Medicine Hat Minute: Land Acknowledgement, Power Rates, and Firefighter Collective Agreement
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
There is a meeting of the Corporate Services Committee on Thursday at 11:00 am. The Committee will discuss amending fees for dishonoured payments and adjusting taxi rates in light of persistent high gas prices (maybe we shouldn't let the government set prices to begin with?)
- Police are reminding residents to lock their vehicles, remove valuables from them, and stay vigilant when leaving them unattended. Vehicle thefts are up 40% over the last two years, with 71 cars currently reported as stolen.
- Traffic delays are likely to occur this week along Parkview Drive. Resurfacing work will result in lane reduction beginning today, with a completion date of August 16th, weather depending.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
- City Council was back in action after its summer break. The latest meeting featured a spirited debate about land acknowledgements. Some Councillors want to revise the City’s current policies around the acknowledgement, which was developed in 2018. Currently, it is intended to open any events or documents relating to the history of local Indigenous and Metis peoples but cannot be used “in token fashion or as a platitude at every meeting or gathering or in every document or email.”
- The City and the Medicine Hat Firefighters Association finally have a new four-year collective agreement, retroactive to January 1st, 2019, after Council voted unanimously to ratify the agreement. The agreement includes changes to the Fire Service Promotional Policy, modifications to employee pay scales, and a general pay increase. Having taken so long to come to an agreement, the deal is already set to expire at the end of 2022, so now they have to do it all again! Presumably, that makes the highly-paid negotiators and mediators the real winners?
- Hot weather has impacted Hatters in more ways than one - not only has the temperature been rising, but so have the utility prices needed to power the A/C! The City of Medicine Hat’s non-fixed utility rates for the month of August show an increase of 2.4 cents over July’s rate, to 17.2 cents per kilowatt hour. In comparison, the 2022 fixed rates remain at 8 cents per kilowatt hour, but utility customers must commit to a six-month contract to access these rates.
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