Medicine Hat Minute: Esplanade Upgrades, Summer Jam, and Investment Outsourcing Halted
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
Council's calendar for this week has already changed a few times, so look out for more changes, but as of right now, all other meetings have been delayed or cancelled to make room for one potentially long Council meeting.
That one meeting looks to be a marathon Regular Medicine Hat City Council meeting starting on Tuesday at 6:30 pm. The meeting begins In-Camera (in secret) with two committee reports kept under wraps with the flexible heading of "advice from officials", before coming back into public scrutiny for presentations and public hearings on 6 separate land use amendments. Also of interest is a report on the 2026 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games and a promised motion for an independent review of the Invest Medicine Hat bidding process, which has been plagued with scandal.
- While the continued hot, dry weather and worsening fire risks forced the cancellation of fireworks near the Stampede Grandstand this weekend, no other events will be significantly impacted by the hot weather and all larger events are expected to begin this Wednesday with the Summer Jam concert starting at 7:00 pm (doors at 6:00 pm) at the Grandstand.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
- The higher-than-expected cost of upgrading the audio and ticketing system of the Esplanade will be at least offset by a cash injection in the form of a grant from the Federal government. The Esplanade will be getting a much-needed upgrade following an announcement that the City is set to receive $39,700 from Canadian Heritage's Cultural Spaces fund.
- A day shelter that was set up on North Railway Street in response to COVID-19 restrictions limiting access to public spaces has begun winding down operations sooner than expected. This comes in the wake of complaints and criticisms from businesses neighbouring the facility.
- Orka Management Group has rescinded their bid to run the City's Invest Medicine Hat initiative. The company was founded this February by three employees of Invest Medicine Hat, only to receive the outsourced contract for Invest Medicine Hat, upon submitting the only bid. Jason Melhoff, who at the time we write this remains Invest Medicine Hat's current Managing Director, along with fellow Invest Medicine Hat employees Chris Perret and Erik Van Eck drew the ire of many when the nature of the bidding process and the trio's relationship with the City became widely known. They say they recognize "the perception of a conflict of interest", but believe the City has "a robust process" to prevent a conflict of interest from colouring the outcome of the bidding process.
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