April 20th, 2018

City Notebook: The council race begins

By Collin Gallant on September 16, 2017.

And they’ll be off Monday, officially, but it’s more likely election candidates will spend this weekend putting up signs, knocking on doors, rubbing shoulders at this event or that, or generally trying to win over votes.

The 2017 municipal election begins at noon Monday after candidates formally submit paperwork.

It’ll be up to candidates to inject some life into what is so far shaping up to be a bit of a boring race.

Since Labour Day two mayoral candidates have arrived on the seen and after nine months of running unopposed for mayor, Ted Clugston held a hearty get-together on Wednesday for about 40 notables.

There the incumbent mayor ran through a list of accomplishments from the current term. He also outlined a wish to spend four-years replenishing city reserve funds after a massive capital construction program.

Mind you, that’s been his position since he first announced he’d seek a second term at the early January State of the City Address.

Challenger Scott Raible hopes to put the emphasis on public services that are under the budget microscope. He called current council members disconnected on a number of issues, including transit changes.

So does John Hamill, who hopes to appeal to Hatters, offering experience with a heart.

The former alderman and mayoral candidate always makes things interesting, most will agree.

More than a few observers however, say they’re most interested to see the outcome of the SD76 school board race.

That body has dealt with legal challenges from a parent’s rights group over the past year.

It’s even money right now that a slate will appear when forms are handed in on Monday.

Then and Kahn

This column, “City Notebook,” is meant to reach into a reporter’s notebook and relay points of fact and tidbits overlooked during the week.

It’s good to look in the filing cabinet however, which brings us back to the lead-up to the 2013 election.

An already busy legislative year was made frantic by widespread flooding in the summer, and in the midst of that, council voted to dismiss then infrastructure commissioner Abdul Kahn.

It was a surprise, and “without cause.” A butting of heads with then CAO Ray Barnard is the widely assumed reason.

The News can’t find any note of legal action from Khan, who at the time said he wasn’t happy with the situation, but wasn’t particularly worried about finding a new job.

“I know how to design water systems,” he said. “I can work anywhere.”

That proved true, and quickly, for Kahn who is now a senior engineer with a well-known Edmonton firm that handles large municipal infrastructure projects.

He was also in the news last summer acting as an emergency consultant to help Prince Albert set up a new water gathering system when oil contaminated the North Saskatchewan River.

A look ahead

Monday is nomination day ahead of next month’s municipal election. The ballot should be clear by the noon deadline at Medicine Hat city hall, Redcliff town hall and the Cypress County offices.

100 years ago

About 450,000 Canadian women — those of kin to servicemen — would be able to vote in the autumn 1917 federal election, the News reported on Sept. 17.

Editorials demanded “Let all women vote!” and also slammed a decision to disenfranchise 50,000 immigrants who had come from enemy nations.

“Is the voting franchise as right or a privilege? Voting is never spoken of as a gift … This country has made the boast that it is free and just.

“The vast majority of Germans and Austrians in this country have done nothing by word or deed to merit the forfeiture… It is unjust and un-British.”

As for women, the News applauded the step, but “cannot support the creation of two classes of women in this country.”

In Ottawa, Alberta’s Liberal premier, Arthur Sifton, refused to discuss his recent meetings with Conservative Prime Minister Robert Borden.

Flight-Lieutenant Charles Weir, formerly the principal of Elm Street School, was reported missing.

Canada’s wartime food controller set the No. 1 wheat price at Port Arthur at $2.21 per bushel, equal to the American price.

Reports from Russia stated that the provisional national government was attempting to relieve Gen. Lavr Korniloff after recalling his troops to protect the capital from civil unrest.

Collin Gallant covers city politics and a variety of topics for the News. Reach him at 403-528-5664 or via email at cgallant@medicinehatnews.com

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