Lethbridge Minute: Ward System, Shelter Location, and a Very Merry Christmas
Lethbridge Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Lethbridge politics
This Week In Lethbridge:
- The Economic Standing Policy Committee will meet on Wednesday at 1:30 pm. The Committee will receive a presentation from the General Manager of Opportunity Lethbridge entitled Regional Economic Development & Tourism Strategy: Phase 1 Draft Vision.
The Governance Standing Policy Committee meeting, originally scheduled for Thursday, is cancelled due to lack of agenda items.
- It’s Christmas this weekend! Thank you to every single one of our readers and supporters who reached out, donated, volunteered, or shared our content this year. We appreciate every single one of you and hope you have a holiday season filled with friends and family. From Ronnie and the team at Common Sense Lethbridge, we wish you a very Merry Christmas.
Last Week In Lethbridge:
City Council voted 7-2 to rescind their previous decision to pursue a ward system. Instead, Council has opted to examine an alternative ‘precinct’ system put forward by the (unelected!) Administration. This proposal would see the city divided into four sections. Despite a plebiscite in which 55.69% voted in favour of a ward system, Administration determined that it “may not produce enhanced representation, greater voter turnout, or a more effective and efficient process”. Implementation has been deemed too costly (in excess of $300,000). The City says this is a win-win “made-in-Lethbridge solution”. Guess what’s even more made-in-Lethbridge? The system residents actually voted for.
- Council voted 5-3 margin to provide funding for an overnight comfort centre. More than $225,000 from federal grant funds and $100,000 from taxation will be allocated to Streets Alive Mission for the operation of the facility. Some Councillors had concerns about the shelter’s location near several businesses, and others noted that the funding should be approved this year and better planning should be done next year. Mayor Blaine Hyggen voted against the motion, suggesting using buses for warming centres instead.
- Following a lengthy negotiating process, a new collective bargaining agreement has been reached between the University of Lethbridge support workers (and their union - the Alberta Union of Provincial Employees) and the University of Lethbridge. The newly ratified deal will see wage increases of 1.25% on April 1st, 2023 and another 1.25% increase on December 1st, 2023. The deal also states that, pending economic conditions, the workers could see an additional increase of 0.5%.
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