June 21st, 2024

City Notebook: A thirsty bunch indeed

By COLLIN GALLANT on February 18, 2023.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com@CollinGallant

When Mayor Linnsie Clark told the crowd at January’s State of the City address that the city would work a lot better, more efficiently, with 110,000 people by 2043, many people wondered how.

Fewer wondered just what, exactly, would 40,000 new residents drink.

The city has a big water licence, but is it big enough to add that many people over just 20 years?

That answer may be found eventually from an agenda item next week to jointly study regionalized water commission with Redcliff and Cypress County.

The latter party has spent the past few years buying up water rights just to meet its own needs in the parched southeast corner.

Recall however, that not so long ago the three partners proposed joint solid-waste collection, and then the idea kinda went poof, never to be heard of again.

Also in the class of coming out of left field, city council will consider Tuesday whether to disband the Municipal Planning Commission.

It’s not that crazy an idea. Lethbridge did it last year, and St. Albert, Grande Prairie and elsewhere before that, but it’s a new concept here.

Inflation

What’s a million bucks these days? Turns out that is not even the average person’s retirement goal.

A new survey by BMO released this month states Canadians now believe that they’ll require $1.7 million in savings to quit working and maintain their lifestyle in later years.

True, many people overestimate, and a parade of headlines about inflation, the cost of this and that, contributes to general uneasiness.

Another poll found two thirds of Canadians described the current economy as poor, but only one third felt their own finances were in bad shape.

Still, there’s no doubt the cache of a “million” has been eclipsed.

Another survey finds there are about 1.7 million Canadians who claim a net worth of $1 million or more, thereby making them “millionaires.” That’s about five per cent of the population, or one in 20.

By comparison, there were just 15 Canadians with a worth over $4.5 billion last year, according to Forbes.

Summer plans

Cold weather returns just as school kids get their annual winter break around the Family Day long weekend… but it’s not too soon to start thinking about summer excursions.

On this front, a note arrives that the hamlet of Burdett has set aside June 30 to July 2 on the calendar to mark the 110th anniversary of the founding of the community.

On the regional rodeo front, the Broncs and Honky Tonks indoor Show in Medicine Hat will go April 14-16, Brooks Rodeo in June 9-10 and the big outdoor Stampede show in the Hat is July 27-29.

A look ahead

Council sits Tuesday after the long weekend to discuss updates to the smoking and vaping bylaw. New on the calendar is the provincial budget will be released Feb. 28.

100 years ago

“Dandy weather” and timeliness were expressed as reasons for success at the Hat’s big bonspiel, the News proclaimed on Feb 15, 1923.

With the previous day’s games wrapping at 5 a.m., several rinks were already “in the jewellery,” including skip Dan Currie. He earned a spot in the eights of the “Grand Challenge” bracket with a takeout of five stones of Bob Porter.

“A whale of a shot,” it was declared.

The city and Canadian Pacific were near agreement on a plan to divert the Seven Persons Creek and place new bridges at strategic points. A new heavy girder train bridge, estimated to cost $100,000, would be built 700 feet east of a standing trestle bridge near Alberta Clay Products plant.

Alberta would gain four seats in the House of Commons in the next general election due to redistricting. That would raise the number of seats for the province from 12 to 16, or about one for every 36,000 residents.

The provincial telephone department recorded a profit of $423 in 1922, compared to gross revenue of $2.5 million and a surplus in 1921 of about $268,000.

A lion leapt from a circus train car in Fort Worth, Tex. after it chewed through a wooden cage, and was then shot by police.

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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