Lethbridge Minute: Safety Stats, Dog Run, and Emergency Exhibition Funding

Lethbridge Minute: Safety Stats, Dog Run, and Emergency Exhibition Funding


Lethbridge Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Lethbridge politics


This Week In Lethbridge:

  • On Wednesday, there will be a meeting of the Audit Standing Policy Committee at 1:30 pm. The meeting will begin with the election of a Chair and Vice-Chair, and end with an in-camera (in-secret) session to discuss the Risk and Controls Annual Update and 2024 Workplan, an Audit Planning Report, and a report entitled “Economic Update and PS3450 - Financial Instruments”.

  • The Assets and Infrastructure Standing Policy Committee will meet on Thursday at 1:30 pm. This Committee will also elect a Chair and Vice-Chair at the beginning of the session. Then, there will be an update on the Toxic & E-Waste Round-Up Pilot, followed by a presentation on the 2023 Transportation Master Plan and the Land Use Bylaw Renewal Project. The Committee will also hear feedback from the public regarding the Lethbridge and District Exhibition’s emergency funding request. (See below for more information).

  • The Province is seeking feedback regarding the Municipal Government Act. Specifically, on training requirements for City Councillors, whether or not Council should be able to meet in private, what things they can discuss while in-camera, and the recall thresholds for elected officials. We’ve long said that the process for recalling the Mayor or sitting Councillors is arduous and unlikely to ever result in being able to actually succeed. Our friends at the Alberta Institute have plenty of information available on the issues with recall legislation as it is currently written. We would encourage you to fill out the Province’s survey and advocate for lowering the thresholds (ie. making it easier) to recall an elected official. The survey can be accessed here, but please fill it out soon as it closes on December 6th.


Last Week In Lethbridge:

  • The Lethbridge and District Exhibition, facing financial challenges with the Agri-food Hub and Trade Centre, requested emergency funding from the City. The Exhibition has asked for a capital grant of $6,742,315.72, citing rising interest rates and operational requirements. The Exhibition also sought a four-year debt deferral with a repayment plan for the outstanding amount and requested that the City immediately take over the old pavilions, excluding the West one. A feasibility study on doing so will be presented on December 12th. Following a four-hour presentation, Council approved a one-year deferral of loan payments to the City at a cost of $1.16 million, contingent on provincial funding approval for the capital grant before December 11th. Additionally, Council approved up to a one-time payment of $500,000 for interim operational funding and a third-party review of the Agri-Food Hub and Trade Centre, with further considerations pending provincial response within two weeks. Administration estimates the entire cost of assisting the Exhibition at around $22 million.

  • Council approved funding for a new 1,100-square-meter fenced dog run at the Lethbridge Animal Shelter, allocating $30,000 for the project. The Shelter has limited space and this new addition aims to enhance exercise, training, and socialization opportunities for the dogs, especially in light of the fact that average stays at the shelter are 37.5 days - way up from the pre-pandemic 16-18 day average. The timeline for construction has yet to be announced.

  • The Lethbridge Police Commission heard a report from the Lethbridge Police Service, noting a decline in downtown encampments and ongoing investigations into fire issues. The Downtown Policing Unit reported working closely with the encampment response team, with plans to collaborate during winter months to identify and track abandoned buildings. Additionally, two new Community Peace Officers are set to join the police force. The report also highlighted a recent training scenario involving a hostile protest at Lethbridge Courthouse, involving various agencies and identifying areas for improvement. Crime statistics from January 2017 to July 2023 indicated an overall increase in crime, with downtown Lethbridge experiencing a 20.9% increase, North Lethbridge showing a -9.7% decrease, South Lethbridge with an 18.4% increase, and West Lethbridge reporting a 3.7% increase. A recent study said that Lethbridge is the least safe city in Canada, but the police service disputes the findings.




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