March 2023 Mayor's Column
April 6 will mark the fifth anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. We were all heartbroken when we heard the news.
A day later, Lethbridge's Logan Boulet succumbed to injuries he sustained in the tragedy. His parents, Bernadine and Toby Boulet, agreed to donate his organs. By doing this, Logan Boulet saved six lives. Logan had registered as an organ donor after being inspired by his coach and mentor Ric Suggitt, who saved six lives as an organ donor in 2017.
Within weeks of the Humboldt tragedy, more than 150,000 people registered to become organ donors in what became known as the Logan Boulet Effect.
Green Shirt Day was created to honour, remember and recognize all the victims and families of the fatal crash and to continue Logan's legacy by inspiring Canadians to talk to their families and register as organ donors. For more information, visit www.greenshirtday.ca.
Lethbridge City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to have the Mayor's Office again declare April 7 as Green Shirt Day. I want to keep bringing this item to Council annually, rather than as a one-time declaration, to continually highlight Logan's impact.
Following the tragedy, Canadians discovered the incredible legacy Logan and Ric created. They had a major role in inspiring Canadians to talk to their families and register as organ donors. This is something that Lethbridge City Council wants to continue to recognize.
If you want to keep up-to-date on Council and Standing Policy Committee meetings, a reminder that agendas are posted a week before the scheduled meetings. They can be viewed here. For quick recaps of Council meetings, please visit our City Council Highlights page here. And for full videos of all meetings, please visit the City of Lethbridge's YouTube page here.
At the March 15 Economic SPC meeting, we heard a presentation from the Lethbridge Curling Club seeking a letter of support and financial support of $900,000 cash and in-kind services, from the previously-approved Major Community Event Grant budget, to host the 2025 Canadian Curling Trials – commonly known as Roar of the Rings.
As the Lethbridge Curling Club and the Lethbridge community has a strong history of hosting elite curling events, we know there are significant social and economic benefits to hosting an event of this magnitude. The estimated economic impact of the Canadian Curling Trials event is expected to rival the 2022 Tim Hortons Brier which saw an estimated $16.8 million of economic activity through areas such as hotels, restaurants and shopping in the Lethbridge area.
There is no bidding fee paid to Curling Canada and no money changes hands until all accounting is done after the event. If the bid is unsuccessful, there is no financial exposure for the City. Council will likely discuss this matter further at its April 4 meeting ahead of the June bid submission deadline. The host city will be announced this November and the trials would run from November 22-30, 2025.
After City Council's meeting Tuesday, I headed to Cochrane for the Alberta's Mid-sized City Mayors meeting. It was another great opportunity for 24 municipal leaders representing 33 ridings and more than one million Albertans, nearly 25 per cent of Alberta's population, to refine our collective priorities and advocacy efforts with the Provincial government.
The Mid-Sized Cities Mayors' caucus (MCMC) meets monthly to share best practices, discuss challenges faced by our communities and identify opportunities to work together to solve these challenges. We also meet in-person twice per year to identify areas for improvement, seek out partnerships and leverage funding and collaboration opportunities. We have the goal of ensuring that the Provincial government understands we are willing, knowledgeable and capable partners in helping the Province achieve long-term prosperity.
The 2023 Federal Budget will come out next week. I am sure that 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 and I 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.
This weekend marks the seasonal return of Neuron, the e-scooter and e-bike provider here locally. I am looking forward to another year of added mobility and sustainable transportation options for residents here in Lethbridge. We saw some of the economic benefits to businesses with the addition of the e-scooters and e-bikes, so I hope to see that trend continue again this year. I hope to see residents and visitors continue to scoot and bike safely around our beautiful city and get out and enjoy all it has to offer.
Congratulations this month to:
- All those who participated in the Moonlight Run last weekend!
- The Lethbridge Hurricanes for recently clinching a WHL playoffs spot. Go Canes Go!
I try to keep up with community recognitions, but someone or some group will inevitably be missed. If you have a recognition to note, please contact the Mayor's Office here: https://www.lethbridge.ca/City-Government/City-Council/Mayor/Pages/default.aspx. I am always pleased to recognize all the positives in our community, including birthday and anniversary milestones.
I would like to end this month by wishing everyone an early Happy Easter! As always, be safe and kind to one another.