May 28th, 2024

John Middleton-Hope: Retired police chief running for spot on city council


By Tim Kalinowski on August 20, 2021.

Herald photo by Tim Kalinowski - Retired Lethbridge Chief of Police John Middleton-Hope speaks to reporters on Thursday at the Galt Museum after announcing his candidacy for city council in this fall's municipal election.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDtkalinowski@lethbridgeherald.com

Retired Lethbridge Chief of Police John Middleton-Hope will be running for city council this fall on a platform of public safety, leadership and continuous economic development. Middleton-Hope announced his candidacy at the Galt Museum on Thursday. Not surprisingly for the former Chief of Police, who retired from policing in 2006 and continues to teach criminal justice at the post-secondary level, public safety was top of mind in his remarks to the media.
“In listening to citizens, the number one issue they tell me about is concern for their safety and that of their families,” he stated. “And they see an erosion of their quality of life. They express frustration with what they read in The Herald, and the many public safety challenges that have become so commonplace in Lethbridge. We have come to expect this type of bad news, and, frankly, I don’t think it is okay to have to teach our children and our grandchildren how to handle discarded needles in our parks and in our playgrounds.
“For me, job one (on council) is about refocusing our attention to make this city a safe place.”
In terms of leadership, Middleton-Hope said it was important to work collaboratively on council and with the community to make the city a better and safer place for all citizens.
“As council members we must work collaboratively to shape the future of our city,” he said. “It has been a challenge to balance the needs of our citizens, and we must be careful when we address the needs of the few at the expense of the majority. We have developed some big city problems, and it will take leadership, experience and collaboration to impact these issues. This is exactly what I would bring to city council.”
Middleton-Hope said he supports the current council’s direction on airport development, industrial development and agri-food industry development, and he would like to see more targeted incentives to help downtown and other small businesses in the community if elected.
Middleton-Hope also acknowledged the desire of some in the community to lower taxes, but felt there was a need for a larger conversation about the topic.
“We have come to expect in this city a very high level of service that is not available in other cities,” he stated. “So yes, we pay for it. I can tell you, however, I have had my house evaluated here. I have asked the City of Red Deer, can you evaluate my house based on where I live and the size of my house, and all of it. I would be paying more in Red Deer. So, at the end of the day, yeah, housing prices are high, taxes are high; that’s correct. However, I think we get an extremely good value for our dollar in this city. And perhaps what we need to do, if we are not willing to pay the extra for those services we think are important, maybe what we need to do is readjust as a community what those expectations are.”
Middleton-Hope said, at the end of the day, his vision for Lethbridge was a more inclusive, safe and prosperous city where opportunities abound for all.
“I think we go not only to the Indigenous members of our community, but the Indigenous members of other communities who use our city, and ask them what we can do to improve our relationship,” he said. “And not just the Indigenous community. I can tell you when I first moved here 19 years ago it was unusual to see a person of colour in this community. Today everybody is everywhere. There are a substantial number of people that are moving to our community that have different needs, different expectations, different experiences, and I think we need to work with all of them to create an environment here where they feel comfortable, where they can get employment, where they can get housing.”

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pursuit diver

I like what I am hearing so far! City Council does have authority to change what happens on our streets, in our parks and neighborhoods and it is time to take back our streets.
He listened to what the people are saying, unlike the past Councilors who think spending ten’s of millions of dollars to ‘revitalize’ with get rid of the problem while focusing in spending all the tax dollars on the ‘arts’, the $100 million performing arts center for one. In the last 5 years we have seen almost $40 million on the CASA Arts building and the Yates, with almost $7 million going to SAGA art gallery, in the middle of the city problematic Galt Gardens, over $12 million on revitalization on 3rd Avenue by Galt Gardens and nothing planned in legal Bylaws to stop our streets being invaded by addicts from other communities that believe it is their right to wander the streets, openly having sex, openly doing drugs, openly drinking,. openly using the streets and business doorways as toilets, while sleeping where and when they want and pillaging the city to pay for drugs.
It is time to take back our city, rebuild our reputation internationally, since the world believes that we have a city full of drug addicts after the SCS destroyed our reputation while knowing inflating numbers by stating there were over 800 addicts using the SCS, until the AHS began oversight and Stacey Bourque then said it was actually about 136 addicts using the site multiple times, even standing before Council and spewing disinformation. a
Time to take back our city and you have my vote! We have a right to decide what happens on our streets so they do not turn into Vancouver, who still won’t admit harm reduction with safe injection sites don’t work!
And there are a couple of illegal sites operating in this city right now that do add to the problem, increasing the overdoses by enabling addicts further.
Lethbridge’s overdoses have been reduced and Canada saw major increases due to COVID lockdowns, while Lethbridge after shutting down the SCS saw major reductions, until this spring when the illegal sites operated. They are killing machines!
Lethbridge saw only a small increase compared to the other communities with safe consumption sites. Those who operate illegal sites should be charged with homicide or manslaughter!