January 22nd, 2022

City Notebook: A province that can’t figure out how to please everybody, can’t seem to please anybody

By COLLIN GALLANT on January 15, 2022.


A common refrain in the summer of 2020 was that no government can save you from a virus.

A common retort was that it would still be nice if they made an attempt.

That’s a drastic dumbing down of both sides of the argument in Alberta that has lasted as long as this 22-month long pandemic, but it’s still a discussion that we’re having isn’t it … those who haven’t thrown up their hands any way.

What’s clearly changed over that time is how regular people are digesting information and acting upon it or not.

We’re all left a drift. The numbers we used to watch like clockwork don’t seem to work anymore. Or in some cases, they’re not even there.

Can anyone quickly point to what the current restrictions are for isolation? How ’bout qualifying for a test? Whether you should work at home? Get on a plane?

Fewer and fewer people seem to care, or are giving in to anger or resignation to a another winter of frustration.

All the while the health-care system has provided an unparalleled effort to keep up and keep people alive while everyone else debates the finer points of outrage like who can drink a coffee in which hockey arena.

And government – which is ruled by an all-encompassing allegiance to communications consultants, make no mistake – hasn’t figured out an effective way to communicate over the past two years.

They also haven’t figured out an efficient way to get a test kit into the hands of Albertans.

Remember when they handed out mask-packs at fast food drive-thrus?

More than a year later, the province sent one box of tests to the health clinic on Dunmore Road on Christmas Eve.

That message was sent out via social media, as were details about drive-thru testing facilities.

Pity those who don’t have a smart phone – or a vehicle for that matter.

Secrecy, Pt. II

The new bank being built on Dunmore Road – which no one will confirm is a new BMO branch – now has a BMO sign on it.

Why the state secret? We can’t begin to figure out why.

It would also be interesting to know why Canadian Tire’s real estate company (which owns the Dunmore road property) now lists the BMO branch downtown among its holdings (look it up).

Save the date

The Schuler Centennial Committee is looking at a time frame of summer to fall of 2023 for celebrations. What are you looking forward to in the foreseeable future? Certainly there’s something…

A look ahead

Council will be apprised of progress on all construction projects green-lit in late 2020 with federal and provincial grants meant to stimulate the economy during early stages of the pandemic.

The first meeting of council’s emergency preparedness committee will also be held this week. The creation of the body is a new requirement in the Municipal Government Act.

100 years ago

Medicine Hat would welcome Sir Henry Burstall, the head of Canada’s militia, when he inspected the local machine gun school unit, the News announced this week 100 years ago.

National business headlines were dominated by the purchase of the Merchants Bank of Canada by the Bank of Montreal.

A farmer-owned wheat marketing board would not be able to fulfil its mandate without 75 per cent of wheat acres in the country participating, read a new report from the Government of Saskatchewan.

A sad side effect of the advent of aviation, lamented an editorial, was that mountain climbing had lost some of its usefulness, if not some of its appeal to the adventurer.

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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