April 2023 Mayor's Column
Lethbridge residents will soon have better access to cardiac care, including a new catheterization lab, right here at the Chinook Regional Hospital.
I was thrilled last week when the announcement finally came that Alberta Health Services will invest this year to advance the planning and design for enhanced cardiac care at CRH. Once fully operational, the new catheterization lab will help an estimated 1,500 to 1,700 patients a year to remain within their home community for this type of care.
Our front-line workers and residents – and our Lethbridge City Council – have long advocated for increased cardiac care supports in our city. The cardiac services plan includes six priorities to improve cardiac care in southern Alberta:
- Cardiac catheterization lab: to support interventional cardiac services in the region by expanding CRH
- Clinical cardiology: recruiting cardiologists and clinicians along with establishing remote real time cardiac monitoring from rural facilities to regional hospitals
- Cardiac imaging: dedicated inpatient echocardiography at both the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital and CRH
- Cardiac device services: an expanded device clinic to allow the capacity to insert cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators or CRT-D at CRH
- Cardiac ambulatory diagnostics and procedures: includes tilt tables for testing and centralized booking and scheduling
- Prevention: collaboration between primary care, chronic disease management and public health, and utilizing virtual platforms and a multidisciplinary staffing model
Implementation of this cardiac services plan will save lives. It will reduce times to treatment for heart attack patients. Our Council is also pleased because this will also assist with physician and nurse recruitment by offering jobs and opportunities to provide patient cardiac diagnostics and treatment that have not been previously offered in Lethbridge.
This is a huge win for our community.
Another big shift starting imminently is the City of Lethbridge’s Curbside Organics program.
Delivery of green carts began earlier this month and all homes with curbside collection can expect their new green cart to be delivered by May 12. The first city-wide green cart collection is currently scheduled for May 16. Green carts will be collected weekly from May to October and bi-weekly from November to April.
The implementation of curbside organics is a major step towards the City reaching our waste diversion goals. It has been in the works for some time as the curbside organics program is part of the Residential Waste Diversion Strategy approved by Council in 2015. City Council approved the Curbside Organics Program in June 2021.
Waste diversion is a community issue, so it takes a community to find a solution! The green cart program will prolong the life of our landfill, help reduce landfill greenhouse gases and leachate emissions which contribute to climate change. It also provides another option for residential food waste management.
Roughly 34,000 homes will soon be diverting organic waste from their black carts and from the landfill. More than half of what we throw into black carts is organic material and can go into the green carts. This waste is then turned into high-quality compost at the organics processing facility.
Residents can learn more about the curbside organics program, including what is in or out, at https://curbside.lethbridge.ca/
Lethbridge City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously in favour of approving the 2022 City of Lethbridge Annual Report, which features a comprehensive breakdown of City finances and the 2022 audited financial statements.
The Annual Report is a cornerstone of the City’s commitment to open, transparent government and helps residents understand how their tax dollars and other municipal funds are managed. It outlines the money needed to operate and grow our City, as well as the taxes and grant money collected to pay for these expenses. Understanding how tax dollars are spent helps the community see the value they get living in Lethbridge and builds trust and confidence between residents and local government.
The full 72-page document can be found at https://www.lethbridge.ca/City-Government/Financial-Documents/Pages/Annual-Report.aspx
At Council’s previous meeting in April, we authorized the Mayor’s office to write a letter to Minister Ellis, Public Safety and Emergency Services, Government of Alberta, to respectfully request the assistance of the Government of Alberta to provide Sheriffs' resources to help manage encampments on a six-month trial basis commencing in May of 2023. We hope to have further updates soon and will share publicly as soon as we do.
On Thursday, May 4, I will be presenting to the Southern Alberta Council on Public Affairs (SACPA). I will speak on several topics of importance to the community including on homelessness, community safety, physician recruitment and curbside organics. More information at https://www.sacpa.ca/
I recently contributed a Mayor’s Message for the Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame banquet which is set for May 5 at the Canadian Western Bank Lounge in the ENMAX Centre.
Each year, I am impressed and amazed at the sheer number and pure quality of the inductees. This year’s new members, along with the more than 330 current Hall members, represent a legacy to Lethbridge and region that is simply unmatched in any other avenue or discipline in our city. The 2023 class includes an Olympic medallist (of which Lethbridge has only ever had a handful), a former Ivy League track and field star, a decorated baseball umpire and mentor, the founder of the Lethbridge Amateur Wrestling Association, a team who won the Canadian Senior Little League Baseball title, and a charismatic boxer and rodeo athlete.
Congratulations to all the inductees! As our City Council wants to continually remind everyone: Lethbridge is the Gateway to Opportunity. We are the agricultural, commercial, financial, transportation, industrial – and sporting – centre of southern Alberta. Let’s continue to make sure everyone knows it!
Next week, we will have an exciting update to unveil: the new City of Lethbridge website is set to go live on Monday! I want to thank our teams who have been working tirelessly to get this project ready. We look forward to sharing it with our residents.
As always, be safe and kind to one another.