Medicine Hat Minute: Remembrance Day, Advance Voting, and Tax Increase Coming
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
There will be a City Council meeting this evening. A closed session takes place at 3:45 pm, followed by a public session at 6:30 pm. Council will hear a presentation on Family Violence Prevention Month from the Medicine Hat Women's Shelter Society as well as discuss a recommendation made by the Public Services Committee to develop a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy, recruit a Community Inclusion Coordinator, and establish a Truth and Reconciliation Advisory Board. There will be a high level overview of the upcoming municipal budget. It looks as though a 4% property tax increase will be coming. The City says this is due to a "$7.5 million revenue shortfall" resulting from 0% property tax increases in 2020 and 2021, but that sounds a lot more like a "$7.5 million spending increase" to us.
- On Wednesday, at 2:30 pm, there will be a Council Employee Committee Meeting. No agenda is available for this meeting yet.
- Friday is Remembrance Day. The Medicine Hat Legion will host its familiar Remembrance Day service for the first time since 2019 when the pandemic forced the event to be scaled back. A memorial service will take place at the Esplanade at 9:30 am, followed by a march to the cenotaph for a moment of silence at 11:00 am. The team at Common Sense Medicine Hat would like to express our heartfelt thanks to those who have served or are currently serving.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
Advance voting got underway in the Brooks-Medicine Hat byelection. Premier Danielle Smith is running to replace MLA Michaela Frey, who had already announced she wasn't running again in next year's election, but stepped aside early for the new Premier. Former Brooks mayor and Alberta Party leader Barry Morishita, NDP candidate Gwendoline Dirk, Bob Blayone of the Alberta Independence Party, and Jeevan Mangat of the Wildrose Independence Party are also running for the seat. No advance polling station is available in Medicine Hat - voters who wish to vote prior to election day will find their closest station in Redcliff. Election day is November 8th and, for those in that riding, information on how to vote can be found on the Elections Alberta website.
- Speaking of the byelection, the last of three candidate forums in the riding took place at the Medicine Hat College Eresman Theatre. About 150 people attended the event, hosted by the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce. Residents heard from the candidates on a variety of topics, including HALO Air Ambulance funding, education, and energy. Smith, Morishita, and Dirk all agreed that HALO deserves a long-term funding commitment from the Province. Blayone and Mangat said they weren’t familiar enough with the service to speak to it in any significant way. If you missed it, a recording of the forum can be viewed online.
- The Medicine Hat Women’s Shelter Society expanded its text line and web chat service to a 24/7 service. While the shelter has had a round-the-clock phone line for years, using a telephone isn’t always possible, and some women have expressed that texting or online messaging is a preferred option. Those options also appeal to a younger demographic.
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