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April 2024 Mayor's Column

I want to begin by reminding and inviting all our residents to the City’s next in-person community engagement event, which is coming up on April 25. The spring Community Conversation will offer participants the opportunity to give feedback, get informed and connect with City staff and partner organizations on 40 different projects.

Some of the topics will include cycling in Lethbridge, water conservation, Land Use Bylaw review, green cart organics, solar energy, Encampment Response and the Municipal Housing Strategy.

Community Conversations are a way to bring together all of the City projects seeking community feedback in one convenient location, making it easier for residents to participate. Public participation helps build a strong and connected community, informs council decision making and enhances the city we all call home.

The free event will be held from 3-7 p.m. April 25 at the ENMAX Centre and will also include concession samples, fun family activities with the Lethbridge Public Library, Fire and Emergency Services fire prevention and Sparky the mascot, swag giveaways and prize draws.

Last week at the Economic and Finance Standing Policy Committee meeting, Council members were presented with the City’s Water Conservation Plan and Strategy (WCPAS). It includes several voluntary, economic, and regulatory measures to create long-term changes in water usage behaviour to benefit residents and the environment for years to come.

We know there is significant public interest in water issues. In early 2024, a water conservation survey gathered almost 4,000 responses, with 88 per cent of respondents citing water conservation as a priority. We encourage our residents to check out our new Water Wednesday public education campaign for tips on conserving water and saving money.

Earlier this week, the 2024 Federal Budget was released. It will take some time to review its entire scope, including discussions with our City Treasurer, to see the full impacts.

As always, City Council will continue to advocate for the supports we need in our city to best serve our residents. We look forward to working with the Federal Government in the coming weeks and months to learn more about what this budget means specifically for Lethbridge.

Regarding the recently announced Provincial Priorities Act, again: City Council’s priority is to ensure Lethbridge receives the funding our community needs. We look forward to learning more in the coming weeks about the Government of Alberta’s proposed Provincial Priorities Act, and how we can continue the excellent working relationships we have with our Provincial and Federal Government partners.

If you are new to Lethbridge, simply want to find out about Municipal Government, or are perhaps looking ahead to run for elected office come October 2025, we soon will have an opportunity to learn more. On April 25 at Lethbridge City Hall, City Clerk Bonnie Hilford will host an introductory session for those who have no or very limited knowledge of Municipal Government.

At the session, attendees will learn about:

  • The decision-making process, including the role of Council, Administration, the public, and Council’s Boards, Commissions and Committees
  • The meeting process, including what happens at a Committee and Council meeting and how are they related
  • Legislation, including Acts, Regulations, Bylaws and Policies and Resolutions: What is the difference, when are they used and why do they matter?
  • Jurisdiction. Who does what with regards to the Municipal Government, the Provincial Government, and the Federal Government?
  • Election process

The session will run on April 25 from noon to 1:30 p.m., with the option to attend the Governance Standing Policy Committee meeting at 1:30 p.m. following. For those interested, please email to reserve your spot. 

Nominations for MP Rachael Thomas’s 2024 Community Builders Awards are now open until May 17. They can be made by residents of Lethbridge and Lethbridge County to acknowledge anyone who has demonstrated a commitment to going above and beyond and making a positive difference in the community.

One person who had a major impact in Lethbridge was Aaron Brooks. Aaron recently lost his life to cancer at age 42. The outpouring of support to the family and friends of the 19-year veteran of our Fire and Emergency Services team has been incredible. He will be greatly missed by all who had the honour of knowing and working alongside him.

There is no easy segue here, so I will just get into my congratulations this month to:

  • The Lethbridge Hurricanes Hockey Club for their exciting season. We’ll get them next year!
  • Terik Parascak and Ty Young of the Prince George Cougars, who are our local players still in the WHL playoffs
  • The Lethbridge Sports Hall of Fame, who are preparing to host the 38th Banquet and Induction Ceremony on Friday, May 3, at the Canadian Western Bank Lounge at the ENMAX Centre
  • Rachel Nicol, our local Olympian and Pan American Games swimmer who recently announced her competitive retirement
  • National Volunteer Week, Volunteer Lethbridge, as well as the Lethbridge Sport Council, who just launched
  • National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, a time dedicated to recognizing the invaluable contributions of Emergency Communications Officers across the country. These professionals, often the first point of contact in critical situations, play a pivotal role in the safety and well-being of our community
  • The Lethbridge Curling Club. It was announced earlier this week by Curling Canada that Lethbridge will host the 2025 U SPORTS/Curling Canada Canadian University Championships and Canadian Colleges Athletic Association/Curling Canada Canadian College Championships will be staged Feb. 24-28, 2025 at the Lethbridge Curling Club. This is great news and will add to our city’s legacy of hosting major curling events
  • Spring. Should it ever fully arrive, I look forward to getting outside for a variety of activities

As always, be safe and kind to one another – and go Oilers go!


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