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2017 Election is at the halfway point and communications is the issue. Here is how to connect.


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The election of 2017 is at it’s halfway point and the largest number of questions that I am hearing is about finding answers. How do I find out what they stand for? What do they plan on doing about_________?
Do I need to google 51 names to find out what they stand for?
I can feel their frustration because even with my charts, computer storage I cannot get responses from many. Why? Many incumbents may feel it unnecessary or are unable to repond to hundreds of e-mails or they may have regretted putting something in writing before. It is easier to find out what people and politicians have written on the internet than ever before. What to do. has lots of up to date information. offers lots of information, and offers lots of information. Some candidates have websites with information.

Starting on Wednesday there will be forums for the public to hear from, and question the candidates. You may get answers to your questions and you may get rhetoric and platitudes. At least you may get a sense of what they may be like after the election. So here are the forums.

General Forum
Wednesday, October 4 at 6:00p.m.
Location: Harvest Centre at Westerner Park
Host: Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce

Diversity & Inclusion
Date & Time: Thursday, October 5, 2017 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Location: Memorial Festival Hall (4214 58 Street)
Host: Welcoming and Inclusive Community Network

Red Deer College Student Forum
(Mayoral candidates)
Date & Time: Tuesday, October 10, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Location: Margaret Parsons Theatre (1400), Red Deer College
Host: Students’ Association of Red Deer College

Construction, Land Development and Real Estate Industry Forum
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 from 6:30-9:00p.m.
Location: Radisson Hotel Red Deer has on their website an official list of candidates with phone numbers and e-mail addresses for the public. These were supplied by the candidates for contact information. I am listing them below;

Number of Positions to be filled: 1
Name Phone E-mail Address
Sean Burke 403-392-2893 [email protected]
Tara Veer 403-358-3568 [email protected]

Number of Positions to be filled: 8
Name Phone E-mail Address
Sandra (Sam) Bergeron 403-304-9884 [email protected]
S.H. (Buck) Buchanan 403-348-3240 [email protected]
Valdene Callin 403-348-9958 [email protected]
Matt Chapin 403-347-1934 [email protected]
Michael Dawe 403-346-9325 [email protected]
Rob Friss 403-597-1355 [email protected]
Calvin Goulet-Jones 403-872-4253 [email protected]
Jason Habuza 403-597-8712 [email protected]
Tanya Handley 403-596-5848 [email protected]
Vesna Higham 403-505-1172 [email protected]
Ted Johnson 403-396-5962 [email protected]
Ken Johnston 403-358-8049 [email protected]
Cory Kingsfield 403-352-6450 [email protected]
Jim Kristinson 403-318-0330 [email protected]
Lawrence Lee 403-346-7388 [email protected]
Kris Maciborsky 587-679-5747 [email protected]
Doug Manderville 403-318-0545 [email protected]
Bobbi McCoy 403-346-0171 [email protected]
Ian Miller 403-392-4527 [email protected]
Jeremy Moore 403-357-4187 [email protected]
Rick More 403-340-9330 [email protected]
Lynne P Mulder 403-392-1177 [email protected]
Bayo Nshombo Bayongwa 403-307-1074 [email protected]
Matt Slubik 403-848-3762 [email protected]
Jordy Smith 587-377-4384 [email protected]
Brice Unland 403-597-4321 [email protected]
Jonathan Wieler 403-358-8270 [email protected]
Frank Wong 403-872-3238 [email protected]
Dianne Wyntjes 403-505-4256 [email protected]

Number of Positions to be filled: 7
Name Phone E-mail Address
Nicole Buchanan 403-596-4611 [email protected]
Matt Chapin 403-347-1934/ 403-346-6821 [email protected]
Jason Chilibeck [email protected]
Bill Christie 403-597-8354 [email protected]
Dick Lemke 403-347-1963 [email protected]
Dianne Macaulay 403-588-8806 [email protected]
Bev Manning 403-358-2035 [email protected]
Patrick O’Connor 403-598-0870 [email protected]
Ben Ordman 403-346-5885
Cathy Peacocke 403-342-6043 [email protected]
Angela Sommers 403-309-4546 [email protected]
Bill Stuebing 403-347-5319 [email protected]
Jaelene Tweedle 403-754-2501 [email protected]
Jim Watters 403-340-9392 [email protected]
Chris Woods 403-318-0503 [email protected]
Laurette Woodward 403-346-9447 [email protected]

Red Deer & Area
Number of Positions to be filled: 5
Name Phone E-mail Address
Murray Hollman 403-391-0336 [email protected]
Adriana LaGrange 403-347-0225 [email protected]
Cynthia Leyson 403-848-1232 [email protected]
Kim Pasula 403-350-1808 [email protected]
Carlene Smith 403-392-6042 [email protected]
Anne Marie Watson 403-348-1064 [email protected]

Highway 11 Ward: Rocky Mountain House, Caroline, Eckville, Sylvan Lake
Number of Positions to be filled: 1
Name Phone E-mail Address
Dorraine Lonsdale 403-845-4117 [email protected]
Liam McNiff 403-887-5308 [email protected]

QE II Ward: Innisfail, Bowden, Olds, Didsbury
Number of Positions to be filled: 1
Name Phone E-mail Address
Sharla Heistad 403-994-3871 [email protected] ACCLAIMED

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‘Harm Reduction’ is killing B.C.’s addicts. There’s got to be a better way

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From the Frontier Centre for Public Policy

By Susan Martinuk 

B.C. recently decriminalized the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs. The resulting explosion of addicts using drugs in public spaces, including parks and playgrounds, recently led the province’s NDP government to attempt to backtrack on this policy

Since 2016, more than 40,000 Canadians have died from opioid drug overdoses — almost as many as died during the Second World War.
Governments, health care professionals and addiction experts all acknowledge that widespread use of opioids has created a public health crisis in Canada. Yet they agree on virtually nothing else about this crisis, including its causes, possible remedies and whether addicts should be regarded as passive victims or accountable moral agents.

Fuelled by the deadly manufactured opioid fentanyl, Canada’s national drug overdose rate stood at 19.3 people per 100,000 in 2022, a shockingly high number when compared to the European Union’s rate of just 1.8. But national statistics hide considerable geographic variation. British Columbia and Alberta together account for only a quarter of Canada’s population yet nearly half of all opioid deaths. B.C.’s 2022 death rate of 45.2/100,000 is more than double the national average, with Alberta close behind at 33.3/100,00.

In response to the drug crisis, Canada’s two western-most provinces have taken markedly divergent approaches, and in doing so have created a natural experiment with national implications.

B.C. has emphasized harm reduction, which seeks to eliminate the damaging effects of illicit drugs without actually removing them from the equation. The strategy focuses on creating access to clean drugs and includes such measures as “safe” injection sites, needle exchange programs, crack-pipe giveaways and even drug-dispensing vending machines. The approach goes so far as to distribute drugs like heroin and cocaine free of charge in the hope addicts will no longer be tempted by potentially tainted street drugs and may eventually seek help.

But safe-supply policies create many unexpected consequences. A National Post investigation found, for example, that government-supplied hydromorphone pills handed out to addicts in Vancouver are often re-sold on the street to other addicts. The sellers then use the money to purchase a street drug that provides a better high — namely, fentanyl.

Doubling down on safe supply, B.C. recently decriminalized the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs. The resulting explosion of addicts using drugs in public spaces, including parks and playgrounds, recently led the province’s NDP government to attempt to backtrack on this policy — though for now that effort has been stymied by the courts.

According to Vancouver city councillor Brian Montague, “The stats tell us that harm reduction isn’t working.” In an interview, he calls decriminalization “a disaster” and proposes a policy shift that recognizes the connection between mental illness and addiction. The province, he says, needs “massive numbers of beds in treatment facilities that deal with both addictions and long-term mental health problems (plus) access to free counselling and housing.”

In fact, Montague’s wish is coming true — one province east, in Alberta. Since the United Conservative Party was elected in 2019, Alberta has been transforming its drug addiction policy away from harm reduction and towards publicly-funded treatment and recovery efforts.

Instead of offering safe-injection sites and free drugs, Alberta is building a network of 10 therapeutic communities across the province where patients can stay for up to a year, receiving therapy and medical treatment and developing skills that will enable them to build a life outside the drug culture. All for free. The province’s first two new recovery centres opened last year in Lethbridge and Red Deer. There are currently over 29,000 addiction treatment spaces in the province.

This treatment-based strategy is in large part the work of Marshall Smith, current chief of staff to Alberta’s premier and a former addict himself, whose life story is a testament to the importance of treatment and recovery.

The sharply contrasting policies of B.C. and Alberta allow a comparison of what works and what doesn’t. A first, tentative report card on this natural experiment was produced last year in a study from Stanford University’s network on addiction policy (SNAP). Noting “a lack of policy innovation in B.C.,” where harm reduction has become the dominant policy approach, the report argues that in fact “Alberta is currently experiencing a reduction in key addiction-related harms.” But it concludes that “Canada overall, and B.C. in particular, is not yet showing the progress that the public and those impacted by drug addiction deserve.”

The report is admittedly an early analysis of these two contrasting approaches. Most of Alberta’s recovery homes are still under construction, and B.C.’s decriminalization policy is only a year old. And since the report was published, opioid death rates have inched higher in both provinces.

Still, the early returns do seem to favour Alberta’s approach. That should be regarded as good news. Society certainly has an obligation to try to help drug users. But that duty must involve more than offering addicts free drugs. Addicted people need treatment so they can kick their potentially deadly habit and go on to live healthy, meaningful lives. Dignity comes from a life of purpose and self-control, not a government-funded fix.

Susan Martinuk is a senior fellow at the Frontier Centre for Public Policy and author of the 2021 book Patients at Risk: Exposing Canada’s Health Care Crisis. A longer version of this article recently appeared at

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$1,000,000 boost from province for upgrades at Red Deer’s Centre for Social Impact

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Youth HQ is proud to announce that Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Red Deer and District has been awarded $1,000,000 through the government of Alberta Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) for the purpose of facility upgrades to the Centre for Social Impact.

The Centre for Social Impact (CSI) is an inspiring place where charities and non-profits can
collaborate; a place centrally located where families can readily access a variety of supports and
services; and a place where organizations can share resources and minimize operating costs.
“We are grateful for the support from CFEP, which enables us to address facility enhancements
and upgrades in support of the charities and non-profits that share this place where community
connects.” States Rob Lewis, Executive Director, YouthHQ.

Board Room at the Centre for Social Impact. Priority upgrades are the roof of the building and the HVAC systems

“Investments into non-profits in our communities, like Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Red Deer
not only support new activities and programming but uplift youth and help build stronger
communities. Alberta’s government is proud to provide this million dollar grant to Red Deer Big
Brothers and Big Sisters, as they provide essential supports and services for the youth of Red
Deer and surrounding area.”

Tanya Fir, Minister of Arts, Culture and Status of Women

“The CFEP grant awarded to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Red Deer and District is very
exciting news for Red Deer and surrounding communities. This substantial investment will
directly benefit our community by supporting essential youth programs, providing lasting
benefits for our youth in the years to come. I was happy to write a letter of support, as I am
continually inspired by the work Youth HQ does in our community. This grant will undoubtedly
enhance their ability to make a positive impact.”

MLA for Red Deer-North and Minister of Health, Adriana LaGrange

Conferencing area at the Centre for Social Impact. Priority upgrades are the roof of the building and the HVAC systems

For more information on the Centre for Social Impact please visit

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Red Deer and District enables life-changing mentoring relationships
to ignite the power of young people. Providing life changing mentoring experiences since 1976,
Big Brothers Big Sisters has been matching children and youth with adult role models who help
them achieve their biggest possible futures. We believe we are #BiggerTogether, and currently
work with over 220 young people to ignite their potential.

About Youth HQ

Youth HQ empowers youth by fostering a community of support. Our network seeks to instill
young people with confidence in their unique identities and abilities, providing them with skills
for life through knowledge, healthy relationships, and quality experiences while providing safe
environments to learn and grow. Youth HQ coordinates programming for Big Brothers Big
Sisters of Red Deer & District and Boys & Girls Club of Red Deer & District, offering numerous
programs and services that support children, youth and families.

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