Time to fall back…
Just a reminder Daylight Savings Time comes to an end at 2am on Sunday, Nov. 5, which means it’s also a good time to check your home’s smoke detectors and change your furnace filters. Read more at: Fall Back means change your clocks, check your smoke detectors | City of Lethbridge
Still have leaves to pick up?
If you have leaves to pick up there’s still time to schedule your fall leaf collection. Call 311 before Friday, Nov. 10 to book your pick up. Learn more at: https://www.lethbridge.ca/news/posts/time-to-schedule-your-fall-leaf-collection/
This week Lethbridge City Council held its annual Organizational Meeting as well as a regular meeting of Council. Video and agenda packages for all meetings are available at: https://agendas.lethbridge.ca/AgendaOnline
City Council – Organizational Meeting, Oct. 31, 2023
- Bylaw 6429 – A Bylaw 6374 Electoral Ward Boundary Commission Bylaw
- Council voted to rescind the Electoral Ward Boundary Commission Bylaw
I did not support this rescindment motion. Bylaw 6374 was to establish an Electoral Ward Commission as a council committee and have that Commission examine, analyze, engage stakeholders, and produce a Final Report on the use of a ward system to be submitted to Council. 55.79% of voters said “YES” to “Do you support using a ward system to elect City Councillors (other than the Mayor) starting with the 2025 municipal election?” I support and respect voters in this request.
- The 2024 City Council and Standing Policy Committee Calendar was approved. Council also accepted changes to the Standing Policy Committees:
- Civic Works SPC becomes Assets and Infrastructure SPC
- Cultural and Social SPC becomes Safety and Social SPC
- Economic SPC becomes Economic and Finance SPC
- Governance SPC and Audit SPC to remain the same
- Audit SPC will have meetings reduced to 4 times per year, with the option of adding more if needed
- Advocacy SPC has been transferred into Governance SPC
- Council Member appointments to Boards, Commissions and Committees
I’m pleased to share that I was appointed to the Safety and Social SPC as well as the Governance SPC. I will also continue as a Council representative on the Lethbridge Police Commission.
Congratulations to members of the community and administration representatives who were appointed to our Boards, Committees, and Commissions; and thank you to all departing organizational representatives for your work during your term.
City Council, Oct. 31, 2023
- Unsafe and Dangerous Properties
- Council directed Administration to compile a list of all properties located in Lethbridge (whether residential, commercial, industrial or vacant lands) that may be unsafe and/or dangerous and which may potentially be subject to an Order allowed by sections 545 and 546 of the MGA and Bylaw 5747; provide recommendations for steps or measures that may be taken by the City of Lethbridge to address the safety issues or concerns that may be identified; identify any funding or resources that may be required; and report back to Council by the end of Q1, 2024.
I supported this resolution so that we can get a handle on what properties that may be unsafe and/or dangerous are in our city and start the discussion on how we might move forward on this.
- Childcare Needs Assessment
This is a motion I brought forward and was pleased to see it approved.
Administration has been directed to complete a childcare needs assessment for the City of Lethbridge by Q2 2024, which shall encompass in-depth background research, thoroughly analysis and benchmarking of the current childcare landscape; key stakeholder engagement; and the formulation of recommendations to address challenges related to increasing the number of childcare spaces within the city. Up to $25,000 has been allocated to support the development of this assessment.
Anecdotally over the past year, I’ve heard from community stakeholders supporting newcomers, YWCA reps, Lethbridge College reps, student reps at the U of L, Lethbridge Chamber and Economic Development Lethbridge reps that a lack of childcare, and affordable childcare, in our community may be preventing caregivers – many of whom are women – from accessing English learning programs, educational and employment opportunities. That a lack of childcare opportunities could be creating a barrier to access for other opportunities and services for many in our community.
Also identified by the provincial government, there is a focus on building capacity in licensed child care with the Space Creation Grant that will help enable up to 68,700 total new licensed spaces be created by 2026. Further, the Alberta and Canadian Chambers of Commerce have recently put forth policies calling on the Alberta and Canadian governments to ensure adequate, quality childcare spaces are available for caregivers, further setting the stage for more caregivers to enter or re-enter the workforce. Our Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce was ahead of the pack, identifying the issue in its own local policy “The Economics of Childcare” in 2020.
We know generally that many neighbourhoods in Lethbridge are home to young and growing families, and that there is a need for easily accessible childcare in those neighbourhoods. Also, 2021 Census and 2022 childcare spaces data shows that the city is currently about 600 spaces short of the minimum number of childcare spaces that should be available to the community.
Without an in-depth look into this issue, we won’t accurately know how to position ourselves. This will give Council and our community solid research and enable us to make a data-driven decision on how to move forward in a proactive manner for addressing challenges related to developing opportunities for more childcare spaces in the city.
- I look forward to seeing everyone on Nov. 2 for Lethbridge Police Service’s final Town Hall for 2023: https://www.lethbridgepolice.ca/lpstownhall
- As well as at the Lethbridge BIPOC Foundation Legacy Gala on Nov. 10. Get your tickets at: https://www.bipocfoundation.org/legacy-gala/