Public Utilities and Economic Development Lethbridge had an opportunity to present their draft four-year budgets before the City’s finance committee last week.
EDL CEO Trevor Lewington said EDL’s funding proposal will be flat for the next four years, as part of EDL’s intention was to align with a council request for organizations to find efficiencies in their operations while looking for enhancement opportunities. As such, there are four projects EDL has also identified as priorities in the coming cycle, largely to develop business opportunities foreign and domestic.
Lewington said due to the nature of the work done at EDL, he felt confident with at least the core request for funding being approved.
“I would be surprised if they didn’t at least approve the core budget,” he said. “The new initiatives might be challenging just because they have given direction across the board to minimize new asks.
“There is a real effort to try and mitigate any tax increases, and find some efficiencies in the system.”
The four-year operating budget proposed by the Water and Wastewater Utilities department would see no major projects planned and modest increases of two per cent per year for water and a two per cent increase for wastewater in 2019 followed by three years of 2.5-per-cent increases.
Doug Kaupp, Water, Wastewater and Stormwater manager with the City, called the increases “modest to maintain current service levels.”
Cancer fundraiser held
In Canada, one in eight women, and one in 31 men, will be diagnosed breast cancer, with more than 26,000 people being diagnosed every year and around 5,000 people losing the difficult battle toward recovery.
In an effort to raise awareness and funds for the Canadian Cancer Society, Sunday’s CIBC Run for the Cure covered the walkways of Henderson Lake with high spirits and a lot of bright pink outfits to help work toward a country without cancer. People were able to walk or run through a one- or five-kilometre track for every skill level.
Pamela Copeland spoke at the event about her battle with breast cancer and how she was able to persevere through the treatment and call herself a cancer survivor.
“I had a fairly common breast cancer which is good because they know more about it and they can treat it easier,” says Copeland. “I had pretty aggressive treatment for the past 10 months, so this is the first time for me participating in one of these events as an actual survivor, so that is a little different for me but I am glad because I plan on being here for awhile.”
The Exhibition Pavilion was filled with love and support for those who are battling cancer, survived it or were there to support loved ones who have dealt with the life-threatening disease.
Since 1992, the run has raised more than $430 million for the breast cancer cause, and last year alone Canada helped raise $17 million with almost 80,000 participants. For more information on how you can donate to the cause or find more information regarding breast cancer visit cancer.ca.
Pro-life group sends message
In an effort to protect the lives of people who cannot speak for themselves, the Lethbridge and District Pro-Life Association joined hundreds of other organizations across North America for the annual International Life Chain on Sunday.
Apart from their other demonstrations and protests, the Life Chain event is a peaceful and prayerful public demonstration to address the need to protect all human life and to acknowledge those who have been hurt as a result of abortion.
“It is done all across Canada and the United States with all different pro-life groups and the idea is that we stand silently and pray for the pro-life movement,” says Duane Konynenbelt, president of the Lethbridge and District Pro-Life Association. “The purpose is that the people here believe that all people have value from conception until natural death and this is just a loving way to show the people of southern Alberta that we believe that.”
Around 300 people lined up along the busy street to bring attention to people driving by who either support or are against the movement. Educating the public and governments about their beliefs is the goal of the protest and something the group says they won’t stand down from.
“This movement isn’t political in nature but we would like to see the government make rules,” says Konynenbelt. “It is an unfortunate right that we live in a day and age where often times politicians refuse to talk about the things that are very important to the people. Today we just want to give the message that this is where we stand.”
Making wishes come true
Green Haven Garden Centre opened up the gates Saturday afternoon to welcome families to the grounds for its 29th annual Giant Pumpkin Festival and Auction in support of the Lethbridge and area Children’s Make a Wish Foundation. The event is the major fundraiser for Children’s Wish in the area which helps to grant wishes to children who are facing life-threatening illnesses.
Each wish costs an average of $10,000 and this year’s goal was to fulfill three children’s dreams.
“They grant wishes for those who are in life-threatening illnesses or illnesses that affect the quality of life and they do not turn away any wishes, so those are the kids that we are fundraising for,” says Shannon Elves, committee festival organizer. “We do seek sponsorship to help out, but all of the activities, silent auction, pie sales, food sales, they all go straight to the foundation to help those kids.”
One of the children on this year’s list is a 10-year-old boy named Jaxon who was born premature and developed cerebral palsy. Jaxon is non-verbal so he uses speaking devices to communicate with the people around him. His wish is to take his family to Disney World where dreams come true and he can smile and just be a kid with his family.
Throughout the day, families were able to take in the fun activities including the giant pumpkin competition, silent auction, petting zoo, horse drawn wagon rides, astro jumps, games and lots of food.
“The pumpkin growing contest, we hand out the seeds early in the year in March for free and then people just take them home and grow these incredibly massive pumpkins,” says Karen Barby, committee garden centre organizer. “Last year was a phenomenal year, but this year whatever we get we are thankful for, we will accept anything and all of the donation money stays with Children’s Wishes in southern Alberta.”