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Opinion

3 wards for the city based on federal and provincial governance models.

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An interesting proposal has been suggested for our municipal governance that is modeled after the provincial and federal electoral system.
Federally we have Members of Parliament (MPs) and one of them is also the Prime Minister. Provincially we have Members of the Legislature (MLAs) and one of them is also the Premier.
Federally our fine city is divided into 2 electoral districts or ridings both federally and provincially, so we have 2 MLAs and 2 MPs, and anyone could also be our Premier or Prime Minister, or Speaker, Cabinet Member, or Opposition Leader.
Back to our city’s governance, we elect 9 people currently, 8 councillors and 1 mayor for 1 electoral district. The idea being suggested is 3 wards, 3 councillors each with 1 also being the mayor.
Population wise and geographically 3 wards would be fairly easy. Using the last municipal census. Approximately 1/3 the population lives east of 30th Avenue so that would make an easy boundary and approximately 1/3 live north of the river, another easy boundary. The other 1/3 would be south of the river and west of 30th Avenue. Easy and already done.
Now, why would we consider 3 wards over governance of a single entity?
Look at thhe history of the wards, the services offered, crime rates, return on investments and you can see the reason.
The east of 30th Avenue ward has, 3 high schools with plans for 2 more, has the Collicutt centre with a recommended site for the next multi-use aquatic centre, 2 emergency services location, and a pickle ball court centre.
The north of the river ward has no high schools with no plans for any, the Dawe recreation centre, YMCA, and 1 emergency services centre.
The other ward has 1 high school, 1 college, downtown recreation centre, museum, tennis courts, Michener pool, Westerner, Kinex arenas, curling rinks, a proposed cultural centre, hospital, multiple emergency services to name but a few.
So it is easy to see the rationale behind and the appeal for a ward system as our city grows in a manner favourable to some and not to others. 3 wards with 3 councillors each and 1 of the 9 would also act as mayor. It works provincially and federally and it would make councillors responsible and accountable for any continued disparities, right?
It is an option. Just saying.

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Gretzky Was Magic, Now He Sees It

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Gretzky Was Magic, Now He Sees It

If you ever watched Wayne Gretzky – or even if you know the reputation but have never seen him in action – you probably know one of his major skills. Largely due to his dad’s early encouragement, Wayne developed a sense of where the puck was going long before his rivals zeroed in.

The advantages of his anticipation were obvious, of course., probably the biggest reason why he collected more than 200 points in four separate seasons and his National Hockey League records for career points (2,857), goals (894), assists (1,963) and hat tricks (50) are still unchallenged long after his retirement.

One memory in particular stands out for me. It didn’t lead to a goal, or even a point but I’ll never forget it. Gretzky was alone near the opposing net when line mate Dave Hunter got tied up scuffling for a loose puck. Gretzky left the zone and went, uncovered, to a corner about 30 feet away. Immediately, the puck followed him.

“..what he’s got is unique hockey sense…”

Gretzky picked up the puck and made an easy pass back to the point, then left for the bench. Later, I asked what prompted him to change position. “There was only one place for the puck to go,” he smiled.

I learned something shocking this week: that talent for reading the future has followed the game’s all-time leading offensive player into outlining many of the possibilities in the upcoming playoff series between his old team, the Edmonton Oilers, and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Please note, there is no suggestion here that Gretzky, or anyone else, predicts the future. But several pages in “Stories of the Game” leave the clear suggestion that he might have done it in this case.

The book was co-written by Gretzky and Kirstie McLellan Day several years ago, just as Connor McDavid was establishing himself in Edmonton as one who needs only time (and freedom from injury) to join the roster as one NHL’s greatest ever. “He’s already started to drive the bus,” says one sentence that also mentions Bobby Orr, Gordie Howe, Jean Beliveau and Maurice (Rocket) Richard. “McDavid makes everyone better.”

One paragraph later, Darnell Nurse is described as “a Kevin Lowe type” and the long-ago (much under-rated) Charlie Huddy is seen as a role model for Oscar Klefbom. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, in whatever role he plays, reminds Gretzky of winners like Kenny Linseman and Mark Lamb – who were not fully appreciated on teams as powerful as the Oilers dynasty. “I think we’ll see more success now (in Edmonton) with McDavid at the centre.”

It was equally instructive to read occasional references to what weapons Chicago could unfurl, recognizing the claim by some astute fans that Hawks’ sub-par record should not have given them a berth in the playoffs.

Only twice since 2007-08 has Jonathan Toews surpassed 70 points in a season, but his leadership qualities and consistency are beyond question. At one time, he was the third-youngest team captain in NHL annals, behind only Sidney Crosby and Vincent Lecavalier. Early last season, Toews rivalled Patrick Kane as Chicago’s leading scorer but the gifted Kane was back on top by the end of the partial season cut short by COVID-19.

Says Gretzky, whose skill with the puck remains legendary, “Kane has probably the softest hands in the game.”

In addition, “what he’s got is unique hockey sense.”

Well, Wayne, you’ve finally led to the perfect old cliché: It Takes One to Know One.

Our sports history has value

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#ReDiscoverRedDeer

George Floyd and the double standard – Red Deer man explains what it’s like to be black in Central Alberta

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George Floyd and the double standard

Dax Williams is in his early 30’s.  He’s lived in Central Alberta his entire life.  He’s a father and a business owner, and he’s a black man.

The death of George Floyd last week at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis has resulted in protests all over the United States and in Canada as well.

When we think of racism in this part of the country we typically find ourselves considering the plight of First Nations people.  But Dax assures us he’s felt the wrath of an underlying hatred more than once.

A couple of days ago Dax took some time to share his thoughts and he recorded this very thoughtful, personal, and powerful video.  He shared it on youtube hoping his fellow Central Albertans would take note and try to understand what people of colour have to live with, even here in Western Canada.  We’re happy to share it with you.

(Warning to people offended by strong language.  This video does contain strong language which may be unsuitable for children.)

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june, 2020

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