By Lethbridge Herald Opinon on July 10, 2020.
I feel grateful to live in and work on behalf of the great City of Lethbridge. It is the community that I have lived in, served in and raised my kids in. I have believed in the potential of this city for a long time and, since forming government, I have been hard at work advocating for our city. As we look to restart our economy through investment in strategic projects, recent announcements show that our government shares my belief about the potential of this city.
First, Exhibition Park is a symbol of our city’s agricultural roots and has been seeking support for expansion for many years. Last week, I had the honour of joining Alberta’s premier and minister of Agriculture to announce a $27.8-million investment in a new agri-food hub for Exhibition Park. This long-overdue project will create numerous construction jobs in Lethbridge and is expected to create employment opportunities when the project is complete. Not only that, but the expansion of Exhibition Park will update this hub’s economic and social development for years to come as it attracts more private investment and economic activity.
Second, the twinning of Highway 3 almost needs no explanation and makes sense for southern Alberta, and specifically for Lethbridge. The investment of $150 million to twin the highway from Taber to Burdett will strengthen infrastructure in our agricultural corridor, aid economic diversification, and provide safer highways for Albertans to travel on.
Third, our city is an agricultural hub surrounded by beautiful fields of canola, flax, wheat and long-standing cattle ranches: all of which remind us of our agricultural history. Students come from far and wide to study innovative agricultural science at the University of Lethbridge and Lethbridge College, and many others work in the region’s agriculture sector. As a result, the $20-million investment in long-deferred maintenance for the university boilers and of future spending to upgrade the mechanical systems at the college will serve to support advancement in the agricultural sector for years to come.
Finally, Lethbridge’s arts, culture and civil society scenes are also receiving support for continued programming this year. Fifty artists and community groups throughout the City of Lethbridge are receiving support through the Community Initiative Program totalling over $1.4 million to keep these cultures thriving. >
While I am grateful for the opportunity to advocate for these exciting and crucial investments, there is still more work to do. The development of our airport and broadband infrastructure are much needed to support and enhance the ability for our city’s businesses to thrive and invest in our community, and I remain committed to advocating for these and other investments in our great community.
Nathan Neudorf is the UCP MLA for Lethbridge East. His column appears monthly.