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January 27, 2023 January 27, 2023

Looking back at the year that was

Posted on January 11, 2023 by admin

With 2022 in the rearview mirror and 2023 an unfinished chapter — let’s look back at some of the previous years highlights.
January:
Magrath council has passed first reading of Bylaw 1288, or the Prohibit Deer Feeding Bylaw.
“The population of deer in Magrath is a growing concern to the town’s council and many residents,” said Suffredine. “The Provincial Wildlife Act does not forbid feeding deer, so a bylaw is being considered by the town to prohibit this activity. Feeding deer can potentially create a habituated population as prolonged feeding can change stomach bacteria and make the normal digestion of native foods difficult. Feeding areas can also spread disease by multiple animals visiting a central place.”
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact the sporting world, it has been a slow few weeks for local teams. On the ice, Magrath’s U15 Tier 3 hockey team was able to get a Central Alberta Hockey League game in on Jan. 8. Migrate outlasted Redcliffe 6-5, thanks to third period goals from Gage Nelson and Kyson Johnson.
Discussion on a Raymond road closure bylaw had been postponed on their Jan. 18 meeting. A public hearing for Bylaw 1107-21, pertaining to the road closure of Granite Road, was held during Raymond Town council’s regular Jan. 4 meeting. Coun. Kelly Jensen recused herself from the public hearing
The Magrath Zeniths continue to roll in Southern Alberta High School Basketball League play. Last Friday, Magrath’s senior team steamrolled Chinook by a score of 82-32. That moved the Zeniths to 6 – 0 on the sason.
February:
Coutts mayor Jim Willett supports the right to protest but the truck convoy blockade at Coutts goes too far for him. “I’m not impressed with the total blockage,” said Willett.
The Town of Magrath is working on a proposal aiming to alleviate their ambulance and lab situation in town. Magrath Mayor Byrne Cook says that they’ve been asked by Dr. Aaron Low, Director for Alberta Health Services in the south zone for suggestions on how to improve healthcare in town.
Magrath will be the home of high school basketball this weekend. The high school will host a pair of tournaments with games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, as the Heart Breaker Invitational 2022 hits the court.
The Magrath Zeniths keep piling up the wins. Magrath moved to 9-0 in league play last Wednesday with an 81-50 win over Catholic Central.

David Hansen led the Zeniths with 14, while Treydon Barton had 12 and Brock Barnett added 11.Levi Balderson had 10 for the winning side. Magrath also honoured its five graduating players during the CCH game, as Cody Scheirlinck, J.T. Smith, Ethan Clukey, Levi Balderson and Treydon Barton were recognized.
March:
Local high school teams are gearing up for the last week of Southern Alberta High School Basketball League play.
The regular season will wrap up March 5, as zone competitions will quickly follow.
The Town of Raymond wants to know if citizens are willing to have licensed restaurants in the community. No alcohol sales have been allowed in the town for more than 100 years but that could change depending on public response to a seven-week consultation project on an online platform called “Let’s Talk Raymond.”
The province has announced design funding for a new high school in Raymond. In an announcement earlier this month, Raymond is home to one of 15 priority school projects that will receive a total of $251 million over three years in funding. Currently, the Raymond school project is slated for design funding only.
The 4A Alberta Schools Athletic Association (ASAA)Senior Girls Basketball Provincial Championship could not have been scripted any better Saturday Night at Raymond High School, as the host No. 1 seeded Comets hosted the second-seeded Magrath High School Pandas.
Magrath High School’s home economics program has successfully partnered with the Stitch it Forward Society of Lethbridge to present the not-for-profit organization with needed textiles to be distributed amongst various charities. The Stitch it Forward Society focuses on sewing, knitting, and crocheting projects to create items that will benefit individuals and organizations in need.
April:
According to the agenda, Bylaw 1116-22 is a rezone application to rezone an area from ‘Urban Reserve’ to ‘General Residential’. In regards to background information, the agenda states. “In preparation for continued residential development along 100 south and for future subdivision applications for lots to be created along 100s, a request has been made to predesignate the identified lands form the urban reserve (UR-1) to general residential (R-1) as is shown on the attached maps.”
Friends, neighbours, and families needing a bit of extra food security lined up recently in Magrath for the Calgary Family Peer Connection’s (CFPC) “Hand up Not Out” food distribution event. This week, Coalhurst will be the next community to host the Hand Up Not Out team as volunteers are set to distribute 100,000 pounds of free groceries to community members in need. The town of Coalhurst recently donated the Miners Memorial Park as space to hold the grocery drive scheduled from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. this Friday.
Since November, Raymond town council has been discussing potentially changing the Town’s Land Use Bylaw to allow ‘Class – A Minors Allowed’ liquor licenses in their otherwise ‘dry’ town. A public hearing was held earlier this year, along with a survey that concluded April 7. At their Apr. 19 meeting of council, Raymond’s council voted to not amend the bylaw, thus keeping the town dry. The motion was defeated by all by Coun. Kelly Jensen who voted in favour of the amendment.

After the better part of a decade, the Stirling Wind Project seems like it’ll finally be getting its feet off the ground with a Virtual Open House happening on May 4; site mobilization beginning the same month.
May:
To say the Raymond Comets girls rugby program has been dominant this season would be a massive understatement. Raymond rolled to a pair of league wins last week over Winston Churchill High School by scores of 70-0 in the senior varsity contest and 50-0 in the junior game.
From a road trip through Warner, Alberta in 1996 a seed was planted in an American lawyer to find all he could about a man buried in their local cemetery. President of the Milk River Historical Society Dale Leffingwell, said he was approached by American lawyer F. Ross Boundy, who was looking for information on a black homesteader who is buried in the Warner cemetery.
After several successful events in southern Alberta, Calgary Family Peer Connection’s (CFPC) “Hand Up Not Out” food distribution event will be back in Raymond on May 28. Distribution Manager Betty Loder said the organization is, “Hop(ing) to raise a minimum of $2,500, potentially $3,000 to feed 400 to 500 households,” and is hoping to reach at least 2,000 people. Loder added, “donations are to cover transportation costs and expenses.” she added, “we’re talking probably 120,000 pounds of food.”
With a new fiscal year comes a newly approved budget for Magrath – highlighting things such as the new Local Government Fiscal Framework, rural policing costs and Operating Budget revenues.
June:
The Raymond Comets 7s rugby program is back on top of the Alberta landscape. Raymond took gold on the weekend at the St. Albert Rugby Football Club, as the Comets went unbeaten in five games.
Front-line care workers at Good Samaritan Society facilities across Alberta are launching a fight back against unfair and disrespectful behaviour by their employer.
A Development Officer Council Brief was heard regarding a rezoning application for Stonegate Meadows. The application is for rezoning from Urban Reserve to General Residential and Parks and Open Space. The brief stated, “The applicant is wanting to proceed with Phase 4 & Phase 5 of Stonegate Meadows, which would see the creation of 49 residential lots and 2 parcels of Municipal Reserve.” Notices have been sent to adjacent landowners and a date for a public meeting needs to be set.
Cardston Elementary School’s playground is over 50 years old, and as a result it’s slowly becoming more and more derelict — while simultaneously becoming more of a hazard for kids. Jocelyn Wynder, the fundraising chair stated that fundraising for the new playground officially began in 2016 — however it wasn’t until around three years ago that they really began picking up the effort.
Raymond is currently home to two free pantries; free-standing food “lockers” as well as a designated space inside of the library, which houses a shelf stocked with food and basic hygiene products that residents are able to access. These pantries provide an extra layer of food security to residents which is particularly important for a rural communities who may not have a food bank or access to transportation.
July:
The Raymond Adult Pickleball organizer, Lori Eakett, made an interesting offer to Council. In a letter to the Town, Eakett and her group proposed to make improvements to the tennis courts that would convert them into dual-use tennis and pickleball surfaces. The pickleball group quoted a cost of $1755.96 plus GST that they would assume for the project materials.
There’s a lot to look forward to at Stirling’s Settler Days starting today and running until late Saturday, July 16. Events for Settler Days officially kick off with tree planting beginning at 5 p.m. today — hosted by Lethbridge’s own 20th Independent Field Battery RCA on the Michelson Farmstead. This is followed closely by ‘Music on the Veranda’ at 6 p.m. which includes a $3 deal for hotdogs, chips, pop and water with music beginning at 7 p.m..; this event is also hosted on the Michelson Farmstead.
Appointment dates for the Village’s library board were also looked over, with Kayleigh Nelson, Marsha Edwards and Amy Donselaar all having terms that began on Apr. 21, 2022 and will expire Apr. 20, 2025. An open house has also been scheduled for Village council — a Town Hall meeting has been confirmed for Sept. 24, 2022 at 7:00 P.M.. It is unclear if members of the public will be able to attend, but council has invited the RCMP, Telus, Family and Community Support Services, Ridge Regional Public Safety Services, the Fire Department, local businesses, committees, the Stirling Silver Saddle Club, municipal departments, ER equipment and M.F. tours.
Leading on from Settler Days, the good news doesn’t stop coming for the Village of Stirling who recently received Canada Community Revitalization Funding (CCRF) towards upgrades for their pool. Scott Donselaar, Chief Administrative Officer for the Village of Stirling commented that the Village was successful in the application back in 2021, however they decided to delay the announcement until sometime after the Federal election.
August:
A Picture Butte man is in police custody after a crime spree that ran through Raymond over the course two weeks in late July. The spree appears to be the latest in a pattern of crime and police evasion that stretches back to at least 2020 for the accused.
Draft Bylaw 1705 came to the table at Cardston’s regular meeting of council; dealing with noise and noise complaints. The basics of the bylaw is to give utilities to the Peace Officer so they are able to deal with noise complaints all day, effectively making the bylaw an all-day noise bylaw where any and all excessive or unnecessary noise is enforceable.
Taber-Warner MLA Grant Hunter is still pushing for numerous changes to rural healthcare. The biggest of which Hunter has been discussing at the provincial level has been bringing back a regional approach to dispatch. “I’ve been pretty clear on my position on this. I think dispatch needs to be brought back into a regional approach and we should not be having this centralization of dispatch. “
The Raymond Music Festival on Aug. 20 was an excellent opportunity for local musical artists to get wired for sound on a live stage at Comet Stadium.
September:
At the August 23 Raymond council meeting, a bylaw amendment returned to the table for a second reading.Development officer Mark Boltezar explained the process of bylaw changes. “We host a public hearing between the first and second reading of a land use bylaw amendment, and it’s to gain any sort of public input that (we’ve received) from the advertising we’ve done.” The information was advertised in Westwind Weekly and on the town’s website, and the administration didn’t receive any feedback or comments.

One of the perks of playing for one of the province’s top programs typically involves a trip to the United States to take on some top-notch competition south of the border
Queen Elizabeth the II’s death was a shock to the world when the news was first broken last Thursday, September 8, two days after welcoming the new Prime Minister to office. A national day of mourning for the Queen has been declared federally for Monday, Sept. 19, and residents of Magrath Rosemary Minors and Tracie Smith will be holding a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. at Magrath’s cenotaph.
The Town of Raymond’s beautification committee is hosting a veteran’s banner program for the first time this year. The program is designed as a show of respect for living and deceased veterans from the town. Their names and faces will be featured on the banners. The program application letter, posted to the Town’s website stated, “It is a project to recognize, honour, and remember all those who have sacrificed so we can live in peace in our communities. We will be assisted by our local Rotarians.”
Magrath teed off their annual charity golf tournament on Sept.23 and it was a success. This year the Town awarded the tournament to the Magrath Elementary School (MES). Principal Julie Gilson provided a rundown of the day’s events.
October:
The Town of Magrath has sent off a major grant application which, if approved, would allow the Town to move forward with a tree planting project. The 2021 federal budget announced $200 million to establish the Natural Infrastructure Fund (NIF) for project across the country.
The Province of Alberta is accepting nominations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal Program. The Province intends to award medals to 7,000 Albertans throughout 2022 “in recognition of significant contributions to the province. The Platinum Jubilee Medal program is continuing as planned despite the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and will conclude on Feb. 5, 2023.”
At an Oct. 4 meeting, Raymond council reviewed a proposed levy schedule from the Chinook Arch Regional Library System. The Raymond Public Library has been a part of the Chinook Arch System since its inception in 1992, and Chinook Arch asked that council approve a proposed four-year levy schedule and direct the Town’s administration to update the 2023-2026 operating budget accordingly.
The news weeklies in southern Alberta regularly receive media releases from a variety of sources, and the recent spate of notifications of emergency room closures in Milk River is cause for concern. Though the region in the deep south of Alberta is sparsely populated, the Milk River Health Centre (MRHC) is the only one of its kind in that area.
November:
Since the May 20 fire that destroyed Creepy Hollow, a haunted house near Warner, the owners and staff at the site have been conjuring up ways to keep the spirit of the place alive. Richard and Glory Reimer are the owners of the property, and the haunted house was an abandoned farmstead that sat for years before the Reimers bought and revitalized it.
A new document posted to the Town of Magrath’s website is providing ratepayers with more clarity on the Town’s revenue and expenditures.
Coun. Coppieters shared that an affordable housing meeting with Peter Casurella, executive director at SouthGrow Regional Initiative was a step in the right direction. The consensus was that while affordable housing availability was “at an all-time low, construction costs are at an all-time high,” according to the report. The questions of interest were, “are there subsidies available for an affordable housing project in Raymond, (and) can we come up with a shovel-ready project if grants become available?
It was a good weekend for the U11 Cardston Thunder, bringing up two big wins. Chestermere visited Cardston on Nov. 19, and the Thunder put the hurt down in their house.
December:
The senior Stirling Lakers girls Volleyball walked away from the 1A Provincials in Picture Butte with a bronze ranking following the three day tournament.
The UCP has announced new initiatives and funding streams in response to the ongoing affordability crisis. Following a series of announcements in recent weeks, including a$20 million commitment to organizations which address food insecurity, the re-indexation of AISH and cash installments for families (with children) bringing in up to $180,000.
Magrath’s Gerry Baril has been awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee medal during a recent ceremony held by Alberta Municipalities.
While the rollout of Bill 1 — Alberta Sovereignty within a United Canada Act was rocky, Taber-Warner MLA Grant Hunter says it took some time, but the provincial government is happy with it after amendments were made.While clarity was an initial concern, Hunter says he understands why some Albertans were against the original version.

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