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2021 Statistics Canada census shows Red Deer has 37 more residents than 2015 municipal census


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According to Statistics Canada, Alberta’s population sits at 4,262,635 residents, an increase of 4.8% since 2017.

Here in Central Alberta, we saw Blackfalds’ population increase by 12.2% from 9,328 to 10,470, Sylvan Lake’s population increase by 8% from 14,816 to 15,995, Penhold’s population increase by 6% from 3,287 to 3,484, Lacombe’s population increase by 2.6% from 13,051 to 13,396, Innisfail’s population increase by 1.8% from 7,847 to 7,985 and Red Deer’s population increase by 0.4% from 100,418 to 100,844.

Red Deer’s municipal census of 2015 had Red Deer’s population at 100,807 so we now have 37 more residents than we did 7 years ago.

The Statistics Canada census says we have 100,844 residents, an increase of 427 residents since 2017 but it also shows we have 43,404 homes an increase of 3419 homes, compared to 39,985 homes in 2017.

That is 8 new homes for every new resident.

Basically, we have the same number of taxpayers, paying ever increasing taxes for ever increasing services spread over more area. In 2017 1,000 residents would be paying property taxes on 398 homes, in 2021 those 1,000 residents would be paying taxes on 431 homes.

If you look at the faster growing communities, Blackfalds, Sylvan Lake, Lacombe, and you would also see that they invested in their recreational facilities at exponentially larger rates per capita than Red Deer. Any correlation?

The thought is that for every mile from the centre of the city, you build a home the annual maintenance costs for the city increases by $1,000, whether that still remains true, I do not know. If a new neighbourhood is built without growth and if maintenance costs grow exponentially, then does it makes sense to keep adding neighbourhoods, building new houses and adding new roads, sidewalks, bus routes, infrastructure and services.

I am just asking for a breather. According to federal and municipal  censuses we have grown by a total of 37 people since 2015, but we have built new neighbourhoods, roads, sidewalks, facilities, depreciated our home assessment values, and increased our taxes.

The province has grown 12 times faster than Red Deer. Blackfalds has grown 30.5 times faster. Penhold is growing at 24 times the rate of Red Deer.

Time for a rethink? Just asking.

Political editor/writer and retired oilfield supervisor

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Bruce Dowbiggin

Pop Quiz: You Know You’re A Woke Punchline When…

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“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” They can be powerful words to live by. Live-and-let-live has underpinned much of the Judeo/Christian tradition. It also informs many of the world’s other religions. For secular people the sentiment works just as well.

If you want to be loved and respected then you must extend love and respect in equal measures to those of whom you’re not all that fond. It is both a brake on hubris and an inspiration to our “better angels”. While that balance has been observed more in the breach than in the commission at times, live-and-let-live nonetheless still provides a path to mutual co-existence.

There was a time when that balance guided society. Or, as they like to say, the Good Old Days. Now, the needle monitoring live-and-let-live swings like a Hillary Clinton polygraph. If you’re with safe-space generation, no micro aggression is too small, no affront to LGBTQ-2 too slight to put off national calamity, no enemy too small to squash.

Woke causes replace empathy in the daily conversation. Why? Journalist Michael Shellenberger says apocalyptic behaviour “provides psychological comfort to secular Western people who have gradually abandoned traditional religions. For over a century, sociologists and psychologists have documented rising rates of depression and anxiety… Is it a coincidence that the people who said Western civilization was unsustainable are making it so?”

Not everyone has succumbed. How can you tell? In the spirit of comedian Jeff Foxworthy’s “You might be as redneck if…” here is your guide to discovering if you have become a Woke punchline.

If you’ve forgiven Japan and Germany for the atrocities they inflicted on the world in the 1940s but you can’t get past Sir John A. Macdonald putting the railway through the land of the Sioux, Blackfoot and Lakota… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you are concerned about world over-population but you’re nagging your kids about when they will make you grandparents… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you’re so sensitive about killing animals for food that you go extreme vegan but then attend a Pro-Choice rally in a T-shirt bragging about how many abortions you’ve had…you might be a Woke punchline.

If you’re in favour of Trudeau’s aggressive immigration policy but then your kids say they can’t afford to buy a home in a large Canadian centre… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you try to convince friends at a dinner party that Trudeau’s Carbon Tax really does fight global warming but your monthly hydro bill triples… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think Trudeau family friends are the best people to investigate him ignoring CSIS warnings about China but you think Pierre Polievre is a little too cozy with the international forces of Qanon… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you believe Doug Ford is trying to dismantle free healthcare but then act indignant with the boys at beer-league hockey that you can’t get your knee fixed for over two years… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think Stephen Colbert is still funny, but think that Bill Maher is now sounding like a January 6 insurrectionist… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think banning Muslim and Sikh symbols is racist but Quebec doing the same is their cultural right… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think the B.C. government will cure drug addiction by giving addicts a cozy place to shoot up but you tell people at work that you can’t go downtown anymore for all the junkies blocking the Starbucks entrance… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you firmly believe the prime minister is trying to keep a lid on inflation but you protest that Galen Weston is gouging you on food prices… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you donate to Save The Children but then buy a $350 pair of running shoes made by children in Asian sweatshops… … you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think career criminal George Floyd is a martyr but Egerton Ryerson is a genocidal racist… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you think today’s academic standards aren’t what they once were but then you go to school to berate the teacher for not communicating the curriculum properly to your indulged child… you might be a Woke punchline.

If you get to the bottom of this column without recognizing yourself in any of these contradictions… you might be a Woke punchline.

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Bruce Dowbiggin @dowbboy is the editor of Not The Public Broadcaster  A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada’s top television sports broadcaster, he’s a regular contributor to Sirius XM Canada Talks Ch. 167. Inexact Science: The Six Most Compelling Draft Years In NHL History, his new book with his son Evan, was voted the seventh-best professional hockey book of all time by . His 2004 book Money Players was voted sixth best on the same list, and is available via


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Disability Chat with comedian Ken Vaghardson

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