Medicine Hat Minute: Unclear Amendments, Water Strategy, and Planning Commission Confusion
Medicine Hat Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Medicine Hat politics
This Week In Medicine Hat:
There will be a meeting of the Economic, Land & Strategic Planning & Development Committee on Tuesday at 4:30 pm. The entire meeting will be held in-camera (in secret), and the sole agenda item is called “Economic, Land & Strategic Planning & Development Items.” So much for transparency!
- On Wednesday, at 2:15 pm, there will be a meeting of the Audit Committee. Much of this meeting will also be held in-camera, discussing an Enterprise Risk Update and a Summary of Fraud Investigations.
- The Energy and Infrastructure Committee will meet on Thursday at 3:30 pm. There is no agenda available for this meeting yet.
Last Week In Medicine Hat:
A discussion about disbanding the Municipal Planning Commission was put on hold because the Chair of the Commission, Councillor Darren Hirsch, had no idea the plan was being considered. Hirsch called it “institutional confusion” and said he would like a planned review of all committees and their mandates completed soon. The City Manager offered an apology on behalf of staff and said the process going forward will be more robust and involve everyone who needs to be involved. Perhaps Councillors should sign up to our newsletter, because we knew about it!
- Medicine Hat, Redcliff and Cypress County have decided to consider a joint study to create a regional water and wastewater strategy and partnership. Mayor Linnsie Clark recently announced an ambitious goal to grow the population by more than 40,000 residents over 20 years, necessitating a look at water resources. The joint study would be funded by a $200,000 grant from the Alberta Community Partnership program. In addition, City Council has voted to extend a sewer service agreement with Cypress County until 2034, which aligns with the agreement to supply potable water to Desert Blume and Veinerville that was signed in 2005.
- City Council members sent back proposed changes to the smoking and vaping bylaw, arguing that the amendments are too unclear. The updated bylaw sought to ban smoking cigarettes, cigars, and pipes within 10 metres of City parks and sports fields, while also adding vaping and e-cigarettes to the list of banned products. The bylaw, however, was worded in such a way that didn’t make it clear to all Councillors where smoking and vaping would or would not be allowed. The bylaw will be brought back to Council in March with clearer definitions.
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