February 28th, 2024

City Notebook: Nothing against lawyers, but this council is a rarity

By COLLIN GALLANT on October 30, 2021.


A prominent note in last weekend’s Q&A with incoming mayor Linnsie Clark noted she is the first lawyer to be elected to the post in what we think is at least 100 years, but likely ever.

This council will feature two legal professionals, though first-term councillor Ramona Robbins is now a senior administrator in the local Crown prosecutor’s office.

Aside from Bill Cocks we can’t think of another legal practitioner to sit on city council in modern history.

Come to think of it… before Jim Horsman’s celebrated stint, you have to travel back 108 years to find another solicitor on the list of city MLAs (Charles Mitchell before the First World War). Federally, the last lawyer to represent the Hat in the House of Commons, Arthur Sifton, also signed the Treaty of Versailles.

There have been farmers, ranchers, lots of merchants, a chiropractor, a railroad engineer, even the publisher of the Lethbridge Herald representing Hatters in Edmonton and Ottawa.

Do Hatters have something against lawyers?

They don’t against cops, considering recent electoral successes from Glen Motz and Andy McGrogan, or the fact that Norm Boucher served two terms as mayor not so long ago, though you can’t find a soul who voted for him these days.

As a service to readers, the new city council, with private occupations:

– Linnsie Clark, first term, lawyer;

– Robert Dumanowski, seventh term, school principal;

– Darren Hirsch, third term, commercial banker;

– Cassi Hider, first term, exec. director Ronald McDonald House;

– Allison Knodel, first term, teacher;

– Andy McGrogan, first term, retired, police chief;

– Ramona Robins, first term, manager with Alberta Justice prosecutions;

– Shila Sharps, first term, business owner;

– Alison Van Dyke, first term, director Community Food Connections.

Halloween happenings

The Esplanade will allow residents to drop a pumpkin off the terrace of the stately arts and heritage centre on Saturday afternoon.

This will no doubt provide a test of will and conviction for those Hatters who many moons ago objected to the construction of the facility and solemnly swore they’d never walk through the door. (Is anyone still adhering to this?) Other themed events are planned today, but the pumpkins should be a smash.

Halloween is Sunday, so watch out for ghouls and goblins, stay safe yourself, and don’t drink and drive.


The 100th anniversary of the poppy’s adoption as the symbol of Remembrance Day will be observed with a return of the Veterans Parade in Medicine Hat, local Legion officials tell the News. The campaign kicked off Friday.

While health and capacity restrictions will make it impossible to hold a ceremony within the Esplanade Theatre, local veterans will form up on the lawn of the facility on Nov. 11, then march to Riverside Veterans Memorial Park for the 11 a.m. observance. More details will be released closer to the date.

Driving about town

The full drilling rig that parked itself in a parking lot near S. Railway street for the last six weeks has packed up and moved on. It leaves behind a strange sensation that very few folks in town really seemed surprised or interested that it was there. Those who were, marvelled at the scope of the unique operation.

For the record, the CP Rail contracted the rig (Savannah No. 420) to repair a long-abandoned well that was leaking methane. That company will go before the Alberta Energy Regulator next month to argue it’s not the entity liable for the costs, which could reach the high six-digits.

In other roadways-opening news, work at the intersection of Third Street and Division Avenue is complete, and crews didn’t have to cut down the crab apple tree on the boulevard. It happens to be one of the prettiest trees in town.

A look ahead

Medicine Hat’s new city council will be sworn in on Monday night at city hall in front of a limited capacity public gallery. Only about 20 members of the public can attend. City hall does not enforce the province’s vaccine passport system, instead choosing to limit capacity. The ceremony can be viewed online at the city’s website or at Shaw-TV (cable 10).

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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