Fair Entry

The Fair Entry program helps low-income families and individuals afford popular city programs.

Eligible users have access to:

2024 Fair Entry relief credit

Eligible Fair Entry customers will receive $100 in relief per month per household following the date of your application until the end of 2024. This will be distributed automatically for all eligible customers through your utility statement, or by cheque for eligible condo owners.

Credits will not be applied retroactively and will only begin after your application is approved. If you are a current Fair Entry user, you will continue to receive this credit into 2024 until the date your previous application expires. 

For questions on the timing and application of the relief credit, please contact collections@medicinehat.ca or phone 403-529-8113.

For questions related to the expiry date of your application please contact fairentry@medicinehat.ca or phone 403-502-8001.

Recreation user fee assistance

75% reduced rates for City of Medicine Hat regular-priced recreation program and admissions at City-run swimming pools and leisure centres.

Each family member listed on your approved application form will receive $200 per year subsidy. The $200 subsidy can only be applied to the specified family member and cannot be combined, transferred, or shared. Once the $200 is used up within each year, the customer pays the total balance over the yearly maximum. Unused subsidy amounts expire at the end of each year of the application and are not carried forward.

Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre education programs

75% reduced rates for educational programs directly provided by staff of the Esplanade.

The maximum subsidy amount per eligible resident (adult or child) per eligible year is $200. Once the $200 subsidy is used up within each year, the customer pays the total balance over the yearly maximum. Unused subsidy amounts expire at the end of each year of the application and are not carried forward.

Medicine Hat Transit discount

Save 75% on monthly transit passes, to an annual maximum of $630 subsidy per person per year (the equivalent of 24 adult passes in a two-year period).

Applications are now active for up to two years from date of approval, or until your annual subsidy amounts are used up. (Note: 2024 Relief Credit will be applied only for 2024)

Apply to Fair Entry

For information or questions on the Fair Entry program, please call: 403-502-8001.

What do I need to apply?

Proof of Medicine Hat address
This might include:
  • A copy of your Alberta driver's license
  • A copy of your Alberta ID card
  • A copy of a utility, telephone or cable bill dated within the last 30 days
  • A copy of a government document with your name and address dated within the last 30 days
  • Signed lease agreement

P.O. boxes and rural route addresses are not accepted.

Proof of income

Total household income must be less than the Low Income Cut-Off (LICO) set by Statistics Canada, which is updated annually.

You can apply to Fair Entry with eight different proofs of income. Please submit a copy of one of the following documents with your application:

  • Canada Revenue Agency: Notice of Assessment: You must present a current “Notice of Assessment” or “Notice of Reassessment” for each household member 18 years and over that lives with you at your Medicine Hat residential address. Total income before tax is shown on line 150 of your “Notice of Assessment” or “Notice of Reassessment”. Household includes all members related by blood, marriage, common law relation, or adoption. A tax return summary is not accepted. For more information on your Notice of Assessment you can contact Revenue Canada at 1-800-959-8281.
  • Assured Income for Severely Handicapped benefits (AISH): a copy of your current Health Benefits Card
  • Alberta Works: Income Subsidy/Support (Supports for Independence): a copy of your current Health Benefits Card
  • Alberta Works (Learners): an approval letter from Alberta Works that indicates eligibility period and the current Health Benefits Card
  • Alberta Works (Alberta Health Benefits): An approval letter from Alberta Works that indicates eligibility period and the current Health Benefits Card
  • Resettlement Assistance Program Form: a copy of the Start Up and Monthly Allowance that confirms you are receiving support under the Resettlement Assistance Program
  • For Independent Youth: a letter from a school principal or guidance counselor, or letter from Child and Youth Support Program of Alberta Children's Services
  • Letter from a social worker/support staff: Only when no other documents are available. A letter dated within the last 30 days from a social worker/support staff with whom a current relationship exists. The letter should outline the length of the relationship, that the person writing the letter is aware of the Low Income Eligibility and that the household meets the eligibility requirements. 

A copy of the document must accompany your application for each member of your household 18 years or older. If you are submitting documents on behalf of another person over the age of 18, you must complete an authorization consent form.

Current LICO Scale being used (2023)

Size of familyTotal income before tax (gross)
1 person $26,127
2 persons $32,525
3 persons $39,986
4 persons $48,550
5 persons $55,064
6 persons $62,103
7 or more persons $69,143

Download a copy of the application and instructions.

Frequently asked questions 

What is Fair Entry? 

Fair Entry is a program that ensures that all Medicine Hat residents have reasonable access to a range of public services. The Fair Entry program is designed to assist low-income families/individuals to enjoy programs throughout the city. Your application for Fair Entry allows you to access various services with separate subsidies for each service area.

How do I apply? 

You can apply online or pick up an application in person at any of the following locations:

  • City Hall (open: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
  • Big Marble Go Centre (open: Monday to Thursday, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday, 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.)
  • Crestwood Recreation Facility (open: Monday to Thursday, 5:45 a.m. - 8:30 p.m.; Friday, 5:45 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
  • Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre (open: Tuesday to Saturday, 12 noon to 5 p.m.)
How do I qualify? 

To qualify for the Fair Entry program, you must be a resident of Medicine Hat, and demonstrate your need for assistance. You must provide proof of your address, and documents to assess your income level(s). If your income falls below the low income cut off (LICO), you will be approved for access to the Fair Entry program subsidy/subsidies. View the current LICO scale in use.

What do I need to apply? 

To apply, please have the following available for review:

  • Proof of Income
  • Proof of Residency
What do I need to prove my residency? 

Some items that could be used to prove your residency requirement could include:

  • Alberta Driver's License with Medicine Hat address
  • Alberta Identification Card with Medicine Hat address
  • Utility bills, cable bills, internet service bills and/or telephone bills in your name sent to a Medicine Hat address (within the last 30 days)
  • Rent receipts in your name for a Medicine Hat address (within the last 30 days)
  • Lease agreement in your name for a Medicine Hat address (for the current year)
  • AISH forms in your name for a Medicine Hat address

If you do not have access to any of the above documents, there are other ways to prove your residency requirement. Please call us at 403-502-8001 to arrange a meeting to assist you with your application.

7. What if I don’t live in Medicine Hat? What if I live in Redcliff, Dunmore, Irvine, etc.? 

The Fair Entry Program is intended for those who live and hold a residence within the city of Medicine Hat. If a person has a Medicine Hat address on their driver's license, or on their tax return, or have their mail sent to an address in Medicine Hat, then they are deemed a "resident" and are eligible to apply for the Fair Entry program.

If you do not qualify as a resident or are not sure if you qualify as a resident, please contact us directly at 403-502-8001 for more information or to request an assessment. Even if you use the facilities within Medicine Hat, you are not eligible for this program if you do not qualify as a resident.

I am homeless. Can I still apply? 

Yes. Please contact us at fairentry@medicinehat.ca or call 403-502-8001 for assistance with your application.

What do I need to prove my income? 

The following proof of income documents will be accepted:

  • Line 150 of your most recent tax return; or
  • Your most recent "Notice of Assessment" form; or
  • A letter from a Social Worker/support worker; or
  • A letter from a Principal or Guidance Counselor confirming your status as an Independent Youth* (*for those who are under 18 years of age); or
  • Alberta Health Benefits Card (current)
  • Resettlement Assistance form(s)

Please note that if you are applying as a family unit, you will need to provide proof of income for any family member over the age of 18.

What if my proof of income documents do not reflect my current income status?

Sometimes income situations can change drastically within the same calendar year. For example, if your most recent notice of assessment is considerably higher than your current year’s income, due to a sudden change in income (example: loss of job, divorce) your proof of income statement(s) may not yet reflect these sudden changes. In these special circumstances, please contact a City representative from any of the service areas. We will review your application and contact you with further details. 

How long will it take to get approved? 

Your application will be processed within two weeks but your approval depends on the information you provide. If information is missing, it may delay your approval. Please ensure to bring all necessary documents for processing.

My application was approved. Now what? 

When your Fair Entry application is approved you will receive an email with instructions on how to access your subsidy, depending on what services you are interested in. The email will outline all the areas that are part of the program (see above) and next steps to accessing them.

How long is my application good for? 

Once you have applied, your application will be processed within two weeks. If you are approved, you will need to re-apply every 24 months to continue to receive the subsidy. If you are ‘renewing’ your application, please check the box on the top right of the form that states ‘renewal’. Your application will still be reviewed and will need to be approved based on your income - submit all appropriate proof of address and income as you did in the original application – this is not an automatic renewal. Even if you have been approved in the past year, you may not be approved in future years if your status changes. 

I utilized a service before I was approved for Fair Entry. Can I get a refund? 

Unfortunately, we cannot refund previous purchases. You are therefore encouraged to apply for Fair Entry before using certain services to ensure that you qualify for the subsidy.

My application was denied. Why? 

Application approval is based on residency requirements and income levels. If you wish to request a review of your application, please contact us at 403-502-8001.

How do I access my Transit pass discount? 

If you do not already have a Transit card, bring your photo ID (for all family members who would like to receive the discount) with a matching address, and a copy of your confirmation of approval email (paper or digital) to any of the four following customer services locations:

a.  City Hall, 580 First Street SE

b.  Esplanade Arts and Heritage Centre, 401 First Street SE

c.  Big Marble Go Centre, 2000 Division Ave N

d.  Medicine Hat Transit Office, 460 Spencer Street SE

Staff at any of these locations will create and active your card with the “Fair Entry” monthly bus pass discount. You can then purchase a monthly Transit pass at a 75% discount for the next 24 months (from date of activation). When you tap your card to get on the bus, the display will show as a regular pass.

If you already have a Transit card, your card will be activated with this 75% off monthly discount eligibility automatically. So, the next time you, or your family member, want to purchase a pass (this can be done by the transit user, either online or at the above-noted City Customer Service locations) your monthly pass rate will show up at the discounted rate. If loaded online, Applicant will be able to use Credit Card or Bank Card to load fare.

Do I need to have a City of Medicine Hat Utility account in my name (as the applicant) to qualify for the 2024 Fair Entry Relief Credit? 

Yes. Only applicants with utility accounts in their name (or listed as a secondary contact on the utility account) qualify for this credit. If you pay your utilities directly through your landlord (where landlords are signed on to the utility account and you pay your utilities as part of your monthly payment) then you will not qualify for this credit. Condo Owners will receive the relief through an annual cheque issued in December.