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City of Red Deer

City of Red Deer declares local emergency

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City Hall

From the City of Red Deer

State of local emergency declared in Red Deer amidst COVID-19

The City of Red Deer declared a state of local emergency at 9:20 a.m. Monday, March 16, to assist the Province of Alberta’s efforts to combat and respond to the spread of COVID-19. The state of local emergency gives The City access to additional resources, and special powers under the Emergency Management Act including personnel, from other orders of government if required.

“The City of Red Deer takes emergency management very seriously,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “We are actively working with other orders of government, agencies and partners to ensure our community response is in alignment with the recommendations from Alberta’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Deena Hinshaw. Our top priority is the health, safety and well-being of all our citizens as we respond to the issue and work to maintain essential services to our community.”

While the risk to residents remains low, we remain vigilant and prepared to support our community’s needs

Other measures being taken by The City at this time include:

  • All City of Red Deer operated recreation and culture facilities are closed to the public effective Sunday, March 15, 2020.
  • Continued activation of The City of Red Deer Emergency Operations Centre
  • Continued activation of The City of Red Deer call centre daily from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. for residents to make non-emergency inquiries about City services and policies (403-342-8111)
  • Enhanced cleaning and janitorial services in high traffic areas
  • Mandatory 14-day isolation period for City employees who are symptomatic and/or have returned from international travel after March 12, 2020.
  • Notifying customers affected by program cancellations and City facility closures.
  • Revised cancellation policies for passes, programs and room rentals. Details are posted at www.reddeer.ca.
  • Security and staff will remain on site at the closed facilities to support the management of the city assets.
  • In addition, the following City facilities remain open to the public at this time, however with potentially amended service levels.• City Hall and Professional Building
    • Sorenson Station and Red Deer Transit service • the downtown Red Deer RCMP detachment

    “We know this is a difficult and stressful time for everyone, including residents and our employees,” said Allan Seabrooke, City Manager. “We are working around the clock to protect our community. We have implemented a number of measures already and we will continue to do so to protect our residents. I want to thank everyone for support and patience so far.”

Residents are reminded not to attend City facilities or any public facilities if they are feeling ill. Call Alberta Healthlink at 8-1-1 for non-emergency health information about COVID-19 and 9- 1-1 only in the case of a life-threatening emergency or crime in progress.

The COVID-19 outbreak remains a fluid situation and information can change quickly and often. The City of Red Deer is prepared to make additional changes to policies as required in order to keep residents safe and reduce the risk of spreading the virus. Residents are urged to visit the Alberta Health Services website at www.ahs.ca for the most up to date information.

Learning at home? Here’s a list of links to take you on a “Virtual Field Trip”

After 15 years as a TV reporter with Global and CBC and as news director of RDTV in Red Deer, Duane set out on his own 2008 as a visual storyteller. During this period, he became fascinated with a burgeoning online world and how it could better serve local communities. This fascination led to Todayville, launched in 2016.

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City of Red Deer

Face coverings now mandatory in Red Deer for all indoor public spaces and pubic vehicles

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City Hall

From the City of Red Deer

City Council passes temporary mandatory face covering bylaw in Red Deer

Face coverings are temporarily mandatory in Red Deer after City Council approved a bylaw today, mandating face coverings for indoor public places and public vehicles.

The bylaw will officially come into effect on November 30, 2020; however, The City strongly encourages citizens to wear a face covering in accordance with the bylaw starting today.

The decision to proceed with a short-term face covering bylaw came after in-depth discussions on the topic over the past few weeks and during last week’s Special City Council Meeting. During this meeting, a number of amendments were considered by City Council, triggering the need for the third reading at today’s regular City Council meeting.

“Mandating temporary face coverings in Red Deer is a short-term measure to be responsive to the evolving pandemic in Red Deer and across the province. We know this is a divisive issue in our community, and although the Province has yet to mandate masks across Alberta, City Council believes this temporary measure is critical if we want local case numbers and hospitalization to remain flat,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Through this bylaw, we are putting into action, the recommendations of health officials because the safety, health and wellbeing of all citizens continues to be our number one priority.”

At this time, the bylaw has a sunset clause of March 1, 2021, and will expire on this date.

The bylaw mandates all citizens must wear a face covering in indoor public places and public vehicles with the exceptions noted in the bylaw. This includes any place, whether publicly or privately owned, where members of the public have access as of right or by implied invitation.

The bylaw does not apply to several groups including children under nine, those who are disabled, and anyone eating/drinking, or engaging in heavy labour or physical fitness activities. It applies to passengers in public vehicles, like taxis or rides for hire, but not to drivers where there is a barrier installed in the vehicle. Businesses affected by the bylaw are required to display signage.

The fine for not wearing a face covering in a public place is $50.

“This decision is about protecting public health and safety, protecting our health care system, and doing whatever we can to help stabilize the local economy and prevent potential future lockdowns that could result in further business impacts and closures,” said Mayor Veer. “We are all feeling the pressures of COVID-19; citizens, businesses and Albertans alike are significantly affected. The City will continue to do everything we can to support our local citizens and businesses by putting measures in place that could minimize the spread of COVID-19.”

A mandatory face covering bylaw is just one of the municipal measures being taken to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Red Deer. The City also continues to adapt its many operations to be responsive to the changing circumstances, increase communication with citizens and businesses and to continue to seek information and support through the Province of Alberta.

Red Deer is now one of approximately nineteen other Alberta municipalities, including Calgary, Edmonton and Lethbridge, to have a mandatory face covering bylaw in place.

For more information about the new bylaw and other COVID-19 restrictions, please read our Face Coverings in Public Places (Mandatory Mask) Bylaw FAQ (pdf)  or visit www.reddeer.ca.

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City of Red Deer

Tour the newly renovated Westerner Park Centrium

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From the City of Red Deer and Westerner Park

Preview of renovations almost complete ahead of Team Canada training at Westerner Park Centrium

In 2019, Red Deer City Council approved a $3 million capital request from Westerner Park’s Exhibition Association, which operates the Centrium, as part of its 2020 capital budget to help with renovations needed at the facility.

The City of Red Deer approved $3 million toward a revitalization project that would improve the 1991- era arena’s dressing rooms, concourse and seating.

At the time of budget approval, Tara Lodewyk, General Manager of Planning and Protective Services said “Westerner Park is a huge economic driver in the region. We want it to keep attracting more events, as Red Deer businesses and citizens’ benefit whenever the Centrium brings in various sport, business and cultural attractions.”

Renovations, which are nearing completion, include updating dressing rooms, adding additional railing to the outer edge of the concourse, new modernized LED score clock and signage, and one of the biggest projects, replacing the 30-year-old spectator seats to meet modern facility standards. Westerner Park officials had aimed to complete renovations before hockey players started arriving for the World Junior Championship that were set to run Dec. 26, 2020, to Jan. 5, 2021, which has since been deferred to 2021/2022. Construction during the pandemic occurred more efficiently due to no events being held in the facility, while renovations also provided local economic stimulus by employing local trades.

On September 17, the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) announced that all games for the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship will be played in Edmonton, instead of Red Deer, due to COVID- 19 restrictions, without fans in attendance, but will return to Edmonton and Red Deer in 2021.

However, Red Deer is hosting Canada’s best under 20 hockey players ahead of the 2021 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships. Forty-seven players will attend a training camp at the Centrium at Westerner Park from November 16 until December 13. The selection camp will include practices and three intrasquad games, as well as six games against a team of sports all-stars, before the team enters the bubble in Edmonton. The Red Deer camp will take place in a cohort bubble and will be closed to the public and the media.

“Not being able to host World Juniors this year was a significant disappointment for many Red Deerians who were anticipating welcoming the international hockey community back to our city,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “I know Red Deer will be ready to welcome the world to our community in 2021/2022, and will actively continue our preparations for this incredible opportunity for our city. This year, we are glad to be able to participate in preparation for the World Juniors by hosting a selection camp bubble at the Centrium.”

“The renovations and upgrades will enhance guest experience at Westerner Park and ensure the comfort and safety for everyone that attends events in the Centrium,” said Mike Olesen, Westerner Park CEO. “The upgrades will also create more interest from national and international events to consider Red Deer and Westerner Park for upcoming events.”

“We’re incredibly excited for hockey fans to experience the bold changes taking place inside our home, the Centrium,” said Merrick Sutter, Sr. Vice President, Red Deer Rebels. “The much needed upgrades provide a fresh, clean look for all guests and events, and further cements the facility as a premiere destination for major events and junior hockey.”

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november, 2020

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