Lethbridge city council votes to form new COVID-19 recovery committee

File photo: Lethbridge City Hall. File/Global News

Lethbridge city council is set to form a new committee that will support city-wide recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In an 8-1 vote at Tuesday’s city council meeting, councillors voted in favour of creating the Lethbridge Community and Economic Recovery Committee of Council.

The motion from Coun. Jeff Carlson stated, “the COVID-19 pandemic has created the need for an unprecedented economic and community-wide recovery effort.”

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Carlson’s approved motion resolved that the new committee of council meet weekly — on Thursdays — for the next 12 months to focus on relief measured aimed at supporting the Lethbridge community.

The recovery effort has been split into for main focus areas, with working groups that will be lead by members of council as well as newly appointed city manager Craig Dalton.

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A draft of the new committee’s terms of reference split council into the following groups:

  • Economic & Business Recovery — Business improvements, local construction and red tape reduction
    • Mayor Chris Spearman, councillors Ryan Parker and Mark Campbell
  • Stimulus Funding & Financial Stabililty — Advocacy, financial planning and capital projects
    • councillors Jeffery Coffman, Belinda Crowson and Joe Mauro
  • Social Planning & Community Wellbeing — Housing, education, social needs, arts and culture, sports and food security
    • councillors Rob Miyashiro, Jeff Carlson and Blaine Hyggen
  • Corporate Recovery — Organizational recovery
    • City Manager Craig Dalton and the City of Lethbridge senior management team

“Weekly, council will convene as the over-arching committee,” Carlson said. “Each of those pillars will be feeding up into all of council to make the decisions and build the strategy going forward.”

Carlson acknowledged that the city’s recovery from COVID-19 will include short, medium, and long-term strategies, as well as working in collaboration with the local business community, community organizations, and different levels of government.

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“Council was elected to lead, and we know that there are different sectors, different organizations, different individuals in our community that are taking pieces of recovery,” he said.

“Council won’t be duplicating the work of any of the groups. [Economic Development Lethbridge] and the Chamber [of Commerce] are doing work, our faith-based organizations are doing work, our community and social groups are all doing work, and other organizations. Council needs to be the over-arching body to break down those silos.”
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The date of the committees first meeting is yet to be released by the City of Lethbridge.

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