May 14th, 2021

City Notebook: Budgets and donations have election talk front and centre

By Medicine Hat News Opinion on April 24, 2021.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com@CollinGallant

This week’s federal budget is widely described by its critics as an election budget.

That means politicos figure Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau could seize upon poll numbers and a free-spending effort to improve his minority government’s seat count. That may be in the fall when the pandemic is a far-sight more in hand (hopefully).

However, provincial election politics are moving to the front-burner as well.

The mandate of the United Conservatives is but halfway through its term, but questions about UCP’s internal machinations are increasingly in the news.

On Friday, it was revealed that the Alberta NDP out-fundraised the UCP two-to-one in early 2021.

The NDP also seems to begin and end every sentence these days in Calgary, which recent polls suggest could be a battleground next time around.

The little birdies that tell your author things report there has been lots of poking around to find local candidates, as well.

It’s been a rough winter for most Albertans and maybe roughest of all for Premier Jason Kenney.

And interesting thought though, is that if the Kenney-led UCP were to lose the 2023 provincial election it would be the first thing Kenney will have ever lost in politics.

COVID

The New York Post reports that more than 1,200 new German words have been created in relation to the COVID pandemic in the language that often sees nouns and verbs combined as required to describe complex things

Among them are hamsterkauf (panic buying; hoarding like a hamster), spuckschultzschrim (mask; spit protection umbrella), abstandsbier (distance beer), and maskentrottel (one who wears a mask below the nose).

Keeping score

Mark down Labatts, Amazon, Bimbo Bakeries and Enbridge as major blue-chip companies to sign power purchase agreements with renewable energy projects in Alberta or commission them themselves over two weeks. Look back to last summer and add TC Energy, Shell and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Typos

It’s a poor carpenter who blames his tools, but the saying should not apply to keyboards.

Last Saturday the News reported that Conservative Leader Erin O’Toole’s environmental plan would see price on carbon capped at $450 dollars, which was a bit of an eye-popper. The number should have been $50, of course, but creating a dollar sign on your average keyboard these days requires you to press shift-four, and voila, a sloppy finger added 1,000 per cent to the figure.

Sound familiar? The same sort of mistake about a decade ago left readers in awe when the News cited the cost of the Event Centre in Medicine Hat as $463 million, much to the chagrin of all involved.

A look ahead

The issue of granting a permit to operate a daytime homeless shelter on N. Railway Street will be back before the municipal planning commission Wednesday.

100 years ago

“Rainmaker” Chas. Hatfield was welcomed to Medicine Hat with a banquet at the Corona Hotel and was toasted by local and provincial officials wishing him well in his work, the News reported on April 21, 1921.

The Los Angeles man who billed himself able to affect meteorological happenings via scientific process had been contracted by the local agricultural society to produce surplus rain in the coming crop season. He was to be paid expenses and $1,000 for every inch of rain above average.

In the region, a fire levelled the business district of Jenner, destroying the drugstore, grocery store, Union Bank, pool room, two restaurants and a warehouse.

Local health officials warned of smallpox cases in the region south of Medicine Hat.

In a creative solution, local organizers announced a Sunday school sports league would hold competitions on Saturdays.

In Ireland, four men were shot by firing squad in Cork as unrest continued. In total 11 executions had taken place over two months related to the insurrection and the death of five soldiers.

Among the oddities, investigators in New York described a criminal enterprise that trained cats to knock over lamps in schemes to collect insurance payouts.

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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