December 15th, 2017

City still has bright future

By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on June 16, 2017.

“A Bright Future” and “Lethbridge Bound to Be a Commercial Centre,” the very first issue of the Lethbridge Herald announced on Nov. 8, 1905.

That prediction made more than a century ago proved to be on the mark. But The Herald’s staff of that time likely couldn’t have envisioned all that the city has become – a thriving community closing in on 100,000 residents that blends a reliance on traditional economic engines like agriculture with 21st-century business in the technology field.

Even in the face of continuing economic challenges left over from the downturn in Alberta’s oil industry, Lethbridge and area remains well positioned to prosper in the years ahead. Readers can find evidence for such optimism in the pages of “Progress 2017,” The Herald’s annual look at southern Alberta, which was published this week.

Economically, there’s plenty of good news. Economic Development Lethbridge reported a record number of investment inquiries in 2016, and the city attracted a dozen new businesses along with $470 million in business expansion projects. That included the whopping $350-million investment planned by Cavendish Farms for a new, state-of-the-art frozen potato processing facility in Sherring Industrial Park.

Mayor Chris Spearman, in his message in the Progress edition, noted Lethbridge was recently ranked 23rd among 133 cities worldwide in cost competitiveness in a study by KPMG. That positions the city as an attractive place for business, and more business helps drive the local economy.

The city’s two post-secondary institutions are important drivers of the local economy, too, not just as employers themselves, but also by what they bring to the community in terms of offering quality education and providing other community benefits. The University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College provide cutting-edge training and education in a wide range of fields, not to mention research that garners national and international attention.

The twin engines of business and education attract residents, too, leading to Lethbridge’s continued growth toward the 100,000 mark.

Lethbridge is an interesting mix of old and new. The area began as a whisky-trading centre before the discovery of coal led to the community’s development on the strength of that industry. Later, Lethbridge became an important agricultural and transportation hub, and today, as EDL CEO Trevor Lewington notes in the Progress edition, the agriculture sector is shifting toward a greater focus on value-added processing.

But the technology sector is playing an increasingly prominent role, aided by innovations from the university and college. The city is still home to 119-year-old Lethbridge Iron Works, but is also benefiting from new tech companies operating out of the tecconnect centre, which fosters entrepreneurship and innovation.

More than 100 years after the Lethbridge Herald’s prediction, the city’s future still looks bright.

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8 Responses to “City still has bright future”

  1. Mr. Moon says:

    Future looks bright?

    Lethbridge is a terrible place to live and there is no reason to think it is going to get any better.

  2. Mr. Moon says:

    Lethbridge is terrible to live in for a number of reasons:

    1. Weather- the cold and snow in winter blows, the summers are short, the wind is horrific.
    2. Super boring city- Not close to the mountains, no real sports teams worth supporting, limited movie options and those are fairly crowded when you go, limited restaurant options
    3. Limited job market
    4. Lots of old people
    5. A lot of drunk/high bums hanging around downtown harassing people
    6. Ridiculous city council approving funding for useless projects and support for moronic crosswalks

    Those are some issues off the top of my head.

    I would compare it obviously to Calgary based on proximity and Calgary being such a superior place to live. Other than that I would say it is better than Medicine Hat (which isn’t saying much) and obviously way below places like California, Arizona, the Caribbean, Hawaii even the interior of BC.

    • onlymyopinion says:

      lots of old people? One day (if you’re lucky) you will be an old person too. What will you say about odl people then? It will happen sooner than you think.

      I seen lots of bums and drunk people harassing people in Calgary too.

      Limited restaurant options? There are way more restaurants here per capita than in lots of other places.

      the weather? well none of us can do anything about that.

      what are you still doing here if you’re so bored?

      • Mr. Moon says:

        I am sure when I am old the things old people do (super slow driving, radgom lane changes, super slow using self checkouts etc) will no longer bother me but at my current age they are insanely annoying.

        I grew up in Calgary and go back there all the time and haven’t had close to the number of encounters with drunks/druggies as I have had down here. Also the interactions down here are much more heated and I feel much less safe, especially with my kids downtown Lethbridge than Calgary.

        There are a number of restuarants but not much variety. I mean having a bunch of Earls/Moxies/State and Main/Original Joes that all serve the same thing isn’t all that great.

        Who cares if you can or can’t do anything about the weather? It sucks, plain and simple. It is awful, awful weather.

        I am here because my wife and kids outweigh my vote. So as long as they are still in my life I am stuck down here.

        • onlymyopinion says:

          guess it depends where you’ve been in Calgary then-the problems with bums and drunks is not unique to Lethbridge..
          As for random lane changes are you seriously saying it’s only senior that do this?
          Weather in Calgary is not so wonderful neither.
          I feel sorry for your wife with your last comment. Life is what you make it where ever you are.
          And why is everyone in so much of a hurry that it bothers you to have someone slow in front of you at a checkout? That makes Lethbridge a bad place?
          Perhaps you need to slow down a bit and appreciate what you have and as I said you will be old sooner than you think.
          BTW you can support a major sports team from another city if that’s what bothers you.

  3. Mr. Moon says:

    I have been all over (not just Calgary but the world) and Lethbridge has by far a worse problem than most, if not all. place I have been to with drunks harassing people.

    Of course I can (and do) support a major sports team from another city, but its much easier to do that when it takes 30 minutes to drive to the stadium/arena rather than 2 hours.

    You are right Calgary’s weather is no picnic either but it does not have the wind and has so many other benefits that help to offset the awful weather, Lethridge only has more negatives to go with the awful weather.

    My wife is fine and doesn’t need some random stranger who knows nothing about her feeling anything for her.

    I am in a rush because I have a busy life and want to get what little enjoyment there is in living in a craphole like Lethbridge that I can. I have no problem waiting for reasonable things but incompetence and stupidity are tough to wait on. And yes it is by far the old people that are the worst drivers in the cities. Some young folks certainly contribute but the oldies are the worst by far.

  4. lethbridgevoter says:

    I have lived in Lethbridge for a long time and I have no idea what Mr. Moon is talking about. I have never encountered any sort of harassment from anyone. It is a beautiful, modern town with a lot going for it and a bright future for sure. Boring? It has become well-known as a party city. Bad weather? It doesn’t get much better in Canada – mild, sunny winters and idyllic summers. Opportunity? A great economy and two great institutions of higher education. Safety? Next to none. Affordability and access to educational and extracurricular opportunities for children? Unbeatable. Get over yourself and learn to appreciate it for your wife and kids.

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