By Jeremy Appel on October 10, 2018.
The Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education is seeking funding from the Archdiocese of Calgary to hire a new position, but it’s unclear whether it will be a chaplain, teacher or both.
The board is also seeking funding from the Catholic Women’s League and Knights of Columbus, according to Sandra Richard, the religious education co-ordinator, who spoke at the board’s Tuesday meeting.
The board has yet to determine a set amount of funds it is requesting.
“Before we put an amount in there, we have to decide whether we’re hiring a teacher under a contract or we’re hiring a chaplain under a different type of contract,” said trustee Kathy Glasgo. “That would determine the amount.”
Chair Dick Mastel agreed, calling the issue a “chicken and egg” scenario.
“You don’t know what you can hire until you know what money you’ve got and you need to know what you’re hiring to get that money,” said Mastel.
Richard said it would be beneficial to hire a teacher with a strong Catholic background.
“There’s an opportunity to grow that faith leadership … by having it be a teacher, so that teacher could potentially go on to a leadership position,” she said, adding this is the route most Catholic boards in Alberta have pursued.
Superintendent Joe Colistro suggested hiring someone who works half time as a teacher and half time as a chaplain.
“The difference would be the same cost-wise,” said Colistro.
Board suggests strict pot restrictions
Like its public counterpart, the MHCBE sent a letter to the City of Medicine Hat urging it take a stricter approach to public cannabis consumption.
The letter — dated Sept. 20 — says “in terms of public consumption, cannabis should be regulated like other substances that cause intoxication, and like alcohol be restricted from use in public.”
It further suggests the bylaw line up with public consumption of alcohol, permitting it only in specific locations.
City council originally indicated regulating cannabis consumption like tobacco, but went back to the drawing board after city police, as well as the Catholic and public school boards, expressed concern.
“The outcome of that has been very positive,” Mastel said at Tuesday’s meeting.