Medicine Hat Minute: Energy Prices, COVID Optimism, and Ombudsman Investigation Quashed
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
It’s going to be a relatively steady week at City Hall with just two meetings scheduled - one council meeting and one commission meeting.
- The Council meeting will be a Regular Medicine Hat City Council meeting at 6:30 pm today. The meeting will start with a motion to close the meeting to the public. While the meeting is closed, Council will discuss several items including Council strategy and policy development and a Strategic Priorities Working Group agenda & summary, as well as receive a number of committee reports in-camera (in secret). The meeting will then revert to an open meeting, where Council will receive a presentation from the Community Inclusion Coordinator and reports from several different committees.
- The Commission meeting will be a Municipal Planning Commission Meeting at 2:30 pm on Wednesday. At this meeting, the Commission will discuss a development permit that if approved, would see fourteen seacans and a canopy constructed at 630 1st Street SE. The seacans are intended to be used as bays for vendors for temporary markets throughout the warmer months, and the canopy will be used to provide shade for the public. Once completed, the City hopes the site will have multiple functions, ranging from a parking lot to a plaza for social gatherings, as well as a large space for events.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
- Last Monday, Alberta Health Services confirmed that the Medicine Hat ICU is void of COVID-19 patients, the first time in months. The news follows a downward trend in active COVID-19 cases seen throughout the rest of the province and comes as welcome news going into the holiday season. With active cases of COVID-19 continuing to decline, do you plan to spend more of the holiday season with family and friends?
- At last week's Audit Committee, City Council heard how a volatile energy market could bring upwards of $50 million more than expected into the City’s coffers. The Audit Committee pointed to record high prices in Alberta’s energy market that they predict will continue. With all this extra money coming into the City’s coffers benefit taxpayers? Well, not yet, at least. Council is actually increasing power rates from 10.635 cents to 13.184 cents per kilowatt-hour.
- Don't expect answers from Alberta's Ombudsman over the issue of EMS dispatch consolidation. Alberta’s Ombudsman says she simply does not have the legal authority under the Ombudsman Act to investigate in this case. Although the Act does give the Ombudsman the ability to investigate administrative decisions of government ministries and many related bodies, a change in legislation would be required for the Ombudsman to investigate decisions made by AHS.
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