U of L studies social effects on Medicine Hat’s downtown core

By Hayley Ferguson
June 21, 2019 - 12:37pm Updated: June 21, 2019 - 7:16pm


Medicine Hat, AB - After noticing an increase in open drug use, the University of Lethbridge decided to conduct a study about how social issues and social changes effect the downtown core.

Now they are bringing that study to Medicine Hat.

Doctor Em Pijl, an assistant professor with the university, says that throughout the month, research assistants are working their way through residences and businesses to help participants complete the 20 minute anonymous survey.

“We find with smaller towns they feel social issues and feel social disorder. They feel it more acutely I think. And they are very concerned,” Pijl continued. “Medicine Hat has a great thing going on. What a great little city. I’m quite taken with it and people are very concerned about increase in drug use and saw that and thought this would be a really great city.”

After the initial survey which is set to wrap up within the next week, participants will receive another survey every three months from a year that they can complete by email so that they can see how things change throughout different seasons.

The university is teaming up with the Medicine Hat College and the city to conduct the study. They will be surveying the area bordered by River Road, Ash Avenue, Pringle Street, Hill Road, Sixth Street SE, along Third Avenue and back to the river.

Pijl says that in about a year’s time residents will have the option of attending a presentation to hear about the findings of the study

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