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City of Red Deer

City implements COVID-19 immunization policy for staff and volunteers

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City Hall

The City of Red Deer has implemented a new policy aimed at relieving pressures on our healthcare system and protecting the health and safety of City of Red Deer staff and volunteers. The COVID-19 Immunization Policy outlines the requirements for City of Red Deer staff and volunteers to be fully immunized by November 28, 2021.

“Over the past 19 months, we have continuously enhanced measures and encouraged immunization in our organization, but we are at a point in the pandemic where our healthcare system is overloaded, we are seeing our highest number of cases in our community resulting in serious consequences ,” said Interim City Manager Tara Lodewyk. “As one of Red Deer’s largest employers, we are ready to take the next step in protecting our community and our healthcare system, and today, this is through our new internal immunization policy.”

The new policy applies to all City of Red Deer staff and volunteers, and requires them to be fully immunized by November 28, 2021.

To comply with this date, the following timelines apply:
• for a two dose vaccine series, employees and volunteers must receive one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by October 15, 2021, and the second dose by November 13, 2021.
• for a single dose vaccine series, employees and volunteers must receive the dose by November 13, 2021.

The current measures in place in City facilities for staff and patrons will continue to apply including masking, physical distancing, enhanced hand and surface sanitizing and staying home when sick.

“Immunizations are a contentious issue. People have strong opinions, which create tension in our workplaces and in our personal lives, but despite all of the emotions around this particular topic, a City of Red Deer Covid-19 immunization policy is now necessary for our staff ,” said Lodewyk. “This policy is about doing what we can to protect our employees, our community and our healthcare systems. It is about reducing the impacts on our already over-crowded hospitals where healthcare workers are working tirelessly as they continue to navigate this pandemic without judgement or hesitation. But we all must do our part too, and this policy is one step our staff at The City of Red Deer can take in the effort to battle the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The policy will be monitored throughout the pandemic and adjusted as needed. It will be reviewed and evaluated every year following that.

The City of Red Deer implemented the COVID-19 Immunization Policy for employees and volunteers.

1. Why is The City implementing the COVID-19 Immunization Policy?
The City is implementing this policy to provide an added layer of protection for our staff to keep them and our community healthy while also protecting our healthcare system. Evidence-based data shows being fully immunized is an effective way to reduce the risk of being hospitalized from COVID-19. The City will use every reasonable precaution to safeguard employees from the risks of COVID-19.

2. Who is required to be immunized?
The COVID-19 Immunization Policy applies to all City of Red Deer employees and volunteers, with the exception of temporary workers hired solely for an election, and is not intended to replace/reduce any current departmental COVID Immunization/Vaccination Policies or Provincial/organizational COVID-19 measures in place.

3. Will new hires have the same requirements?

Yes, new employees will have to comply with the COVID-19 Immunization Policy.

4. Which policy does Emergency Services staff need to follow?

Emergency Services staff covered by the Emergency Services Department Administrative Policy – COVID-19: Mandatory Vaccination will be required to comply with the Emergency Services Policy. Emergency Services staff that the Department Administrative Policy does not apply to will follow the Corporate Administrative – Covid-19 Immunization Policy

5. Are contractors required to follow this policy?

The COVID-19 Immunization Policy applies only to City of Red Deer employees and volunteers. The City will not be requiring proof of vaccination from its contractors, suppliers or partners at this time, but we expect that all workers on our sites continue to adhere to all legislated public health restrictions including physical distancing, masking and not attending the worksite while experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. If this creates significant operational concerns for a specific contract situation, the contract manager is encouraged to discuss with Legal Services to determine if there may be other options for working a requirement into a current or upcoming contract.

6. What is the deadline be fully immunized?

All employees are required to be Fully Immunized against COVID-19 with a COVID-19 vaccine series by Sunday, November 28, 2021. This timeline allows a reasonable amount of time for unvaccinated or partially-vaccinated staff to schedule and receive the required doses by the deadline. Below are timelines, depending on whether receiving a single-dose or multi-dose vaccine.
a. Single Dose: Must be vaccinated on or before November 13, 2021 to be fully immunized by November 28, 2021.
b. Two Dose Vaccine Series: Must receive first dose on or before Friday October 15, 2021. A second dose must be scheduled on or before November 13, 2021 to be fully immunized by November 28, 2021.

7. What if an employee is already immunized?

Staff who are fully immunized can submit their immunization records to Human Resources, preferably as soon as possible but no later than November 19, 2021.

8. Is The City providing time off work for employees to get vaccinated?

Yes, employees are able to take up to three (3) hours paid time to get each dose of COVID-19 vaccination as per the Provincial vaccination pay legislation.

9. What are the approved vaccinations?

A list of the Health Canada approved vaccinations can be found here COVID-19 Vaccines: Authorized vaccines – Canada.ca.

10. What if an employee intends to get vaccinated, but will miss the deadline?

Any CORD employee that is not Fully Immunized by November 28, 2021 or has not provided proof of being Fully Immunized will be required to comply with COVID-19 rapid antigen testing requirements at their own cost.

11. If an employee has already had COVID-19, are they considered fully immunized in accordance with the COVID-19 Immunization Policy?

No, to be considered fully immunized employees must have:

• received two doses of a vaccine considered valid by Health Canada in a two dose COVID-19 vaccine series or one dose of a vaccine considered valid by Health Canada in a one dose COVID-19 vaccine series; and
• had fourteen days elapse since the date on which the person received the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine considered valid by Health Canada of a two dose series or one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine considered valid by Health Canada in a one dose vaccine series.

12. What happens if an employee is not fully immunized by November 28, 2021?

Employees who are not fully vaccinated by November 28, 2021 will need to comply with ongoing COVID-19 rapid antigen testing requirements at the employee’s own cost.

13. What if an employee cannot get immunized?

Employees who are not able to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine for a documented medical exemption or reason related to a protected ground set out in the Alberta Human Rights Act, can request accommodation through the Human Resource department.

14. What if an employee chooses to not get immunized?

Employees who decline the vaccine or decline disclosure of immunization status will need to submit ongoing COVID-19 rapid antigen testing results within 72 hours of the start of shifts, at the employee’s own cost, on their own time, starting on Monday, November 29, 2021.

15. What if an employee does not comply with the policy?

Any employee refusing to comply with this policy may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

16. What if an employee falsifies information?

Any employee providing false or misleading information, may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.

17. Is the COVID-19 Immunization Policy going to change in the future?

The policy will be monitored throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to be determine if or when changes are made.

18. What other new workplace safety measures is CORD considering and/or implementing?

The City will continue to closely monitor its COVID-19 risk mitigation strategy and the evolving public health information and context, to ensure that it continues to optimally protect the health and safety of employees in the workplace and the public that they serve. If it is determined that additional precautions are necessary, CORD may decide to deploy new measures to protect employees and the public from COVID-19, and may amend this policy accordingly and/or
communicate the required precautions to impacted employees.

19. Does being fully immunized exempt employees from pre-shift symptom screening and other workplace controls (wearing a mask, physical distancing, frequent hand sanitizing, etc.) while in the workplace?

No. Employees who are fully immunized or who have an approved exemption are still required to adhere to all other City of Red Deer workplace COVID-19 hazard controls. This policy applies an added layer of protection for our City of Red Deer staff, but does not eliminate the risk of spread on it’s own. We will maintain current Provincial and organizational measures in place until further notice.

20. Will the City be offering rapid antigen testing?

The City will not be offering on-site testing.

21. Does the COVID-19 Immunization Policy apply to members of City Council?

No, this policy does not apply to The City of Red Deer Mayor or Council members. Council would need to pass a resolution to impose a policy for themselves.

22. With the upcoming election, when would Council be able to consider implementing a policy for themselves?

As there will be a new Council following the municipal election on October 18, there would not be any consideration of implementing a policy for City Council until the new Council has been sworn in.

 

City of Red Deer

Residential plowing continues in North Red Deer Monday and Tuesday. Check here for your neighbourhood.

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City crews are removing snow from city streets after nine days of near-constant snowfall. At this time, Purple Routes are completed. Red routes and Snow Zone D (Downtown) will be completed, and residential snow clearing began Monday, November 14, 2022.
(Check below to confirm which zone your neighbourhood is identified as.)
Zone Subdivisions Map
A Kentwood, Johnstone Snow Zone A – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
B Glendale, Normandeau, Pines Snow Zone B – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
C Fairview, Highland Green, Oriole Park, Riverside Meadows Snow Zone C – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
E Clearview, Garden Heights, Michener Hill, Parkvale, Waskasoo, Woodlea Snow Zone E – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
F Deer Park (north of 39 St), Rosedale, Timberlands Snow Zone F – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
G Bower, South Hill, West Park Snow Zone G – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
H Eastview, Grandview, Morrisroe, Mountview Snow Zone H – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
I Anders, Sunnybrook (north) Snow Zone I – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
J Deer Park (south of 39 St), Lancaster Snow Zone J – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
K Inglewood, Sunnybrook (south)/Southbrook, Vanier Snow Zone K – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
O Evergreen Snow Zone O – Residential Routes Map (pdf)
It is early in the season for residential plowing in Red Deer compared to recent years. The snow fell on warm ground and created a layer of ice beneath it, which exacerbated the situation on our roads. With this in mind, The City moved forward with a residential plow on Monday, November 14.
“Right now, crews are working around the clock to keep roads drivable. With minimal breaks between snowfalls, crews have found themselves circling back to start the process of clearing Purple and Red Routes before being able to move on to other secondary arterials,” said Halldorson “In the same way citizens have been circling back to repeatedly shovel their sidewalks and driveways, our crews have been circling back to re-plow bridge decks and priority roadways.”
Additionally, crews are sanding intersections, hills, and bridges as much as possible.

The current schedule for residential snow clearing is as follows:

Snow Plow 2022

Residents are encouraged to watch for no-parking signs on Green Routes and at the entrance to their neighbourhoods for Grey Routes and to sign up for Snow Zone notices at www.reddeer.ca/notifyreddeer to get text, email or phone call reminders before they need to move their vehicles off the street.

“We ask that citizens move their vehicles to make way for plows and equipment as this enables crews to move through neighbourhoods quickly,” said Halldorson.

Parking restrictions are in effect from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily while plowing is scheduled, and vehicles left on the street will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.

The City of Red Deer has a priority-based snow and ice control program with specific triggers to indicate when, where and how plowing and sanding should take place across the city. There are many different types of roads, sidewalks and paths throughout the city that serve different purposes. The overall goal is to plow sooner, quicker and more often, within the budget provided.

Residents are encouraged to contact Parks & Public Works at 403-342-8238 to report streets in need of attention.

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City of Red Deer

The rich and sobering history of Red Deer’s “Unknown Soldier”

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The origins of Red Deer’s beautiful Cenotaph date back to the end of WWI.  The statue of the Unknown Soldier is a provincial historic site.  In this article, historian and author Michael Dawe helps us understand the rich history of this monument and reminds us all of the sacrifices of our forebearers.  Enjoy the photo gallery showing the changes to the Cenotaph and its surroundings over the years. 

The Cenotaph by Michael Dawe (originally published Nov. 9, 2019)

There are many memorials around the City of Red Deer to honour those who served and those who lost their lives during a time of war. The main community memorial is the Cenotaph, the statue of the Unknown Soldier that stands in the centre of Ross Street in the heart of downtown Red Deer.

The origins of the Cenotaph go back to the end of the First World War. That conflict had been a searing experience for Red Deer. 850 young men and women from the City and surrounding districts had enlisted. Of these, 118 lost their lives. Of those who returned, many had suffered terrible wounds and faced a lifetime of ill health and suffering.  Hence, it was extremely important to the community that a fitting and very special memorial be created.

On December 18, 1918, five weeks after the end of the War, the Central Alberta local of the Great War Veterans Association (forerunner of the Royal Canadian Legion) organized a large public meeting to discuss the creation of such a memorial.  Three proposals were initially made. The first was to construct a pyramidal monument of river cobblestones in the centre of the City. The second was to construct a community hall and recreation facility next to City Hall. The third was to purchase the old Alexandra (Park) Hotel and turn it into a community centre.

After considerable discussion, a fourth proposal was adopted. It was decided to build a monument rather than a community centre.  However, at the suggestion of Lochlan MacLean, it was also decided that this monument be in the form of a statue of a soldier, mounted on a pedestal, rather than a cobblestone pyramid or obelisk.

Major Frank Norbury, an architectural sculptor at the University of Alberta and a veteran of the War, was commissioned to carve the statue. He came up with the concept of carving the Unknown Soldier as he was coming off active duty on the front line. He was to face west, toward home and peace. He was also to be positioned towards the C.P.R. station from which most of the soldiers had left Red Deer for the War.

This latter point was one of the greatest controversies about the Cenotaph. City Council and a few others wanted it in the centre of the City Square (now City Hall Park). However, the majority wanted it facing directly towards the station and in the middle of Ross Street, Red Deer’s busiest thoroughfare, so that it would be a constant reminder of the sacrifices of the War.

Meanwhile, fundraising for the project commenced, but proved quite a challenge. Post-war Red Deer faced one of the worst economic depressions in its history. However, despite the general shortage of money, by the following summer more than half of the $6200 needed had been raised.  Unfortunately, Red Deer City Council decided that given its financial situation, it could not contribute any money to the project. This decision reinforced the opinion of the Memorial Committee that Council’s wish to have the Cenotaph in the middle of the City Square should be ignored.

There were still a lot of hard feelings about that lack of official City participation. Eventually, City Council agreed to build a boulevard in the middle of Ross Street, west of 49 Avenue, as a site for the Cenotaph. A decision was also made to place street lights at either end of that boulevard to provide nighttime illumination of the spot.

There was another debate regarding the proper means of recording the names of those killed in the War. Some wanted tablets placed on the pedestal. However, the Memorial Committee was worried about having a complete and accurate list. Finally, it was agreed to have two scrolls prepared, one with the names of those who had served and one with the names of those who had lost their lives. Both scrolls were put into a copper tube and placed in a cavity in the pedestal.

On September 15, 1922, the Cenotaph was officially unveiled. To the delight of the community, Governor General Lord Byng of Vimy agreed to come and do the honours. Lord Byng was a hero of one of Canada’s most significant military victories, the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Vimy was also a victory that had also come with very heavy loss of life, both locally and nationally.

At the time of the official unveiling, it was reported that the Cenotaph was the first sculpture war memorial in Alberta. Once the official dedication was completed, the monument was placed into trust with the City on behalf of those who had contributed to its creation.

The Cenotaph was rededicated in 1949 to include remembrance of those who served and lost their lives in the Second World War. A plaque signifying that designation was added to the pedestal. After the completion of the new City Hall Park and the Memorial Centre in the early 1950’s. there was a push to relocate the Cenotaph from its location on Ross Street to either the centre of City Hall Park or a new site in front of the Memorial Centre. However, a plebiscite was held in 1953 in which the citizens of Red Deer voted to keep the Cenotaph were it was.

Another plaque was added in 1988 in memory of those who served and died in the Korean Conflict. At the same time, through the efforts of some dedicated members of the public, special lighting was added to ensure that the Cenotaph was highly visible at night.

There were new proposals in the 1990’s to relocate the Cenotaph to City Hall Park. However, Charlie Mac Lean, son of Lochlan MacLean and one of the last surviving people to have actually built the Cenotaph, offered the opinion that he did not think that the monument could be safely relocated.

In 2006, the Cenotaph was extensively cleaned and repaired. City Council then successfully applied to have the Cenotaph designated as a Provincial Historic Site. In 2010-2011, a beautiful Veterans’ Park was created around the Cenotaph, to enhance it and to make it more accessible to the public.  Moreover, eight interpretive panels were created to let people know the full significance of Red Deer’s official war memorial. They give the stories of those who served in the Boer War, First World War, Second World War, Korean Conflict, the Afghanistan War and all the peace-keeping and peace-making missions in which Canadians have been involved.

Lest We Forget.

Michael Dawe

Here are some other local history stories you might enjoy

The Battle of Vimy Ridge Described by Michael Dawe

Armistice Day 11/11/1918 from a Red Deer perspective in pictures and story

 

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