The provincial government will be providing $10 million in funding for a new 100-unit Covenant Health supportive living facility for seniors in west Lethbridge.
Health Minister and Deputy Premier Sarah Hoffman made the funding announcement on behalf of the province on Friday at Martha’s House in Lethbridge.
“I’m so pleased that Lethbridge will be able to access more continuing-care spaces in their city so people can age with dignity while receiving the health services that best meet their needs,” stated Hoffman. “We all benefit when our seniors are able to remain in their communities, close to friends and family, even as their care needs change.”
The new facility will be constructed in Garry Station, officials confirmed, for a total cost of $26 million. With the province’s money in hand, Covenant Health will procure loans of $16 million to pay for its share of the construction cost. Hoffman said negotiations on the proposed site have been ongoing for a number of months, and she expects construction to begin this year for an anticipated 2022 grand opening.
“We have been working with Covenant on the details for about a year, and I am so glad we have now set the specific site,” she confirmed. “There was some question about whether we should build another facility on the eastside or build our first facility on the westside. Once we ironed those details out, we were excited to come to Lethbridge and share the news in person.”
Thieves target personal info
Lethbridge has seen significant increases in fraud, identity theft, and financial crimes over the past five years. While in the past these types of crimes were not often associated with street level crimes like drug possession, property theft, vehicle break-ins and break and enters, the ground has now shifted says Acting Sergeant Paolo Magliocco of the Lethbridge Police Services Economic Crimes Unit.
“We didn’t always see these types of crimes — especially with people who are down and out, or drug users, etc. — but as somebody who used to work in Corrections I can tell you once it starts happening they learn from each other,” he confirms.
“Because committing a fraud is so lucrative, it is worth it in a lot of ways for these people. Criminals do not just keep information to themselves. If something is working for them, they are going to share it and encourage others to join them and help them.”
It is likely because of the relatively small number of individuals in the criminal sub-culture of Lethbridge compared to larger cities that makes this type of information sharing even more prevalent locally, says Magliocco, and thus leads to higher instances of these types of crimes.
Magliocco adds there are many ways for these criminals to use stolen documents, but the crimes associated with them all follow a similar pattern.
“We see things like someone steals your mail,” he explains. “Or someone steals documents from your vehicle. Someone gets their hands on your purse or your wallet. They can then access things like your credit.”
Firefighters to brave elements
Local firefighters are preparing for a chilly few days, as five firefighters will be making their way onto the roof of Hudson’s Pub for their annual Rooftop Campout in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
On March 28, firefighters Alex McIntosh, Riley Mclaren, Andy Houthuys, David Skilling and Chris Ponce will be making the rooftop their home for on extended period of time, living in a tent and enduring the cold weather. The participants will be camping for a total of 72 hours on the roof, while additional firefighters will be on the ground collecting donations to support Canadians impacted by neuromuscular disorders.
Neuromuscular disorders are a group of diseases that weaken the body’s muscles, impairing the function of the muscles, either directly or indirectly, being pathologies of nerves. There are over 150 types of neuromuscular disease and over 50,000 Canadians have been diagnosed with a type. Some of the principal symptoms include progressive muscle wasting, weakness, loss of function, poor balance with frequent falls, limited range of movement and drooping eyelids.
Firefighters are encouraging the community to stop by Hudson’s Pub between 11 a.m. of March 28 to March 31, at 11 a.m. to show support for Muscular Dystrophy Canada. The Rooftop Campout will also be having a Fill the Boot, 50/50 and silent auction to raise funds. If you would like to donate in advance to the event, Lethbridge Fire Fighters Charities Association has opened an online donation place on their Facebook page.