Lethbridge city council votes in favour of 4 potential provincial initiatives
Lethbridge city council voted nearly unanimously Monday in favour of four resolutions that will now go before the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) before potentially being pitched to the provincial government.
The four initiatives will be considered by AUMA at its annual general meeting in September, and if supported will move forward to the province.
The four resolutions are:
- A recycled content threshold in plastic bags
- A mortgage stress test
- A provincial drug strategy
- Presumed consent for human organ and tissue donation
For the first, AUMA would urge the provincial government to work with other provinces in establishing a national standard for increased threshold levels for recycled content in plastic bags. The proposed threshold would be a minimum of 15 per cent recycled materials by 2023.
The second initiative passed by council was in regards to the mortgage stress test; AUMA would request that the federal government eliminate or regionally apply the stress test, removing it from markets like Lethbridge.
The third was a provincial drug strategy, in response to what Mayor Chris Spearman referred to as the “devastating impact” of the drug crisis. The strategic plan would include prevention, treatment, harm reduction and community safety.
“We need assistance,” said Spearman. “It’s a health issue, and municipalities aren’t responsible for health issues. We’re responsible for community safety and cleanliness in the community.
“We’re dealing with the aftermath of a drug issue and we do need assistance.”
The final resolution would ask the province to follow suit with Nova Scotia and change the way organ and tissue donation programs function.
Lethbridge was asked to show support for the town of Olds, which is spearheading the initiative. It would make organ donation an automatic program that citizens would need to opt out of, instead of opting in to.
Logan Boulet of Lethbridge, who died in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash, was mentioned in council’s discussion of the initiative, which was passed by a vote of 8-1.
“Olds reached out to us and said they wanted to bring forward this resolution,” said Spearman. “Recognizing that Logan was from Lethbridge, they thought that we might be interested in co-sponsoring, and today we confirmed that we are.”
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