Lethbridge Minute: Successful Campaigns, 2023 Recaps, and a Happy New Year
Lethbridge Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Lethbridge politics
This Week In Lethbridge:
- Happy New Year! This year, our resolution is to fight for a City government that champions common sense solutions and fiscal responsibility. Thank you for all the support you showed us in 2023. If you’d like to make a contribution to our continued production of these newsletters, please click here to make a donation. May the year ahead be marked by thoughtful spending, transparent governance, and a commitment to making Calgary the best city to live, work, play, raise a family, and retire!
- No meetings will take place at City Hall this week due to Council being on break for the holidays. Official business resumes on January 16th, with a Priorities & Agenda Review Committee meeting.
- Local charities are reporting successful Christmas campaigns. My City Care's 2023 Shop of Wonders made a significant impact by assisting 7,155 individuals across six communities. Notably, the initiative brought over 3,650 children gifts and stocking stuffers. The effort involved the dedicated work of more than 350 volunteers, collectively contributing over 5,825 hours to make the charitable initiative possible.
Last Week In Lethbridge:
Lethbridge Police Service Chief Shahin Mehdizadeh recapped a busy 2023. He expressed positivity about the past year during a year-end interview, citing numerous opportunities to serve the community. Mehdizadeh focused on three pillars - crime, community engagement, and employee wellness. While acknowledging a slight increase in criminal behavior in the first half of 2023, he highlighted positive trends in the latter half. He said community engagement thrived, with well-attended town hall meetings and police participation in various events to support organizations. Employee wellness showed improvement, with positive survey results and the addition of a wellness coordinator. Looking ahead to 2024, initiatives include the Blackfoot values project and the annual Polar Plunge in support of Special Olympics.
- Recent data from Alberta Health Services revealed that nearly 140 individuals in Lethbridge succumbed to opioid-related deaths, with substances like fentanyl, methamphetamine, or carfentanil detected in approximately 90% of cases. The year saw 351 emergency responses to opioid-related events in Lethbridge. Provincially, emergency rooms in Alberta recorded nearly 12,000 opioid-related visits, necessitating almost 4,000 overnight hospitalizations.
- Rachael Thomas, Member of Parliament for Lethbridge, reflected on a busy and eventful 2023, highlighting both successes and challenges. She expressed pride in working under the leadership of Conservative leader Pierre Poilievre, praising his commitment to making the cost of living more affordable, reducing crime, and fostering hope and opportunity for Canadians. Thomas also commended her colleague Todd Doherty, the MP for Cariboo-Prince George, for his role in launching a new toll-free suicide prevention helpline (988) in Canada. She emphasized the importance of connecting with constituents, participated in various community events, and expressed optimism about addressing challenges and fostering a vibrant future in the coming year. Thomas hopes to see a return to in-person citizenship ceremonies in 2024, perhaps with a celebration and pot-luck.
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