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Drivers save the 13-cent provincial fuel tax

Alberta’s government is no longer collecting the provincial fuel tax while oil prices are high. With the corresponding reduction in GST, this amounts to total savings of about $6.80 per tank for a compact car (50 litres), $7.21 for a small SUV (53 litres), $12.65 for a mid-size SUV (93 litres), $18.50 for a large pickup truck (136 litres) and $185.50 for a semi-trailer (1,364 litres). The measure is in effect now and will remain in place until at least June 30. The government will consider the future of the tax, based on a sliding scale of the price of West Texas Intermediate crude. Albertans will see further relief through other cost-saving measures to be introduced in the coming months including the $150 in electricity rebates through the Government of Alberta to more than one million eligible homes, farms and businesses that have been affected by above-average consumption costs over the past several months. A natural gas relief program, announced as part of Budget 2022, will also provide a rebate when natural gas prices exceed $6.50 per gigajoule starting in October.

Three new tools launched on Medicine Hat’s myMH Portal

The City of Medicine Hat has launched three new widgets on the myMH portal: Assessment Information, Trails Near Me, and Volunteer Opportunities. The myMH Portal allows users to create a custom, personalized dashboard of tailored content they care most about. It is different than a website in two ways:

  1. The portal is personalized to each user; they pick which widgets they want to see.
  2. It is unique to their location by drawing data based on a certain property address.
  • The Assessment Information widget
  • The Trails Near Me widget
  • The Volunteer Opportunities widget
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Alberta’s Recall Act and Citizen Initiative Act come into force on April 7

The Recall Act allows Albertans to initiate a process that could lead to removing and replacing elected officials, including members of the legislative assembly (MLAs), municipal officials and school trustees during their term. The Citizen Initiative Act allows Albertans to bring their concerns and proposals forward to government for discussion or referendum. Find out more on Bill 51: the Citizen Initiative Act and Bill 52: the Recall Act

Small modular reactors: Provinces release strategic plan

The governments of Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick have agreed to a joint strategic plan outlining the path forward on small modular reactors (SMRs). A Strategic Plan for the Deployment of Small Modular Reactors highlights how SMRs can provide safe, reliable and zero-emissions energy to power our growing economy and population while creating new opportunities to export Canadian knowledge and expertise around the world.


Bill 13, the Financial Innovation Act, creates regulatory sandbox

If passed, Bill 13 will create a regulatory sandbox for financial services and fintech companiesm offering businesses temporary relief from certain legislative and regulatory requirements, making it simpler for them to test new products and services and expand their offerings to consumers. The sandbox would be the first of its kind in Canada, meaning financial services and fintech companies will have a strong incentive to move to Alberta. It would also benefit Albertans by opening the door to a wider variety of products and services, which could lead to more competition and lower costs for consumers. If the legislative assembly passes this bill, the government will aim to start accepting sandbox applications by July 1 and will work with participating companies to ensure appropriate consumer protection measures are in place. Find out more and read Bill 13.

Fuelling Our Business Community

Our First Networking Before 9 Since the Pandemic!

Coffee, snacks, good conversation, networking. If this sounds like a way you would like to spend your early morning, come on down to the Chamber Boardroom for our first Networking before 9 of the year. Meet fellow professionals, business owners, and staff from all over the city. Great way to make connections in an casual setting. Register Here


The Power of Community


Funding for HALO

For the first time, Medicine Hat-based Helicopter Air Lift Operation (HALO) will be offered stable, guaranteed funding and a contract with Alberta Health Services, moving from a fee-for-service model. HALO will get more than $1 million in annual funding.

“This historic investment represents countless hours of work, by thousands of people, over the past 20 years! Adding the Government of Alberta as a predictable and stable funding partner ensures HALO will not only remain in flight for your life in southern Alberta, but will be able to enhance our ability to provide world-class helicopter emergency medical services for decades to come. HALO is extremely proud of our financial efficiency, driving the bulk of every dollar raised towards helicopter operations. We are committed to ensuring this investment is treated with the same fiscal responsibility, ultimately providing more service for less, building capacity in the system, and saving lives.” - Paul Carolan, CEO, HALO

Matching donations for sport, recreation programs

Alberta’s government is matching up to $350,000 in donations to eligible provincial sport, physical activity and recreation programs beginning April 1. This donation-matching campaign is part of Creative Partnerships Alberta, an initiative to find new ways to support non-profits. It will leverage private donations to help boost revenue for sport, physical activity and recreation organizations during this time of recovery and growth. Albertans can make their gift through the new Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation (SPAR) Donation Fund Program online portal from April 1 to Aug. 30.


Enriching Your Business

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Contact JoAnne Letkeman, Exclusive Chamber Group Advisor, 403-504-2166 ext 1.

See all our Value Added Benefits!

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Applications for 2022 City development incentives now open

The City of Medicine Hat is now accepting applications for three of the 2022 development incentives to encourage development and redevelopment in the community. The 2022 development incentives include:

Applicants are encouraged for visit for full program descriptions and incentive criteria.

Canadian K-12 Schools Eligible for MCCAC Grant Funding to Install Solar Energy

Schools within the province of Alberta which serve Kindergarten (K) and/or a set of grades 1-12 and report to School Authorities classified as Public, Separate, Francophone, and Charter by Alberta Education are eligible to participate. Solar can be installed at existing or new schools.

School Authorities can visit the Alberta Education Alberta Schools and Authorities website to determine if they meet the definition of a “School Authority” in the program. Full details are available here.


Hardest Hit Business Recovery Program

This program is open to businesses in all other sectors that have experienced revenue reductions of at least 50%. Maximum wage and rent subsidy 50%. To receive this subsidy, your business must experience an average revenue loss of at least 50% over 12 months as well as a minimum revenue loss of 50% in the current month. HERE

The Canada Recovery Hiring Program is extended to May 7, 2022. A revenue loss of only 10% is required. Subsidizing eligible businesses up to 50% of their new staffing costs – hiring new employees, re-hiring people you had to lay off, or increasing hours for existing staff. HERE

The Alberta Jobs Now Program There have been significant changes made to the program including opening the program to Alberta businesses and non-profits that have been incorporated or registered for less than a year. Third intake: to be announced at a later date HERE

Canada’s Student Work Placement Program

Businesses of all sizes can access wage subsidies when they hire students. HERE


Advocacy in Action

Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta, visits Medicine Hat to announce sustainable funding for HALO, Southern Alberta's air rescue service.

A major announcement was brought to our region on Thursday, March 31st. The current balanced budget brought forth by the Government of Alberta includes major provisions for emergency medical services. Last week, Premier Kenney confirmed that these provisions would extend to supporting HALO's efforts in providing emergency air transport in Southern Alberta. The 5-year contract is estimated to provide over $1,000,000 in annual funding towards the organization, and funding will also support the Fort McMurray-based HERO air ambulance service.

In 2020, HALO reached out to government officials, private donors and advocacy groups like the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce to inform the public that the vital service was "on life support". Private donors gave in record levels to keep HALO

operating, and advocacy groups like our Chamber, adopted a formal policy and recommendations, and have since been advocating for this much needed service.

This announcement from the provincial government was not only a huge win for HALO, but is also fantastic news for residents of the area who have now been promised more stability in air ambulance services, and can feel confident that HALO will continue saving lives in the region.

Alcohol Escalator Tax: Sign the Petition

Chambers across the Country have focused on advocacy efforts to repeal the automatic escalator in excise tax for wine, beer and spirit. A resolution was passed on this issue at our federal 2019 AGM and Policy Conference, with previous advocacy campaign highlighting the issues and the need to Freeze the Alcohol tax. We encourage you to sign a petition recently started in the House of Commons.


2030 Emissions Reduction Plan

This week the Government of Canada released its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan, which describes the actions government is currently taking as well as new measures to help Canada meet its emissions reduction goals. Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon met with Environment and Climate Change Canada Minister Steven Guilbeault to discuss the newly released federal climate plan. In addition, the Canadian Chamber has responded stating its concerns with the feasibility and limited supporting detail of several components of the ERP.

Next Level Events

2022 Home + Leisure Tradeshow

April 22nd - 24th

Each year the Chamber invests time and resources into creating a quality trade show for our community, and we are proud to host not only the longest-running, but the largest trade show in Medicine Hat. Bringing business together under one roof provides a fantastic experience for everyone. For businesses, the personal connections you can make with thousands of consumers and clients is unmatched. For consumers, you'll find fresh inspiration, helpful tips, innovative products and fantastic deals in remodeling, home improvement, design, gifts and services. Learn More

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Other Events

April 7: The Great Resignation and rise of remote work: policy advice for small businesses | Register

Apr 13: 9 am - 1 pm | Executive Summit: The Path to Pandemic-Proof: What the Health and Life Sciences Ecosystem Needs Today | Register

Apr 26: 10 am-12:30 pm | "Stronger Together" Small Business Virtual Conference | Register

Apr 28: Startup Global: Entrepreneurs Going Global Panel #1: Early-Stage Advice |  Register

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