its own income taxes. In fact, the only tangible action taken by the government was passage of the Alberta Sovereignty Act. But you have to ask, if this legislation is such a game-changer, why has it never been invoked, and why are Ottawa’s attacks only increasing? 

Politicians like to politick, and for too long ours have been happy to play gotcha games rather than take real action to make real progress. With ever-rising carbon taxes choking off prosperity, and a defacto production cap on Alberta oil incoming, this is no time for waffling.

#4 Grassroots ignored

In November, the UCP will host its annual convention, complete with a policy debate, the election of board members, and a leadership review for the Premier. 

Already, activists on all sides are out selling memberships and trying to stack the vote in one form or another. That’s politics.

Naturally, much of the media focus will be on the leadership review. Given former Premier Jason Kenney’s rather ham-fisted attempts to rig conventions, it will be interesting to see if his former supporters adopt a similar strategy.

For my part, the most interesting (read nerdy) portion of the conventions is the policy debate. 

Members are routinely told that the UCP is a grassroots, member-driven party and that the government is listening. The reality is slightly murkier. Often, policy proposals the government doesn’t want to discuss are prevented from reaching the convention. When they do, various tactics are used to prevent divisive debates from reaching the floor. Getting a policy approved that doesn’t enjoy government’s outright support is a major achievement. So, when the government ignores or rags the puck on such policies, the optics are less than optimal.

Members adopted 27 major policy changes at last year’s convention. Of them, six indirectly involved the protecting individual rights and the government’s handling of pandemics. Since then, the government has made zero legislative changes to reflect these policies. In fact, the only change made to date has been for the government to make the illegal actions taken by Premier Kenney legal in the case of a future pandemic. This is unacceptable.

On parental rights and related gender ideology issues, UCP members passed four policies. To date the government has announced some potential regulatory changes that have not been enacted, and no legal changes. Most notably, the call for “a comprehensive Bill of Parental Rights” has been ignored.

Some other policies that were outright ignored were the elimination of DEI offices in post secondary institutions, improving access to fertilizer for farmers, and dividing the Ministry of Justice into two departments of Attorney General and Solicitor General.

Ignoring the wishes of members was common practice under the Kenney administration, and led to fractures in the party’s base. If this trend continues one would expect to see similar results.

#5 Governments defeat themselves

There is an old adage in Parliamentary democracies: Governments defeat themselves. This certainly was true of Alberta’s 44-year PC Dynasty, which collapsed under the weight of its own corruption, with the unbridled self-interest of Toryland party insiders exposed for the entire world to see.

It was this spectacular collapse, along with NDP mismanagement, that made the creation of the UCP possible seven years ago.

In retrospect, the true purpose of the UCP’s creation was to banish the taint of PC corruption and make electoral victory possible. From that perspective, it worked. Since then, the UCP government has won two general elections under two leaders. In both cases, voters were promised servant leadership that would listen to the people, and put Albertans’ concerns ahead of lobbyists and corporate interests. 

But are we getting what we were promised?

The Wildrose-PC merger was approved by the membership of both parties, based on a unity agreement that included 14 founding principles. Of these principles, several are notably absent from the party’s website today, including a commitment to “grassroots democracy, including measures to empower Albertans to hold governments accountable during and between elections.”

In the past year, the government’s recall and citizen initiative system have proven unworkable in the real world, with thresholds designed to protect the status quo rather than guarantee accountability to voters. It gives the government a smoke screen of legitimacy without truly offering real change.

In a world with real democratic accountability, would this government have handed a crony appointment to disgraced former Premier Alison Redford? In case you missed it, the former Queen of the Toryland Sky Palace now finds herself overseeing Invest Alberta, the one stop shop for UCP-approved corporate welfare.

In a world with real democratic accountability, would the government appoint a former candidate as Alberta’s ethics commissioner? Would it continue to award sole-source contracts to former staffers, party insiders, and even the current Premier’s former campaign manager?

The UCP may have been created to banish the stench of past corruption, but seven years later that funky smell is coming back.

Health & Wellness
Medicine Hat Health Foundation Launches $1.2 Million Fundraising Campaign for Cardiac Monitor Replacement
Jun 28
2
Min Read

Medicine Hat Health Foundation Launches $1.2 Million Fundraising Campaign for Cardiac Monitor Replacement

The Medicine Hat Health Foundation (MHHF) is proud to announce the launch of the public phase of its largest fundraising campaign to date. The goal is to raise $1.2 million by the end of 2024 to replace a fleet of 32 outdated cardiac monitors in the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital (MHRH).

Medicine Hat, AB – The Medicine Hat Health Foundation (MHHF) is proud to announce the launch of the public phase of its largest fundraising campaign to date. The goal is to raise $1.2 million by the end of 2024 to replace a fleet of 38 outdated cardiac monitors in the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital (MHRH). In addition, funds will also be used to purchase three new GlideScopes, an MRI-safe ventilator, a new LifePak portable defibrillator, and other vital medical equipment.
The campaign will run until early 2025 and is set to include a variety of events and activities to engage the community and encourage donations. This began on June 8, with the hosting of the second annual Community Cares Gala and online auction, making history as the first event of its kind held in an active Alberta hospital. Ongoing donation and support opportunities include a biweekly 50/50 raffle, a charity golf tournament, and local business partnerships.
"We are excited to launch this cardiac campaign," said Heather Bach, Executive Director of the Medicine Hat Health Foundation. "It’s our largest campaign to date, aimed at replacing all the cardiac monitors in the hospital. Almost every area of the hospital is going to be touched by this campaign. It’s not going to happen overnight, but we’re very optimistic that we’ll be able to achieve this soon. Every little bit helps get us to that goal."
Individuals and organizations can contribute to the campaign in several ways, including online one-time or monthly recurring donations through the MHHF website, setting up a legacy giving plan, purchasing 50/50 tickets, or hosting their own fundraising events on behalf of MHHF.
For more information about the campaign or to make a donation, please visit our website or contact Heather Bach at (403) 528-8133 or info@ourhealthfoundation.ca.
About the Medicine Hat Health Foundation:
The Medicine Hat Health Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the quality of healthcare in Medicine Hat by raising funds to support the needs of the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital. Through the generosity of our community, we strive to improve patient care and ensure that the hospital has the necessary equipment and resources.
Contact
Heather Bach, Executive Director
Medicine Hat Health Foundation
(403) 528-8133
info@ourhealthfoundation.ca
www.ourhealthfoundation.ca

Sports & Recreation
Southridge Community Park trail rehabilitation
Jun 28
1
Min Read

Southridge Community Park trail rehabilitation

Two sections of the trail system in Southridge Community Park are scheduled to undergo rehabilitation work starting in July.

Medicine Hat – Two sections of the trail system in Southridge Community Park are scheduled to undergo rehabilitation work starting in July.
Rehabilitation on a section of trail in the north end of the park will enhance its structural integrity. Work on this section will begin Tuesday, July 2 and is anticipated to be completed in mid-July. This will require a brief washroom closure until nearby work is complete and residents can access the facility safely. See the attached map for details on the extent of this trail closure.

  • Closure map – north section (PDF)
    A section of trail in the south end of Southridge Community Park will undergo rehabilitation to improve water drainage in the park. This work is anticipated to begin in mid-July and be completed in August. The start date and timeline are subject to change, depending on completion of the work on the north section of trail. See the attached map for details on the extent of this trail closure.
  • Closure map – south section (PDF)
    Southridge Community Park will remain open to the public during both stages of work, however several sections of trail within the park will be temporarily closed. Visitors are asked to please adhere to all construction and trail closure signage in place.
    This rehabilitation work will help maintain the City's high standard of the 170-plus kilometres of the Heritage Trail Network to ensure it continues to provide residents of all ages with reliable opportunities for walking, cycling, jogging, scootering, inline skating, skateboarding, and more.
    The City of Medicine Hat would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding as these necessary improvements are completed.

 

Health & Wellness
Meet Heather Bach of the Medicine Hat Health Foundation
Jun 26
3
Min Read

Meet Heather Bach of the Medicine Hat Health Foundation

Alberta Health Services recognizes May as Health Philanthropy Month. Throughout the month, we’re celebrating our philanthropic partners who raise funds for healthcare across the province. The Faces of Foundations profile series introduces you to leaders in healthcare philanthropy across Alberta. This week, we’re pleased to profile Heather Bach, executive director of the Medicine Hat Health Foundation.

Story by Amelia Schofield | Photo by Leah Hennel
Alberta Health Services recognizes May as Health Philanthropy Month. Throughout the month, we’re celebrating our philanthropic partners who raise funds for healthcare across the province.
The Faces of Foundations profile series introduces you to leaders in healthcare philanthropy across Alberta. This week, we’re pleased to profile Heather Bach, executive director of the Medicine Hat Health Foundation.
Why did you become involved with the Medicine Hat Health Foundation?
After several years in retail management, which was a 24/7 365-day-a-year job, and having a growing family, I knew it was time for a change. To be honest, I began with the foundation through a position that was posted in our local newspaper, and I was the lucky candidate. I started in a major gifts role with the foundation and it was a huge career change. It was probably the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life — to change after 16 years of being in my comfort zone — but I’m sure glad I did. Why is health philanthropy important to you?
It’s an honour to be a part of healthcare philanthropy, in my eyes. I have always had a fascination and interest in healthcare, but I didn’t think I was equipped emotionally to work as a healthcare professional. I have to admit that after high school I wanted to land in a healthcare field, that was sort of my dream, I just didn’t know where, or what or how. It’s not where I ended up and that’s OK. Now I have the best of both worlds. I get to support healthcare professionals through philanthropy and see all their great work, but I get to do it from an outside perspective. What does being a leader in healthcare philanthropy mean to you?
Being in healthcare philanthropy, I get to be on the positive side of healthcare and make an impact to our healthcare heroes. I also get to make a difference for my whole community because at the end of the day, everyone accesses healthcare at some stage in their life, so this is my way of being able to make a significant impact to those around me. I know the work of the foundation will affect them at some point and it’s an honour to be a part of that.
What recent foundation accomplishments make you most proud?
I’m proud that over the past number of years, our foundation has done nothing but grow, get stronger and make larger impacts in healthcare. We’re a growing team and have gotten to a level where we’re able to add capacity, so I’m proud of how far we’ve come as an organization, how we’ve gotten stronger and brought more impact to the community.
What initiatives are coming up for the foundation?
We’re currently campaigning to replace all the cardiac monitors in the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital to the tune of $1.2 million, so that’s what we’ve been quietly working on behind the scenes. We’re almost halfway there already and will go public with our campaign in the next couple of months.
What is the best way for Albertans to support the foundation?
We always encourage Albertans to donate to their local health foundation, but I think the other thing they can do is thank a healthcare hero. They do amazing work, and we want them to know we appreciate them. There are so many ways to show gratitude — a thank you card, a pat on the back, simply saying thank you — that can be so meaningful to the healthcare professionals in our communities.
For more information on the Medicine Hat Health Foundation, visit ourhealthfoundation.ca.

Education & Learning
Summer study abroad builds new perspectives across disciplines
Jun 26
3
Min Read

Summer study abroad builds new perspectives across disciplines

Those with aspirations to travel, earn extra credits and gain a new perspective, may find an open door with the study abroad program at Medicine Hat College (MHC). With opportunities to spend their summers in South Korea, India, and Japan, twelve students are about to discover this for themselves.

Medicine Hat, AB - Those with aspirations to travel, earn extra credits and gain a new perspective, may find an open door with the study abroad program at Medicine Hat College (MHC). With opportunities to spend their summers in South Korea, India, and Japan, twelve students are about to discover this for themselves. Mason Pocsik, a first-year university transfer: science student, will be travelling outside of North America for the first time as he explores South Korea. Studying on a full scholarship, he will attend Dankook University for a four-week program. “Travelling has always been a pretty big interest in my life and learning about other cultures has also interested me a lot; learning all the different traditions they have that I don't really get to see much here in Canada,” says Pocsik. During his time abroad, he is taking courses in intercultural communication and social media on a global context to help immerse him in the culture. “What really interested me in these courses is for one of the group projects, we actually get to go and make a short YouTube video talking to vendors and locals about what life is like in South Korea,” says Pocsik. “That was a big interest for me because I really want to learn about their culture and I thought that was a really great way to do that.” Learning to work with those from other cultures is an asset to Pocsik, as he continues his studies and approaches career opportunities. “Since I’m trying to go into the sciences, I could end up working with people all around the world. This could allow me to meet other students and professors who I could then work with in a future career,” says Pocsik. “It’ll give me a better understanding of how to work with people of different cultures, who have different ideas, and overall just have a completely different upbringing than myself.” Second-year bachelor of education student, Jaxson Jangula, echoes this sentiment as he prepares to travel to India in June. Receiving the Shastri Alberta Students to India (SASI) grant from the Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute (SICI) has made taking part in the two-month internship program in Jaipur attainable. “I expect to gain a broader global perspective about the world,” says Jangula, who looks forward to understanding a new culture, while also getting to know himself better in the process. “In the past when I’ve travelled, I feel like I've come back knowing myself a little bit better, and I definitely expect more of that as well.” By getting out of his comfort zone, Jangula hopes to motivate others to take the opportunity to do the same. “As a teacher, I want to inspire my students to dream big and try new things. I can't think of a better way to do that than by traveling, going to a foreign culture, and embracing it,” says Jangula. He also believes the ability to make connections with his students and peers will become easier with the experience. While some are taking the opportunity to amplify their college experience, others will learn about their own heritage. Zachary Fischer is a first-year art and design student who will be studying at Osaka Gakuin University in Japan. “I was born in Japan and moved when I was two or three years old,” says Fischer. “I don't really know that much about Japan, so I’m excited to take that opportunity to learn more.” Enjoying Japanese cuisine, learning some of the language, and meeting new people, are all experiences he looks forward to having during his two-week study abroad experience. As an artist who enjoys painting, drawing, sculpting, and digital design, Fischer expects the experience will help shape his work as he completes his program. “I think it will maybe give me inspiration for new projects and definitely give me a new perspective on life.” To learn more about the study abroad program at MHC, visit www.mhc.ab.ca.

Education & Learning
2024 Foremost School Valedictorian
Jun 26
4
Min Read

2024 Foremost School Valedictorian

Daina Dixson is this year’s valedictorian for Foremost School and will be attending Lethbridge College in the fall for agronomy and agricultural business. Dixson, like her parents and grandparents before her, has spent all her grade school years at Foremost School and said it was a bittersweet experience to be graduating.

Daina Dixson, who has spent all her school years from K to 12 at Foremost School, is the 2024 valedictorian. “I remember the moment I found out I was smart, it was in my Grade 1 science class. It was a Grade 1 and 2 combined class, and my teacher went up to the front of the room and said only one person got 100% on this paper and that was Daina. That was a really cool moment in my life, and I always look back on that and it always pushes me to do better.”

Even though she expected to be valedictorian, the moment she was told was surreal for Daina, who had been thinking about it since she was in elementary when she found out what a valedictorian is. Once she found out, she texted her entire family, who were all really excited and she loved all the text messages she received in response. “It was a really big goal of mine and I finally got it.”

Outside of academics, a passion of Daina’s is barrel racing, and she currently competes in the Alberta High School Rodeo circuit. She plans to continue barrel racing throughout the summer with the Chinook Rodeo Association along with entering as a competitor in several barrel racing jackpots.

Even though she’s been riding a horse since she was about four years old, Daina didn’t start barrel racing until a few years ago and was pleased with her performance over the past year. “Each arena is a bit different, my fastest time is probably in Magrath, that’s where I got this buckle, and it was 14.4 seconds. Before, I am nervous but during my run, I usually try to focus on my breathing and what I’m doing. As soon as I cross the finish line, all this adrenaline hits me, it’s a really cool feeling.”

Daina has several horses but her main horse she’s had for just over a year. “I think, personally, it’s a really special bond because you have to trust one another. I know it looks easy but there is quite a bit that goes into it. You have to find your spot and correct because you want to be perfect and tight around the barrels without knocking them over. There is a good quote everyone always says, ‘smooth is fast’, so the smoother you are, the better you are. I think becoming smooth is having a good bond with your horse.”

She has an older brother who graduated two years ago along with many other family members who also graduated from Foremost School. Walking through the hallways of the school, one can view class photos of each graduating class. In the graduating class of 1972, Daina’s paternal grandmother can be found with those of her parents in classes from the early 1990’s.

Foremost School graduation is on June 21st this year and Daina explained the grad is very personal where each student creates a slide show, “We do fun things like class history and in the future where we see each other going and it’s mostly a funny conversation two people have. The entire village comes and fills up the gym here and we get to wear our fancy dresses and suits.”

Each graduating class is also given a ceiling tile to paint, and this year Daina has taken on the project as she enjoys painting. Her scene is of the Sweet Grass Hills with a cowboy riding off into the sunset and the 2024 grad theme ‘onto the next adventure’ written in text.

This September, she will attend Lethbridge College to pursue an agronomy diploma along with an agriculture business diploma, which will take three years to complete. Her future goal is to take over the family farm one day. Lethbridge is about an hour and a half from her home, which she feels will be manageable as she makes the transition to living away from the Foremost area for the first time. While in Lethbridge, Daina plans to live in residence and to continue to rodeo during her free time.

“It’s bittersweet. I’ve been in this small town my whole life. You know everybody and what they are doing, but I’m really excited to go to college,” concluded Daina.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
Softball at Burdett School is a Whole School Initiative
Jun 26
3
Min Read

Softball at Burdett School is a Whole School Initiative

For six weeks this spring, Burdett School reserved Friday afternoons for softball. The school was split into three divisions by grade level and two divisions got to play each week. For those who were not interested in playing the game, there were sessions to learn how to be an umpire or students could help with scorekeeping.

Burdett School kicked off their new softball program in May with a school-wide softball game where three cross-graded teams played against each other. “Everybody had a partner and when they played a game, the older kids weren’t the one catching or hitting the ball, they had a little person they assisted,” explained Vice Principal Amber Pinchin.

For six weeks this spring, each Friday afternoon has been dedicated to softball with the school split into three divisions by grade. Two softball sessions occur each Friday, with two divisions getting to participate each week. 

“For every kid in the school, I sent home a survey/sign-up sheet and gave them an option to either play, which was our preference, but for those who were not interested I set up a score keeping session. My husband, Chris, is a certified umpire in the States and he’s volunteering to come out and we have some kids learning to be umpires,” said Pinchin. 

Helping each Friday is Diedrich Knelsen, a parent who has three children attending Burdett School. Involved with the local Mennonite league, which has lots of youth on the teams, he thought it was a good idea to bring softball to the school.

“I started in Grassy Lake, and I posted I was playing with kids. I saw so many kids coming who liked the game, so we decided to start it in school too. Our oldest boy plays in that league along with others in the school,” said Knelsen. “It’s going well at the school. It’s a little harder to organize with so many kids compared to just 12 or 13. It seems like everybody likes it and they are having fun. At first, I wasn’t sure how we were going to do it, but the plan in place makes it easier when you have 30 or 40 kids around and you want to keep everybody busy.”

The hour the students have for baseball is split into 15-minute rotations with all participating in warmup, stretches and some throwing practice for the initial 15-minutes. “For the next 15 minutes, two teams play against each other, and the third team is working on a skill. Richard Pomreinke (teacher at the school) is often the one who runs the skill station because softball is one of his personal passions. Mr. Knelsen is in charge of running the game and other teachers are outside as assisting supervisors and actively involved,” stated Pinchin.

After 15 minutes, one of the groups rotate to skills, which means each group gets to play for 30 minutes. At the end of the hour, the division on the field goes back to class and the other division scheduled for that Friday comes outside. “We’ve tried to coordinate it so that our junior high students, as they get into finals and Grade 9 farewell, they will be having their weeks off baseball,” said Pinchin. “We’ve made a point of not scheduling field trips and other events on Fridays as well.”

Abram Hamm is in Grade 7 and batting is his favourite part because he gets to hit the ball and run. Baseball has made Fridays a day to look forward to and each week Abram hopes the weather will cooperate. When asked what it’s like playing softball, Abram said the game makes him feel alive.

Grade 7 student Isaak Neufeld also said batting was the best part of the game because when he gets a far hit, which he’s managed a few times this season, it makes him feel successful.

Carrying on with the theme, Grade 4 student Herman Knelsen also likes batting the most. “I get to hit it hard, and it’s gone almost to the green and I went straight to first base. My friend hit it and I went to third base then someone else hit it and I made it home. It makes me feel happy and I’m a fast runner. I wanted to play all of them – umpire, scorekeeping and playing – because they are all fun.”

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
Students Get Creative in New Foods Option at Warren Peers School
Jun 26
2
Min Read

Students Get Creative in New Foods Option at Warren Peers School

Teachers at Warren Peers School needed to come up with different options for students at the school this year. With access to the great facility at the Acadia Valley Community Hall, the students in the class learned how to smoke meat, make sausage, cook traditional foods and had a food truck experience where they served a variety of hotdogs to students and staff.

Teacher Jaime Didychuk at Warren Peers School started a new foods option class this year for Grade 9 students. The school had to get creative with options they could deliver as, due to scheduling issues, they were no longer able to take students to Oyen.

“I have a background in smoked meat. My family (husband and children) are a competition smoked meat team and we compete all over,” explained Didychuk. “We are cooking things I know how to do, such as smoking meat, with the help of my husband, and baking breads. We had a food truck challenge where the kids created different kinds of hotdogs and we got all fancy with them. We offered them to the rest of our school so they could come over and custom order their hotdog. The kids got a taste of what it was like to prepare food on the fly and figure out how much it cost.”

The class has five students and once a week they have access to use the Acadia Valley Community Hall to cook food that is meaningful to the community, such as traditional foods. Didychuk’s goal for this year is to make things students are able to make at home for their families. “You don’t have to go crazy; you can have lots of fun with a hotdog.”

The class began in January and wrapped up at the end of May. The students have progressed since the first class and Didychuk is now able to put a recipe down and let them follow it. “They are becoming very comfortable in the kitchen from when they started. Some of them were struggling with how to wash the dishes, just no experience, and now they are feeling comfortable on how to use the knives, how to cut, and be brave in the kitchen,” stated Didychuk.

Part of the learning for the students is to experiment and think outside the box. Cooking doesn’t have to be fancy and can be more fun if the focus is on good food that is easy to prepare. The class cooked the meal for the Grade 9 farewell, which included smoking meat along with making the salad, a dessert, and a drink.

“The cooking option is a good opportunity for us to feel more comfortable in the kitchen and not be afraid to cook for others,” said student Peyton Benson.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
Being a Trustee for Prairie Rose Public Schools doesn't feel like work
Jun 24
2
Min Read

Being a Trustee for Prairie Rose Public Schools doesn't feel like work

Lois Bedwell is the Chair of the Board for Prairie Rose Public Schools and is in her second term at a Trustee. Having spent most of her life in Oyen, Bedwell is grateful to be a Trustee for the area to ensure children are provided with the best possible educational opportunities.

Lois Bedwell, Board Chair for Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS), is in her second and final term as a trustee. She worked as a librarian at South Central High School for 17 years and wanted something to do after retiring. There were two open positions for trustees at that time, so she was able to join the board immediately.

“Meeting the people and working with the staff at division office, they are an awesome group,” are what Bedwell enjoys most about being a trustee. “It’s an outfit that you want to be associated with because they do such a good job. I have grandkids in school here now and I’ve always had an interest in education and lifelong learning. It also keeps me up to date, if you don’t stay current you get left behind with technology.”

Bedwell grew up in Oyen and attended Oyen Public School, where two of her seven grandchildren now attend school, for her elementary years. Apart from a couple of years in Calgary and just over a decade in Nanaimo, Bedwell has lived in Oyen her whole life.

Over the past eight years, there have been numerous changes within PRPS, many which have been positive. “We were going down in attendance and now we are going back up. Our enrollment is increasing mainly because of the academies and it’s making kids glad to be back in school and wanting to be in school, especially after COVID.”

The pandemic altered how board meetings were held, which carried over after it ended. Now, every second meeting is usually virtual along with most of the shorter ones, which Bedwell said is an improvement over a conference call or having to drive the two hours from Oyen to Dunmore each time.

While being a trustee doesn’t feel like work to Bedwell, it keeps her busy. There are five public schools – Oyen Public School, South Central High School, Warren Peers School, New Brigden School and Jenner School – along with four colony schools in her area. She tries to attend all parent council meetings along with events – graduations, Christmas, Exhibitions of Learning, etc. – at each of the schools.

Heading into her seventh decade, Bedwell feels the time is right for her to step down. "My one regret is I wish I had become a public-school trustee earlier; it has been incredibly rewarding. Trusteeship meant to me being partners with parents in ensuring that children, our greatest natural resource, are provided with the best possible educational opportunities to become the future citizens the community wishes them to be."

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
School Leader Wellbeing Generative Listening Group a collaboration between Prairie Rose Public Schools and Horizon School Division
Jun 24
3
Min Read

School Leader Wellbeing Generative Listening Group a collaboration between Prairie Rose Public Schools and Horizon School Division

School Leader Wellbeing Generative Listening Group had six principals during the first year, which grew to a cohort of 20 during the second year. The group provides a space for principals to learn how to create healthy cultures and has been receiving publicity from various sectors for their unique approach to student wellness.

The School Leader Wellbeing Generative Listening Group is a collaboration between Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS) and the Horizon School District that was funded by a mental health in school’s grant. In the first year, six principals met with a facilitator for six full days out of the school year to codesign what they wanted their own professional development (PD) to look like. In the second year, an invitation was sent to all principals from both school divisions and the cohort grew to 20 individuals.

“To commit to six days out of a school year, which is what these sessions require, people had to really want to do it and so it probably attracted those who are already interested in the topic and had a common interest in wellness,” explained Director of Student Experiences with PRPS Lisa Lindsay. “The hypothesis is, if we provide a space for principals to be well and learn about things that help them create healthy cultures, will we see more healthy schools? That means teachers, support staff, parents and students.”

The group has been receiving publicity from various sectors, including being one of the five highlighted projects through College of Alberta School Superintendents, due to the group’s unique nature of addressing student wellness. At the final meeting, two film crews were present, including one from the EdCan Network.

Following the student drumming performance and a tour of Senator Gershaw, the group split into table talks to discuss what they know about workplace wellbeing, what they don’t know and what they want to know. Lisa Lindsay worked with Principal of Senator Gershaw Scott Angle, Superintendent of PRPS Reagan Weeks, Manager of Human Resources Tammy Toews and Principal of Margaret Wooding School Craig Corsie.

“What I know is that when people do not feel a sense of control, their anxiety skyrockets,” began Superintendent Weeks. “When you try to work outside of your circle of control, you become very unwell very quickly. Trying to control things that are not yours to control spins you into a state of struggle.”

Lindsay added workplace wellbeing is contagious, either positive or negative. It is not something we do, but something we are, and must be a priority due to the impact on students. Scott Angle knows that all people appreciate positive comments and workplace wellbeing happens when everything is running smoothly.

What the group didn’t know also tied into what they wanted to know. One question was if focusing on wellbeing is the solution and is there a risk of it becoming an anti-signifier and losing meaning if people get tired of hearing about it.

“If it’s okay not to be okay, and sometimes people aren’t okay,” wondered Weeks, “what I don’t know is how much intervention or responsibility or accountability is in a leader’s role. Some people are not okay, and they are allowed not to be okay. They don’t always need someone intervening and telling them they need to be well. Is it okay if they are a bit of an Eeyore for awhile? Maybe that is allowed, and we don’t need to intervene and then we panic when someone is not okay.”

Lindsay talked about the lack of a recipe for wellbeing and there not being a one size fits all. She wondered how to help others act on those aspects of wellness they need to prioritize.

“Stress is not necessarily a bad thing. It's important for development and resilience that we experience positive and tolerable stress, however; toxic stress is never okay. The Alberta Family Wellness Initiative explains that this kind of stress - when a child does not have supportive caregivers who can buffer their response to repeated negative experiences - can change the brain's architecture. Experiencing anxiety before writing an exam is not a bad thing. Working through that anxiety and completing the exam can help prepare a student for bigger challenges they will face. It is important that we help students understand the difference types of stress,” concluded Lindsay.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Home & Garden
Tips for maintaining concrete surfaces around your home
Jun 23
2
Min Read

Tips for maintaining concrete surfaces around your home

Are you wondering how to maintain the concrete surfaces in your home? Wonder no more, we have tips that will ensure the longevity of your concrete surfaces.

Concrete is a durable and versatile material commonly used in residential properties for driveways, walkways, patios, and foundations. As with most materials, proper maintenance is essential to ensuring its longevity and visual appeal. 

Our Top Regular Maintenance Items for Preserving Concrete

Clean Concrete Surfaces Regularly

Use a mild detergent and water to remove dirt, stains and debris on concrete surfaces. Use a stiff brush or pressure washer for more stubborn stains. Avoid using harsh chemicals or acidic cleaners as they can damage the concrete.

Apply Concrete Safe Sealant

Using a quality sealant every few years helps protect concrete from moisture, freeze-thaw cycles and staining. Choose a sealant suitable for the specific application and climate conditions in your region. In colder climates, opt for sealants designed to withstand harsh winters.

Promptly repair cracks.

Inspect concrete surfaces for cracks regularly, especially after extreme weather conditions. Promptly repair any cracks to prevent water infiltration, which can lead to further damage and deterioration. Use a concrete patching compound or consult a professional for larger cracks and structural issues.

Avoid Overloading Concrete

Never place heavy objects or equipment on concrete surfaces, especially in areas not designed to support heavy loads. Prolonged weight can cause cracking and structural damage over time. When parking on a driveway, stay away from the edges, which are the weakest points. Also avoid parking vehicles in the same spot long-term.

Do Your Winter Maintenance

In winter, concrete is exposed to freezing temperatures and ice melt chemicals, which can accelerate deterioration. Use calcium chloride or magnesium chloride-based ice melt products instead of sodium chloride (rock salt), as they’re less damaging to concrete. Additionally, promptly remove snow and ice buildup to prevent moisture from penetrating the concrete.

Landscape maintenance.

Keep vegetation trimmed and away from concrete surfaces to prevent roots from causing cracks or lifting sections of the concrete. Trim overhanging branches to prevent debris from falling and causing damage during storms.

Keep Concrete Looking Fresh!

By following these ongoing maintenance tips, you can ensure your concrete surfaces remain durable, safe and visually appealing for years, while also saving you time and money on more extensive repairs.

To reach one of our inspectors for a home inspection or questions about maintaining your home, please call Steve Fraser at 403.878.7580.

At A Buyer's Choice Home Inspections, we pride ourselves on providing thorough, high-quality, and detailed inspections. Clients trust us to inform and educate them with unbiased reporting and clear communication.

Our professionalism, reliability, and deep knowledge has earned us the reputation of being the “first-call” inspector.

Entertainment
2 Day Canada Day Festival Returns to Kin Coulee
Jun 22
2
Min Read

2 Day Canada Day Festival Returns to Kin Coulee

The Medicine Hat Skateboard Association and The Connection are hosting the Kin Coulee Canada Day Festival this year on June 30 and July 1. Yusuf Mohamed from The Connection said “This years event is going to be bigger and better than ever. With a focus on cultural groups and celebrating reconciliation”.

The Medicine Hat Skateboard Association and The Connection are hosting the Kin Coulee Canada Day Festival this year on June 30 and July 1. Yusuf Mohamed from The Connection said “This years event is going to be bigger and better than ever. With a focus on cultural groups and celebrating reconciliation”.

Further details : 

Day 1 Sunday, June 30/24. 9pm - midnight
Glow Up the Globe Event
We start off events on Sunday, June 30/24. We will be hosting a party starting at 9pm at the Kin Coulee band shell. We will have bands and a DJ playing. Including a glow stick dance party with cultural themes.  **The hi-lite of Sunday evening will be that we are bringing fireworks back down to Kin Coulee!! ** Big Bang Productions out of Calgary will be putting on the fireworks show bringing back the nostalgia of prior years fireworks shows at Kin Coulee. We will have a major announcement shortly about a major musical act that will be playing. 

**Day 2 Monday, July 1/24 8am-6pm **
Kin Coulee Canada Day 2024
All events are free!
The event will start with a City Wide Yoga Class hosted by Rebel Yoga and is followed up with a free pancake breakfast from 9-11am hosted by the Root Cellar
Events run until 6pm. We will have free entertainment on the Kin Coulee stage, cultural groups, food trucks, vendors organized by Homestead Market, artisans, children’s activities, a petting zoo, sporting events including SEAVC volleyball tournament, 3-on-3 basketball, barefoot soccer, and cricket. 

Davie James from the Medicine Hat Skateboard event said “This years event will be a family friendly event that is focused on our community. It is amazing that we are able to host this years family festival back in Kin Coulee. Across the creek from Canadas largest amateur skateboard competitions that will be taking place on July 1”

The event will host a vendor market and exhibitors. Kara Danroth from Homestead Market said “We want to offer local vendors and businesses the opportunity to showcase their unique products and services to our community. This year is especially exciting because we are this at no cost giving back to our community in so many ways”. 

This years event will cater to all age groups and will feature no cost activities all day long. The festival organizers are distributing 600 free drink / hot dog tickets through organizations like the Root Cellar, Saamis Immigration, The Link Food Pantry and the Miywasin Centre

Volunteer coordinator Darlene Keeler said “Our volunteer organizers are looking to our community for generous sponsors to help put on this festival And for volunteers to help make this event possible”. 
Please contact medhatskate@gmail.com for information on how to get involved

The Canada Day team looks forward to celebrating Canada Day with the community of Medicine Hat and surrounding area

Sports & Recreation
City Rolls Out Mobility Mat at Echo Dale Regional Park
Jun 18
1
Min Read

City Rolls Out Mobility Mat at Echo Dale Regional Park

Last week, the City installed a Mobi-Mat at Echo Dale Regional Park swim lake to improve access to the water for those with mobility challenges.

Medicine Hat – Last week, the City installed a Mobi-Mat at Echo Dale Regional Park swim lake to improve access to the water for those with mobility challenges.
“Whether you have a wheelchair, walker, or stroller, the Mobi-Mat will be an easy way to access the water,” said Scott Richter, business and innovation manager, City of Medicine Hat. “Everyone should have the same access to enjoy our parks and facilities.”
The Mobi-Mat is a portable, non-slip, roll-up beach access mat designed for people with disabilities, as well as elderly visitors or parents with strollers. It is made from 100 per cent recycled material.
“We’re always looking to improve our City spaces and increase accessibility; Echo Dale is no exception,” said Richter. 
The Mobi-Mat will be available daily during lifeguarded hours at the beach from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Stay tuned for more updates and information on what’s new at Echo Dale Regional Park.

Politics
Council Highlights June 17 2024
Jun 18
4
Min Read

Council Highlights June 17 2024

This summary provides a brief overview of City Council meetings and does not reflect all discussion and debate.

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.
Under Councilor Announcements:

  • Councilor Sharps shared an update from the June 2024 Federal Canadian Municipalities conference, specifically a resolution that was passed as follows:
  • WHEREAS, In recent years, there has been an alarming rise in incidents of harassment, intimidation and acts of violence aimed at elected local government officials, compounding the already strenuous work conditions faced by many local leaders and hindering their retention; and
  • _WHEREAS, Women, particularly Black and racialized women, are disproportionately targeted by violence and harassment toward elected officials; and _
  • _WHEREAS, Increasing the number of elected women, Black and racialized, and 2SLGBTQIA+ representatives in Canada is a priority for local governments and the federal government; and _
  • WHEREAS, Severe abuse, both online and in-person, has the potential to discourage underrepresented groups from joining and remaining engaged in local politics, limiting the diversity of opinion needed in healthy democracies; and
  • _WHEREAS, all elected officials have an ability to show leadership on this issue by modeling behaviour, and should always strive to elevate debate, embrace differences of opinion, disagree respectfully and focus on issues of policy and substance; now therefore be it _
  • RESOLVED, That the federal government, work with provinces, territories, and local governments, including through FCM, to identify and implement measures to protect elected local government officials, their family members, and staff – especially women, members of Black and racialized communities, and 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals, persons with disabilities, and Indigenous people – from harassment, intimidation, and threats, thereby reinforcing a unified front to safeguard democracy; and be it further
  • RESOLVED, That FCM calls on all elected officials of all orders of government to lead by example, demonstrating civility and mutual respect for their political counterparts.
  • Councilor Robins acknowledged June as Men’s Mental Health Month and encouraged more awareness of this important issue.

 
City Council received the following items into the corporate record:

  • Council Committee of the Whole Meeting Minutes of May 28, 2024
  • Council Committee of the Whole Meeting Minutes of May 29, 2024
  • Under unfinished business, City Council:
  • Passed Bylaw 4814 to amend the Transportation of Dangerous Goods. The Dangerous Goods Transportation and Handling Act requires that a municipality’s Transportation of Dangerous Goods Bylaw be approved by Alberta’s Ministry of Transportation and Economic Corridors at least every 5 years. Amending Bylaw No. 4814 is required to amend the City of Medicine Hat’s bylaw (which expires on July 17, 2024) to reflect changes to roads and areas within the city. First reading was given at the May 21, 2024 meeting of City Council.
  • Under new business, City Council:
  • Received, for information, a presentation from Aaron Nelson, Acting Director of Community Development on National Indigenous Peoples Day.
  • Passed Bylaw 4825 to Revise the Sewer Bylaw. In 2023, Sewer Bylaw No.1541 was amended and an oversight in the amendments has come to the attention of administration in relation to per-dwelling unit charges being missed regarding multi-family units. The revision addresses this oversight to ensure clarity of this oversight on a retrospective basis.
  • Under Committee Business, City Council:
  • Approved a motion directing staff to make the following amendments to the proposed Council Code of Conduct Bylaw No. 4805 for Council’s consideration:
    • elimination of ALR Committee as an initial assessment body for council code of conduct complaints;
    • establish a complaint system that would see all complaints directed to an external Integrity Commissioner for initial assessment and investigation; establish a process comparable to the Red Deer model that would allow individual council members to contact the Integrity Commissioner for advice and direction on any matter related to the Code Bylaw;
    • add requirements for complainants comparable to the Red Deer model as follows:
    • a complainant must either reside in Medicine Hat, own land in Medicine Hat, own a business in Medicine Hat or work in Medicine Hat;
    • confirm the deadline of 90 days for completion of investigations, subject to an ability to extend that deadline if the Integrity Commissioner determines that it is not practically possible to complete the investigation within that time period.
Community
City launches Clean Energy Improvement Program
Jun 18
2
Min Read

City launches Clean Energy Improvement Program

Today, Medicine Hat residents have a new financial tool to support energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to their properties with the launch of the City’s Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP).

Medicine Hat – Today, Medicine Hat residents have a new financial tool to support energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to their properties with the launch of the City’s Clean Energy Improvement Program (CEIP).
The Government of Canada and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities invested $5.4 million to the local program (a $1,807,052 million grant and a $3,618,912 million loan) through the Green Municipal Fund’s Community Efficiency Financing (CEF) program.
CEIP allows homeowners to apply for low interest financing from the City (3.25 per cent interest rate), with repayment collected through property tax bills during a span of up to 20 years, depending on the expected life of the improvement. There is also an option to repay it in full at any time without penalty and the financing can be transferred to the next owner if the home sells.
Participants must install eligible upgrades with a minimum cost of $3,000 to qualify for financing. There is a maximum of $50,000 of eligible costs per property, but the annual Clean Energy Improvement Tax cannot exceed the property's annual municipal property tax levy.
“The Clean Energy Improvement Program removes the barrier of up-front costs of energy efficient home upgrades,” said Jonathan Linowski, strategic analyst for the City’s corporate planning and performance department. “The program is unique in that the loan is attached to the property, not the property owner, and can offer a long repayment term up to the effective useful life of the eligible upgrades.”
With the goal of creating a more climate resilient community and lowering energy costs, the list of eligible projects for CEIP includes upgrading light fixtures, windows, doors, adding solar panels, increasing insulation, installing a tankless hot water system, furnace, heat pumps, and more.
“Not only will this program help owners save money on their energy bill, it will also support local energy efficiency and renewable energy companies and contractors, and contribute to a greener environment,” adds Linowski.
Local contractors, who include energy efficiency and renewable energy in their services, are encouraged to apply to be listed as a qualified contractor on the program website in order to provide services for CEIP projects.
In addition to financing, Medicine Hat’s CEIP offers a rebate of 6.6 per cent of project costs for all completed CEIP projects. An additional SmartFit incentive of up to 3.6 per cent of financed project costs is offered on residential properties built before 1990 (for a total rebate of 10.2 per cent of project costs). Rebate availability is limited and will be provided on a first come, first served basis.
CEIP financing and rebates can be stacked with other rebate or incentive programs for energy efficient home upgrades like Medicine Hat’s HAT Smart program.
CEIP is administered by Alberta Municipalities in partnership with the City of Medicine Hat. Alberta Municipalities is a not-for-profit association founded in 1905. It represents Alberta’s 265 urban municipalities including cities, towns, villages, summer villages, and specialized municipalities.
To participate, the first step is to review the program terms and conditions and submit a pre-qualification application at myceip.ca/medicinehat.
Learn more about the program at medicinehat.ca/ceip.

Community
Medicine Hat Public Library Welcoming Two Speakers For Pride Month
Jun 18
2
Min Read

Medicine Hat Public Library Welcoming Two Speakers For Pride Month

All are welcome at Medicine Hat Public Library

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing & Community Engagement

Speakers will present on the history of Pride and how you can be an ally

To help mark Pride Month, Medicine Hat Public Library is welcoming two speakers from the Prairie Pride Guild of Medicine Hat and District for a pair of presentations that will reflect on the last and look to the future of Pride in our community. 

First, Jenni Barrientos, an archivist at the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre, will discuss the history of Pride in Medicine Hat. Following that, Kim Large will speak about her journey as a parent of a transgender child and steps you can take to support 2SLGBTQ+ youth.

Barrientos and Large provided bios below for you to get to know them better before hearing them speak on Thursday, June 20, starting at 6 p.m. 

Those who attend on Thursday, June 20, can put their name in one of two draws to win a book. Adults can get their hands on a copy of "The Guncle" by Steven Rowley, and for teens we have "The Comedienne's Guide to Pride" by Hayli Thomson. You can also enter the draws at Pride For Everyone, hosted by the Prairie Pride Guild on Saturday, June 29, at Kin Coulee Park.

Jenni Barrientos

Jenni Barrientos (she/they) was born and raised in the Okanagan in B.C. A prolific writer and a lover of all things historic, she left her small hometown behind and moved to Toronto to pursue a bachelor's degree in history. She arrived in Medicine Hat in 2010 to meet with her then-long-distance-girlfriend-now-spouse, and never left. As Rudyard Kipling described Medicine Hat in 1907: "it's all your own, and the only hat of its kind on Earth." In the spirit of making Medicine Hat her home, Jenni is a current practicing appraiser with the National Archival Appraisal Board, the editor of the Medicine Hat Historical Society Newsletter, an archivist at the Esplanade, and the president of the Prairie Pride Guild of Medicine Hat and District.

Kim Large

Kim Large (she/her) is a community member, volunteer and parent of two. She is a parent of a transgender child, ally, advocate and activist for transgender, two-spirit, non-binary and gender-diverse kids and youth. Her family has been on this journey for about four years now. As of September 2023 her advocacy took on a new role, focusing on mostly the local community. Kim takes every opportunity she can to educate herself and do whatever she can in the community to help show visibility, validity, worth and kindness for 2SLGBTQ+ people, especially families. She enjoys reading, hiking/outdoors, birds, thrifting, spending time with her family and friends like family. Her family has a medium-sized terrier mix named Frankie and a crested gecko named Grey.

Another way MHPL is marking Pride Month is with our new book display near the Info Desk. Stop by and find fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, serious books, humorous books and more. 

Follow us on social media: @mhpubliclibrary

Health & Wellness
Opinion: Let's get new pay model for family doctors to the finish line
Jun 17
3
Min Read

Opinion: Let's get new pay model for family doctors to the finish line

Our premier and health minister have both stated that Alberta’s health-care system should be the best in the West. Physicians and Albertans agree.

Our premier and health minister have both stated that Alberta’s health-care system should be the best in the West. Physicians and Albertans agree.

In previous years, Alberta’s health-care system was not only the best in the West, but also the envy of Canada and most of the world. We enjoyed the Alberta Advantage because our health-care system was built upon a rock-solid primary care foundation. Objective data showed our innovative primary care networks were cutting-edge in supporting robust family medicine care. We invested in longitudinal, cradle-to-grave family medicine, and this allowed us to build world-leading medical care in all areas of specialization across the province. Highly specialized care relied on robust and thriving primary care and vice versa. We cannot have one without the other.

Unfortunately, over time we lost our way. We made more and more investments in super-specialized areas of care and forgot about focusing on keeping Albertans healthy in the first place. Without investing in robust primary-care medical homes, led by our highly trained family medicine specialists and rural generalists, all we can offer is highly specialized sickness care. It’s a sickness system where all roads lead to overcrowded emergency departments while delays to all forms of high-quality medical care grow and grow.

But all is not lost. The medical profession has rebuilt relationships with government, and we have agreement on the pathway for a return to the Alberta Advantage and becoming the best in the west again. It isn’t complicated. Becoming the best requires three steps: 1. tackle tough issues; 2. seek solutions with experts; 3. follow through, step on the gas to get it done, and don’t stop until the finish line is in the rearview mirror.

In the ongoing crisis of access to family and rural generalist physician care, the first two steps are already complete. We have a shared understanding that Alberta’s family and rural medicine practices are no longer viable and, indeed, are at the breaking point. The deterioration is further demonstrated with 800,000 Albertans who do not have access to a family or rural medicine specialist.

Government has been working with the Alberta Medical Association to tackle the complex issues that have led so many Alberta physicians to withdraw from comprehensive care or leave the province. Through collaboration, physician leaders and government have sought solutions with a new physician payment model and have been able to issue interim funds to help stabilize practices until that work is complete.

The hard work is done. We have a new Physician Comprehensive Care Model that will do what is so desperately needed across Alberta: keep family medicine practices viable and thriving and allow our highly skilled and caring family physicians and rural generalists to provide lifelong primary care to Albertans.

With this new model, we will not only achieve best in the West, but we will also retain the amazing physicians we currently have. Once again, we can be a destination of choice for physicians and attract new colleagues to the province where patients are waiting for them. More Albertans will have access and attachment to a family physician or a rural generalist, and we will be able to repair the foundation of our struggling health-care system.

We are at Step 3. We must bring this across the finish line and implement the new funding model as quickly as possible. Alberta can no longer afford to delay. We’ve come a long way in a short time with government and Alberta Health but it’s time to commit. Finalize the new model. Invest in a family and rural medicine system that provides comprehensive, lifelong care.

Reclaim the Alberta Advantage. Patients and Albertans deserve no less.

Dr. Paul Parks is president of the Alberta Medical Association.

Community
City of Medicine Hat Honours National Indigenous Peoples Day
Jun 17
1
Min Read

City of Medicine Hat Honours National Indigenous Peoples Day

The City of Medicine Hat honours National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to honour the rich history and traditions, diverse cultures and important contributions of Indigenous peoples in our community.

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat honours National Indigenous Peoples Day, a day to honour the rich history and traditions, diverse cultures and important contributions of Indigenous peoples in our community.
The day is recognized annually on June 21 within National Indigenous History Month. This aligns with the significance of the summer solstice for Indigenous peoples, who have held cultural celebrations on the longest day of the year for centuries.
The City of Medicine Hat celebrates the strengths and resilience of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit cultures and acknowledges the vibrant tapestry of Indigenous history that enriches this community.
“National Indigenous Peoples Day is a reminder to cherish and learn from the cultural wisdom passed down through generations by the Siksika, Kainai, Piikani, Stoney Nakoda, and Tsuut'ina, as well as the Cree, Sioux, the Métis Nation within Region Ill, and Saulteaux bands of the Ojibwa people who have called this land home for generations,” says Aaron Nelson, acting Director of Community Development. “Let us join in acknowledging and celebrating the vibrant tapestry of Indigenous history that enriches our community.”
The City continues to strengthen its commitment to honouring Indigenous history and heritage in Medicine Hat through a range of initiatives and events, both recent and ongoing.
These include visual arts exhibits and events at the Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre, an event at City Hall on June 21, a themed Block Party at Towne Square on June 22, the Ancestors Reburial Project and more. Learn more about these and other educational opportunities by visiting medicinehat.ca/nipd.

Education & Learning
Students No Longer Permitted to Use Personal Mobile Devices During Instructional Time
Jun 17
0
Min Read

Students No Longer Permitted to Use Personal Mobile Devices During Instructional Time

Effective for the 2024-2025 school year students will no longer be permitted to use personal mobile devices during instructional time

The Minister of Education addressed concerns associated with personal mobile devices and social media usage in schools.

Effective for the 2024-2025 school year students will no longer be permitted to use personal mobile devices during instructional time. Personal mobile devices include cell phones, smart phones, smart watches and other personal electronic devices with exceptions for students using mobile devices for health and medical needs, to support specialized learning needs and for educational purposes. This initiative is based on the data collected during the April 2024 Cellphone use in schools engagement.

Live announcement on YouTube - June 17, 2024 at 1 p.m.

Education & Learning
June 5 Special Board Meeting Highlights
Jun 17
3
Min Read

June 5 Special Board Meeting Highlights

Prairie Rose Public Schools held an online special board meeting on June 5 to get trustee approval for the 2024-25 preliminary budget, the 2024-2027 Education Plan and the purchase of 38 school buses for the school division.

Transportation – School Bus Purchase

Chief Financial Officer Ryan Boser explained that the school division recently underwent an RFP process for PRPS school bus transportation services. The process resulted in contract proposals for 87 routes coming back with an 8% to 200% increase compared to current costs. The average increase was 55%. It was noted that the significant increases are not able to be managed within the current transportation funding allocation.  

Administration and the Board of Trustees investigated several options to navigate the funding challenge and will be moving towards a division-owned bus fleet, which is common in rural school divisions. The rationale is to make PRPS more economically efficient by running operations internally. This requires PRPS to find funding to secure buses. Options were explored, including obtaining a bank loan, a line of credit, and/or leasing buses. PRPS was successful, following multiple meetings with government, to secure funding from Alberta Education to purchase buses. In the first year, the board will purchase/operate 39 bus routes and award bus contracts to large contractors for 30 routes and 12 routes to independent contractors. The total number of routes will be reduced from 87 to 81 for the 2024-2025 school year.

The board approved the purchase of 38 buses for $5,892,006.80 plus GST. The division already owns one new school bus. The interest free loan is an advance on PRPS transportation funding, which would be paid back over the next 10 years with payments coming directly off each year’s transportation grant. Estimated cost savings in the first year, compared to full contracted services, is $689,000.

2024 – 2025 Preliminary Budget Approval

Chief Financial Officer Ryan Boser presented the 2024-2025 Preliminary Budget for approval. It was noted that assumptions for the preliminary budget were made based on securing funding for the purchase of buses for the school division. Highlights of the budget include primary instructional grants remaining the same, a slight enrollment increase (35.5 FTE), an increase in Alberta Education operational funding of $1,384,402, an increase in insurance premiums of 5% for liability and property and 3% for vehicles, and ASEPB benefit increases of 10%.

Budgeted amounts for the 2024-2025 year include the following:

·      Instruction Surplus $905,185

·      Operations & Maintenance Deficit ($876,887)

·      Transportation Deficit ($405,608)

·      Administration Surplus $92,970

·      External Services (Teacherages) Surplus $3,254

Overall, the division is projecting a deficit budget of $281,086. As of August 31, 2024, the Division has an expected accumulated Operating Reserves of $2.185 million, or 3.77% of total expenditures.

2024 – 2027 Education Plan Approval

Superintendent Reagan Weeks shared highlights and changes in the 2024-2027 Education Plan for PRPS. The division will continue with the same goals and objectives in the final year of the plan. Progress is measured through assurance measures, with the spring measure showing PRPS exceeding the province in eight of twelve measures. The remaining measures, related to diploma and PAT exams, will be added in November.

A new addition to the plan, requested by the Board of Trustees, is the stakeholder engagement statement. Another adjustment is a modification to the Capital Plan, prioritizing the modernization of Parkside School, with full design funding secured and hopes for construction funding soon, estimated at $20,095,967.

The strategic priorities are Ignite Minds, Kindle Hearts, Forge Futures, and Truth and Reconciliation. "Ignite Minds" focuses on classroom core coursework, with an emphasis on writing and primary literacy. "Kindle Hearts" aims to create meaningful connections with students. "Forge Futures" has shown positive results over the past five years. The work on Truth and Reconciliation continues, with acknowledgment of the need for growth despite considerable efforts.

Education & Learning
Workshops at Kaleidoscope provided great opportunities for PRPS students
Jun 17
4
Min Read

Workshops at Kaleidoscope provided great opportunities for PRPS students

The 2024 Kaleidoscope celebration held at the Esplanade on May 30 attracted students from schools across Prairie Rose Public School Division. The morning was dedicated to various workshops for students to engage in and learn new skills.

Multiple schools within Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS) attended the 2024 Kaleidoscope event at the Esplanade on Thursday May 30. The morning was dedicated to workshops, with the younger students attending two shorter ones in various areas of the Esplanade and high school students participating in one of two longer workshops at the Medicine Hat Public Library.

“Kaleidoscope of the Arts is an amazing showcase of all the work students and staff do throughout the year to develop various aspects of the arts,” Superintendent of PRPS Reagan Weeks. “I have the opportunity to look at visual arts and the beautiful pieces our students have created, along with seeing some of their talents on stages. Students also have the opportunity to continue their learning in a variety of workshops and I’m grateful to the organizing team for providing this opportunity to our school division. It’s a phenomenal place to be and see the excitement of kids about the fine arts.”

Jordyn is in Grade 3 at Parkside took part in the Boomwhacker workshop and said following the beat was the best part. Last year, she performed in the choir and feels the best thing about Kaleidoscope is watching other students perform and how much fun she has during the event.

Tiffany Molin is one of the organizers of Kaleidoscope and also facilitated the Boomwhacker workshop. “They are just so fun. This is my third year doing this for our Kaleidoscope celebration since we changed the format into a workshop and a concert. The kids come from lots of different places and we’ve been able to spread the activities we do here to smaller schools that don’t have a dedicated music teacher. It’s making music enjoyable for everyone.”

In the gallery was a drum workshop facilitated by Vice-Principal of Senator Gershaw John Paul Brocklesby, “it was great, I haven’t drummed with 40 kids in quite a while, and they did awesome. We managed to do a layered rhythm for their first time drumming, which is usually not possible. Most of them looked like they were having fun.” He was working with students from Grades 1 to 3. Ralston student Rexley is in Grade 2 and took part in the drumming and he enjoyed using the traditional drums and playing along to the beat.

Ron Mason, who teaches music at both Margaret Wooding and I.F. Cox schools in Redcliff, held two ukulele workshops. “The intention is to introduce new students to the ukulele and how simple and fun it can be. We start out by learning some simple songs and give them some encouragement to keep going because learning any instrument takes perseverance.”

Students taking part in the workshops learned two songs on the ukulele, the first was Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles, a two-chord song the students find fun to play. The second song is The Lion Sleeps Tonight, a three-chord song that is more advanced, but Mason believes pushing the students will help them decide if they would like to pursue playing the instrument. “Excellent,” was Mason’s comment on how the first session went. “Kids picked up Eleanor Rigby so fast, the kids are motivated and want to learn and it’s fun.”

The alcohol ink workshop with Kameko Ballantyne was popular and filled up quickly. “It was a great way for them to express themselves creatively in the workshop and we have mediums we haven’t worked with before, like alcohol ink. They got to practice on a tile and then they created two individual pieces themselves. They can make mistakes on the tile, which is a good thing when we are learning because mistakes mean we are trying. We did two abstract pieces, which is best for alcohol ink because it is fun to play around with and if you don’t have any expectations on what it will look like, sometimes that is a better way to learn.”

Greg Herman co-facilitated the Singer/Songwriter workshop that took place in the theatre of the Medicine Hat Public Library. “The kids are in groups now to try and come up with one verse to the rhyme scheme we pulled out of a hat and then they will share it with the group for better or worse. It’s just whatever they come up with under the gun. I’ve written a few things and thought this would be fun to do, I’ve never done anything like this so it’s a learning experience for me to. We might have to try and do this more down the road, if anyone wants to come back.”

Justine Wilks was in the main theatre at the Esplanade leading students through a music and games workshop. “It was lots of fun, the kids were really great, and we enjoyed making music together. It was to show them choral warmups and learn some new classroom songs and make some music together.”

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
Archery at Warren Peers School ties into rural community
Jun 17
3
Min Read

Archery at Warren Peers School ties into rural community

Students at Warren Peers School in Acadia Valley have been learning archery for over a decade and in the past three years have begun competing. This year, students went to both provincial and national competitions, which was a very different experience than local competitions.

Warren Peers School in Acadia Valley has been working with the National Archery in Schools Program (NASP) for about 12 years. Teacher Jaime Didychuk explained, “it’s a wonderful way to get archery into the schools. It’s very regimented and has objectives set out. It’s very safe and the kids are loving it.”

The students started competing three years ago, which has taken the sport to a new level at the school. Students in Grades 7, 8 and 9 can sign up for archery as an option, which gives them about two hours of practice each week. This year, there were 15 students in the option class. 10 of them also chose to be competitive allowing them to attend tournaments along with some also going to the provincial and national competitions.

The students participated in five local tournaments, each of them within a two-hour drive of the school. NASP Provincials were in Edmonton this year where 2,500 archers from across the province competed. The school was very excited as one of the Warren Peers students came away with fourth place.

“It’s incredible watching them improve and change,” said Didychuk. “It's really neat to see because it’s a sport where you don’t have to be athletic. It’s interesting to see the focus, determination, and self-motivation in the students because it really is a sport where you are trying to beat yourself and your own score and hone in on skills that can carry over into other parts of your life.”

Students are scored based on where their arrow lands on the target, receiving 10 points for a bullseye and one point for the arrow landing on the outside. During a competition, they shoot three rounds of five arrows at 10 m and again at 15 m. Additionally, Warren Peers also takes part in an auxiliary competition called 3D animals where they shoot at foam targets of various types of animals.

“They love it,” stated Didychuk. “They have a target on the animal as well, so it is a similar scoring system. It’s a great connection with our rural country. Lots of our kids are avid hunters so this blends into some of their passions and works out nicely for keeping their interest.

Grade 7 student Ava Khun went to camp this past summer and took up archery and found she was surprisingly good at it. “It’s different than all the other sports because you aren’t really physically competing against someone else, you are only competing against your own score,” explained Khun.

As her aunt, Jaime Didychuk, teaches archery at the school, Khun decided to sign up for the option class as well as compete at tournaments. This year, Khun’s highest score for 3D animals was 214/300 and for targets it was 209/300. At the NASP provincial competition, she placed 13th in 3D animals, out of about 250 Grade 7 girls competing. She did respectfully well in the target competition as well and, although she was unable to remember exactly how she placed, Khun said it was somewhere in the 20s. 

“My dad likes hunting, and our neighbour has a bow I’ll be able to use and I plan to get my hunting license,” said Khun when asked how she plans to continue on with the sport.

“It's really interesting just watching kids the first time they pick up a bow and be apprehensive until the end of the season where they are loving it. They really want to do it and they realize they just have to hone into those skills and keep trying and keep doing it,” concluded Didychuk.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
CPA Education Foundation provides support for flexible learning
Jun 14
2
Min Read

CPA Education Foundation provides support for flexible learning

Providing greater access to education in our region, Medicine Hat College (MHC) is receiving support from the CPA Education Foundation to improve learning options for accounting courses.

Medicine Hat, AB - Providing greater access to education in our region, Medicine Hat College (MHC) is receiving support from the CPA Education Foundation to improve learning options for accounting courses.
Flexible learning, a delivery style used by a variety of programs at MHC, allows students to choose how they access their courses, providing in-person, virtual, and asynchronous options. With this funding, MHC will create the CPA Education Foundation Flexible Learning Lab, which will include upgraded cameras, microphones, and a SMART Board, enabling multiple camera views and screen-sharing capabilities for virtual learners.
Rick Robinson, associate dean and instructor in MHC’s School of Business and Continuing Studies oversees the business administration diploma, as well as the intermediate and advanced accounting certificate programs. He says he hopes improving the experience for virtual learners will help them to feel integrated in the classroom, even from a distance.
“We are so thankful to the CPA Education Foundation for their ongoing support of flexible learning at Medicine Hat College. Prior to these upgrades, engaging virtual learners in computer labs was very difficult. With these new tools, students who join class from a remote location will be able to interact with fellow-students and the instructor in a much more dynamic way.”
Robinson adds the programs have been successful in providing pathways to students interested in obtaining their CPA professional designation.
“There is a growing demand for accounting students in the region and we are proud to provide a pathway for our students to fill that void. By providing better flexible learning options, we aim to provide more students with the opportunity to take accounting programs and support our local demand. It’s a win-win for students and our region.”
Gordon Beal FCPA, FCA, Senior Vice-President of Outreach for CPA Alberta, says he looks forward to being part of providing excellent learning opportunities to MHC students.
“The CPA Education Foundation is committed to providing resources that enhance the quality and accessibility of post-secondary accounting education and to raise the profile of the accounting profession among faculty and students at Alberta colleges. We are thrilled to support Medicine Hat College in integrating virtual learners into their classrooms,” says Gordon.
To learn more about the accounting programs offered at MHC, please visit www.mhc.ab.ca

Education & Learning
MHC apprentice wins gold at Skills Canada competition
Jun 14
2
Min Read

MHC apprentice wins gold at Skills Canada competition

In the final year of apprenticeship training at Medicine Hat College (MHC), Euan Mackinnon completed his program on a high-note with a gold medal win at the Skills Canada competition held May 31, 2024.

Medicine Hat, AB - In the final year of apprenticeship training at Medicine Hat College (MHC), Euan Mackinnon completed his program on a high-note with a gold medal win at the Skills Canada competition held May 31, 2024.
A member of Team Alberta for the second consecutive year, Mackinnon travelled to Quebec to demonstrate his skills at the two-day competition where he was challenged to read drawings, thread tube and pipe and test his instrumentation ability to complete a 12-hour project.
“It's pretty special,” says Mackinnon of his experience. “It’s cool to actually win something that was just me and all dependent on my performance.”
MHC instructor, Chad Baron, has been Mackinnon’s coach since he began competing in Skills in 2023. While Mackinnon placed fourth in last year’s competition, Baron attributes the apprentice’s work ethic, ability to learn from his mistakes, and an additional year of experience as key factors to his success.
“We game planned from last year and understood where he needed to get better and he did it,” says Baron. “He put a lot of effort in, working during the week and practicing up on weekends.”
In addition to receiving the highest achievement possible at the Skills Canada competition, Mackinnon was also recognized for the team spirit award for the second time, with his leadership playing an integral role in building excitement for the members of Team Alberta.
“When we got into the welcome reception, everybody was quiet and huddled with the people they knew from the flight or from their college. As soon as they started the team chant, I jumped on my buddy’s shoulders and I had the flags and all of a sudden everybody was into it,” says Mackinnon, who adds that the team comradery helped him to build friendships with apprentices from across Alberta and Canada.
Mackinnon expresses his gratitude for the support he received from his coach in helping him to reach his goal.
“I am extremely thankful for everyone involved. It’s a one-person medal, but I definitely would not have gotten it without the people in my corner.”
Mackinnon’s sights are now set on completing his journeyman certification for steamfitter/pipefitter. He also plans to return to Skills Alberta in the future as an alumni and a coach.

Community
Town Square Block Party Summer Schedule
Jun 14
1
Min Read

Town Square Block Party Summer Schedule

Discover the heart of our community at Towne Square's Block Party every Saturday this summer from noon to 4 p.m. It's where neighbours become friends, and the community comes alive.

Discover the heart of our community at Towne Square's Block Party every Saturday this summer from noon to 4 p.m. It's where neighbours become friends, and the community comes alive. 
Each event showcases a sample of our unique local organizations, businesses, and individuals. Come together to experience the energy at the heart of our community with a changing lineup of FREE activities and games for all ages! From yard games and mini golf to water fights and bounce houses, there’s plenty to get you moving! Then get colourful and creative through activities like sensory play, face painting, glitter tattoos, chalk art and more!
Food brings people together, which is why we’ve invited a tasty selection of local food trucks to serve up mouthwatering bites that'll keep you fueled for the festivities.
Don't miss out on the ultimate community celebration at Towne Square this summer!

Themes:

  • June 15 – Celebrating Nature
  • June 22 – Celebrating Indigeneity
  • June 29 – Celebrating Childhood
  • July 6 – Celebrating Art & Creativity
  • July 20 – Celebrating Sport and Movement
  • August 3 – Celebrating Dance & Culture
  • August 10 – Celebrating Car Culture
  • August 17 – Celebrating Heritage
  • August 24 – Celebrating Music
  • August 31 – Celebrating our First Responders
  • September 7 – Celebrating our Teens and Youth
Business
Local Molly Maid Franchisee Recognized Nationally
Jun 14
1
Min Read

Local Molly Maid Franchisee Recognized Nationally

MOLLY MAID Canada recently held their National Convention and is thrilled to announce a local MOLLY MAID Franchise Partner received a very prestigious award.

MOLLY MAID Canada recently held their National Convention and is thrilled to announce a local MOLLY MAID Franchise Partner received a very prestigious award.
 
Laurelle Hommy, owner of MOLLY MAID Medicine Hat and Grande Prairie, received the Client Focused Award. This award is in recognition of a Franchise Partner who is providing exceptional client experience. MOLLY MAID is pleased to recognize Laurelle and thank her for her outstanding efforts and dedication to her team and clients.

Aaron Abrams of MOLLY MAID Canada stated that "Laurelle Hommy truly is a model Franchise Partner operating their business at the highest level of service possible to their customers and within the community".

To contact Laurelle and her Local MOLLY MAID franchise click here.

Commentary
THE RCMP BADGE & UNIFORM ISSUE
Jun 12
9
Min Read

THE RCMP BADGE & UNIFORM ISSUE

I have been collecting military and police memorabilia for over 50 years. In early April, I decided to downsize my collection and consigned a vintage RCMP bandmasters tunic with sash, and an RCMP forage cap to Kirsten Boldt, owner of Infinity Antiques, here in Medicine Hat. Kirsten, in turn, put these items online to sell. The RCMP became aware of this sale and decided to get involved. On April 10, and on the instructions of the RCMP 'K' Division Sergeant Major, the local detachment commander attended Kirsten’s store and seized my RCMP items. When I learned what happened, I demanded their immediate return.

Born and raised in Edmonton, in 2000 I retired as a detective with the Edmonton Police Service and relocated to Medicine Hat, where I became a paralegal and court agent. As of June 2024, I now have approximately 49 years of experience before the Alberta courts. Additionally, I have been collecting military and police memorabilia for over 50 years. I am also now a columnist for the Sun City Sentinel.

In early April, I decided to downsize my collection and consigned a vintage RCMP bandmasters tunic with sash, and an RCMP forage cap to Kirsten Boldt, owner of Infinity Antiques, here in Medicine Hat. Kirsten, in turn, put these items online to sell.

The RCMP became aware of this sale and decided to get involved. On April 10, and on the instructions of the RCMP 'K' Division Sergeant Major, the local detachment commander attended Kirsten’s store and seized my RCMP items. When I learned what happened, I demanded their immediate return.

It became apparent this act by the RCMP was not an isolated incident, and primarily stemmed from their response to some of the recommendations made by the Nova Scotia Mass Casualty report. In 2020, the instigator of that tragedy, dressed in the working uniform of an RCMP member and driving a replica RCMP cruiser, went out and murdered 22 people, including one RCMP member.

One of the recommendations made was for the RCMP to better manage their uniform, badge, and insignia control and disposal policies to prevent improper or criminal access. It appears that the Mounties went a little overboard. Not only are their own members now very restricted on what RCMP items they may keep and retain, but the RCMP also approaches the families of retired members who pass away and request the return of any RCMP badges, insignia, or uniforms they may have.

If the RCMP learned of any online auctions or otherwise, or any RCMP items being offered for sale, the Warrant Officers Unit in each division, which includes a Sergeant Major (only 8 in Canada) who is the boss, steps in to act. This usually involves a cease-and-desist letter, but it can also involve the RCMP buying certain items back to remove them from the public realm. In this matter, we also have a warrantless seizure, which, to me, is quite serious, especially when done by Canada's national police agency.

There are also many concerns about these cease-and-desist letters, as the RCMP appears to base their position on suggested trademark infringements dealt with by the Trademark and/or RCMP Act. However, I suggest the possession and sale of RCMP items have nothing to do with trademark violations, and the RCMP knows or should know this.

We should also recall the decision of the RCMP back in 1995 when they turned over all marketing rights of their image to Disney. They claimed they wanted Disney to protect them from being abused in the commercial marketplace. Many Canadian businesses were outraged that the RCMP went to a US-based entity like Disney to do this, which then led to many jokes about the RCMP being a 'Mickey Mouse organization'. This of course did not help to promote their image.

By 1999, the RCMP decided not to renew their contract with Disney, stating they believed they had enough knowledge and experience with commercial licensing to protect their image on their own. Marketing and licensing rights have since been handled by the RCMP Foundation.

Protecting the RCMP image, however, has and continues to remain a serious concern for the RCMP, and to me, raises questions about whether they are primarily a police agency, which I always assumed they were supposed to be, or an entity that existed to market and promote business interests.

After communicating with the RCMP Sergeant Major in Edmonton, I was told the RCMP wanted more time to review my matter. This was surprising, as I believed that what the RCMP did was outright theft and any rookie police officer, with half a brain would know that.

It was difficult for me to understand why senior RCMP management, including the Sergeant Major, with all the available resources they had, including that of having access to somewhere around 2500 lawyers at the Department of Justice, couldn't agree that what they did to me was wrong.

A deadline was set to resolve the matter, but the RCMP requested an extension. Concerned about the situation, I extended the deadline to Tuesday, May 28, 2024, which was approximately forty-eight days after the seizure. This date was chosen strategically, as it aligned with a day when a court application could be heard if filed soon. The expectation was that at the least the RCMP should be able to make a proper decision by that time.

On May 8, I heard nothing to assist speeding along the `RCMP review process’, so I filed an application requesting an Order of Replevin (the return of the seized property), a declaration that I did nothing illegal or improper when selling or attempting to sell the RCMP uniform with badges and insignia, another declaration confirming that the seizure of the property was a Section 8 Charter breach relating to a violation of my rights respecting search and seizure, and costs.

Ms. Boldt and I both filed affidavits supporting my application. Copies were provided to the Sergeant Major at "K" Division and served on the Department of Justice in Edmonton. I was soon after contacted by a lawyer with the Department of Justice, who confirmed he had been assigned to represent the RCMP. It soon became clear this matter would not be resolved with the return of my seized property with any apology.

The RCMP refused to admit any wrongdoing and proposed an order stating they would return the seized items, I would not be entitled to any further relief and there would be no costs.

So, there it was. The RCMP would kindly return my property that they had improperly or unlawfully taken, I would receive no declaration stating I had done nothing improper or illegal, and I would not be compensated at all. That wasn’t good enough.

I very much understood that such a declaration which I wanted, would involve a Court of Kings Bench order that would be very significant as it would confirm or clarify the rights of collectors and dealers of antique and/or police memorabilia across Canada.

I also noted the RCMP did not file any affidavits in response to my application.
A lawyer friend of mine suggested they couldn't because they knew they had made a mistake and didn't want anything on record. When our court date arrived, it was a regular docket day and I waited to be called. The presiding justice was the Honourable Justice, Dallas K. Miller. Once my case was called, it became clear it would take longer than usual, so it was postponed.

At around 11:49 am, my case was called again, and it only took about 8 minutes to resolve. Counsel for the RCMP suggested his proposed order should be accepted. I responded and presented my version. It was a no brainer that my request to have my property be returned be done, and that was agreed, and so that part of the order remained.

However, when it came to the declaration stating I had done nothing improper or illegal when attempting to sell my RCMP items, the RCMP didn't want that included. I had explained in my affidavit that I needed that declaration because I didn't want the RCMP to come back later and seize more of my RCMP property that I wanted to sell.

Justice Miller seemed to understand my reasoning and stated, "Well, I understand the reason Mr. Montgomery wants those items in the order. I kind of get that. Paragraph 3 might be a little problematic from Mr. Montgomery's side – although, in fairness, I have not heard any argument, but I have read through the material".

He further stated, "I think it is fair to include paragraph 2. So, if there is no agreement on whether paragraph 3 should be included or not, and there is no agreement on costs, I am not sure I can decide on those two issues without more formal arguments. I may schedule a special hearing". Since it seemed that paragraph 2 was included and to avoid having to come back to court for a special hearing, I agreed I could live without the Section 8 part in number 3.

Next, counsel for the RCMP stated, "Yes. You know, ultimately, Sir, I think we could live with, you know, consenting to return the items that were seized; two, the declaration that the applicant wasn't doing anything improper. And if 3 ultimately states that there are no costs awarded, I think we could live with that. "Justice Miller acknowledged that I wanted costs and asked how much I was asking for. I then explained, "Well, Sir, with all due respect, this is a significant matter in my view. We're dealing with Mr. Montgomery versus an organization that has 31,000 employees, a $4.2 billion budget per year, and access to 2,500 lawyers through the Department of Justice...". Justice Miller interrupted and asked, "How much do you want for costs?" I replied, "$5,000.00" and the Court responded with "Oh" and "I think that is kind of rich”.

Justice Miller then added, and pointed out to RCMP counsel, "It does seem like your clients’ actions were a bit high-handed, would you agree?" RCMP counsel then responded, "I think ultimately we'll be providing better guidance to detachments on these matters going forward". In my case, I won’t be holding my breath but I will be trying to alert every police collector and antique dealer in Canada as to what happened here.

Justice Miller concluded, "Yes. And I suppose there may be some ambiguity in the law, but still, it seems a bit excessive." The final order directed that my property be returned forthwith; it included a declaration that I had done nothing illegal or improper when selling or attempting to sell an RCMP uniform with badges and insignia, and also ordered the RCMP to pay me $750.00 in costs. On June 7, a courier package was received from the Department of Justice, which included a $750.00 cheque. On June 11, 2024 the RCMP returned my items.

At left are Ken Montgomery and Kirsten Boldt showing off the returned property which will now be going back on sale. I believe it’s worth noting that since the Nova Scotia tragedy, the RCMP has made concerted efforts to restrict uniform items being available to the public, and even its own members, which of course is their right. However, I believe this Court of King’s Bench decision now confirms that doesn’t mean they can bully the general public to comply.

I also note there has only been one case since the Nova Scotia tragedy where a person wearing an RCMP uniform murdered another person. This case occurred in 2021 at Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, where RCMP Sergeant Bernie Herman, who, while wearing his RCMP working uniform, used his service revolver to shoot and kill his lover. He was recently convicted of manslaughter and is awaiting sentencing.

Click on the links for the Court Order and Transcript
And remember, you read it here first.

Community
Division Avenue South Rehabilitation update
Jun 11
1
Min Read

Division Avenue South Rehabilitation update

The City of Medicine Hat continues road construction along Division Avenue South from the intersection of Third Street SE to Fifth Street SE, starting today. Work on this phase of the project should be complete in late June 2024, weather dependent.

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat continues road construction along Division Avenue South from the intersection of Third Street SE to Fifth Street SE, starting today. Work on this phase of the project should be complete in late June 2024, weather dependent.
Traffic detours are in effect and will change as the work through the active construction zone progresses. Motorists are reminded to obey all posted signs, speed limits and detours for the safety of travellers and crews.
The Division Avenue South Rehabilitation includes a full road rebuild with a new road design that follows 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.
View detour map and full details at medicinehat.ca/DivisionAvenue.
Businesses along the Division Avenue South corridor remain open and are accessible through the traffic detour plans.
The City of Medicine Hat thanks residents for their patience and understanding during this important infrastructure improvement project.

Education & Learning
Graduates cross the stage as MHC celebrates convocation
Jun 11
3
Min Read

Graduates cross the stage as MHC celebrates convocation

Medicine Hat College (MHC) will host Convocation 2024 with a record number of students crossing the stage at Co-op Place on June 14.

Medicine Hat, AB - Medicine Hat College (MHC) will host Convocation 2024 with a record number of students crossing the stage at Co-op Place on June 14.
With three new programs graduating their first class this year, MHC will celebrate the achievement of nearly 500 students, including graduates from Sustainable Innovation, Sport & Event Marketing and Management, and Service Dog and Canine Studies Management, as well as those completing other certificate, diploma, degree and apprenticeship programs.
“Convocation is a special time for everyone at Medicine Hat College as we honour the growth and success of our students,” says MHC President Kevin Shufflebotham. “I hope that each and every graduate will take a few moments this week to reflect on their achievements and be proud of how far they have come.”
MHC will also recognize a number of award winners, including
• Student of the Year: Rebecca Hirsch
• Instructor(s) of the Year: Duane Delaurier, Dr. Brian Duffels
• Governor General’s Academic Medal: Marissa Kollross
• Honorary Applied Baccalaureate Degree: Nichole Neubauer
The Student of the Year award goes to Rebecca Hirsch, a graduate of the Sport & Event Marketing and Management (SEMM) diploma program. In addition to her exceptional academic performance, Hirsch played an integral role in the creation and leadership of the SEMM student club, and served as the vice-president, event specialist for the Business Ambassador Student Club and vice-president, community for the Students' Association.
Hirsch was also a familiar face on the sports scene, where she filled the role of game day lead for the newly established Rattlers women's hockey team, earning her provincial recognition as the Alberta Colleges Athletics Conference Minor Official of the Year.
This year, MHC is pleased to present two deserving faculty members with the Instructor of the Year award, as nominated by students.
The first goes to Duane Delaurier, an instructor in the paramedic program.
From physiology to pathology, Delaurier is passionate about teaching medical-related subjects, using a variety of methodologies and sharing real-life experience to help his students make sense of the material and apply it to their career. His commitment to the paramedicine profession is evident as he continuously seeks to stay current in the practice and pass that knowledge to his students. His students describe him as an amazing human who loves teaching and seeing them succeed.
The second Instructor of the Year award recognizes Dr. Brian Duffels, an instructor in the School of Arts, Science and Education.
With a Master of Psychology from the University of Alberta and a PhD in Psychology from the University of Northern British Columbia, Duffels brings expertise in neurocognition to his students who appreciate his willingness to provide support that sets them up for success, along with his sense of humour and superior taste in coffee, music and pets.
The historic Governor General’s Academic Medal was created in 1873 to encourage academic excellence across the nation. This year’s recipient is Marissa Kollross, a graduate of the Early Learning and Child Care program.
Kollross was known as an exceptional student during her time at MHC. She not only excelled academically, but actively contributed to the betterment of the community through her involvement in various extracurricular activities. Her commitment to inclusion, collaboration and the ideals of early childhood education defined her success, first as a student and now as an early learning and childcare professional.
Finally, MHC is pleased to recognize Nichole Neubauer as the recipient of the 2024 Honorary Applied Baccalaureate Degree.
Combining her early learning education from Medicine Hat College with her agricultural background and expertise, Neubauer has brought farm life to the forefront for more than 22,000 student visitors at Neubauer Farms. Her influence and impact on education continued to grow with her involvement in the creation and coordination of the Irvine Agricultural Discovery Centre with Prairie Rose Public Schools, providing students with an opportunity to manage their own farm in a school environment.
With awards and recognition at local, provincial and national levels, Neubauer is a champion for education and agriculture in Southeast Alberta.
Medicine Hat College looks forward to celebrating all graduates, award winners and special guests at Convocation 2024. The ceremony starts at 1 p.m. at Co-op Place.

Education & Learning
Prairie Rose Public Schools May 28 Board Meeting
Jun 11
3
Min Read

Prairie Rose Public Schools May 28 Board Meeting

At the May 28 Prairie Rose Public Schools Board Meeting there was a presentation by Foremost School, the First Nations, Metis and Inuit annual report was delivered, along with a presentation on the Timeless Tales: Intergenerational Story Writing Project.

Principal Corey Steeves and Vice Principal Angela Hazell from Foremost School gave a presentation showcasing what has been happening at the school this year. The school had a book study with all teachers on the Teacher Clarity Playbook that recently wrapped up. Falcon 50 was initiated, where staff made 50 positive calls to homes of students. They had a pep rally style celebration of growth and learning midyear. The school has been asking what they can do for the community and brought in community members to have conversations with high school students. Additionally, students engaged with seniors in the community, having coffee conversations that will result in the publishing of a book. The school also started a boy’s and men’s group and expanded mini ball to include Grade 1 and 2 students this year.

Carol Carlson presented the annual First Nations, Métis and Inuit Report to Prairie Rose Public School (PRPS) trustees for information at the May 28 board meeting. Within PRPS there are 41 Status First Nations, 45 Non-status First Nations, 95 Metis and 2 Inuit self-identified students. Assurance measures were intermediate for three-year high school completion and high for five-year high school completion for FMNI students.

Dreamcatcher and soap making kits continue to circulate around PRPS each month. A drum kit has been added this year, which contains seven sets of four drums with drumsticks, which is currently being piloted at IF Cox School.

This year, there are a total of 17 FMNI identified students graduating from PRPS high schools and each will receive a handmade Indigenous drum made by local Indigenous artisans with the PRPS logo on them.

The Timeless Tales: Intergenerational Story Writing Project began at Eagle Butte High School but now has a more intentional focus across the division, PRPS Instructional Lead Kelly-Ann Nixdorf explained to the board. Following a lesson on age and ageism, students engage with seniors in a care facility. The project uses combined methods to connect people using creativity and imagination.

The outcome of the project will be a published book that was written based on the interactions of students with the seniors. The school, local library and care facility will each receive one of the books. The project has been life changing for both the seniors and students with many students showing increased attendance at school since the it began. Feedback from students has been positive with the experience altering the career paths of some. Students were reluctant to have the project end and organized bingo parties and cookie decorating parties with the care facility they were connected to.

In her executive report, Superintendent Reagan Weeks shared that the new South Alberta Collegiate building was granted temporary occupancy on Monday, May 27 and will begin use with students on Friday, May 31. Additionally, PRPS is developing new CTF options that will feed into some high school programming. The next ones that will become available include aerospace and aviation along with one centred on digital skills for junior high students.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
Community partner volunteers support Drone Games 2024
Jun 11
6
Min Read

Community partner volunteers support Drone Games 2024

Lots of volunteers and participants came out for the 2024 Drone Games at Eagle Butte High School at the end of May. Competitors came from across Prairie Rose Public Schools to participate in the event and moved between four different stations, figure 8 flying, circles, obstacle course and a scavenger hunt.

The third annual Drone Games took place at Eagle Butte High School on Monday, May 27. Each year, the number of participants keeps growing with a record number turning out for the 2024 event.

Dana Marshall, Flight Academy Lead and Drone Games organizer said, “82 competitors from across Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS), as well as 3 adult competitors enjoyed demonstrating their skills in friendly competition. This event demonstrates our community connection, while also giving students skills that would take them into the unmanned systems world. Medicine Hat is home to several RPAS companies, like Qinetiq and Landing Zones. Along with our friends at the Foremost UAS, Apex, and others, Prairie Rose students are ready to “launch” into the world of remote piloting.”

Trustee Patty Rooks, who has a son interning at the Foremost UAS Test Range this summer, dropped by the Games as she feels they are an important learning opportunity for all students across PRPS.

“They have so many applications beyond the military, and we need our students to have that cutting edge technology,” stated Rooks. “It’s wonderful to see the support and connections we are building with the community. Medicine Hat is one of the largest innovators in Canada by bringing these organizations to our communities and getting them to work here. Why not utilize the resources we have and bring them to our students? Let them see those opportunities we have in our community so we can continue to train our students but bring them back after postsecondary to keep our communities vibrant, that’s really important.”

Captain John Tarnowski was stationed at the Circle Fly competition along with other soldiers from Canadian Forces Base Suffield. He saw an advertisement at the base about volunteers being needed for Drone Games and, as he works in signals, it applied.

“I asked my soldiers if anyone wanted to do this and stand outside in the sun for the day. We had three or four come out and a few from different trades as well, so a nice turnout,” explained Tarnowski. He also added they came to, “engage with young people who are learning about new technology and to show them the military uses this technology just like the rest of Canadian society does.”

Sterling Cripps from Landing Zones, a company that is developing a drone for collecting weather data that can be reused, was involved with the drone industry for the past 20 years and has a vested interest in training.

“I did the training with the kids here last year for their drone course and was asked to come back and help out as a volunteer, which I’m happy to do,” said Cripps. “I like seeing young people get involved in this technology. It’s complex, it’s not easy and it takes commitment and dedication to get good at it and understand it’s full potential. In Drone Games we are working with young children and adults and it’s going well. They’ve put on a good show here and the volunteer corps is very strong and it’s nice to see and do.”

Scott Plouffe from Throttle Hobbies came out and was captain of the obstacle course. “Ian, Jeff and I are all part of the Medicine Hat RCers as well, radio control flying club, and came down to help out and support the kids where we can. The school supports us by allowing us to fly indoors over the winter (in the gym at Eagle Butte on Sundays) and we raise money for scholarships for them.”

The three were judging and taking times at the Obstacle Course, which was slow going during the first round of the games. “It’s the time it takes to run through and trying to get everyone set up. Ian hooked up to one drone and I hooked up mine so we can keep cycling the kids through. Before everybody wanted to use their own phones and it took too long for the connections to work.”

Eric Stock graduated from Eagle Butte High School last year and earned his private pilot’s license about two weeks into the summer. He immediately began working on his commercial license, which he hopes to have by November of this year and will then begin his instructor rating. Dana Marshall from the Flight Academy has remained in contact with Stokes and is continuing to support him as he pursues training toward a career in the aviation industry, which his how he ended up volunteering at Drone Games this year.

“Aviation has so many doors to it, there are so many opportunities within it beside just flying if one is interested. One door opens and there are seven others in front of you, there are so many opportunities. I think it’s going well. I’m doing my circle as much as I can. We have a bunch of wonderful volunteers out today, if they have a problem with their drone or the batteries aren’t working, I’m there to see what I can do to help them out.”

From Medicine Hat College were Chelsea Ehresman of the Centre of Innovation and Shannan Hurlbut of Extended Learning were at the Scavenger Hunt.

“We have a couple different department that engage with drone use so we always like to see that supported at a young age. For me, at the Centre of Innovation, we are doing applied research with drones and I’m always looking to hire pilots so it’s good to see the kids out learning the skills early on. They are spelling lots of different words so they can’t cheat off one another. It’s a challenge, if they are not super familiar with their drone flying skills, they probably won’t get it done on time. With the camera, they hover over a sheet of paper with various numbers on it, based on whatever number they are looking for, they need to pick out those ten letters and unscramble them into a word to give us. We’ve only had one successful completion in two rounds. It’s a good problem because there are far more students this year than drones so we’ve had to modify the rules slightly so each kids gets a chance to operate a drone.”

Hurlbut, “we have courses we are delivering in partnership with Prairie Rose right now, we’ve got about 17 students taking ARPA 101, the first course to prepare for the basic license, and then we’ve got about 7 students who will do an additional course about using drones in industry and we had two that did the full micro-credential, which included flying.”

David Sabados from Qinetiq were also at the Scavenger Hunt. “It’s a company that primarily works with uncrewed vehicles, not so much small drones like this but larger stuff for military. We are based out of Medicine Hat and feel it’s important to let students know where science and technology can take you. It doesn’t mean you have to leave Medicine Hat, there are cool opportunities to work here. Electrical and mechanical engineering apply to uncrewed vehicles and that’s about representing where they could go if they want to see this as a career path and giving back to the community. There are lots of excited kids, everyone wants to try. The kids showing up with their own drones who have put some time into them are very good already, I’m impressed with them and it's nice to see.”

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Creative Writing
Ocean's Desire at Sunset
Jun 9
0
Min Read

Ocean's Desire at Sunset

The Ocean - so beautiful. So dangerous!

Ocean's Desire at Sunset

Unharnessed power

dangerously beautiful

songs of sirens

beckon him

beguile him

with secret promises

resistance . . . impossible

such temptation

slowly moving forward

warm . . . safe . . . lovely

farther into the depth of her beauty

she strokes him

with long feathery fingers

closer . . . closer

at last he inhales

a magnificent watery breath

and then darkness.

Final oneness at last

he joins her.

Gwendoline Dirk

Community
Dunmore Road paving to resume Monday
Jun 8
1
Min Read

Dunmore Road paving to resume Monday

Lane closures and brief intersection closures will be required during this work. Motorists can expect detours and delays as crews progress. Motorists are asked to obey all construction signage, flag personnel and temporary speed limits in the area.

Medicine Hat – Paving will resume on Dunmore Road between Southview Drive SE and Spencer Street SE starting Monday, June 10 as part of the City’s annual roadway resurfacing program. Weather permitting, paving is anticipated to last approximately three weeks.
Lane closures and brief intersection closures will be required during this work. Motorists can expect detours and delays as crews progress. Motorists are asked to obey all construction signage, flag personnel and temporary speed limits in the area. Please allow extra time to reach your destination and plan accordingly.
The City of Medicine Hat would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding as this necessary work is completed.
Visit the City’s Major Projects map to learn more about this and other projects.

Education & Learning
Nichole Neubauer named 2024 Honorary Applied Degree winner
Jun 8
2
Min Read

Nichole Neubauer named 2024 Honorary Applied Degree winner

Medicine Hat College (MHC) is pleased to announce Nichole Neubauer as the recipient of its 2024 honorary applied baccalaureate degree, recognizing her commitment to agriculture, education and community.

Medicine Hat, AB - Medicine Hat College (MHC) is pleased to announce Nichole Neubauer as the recipient of its 2024 honorary applied baccalaureate degree, recognizing her commitment to agriculture, education and community.
“Nichole has been described as a true visionary leader who is willing to roll up her sleeves and get the job done,” says Sarah MacKenzie, chair of MHC’s Board of Governors. “She has proven to be a champion for education and agriculture in Southeast Alberta and we are pleased to recognize her with our institution’s highest honour.”
Neubauer’s roots run deep in southern Alberta run deep. The Neubauer farm was established north of Irvine in 1910 and has been owned and operated by a member of the family ever since. As a passionate advocate for agriculture and education in our region, she not only runs her own business, but also grows access to learning opportunities that teach students about food production, farm operations management, and entrepreneurship alongside valuable problem solving, teamwork and adaptability skills.
Combining her early learning education from Medicine Hat College, where she attended from 1996-1998, with her agricultural background, Neubauer’s work has brought farm life to the forefront for more than 22,000 student visitors from across Southeast Alberta.
Her influence and impact on education continued to grow with her involvement in the creation and coordination of the Irvine Agricultural Discovery Centre with Prairie Rose Public Schools, providing students with an opportunity to manage their own farm in a school environment.
Neubauer’s service and contributions at local, regional and provincial levels have been recognized with various awards over the years. In addition to being named the 2023 Medicine Hat News Newsmaker of the Year, she has also received:
- the 2022 Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal,
- the 2020 Women In Business Inspire Award,
- the 2017 Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce Small Business of the Year Award,
- the 2016 Cypress County Farm Family of the Year Award, and the
- 2016 Bank of Montreal Century Farm Award
She has played a key role in the formation of the Agricultural Committee at the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce, advocated for the farm industry to provincial leaders, and presented at countless events to further education in agriculture. Neubauer is also collaborating with MHC to develop a suite of courses through its Extended Learning department, growing new educational opportunities in ag for Southeast Alberta.
“I am profoundly honoured to receive the 2024 Medicine Hat College Honorary Baccalaureate Degree,” says Neubauer. “For the past 20 years, thanks to the incredible support of my community, I have been empowered to fulfil my life’s purpose of teaching children where their food comes from and that agriculture is the fundamental connection to life. I dedicate this recognition with those who have supported and believed in me along this amazing journey.”

Community
Medicine Hat Transit seeking input on the future of special transit services
Jun 8
1
Min Read

Medicine Hat Transit seeking input on the future of special transit services

The City is seeking community input for the upcoming review of its Special Transit services. This review will consider industry best practices and identify program gaps and improvement opportunities, including customer service, service delivery and other community expectations. All aspects of the Special Transit services will be reviewed, and recommendations for improvement will be made through a proposed implementation plan and an updated service policy.

Medicine Hat – The City is seeking community input for the upcoming review of its Special Transit services.
This review will consider industry best practices and identify program gaps and improvement opportunities, including customer service, service delivery and other community expectations. All aspects of the Special Transit services will be reviewed, and recommendations for improvement will be made through a proposed implementation plan and an updated service policy.
“We value our community’s feedback and believe it’s crucial in shaping the future of our Special Transit service,” said Gord Dykstra, Manager of Medicine Hat Transit Services. “By participating in this review, residents can help us make decisions based on community priorities, enhance service delivery and meet the evolving needs of our community.”
The community is encouraged to provide their input by filling out the City’s Online Community Survey before June 30, 2024.
Residents are also invited to attend an in-person public engagement session Wednesday, June 19 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Craft Room of the Unison at Veiner Centre (225 Woodman Avenue SE). Additional Special Transit service will be available to and from the event, free of charge.
Two other in-person engagement sessions will allow for feedback from several other stakeholder groups:    

  • Tues., June 18 from 2 to 5 p.m. – Special Transit Drivers
    • Location: Transit Conference Room
  • Wed., June 19 from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. – Agencies and Organizations
    • Location: Esplanade (Cutbanks Room – second floor)
      To learn more about the project and City engagement opportunities, visit Shape Your City.MedicineHat.ca.
Education & Learning
Getting students off to a healthy start each school day at Oyen Public School
Jun 5
2
Min Read

Getting students off to a healthy start each school day at Oyen Public School

For the past six years, the breakfast program at Oyen Public School has been delivering a hot meal along with daytime snacks to all students in the school. The program is financially supported by Prairie Rose Public Schools division office along with the Oyen community stepping up to donate food and funds.

The breakfast program at Oyen Public School (OPS) has been running for about six years and came about to ensure every student at the school had the opportunity to begin their day with a healthy meal. Between 40 to 120 K-6 students access the program each day depending on what is on offer, with higher numbers usually showing up when there is fresh fruit available.

Vice Principal at OPS Deanne Smigelski said, “the breakfast program means so much to all of our students and the community loves our breakfast program. Mrs. Stammers is always ready to greet and serve the students and they are so excited. They connect in the hallways while waiting in line and, when they are back in the classroom, they have time to share and talk to one another while having their breakfast, we always carve out time for that. We know nutrition is important for their learning and maintaining energy throughout the day. It’s a valued part of our culture here at OPS and Mrs. Stammers is always amazing and has a smile in the morning when you walk in, which sets the atmosphere for our day.”

Grade 5 student Cruz loves, “just how nice Mrs. Stammers is when I come here and her having a smile on her face each time I see her.”

Carla Stammers has been an Educational Assistant for 24 years and this is her second year of running the breakfast program. The program receives grants from the division office at Prairie Rose Public Schools along with donations, either monetary or food, from the community.

“This fruit was donated by one of the local restaurant owners who’d been in Calgary. We get a grant from the school division and that helps throughout the year, and we get money donations from parents and local businesses, our Serenity Chapter gave us $500 the other day. I try to keep a variety of snacks, so they all have a choice of what they want and not just the same thing every day,” explained Stammers.  

With fresh fruit on offer, the lineup of students went down the hall with Mrs. Stammers greeting each by name and asking about their day and what they would like for breakfast. A good number chose only to have fruit, but many also wanted hot food as well. All the students were polite and respectful and thanked Mrs. Stammers before leaving.

“I love seeing the kids in the morning and the smiles on their faces. I just want to feed them and I love to cook,” concluded Stammers.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
Maddy Ferguson excelled this year at both hockey and academics
Jun 5
3
Min Read

Maddy Ferguson excelled this year at both hockey and academics

Grade 12 student at Eagle Butte High School Maddy Ferguson was the salutatorian for 2024. Ferguson also played goalie on the U18 girls’ team with the South Alberta Hockey Academy for the past three years. Coach Jane Kish said that Ferguson brings her work ethic, perseverance, and effort to all areas of her life and those qualities are what make her successful.

Maddy Ferguson not only played on the South Alberta Hockey Academy (SAHA) U18 girls’ team as a goalie, spending each morning at the rink, but she also managed to be the second top academic student at Eagle Butte High School this year.

“I had no idea, honestly. Having to miss all that school because of games and not being here half the time, it definitely came as a surprise,” stated Ferguson. “It’s kind of cool to be part of the hockey academy and have that as one of the higher priorities in my life, but also to see my hard work in school pay off as well. As a female athlete, those academics are always more important because the sport doesn’t always take you as far so it’s important to be paying attention to your schoolwork,” stated Ferguson.

She began playing hockey at a young age as many of her family and extended family members play. Due to the great hockey program in Medicine Hat, Ferguson was able to improve her game and earned a spot in the Hockey Academy at Eagle Butte in Grade 10. “Playing here at the school, I’ve been very lucky and made lots of friendships, which is always nice and makes it easier to keep on,” explained Ferguson.

Graduating this year is bringing many changes for Ferguson and she’s still trying to decide what path she is going to take for her post-secondary education. Offers have been extended to her by schools in the USA to play hockey with them. Alternatively, Ferguson could choose to stay in Canada and focus only on academics. She intends to take a degree in exercise science and possibly complete a master’s in physiotherapy afterwards.

“It’s been awesome, being part of the hockey team. We are gone much of the time on road trips, and we don’t have much time to come in for extra help,” said Ferguson. “The teachers have been very accommodating, which has made this process of excelling at school much easier and able to be done.”

Hockey coach Jane Kish said Ferguson is a well-liked member of the team. “What she brings in the classroom, she brings to all areas of her life. Her work ethic, perseverance, hard work, and effort, that’s all very evident in what she does in school, on the ice and in the gym and is what makes her so successful,” stated Kish. “It’s really easy to like her as a coach.”

Being so smart, Kish says Ferguson is always the first to catch onto new concepts and ready with an answer to any question. Additionally, she has a great wit and can be very funny, throwing out comments that Kish said can catch one off guard.

When her teammates are struggling in any of their subjects, Ferguson is always the first to jump in and help. Kish said she is a leader and role model both on off the ice and she is thankful for that. “It’s good for our team going forward,” explained Kish. “She brought that, and someone will need to fill that role next year and it’s a big role to fill.”

The team had two Grade 12 goalies this year and there was a healthy competition between the two said Kish. Both are very personable with different playing styles and were able to vibe off each other, enabling both to grow as people and goalies.  

“I think it was important for our players to see because you can be competitive, but then it’s also important to be collaborative and help each other out,” said Kish. “As a coach, I’m extremely proud of her. I wasn’t here for her first year, but for the past two years, how much time and effort she’s put into everything, I think she is seeing the rewards of those now. Whatever she chooses to do and wherever she chooses to go, they will love here there. We are going to miss her here, but I would say that everything comes to an end when it’s supposed to, and you carry one when you need to.”

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
MHC School of Trades and Technology
receives program enhancement, scholarship funding
Jun 4
2
Min Read

MHC School of Trades and Technology receives program enhancement, scholarship funding

Thanks to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), students enrolled in Medicine Hat College’s (MHC) School of Trades and Technology will continue to benefit from scholarship and bursary funding, while future students gain exposure to programs that support the oil and gas industry.

Medicine Hat, AB - Thanks to the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), students enrolled in Medicine Hat College’s (MHC) School of Trades and Technology will continue to benefit from scholarship and bursary funding, while future students gain exposure to programs that support the oil and gas industry.
Sparking interest in trades and technology programs, MHC and CAPP co-presented an event called Exploring Futures: Navigating Trades, Technology and Health Pathways on Wednesday, May 15.
The event provided the opportunity for 300 middle school students to participate in a full day of hands-on activities led by college instructors on the Medicine Hat campus. Activities took place in MHC’s trades labs and included wiring a light bulb, lighting a hot water tank, welding, and learning about a pump lab system.
Supported by CAPP, the goal of the event was to give youth direct hands-on experience to empower them to shape their future careers, says Dr. Morgan Blair, dean of MHC’s School of Trades and Technology.
“Careers in trades, tech, and health are great options for youth because they are in high demand and offer good salaries,” adds Blair. “Ultimately, we want youth to become contributing members of society who give back, are self-sufficient, healthy, and happy. By providing opportunities like these, we can help them imagine all the career pathways they could choose.”
In addition to creating opportunities for future students, CAPP is also supporting current students, contributing to scholarship and bursary awards.
Renewed for future access to awards, students and apprentices in MHC’s power engineering technology, steamfitter/pipefitter, heavy equipment technician, electrician, and welder programs will be eligible to apply for awards valued up to $4000 each for an additional three years starting in 2025.
Blair adds, for some learners funding is key to program completion and allows them to focus on their studies.
“We are honoured to recognize CAPP’s contribution to the next generation of learners in these industries, and in our region. For some, this funding will mean they have an opportunity to learn a skillset that they can use to build rewarding careers.”
Eligible students in apprenticeship programs will be selected by faculty to receive funding based on academic achievement.
Chief finance officer for CAPP, Elmien Wingert, says the organization is proud to partner with MHC to support trades and technology programs.
“Investments in programs such as these are integral to the industry’s overall success as people are at the heart of our organization,” says Wingert. “We are pleased to help enhance the programs and support learning, allowing more students to thrive and succeed. Today’s students are the future workforce and leaders in our communities.”

Politics
Council Highlights June 3 2024
Jun 4
5
Min Read

Council Highlights June 3 2024

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 added Police Commission Appointment to the agenda.
Under Councilor Announcements:

  • Councilor Robins acknowledged Seniors Week and encouraged the community to celebrate.
  • Councilor Robins also acknowledged Pride Week and advised the community that there are a number of community events in which to participate.
    City Council received the following items into the corporate record:
  • Public Services Committee Meeting Minutes of May 13, 2024
  • Administrative and Legislative Review Committee Meeting Minutes of May 14, 2024
  • Development and Infrastructure Committee Meeting Minutes of May 16, 2024
  • Energy, Land & Environment Committee Meeting Minutes of May 16, 2024
  • Corporate Services Committee Meeting Minutes of May 23, 2024
    City Council received the following items for information:
  • Municipal Planning Commission Meeting Minutes of May 15, 2024
  • Development Permits approved for period of March 25 - May 5, 2024
  • Community Vibrancy Advisory Board Minutes of March 27, 2024
  • Public Services Outstanding Items of May 13, 2024
  • Development and Infrastructure Outstanding Items of May 16, 2024
  • Energy, Land & Environment Outstanding Items of May 16, 2024
  • City of Medicine Hat Annual Report 2023
  • Corporate Services Outstanding Items of May 23, 2024
  • Police Commission Minutes of April 17, 2024
    Executive Director of Tourism Medicine Hat, Jace Anderson, presented the Destination Marketing Organization 2023 Annual Report.

Under new business, City Council:

  • Approved the potential transaction(s), as defined and discussed in the May 21, 2024, Closed Council meeting, subject to agreements on terms and conditions acceptable to the City Manager and City Solicitor; and approved a motion directing administration to provide appropriate details to the public in the form of a news release as soon as practicable after the parties to the transaction(s) are mutually ready to do so.
  • Approved a motion directing administration to finalize the letter to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Services requesting support for policing funding, as presented.
  • Ratified the appointment of Onyinye Chukwunyerenwa to the Medicine Hat Police Commission, as determined by secret ballot vote in closed session on June 3, 2024, to fill the current vacancy on the Police Commission with a term expiring on December 31, 2026.

Under Committee Business, City Council:

  • Approved the City of Medicine Hat Environmental Framework report; and received for information, the Action Plan that identifies various high, medium and low priority actions that are planned to be undertaken over the next 25 years recognizing that the Action Plan is meant to adapt and evolve through time, with specific actions being subject to budgetary approvals and timeline revisits as required in the city budget review and approval process.
  • Approved a motion to delegate signing authority for Clean Energy Improvement Agreements and associated change orders, from the Mayor to Managing Director Energy, Land & Environment, or delegate, and that the City Clerk continues to be the second signatory for such documents.
  • Approved a motion denying a tax cancellation for the property owned by Bevo Farms Ltd.
  • Passed Bylaw 4821 to amend the Dishonoured Payment Bylaw. The amendments update the 2025 and 2026 fees for dishonoured payments in alignment with the market rates from the average of the seven mid-sized municipalities along with key budget assumption of anticipated inflation of 3%.
  • Passed Bylaw 4822, amending the Tax Penalties Rate Bylaw 3191. The amendments establish the 2025 and 2026 property tax penalty rate for unpaid taxes using market rates from the average of the rates of the seven mid-sized municipalities. The rate recommendation for 2025 is to increase to 14.5% from 14% for current and arrears penalty rate and to 15% in 2026.
  • Passed Bylaw 4823, amending the Tax Certificate Bylaw 3031 as follows:
    Section Description Current Fee Proposed Fee January 1, 2025 Proposed Fee January 1, 20261(a)For a manual tax certificate$42.00$43.50$45.001(b)For an e-service tax certificate$36.50$37.00$38.001(c)For written assessment information under Section 299 and 300 of the Municipal Government Act$54.50$56.00$57.501(d)(i)Current Assessment Detail Summary Request for Information (Owner Only)FreeFreeFree1(d)(ii)Current tax information (Owner Only)FreeFreeFree1(e)For manual and verbal search information regarding assessments and taxes and other property information (i.e. legal descriptions)$19.00$30.50$31.501(f)For e-services searches (i.e. legal descriptions)$17.00Free (online)Free (online)1(h)Registration of a Tax Arrears Notification$104.00$111.50$115.002Mortgage administration fee per tax account$25.50$26.50$27.50
  • Approved a $200,000 increase of the 2024 Major Operating Expenditure Airport Masterplan Budget. The project has a current budget of $250,000, of which was approved during the 2024 budget update. To enhance the project’s deliverables and reduce the overall cost to the City (by $75,000), two grants were successfully pursued by the City totaling $275,000. The funds received will be used toward the development of an Airport Masterplan and are summarized as follows:
    • $150,000 received from the Province of Alberta Regional Airport Development grant with a $50,000 internal matching commitment requirement.
    • $125,000 received from the Province of Alberta Northern and Regional Economic Development grant with a $125,000 internal matching commitment requirement.
  • Approves distribution of the 2024-2025 Family and Community Support Services Additional Grants per the Community Vibrancy Advisory Board recommendations, as presented.
    Our Collective Journey To provide a resilience coach service tailored for adolescents, focusing on resilience.$80,000
    Big Brothers Big Sisters Association of Medicine Hat and District To recruit, screen and train conscientious high school students to become Teen Mentors to Grade 3, 4 and 5 students in a 10-week program.$34,000
    Medicine Hat Women's Shelter Society To provide a Children's Support Group program from September to June for children 6 to 12 years old who have been impacted and exposed to family violence.$30,000
     Total$144,000
  • Gave first reading of Bylaw 4820 to amend the Land Use Bylaw. The amendments would see 1720 Bell Street SW rezoned to Medium Density Residential District to accommodate future development.
  • Gave first reading of Bylaw 4824 to amend the Land Use Bylaw. The amendments would see a portion of 620 Porcelain Ave SE rezoned to Business Industrial District to accommodate use of an existing building.
    Under notices of motion, City Council approved a motion from Councilor VanDyke as follows:
    WHEREAS the Alberta Municipalities Distinguished Service Award recognizes an elected official who has served 20 or more years in one or more Alberta municipalities;
    AND WHEREAS Councilor Robert Dumanowski has served on the Medicine Hat City Council since 2001, proving his unwavering dedication to municipal government and our community;
    AND WHEREAS Councilor Dumanowski’s contributions have played a crucial role in the well-being and growth of the community and his extensive experience and commitment makes him a deserving candidate for recognition;
    THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Councilor Robert Dumanowski be nominated for the Alberta Municipalities Distinguished Service Award.
Community
Southview and Simpson Parks undergoing landscape and irrigation improvement project
Jun 4
1
Min Read

Southview and Simpson Parks undergoing landscape and irrigation improvement project

Construction in Southview and Simpson Parks will start today for a landscape and irrigation improvement project with an anticipated completion date of fall 2024.

Medicine Hat – Construction in Southview and Simpson Parks will start today for a landscape and irrigation improvement project with an anticipated completion date of fall 2024.
The primary focus of this project will aim to rehabilitate the irrigation system and enhance the trail network in this area. The project will also introduce alternative landscaping options. The new landscaping options will minimize the effort needed for maintenance and upkeep, and include areas intended to promote natural growth. This will enhance these green spaces while reducing water consumption.

  • Area Map (PDF)
  • 3D Rendering
    The active construction areas will be fenced off and closed to the public. No roads or alleys will be closed during this project. Residents are asked to please proceed with caution around the construction perimeter and adhere to all posted signage.
    Supplemental watering of the existing trees will take place during construction to keep the tree cover in the area healthy and thriving.
    The City of Medicine Hat would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding as these necessary improvements are completed.
Community
Gas, electric, wind energy rates set for June
Jun 4
3
Min Read

Gas, electric, wind energy rates set for June

The City of Medicine Hat has set its June energy commodity rates.

Medicine Hat - The City of Medicine Hat has set its June energy commodity rates.

Natural Gas – all customers

The June natural gas default rate is $1.225 per gigajoule (GJ), down from the previous month of $1.538 per GJ.

On Nov. 20, 2023, City Council passed bylaw 4798 that amends the gas utility bylaw in order to provide consumers with a single natural gas rate starting Jan. 1, 2024. The rate is based on the weighted average cost of the City’s natural gas purchases for the month of consumption, plus $0.07/GJ to recover transactional costs and a small rate of return.

Electricity

Residential, Farm, Small and Medium Commercial, Unmetered Services and Rental Lighting

On Oct. 16, 2023, City Council passed an amendment to the Electric Utility Bylaw 2244 to establish a single best-of-market electricity rate for Residential, Farm, Small and Medium Commercial, Unmetered Services and Rental Lighting customers, not to exceed a maximum of 11 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) or go below a minimum rate of seven cents per kWh. The rate is based on a twelve-month, volume weighted forecast as per the ICE-NGX wholesale electricity energy market and will be recalculated on the first business day of January, April, July, and October.

The June best of market rate is $0.06624 per kWh which, under the bylaw, defaults to the minimum $0.07000 per kWh for Residential, Farm, Small and Medium Commercial, Unmetered Services and Rental Lighting customers.  

On December 15, 2022, the Government of Alberta passed The Regulated Rate Option Stability Act through Bill 2: Inflation Relief Statutes Amendment Act which placed a temporary price ceiling of $0.13500 per kilowatt hour in January, February and March 2023 for Albertans who purchase power on the Regulated Rate Option (RRO). As of April 1, 2023, the cost difference between the RRO electricity rate from January – March 2023 and the temporary price ceiling will be added to the current default rate to recover costs until December 2024.

The June recovery rate of $0.00946 per kWh will be added to the current default rate of $0.07000 per kWh for a total billable rate of $0.07946 per kWh, down from the previous month of $0.08024 per kWh for May. For more details about the recovery rate, visit medicinehat.ca/EnergyPlans.
June 2024 (per kilowatt hour)Rate per kWhDefault City of Medicine Hat electricity rate$0.07000+ City of Medicine Hat recovery rate+ $0.00946City of Medicine Hat billed rate$0.07946  

Large Commercial, Industrial and Street Lighting Customers

The June default electricity rate for Large Commercial, Industrial and Street Lighting customers is $0.07841 per kilowatt hour. The rate is based on the average of the rates for owners whose regulated rate tariffs are approved by the Alberta Utilities Commission under section 103(2) of the Electric Utilities Act for that calendar month as posted by the Alberta Utilities Commission on its internet page under Regulated Rate Option Regulation.

June 2024 (per kilowatt hour)Rate per kWhDirect Energy Regulated Services$0.08158ENMAX Energy Corporation$0.07574EPCOR Energy Alberta GP (Edmonton)$0.07832EPCOR Energy Alberta GP (outside Edmonton)$0.07801City of Medicine Hat default rate for LC&I (based on the average)$0.07841

Going Green Charge

Customers also have a “Going Green” surcharge on their bill. This surcharge is for renewable energy purchased for residential, farm, small and medium commercial customers.

The Going Green surcharge is calculated monthly to recover costs incurred to purchase renewable energy.

The Going Green surcharge for June is $0.0030 per kilowatt hour.

Community
Quonset Days 2024: Country Music Festival Raises Funds for The ALS Society of Alberta
Jun 4
3
Min Read

Quonset Days 2024: Country Music Festival Raises Funds for The ALS Society of Alberta

The Greatest Outdoor Party on Dirt returns for its 13th year on July 19 & 20 to raise funds for The ALS Society of Alberta! With over $650,000 raised since 2010, this year's country music festival promises to be an outstanding event.

**SEVEN PERSONS **- The Greatest Outdoor Party on Dirt returns for its 13th year on July 19 & 20 to raise funds for The ALS Society of Alberta! With over $650,000 raised since 2010, this year's country music festival promises to be an outstanding event.

Held on the Biemans farm, southwest of Seven Persons, Alberta, the event sees over 1200 attendees through the beer garden gates each night. Friday night's festivities, sponsored by EQUS, featuring performances by George Canyon, Nice Horse, and local bands. Saturday night, sponsored by TM Ag Tuning, will showcase Brett Kissel, Steven Lee Olsen, and local bands.

Weekend passes are only $120 and grant attendees access to all 8 individual concerts throughout the event. In addition to top Canadian country music, attendees can enjoy food trucks, the infamous pedal tractor races, and auctions. The live and silent auctions will feature a wide array of items from full-size farm equipment to items donated from local small businesses. Thanks to the generous support of Ritchie Bros, anyone can bid on silent auction items remotely by downloading their app.

"Quonset Days has grown tremendously over the past 13 years, and we are thrilled to continue supporting ALS research," said Trevor Biemans, Co-Founder and son of Peter Biemans. "It's truly heartwarming to see my farm yard transformed into music festival grounds, all in honor of my dad. My family and our volunteer board look forward to welcoming everyone to the farm for a weekend of music, fun, and making a difference in the lives of those affected by ALS.”

While camping spots have sold out, free shuttles between the event grounds and Medicine Hat will be available to ensure everyone can safely and conveniently join the festivities, thanks to Big M Ford Lincoln. Quonset Days urges everyone to take advantage of pre-sale prices and purchase their tickets now at www.quonsetdays.com.

The event wouldn't be possible without the support from local businesses and organizations. If your business would like to support Quonset Days, please email quonsetdays@gmail.com.

About Quonset Days:
Quonset Days is an annual country music festival held on the Biemans farm, southwest of Seven Persons, Alberta. Established in 2010, the event raises funds for The ALS Society of Alberta, celebrating the life and legacy of Peter Biemans. Over the years, Quonset Days has become a beloved community event, combining great music, fun activities, and charitable giving.
About ALS:
June is ALS Awareness Month, a time dedicated to increasing awareness of ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) and honoring those affected by it. ALS is a devastating disease that gradually robs individuals of their ability to control their bodies, leaving them fully dependent on others while retaining their sense of touch and mental alertness. After a hard-fought battle with ALS, Peter Biemans passed away in 2009. Watching Peter, an outgoing and active individual, become confined to a body he could no longer control was heart-wrenching for all who knew him. Quonset Days was established in his
memory, aiming to raise funds and awareness to combat this relentless disease.
About ALS Awareness Month:
June is ALS Awareness Month, dedicated to raising awareness about the devastating impact of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). This progressive motor neuron disease robs individuals of their physical abilities while leaving their mental faculties intact. With approximately 3,000 Canadians living with ALS, the month serves as a reminder of the urgent need for research, care, and support for those affected by this relentless condition.

Politics
Union hubris presents opportunity for Provinces
May 31
3
Min Read

Union hubris presents opportunity for Provinces

To call it shocking would be an understatement. Canada’s largest public sector unions have declared a “summer of discontent” over the idea that, starting Sept. 9th, employees will have to report to their assigned office three days a week, rather than two days a week.

To call it shocking would be an understatement.

Canada’s largest public sector unions have declared a “summer of discontent” over the idea that, starting Sept. 9th, employees will have to report to their assigned office three days a week, rather than two days a week.

Mollycoddled to absurdity, it seems these unions are utterly ignorant of the realities faced by the vast majority of Canadians.

Compared to private sector or self employed workers, government workers enjoy higher pay, more job security, more time off, better pensions, and earlier retirements.

However, to be fair to the unions, the Trudeau government has willingly capitulated to virtually all of their demands.

Last year’s 12 per cent pay hike awarded to PSAC employees, the likes of which private sector workers will never see, is just the tip of the iceberg.

As columnist Jesse Kline recently pointed out in the National Post, since 2015, about 100,000 workers have been added to the federal payroll. From 2015 to 2021 alone, the total cost of the public service rose by 52 per cent.

While pay levels for individual positions can be debated ad nauseam, the far more pressing issue is whether taxpayers are getting fair value for all this spending. Are we getting 52 per cent better services? Not a chance.

The performance of the Canada Revenue Agency is a prime example. The Auditor General of Canada has repeatedly investigated concerns about the CRA, with issues ranging from chronically poor public service, to specific issues like the mishandling of pandemic wage subsidy program.

Of particular note has been the CRA’s track record when it comes to call centres. The budget for these centres has increased by $330 million between 2015-16 and 2022-23. In addition, the government has hired an additional 4,600 employees for the department, with no noticeable decrease in call waiting times.

If taxpayers can’t get fair value from the agency that collects their taxes (PSAC’s second largest bargaining unit), maybe expecting CRA employees to go to the office isn’t completely unreasonable.

Of course, for Canadian Provinces, there is better alternative: Fire the CRA.

Under the Constitution, all Provinces have the right to collect their own taxes. Most currently have tax collection agreements with the federal government, which allow the CRA collect provincial income taxes. However, Quebec has been collecting its own provincial taxes since 1954, while both Alberta and Quebec currently collect their own corporate income taxes.

Considering the CRA’s poor performance and ballooning labour costs, the case for provincial tax collection has never been stronger. Provinces can rightly claim that they can provide superior service at a lower cost, while repatriating jobs.

Alberta, in particular, has been exploring various initiatives to fully exercise provincial jurisdictions, however, this is matter all provinces should investigate.

Compared to the creation of a provincial police force (like Quebec, Ontario, and Newfoundland) or a provincial pension plan (like Quebec), creating a provincial tax agency is relatively simple. It doesn’t require a referendum or much in the way of additional administration.

Considering the runaway labour costs and Trudeau government’s complete capitulation for federal public sector unions, this may be the only way to ensure taxpayers get fair value for their money.

Unlike PSAC’s out-of-touch work-from-home demands, that’s a good deal every day of the week.

- Drew Barnes is a former MLA, and Member of the Government of Alberta’s Fair Deal Panel.

Health & Wellness
Stress
May 26
2
Min Read

Stress

Stress is a common experience that affects many people on a daily basis. It is a natural response to demanding or challenging situations, but if not managed properly, it can lead to negative effects on one's mental and physical health.

Hello Friends,

Stress is a common experience that affects many people on a daily basis. It is a natural response to demanding or challenging situations, but if not managed properly, it can lead to negative effects on one's mental and physical health. In this article, we'll discuss what stress is, its symptoms, and tips on how to manage it effectively.

Stress is a normal psychological and physiological response to a perceived threat or demand. The body responds to stress by releasing hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, which prepare the body to respond to the situation. However, prolonged or chronic stress can lead to physical symptoms, including headaches, muscle tension, fatigue, and sleep disturbances, as well as mental symptoms, including anxiety, irritability, and depression.

Effective stress management can help individuals cope with stress and minimize its negative effects. There are various ways to manage stress, such as practicing relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga. Exercise is another excellent way to manage stress, as it releases endorphins, which are natural mood elevators.

Other stress management techniques include engaging in hobbies or activities that promote relaxation, such as reading, listening to music, or spending time outdoors. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, such as eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and limiting alcohol and caffeine intake, can also help reduce stress levels.

There's value in educating patients on stress management techniques and the importance of self-care. Patients (if not everyone) should be encouraged to practice stress management techniques and seek support from loved ones or a mental health professional if necessary. We can also promote healthy work environments to manage stress effectively.

Putting it all together, stress is a normal response to challenging situations, but prolonged or chronic stress can have negative effects on one's physical and mental health. By practicing stress management techniques, individuals can minimize the negative effects of stress and improve their overall well-being.

If you would like to talk more, the Virtunurse team is here to help.

Stay Healthy,

Matthew Jubelius, RN

Education & Learning
Twins share the valedictorian spot at Senator Gershaw School in Bow Island
May 23
4
Min Read

Twins share the valedictorian spot at Senator Gershaw School in Bow Island

The co- valedictorians at Senator Gershaw School for 2024 are twins Ria and Gabe Thacker. The two have been competing academically since Grade 5, which will end in September when Ria heads to the University of Calgary for nursing and Gabe to the University of Alberta for engineering. Gabe’s last year of high school is ending on a high note after he was recently awarded a $120,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship.

The co- valedictorians at Senator Gershaw School for 2024 are twins Ria and Gabe Thacker.

“I’m happy that we are sharing,” said Ria, “because our marks were so close. Every assignment we completed, there was a different result (for who received the higher mark) and I feel like it wouldn’t be fair for one of us to get it.”

“It is kind of sad because my grand plan was to win valedictorian and then when we are in a nursing home when we are 80 to continue to hold it over Ria’s head,” added Gabe.

It’s been a rivalry since the two were in Grade 5, when Ria earned the top student spot. For Grades 6 through 10 it was Gabe with Ria taking the victory again in Grade 11. Ria said, “it’s been a big competition throughout school.” To which Gabe added, “everybody was cheering for Ria this year, and nobody cheered for me.” Principal Scott Angle called over from his hallway office desk that the statement wasn’t completely true because he’d cheered for them both equally.

Both play volleyball and are active on student council. Gabe started working towards his fourth-class power engineering certificate when he was 14 years old and is currently working towards his third class. He uses this certification to work at the distillery on their family farm, which is how he spends his summers. Ria is a certified lifeguard and plans to work at the Bow Island pool again this summer.

For this September, Ria is enrolled in the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Calgary (U of C) to pursue a degree as a registered nurse. “Being a lifeguard, I’ve always been interested in healthcare, and I wanted to do something in that field. When I was applying, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I applied for different programs in different schools, something broad enough I could upgrade later so that at least after four years I’d have a job.” Ria was accepted into all the programs and schools she applied for and chose the one that most appealed to her.

Gabe will be attending the University of Alberta (U of A) for engineering, which will effectively end the academic competition for the twins. “We’ll compare GPA’s,” said Gabe, “but I know Ria’s GPA will be significantly higher than mine all throughout university.” Ria disagreed as she was uncertain this statement would turn out to be true. Gabe hasn’t decided which branch of engineering he will enter and plans to wait until after his first year to decide.

Gabe’s last year in Senator Gershaw is ending well as he recently found out he was awarded a $120,000 Schulich Leader Scholarship. Additionally, he also received $6,000 for being a Loran finalist.

“I looked at the most valuable scholarships and I went down the list and started applying and I ended up winning the biggest one, so it worked out well,” explained Gabe. “There’s been lots of celebrating.”

September will be a momentous transition for both Gabe and Ria, who grew up and have attended Bow Island schools all their lives and always been together. “It will be a big change going from 16 people in a class to some courses with over 500 students,” said Gabe. “This year my cue to study was when I would walk upstairs and see Ria already studying because then I knew if I wanted to beat her, I also had to study. I won’t have that next year.”

“It will be hard to get used to doing schoolwork when we aren’t doing the exact same stuff. I won’t be able to go home and ask him a question or if he’s finished something yet,” added Ria.

Although Ria has applied for residence and got a room, it wasn’t the style she was hoping for and plans to look at other options. However, she is glad she has something to fall back on if she can’t find alternate accommodation.

“I’m excited but I’m also scared and definitely a bit nervous,” said Ria, who said nobody else from her graduating class will be attending U of C. “I’ll eventually like it but know it will be a rough few months.”

Gabe added, “It’s fairly similar for me, but I have a friend in engineering who completed his first year at the University of Lethbridge and will be going up to U of A so we’ll both be there. He’s continued to remind me that it sucks, and it gets way harder, he’s sort of terrifying me.”

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Community
Youth Charged with B&E
May 22
1
Min Read

Youth Charged with B&E

On May 22, 2024, at 0342AM members of the Medicine Hat Police Service Patrol Section responded to an alarm at a business located in the 700 block of Redcliff Dr SW. Upon arrival, patrol officers found the building to be insecure and soon after a suspect was taken into custody.

On May 22, 2024, at 0342AM members of the Medicine Hat Police Service Patrol Section responded to an alarm at a business located in the 700 block of Redcliff Dr SW. Upon arrival, patrol officers found the building to be insecure and soon after a suspect was taken into custody.

The suspect, who was learned to be a youth, can not be identified under the provisions of the Youth Criminal Justice Act. The youth has been charged with one count of break and enter with intent to commit in accordance with Section 348 of the Criminal Code. This file is still under investigation.

Politics
Security improvements pending at City Hall
May 22
2
Min Read

Security improvements pending at City Hall

City Hall will undergo changes to public access as part of an ongoing effort to ensure the safety of staff and visitors, and to address growing concerns related to security, safety and appropriate use of the facility.

Medicine Hat – City Hall will undergo changes to public access as part of an ongoing effort to ensure the safety of staff and visitors, and to address growing concerns related to security, safety and appropriate use of the facility.

As of June 3, public visitors to City Hall will access the building exclusively via the west entrance. Public elevator access will be limited to the main floor or the parkade with security staff offering directions and assisting those meeting City staff for appointments. Free public parking will remain available in the underground parkade and public washrooms on the main floor will remain open for public use during business hours.

“Our goal is to maintain appropriate public access to the required services while considering the safety of staff and members of the public,” said Managing Director of Corporate Services, Dennis Egert. “Many in our community access City Hall to conduct business. We want them to feel welcome and comfortable while ensuring that the facility is used appropriately.”

Earlier in 2024, the City of Medicine Hat relocated the security desk to improve sightlines, and future efforts will see other physical changes to City Hall, including the installation of secure doors that will restrict public access to staff work areas.

“These changes are a temporary measure to provide a safer facility, and to accommodate the upcoming construction and installations,” said Jeff Hoglund, Director of Fleet, Facilities and Asset Management. “Like all security measures, this is scalable to increase or decrease depending on the current situation and risks.”

Patrons can expect to be greeted and provided with direction to the appropriate department and area by security staff. All departments will be open throughout these changes and will continue to provide service to the community, though general access to the facility and public areas may be restricted during any construction activity.

“All of these changes align with best practices in access and security controls in other federal, provincial and municipal government facilities,” added Egert. “City Hall is a public building, though there is still an obligation to provide a safe working environment for staff – and to ensure members of the public feel a sense of security and privacy while interacting with City employees."

Education & Learning
New Dual Credit Programs for MHPSD Students in Trades & Healthcare
May 22
2
Min Read

New Dual Credit Programs for MHPSD Students in Trades & Healthcare

Trades exploration and health care aide education are two new opportunities available to students in the Medicine Hat Public School Division (MHPSD) through Medicine Hat College (MHC) starting this September. These dual credit programs make it possible for students to pursue areas of interest and discover career pathways, completing postsecondary courses, while earning college and high school credits.

Medicine Hat - Trades exploration and health care aide education are two new opportunities available to students in the Medicine Hat Public School Division (MHPSD) through Medicine Hat College (MHC) starting this September.
These dual credit programs make it possible for students to pursue areas of interest and discover career pathways, completing postsecondary courses, while earning college and high school credits.
“The Medicine Hat Public School Division is thrilled to partner with Medicine Hat College to offer these exciting new dual credit programs,” says Corey Sadlemyer, associate superintendent of learning for MHPSD. “These opportunities allow students to explore their passions, gain valuable skills, realize significant cost savings and get a head start on their careers. Whether in the field of healthcare or through diverse opportunities in trades, these programs empower students to travel the pathway to success.”
Trades programming will include independent study and experiential labs delivered on campus by MHC faculty. Students are introduced to seven different trades disciplines in Grade 10 before having the opportunity to narrow their focus the following year. The final year of high school can involve pre-employment or registered apprenticeship programming (RAP).
“We look forward to growing educational opportunities for high school students in our region, helping them access new pathways to careers,” says Dr. Morgan Blair, dean of the School of Trades and Technology at MHC.
The college’s highly successful Health Care Aide certificate program will also be available to MHPSD students this fall, providing training for a career that is in high demand. Prioritizing flexibility, most of the program is taken online, with local opportunities for hands-on learning and lab work as the course progresses.
Dr. Jason Openo, dean of MHC’s School of Health and Community Services, says the partnership is a way of starting students in a rewarding career and supporting the demand for health care professionals.
“Across Alberta, there is a great need for health care aides, and we are struggling to find enough of them. We’re excited that this partnership will allow high school students to accelerate their entry into healthcare careers. This partnership with MHPSD ensures we are working together to fill an important workplace need in our region.”
A student career opportunities information session for students and their parents will be held at Medicine Hat High School on Thursday, May 23 from 7 – 8 p.m.

Education & Learning
Valedictorian for South Central High School in Oyen is Treyson Girletz
May 22
3
Min Read

Valedictorian for South Central High School in Oyen is Treyson Girletz

Treyson Girletz intends to pursue a degree in software engineering this coming September and finished off high school at South Central in Oyen by being named the 2024 valedictorian. For the past two years, he’s also played on the U18 AA hockey team in Medicine Hat while managing to keep up with his studies. He plans to enjoy the summer in Oyen and will cross the hurdle of moving away from friends and family when the time comes.

Treyson Girletz has been named the 2024 valedictorian for South Central High School. Girletz started the year at Medicine Hat High School as he was playing on the U18 AA hockey team for the second year. However, he missed being at home and returned to Oyen in the beginning of November, commuting to Medicine Hat for practices twice a week along with travelling to wherever the team was playing games.

He has a lighter schedule this semester with only three classes, Math 31, Physics and Social Studies. “When hockey was on, it was tough to do homework, mostly physics, but I still got it done.”

He plays centre and while he hasn’t been keeping track of his points, he believed he’d averaged about one point per game during the season, which ended in March. “All I’m going to do for hockey next year is drive back to Oyen on the odd weekend to play for the senior team here. I was debating playing for the Cubs in the Hat, but I thought focusing on school would be a better option.”

“I have lots of friends there (Hat High), but I didn’t have classes with any of them, so it was mostly just talking with them at lunch or after school. Here, you know everybody, so you hang out with them at school and after school and get to know them a lot better in a small town.”

Having lived in Oyen his entire life, Girletz is aware of how big a change it will be next year when he starts attending university. While he feels the three-hour drive to Calgary is manageable, he’s also confident he’ll be able to stay in touch with his friends via social media and plans to enjoy his summer with them.

Throughout high school, his favourite subjects have been math and chemistry. “My whole life, math is the subject everybody has known me to be good at.” When he was in Grade 9, Girletz was already enrolled in Grade 11 math and when he finished that course, he took a break for a few years. He felt it came back easily enough when he took Math 30-1, although there were a few challenges and he was surprised at what he’d forgotten.

Girletz has two younger siblings, both sisters, one in Grade 7 and the other in Grade 9. His mother is a math teacher at South Central and one of her daughters is currently in her class. “She never taught me. She taught my whole class, but I was ahead of them. Dad works for Special Areas and also coached me in sports my whole life.”

Being valedictorian was always a goal for Girletz and he wasn’t surprised when he was told he’d earned the top academic spot. “It shows my hard work throughout the years. I’ve always made sure to keep my studies first even though I like to procrastinate sometimes. I’m the first valedictorian of my family on both sides and that means a lot.”

In September, Girletz will be pursuing a degree in software engineering at the University of Calgary and plans to live in residence.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
Alyssa Jaeger is the 2024 Valedictorian for Eagle Butte High School
May 22
4
Min Read

Alyssa Jaeger is the 2024 Valedictorian for Eagle Butte High School

Alyssa Jaeger has always been a high achieving academic student and her hard work paid off when she was named the 2024 valedictorian for Eagle Butte High School. Growing up in Redcliff, it will be a big transition for Jaeger when she starts attending the University of Calgary next year.

This year’s valedictorian at Eagle Butte High School is Alyssa Jaeger, who has always been a high academic student and her focus has been to excel in all her classes. “I wasn’t a very sporty kid, but I was a musical kid. I play violin so my group of friends were academics as well. I grew up playing music with and being friends with last year’s valedictorian. That was my group of people, they were high achievers from the time we were in Grade 4, and I grew up around that and it rubbed off on me,” stated Jaeger. “I enjoy the challenge academics brings and I love to learn so valedictorian seemed like a natural goal.”

Jaeger is proud of herself and is pleased that all her hard work has paid off. The day she found out, Jaeger was writing a calculus test when she was called down to be informed she was the 2024 valedictorian. “I had to go back to class because they announce it at the end of the day. I got to go back to my calculus test, and I was smiling the entire time I wrote it,” said Jaeger.

This semester has been a rough one academically, with Physics 30, Chemistry 30 and Calculus all on her schedule, and Jaeger is glad it is coming to an end. She is excited for all the firsts that are coming this year and the prospect of attending the University of Calgary in September.

“I’m so excited for university, I can’t wait to learn what I want to learn and to really be able to dive deep into my own interest. I know that the opportunities for me staying here are quite limited, it wasn’t necessarily a choice to leave, but it was a natural next step.”

Calgary was chosen because it had the program Jaeger is most interested in, but it being so close to her hometown of Redcliff is also a positive. While at university, Jaeger will be pursing a degree in biomedical sciences with an aim of entering medical school.

While she hasn’t played violin much lately, it is still an important part of Jaeger’s life. “I started learning when I was five, so I learned how to read sheet music before I knew how to read, which I am so thankful for. I love music and I still participate in choir, and I play violin for other events around the school so being able to read sheet music and have the knowledge classical music gives has been very helpful. I haven’t reached for it in a while because I’ve been busy with school, but it’s a comfort for me.”

While violin is her primary extracurricular activity, Jaeger earned her second-degree black belt in Taekwondo and was also an instructor before she stopped to focus on academics. The most important skills Taekwondo taught her are determination, respect and mental fortitude.

For the summer, Jaeger will volunteer as a camp counsellor at Camp Shagabec on the Saskatchewan side of Cypress Hills and try to pick up some jobs to earn extra cash. She’s been attending the camp since she was 11 and once she was old enough, she wanted to be a volunteer counsellor because they are the ones who bring the atmosphere to the camp and make it fun.

Joyce Krause teaches calculus to Jaeger. “She’s a wonderful student, she’s probably one of the most hard-working students I’ve ever worked with. She’s very independent, she’s one of those students who likes to do it herself first. If she can puzzle through and solve something on her own, she’ll do it, but when she needs help, she’ll ask. Those are the kinds of students we love to have, she doesn’t want to be spoon-fed, she doesn’t want to be told how to do something, she wants to figure it out for herself and those are the skills that are going to make her really successful in post-secondary. While she’s independent, she is also willing to work with others. She’s helped students in classes, when people need help, she is there. She’s helped younger students and in a team environment, she’s definitely collaborative. You can’t make it through calculus without working with other people, so I’ve seen her partner with other people and work together. I’ve seen other kids who are struggling in class ask her for help and she’s always open to helping other people. She is definitely a perfectionist, but I recognize that in my own place. She’s a friendly person, she’s driven, she’s organized and a good person, it’s not just that she’s academic, she’s also an all-around good person.”

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Community
Library's HVAC System Being Upgraded This Spring & Summer
May 17
1
Min Read

Library's HVAC System Being Upgraded This Spring & Summer

The city project is expected to last about four months, depending on the weather

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing & Community Engagement

Minimal disruption expected for patrons and library operations

The City of Medicine Hat has a lot of construction and maintenance projects going on already this spring on roads and at city buildings. Medicine Hat Public Library is about to be added to its list.

Starting on Tuesday, May 21, the city will be upgrading our HVAC system. 

There will be minimal disruption to our patrons and library operations during the work, which is expected to take about four months to complete, depending on the weather. 

The only impact expected for patrons is a little bit of noise and three fewer parking spaces around the library. A portion of the lawn on the east side of the building will be fenced off for workers to access the work site on the roof.

We thank everyone in advance for your patience and consideration during the work. 

To learn more about Medicine Hat Public Library visit www.mhpl.shortgrass.ca and follow us on social media: @mhpubliclibrary

Education & Learning
New MHC program offers valuable analytical skills to working professionals
May 16
1
Min Read

New MHC program offers valuable analytical skills to working professionals

A new Medicine Hat College (MHC) program builds analytical skills in an online delivery format designed for working professionals. Launching in Fall 2024, the eight month Data Analytics for Business certificate provides an intensive learning experience for employed individuals and enhances their ability to transform the workplace data they already have into practical intelligence that can be used to inform decision making.

Medicine Hat - A new Medicine Hat College (MHC) program builds analytical skills in an online delivery format designed for working professionals. Launching in Fall 2024, the eight month Data Analytics for Business certificate provides an intensive learning experience for employed individuals and enhances their ability to transform the workplace data they already have into practical intelligence that can be used to inform decision making.

“Working professionals will benefit from enhanced analytical skills transferable between roles and industries, while employers will benefit from enhanced strategic decision making and efficiency, by building analytical skills among existing employees,” explains Dr. Morgan Blair, dean of business and 
continuing studies at MHC.

Learners will gain skills and knowledge in data literacy, strategic communications, marketing and social media analytics, and data analysis and visualization. They receive approximately 150 hours of online learning and 480 hours of on the job application over two semesters. This format provides the best of both worlds, as employees are not required to take time off work or come to campus to complete the program and the learning they acquire will be applied immediately within their organization.

“This program is unique in the market because we support the employee and employer in the application of their new skills throughout the program. The certificate is centered around the interactive relationship between the employee, their employer, and a Workforce Coach. They work together to lead the organization into a new era of data-enhanced decision making,” says Blair, adding that employers can apply for the Canada Workforce Grant to support their employee’s education and reduce the cost to the organization by up to two-thirds.

“We are excited to offer this valuable training to our region, recognizing that understanding data to support decision making is critical to the success of any organization, and ultimately to the prosperity of southeastern Alberta.”
Learn more about Data Analytics for Business at www.mhc.ab.ca

Community
The City will host a free family-friendly event to celebrate Parks and Recreation month
May 16
1
Min Read

The City will host a free family-friendly event to celebrate Parks and Recreation month

The City will host a free, family-friendly event to celebrate Parks and Recreation month on Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. called Energy in Motion.

Medicine Hat – The City will host a free, family-friendly event to celebrate Parks and Recreation month on Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. called Energy in Motion.

The event will take place at Towne Square and Riverside Veteran’s Park downtown and will feature local food trucks, an obstacle course bouncy castle, face painting, local vendors, and live fitness demonstrations and activities.

“Our goal is to highlight local businesses and organizations dedicated to fitness, recreation, and the outdoors," says Scott Richter, Manager of Business and Innovation, City of Medicine Hat. "We welcome the community and want them to see themselves in our parks and recreation facilities. We want people being active and connecting with one another and have a sense of belonging. We want people to find something they enjoy and to pursue it!”

Local businesses and organizations that are interested in being a part of the event are encouraged to fill out a vendor registration form. 

If you’re worried about parking downtown, don’t be. Finding a spot will be easier this summer with the addition of free parking on the third level of the Transit Terminal Parkade and ten free spaces at Towne Square. Even though construction is underway on third street, downtown remains open for business.

For event details or to become a vendor, visit: medicinehat.ca/energyinmotion.

Education & Learning
Appreciation Day Breakfast for Irvine School bus drivers
May 16
4
Min Read

Appreciation Day Breakfast for Irvine School bus drivers

Irvine School parent council holds a bus driver appreciation breakfast each year on the first Monday in May. This year, they also created a basket of goodies for each driver, which included a bus driver survival kit. The parents cooked the breakfast and students served the bus drivers.

The first Monday of May is Bus Driver Appreciation Day and the parent council at Irvine School holds a breakfast for the drivers each year.

Valerie Pearson, a representative on the parent council, said “the bus drivers are an integral part of our children’s education. They are super important and are often overlooked, so we decided we will appreciate the bus drivers by serving them breakfast. The parents made the breakfast, and the kids are going to serve.”

The council also created a basket for each driver, which was new this year and Pearson said it was a way to present each driver with something personal. The baskets contained a fresh loaf of bread from the Walsh bakery, a bag of muffins cooked by parents and students, a toque with a rechargeable light on the front from PRPS, along with a bus driver survival kit – ear plugs, lip balm, peppermints, starbursts, lifesavers, bandages and a handmade key chain – along with a personalized mug.  

Students who served included best friends Makinlee and Grace, who both did a great job greeting the drivers as they came into the room before taking their orders for either juice or coffee. Grade 1 student Reid said he enjoyed helping to serve breakfast. Kindergarten student Marrek excelled at slowly carrying an overloaded plate of waffles to the table. He smiled the entire time and quickly returned to take a second equally loaded plate to the other end of the table.

Brian Lambert has been driving bus for almost two months, leaving at 7:15 a.m. each morning to arrive at the school by 8:30 a.m., collecting 10 kids. Having recently retired from being a full-time driver, Lambert said, “this was an easy transition for me. I did that (full retirement) for a few months, but it wasn’t for me. I told my fellow co-workers before I left that I’d probably get a bus driving job and here I am.” He enjoys seeing the country and getting to know the kids, particularly the farm kids who he easily relates to and likes to ask them all sorts of questions.  

Shelley Francis has a much longer route, travelling 25 km past Elkwater each day, with some parents driving their kids an additional 30 minutes to meet the bus there. The bus she drives is the same one she started with seven years ago, which had 10,000 km on it for her first run and now has over 500,000 km. “Every day, I’m like, come on baby, let’s go,” said Francis. She leaves at 5:50 a.m. to get to the school for 8:30 a.m., although when the weather is good, she takes a 10-minute break at the rest stop. “The best part is when the roads are good, they are good but when they’re bad they are bad. This morning they were really good, so I don’t know what it’s going to be like tonight because they are never good both ways, it’s either in the morning or in the afternoon.”

Don Boschee retired over two years ago and decided last October to start driving bus because there always seemed to be a shortage. “I’ll probably keep going for another year for sure. I’m 68 so it depends on how old they let you get,” stated Boschee. “Be about two hours a day. The best part about it is that I’m fond of the kids. They can be trying sometimes, but I’m getting on with the parents. I like kids and I hope they like me.”

Nadine Stimson drives a bus and is also a full-time Educational Assistant at Irvine School. She has been driving bus for three years and collects about 50 kids. The best part of the job is, “the kids, absolutely. They are awesome. It’s nice because I work here too so I have that relationship already. I figured I was driving out here anyways, so why not. I think a lot of times, bus drivers are overlooked, so when they do something like this (the breakfast) it really shows we are recognized and appreciated.”

Principal Trent Rayner came into the room to speak briefly with the bus drivers before he went to lead a class. “You are amongst the most important people we have, you are the first ones the kids see in the morning and the last ones at the end of the day, so you really can make or break their day and for the most part you really do make their day. We really appreciate all your hard work and all the stuff you put up with.”

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
Ralston School Celebrates their Diversity and Military Connections
May 16
3
Min Read

Ralston School Celebrates their Diversity and Military Connections

As Ralston School is on a military base, celebrating Month of the Military Child, which occurs in April each year, is important. Near the end of the month the entire school attended a hotdog lunch at the Military Family Resource Centre with Kiddie Care, the local daycare, also joining them.

April is Month of the Military Child where the children of parents who serve are recognized for their sacrifices. Military children face unique challenges and must learn to be adaptable to living in various places, where they attend different schools and must make new friends. A move of this magnitude can affect learning and cause the child to fall behind in schoolwork, particularly when transitioning between countries that follow different curriculums.

Ralston School is facing challenges of its own as the British Army continues to reduce its presence in CFB Suffield. “We started off the year with about 79 students, by the end of the year we are expecting to be around 59 students, so we’ve lost 20 students over the year, and we are supposed to be down to 50 by the time the next school year comes around,” explained Principal Stacey Nunweiler, who added that 75% of the student population are military children.

As the school is located on a military base, April is an important event for the community. On Monday, April 29, the entire school got together with the MFRC (Military Family Resource Centre) and Kiddie Care, the daycare on the base, for a hotdog lunch. “Most of us are wearing our teal shirts,” stated Nunweiler. “They want to do a big group picture at the end just to show we are supporting military children. This is a unique event for Ralston School and is a Canadian military celebration, but the British here have adopted it as well.”

Lara and Sienna are in Grade 1 and are having an awesome year. They’ve learnt about animals this year and particularly enjoyed Earth Day when they did a cleanup around the school. “I’m a bit Canada and a bit UK,” explained Sienna. “I did the very first class (Kindergarten) here all the way to Grade 1, so I picked up everything they taught me,” added Lara.

Both said it was great being a military child and felt April was an important month and thought ending the month with a hotdog lunch was super-duper awesome. The best thing about Ralston School is the learning. “It’s kinda of really fun when you are learning something you are interested in,” said Sienna who added, when asked what else she would like to learn, “I’m not sure, I think I’ve learned everything I’m interested in.”

Three Grade 2 students sat down to chat, Aisha, Nkemdi, and Peyton. Science experiments, particularly when they were working with robotics and made machines that moved, seemed to be the most memorable part of their academic year. Pink was mentioned as a favourite colour amongst the group, as well as looking forward to the hotdog lunch. All three have lived in the UK and Canada and said the best thing about Ralston School was learning.

Ousman is in Grade 4 and attended Ralston School before returning to the UK for a couple of years and is now back. Overall, he’s been at the school for three years. He enjoys “playing outside and math, numbers and multiplication and stuff like that. I’ve been to Mexico once, it was kind of nice, it was hot.” He felt Month of the Military Child was important as it helped him and other military children to feel special.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Community
Strathcona Island Park access road closed on May 15 for flood protection training
May 14
1
Min Read

Strathcona Island Park access road closed on May 15 for flood protection training

Vehicle access into Strathcona Island Park will be closed during business hours on Wednesday, May 15 for important flood protection training.

**Medicine Hat **– Vehicle access into Strathcona Island Park will be closed during business hours on Wednesday, May 15 for important flood protection training.

Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., vehicles will be unable to access the boat launch, Lovell McDonnell Field, Heritage Pavilion, and Strathcona Island Playground.

Safety and emergency preparedness is important to the City of Medicine Hat. Training will focus on the installation of a specialized flood protection system in the area known as a “flood wall.” This is standard annual procedural training and is not related to any perceived or impending threat. Emergency vehicles will be able to access the park during the closure.

The City of Medicine Hat thanks the public for their understanding during this annual training. 

Tourism & Travel
WestJet Cuts Service to Medicine Hat Starting in the Fall
May 13
1
Min Read

WestJet Cuts Service to Medicine Hat Starting in the Fall

For Hatters this means even though there will be a bigger plane, it removed any flexibility the current daily multi-flight schedule gave flyers in the community. The new schedule puts us back to the old way of one flight out at 7am and one flight back to the Hat at 11:45pm.

In a press release today, WestJet outlined its plan to transition WestJet Link service to WestJet Encore, providing regional connectivity onboard WestJet’s fleet of De Havilland Dash 8-400 aircraft. The service change will complete the airline’s capacity purchase agreement with Pacific Coastal Airlines and is in line with WestJet’s regional growth strategy. WestJet will be working closely with the regional communities on this transition, which will in most cases see an increase in the number of seats offered. WestJet is committed to ensuring that air access in these communities remains supported to achieve their economic and tourism objectives.

For Hatters this means even though there will be a bigger plane, it removed any flexibility the current daily multi-flight schedule gave flyers in the community. The new schedule puts us back to the old way of one flight out at 7am and one flight back to the Hat at 11:45pm.

Service to routes previously served by WestJet Link will transition at the end of WestJet’s summer schedule, by no later than October 27, 2024. Guests that have booked WestJet Link flights beyond October 27, 2024, will be automatically rebooked on WestJet Encore flights as part of the revised schedule.
“WestJet values our guests in these communities, and we look forward to serving these regional airports through the reliable and affordable service our WestJet Encore fleet is known for,” said John Weatherill, WestJet Group Executive Vice-President and Chief Commercial Officer. “We understand how vital air service is for these smaller communities in Alberta and British Columbia and this transition will ensure that they maintain access to WestJet’s broader network through our base in Vancouver and global hub in Calgary.”

With Air Canada out of the picture there aren’t many options for flying in and out of the Medicine Hat airport.

Home & Garden
How to Prepare Your Home for an Inspection
May 13
3
Min Read

How to Prepare Your Home for an Inspection

With the housing market red hot this time of year, we understand that before you buy that dream home, it is best to have a home inspection completed by a licensed, professional inspector. But as the seller, how do you prepare your home for an inspection? Below are tips to help streamline the home inspection process.

If you’re planning to sell your home, the last thing you need to do is worry about the home inspection and what it may uncover. As with any process, the more prepared you are ahead of time, the smoother the inspection will run.

No home is perfect, so just remember that potential buyers want a head’s up on any major issues with your home that could end up costing them down the road, much like you’ll want to know before purchasing your next home.

Here are some steps you can take to help streamline the home inspection process:

Step 1: Schedule repairs or cleaning before the home inspection. Instead of hoping the home inspector will miss any issues within your home, be proactive and take care of the things you already know about. Do you have a leaky faucet? Are there high-traffic areas with scuff marks and peeling paint? How about carpet stains? Sometimes when a number of smaller issues are apparent, potential buyers may see this as a red flag and wonder what else could be wrong that they’re not seeing.

Step 2: Familiarize yourself with common items found during a home inspection. This can help you prepare for your inspection. Simple fixes can go a long way, including: Cutting back shrubs, bushes, etc that are close to your home; Replacing or refreshing worn caulking around windows and doors or in the kitchen/bathrooms; Making sure gutters are free and clear of debris; Replacing lightbulbs or fixtures that don’t work well; and Testing all doors and windows to ensure they open/close/lock easily.

Step 3: Give the home inspector space. The best thing you can do is leave before the scheduled home inspection. In most cases, the potential buyer will want to be present, and they may feel uncomfortable asking the inspector questions if you’re there. Home inspections can take several hours to complete depending on a number of factors. Older and larger homes can add time to the inspection. Additional services such as wood-burning appliances can also add time. The home inspector will also point out important items like electrical disconnects and main water shutoff valves to the prospective buyer during the inspection.

Bonus Step: Take your preparation further by scheduling a pre-inspection. Did you know that a pre-inspection is available for your property before it’s even on the market? A pre-inspection highlights the sound investment buyers can expect upon purchasing your property. You’ll have a list prepared detailing any work that may need to be done in the future that can empower you to make some changes yourself prior to listing and/or equip you with the required information to show potential buyers that only minor repairs/upgrades are suggested by a trained professional. This helps take the guesswork out of the homebuying process for many buyers by boosting confidence in your property. A buyer is likely to discover issues with your home, so being forthcoming may mean one less condition on the offer as well as providing a higher level of confidence and transparency for your home sale. Click here to read more about how a pre-inspection can be an added tool when selling your home – especially in a hot market where bidding wars are a reality.

Have questions about how you can help ensure the inspection runs smoothly when selling your home? Answers are just a call or email away. Contact Steve at 403 878 7580.

Community
Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale This Month
May 10
1
Min Read

Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale This Month

The twice-yearly book sales raise between $5,000 and $7,000 for the library

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing & Community Engagement

Thousands of gently-used books, DVDs and CDs available

Boxes piling up behind the theatre at Medicine Hat Public Library can mean only one thing: it’s book sale time.

Yep, the Friends of the Library Spring Book Sale is three weeks away. The extremely popular sale is set for Friday, May 31, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, June 1, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

People looking to stock up for their summer reading want to get first dibs on the thousands of gently-used books and the wide selection of DVDs and CDs available. There is always a lineup at the door long before we open, especially on day one, and chief librarian Ken Feser says book sale days are among our busiest days of the year.

The sales in the spring and fall typically raise between $5,000 and $7,000 for the library. The funds are used to purchase materials and furnishings, run programs and more.

As usual the book sale takes place in the Legion Room and Honor Currie Room and the hallway outside of the rooms.

Bring your donations

Materials from the book sale come from our collection and from the generous donations of community members.

If you have books to donate please bring them to library and place them on the tables behind the theatre on the library’s lower level.

Fiction and non-fiction books for all ages, DVDs, CDs, magazines and board games will be accepted for sale. Please only donate materials in good condition.

Textbooks, encyclopedias, VHS tapes, cassettes, vinyl records and items more than 15 years old will not be accepted.

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

Community
Four people arrested in drug bust
May 9
1
Min Read

Four people arrested in drug bust

ALERT Medicine Hat’s organized crime team made the drug seizures on April 11 and April 30, 2024, as two planned vehicle stops were conducted. The Medicine Hat Police Service and Brooks RCMP provided assistance.

MEDICINE HAT - Four people have been arrested and nearly $90,000 worth of methamphetamine and cocaine has been seized by ALERT.

ALERT Medicine Hat’s organized crime team made the drug seizures on April 11 and April 30, 2024, as two planned vehicle stops were conducted. The Medicine Hat Police Service and Brooks RCMP provided assistance.

“Our team is focused on community safety and by intercepting the drug shipment before it reached the city we have prevented these harmful substances from hitting the streets,” said Ryan Thorburn, ALERT Medicine Hat.

ALERT seized 500 grams of methamphetamine and 573 grams of cocaine. A vehicle was also seized that will be submitted to the province’s civil forfeiture office.

Four people face numerous drug-related offences:

Aaron Hotchen, 59-year-old from Medicine Hat;
Melissa Shpak, 34-year-old from Medicine Hat;
Terry Van Huizen, 31-year-old from Medicine Hat; and
Heidi Clampitt, 25-year-old from Medicine Hat.
The investigation began in February 2024 in response to community concerns related to drug trafficking in the Medicine Hat region.

In Medicine Hat, members of the public who suspect drug activity can contact the MHPS by calling 403-529-8481 or submitting tips online (anonymously if preferred) via the website at mhps.ca or the MHPS mobile app. The app is free to download and available for both Apple and Android devices.

Albertans 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.

Sports & Recreation
City invites public to 2024 Sports Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony
May 8
2
Min Read

City invites public to 2024 Sports Wall of Fame Induction Ceremony

The City of Medicine Hat invites residents to the 2024 Sports Wall of Fame induction ceremony for Joseph Fisher and Zorislav Krco on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at the Big Marble Go Centre. The Sports Wall of Fame ceremony and plaque unveiling will begin at 7 p.m. in the Big Marble Go Centre gymnasium.

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat invites residents to the 2024 Sports Wall of Fame induction ceremony for Joseph Fisher and Zorislav Krco on Thursday, May 23, 2024, at the Big Marble Go Centre.
The Sports Wall of Fame ceremony and plaque unveiling will begin at 7 p.m. in the Big Marble Go Centre gymnasium. The event will be livestreamed on Facebook and available for later viewing on the City’s YouTube channel.
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, Director of 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.”
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.

Community
Annual roadway resurfacing program starts May 13
May 8
2
Min Read

Annual roadway resurfacing program starts May 13

Construction will begin with infrastructure repairs adjacent to the roadways like catch basins, concrete curb and gutter, and sidewalks. Then the roads will be milled to remove the top levels of asphalt and repaved.

Medicine Hat - On Monday, May 13, the annual roadway resurfacing (overlay) program begins.

Construction will begin with infrastructure repairs adjacent to the roadways like catch basins, concrete curb and gutter, and sidewalks. Then the roads will be milled to remove the top levels of asphalt and repaved.

Each year, select roads are planned for resurfacing in the City’s capital budget based on the priority identified within a comprehensive asset management plan. This year, construction will occur at the following locations:

Altawana Drive between Parkview Drive and Seventh Street NE
This work will occur in-conjunction with the Seventh Street NW/Altawana Dr Deep Utility Replacement project. Work will start on May 13.

Dunmore Road between Southview Drive SE and Spencer Street SE
The roadway will be resurfaced on both the northbound and southbound lanes. Infrastructure repairs are anticipated to start May 13 and last approximately three weeks with paving to follow in mid June. Some work will occur only at night to minimize disruption to traffic and nearby businesses along the corridor.

Spencer Street SE from Dunmore to Eighth Avenue SE
In conjunction with the Dunmore Road work, crews will resurface this roadway on both the westbound and eastbound lanes. Infrastructure repairs should start mid-June and last approximately two weeks with paving to follow in July. Paving may occur at night to minimize disruption to this busy corridor.

Stanfield Way SE from Strachan Road to Stratton Way SE
The City plans to begin infrastructure repairs in July, followed by milling and paving in late August.

 In all cases, traffic will continue to flow in both directions though drivers should plan for delays around the work sites. For the safety of staff and the general public, it is important that motorists obey all construction signage, flag personnel and temporary speed limits near the work zone.

The full roadway overlay program is expected to conclude by Sept. 30. All schedules are weather dependent and subject to change.

Commentary
Interview: Catherine MacKenzie on Mayor Clark and the Petition
May 8
5
Min Read

Interview: Catherine MacKenzie on Mayor Clark and the Petition

The Sentinel reached out to Catherine MacKenzie to find out in more detail about her mission to reinstate Mayor Clark to full duties and her reasons behind the petition do so. The responses are the position of Catherine MacKenzie and are her perspective on the situation occurring between council and Ms. Clark.

The Sentinel reached out to Catherine MacKenzie to find out in more detail about her mission to reinstate Mayor Clark to full duties and her reasons behind the petition do so. The responses are the position of Catherine MacKenzie and are her perspective on the situation occurring between council and Ms. Clark

What drove you to start the petition to remove sanctions placed upon Mayor Clark?

I watched the August 21/23 meeting of the City Council. I watched as Mayor Clark was asking fair questions to the City Manager. I saw the blatant disregard of following procedure by council and the City Manager. I watched Counselor Sharps interruption and accusations towards the Mayor, than the CM sit down without answering the Mayor’s questions. All along all of this the rest of the Council had nothing to say, they were all sitting on their hands. It was shameful.

When I heard of the guilty accusation from the law firm hired to investigate the complaint of code of conduct and then the sanctions that council had come back with I felt strongly that fundamentally it was wrong.

Do you feel the petition will have an impact on the council or will it steel their resolve?

Yes and no. There are eight different personalities on Council so I expect they will feel differently. Some will recognize that their constituents are unhappy with some of their decisions and the others will probably dig in deeper because they can’t be proven wrong.

What was it about the sanctions that made you so upset?

They are revengeful. They are intended to punish Mayor Clark because she did her job. There was nothing she did wrong whether the council likes it or not. This is retribution because the Mayor not only called the CM out but the rest of council as well.

Do you feel there is more to the story than just the Aug 21/23 interaction between the Mayor and CM Mitchell, if so how would you want to see that dealt with?

Yes, should there be no. I believe there are some of the council members who are working this complaint to their advantage. They don’t like Linnsie. They think she is too much a lawyer and not a leader. What does that mean? She is a lawyer.
She needs to collaborate better. With these guys who take as much power as they can from the Mayor’s office and award it to themselves? Power that has been the Mayor’s prerogative for years. 
1. The Mayor no longer works with the City Clerk to set the Agenda
2. The Mayor no longer establishes who sits on what committees, boards or commissions
3. The mayor no longer signs the city cheques the CM does or whomever the CM might delegate it too. Would you want to collaborate with these guys?
Council feels the Mayor doesn’t show enough humility. How much is enough says who? Council is the judge?

How would I like to see this dealt with?

Sanction as much as you can on all eight councilors. Don’t elect any of them next time around.

Why do you think eight of her peers voted the way they did when many were her supporters early in the current council term?

I don’t believe councilors are the peers of the Mayor. I think some of the councilors were influenced by the councilors who earlier told them it was precedent. Precedent to ignore the rules of the MGA and to approve, the restructuring done by a CM who had the position for merely months when she started firing and hiring personnel, without council’s approval, retroactively? The councilors bought into that, even after hearing the questions asked by the Mayor to the CM. Eight councilors voted to pass a motion retroactively. Where is the Minister?

I also believe that the seven councilor’s that deliberated about the guilty verdict and the sanctions had to have a majority vote or there would be a weakness within the group. They had to stand as one and keep their mouths silent. Peer pressure won the day.

Why don’t you trust the decision that the eight councilors made as far as sanctions was the right one?

First, there were only seven counselors because Councilor Sharps did not attend the meeting or the discussion, in which she had started by filing the complaint in the first place.

No, I don't trust the councilor's decision. The sanctions are above and beyond anything the reasonable man would inflict.

If staff at city hall were being mistreated by any member of council, how would you expect council to deal with that issue if an elected official can’t be fired?

Where did this question come from? There are no accusations of mistreated staff by anyone. If this is the case, this is a personnel issue not this code of conduct complaint. Further you should not be implying it may be.

If council is found to be right, after a potential judicial review, will you accept the will of council or keep protesting?

Council will not be found right after the judicial review. Their decisions do not pass the reasonable man test. The Mayor’s questions asked to the CM were not malicious nor inappropriately asked. The Mayor, who is democratically elected by the electors of Medicine Hat, was doing her job. If the CM or the council members didn’t like it, that is their problem. 

Do you think Mayor Clark is in the wrong on this issue?

No.

Any other comments you would like to make on the issue?

Sure. The code of conduct that was filed pertains only to the exchange between Mayor Clark and CM Mitchell on Aug 21/23 and nothing more. No feelings the council may have towards the Mayor or expectations from the Mayor. No secret conspiracies behind closed doors. Anything outside of these parameters are irrelevant.

“In a democracy, the highest office is the office of citizen”

We the people elected Mayor Clark, we are the highest office of citizens. So, council stop this foolishness, drop the sanctions and start working within the MGA and with our mayor.

The Sentinel has confirmed with Councilor Sharps that a judicial review of the sanctions has yet to be filed by Clark.

Politics
Council Clearly Considers Clark's Request Unwarranted
May 7
5
Min Read

Council Clearly Considers Clark's Request Unwarranted

In a heated city council meeting last night, it was clear that council considered Clark's request for detailed report on spending, severance and staffing changes, unwarranted at best and vindictive at the worst.

Medicine Hat - In a heated city council meeting last night, it was clear that council considered Clark's request for detailed report on spending, severance and staffing changes, unwarranted at best and vindictive at worst.

Clark stated her "request was to have the information come forward" and "provided the background as requested" and she was "entitled to the information both as a councilor and a member of the public" so that "we can discuss the information" and "wasn't asking permission of council to receive the information that I am entitled to".

Councilor Robbins spoke to the request first and questioned the reason for doing so and was it a good use of taxpayer money to do so as the CAO had indicated this would take significant time of city staff to do so and have a cost. Robbins also indicated that she needed to hear from the chair of the Audit committee, Councilor Hirsch, as to the checks and balances that are already in place before she would agree to going down the path that Clark has requested.

Clark conceded that she would be willing to amend the parameters of the request that would only include the time this council has been in office and not earlier as outlined in her request, stating the request was to establish what "was normal" when it came to spending at city hall. COA Mitchell stated, "we have stayed under policy and stayed in budget" and did not "have a problem getting this information to council".

Councilor Dumanowski had the most powerful statement of the night regarding Clark's request. He stated, "the recent requests under the guise of transparency and accountability have instead started to sow the seeds of discord and mistrust, and it is my concern that this request is rooted in nothing less than baseless accusation and supposition. He also stated that it "undermines trust and cohesion within our organization".

Councilor Hirsch stated that it "reinforces my underlying concern on this whole request is we're sowing the seeds and creating a spectre of doubt and mistrust in our administration" and "that of fellow council members". Councilor Van Dyke was next and reiterated some of the same concerns and stated that a briefing note as indicated by Councilor Robbins would be helpful to understand the time and cost it would take to meet Clark's request for information and if it was a good use of staff time and taxpayer costs.

At this point Clark supports became vocal and Acting Mayor McGrogan took to the gavel and requested members of the gallery to not speak out during this discussion. Stating "you may not agree with the dialogue that it is not your place to actually have people here disrespected". Security was asked to speak to the offenders and warned them that outbursts will not be tolerated. Council then took a brief recess to allow the issues in the chamber to be addressed.

When council returned from recess, councilor Van Dyke finished her position on the matter. At that point Clark was allowed to speak and being visibly upset, stated that she "vehemently object to the accusation by Councilor Dumanowski and others that this was done for any reason other than my role as a councilor, the suggestion that was based on a political agenda or personal gain is a very serious accusation and I completely object to that."

Councilor Robbins then proposed 3 motions addressing parts of the request that Clark had made. 2 of the 3 motions made by Robbins were defeated and the motion to get more information on the time and cost to gather the information requested by Clark passed with a vote of 5-3. The statements by councilors clearly reinforced the position that one councilor does not have the authority to make requests on their own. It is something that council has to make as a whole through a motion that passes by a majority of council.

Both Councilor Sharps and COA Mitchell reiterated that some elements of the Clark request were dealt with through Admin and Audit committees in the past and Clark was privy to all of those changes. Councilor Sharps also stated that positions that reported to Clark and council, the Chief of Staff and Public Relations positions, were not correctly positioned withing city administration and the Admin & Operations bylaw was offside regarding those roles and that the only employee of council is the CAO.

The conversation then turned to what information is readily available to the council and Councilor Hirsch stated that there are checks and balances and policy that discloses the information requested. Councilor Sharps then asked Clark "that if she signs off on these reports does she not already have the information". Where Clark countered, "if I am not comfortable with an expense but is within policy I can't simply not sign it". Councilor Sharps then asked Clark "isn't it smarter to try to change the policy?". After which Clark stated "Absolutely."

Further discussion continued on the issue of expense card statements and reviewing them to get an understanding of what practice occurs currently. Council agreed that having all expenses reviewed, not just senior executives would be a better approach than to to target just a few. The debate continued with Clark pushing her perspective at every turn and landed on the issue of should this request be a notice of motion. Council agreed it should potentially be one, depending on the briefing statement requested. What comes back as far as the amount of work and cost to meet the Clark's request will decide if this request goes any further.

Community
New HAT Smart incentive encourages water conservation
May 7
2
Min Read

New HAT Smart incentive encourages water conservation

At the regular City Council meeting on May 6, 2024, Council approved an amendment to the popular HAT Smart program to incorporate a $150,000 water conservation incentive for 2024, available immediately.

**Medicine Hat **– At the regular City Council meeting on May 6, 2024, Council approved an amendment to the popular HAT Smart program to incorporate a $150,000 water conservation incentive for 2024, available immediately.

“Medicine Hat is forecast to experience drought conditions this year and we can do more to reduce our residential water consumption,” said Jaret Dickie, Manager Municipal Services Business Support.

Water utility customers are grouped into the following rate classes: Residential, Irrigation, External and Commercial. Residential and irrigation customer classes constitute approximately 65 per cent of total potable water consumption in Medicine Hat.

In 2023, water consumption increased from approximately 700,000 cubic metres in April to almost two million cubic metres in late August while wastewater treatment remained relatively stable.

“Data suggests much of the water between May and September soaked into the ground instead of back into our sewer system, which aligns with the season people are watering lawns and irrigating gardens,” adds Dickie. “So, we’ve largely matched these rebates to reduce that type of water use.”

Rebates are available in the following categories:

Xeriscape materials
Drought tolerant ground cover or turf
Low flow exterior sprinklers
WaterSense® irrigation system controller
WaterSense® low flow toilet

The rebate covers 50 per cent of eligible expenses to a maximum amount that varies from $75 to $500 depending on the category. Furthermore, smaller water conservation items like drought resistant plants, rain barrels, rain barrel accessories, soaker hoses, and watering timers are now eligible under the existing Scratch and Win program.

Applicants must submit receipts and other applicable documentation when they request a rebate. Eligible rebates are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis until the fund is fully depleted.

Visit hatsmart.ca for full program details and instructions on how to apply.

One-time funding for the 2024 water conservation incentive is allocated through working capital from the water utility. If the program is deemed successful, staff will build a sustainable funding source for water conservation initiatives into the Water Utility Bylaw as part of the 2025-2026 budget process.

Education & Learning
Jenner School focused on community this year
May 7
4
Min Read

Jenner School focused on community this year

Students and staff at Jenner School have focused on a commitment to community this year making their Exhibition of Learning, which will be in June, a year-long project. Community members have come into the school to talk with the K-3 students, Grades 4-6 students have made murals to give to local post offices and the junior high students worked together to create a new sign for the town of Jenner.

Jenner School has been focusing on Commitment to Community this year, which will be the theme of their Exhibition of Learning in June.

“The exhibition has turned into a year-long focus project for our entire school. June is the revealing of the new Welcome to Jenner sign that everyone will see when they drive into town,” stated Principal Kirby Stensrud. “The junior high students created prototypes and we took those ideas to our local Hutterite colony, who have an amazing fabrication shop, and they offered to make the sign and install it.”

The ribbon cutting for the new sign will happen once the exhibition in the school gymnasium is done. “The exhibition has turned into a community-centered recognition day that the teachers have now taken part in. We did some Christmas and Easter baskets and delivered those to care homes in Medicine Hat and things have spurred off from there that have been fun,” said Stensrud.

The young students, K-3, have been interviewing community champions who’ve come into the school to speak with them. The students have a list of questions they ask each presenter(s): What motivates you? If you had one word to describe Jenner, what would it be? Why did you pick your job or career? Along with telling the students a story about their life or career. Grade 2 student Huntley Stensrud said her one word for Jenner is amazing and she is motivated by friends, family and all animals.

Grade 4-6 students created two large mural art projects, with the post offices in Jenner and Buffalo each receiving one. “Each student chose a symbol that meant something to them about their community. Some chose a silhouette of a farmer, some chose cattle, others 4-H symbols,” explained Stensrud.

“It was fun (making the murals), it was relaxing to rip the pieces of paper up and glue them onto the page. I ended up doing the Alberta Sweet Potatoes logo because my mom runs that,” said Grade 5 student Madison Lessner, whose one word for Jenner is loving.

This is a year of transition for Grade 9 students, who will enroll in either Duchess School or South Central High School for Grade 10 in September. Evangeline Johnson has attended Jenner School since Kindergarten and said, “I love Jenner School so much, I don’t want to leave. I’m close with everyone I know at school. I like helping out the little kids, it makes me feel better. There are only six kids in our class, so we get a lot of attention from teachers, particularly with something we are struggling with.”

Johnson has difficulty with math while her friend Lily McLaughlin says math is her area of strength. The two girls have known each other since they started school and are grateful they will be together at Duchess next year, which has about 200 students, a large jump coming from Jenner that averages around 30 students each year.

In addition to creating a sign for Jenner, the junior high students each wrote a report on the area where they live. Johnson lives in Iddesleigh and learned much has been lost in the last generation.

“Jenner used to be bigger, and we used to have a grain elevator here, our hotel was two stories with a restaurant. We had tons of stuff and I learned that it wasn’t that long ago we had these things because my dad talks about it,” said Johnson.  

“I live south of Jenner, in Denhart and the Tide Lake area,” said McLaughlin. “I did a mix of both with Jenner. There is not much there, in Tide Lake. I’ve lived there my whole life, so I kind of know it all and there was nothing that was really new.”

McLaughlin’s family lives next door to the 100-year-old Osborne School along with a 100-year-old church that her family still attends occasionally. “It’s a good community to grow up in, you know everybody so it’s awesome and you are close to a lot of people,” McLaughlin added.

Both girls said their one word for Jenner School is either family or community and are excited at having helped create a new sign for the town and seeing something they worked on come to life. Each of the students created different diagrams for the sign and three prototypes were made, with the final design a mixture of everyone’s ideas. “It was fun trying to get to that point and figuring it all out and knowing it will actually come true now,” said McLaughlin.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Health & Wellness
Community Cares Gala – In Support of the Medicine Hat Health Foundation
May 6
1
Min Read

Community Cares Gala – In Support of the Medicine Hat Health Foundation

Join the Medicine Hat Health Foundation at the 2024 Community Cares Gala and support an amazing cause. Enjoy a fun evening of great food, live music from Medicine Hat local Dan Howard, stand-up from international touring comedian Kelly Taylor, and the chance to be a part of the first fundraiser ever held in a working hospital in Alberta.

When it comes to cardiac emergencies, every second makes a difference. That’s why having the best possible treatment close to home is so important. So, this year, we’re raising money for new equipment and services that will improve cardiac care right here in Medicine Hat.

Join the Medicine Hat Health Foundation at the 2024 Community Cares Gala and support an amazing cause. Enjoy a fun evening of great food, live music from Medicine Hat local Dan Howard, stand-up from international touring comedian Kelly Taylor, and the chance to be a part of the first fundraiser ever held in a working hospital in Alberta!

The gala takes place on Saturday, June 8 from 6:30 pm – 11:30 pm. 

Tickets and additional information are available at www.ourhealthfoundation.ca, by calling 403-528-8133, or at the Foundation office in the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital. 

The Medicine Hat Health Foundation is the official charity of the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital and Alberta Health Services for Southeastern Alberta. The Health Foundation is a 100% local, registered, non-profit charitable organization that is dedicated to making a difference in healthcare. 

For further information, please contact the Medicine Hat Health Foundation:
P: (403) 528-8133  
E: info@ourhealthfoundation.ca

Community
Rolling For Hope - A documentary by the Medicine Hat Skate Board Association
May 6
1
Min Read

Rolling For Hope - A documentary by the Medicine Hat Skate Board Association

Rolling For Hope tells the story behind the Medicine Hat Skateboard Association's 2024 trip to volunteer in Mexico, where they built a home for a family in need and worked on upgrading a home for girls, many of whom are child trafficking survivors.

Rolling For Hope tells the story behind the Medicine Hat Skateboard Association's 2024 trip to volunteer in Mexico, where they built a home for a family in need and worked on upgrading a home for girls, many of whom are child trafficking survivors. 

The Medicine Hat Skateboard Association is a group of people passionate about skateboarding. Not only do they love to skateboard, but they also use their talents to shine a light in the world. 

The documentary is premiering at the recently re-opened Monarch Theatre in the heart of downtown Medicine Hat. Profits from the documentary go to supporting local community initiatives including Canada Day 2024. Rolling For Hope Premier is presented by Stringam Law and is in partnership with Tourism Medicine Hat. Rush seating only. Doors open at 6pm. A second show has been added to Friday May 10th.

This video premiere follows on the recent successful run at the Monarch Theatre of "Your Cinema Needs You"

Davie James, MHSA Board Member and Monarch organizer says "We want to invite our community out to join us and our team in celebrating this film about our recent trip to Mexico. We will be showing the documentary on our trip as well as having a Q&A with some of our team. Plus we will have a few surprises that we are saving for the Premiere!. Coming out is a way to support the MHSA, but also another opportunity to support the Monarch Theatre".

Tickets on sale now and available at www.tixx.ca 

Community
Memorial bench and table program postponed for 2024
May 3
1
Min Read

Memorial bench and table program postponed for 2024

Effective immediately, the City of Medicine Hat is implementing a temporary pause on the Memorial Bench and Picnic Table program for the 2024 season.

Medicine Hat – Effective immediately, the City of Medicine Hat is implementing a temporary pause on the Memorial Bench and Picnic Table program for the 2024 season.
Currently, the community has 647 benches and 447 picnic tables across various parks and trails. This pause will allow City crews to conduct a thorough review of the existing installations, assessing their density, and the need for further installations.
During this period, the City will transition from wooden benches to metal-coated benches, enhancing both the durability and cost-effectiveness.
Applications received prior to May 3, 2024, will be processed as usual, with installations proceeding at the agreed-upon locations.
Despite the temporary pause, residents can still honor loved ones by purchasing plaques to be placed on existing benches. Additionally, the Memorial Arboretum remains open for those wishing to dedicate a tree as a living tribute.
For more information on the Memorial Arboretum and other ways to honor loved ones, please visit our website at medicinehat.ca or contact the Parks and Recreation Department at (403) 529-8333.
The City apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciates your understanding as we strive to enhance the sustainability and efficiency of our city’s outdoor spaces.

Commentary
A Legal Perspective on City Council
May 3
1
Min Read

A Legal Perspective on City Council

It is crucial to recognize that the city manager is the sole employee of the Council and, as such, is subject to employment laws. The circumstances surrounding the incident, where the chief elected official was nearly perceived to have engaged in conduct tantamount to constructive dismissal, raise significant legal implications.

As a legal professional specializing in employment law, I believe it is imperative to address the recent events that transpired in the Council Chambers on August 21. There has been extensive discourse surrounding this incident, leading to a growing division within our community. I have observed individuals expressing opinions that not only exonerate the mayor of any wrongdoing but also cast doubt on the actions of the individual who intervened.

It is crucial to recognize that the city manager is the sole employee of the Council and, as such, is subject to employment laws. The circumstances surrounding the incident, where the chief elected official was nearly perceived to have engaged in conduct tantamount to constructive dismissal, raise significant legal implications.

The council member who decided to voice concerns took steps not only to defend the employee but also to shield the city as an entity from potential legal ramifications.

It is apparent that a large portion of our community lacks an understanding of the essence of the Municipal Government Act (MGA) and the decorum expected of council members in their interactions with the administration.

N.B. The Sentinel realizes that it is always preferred to have an author attributed to any commentary or opinion piece. Unfortunately in today's world of journalism, many that comment on issues affecting our community are targeted by internet trolls and cyber-bullies. The Sentinel wishes to have commentary from all sides of an issue, but with the realities of the social media world we live in many with valuable perspectives remain silent as they do not wish to have direct attention or can not speak on the record. The Sentinel will publish commentary from any reliable source and respect their desire not to have their name published if requested.

Education & Learning
Administrative Assistants wear many hats to keep schools running smoothly
May 2
4
Min Read

Administrative Assistants wear many hats to keep schools running smoothly

Wednesday, April 24 was Administrative Professional’s Day and a time to honour and celebrate these unsung heroes. As the go-to person for staff and students for everything from organizing school events to fundraising or administering first-aid, their role is dictated by whatever is going on in the school they work in on a particular day.

An administrative assistant’s job encompasses more than most people realize; they can often be counted on to help anywhere there is a need. “On any given day, I could pay bills, nurse an injured child, wipe tears away from a heartbroken student or teacher's face, schedule classes for a visiting presenter, and also answer phones,” said Lori Maser who has been working at Irvine School since 1996.

Being at the front end, they greet everyone who comes into the school, interacting with students, staff, parents and the community. While making the job hectic at times, it also provides a connection to everyone and is something they love. Overall, administrative assistants aim to keep everyone informed, ensure they have what they need and help the school or division office run smoothly.

Janice Herman has worked at Schuler School for the past 19 years, first as an Educational Assistant (EA) before moving into her role as an admin. “The thing I love most about where I work is that it is a rural farming/ranching community. I grew up very similar to our students so I can relate to that rural lifestyle. I love our parent/student community and feel privileged to contribute as an Admin Assistant at the school.”

Chelsea Sept at Ralston School is appreciative of the friendships she’s made with her colleagues. She enjoys helping with the big events at the school and watching a multi-layered idea come together. “The kids are the best part of my job! I love hearing the funny stories or things the kids decide to share with me in the office. I love being able to brighten their day and the enthusiasm from the kids is infectious and always makes my day! “

Michelle McHugh, who has been with PRPS for 23 years, worked at Ralston until 2022 and is now at Irvine School. She enjoyed meeting families from different countries while at Ralston and felt a connection with them as both her father and husband were in the British army. Irvine School has much to offer, and she loves the community and the farm.

“I do the Nutrition Program as well at the school, so I make 400 snacks a week for the students and staff. I also work part-time as an EA so I'm in the foods class two times a week with the junior high. I love receiving little messages from students which I post around my desk,” stated McHugh. “I make birthday announcements and play Stevie Wonder "Happy Birthday to You" most mornings to staff and students. It's lovely to hear other students wish staff and students Happy Birthday on most days as you may not know it's someone's birthday without the announcements. I also do the Facebook Page, website, newsletters, registrations and numerous amounts of school messenger posts.”

Kelly Herrmann was an EA for 17 years at various PRPS schools before taking over the position of administrative assistant at Prairie Mennonite Alternative School (PMAS) five years ago. Watching students learn new things and being in a new school are highlights both she and Janice Herman share. In addition to her admin assistant duties, Herrmann is responsible for the library at PMAS, organizes the monthly hot lunches and enjoys participating in outside supervision and watching the students on the playground.

“When we were located in Redcliff at RMAP, we did not have a library. Over the last 5 years, I have been developing our school library from scratch with donations from our other PRPS schools and the Medicine Hat Library, as well as purchasing new books slowly along the way. I supervise video conferencing classes with our Grade 9 students, as well as have library classes with the entire school,” said Herrmann. “Communication is very important for a school to run, so a big part of my job is to try to make sure all staff and students are aware of the parts that they need to know. I have made a calendar in the staff room on a large white board for the staff to be able to see at a glance what is coming up, and keep it updated as best I can. Because of our unique situation with our families being Low German Speaking Mennonites, our method of communication has to be handled differently than a typical school. Most of our parents do not use email, or most online programs that other schools use (school cash, registrations) so the ability to communicate has to be handled differently. Also, the language barrier makes it harder to communicate. Building trust is very important since I need to help them with any forms that need to be filled out. I have assisted families with passport applications, registration forms and other government forms that they may need assistance with as well as reading/translating online government surveys.” 

Katie Ritz, who is finishing up her second year of working at Jenner School, summed up her role nicely. “I love our little school. It's more than a community, it's a home, its family. We see these students from newborns all the way to Grade 12 graduation and beyond. I am the doer of all things for our school. Whether it's finding books for kindergarten kids, helping with Grade 9 options class, being the banker at fundraiser time, treat/ goodie buyer. I will help anywhere and everywhere.”

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
Being a trustee for Prairie Rose keeps getting better
Apr 29
4
Min Read

Being a trustee for Prairie Rose keeps getting better

Nancy Haraga is the Ward 6 trustee for Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS) and says she enjoys the role and it only keep getting better. A fourth-generation rancher in Skiff, AB, all three of her children attend Foremost School. One of the best parts of the position, is getting out to all the different schools within PRPS to meet students, staff and parents.

Nancy Haraga is more than halfway through her first term as Ward 6 trustee (Foremost area) for Prairie Rose Public Schools (PRPS). At the time of the elections, Haraga put her name forward after a friend suggested the idea. “I took a leap of faith and put my name in, explained Haraga. “As a parent you don’t understand how a school division is run, but as a trustee it is something I really enjoy.” 

While being a trustee during the final months of government restrictions due to the pandemic was challenging, it’s been up and up since then. “We were doing what we were supposed to do, which is making education decisions for the children of the division, that’s what I put my mind to because this is about the kids,” stated Haraga.

Getting out and meeting people and having conversations with teachers, school and division staff, parents and community is the most enjoyable part of the job for Haraga. “I’ve always thought that as trustee it’s very important to be active in the communities. This is where you find out what’s going on in the community and most of the time, we can resolve many questions or concerns beforehand. Communication is key to every aspect of life and I’m so grateful for our parent council and staff at Foremost School. I’m pretty biased when I say we have the best, but I know throughout all of Prairie Rose, that we have a pretty amazing group of staff, including custodians who do an amazing job at keeping our schools clean. Happy staff, Happy kids.”

Haraga, who grew up in Foremost, is now a fourth-generation rancher in Skiff, along with her husband, where they run 400 head of cattle, 80 head of sheep along with laying and boiler chickens. “We raise our own meat and butcher our own chickens. I don’t like to be part of the killing or gutting but will sit in the kitchen and clean them,” said Haraga. “We get about 70 eggs a day from our laying hens and the boilers, we usually do about 40 a year. We start with 40 and usually the coyotes take a few.”

Most of the ranch work is done on horseback and getting the work/life balance right while also being a trustee has some challenges. Haraga is also a licensed hair stylist but discovered last winter this isn’t the right time for her to be returning to that work, not with being a trustee, helping on the ranch and raising three children, who are in Grade 4, 6 and 8 at Foremost School. 

Haraga has visited most of the schools in her ward and some in other wards and intends to try to visit each school within PRPS by the end of her first term. 

“I love seeing the different dynamics, I went to Ralston for the first time this year for their Exhibition of Learning and met most of the staff and students. That is a different culture and dynamic than what I’m used to in Foremost. I’d like to get up north and into the Oyen area because as a new trustee I haven’t been into those schools. I’ve been trying to make a point of meeting parents and staff because I think that is really important, for them to know the board is here to support them at every aspect,” explained Haraga.  

Her kids are heavily involved with Foremost School, her daughter in school sports and her two sons with the South Alberta Hockey Academy. Having constructive conversations with parents is important to Haraga. A huge advocate for the students, Haraga continues to work for what is best for them so they can succeed after Grade 12.

She is interested in bringing Prairie Rose Possibilities into all schools, such as Burdett where she feels the AgPro programs - Western Tractor, beef and crops – would be a good fit there along with the health care aide program. With so many opportunities available, it only takes the time to develop the program and find a champion within each school to bring new possibilities to students. 

“I think the programming Reagan and the school division are doing is phenomenal and I love that there are these options for children because, growing up in a rural community, it was always a question why we couldn’t have certain programs. 

I like that the education they are providing is for everybody and is rural and urban based. Just because you are a city kid, doesn’t mean you can’t become an agronomist or get into the agriculture world. I think it’s great what they are doing and I’m excited to see what the future holds in PRPS and I’m glad my kids are right in the middle of it and my oldest is already experiencing the John Deere program and I know they are looking to get the AgPro in Foremost as well. I’m glad my kids are on the cusp of it so they can start to experience some of that as well,” concluded Haraga.

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Creative Writing
Bliss - a short poem
Apr 28
0
Min Read

Bliss - a short poem

Modern Poetry by Gwendoline Dirk

Bliss

Morning whispers

in soft breezes

mind slowly

becoming aware.

Shaking off the cobwebs

of sleep

and dreams.

Brighter now

as life sets in

and I am

Awake!

My arm reaches

outward . . .

What comfort

in that moment

to find you

there

peacefully

sleeping

beside me.

Commentary
Running For City Council? Why Bother?
Apr 27
2
Min Read

Running For City Council? Why Bother?

With the government of Alberta introducing Bill 20, it raises the following question in municipal politics. If a councillor can be removed by order of cabinet, or a bylaw overturned because it does not jive with the ideology of the government, why be a municipal councillor at all?

With the government of Alberta introducing Bill 20, it raises the following question in municipal politics. If a councillor can be removed by order of cabinet, or a bylaw overturned because it does not jive with the ideology of the government, why be a municipal councillor at all?

Yes, the provincial government has authority over all municipal entities and functions. But just because you have the right to do something, does it mean it is the right thing to do?

There is a principal that is rooted in the Magna Carta which is “no taxation without representation”. The largest expense most of us will have in our lifetimes is taxes. Tax is a legal expropriation of a part of your economic efforts so that we can pay for essential services that benefit society as a whole. This is all the taxes we pay at all levels of government. We pay taxes on income, on consumption and on property values.

If those taxes “buy” us the right to vote in municipal, provincial and federal elections to voice your opinion on who should get the privilege to spend those tax dollars and how they spend them, it is one our most valuable possessions and we should exercise the right.

With Bill 20, the provincial government is now putting at risk the value of local representation. If the provincial government can trump local leadership and decision making, the role that municipal government has to listen, react and address local issues becomes less.

If Bill 20 is to give the province, or more arcuately a small part of government called the cabinet, the ability to remove councilors and rescind bylaws that may conflict with the ideology or agenda of the provincial government, then why run for municipal council in the first place?

Business
New Southeast Alberta Chamber of Commerce Approved to Move Forward
Apr 25
4
Min Read

New Southeast Alberta Chamber of Commerce Approved to Move Forward

The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Her Excellency, the Governor General in Council, approved the application by the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce to change its name to the Southeast Alberta Chamber of Commerce, along with the change to the Chamber's district boundaries on April 12, 2024. The official boundaries now include the Town of Bassano, the City of Brooks, the Municipal District of Cypress County - which includes Wild Horse, Seven Persons, Elkwater, Irvine, Walsh, Dunmore, Schuler, Hilda, Suffield, Ralston, Veinerville and Desert Blume, the Village of Duchess, the City of Medicine Hat, the County of Newell, the Town of Redcliff and the Village of Rosemary.

MEDICINE HAT - The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce that Her Excellency, the Governor General in Council, approved the application by the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce to change its name to the Southeast Alberta Chamber of Commerce, along with the change to the Chamber's district boundaries on April 12, 2024. The official boundaries now include the Town of Bassano, the City of Brooks, the Municipal District of Cypress County - which includes Wild Horse, Seven Persons, Elkwater, Irvine, Walsh, Dunmore, Schuler, Hilda, Suffield, Ralston, Veinerville and Desert Blume, the Village of Duchess, the City of Medicine Hat, the County of Newell, the Town of Redcliff and the Village of Rosemary.

Southeast Alberta Chamber of Commerce Board President Steve Heid commented, ‘We were pleased to hear of the approval by Her Excellency, the Governor in Council on this approval. There have been many hours contributed to working towards bringing the region together and embracing our strengths within the Southeast Alberta corner of the province. We are pleased with the relationships we have been able to foster in the Brooks-Newell region, and this recognition and change of name will only bolster those efforts to collaborate and represent the regional business community.’

Former Brooks & District Chamber of Commerce President, Chip Cheney, further added, ‘the Brooks and District Chamber of Commerce wanted to create a stronger business environment and support system for the Brooks-Newell region, finding a pathway to create greater connections and benefits for all communities involved. We are pleased to have the experience from the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce working with us to navigate these transitions and provide ongoing support and a voice to represent our business community.'

City of Brooks Councilor Mohammed Idriss, who was also a former Board member of the Brooks & District Chamber of Commerce, remarked, ‘This is an opportunity to revitalize our business community. We look forward to working with the Southeast Alberta Chamber of Commerce on initiatives to connect, support and advocate for our community. Effective chambers of commerce are great venues to give a voice to businesses big and small, and we believe the new Southeast Alberta Chamber of Commerce, with the expanded boundaries and membership, will have more impact and will create a regional collaborative mindset, which in turn will benefit all involved.'

The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce approved the Petition for a Change of Boundaries and the Change of Name at its Annual General Meeting on November 30, 2023, following the motion for dissolution by the Brooks & District Chamber of Commerce in November 2023. Following the resolutions, the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce filed the necessary petitions and resolutions under Section 4 of the Boards of Trade Act to the Federal Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development to broaden its boundaries to serve Bassano, Brooks, Cypress County, Duchess, Medicine Hat, Newell County, Redcliff and Rosemary, expanding on its existing service area of Medicine Hat, Cypress County, and Redcliff.

'The Brooks-Newell region has been gracious in welcoming us into their region and providing us the opportunity to serve the area. We also know that the opportunity comes with great responsibility, and we are honoured to be able to serve in this capacity through our connections, support and influence we offer,’ stated Executive Director, Lisa Dressler. ‘We recognize we need to be responsive to the needs of our Southeast Alberta region and we are fortunate to have boots on the ground with Naomi Zacharias, a previous business owner in the region, as our Brooks-Newell Business Development Coordinator. It is important to have local connections and a local presence, and we are pleased to have someone in the region, with the extension of the full wrap-around support from our existing team members.’

The Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce will now commence work on the many changes required to change their name, but will now be able to operate as the Southeast Alberta Chamber of Commerce. This will be a monumental moment in history as the Chamber embarks on its 125th anniversary in 2025, under the new Southeast Alberta Chamber of Commerce name. Visit: www.SoutheastAlbertaChamber.ca to find out more and meet the team.

Health & Wellness
Driving Donations for Local Healthcare
Apr 25
0
Min Read

Driving Donations for Local Healthcare

The Medicine Hat Health Foundation, in partnership with Davis GMC Buick, would like to congratulate Rita Maier.

The Medicine Hat Health Foundation, in partnership with Davis GMC Buick, would like to congratulate Rita Maier. She drives away in a brand new 2024 GMC Terrain Denali with the winning ticket number B-4224. 
 
The Driving Donations for Local Healthcare early bird prize, a $1,000 gift card sponsored by GasKing, was drawn on February 14, 2024. Winning ticket number was B-338, congratulations Marlene Bockman. 
 
Thank you to everyone who bought raffle tickets, by doing so, directly supporting local healthcare.

Community
Animal Food Bank In Need of Community Support
Apr 25
2
Min Read

Animal Food Bank In Need of Community Support

The Medicine Hat Animal Food Bank is a volunteer operated organization providing pet food and supplies to pets of the homeless, low-income and those facing financial hardship. With the current state of the economy, and rising cost of living, demand has doubled for their services in 2024.

By Nicole Frey

The Medicine Hat Animal Food Bank is a volunteer operated organization providing pet food and supplies to pets of the homeless, low-income and those facing financial hardship. With the current state of the economy, and rising cost of living, demand has doubled for their services in 2024. With over 260 human clients, and 650 pet clients, many members of our community (even the furry kind) depend on the Animal Food Bank. Unfortunately, donations are down – way down – and the branch is struggling to meet need.

We’ve seen need for our services double already in 2024 – with our team of volunteers dealing with over sixty requests for help a month, assisting over 150 pets a month. Unfortunately, for the first time since operation, we are faced with not being able to help these pets because we have run out of dry dog food

The Animal Food Bank provides a lifeline for many by supplying pet food to owners unable to afford it. Without this help, 71% of their clients would face the tough choice between feeding themselves or their pets. Moreover, 64% might have to surrender their pets. Our role is preventative. By keeping pets fed, we help maintain the integrity of the family unit and relieve local shelters from having to accommodate surrenders, many of which are already at or over capacity. This is good for the pet, and their human.

In hearing of the need, four local dealerships have sprung into action. The "Trans Canada Way Dealer Pet Chow Showdown"is a pet food drive event running until May 15th, 2024. Four local car dealerships are competing to collect the most pet food donations with a goal of collecting 5,000 lbs of food. Community members are encouraged to stop by one of the participating dealerships between now and May 15th and drop off pet food or supplies for local pets in need. The General Manager from the losing dealership having to drive a car from the winning dealership for a day. It’s a fun way for the community to support pets in need, and their favorite dealership. (link to the event is here: https://www.facebook.com/events/978201090758351)
  
The Animal Food Bank’s operations rely on volunteer support and community donations. Interested individuals can join the effort by dropping off a donation at a participating dealership, volunteering for deliveries or other tasks or dropping of pet food or supplies to one of our drop off locations in the city. Donations are also crucial and can be made directly through the AFB's website at animalfoodbank.org.
In March alone, our Animal Food Bank saved local shelters and rescue groups over $35,000 in costs, by preventing the unnecessary surrender of happy, loved pets. Our services compliment the efforts of local shelters and rescues by allowing them to focus their limited resources on animals without homes.
 
Donate or find drop off locations here: animalfoodbank.org
Volunteer here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/4717864674919650.

Politics
Budget 2024 Survey Results for Medicine Hat - Cardston - Warner
Apr 24
2
Min Read

Budget 2024 Survey Results for Medicine Hat - Cardston - Warner

Financial Impact: Individuals, businesses, and municipalities have all reported significant financial strain due to increases in the cost of essentials such as groceries, gas, and home heating. Businesses have particularly felt the burden of rising payroll taxes and the carbon tax.

Prior to the announcement of the Federal Government Budget for 2024, we surveyed individuals, businesses and municipalities across Medicine Hat – Cardston – Warner. I wanted to share the results of our recent surveys. Your participation in these surveys has provided invaluable insights into the challenges facing our community amid the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.
 
Here are the key findings from the survey:
 
Financial Impact: Individuals, businesses, and municipalities have all reported significant financial strain due to increases in the cost of essentials such as groceries, gas, and home heating. Businesses have particularly felt the burden of rising payroll taxes and the carbon tax.
 
Financial Hardship: Many constituents are finding it increasingly difficult to meet their financial obligations, with concerns about falling behind on bills and worries about retirement looming large.
 
Outlook for 2024: The majority of respondents anticipate that their personal financial situation in 2024 will either remain the same or worsen compared to 2023. Some businesses express uncertainty about their ability to survive the year amidst mounting costs.
 
Support for Policy Changes: Across the board, there is strong support for the removal of the carbon tax as a means to alleviate financial pressure on individuals and businesses alike.
 
Economic Pessimism: A significant proportion of respondents do not foresee improvements in Canada's economic situation in 2024, reflecting a lack of confidence in the Liberal government's ability to provide hope for financial stability and future prosperity.
 
For a detailed breakdown of the survey results, please refer to the following reports:
 
Budget 2024 Survey Report for Individuals
Budget 2024 Survey Report for Businesses
Budget 2024 Survey Report for Municipalities
 
Thank you once again for your active participation and engagement. After nine years, Justin Trudeau is not worth the cost for any generation. Canada is broken!! But I remain hopeful that a Conservative Poilievre government can and will turn things around. We are anxiously waiting for that opportunity.  
 
Sincerely,
Glen

Food & Beverage
Patio Season Begins!
Apr 24
1
Min Read

Patio Season Begins!

When the Yard Patio and Eatery opens up their patio, then you know it is officially patio season.

When the Yard Patio and Eatery opens up their patio, then you know it is officially patio season. Lots of changes for this summer and a lot of the things you have grown accustomed to love. You will want to try the new dinner menu served from 5-8pm featuring skillet steaks, smash burgers, chicken and waffles to name a few.
The regular menu is still be offered outside of those times so you can still get your spicy naan BLT and the unique and refreshing garden nachos featuring Daniels Dill Dip! The patio dinner club is new to this year featuring local talents. The first one featuring Kelsey Porter and Curtis Weiss sold out in no time but get your tickets for the remaining dinners.
If you are a regular or if you have not been down to the Yard before, come check out this unique patio downtown Medicine Hat on 3rd Street across from Travois. Reservation can be made at 587-914-YARD. Once in full swing the patio is a fantastic place to enjoy the outdoors and catch live music.

Community
Inspector Brent Secondiak to Retire from MHPS in June
Apr 24
1
Min Read

Inspector Brent Secondiak to Retire from MHPS in June

Insp. Brent Secondiak announces retirement plans on social media.

Medicine Hat - This morning Inspector Brent Secondiak announced on social media his plan to retire in June of this year.

”In June , after 25 years of service, I'm hanging up my badge to embrace a new chapter in my life: retirement from policing!

To the incredible community of Medicine Hat and the dedicated team at @medhatpolice, thank you for your unwavering support and partnership over the years. But most of all, to my beloved family and friends, your love and encouragement have been my rock throughout this amazing journey. 

I'm immensely proud of the numerous achievements we've accomplished together, and I look forward to working in this community in my next phase of life .

Here's to new adventures and endless gratitude!”

This is a developing story and will update the community with any further statement made by the MHPS.

Education & Learning
Eagle Butte students compete at Totem Torus Math Competition
Apr 24
1
Min Read

Eagle Butte students compete at Totem Torus Math Competition

Two teams, the Denominators and Casual Mathletes, of Grade 12 students in the Eagle Butte calculus class went up to Edmonton to participate in the Totem Torus Math Competition on April 11. The students results compared well with other public high school students across Alberta, they had fun and felt it was a great experience.

Two mathlete teams from Eagle Butte High School, the Denominators and Casual Mathletes, competed at the Totem Torus Math Competition in Edmonton on Thursday, April 11. The teams drove up the day before and got to spend time together as a group at the mall during the evening. The teams were made up of those students in the Grade 12 calculus class who wanted to attend the competition.

Questions could be from every grade level between 7 and 12 with a solo competition where a calculator was allowed, a team portion in groups of six solving 25 questions in 45 minutes without calculators and then a relay in groups of three, where the previous person’s answer corresponds to the next person’s question.

“They choose harder questions because they wanted to challenge you, but they wanted something that anyone in each grade could solve,” said Arabella Allen. “It wasn’t questions from the curriculum, just trying to think out of the box.”

The student’s scores compared well with other public-school students from across Alberta, but Allen stated they’d gone for the experience and not to win. After graduating this year, Allen plans to go to Carleton University for the aerospace engineering program.

“I didn’t study at all or review anything, I probably should have and I likely would have done better,” said Jordan Vandor who will attend the University of Alberta for mechanical engineering in September. “I went for fun, it’s not for marks so it’s easier to do because there isn’t that stress of having to get it right. The relays were fun, the solos were better than the team ones, that was the worst one. I’m retired now, I’m a one-hit wonder.”

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Education & Learning
Education Week celebrated at Margaret Wooding School
Apr 23
4
Min Read

Education Week celebrated at Margaret Wooding School

Students and staff at Margaret Wooding School in Redcliff participated in a variety of activities for Education Week starting April 15. Students in the running club had a visit from the Medicine Hat Rattlers running team and the Outdoor Education option class learned survival skills from members of Southeastern Alberta Search and Rescue.

For Education Week, students and staff at Margaret Wooding School took part in different activities. Inspirational video clips of student speakers or famous people the students would know about were played in each class during the morning. The video was followed by a discussion led by the teacher. “A reflective process on the video they watched and to think about their own living and who they are and their own growth along with setting goals,” explained Principal Craig Corsie. 

Representatives from Southeastern Alberta Search and Rescue (SEASAR) came to the school to present to the Outdoor Education class, one of the options students can sign up for that run on Wednesday afternoons.

“We learned a lot about what to do if you are lost in the woods,” said Lilly, who signed up for Outdoor Education because she likes plants and finds being outside in nature relaxing. Classmate Hailynn also joined the option because she likes being outside in Nature, with the coulee by the river one of her favorite places.

The girls helped each other remember the top four strategies to use when in the wilderness: to tell a parent where you are going, stay put and hug a tree (if lost), stay warm and dry, and lastly to listen to the search and rescue people who respond to the call.

“It’s an expert voice and good content for the kids,” explained teacher Robyn Harrington. “With just starting a new term, it introduced being in the outdoors and how to keep safe. The students get a certificate for it as it’s an accredited course across Canada. SEASAR is a community-based group that potentially kids might be interested in down the road to connect with and possibly volunteer with,” explained Harrington. “One of the girls in the class, her mom volunteers with search and rescue and I didn’t know that.”

When asked if there was anything they wanted to add, Lily said, “they taught us how to put on these tinfoil blanket things to keep warm.” Hailynn jumped in to say, “and they also taught us to get lots of big branches and make an X, an SOS or an arrow pointing to where you are.”

Each morning, the school has been playing a game of bingo just for fun. Different clubs at the school were showcased, with the coach and four student athletes from the Medicine Hat Rattlers running team coming to the school to demonstrate stretches, warm up exercises, and running games to students of the Margaret Wooding running club. The Rattlers also brought some swag with them to pass out to the students, including balls, mini-sticks and lanyards.

Josh, Peyton, and Nash are all members of the running club and agreed the games were the best part. All joined the club because they like running, with Josh and Peyton preferring short-distance competitions. Nash prefers running in a group because it’s more fun and said he likes a mix of both short and long-distance running.

“There was this one game where everybody was it, but to tag someone you had to tag them below their knee and when you get out, all the people you tagged are back in,” explained Josh.

Nash added, “they taught us this warmup where everyone lies on their stomachs and someone runs between them and the person you were next to, after you’ve done a full lap, you lie down back beside them, and they have to get up and do the same thing.”

This is the second year the Rattlers have visited the running club. “We got to do a bit more because it was outside. Yesterday, we had to shift things because we had to be inside (due to the rain and snow), but it was still fun. Another thing they did at the end was field some questions from the kids and they had a chance to talk about what it’s like to be a Rattler,” concluded Harrington, who supervises the running club.

Education week culminated in the Margaret Wooding Learning Exhibition, which ran throughout the school day and then again in the evening, making it a long day for students and staff. On Friday, Corsie said everyone was going to take a breath and have some relaxation time to acknowledge all the hard work everyone put in to make the 2024 Education Week and the Learning Exhibition successful.  

By Samantha Johnson, Prairie Rose Public Schools Content Writer

Community
Transit planning for detours to accommodate construction season
Apr 22
1
Min Read

Transit planning for detours to accommodate construction season

The City of Medicine Hat will see several major construction projects in 2024 and Transit Services will encounter delays and detours as a result.

Medicine Hat – The City of Medicine Hat will see several major construction projects in 2024 and Transit Services will encounter delays and detours as a result.
“Road construction and closures can be frustrating for drivers,” says Gord Dykstra, Transit Manager, Medicine Hat Transit Services. “Transit experiences the same pressures, and must plan alternate 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 to ensure they arrive at their destination when intended.”
3rd Street SE, Downtown Medicine Hat
The City is upgrading downtown’s water and sewer systems, originally installed back in the early 1900’s. Our goal is to ensure a reliable and future-proof utility network along 3rd Street SE. To learn more about this project, visit medicinehat.ca/threesteetdowntown.
Starting today, April 22, 2024, Transit will utilize various routes to detour around the construction, including 4th Street and 4th Avenue, as well as River Road. This project is expected to last until the Fall of 2024. 
Altawana Drive
The section from the bottom of Altawana Drive hill to 7th Street, will be closed for underground maintenance. This closure will require detours for the Route 10 NE and the Route 11 NW Crescent Heights, and may cause significant delays. Starting mid-April, Transit will detour using Parkview Drive and 12 St. NW to return to the downtown Transit Terminal.
Division Ave. South
The section from 4th St. to 13th St. along Division Ave. South will be under construction for the majority of the Summer, requiring detours for Route 21 Hospital.
To stay up to date with road closures (live) and major projects (updated regularly), visit medicinehat.ca/major-projects.
For more information on Transit detours and route planning visit, medicinehat.ca/transit.

Community
Pay-It-Forward at Medicine Hat Public Library
Apr 22
2
Min Read

Pay-It-Forward at Medicine Hat Public Library

For just $5 you can make a huge difference in the life of another community member

Written by Chris Brown, Head of Marketing & Community Engagement

A simple and low-cost library card sponsorship option

Medicine Hat Public Library and the What Matters to Hatters Coalition want to bring the good vibes of the drive-thru and the coffee shop bulletin board into the library.

Library cards for adults used to cost $5 annually. Three years ago, MHPL started its A Library Card for Every Hatter campaign, which encourages businesses, community groups and individuals to sponsor library cards so that everyone in our community can, at no cost to them, access all of our great services. Many great businesses have stepped up to donate thousands of dollars over the years through the public sponsorship, and we know that will continue.

We’re hopeful community members will want to support the initiative on a smaller scale through our pay-it-forward sponsorship option.

For the next couple of months at least, when people register for a library card or renew their card, library staff be asking people if they would like to pay-it-forward. When we get to $1,000 in pay-it-forward donations we’ll put a sticker on the cards to show that these cards are free because of community members who paid it forward.

The idea fits well with the mission and vision of What Matters to Hatters, says coalition member Michelle Sauve.

“We think that it’s important as a community coalition to be engaged in our community and supporting local initiatives," she says. “We love our library and we host some events there and this is an opportunity for us to model paying back and paying it forward.”

A library card opens a world of possibilities to holders, everything from borrowing books on various formats to taking personal and professional development courses, and taking part in the various programs available for all ages. 

Visit mhpl.shortgrass.ca and click Become a Library Card Sponsor under the “I Want To…” tab for more information.

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

Visit the What Matters to Hatters Coalition Facebook page to learn more about the group and its initiatives.

Community
Phase 1 Water Conservation Measures Continue
Apr 19
2
Min Read

Phase 1 Water Conservation Measures Continue

In response to the risk of drought in southern Alberta this year, City of Medicine Hat representatives have been meeting regularly with Alberta Environment and Protected Areas and collaborating closely with multiple regional agencies to align efforts and ensure prioritized use in the event of limited water availability.

Medicine Hat – In response to the risk of drought in southern Alberta this year, City of Medicine Hat representatives have been meeting regularly with Alberta Environment and Protected Areas and collaborating closely with multiple regional agencies to align efforts and ensure prioritized use in the event of limited water availability.
Through participation in numerous Government of Alberta water sharing workshops, which began February 2024, the City of Medicine Hat has formally agreed to participate in a water sharing agreement.
Four Water Sharing Agreements (WSAs) have been signed by 38 major water users in the South Saskatchewan River Basin, covering the following sub-basins: the Red Deer River, the Bow River, the mainstem of the Oldman River, and the upper tributaries of the Oldman River. Under these agreements, major users have voluntarily agreed to reduce water use if severe drought conditions develop.
As a participant in the WSAs, the City will continue to collaborate with the other large license holders in the Oldman River sub-basin through regular meetings led by the Government of Alberta.
Medicine Hat remains in Phase 1 of the City’s Water Shortage Management Plan which commits to an annualized water consumption reduction goal of 10 per cent through mandatory measures for select City departments and voluntary conservation measures for the public. The Parks and Recreation department will reduce water consumption by 25 per cent through various measures such as reducing irrigation in city parks. Other City operational changes will include discontinuing water features and fountains for the 2024 season and reducing the number of bottle fill stations across the city.
Phase 1 conservation measures for the public are voluntary and consist of a request to the public to follow the outdoor watering practices outlined in the plan. The public is encouraged to implement water conservation methods inside the home to minimize non-essential water use as well. Residents can find information about water conservation and the details of the Water Shortage Management Plan on the City’s website at medicinehat.ca/drought. Residents can also visit alberta.ca/drought for information on drought response and current conditions.
“Employing an ‘every drop counts’ mindset will help the City demonstrate our water conservation commitment,” says Jamie Garland, Director of Environmental Utilities. “Achieving a community-wide reduction in water use will help minimize the chance of having to advance to elevated phases of the Water Shortage Management Plan, which all come with mandatory water restrictions.”
There is no imminent risk to Medicine Hat’s drinking water or Water Treatment Plant. The City will continue to monitor local and sub-basin conditions, respond if and when the WSAs are activated, and consider elevating to subsequent phases of the City’s Water Shortage Management Plan as conditions evolve. Subscribe to the City’s e-news feed (subscribe.medicinehat.ca) and follow the City’s social media channels to stay up to date.

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

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