July 24th, 2019

Hockey country brought together by… basketball?

By COLLIN GALLANT on June 16, 2019.

cgallant@medicinehatnews.com@CollinGallant

So the Raptors are champions of the National Basketball Association, or “the Association,” or whatever kids are calling it these days.

And all of Canada is rejoicing that a major sport title is heading north to … Toronto?

It still doesn’t sound right.

Mind you it’s easy to spot the differences between the Larry O’Brien Trophy (the NBA’s top prize, fair weather fans should know) and something most people find infinitely more dear, namely the Stanley Cup.

And the Raptors are easy to cheer for as the only NBA team located north of the 49th parallel.

Just as the Blue Jays are “Canada’s Team” in the Major Leagues (at least until the Expos come back), the Raptors are the team to follow.

However, isn’t it at least possible that the rest of the country is claiming the Raptors as a way to lessen the sting of a Toronto team claiming a title and the rest of the country having to hear about it endlessly.

There are long-term and long suffering Raptor fans throughout Canada.

Speaking of long-suffering, you just know the Leafs will win it all one of these years. When they do, life in the rest of Canada will be unbearable.

Fireworks

The issue of low-hazard fireworks found its way back to public services committee this week after councillors stated they wanted more information behind a move to write a bylaw extending a ban on sale and public use.

It’s assumed the matter was brought up during a closed-door session following other open items, but privacy regulations invoked on the agenda prevent topics from being mentioned.

Perhaps they discussed whether fireworks have a reasonable expectation of privacy. The item is not yet on the agenda for Monday’s council meeting, but these days you never know.

Quick ones

– Willie Desjardins won’t make his re-debut in behind the Tigers Bench at the Canalta Centre until the regular season. The WHL pre-season schedule shows the Tiger’s two “home” exhibition games will be played at neutral sites in Taber (Sept. 1) and Irvine ( Sept. 8).

It’s been a few years since the Tabbies played a home exhibition game in their own building.

– Two weeks after a moratorium lifted on new cannabis retail licences by Alberta regulators, 33 new applications have been registered – including another for Redcliff – adding to the 500 or so that were in the queue province-wide. A quick glance at the list shows franchises are moving in en masse.

On the move

Checking in on the city centre, we have a new liquor store set up in the redeveloped parkade beneath the former Parkers outlet.

Another cannabis retail store municipal permit has been released for a bay in the former Towne Cinema. Expect some word soon about a new lounge.

Workers are giving the former Greyhound depot a trim. Still no official word on what’s planned for the space – everyone who’s anyone says they’re sworn to secrecy.

A look ahead

City council sits on Monday, and the same day we’ll finally find out what all the hub-bub is about when the Medicine Hat Public Library and South Country Co-op have scheduled a community barbecue dinner and joint for 5 p.m.

100 years ago

Work on the Medicine Hat Courthouse commenced, with the $131,000-project described a “good example of Italian renaissance” design, the News reported in June 17, 1919 along with an artists’ rendering on the front page.

As well the Medicine Hat Hospital board ordered the construction of a new wing though the $50,000 bond issuance by the city was outstanding.

Acting Mayor Huckvale presided over meetings that saw the city ward system abolished, and a discussion of relations with the now year-old civic employees union.

City council members also commented on Mayor Brown’s out-of-town commitments.

After Ald. Jim Hole asked if the payroll seemed high, while Ald. Levesque replied “It’s not too large for a city that can sport two mayors.”

Labour leaders in Winnipeg were arrested and the Labour temple raided after crowds pelted police with bottles and “severely pummelled” a constable who’d been pulled off his horse.

A reunion of troops from the 175th Battalion was proposed to be held on the day prior to the Medicine Hat Stampede in July.

The same week, Calgary Stampede promoters announced that John Philip Sousa would perform at the event in Cowtown.

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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