May 25th, 2024

Addressing tone, perception and commentary


By Lethbridge Herald on October 15, 2021.

Chris Spearman – Mayor of Lethbridge

With the active case numbers and ICU capacity issues, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to have significant impacts in our local community and province as a whole.

With the safety and health of employees at the top of mind, the City of Lethbridge recently made the decision to implement a mandatory vaccination policy for all City staff. I strongly support this decision and the strong leadership from our City Manager and all those involved.

We know the seriousness of the COVID situation in Alberta and we need to be doing everything we can to keep our community safe. Ensuring people are vaccinated is the most effective way to do that.

Our current city council and city administration continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely, working with other municipalities, local organizations and all orders of government to understand the changing landscape and make informed decisions that will best protect the community. I continue to ask for every citizen to do all that they can to keep each other safe during this time. I continue to urge immunization, to wear masks, to wash hands and to stay home if sick. I am fully vaccinated and would expect this policy to apply to all members of city council.

As my time as mayor is nearing completion, I want to discuss some other significant issues regarding the health of our community, namely: perception, tone and commentary.

When the latest Crime Severity Index (CSI) report from Statistics Canada came out in July, all the headlines blasted Lethbridge as being the No. 1 crime city in the country. To make it very clear: this is false. The CSI report only includes cities with municipal police forces, leaving out all large communities enforced by the RCMP. There are half a dozen cities in Alberta alone that have higher crime rates than Lethbridge.For comparison in 2020, Lethbridge had a CSI score of 138.7. In 2020 – Red Deer had a CSI of 165.6 and Grande Prairie had 164.9. Both are enforced by the RCMP, rather than by a municipal force. Also of note, the crime severity index is on a downward trend in Lethbridge as it is in many parts of the country. From 2019 to 2020, crime was down by about 10 per cent in Lethbridge. So I invite everyone to stop damaging Lethbridge’s reputation with the false narrative of being the top crime city in the country. We are not. I implore everyone to engage in positive discussion to correct our image to both residents and those outside the community. When I hosted 22 mayors in this city two years ago, they hadn’t heard good things about Lethbridge. When they toured the city and saw all we had and all we were doing, they were very, very impressed. There are 22 cities who would love to have our programs and amenities. It is time we shift the conversation to speak about the great aspects of our city.

There are many accomplishments Council achieved during my two terms as Mayor that I will look back at with a great sense of pride. Among them are:

· Progress on Truth and Reconciliation

· The acquisition of Lethbridge Airport and $23 million in Provincial and Federal funding

· Funding of the AgriFood Complex at Exhibition Park, with $25 million from the Government of Alberta

· ATB Centre, a $155-million project

· Legacy Regional Park

· Lethbridge Regional Park N Ride Transit Terminal, a $19-million project 75 per cent funded by the Federal and Provincial governments

· Cavendish Farms, a $430-million project

· Twinning the west end of Whoop-Up Drive and extending Metis Trail, completed in 2018 instead of 2022

· Fire Hall #5

· Residential blue bin pick up of recyclables

· Bunka Visitor and Interpretive Centre at Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens, nearing completion

· Henderson Pool, Spitz Stadium and SAAG upgrades

· Downtown incentive programs

· The introduction of 311

Council achieved these projects and many more – all with the lowest tax increases in decades. In 2019, there was a 1.82 per cent municipal tax rate increase – which was the lowest in 20 years. For 2020, we adapted and created a zero per cent municipal tax rate increase – which continued for 2021 and will continue for 2022.

You can see a full and detailed recap in my September 2021 State of the City address here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x9QVsuxD3rU

Lethbridge is the Gateway to Opportunity and I believe we have many reasons to be optimistic for the final quarter of 2021 and into the future. I truly hope you see all the positives as we all collectively keep working to make Lethbridge the best city it can be.

Now, as my eight years as Mayor is nearing completion – a few final thanks. A major thank you to my colleagues in the previous Council as well as in the outgoing City Council. As Mayor, you are still only one member of Council and nothing gets accomplished individually. During my two terms, we have collectively accomplished and initiated some great changes that will have lasting impact to Lethbridge and area.

Thank you to City of Lethbridge administration, from the City Manager’s Office to the City Clerk’s office and Communications, as well as all the various departments, for all of their help during these years.

Thank you to our local Lethbridge media. I have always felt well and fairly treated by the media and I thank them all for providing the opportunity to speak on often difficult and complex issues facing our community.

And thank you to you, residents of Lethbridge. It has been a true honour and privilege to serve the city for the past eight years.

Congratulations to all the candidates for the 2021 Municipal Election, set for Monday. I wish all the best to the next mayor and council.

 I am encouraged by the advance vote numbers we have already seen. Not counting the final advance voting days, set for the ATB Centre October 14-16, we already had 5,162 Lethbridge residents cast their ballot. I hope this momentum on increased voter turnout continues for the final advance voting days and on Election Day – Monday, October 18.

For more information and a wealth of resources, please visit the City’s election website at Lethbridge/ca/election. Please go vote.

 

 

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buckwheat

All one needs to do is to look at your adamant support for a SCS and your “legacy” is nil. The mess left in the trail of this “initiative” is mind boggling.

TonyPargeter

Overdose deaths are certainly up.
What you and your ilk fail to understand buckwheat is that “harm reduction” as in less DEATH, blended with a basic measure of acceptance i.e. there is a place for you even in the throes of addiction, is humans at their humane best. That leaves you guys out and Chris Spearman IN.

Dennis Bremner

Of course you would reiterate claims made by the establishment with zero proof of those claims. It is very much like the claim “the climate discussion is over” as if any change in what we understand today that may swing the discussion should be dismissed forever.(I am not a denier, I just believe in the concept that all data as things evolve contribute to the story and no discussion is OVER)
The Drug system called the 4 pillars is managed and orchestrated to remove as much money as humanly possible from taxpayers with no questions asked. If you dare ask any pertinent question you are deemed evil or confronted with “we’re savin lives here”.
This is why you will never be given access to the statistics contained within any SCS. If SCSs saved lives, which I am here to tell you they do not, then why don’t SCSs release the data on SCS Addicts served vs SCS Addicts who died? The reason is extremely simple and I am surprised you have not discovered the obvious considering the fact you think you are so clever. In fact Mr Pargeter, here is what YOU do not understand!

Every month SCSs across the world scream, “people are dying” and we need more help, we need bigger SCSs. But no one dares question those statistics. So how about being the crusader that proves me wrong? Pick an SCS any SCS. Lets use the only one we know at the moment Lethbridge SCS. If 10 people died in Month X. Bourgue and Manning would claim it was the reason they had to grow from 10 employees to 174. But no one, at ANY TIME questioned Bourgues data. If they had, they would have found the wolf was crying wolf!
No one asked, nor would Bourgue or Manning furnish the data needed to determine if the 10 that died were already SCS clients. Why? No one in the SCS wants to hear that answer, and the medical community that makes $100k per client sure doesn’t want the data out there either.
Bourgue and Manning logged every visit ($25 a pop). They also created a database of 1954 addicts by name. So it was quite easy to say “Bob” visited the SCS or he/she did not. It is also very easy to determine if “Bob” died or not during that month. So it would be easy for any SCS to say 15 people died this month of which 13 were SCS clients….but that data will NEVER see the light of day! Why?
This data was released once by (Denmark, I believe) and immediately suspended thereon after because it was so obvious that the people dying were already SCS clients that it had to be hidden, why? Too much money being made! No sooner was the data hidden, the rally of “savin lives” began in an attempt to muffle the embarrassing data. The “rallying cry” survives to this day!
So Mr Pargeter. The data was either confiscated by AHS when Lethbridge SCS was under investigation, or was confiscated by the UCP Gov to analyze the claims made of visits and the consumption of $7million per year. So why not demand to have that data analyzed, yur a “facts guy” right? They will claim (of course) privacy issues but a small group could be sworn to privacy concerns and conduct an independent audit.
If you even suggest this, you will be met full force by the profiteer’s of the $100K per person and will be in court for years. Why? Because they know already what you will find. My guess is the enablers (SCSs) of experimenters and Naloxone Group if found out, would be directly responsible for 90% of the deaths that they insist could have been saved by the SCS. They were clients already! The amusing thing is they create this “experimenter of concoctions” and the time he/she does not show up at the SCS to inject and dies, they then claim if their creation had just continued to show up he would be alive! That’s true, so they are not lying, what they are doing is avoiding the fact they created the opportunity for this individual to die by creating this “experimenter of greater concoctions!
So there is no mistake and you clearly understand what I am saying. An SCS enables users to experiment with stronger and stronger concoctions because they have taken death off the table. SCS users are also the choice of Dealers who make their own concoctions. They say to Bob, here is a freebee, go to the SCS and if you don’t die, my concoction must be good! So the addict migrates slowly to greater and greater mixtures, because an addicts pursuit is his/her original high. They will do anything and everything to achieve that original high, so they experiment within “reason” when death is on the table, but become untethered when death is taken off the table. As long as they continue to attend the SCS they have greater chance of survival because of supervision. So once the newly created demon has been tethered to the SCS, the SCS disowns the demon (or pretends not to have known the individual) if he/she dies when not at the SCS. Its an excellent scam and it works, and works well!
Ponder this, the longest serving SCS in Canada (DTES Van) has the greatest number of deaths in its neighborhood…………and the demand? We need more SCSs. Ask any Van Councilor if he/she knows how many died that were already SCS clients and you will draw a blank look! Which has to make you a tad suspicious, unless of course you are part of that rallying cry “we’re savin lives here”
So before you accuse others of what “they fail to understand” I highly suggest you clean up the gaps in your knowledge base before doing so, just a suggestion.

Last edited 2 years ago by Dennis Bremner
TonyPargeter

I would imagine that all who comment here probably think themselves reasonably clever though, wouldn’t you “older school?” Especially you old conservative guys who don’t even identify who you are? Full disclosure, I’m Tony’s wife using his name due to problems logging in, but he’s fine with that; we’re both liberal minded, and both use our names.
So who or what is “the establishment?” Is that your automatic dismissal of the “lamestream media” as the illustrious Sarah Palin called it? The glaring contradictions of conservatism are many and this dismissal of the media even though it’s primarily owned by right-wing interests is one example. I also see the indignant claim of “zero proof” often in these comments by conservatives who simultaneously refuse to FULLY accept that climate change is a done deal. So they deny being “denialists!”
And you present yourselves as entirely reasonable, just asking “pertinent” questions that are actually just your characteristic paranoia personified, exemplified by such statements as “the drug system called the 4 pillars is managed and orchestrated to extract as much money as humanly possible from taxpayers with no questions asked.” What? As if! Just because conservatives are ALWAYS, ONLY, EVER interested in money, period, they truly don’t seem to grasp any other motivations, even making light of “savin’ lives” as you did here. In the context of conservative governments who pride themselves in scorning any “practising of sociology” as Harper so eloquently put it, the harm reduction of SCS’s can be seen as a last ditch effort when no investment in people, as in social programs or even basic HOUSING is considered worthwhile because it’s not a business!
If nothing else, the UCP has laid bare the banality of evil that is current conservatism.

TonyPargeter

Oh, and by the way, feel free to now dismiss everything I have said since I am a woman who doesn’t know how the world works while also denying your misogyny…..

Dennis Bremner

Are you sure you are not Fedup Conservative? He spins every conversation no matter what it is?
I really do not think you know how the Drug system works, whether you are Tony or a woman. So now that you have identified yourself as a woman somehow my comments to “Tony” makes me a practitioner of misogynism? Quite the spin, well done. In fact it detracts nicely from the fact you never addressed the topic! I was addressing the Drug System which never changes whether there is a Con or NDP or Liberal in power. I am rather amazed you somehow did not get a promo for the NDP in this non-answer somehow?
As for my identity, pretty easy to find out who I am, just search my alias on here. I was one of the few using my real name. I changed it because I was getting threats, so closed my FB page too, so now do you feel better knowing who I am?

Last edited 2 years ago by Dennis Bremner
bladeofgrass

You never did tell us Your name… If you’re thinking Housing is not a business lol, you better look again. ie: Mustard Seed make Lots of money!! I was not put on earth to pay for an addict. That is called enabling. We have made (and making more) recovery available to them and that’s all we can do. Mother Nature will do the rest. Why wasn’t all of this housing etc etc available in the billions for say alcoholics or gamblers? Where was the compassion then? People became educated is my guess, and by that thought they had all the answers by reading text books. But now they need to pay for the text books.

biff

excellent!

pursuit diver

Overdose deaths went up after the illegal LOPS started to operate again, and more importantly after COVID restrictions shut down borders, making it more difficult to smuggle the illegal drugs into Canada.
Overdose deaths increased across Canada from the border closures, but SCS supporters try to play this using disinformation to say it is because the SCS closed.
Look at the AB government opioid surveillance reports and you will see a dramatic increase in fatal overdoses after the SCS opened. Then a decrease after it closed, until LOPS began operating and the borders impacts of the border closures hit the drug trade!
Harm reduction should be called harm encouragement! These sites are killing machines!

Montreal13

There is as you say a mobile SCS unit by the shelter. If anyone would care to go look. I have never seen a line up there to get in.

pursuit diver

The mobile SCS or I believe they call that a mobile OPS ( not to be mistaken for the illegal LOPS ) is also operating illegally right now because they changed the operators and as I understand it, AHS no longer has a nurse working on it and the Alpha House shelter and/or Bloods were rumored to be operating it. The illegal tent, LOPS stated it is operating and some state it was on Mayor Magrath Drive by the SuperLodge. There is another site that was operating downtown, but it may have now closed after a recent 3 deaths at it’s site!
But it is not legal, because the Health Canada, Controlled Substances Directorate, does not have an application for the required Exemption needed to operate a drug consumption site and it has no active Exemption. Law enforcement has done nothing, nor has the Alberta Government!

UncleBuck

Idk why you keep referencing this tent. They set up a few times and we’re eventually shut down a few weeks after they initially set up. By the end all they ever did was give out hot chocolate and socks.

As per the mobile injection site at the shelter, it’s run by AHS and there are nurses there.

Have you ever talked to the downtown police unit? They could help you and your idiot friends in this thread with actual facts, numbers, and truth as opposed to the made up BS people like DB always made up.

biff

the pharm “opioids” are the actual killing machines.

Dennis Bremner

It still amuses me Spearman cannot deal with a “Category”?
Lethbridge is number one in Crime in Canada for cities using a private Police force. Yet he somehow wants to change the category or dismiss the category because other categories that have absolutely nothing to do with Private Police Forces change the outcome?
So rather than say, why are we number 1? Is LAPS totally incompetent or do we have a significant crime problem that in their present configuration, cannot be handled?
Instead, he wants to dismiss the category as if that will make things better? I am amazed, truly!

Elohssa Gib

Lethbridge has a “Private Police Force”? I must have missed that memo.

Dennis Bremner

Private in that it services Lethbridge Area Only, but you knew what I meant and still took the time to take the shot, thanks for your massive contribution.

Elohssa Gib

Sorry, but “private” is not a synonym for “local” or “municipal”. And as for my comment, I’m just doing my bit to elevate the quality of the discourse here as imprecise word choice and poor sentence structure are often signs of fuzzy thinking.

Last edited 2 years ago by Elohssa Gib
UncleBuck

I love how these local bigot elected Spearman thinking he was a Trump like business man all slick and suave.

Fooled them all twice, as he’s a soft hearted left wing who promised curbside recycling and delivered.

I love this backwash racist hillbilly inbred rat shack they call a city.

Last edited 2 years ago by UncleBuck
Elohssa Gib

While it is the case that Lethbridge is not Vienna, nowhere in town is that far from the airport.

Citi Zen

Sure, pat yourselves on the back for a job well done, at the huge expense to the taxpayer.
Throwing money at downtown, supporting the SCS, $$$bicycle trails, and the list of waste goes on.
Now you talk about a new bridge, but fail to mention it comes with a property tax increase of at least 10 percent. All the money throw at bike trails and downtown would have built that bridge….
But now, make it a toll bridge, like Vancouver did with the Port Mann. User pays.

Elohssa Gib

The Province of BC funded the Port Mann bridge, after a PPP fell apart.

Citi Zen

Also the Golden Ears bridge in Vancouver is a successful toll bridge.

biff

this issue with “drugs” originates with the illegal laws that make “drugs” illegal. no third party, be it “government,” “society,” or religious entities believing they are doing “god’s” work has any right to determine what a person chooses to ingest or not to ingest. get a grip – you have a right to choose with regard to your body, not another.
from the issue of illegal laws that make choice illegal, we get ridiculously price inflated products that lack any safety oversight: worse, we get “legal” synthetic “opioids” created by the likes of the pharms – that now give us what have become forced/coerced covd vaxes – that have caused far more harm than opium ever has. the war on drugs, like all wars, actually killed more people than “drugs” prior to the war on drugs ever has.
the only reason there is crime related to “drugs” today is because the cost of some “drugs” are so over the top expensive because they have been made illegal.
let us get rid of synthetic “opioids”, as they are stupidly addictive, unlike opium. let us get rid of the illegal laws that make ‘drugs’ illegal, so that such products can be procured under quality control and quite cheaply, just like alcohol and tobacco and coffee. there are those of us that may not appreciate getting high, and may not appreciate the idea of self medicating for pain, or energy or recreation, but that does not mean one gets to decide for others. moreover, it does not mean one’s preferences make alternative free choices criminal.
legal “drugs”, in addition to being one’s right, will mean affordable and safe “drugs”, and will ensure that there will be virtually no criminal fallout associated with their use. legal alcohol has demonstrated a massive reduction in crime relative to illegal prohibition, as has legal pot, and it further serves to undermine organised crime.
there has never been any society in recorded history that has succumbed because of legal drugs. moreover, the drug that induces the worst behaviours – by far – is alcohol. can one consider how much crime would befall us again were alcohol illegal? if societies can survive alcohol use, then we have already survived the worst. there are good reasons why the illegal laws that once rendered the choice to drink as being an illegal act were renounced. the same reasons apply to ‘drugs’. period.