June 16th, 2024

Lethbridge not overlooked in the budget


By Lethbridge Herald on March 11, 2023.

AT THE LEGISLATURE
Nathan Neudorf – UCP MLA for Lethbridge East

There is positive news contained in the Alberta budget for 2023. This is perhaps the most balanced budget our government has presented to date. And by balanced, I mean the budget is fiscally balanced, it is balanced in how it addresses the growth experienced by our province, and it addresses investing in future generations — an obligation that as government we must consider. 

On investing in our future, this government has paid off $13.4 billion of our province’s debt and at the same time it has invested $2 billion into the Heritage Savings Trust Fund. In addition, our government has also addressed the needs of Albertans through further funding in healthcare, education, public safety and job creation. With a forecasted surplus of $2.4 billion and an economy poised to lead our country in economic growth, Budget 2023 serves to facilitate investment in Alberta’s future and this includes investing in Lethbridge.

I am especially proud of the work that has been done in Lethbridge during our government’s term. Not only were the top five requests from the City of Lethbridge funded and fulfilled, but we have also achieved much more! During our term, Lethbridge saw funding for the expansion of Exhibition Park, renovations to the Airport and runway, the completion of deferred maintenance at the University of Lethbridge, and infrastructure for increase in broadband internet. Lethbridge also received full funding for two westside elementary schools (one public school in budget 2022, and one school for Holy Spirit School Division in Budget 2023), modernization of Galbraith Elementary School, and a much-needed gym expansion for École La Vérendrye.  

But these are not the only projects that Lethbridge benefits from. Our government also allocated $94 million for the twinning of Highway 3 which is designed to improve productivity in Southern Alberta. 

Lethbridge has also benefited from significant investments in healthcare. Future investments include the Alberta Surgical Initiative which will develop surgical facilities to help alleviate strains on our healthcare system and ensure that patients get surgery within appropriate timeframes. These initiatives will bring in $14 million in development and approximately 83 jobs to our region. 

Budget 2023 will bring in $11 million more over the next three years to expand the Renal Dialysis program at the Chinook Regional Hospital. Further to these investments, we can expect to open Lethbridge Recovery Community that will support recovery for those with mental health and addictions issues right here in Lethbridge — made possible by our government’s investment of $19.3 million.

Overall, Lethbridge has seen nearly $250 million in capital investments over our government’s term—all of which were top requests made by local stakeholders.

Looking to the future, I am continuing to advocate for Lethbridge on our much needed Cardiac Catheterization Lab. I have had several meetings with Health Minister Jason Copping on this project and we are working together to address this ask. Despite critics saying otherwise, I am fighting extremely hard to help make this need a reality for Lethbridge. 

In a rapidly growing city like Lethbridge, there are other infrastructure projects that need attention like a third bridge. The City of Lethbridge also needs to expand its wastewater treatment plant. This past December, Team Lethbridge travelled to Edmonton and advocated for an expansion of the wastewater system which made an impression upon our Premier and the Minister of Transportation, bringing Lethbridge one step closer to seeing this project get the attention it needs. Budget 2023 outlines a $211 million increase in funding to support Municipal Water and Wastewater programs over the next three years to eligible municipalities through grant funding applications. 

Budget 2023 is good news for Lethbridge with over $70 million in capital investments over nine different projects, and Lethbridge will also benefit from significant program funding to support doctors, nurses, teachers, and those who work in the disability and homeless sectors. What’s more, Budget 2023 also includes funding to train future doctors right here at the University of Lethbridge! Despite what others may say, Lethbridge has not been overlooked by this government and Lethbridge is positioned for a bright future.

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Southern Albertan

Nice try, Mr. Neudorf….It’s too bad that at this point, many of us do not trust the UCP or anything they say. particularly from one of the redundant deputy premiers. With so many unforced errors having been made by the Smith UCP almost every day, their credibility has been greatly damaged. This, is with which many of us agree:
“Phillips says budget comes up short for Lethbridge, aimed at buying votes”
http://www.medicinehatnews.com

Last edited 1 year ago by Southern Albertan
buckwheat

Yeh. Blinded by your bias. They could drop a million in your mail box and you would still complain it wasn’t tax free. Plenty of good news for all of Southern Alberta. Are we not all in this together. Guess not unless the NDP puke out some overpriced unaffordable spending spree. For the insatiable, everything will never be enough. Balanced budgets and responsible spending be damned. I reserve my right to snivel.

Dennis Bremner

MPP Neudorf said: we can expect to open Lethbridge Recovery Community that will support recovery for those with mental health and addictions issues right here in Lethbridge — made possible by our government’s investment of $19.3 million.
I think you will live to regret that statement Mr. Neudorf. In fact from this point on it appears you will own what is installed in downtown and you can trust me on this one, distance yourself now or find another career!
I sent the letter below to you, the last time I sent a letter, it took almost 4 months for me to meet with you. 4 months from now will be too late so I publish the letter here and it follows with a couple of revisions so I do not violate the unwritten “you can’t say that, it will make our paper look bad” rule!

I write this letter to express my frustration and concern for what is about to happen in Lethbridge. As you may or may not know I have attempted and failed thus far to draw attention to what is being “marketed” as a Community Care Center in the downtown. What is actually being built in slow time is a Southern Alberta Rehabilitation Facility. One may say there is a clear difference but there is not.
I came to see you in your office about a year ago and gave you a breakdown of what is planned and how it will literally kill our downtown. As time has progressed, the UCP has offered some unique ideas but the fundamental principle of installing these things within a City has been preserved, it will be our downfall.
There is not a City on record, whether North American, European or elsewhere that has installed Addiction treatment in their downtown that has not caused the collapse of an area around the installation. There are so many instances of this, It boggles my mind that in this century, this decade, that we have learned nothing.
There are many Kool-Aid” drinkers among us that honestly believe it will be different this time. That Lethbridge has discovered the magical formula that will suddenly make us the “go to house of knowledge” that solved the Addiction Destruction Problem.
Quite simply, what we have planned, will destroy and devastate our downtown. Let me repeat that because its not a mistake, “destroy and devastate”! You may be assuming I exaggerate somewhat, I am not, let me explain why!
Lethbridge downtown is an area of 10 square blocks, one could suggest a little bigger but the core does not exceed 10 square blocks. We have as a woke society applied a catchall phrase to any one without a home, no matter the reason, the term “homeless”. So no matter your position/condition in life, if you have no home, you are homeless. So, a person that has been kicked out of 5 previous homes because they destroyed the place while on a drug high, is the same person as a single mother looking for a place to call home? So, in Lethbridge case, the PIT report suggested we had 454 homeless people. The PIT report includes those in Hospital and on remand in County Jail. The PIT report went on to say that 90% of the 454 are addicted to either drugs or alcohol.
So of the 454, 409-410 are addicts. Flash back to 2020 October when the UCP did an audit on our now infamous SCS. The Count of SCS clients was 167 as stated in the Audit. In 2019 while I was trying to get the SCS shut down, I forecasted a doubling of addicts every two- three years. These are not guesses, and have a basis for prediction.

The Problem for Lethbridge
The UCP under Marshall Smiths direction has the closest thing to the “right idea” of any party, anywhere, period! However, the UCP is still replicating what has failed for the last 25 years around the world. That is, installing all of this in a Cities Downtown. It is why, today, you have Edmonton Downtown Issues, where it is being reported people are walking away from Downtown Real Estate deals. Businesses are moving out of core to get away from the Addicted and the crime associated with it.
Lethbridge will be worse! If you look at our geographical location, we are the closest to the border and prior to this point there was no real reason to locate distribution services for drugs that cross the border in the City of Lethbridge. In fact, drugs that came across the border drove through Lethbridge and went to Calgary or Edmonton. Once there they were divided into subgroups to then be distributed in Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, Fort Mac, Lethbridge etc. The reason this was done is because there was no Drug Base in Lethbridge of size. Now that Police are going after the gangs in Edmonton, Calgary etc Lethbridge becomes a suitable hideout and dissemination depot. So we have the potential of becoming the distribution center for Alberta.
Second Issue for Lethbridge
Surrounding Communities are treating Lethbridge as the dumping ground for their “homeless”. When Medicine Hat declared they had “beaten homelessness in their city”, literally almost 4 months to the day after that declaration, they had 150 homeless in their streets. Why? Build it, they will come! So, every Addict/Homeless person who did not have a home in surrounding communities, raced to Medicine Hat to see if they could get a home too!
Third Issue for Lethbridge
Within a month, after Medicine Hat suddenly had 150 people that were not Residents, Lethbridge started getting people from Medicine Hat that were given $400 to move here. To verify, talk to LHA
Fourth Issue for Lethbridge
A group of Doctor’s got together and noticed a spike in people that listed their last place of Residence as Vancouver Downtown East Side. During the month of January, we received 12 people from DTES. So someone in Vancouver is silently distributing DTES residents to wherever he can send them. Verification, talk to a any Lethbridge Doctors and ask if rumor is true.
Fifth Issue for Lethbridge
Now that the Blood Tribe Health is running the Shelter (and doing a good job) once the “Community Care Campus/Southern Alberta Rehab Facility” is fully serviced, other tribes will send their youth here whether they intend on rehab or not.
Sixth Issue for Lethbridge
We are the go to “Party Place for Pimps who have a bevvy of women to pimp out. So every summer we will attract the same group who vacate the Blood Reserve, surrounding communities, and set up tents in our downtown. They have no intention of anything but making a profit on dealing and pimping. This group also pulls anyone who may have decided to shelter into tenting again because “sex and parties” are not available in the Shelter as far as I know, at the moment.
Seventh Issue for Lethbridge
Climate- we have a far better climate in Southern Alberta and the propensity of other communities to try to dump their problems on us has already started. Edmonton/Calgary are already arranging for some of the people they cannot handle to move here. All of these people are Addicts and their worst “disturbers”. Proof? Talk to the people on the street. Some of these people know, or know of, some of the people arriving here and they are afraid of them. Some are being sent down here by the Drug Syndicates in Edmonton/Calgary to take “turf” from existing Drug Dealers.

Eighth Issue for Lethbridge
We have 10 square blocks of downtown, it is the smallest downtown in Alberta based on comparative populations. With 800 Addicts in Lethbridge we will have more Addicts per square foot then Vancouver has. Think about that, MORE addicts than Vancouver! Outside of that 10 square blocks is a residential tax paying community, do you think this is still a smart idea?
Ninth Issue for Lethbridge
UCP intends on building a 42 bed High Acuity facility at the other end of the 19 Acres of Burnside, ensuring the corralling of Shelter to 5th and Stafford. Then to “protect” citizens they will fence from that point down to the Shelter. This allows the ATCO building to come into play. Then if you read the ORGCODE Consulting Report given to CSD on what services to provide and how to run the facility. They suggest that security has to be doubled up, only one entrance/exit to “protect staff” with no information whom is to protect residents and businesses of Lethbridge.
The Failures of UCP
The UCP thinks (Marshall Smith) that if you offer a bed, people will rehab. I have been in the “Drug Scene” as a Navy Man for decades. That is a myth proliferated by nonprofits in pursuit of what I perceive as poor representation as an advocate for an addict. Have you noticed that as soon as Bed availability spiked in BC, they moved to legalization and safe supply of Drugs? So, prior to beds being available, they advocated that the only reason, the ONLY reason, that Addicts do not rehab is because the Big Bad Government did not have enough beds when needed! As soon as that was satisfied in some areas of Canada, suddenly it really wasn’t beds its they do not have a safe supply? Which means the thought process switched from rehab to keeping the person an Addict! Ergo, the addict stays an addict. So as soon as the UCP creates a free flow of access to rehab beds, you will find that they are never filled. This is the case all through Europe Today.
Lethbridge being Doomed (that is not an overstatement)
The City has allowed the nonprofits, to control the CSD division within the City of Lethbridge. The CSD division was given a mandate to cooperate and give first dibs to nonprofits to assist with social issues. This cozy relationship allowed the now defunct Social Services Integration Group (SSIG) composed of 19 people 16 were nonprofits to ensure their access to prime real estate would not be challenged. So SSIG did one study over 15 months of meetings and that one study was done by CSD and Downtown was the unofficial and only pick! No other property was ever considered by both organizations. If we reach 800 Addicts, which we will within 5 years, the downtown will be a very very bad place to be.
So does the UCP really want to be part of this fiasco?
Marshall Smith objects to https://lethccc.com ! Why? You will have to ask him but it would seem to me he has drank way too much Kool-Aid! He honestly believes that if beds were available everyone would rehab and there would be no problems anymore. I have created a facility for practicing addicts which feeds directly into the rehab system. It saves Lethbridge from what I can tell you is “total destruction” of the downtown!
The call of the nonprofits is “Savin Lives”, I suggest it be changed to “Savin Lives, Killin Livelihoods”!
This will create more and more empty buildings which, like DTES non profits buy for pennies on the dollar. No one ponders how many business people lost their businesses, or are presently trying to handle crushing debt because they lost their business due to addicts. No one including those doing “God’s work” know how many business owners committed suicide, how many employees lost their homes and jobs, or how many divorced. They do not have a “professional lobby group like Addicts have”! I have already found that if you lobby for businesses you are lobbying against churches, City Employees ,and businesses themselves? Businesses are absolutely terrified in this city to speak up because, they are afraid the City will send the bylaws officer to make their lives even more miserable. Why is that? Why is the “Addiction Lobby Group” so powerful that the taxpayer businesses and residents who are hard working church going, honest people are the sacrificial lambs to Savin Lives, killin Livelihoods?

Coles Notes Version
Our Problems in Downtown
1)    Because of our proximity to the Border as soon as the Dealer network and hierarchy is set, we will become the distribution for all drugs entering Alberta from the border. When not if, it occurs major crime rings will move here
2)    Adjacent communities think we are building a Southern Alberta Rehab Facility and are dumping people into the downtown
3)    Drug Addicts/Homeless are being paid to move here(check above for proof)
4)    Vancouver DTES has labelled us as a destination for them to lean out their drug addict population (check above for proof)
5)    Blood Tribe Native healing will attract other tribes to send their addicts here to expose them to Native healing
6)    Lethbridge is being touted as the Party City, Blood Pimps move into tents in the summer bringing their drugs and women. They will not go to the shelter. Shelter people will not want to go to CCC because that’s not where the party, the pimps and the sex is!
7)    Lethbridge has better climate then the rest of Alberta, so in an attempt to lean out unhoused people Edmonton and Calgary are shuttling people here.
8)    We have 10 square blocks of downtown, when we reach 800 addicts (less than 5 years) we will have more addicts per square foot then DTES Vancouver has!
9)    Installing 42 bed High Acuity facility in the 19 Acres ensures the Community Care Campus will be in the downtown unless something else stops it.
10) Downtown is afraid to speak up, they are either afraid of their church, or afraid of city employees. This will kill downtown!
I am being labeled as a Racist, even though I am not considered one by the Blood Grassroots people and some Elders, they know I am trying to help Indigenous Addicts, and all others! The great thing about using the Racist Card is you are immediately dismissed! Anything and everything that will save, both the Blood and, Lethbridge with ease, is discarded because, he’s a RACIST!!
The Lobby Group has successfully prevented me from speaking or having any of the nonprofits hear out my plan because, to be honest, I would be putting them out of business (if moved out of town) and don’t kid yourself “this is a business”!
I have not been able to present my plan to anyone because it does not fit the mold of 7 Cities Funding. So rather than demand the UCP abandon the killing of our downtown, and surrounding residential communities you appear to be going along with it? Are you sure you want to hook your wagon to this City Killing Fiasco? What makes me sure downtown will be dead? 28 years in the Navy, tying up in every waterfront/red-light district of the world. Seeing the worst of human nature for decades. Rehab and drugs may have changed, but human nature has not, in fact, if anything, human nature has gotten worse by ANY standard you wish to apply!

Remember this statement Mr Neudorf and all other politicians of Lethbridge!
This infrastructure you call Lethbridge Recovery Community, or Community Care Campus, or Southern Alberta Rehab Facility will consistently treat 5% of the addiction community leaving 95% of the total number of addicts to roam our society,24/7/365, stealing, puking, mugging, dealing, fornicating, masturbating, defecating, unrinating where ever they wish, for the REST OF LETHBRIDGES Life! That’s the part not one Politician realizes, this is PERMANENT! So what happens if we get 1000 addicts Mr Neudorf? Ms Phillips? Mr Mayashiro? City Council? Mr Smith? Danielle Smith? Ms Notley? What then? Do you know what the “saturation point is”? Has anyone ran any kind of straw dog modelling with different numbers? Has the amazing think tank of UofL done intensive study or demanded a meeting to debate the Straw Dogs? The answer, No! Only one person that I am aware of….”Me”, has done this, hence the “destroy and devastate of Lethbridge, statement!
PS- Ms Phillips/Mr Mayashiro/NDP I am not letting you off the hook (remember SCS downtown)! The NDP solution to this nightmare is worse than the UCPs. In fact it is so bad, Ms Phillips you have said NOTHING for 3 years in hopes you can squeak by in the next election and then pretend it was all the UCPs fault. You have not spoken up for Lethbridge Downtown, you do not defend it, and you do nothing to stop this fiasco, period!
If nothing changes, ie devastating rain 24/7, snow in June July Aug, hurricane etc etc our model suggests if a PIT report was done “accurately” in Aug 2023 we will have 622 “homeless”. What does your say, Politicians, U of L? What does your model predict for Downtown Killing levels?
Does anyone care?

This letter was resent to Mr Neudorf, Premier Smith
Then Mayor, Ms Phillips this morning.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dennis Bremner
McKnight

You have not provided proof concerning dumping by the DTES.
What you did do was use it as a scapegoat for your theories.
Considering the DTES has been the Country’s dumping ground for so long, it’s funny you would even mention it.
If you want a made in Alberta solution, make some concrete suggestions. As the problem is (you are correct here) only going to grow.
Maybe we should be suing the Sackler family for a few billion to start with?
And also start a draconian screening of overseas trade in order to stem the flow of fentanyl from China?
Drug addicts got that way as much due to a societal failure (Big Pharma got us the opioid crisis. It wasn’t just individuals out looking to get hooked. Many of them were hooked by big Pharma. Ask Doctors about that while you’re at it).
Drug addiction are our problem. Not just the Addict’s.

McKnight

I can see that budget surplus in the ever-expanding amount of potholes in the streets (I willing to bet that the over sized vehicles being driven by far too many people is part of that problem; but it exists none the less).
The degradation of particular parts of local infrastructure is telling.
I could also talk about the degradation of the Health Care System (Which would start with the crumbling sidewalks outside Chinook Regional Hospital).
Sorry UCP: Your song and dance doesn’t hide your failure to administer properly.

HaroldP

Thank you for the update MLA Neudorf. I am regretful that I am not an East side resident but am “represented” regretfully, by Ms.Phillips…. for the time being anyway.

It is refreshing to see a balanced budget, and one that addresses immediate needs (not wants) of our Lethbridge community. As you rightly state “the top 5 requests of the City were fulfilled and funded” great. We also see the capital investment and infrastructure support initiatives.

Thanks as well for the “affordability payments” and the way they are distributed at the end of the month when needed most. With inflation and winter expenses costing us more, the $100.00 is helping us out.

As for the NDP “naysayers” in particular wannabe MLA Miyashiro, where is your “shadow budget” ????? What do you (NDP) purpose and how big of a hole (deficit spending) would you be inflicting on us…again?

Thank you Premier Smith and MLA Neudorf, we need a continued proactive and responsible government, one that you are currently providing.

Last edited 1 year ago by HaroldP