The Council of Canadians Medicine Hat chapter had its founding meeting on Wednesday (November 2).
Medicine Hat is a city situated in southeast Alberta, about kilometres 295 east of Calgary and just 60 kilometres west of the Saskatchewan border. The name “Medicine Hat” is the English translation of Saamis – the Blackfoot word for the headdress worn by medicine men. The city of 63,000 people is located on the South Saskatchewan River.
Winnipeg-based Council of Canadians organizer Brigette DePape was at the meeting to help the chapter get started.
She tells us, “There were about 15 people who came to the meeting at the public library, a mix of people who are retired, working people, and two young people. One of the chapter members is also the Chair of Friends of Medicare, others are part of the local water coalition. They are interested in doing a film screening on World Water Day, organizing an Iron & Earth event, putting forward a resolution at their City Hall on trade, doing an action against oil by rail, and a lot more. Their immediate next steps will be to hold another planning meeting and elect a chair and treasurer.”
The city is represented by Conservative MP Glen Motz in the House of Commons.
It’s City Council is also pro-pipeline. On August 2, 2016, Medicine Hat City Council voted unanimously to adopt this resolution that states it “is in the best interests of the residents of Medicine Hat, Albertans, and Canadians, that TransCanada Pipelines regulatory approval to proceed with the development, construction, and implementation of the Energy East Pipeline Project.” Part of their rationale is that, “The City of Medicine Hat owns and produces oil and gas assets that could benefit from the pipeline capacity of the Energy East project.”
The pipeline route from Alberta into Saskatchewan passes about 180 kilometres north of Medicine Hat.
The Council of Canadians has more than 60 chapters across the country that do incredible political work in their communities. For more information on them – or on how to form a chapter in your own community – please click here.