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October 2019 Mayor's Column

It's hard to believe we're heading into the end of October already, this year has certainly flown by and we still have many exciting events coming up in the remainder of 2019.

One event I was thrilled to attend recently was the grand opening of the brand new Cavendish Farms potato processing facility. This was a truly wonderful event which saw the Premier, Jason Kenney and two of his cabinet ministers attend along with several City Councillors, local business owners, dignitaries and members of the public. We all came together to celebrate the largest private investment in our City's history.

The $430-million-dollar project made a huge boost to our local economy, not only in the construction of the facility, but also in the ongoing operation of the plant. The Canadian, family-owned business chose to invest in Lethbridge because they saw the opportunities available to them. The opportunity to grow their business along with the quality of people, produce and possibilities for the future our city can offer. We look forward to a long and successful working relationship with the Irving family and Cavendish Farms.

I was equally excited to attend the announcement of the start of construction on the first downtown redevelopment project accessing the Targeted Redevelopment Incentive Program (TRIP) earlier this week. Six08 Health (formerly East Meets West) will participate in the new municipal tax relief program as they embark on an estimated $4.8 million redevelopment project at 608 5 Ave. S. This is a fantastic project that represents the biggest single private investment in the downtown in nearly 20 years. It will bring more people, more activity and more vitality to the downtown and we are optimistic it is the first of many large redevelopment projects coming to our city's core.

To help encourage redevelopment in the downtown, Lethbridge City Council has approved this project for TRIP, which will, for a period of time, cancel the municipal tax increase the business would have incurred after the renovations are complete. The City benefits from this program in that, once the short-term cancellation period is over, a far greater amount of taxes are received due to the increased value of the property. You can find out more about how this and other downtown incentives work to  by going to

One other area of progress I'm pleased to see moving forward is the Municipal Housing Strategy (MHS) Implementation Plan. Developing this strategy and implementation plan was done in partnership with our community. It is a community-led strategy and community-endorsed plan that will help to build a more inclusive city and bridge the gap to safe, secure and affordable housing for everyone.

Developing a housing strategy was a key strategic goal for City Council and one we value greatly. This is the first housing strategy and plan for our city and City Council were unanimous in our approval of the implementation plan at the Oct. 7 City Council meeting.

Some of the community feedback we sought from the Municipal Housing Strategy was gathered at our community conversations events. These public open houses aim to highlight the many projects and initiatives that the City is working on to make our community better, faster and stronger.

The next community conversation is taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 23 at the ATB Centre from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Community members are invited to browse information booths and speak with project managers about some of the key projects taking place or about to take place around our city. Some of the projects attending this event include the new west Lethbridge Fire Station, the airport renovation, waste and recycling, the 3rd Ave S reconstruction and our mobility and accessibility master plan.

There are lots of fantastic prizes and opportunities for fun for the whole family and I encourage you to come and take a look at what the City has been working on. If you can't make the event, you can always check out the projects being featured at, which also has all of the event information for future planned events.