May 14th, 2021

City Notebook: And so it continues

By Medicine Hat News Opinion on May 1, 2021.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com@CollinGallant

Today is May 1, which most of the world celebrates as Labour Day, and though the North American labour day is still on the other side of summer, it might be wise to use this as a sort of target as we move into an unwanted new phase of the pandemic.

Sure we all thought maybe there wouldn’t be a pandemic Christmas, or a second birthday of the drive-by variety.

Most of Alberta is facing a second, or is it third, lengthy school shutdown at present.

This week the News reported that rodeos big and small throughout the province are expecting to shift dates as potential pandemic restrictions on crowds may still be in place as a second summer under COVID begins.

That throws the Medicine Hat Stampede parade into some limbo, but, like most things we’ll have to see.

Before that, Canada Day fireworks aren’t likely an option at this point, since the committee that staged them resigned in protest last year, and there’s been but a peep since.

So, if we’re recalibrating, yet again, it should be noted that Labour Day traditionally featured parades, and stood as a proud showing from the working men and women that keep this country moving. Aren’t they supposedly the exalted heroes of the pandemic, anyway?

An aside

Also, there’s football, or could be, by the end of August.

The Canadian Football League states it envisions a shortened season playing before crowds this summer if significant portions of the population are vaccinated.

That led to social media messages essentially saying ‘over to you Rider nation’ from Scott Moe, the premier of Saskatchewan where health officials are prominently featuring Rider great George Reed in a campaign for the shot.

It seems like a lot of hub-hub just to see the Winnipeg Blue Bombers come to town, but, oh well, why not?

Land matters

An interesting item at council on Monday, yet one that will likely garner little interest, is a public hearing to rezone a 60-foot-wide and notably deep lot on the Southeast Hill. It would change from medium density so a prospective buyer can erect a single-family home.

The spot at the intersection of Fourth Street and Third Avenue is on the edge of an area outlined to increase population density in the city’s centre, which has been a city priority since Eatons was operating. The applicant and the contractor who owns the site say there’s no interest for it and anything is better than an empty lot. It’s an argument that tends to get a lot of traction with city council which works endlessly to prove it’s not an impediment to development.

A look ahead

Council meets Monday to set the tax rate for 2021 among other business.

The similar process occurs for Cypress County council on Tuesday in Dunmore, where county officials debated last week a move from the lowest taxes in Alberta toward the average in order to make up for sagging linear assessment revenue on oil and gas facilities.

100 years ago

In the latest delay for construction of the Hat to Hanna railroad, crews building the bridge across the Red Deer River hit a “quick sand pit,” the News reported this week in 1921.

Engineers estimated that piling to the depth of 100 feet would be required, and “fear is expressed that this road may not be completed by this fall.”

Capt. Lorenzo Vance, who retired to Medicine Hat after sailing nine times around the world as a master mariner, died in the home of his son-in-law, Dr. T.F. MacDonald.

Local boosters of the Liberal-Conservative Party, born from the Union Government movement at the end of the war, were scheduling a mass meeting to select a candidate for the local byelection in June.

The farmer-led Ontario legislature debated measure to ban Hearst newspaper publications from the province due to the “mischief they undoubtedly cause.”

After 15 years absence, the Port of Cardiff received its first shipment of live cattle from Canada at the only port in western United Kingdom capable of off-loading livestock.

In Ottawa, new penalties for trafficking narcotics might include flogging, according to a bill being debated in the Commons.

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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