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City of Red Deer

City of Red Deer loosens voting restrictions for October municipal election due to covid

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voting

News release from the City of Red Deer

Vote Anywhere in the 2021 Election

Red Deer voters will be able to vote at any station across the City, both during Advanced Vote days and on Election Day in the 2021 Election.

The City of Red Deer is making changes to its election format in 2021 to increase accessibility and convenience for voters, and to ensure voting stations are safe for voters, staff and the general public, regardless of the state of the pandemic.

At the election, Red Deer voters will vote for one Mayor, eight Councillors, and either Public or Catholic School Trustees. Rather than dedicated neighbourhood voting stations, voters will be able to vote at any one of eight voting stations on Election Day, or one of three voting stations on any one of thirteen Advanced Vote days.

“Our Election planning typically starts about 18 months ahead of the Election, and at that time we were in the midst of the pandemic,” said Returning Officer Samantha Rodwell. “Recognizing the changing public health restrictions and the need to ensure space for physical distancing, we knew our traditional voting stations in smaller centres would not be feasible.”

Advanced Voting will be open for 13 days from October 4 to 16. On those days, voters can attend any one of three voting stations from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.:

  • Parkland Mall: 6359 50 Avenue
  • Baymont by Wyndham Red Deer: 4311 49 Avenue
  • Westerner Park: 4847A 19 Street

In addition, voters can choose to attend any one of eight voting stations open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, October 18:

  • Northside Community Centre (YMCA): 6391 76 Street
  • Radisson Hotel Red Deer: 6500 67 Street
  • Parkland Mall: 6359 50 Avenue
  • Joseph High School: 110, 2700 67 Street
  • Baymont by Wyndham Red Deer: 4311 49 Avenue
  • Cambridge Red Deer Hotel & Conference Centre: 3310 50 Avenue
  • Collicutt Centre: 3031 30 Avenue
  • Westerner Park: 4847A 19 Street

“Voters will have 39 opportunities to participate in the Advanced Vote and eight opportunities to vote on Election Day,” said Rodwell. “With voting stations being held at larger centres, and the increased number of opportunities, we are not only confident voters and staff will feel safe and secure, but we are also hopeful we will see an increase in voter turnout.”

Enhanced public safety measures will be in place to ensure safety of voters and staff: voting stations will have dedicated entrances and exits, enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures will be in place, and stations will be laid out to allow for proper physical distancing. Any potential masking requirements will be determined based upon public health guidelines and local bylaws in place at the time of the Election.

“In addition to allowing voters to vote at any station, we’re also providing more information to voters so they can make an informed decision,” said Rodwell. “Enhanced candidate profiles are already available on our website, offering more information about candidates, their priorities, and links to their personal platforms. Come Advanced Vote and Election days, we will also have a map with real-time updates about wait times at voting stations so voters can decide which station will work best for them.”

Nominations opened on January 1 and, as of June 15, 23 candidates have submitted their nomination papers for positions of Mayor, Councillor or School Board Trustee. The City will continue to accept nomination forms until September 20, 2021 at 12:00 noon.

Both the City of Red Deer and the City of Lethbridge are amending their election operations in 2021 to allow eligible voters to select their voting station and allow for enhanced safety measures during the pandemic.

Information about Red Deer’s 2021 Election, including a voting station map, a list of current candidates and their submitted profiles, is available online at elections.reddeer.ca.

For more information, please contact:

Corporate Communications
The City of Red Deer

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Addictions

City Council decides to close Red Deer’s Overdose Prevention Site

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City Council requests the Province of Alberta make changes to OPS in Red Deer

City Council made decisions (Friday) related to Red Deer’s Overdose Prevention Site (OPS), requesting the Government of Alberta (GOA):

  • formalize an orderly transition of the existing OPS out of Red Deer by the end of 2025;
  • provide in its place greater harm reducing options within our community that focus on health, wellness, and recovery, including more detox capacity, medication-assisted treatment (MAT), recovery coaches, counsellors, and culturally appropriate health and wellness supports, etc.;
  • provide dedicated grant funding to provide a continuous police presence/enforcement in the immediate vicinity of the OPS and temporary shelter, until the crime and social disorder impacts associated with these provincial services are better mitigated for the safety and security of our public;
  • substantially increase front-line supports for mental health and addictions within our community/region to better address the root causes leading to drug and alcohol addictions.

These decisions stem from a Notice of Motion put forward by Councillor Higham on December 18, 2023. After being read into the record on January 22, 2024, a non-statutory public hearing was scheduled for yesterday, February 15, 2024. Approximately 40 members of the public attended the non-statutory public hearing, with approximately 30 individuals speaking to the Notice of Motion, sharing their thoughts on the issue.

After hearing from the public yesterday, City Council debated the motion today, with Mayor Ken Johnston now having City Council direction to take the issue forward to the province and proceed with advocacy efforts.

“The public hearing and the debate of this motion were harrowing and emotional experiences for everyone. Each of us have been touched in some way by addiction; we heard that very clearly, and I am no exception. We heard heartfelt testimony from many members of our community, citizens, some who use the OPS, some who are service providers in the community, business owners, doctors, family members that have lost loves ones, and more,” said Mayor Johnston. “Council approached this most sensitive of issues with open minds, open ears, and open hearts. We are trying to improve lives for those suffering from addiction. This is a complex challenge, as these are areas where municipalities do not have jurisdiction. What we know is that Red Deer needs robust support from the provincial government for people with addictions; we need support for our community that is grappling with the fallout of addictions; and we need that support in the most immediate way.”

Mayor Johnston added, “Following this meeting, I will reach out to the Ministry of Addictions and Mental Health to book meetings where we can discuss how to move forward in the best interest of our city.”

Currently the OPS is located 5246 53 Avenue in downtown Red Deer.

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City of Red Deer

City Council approves E-scooters permanently after 3 year pilot

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E-Scooter Pilot Program update

  • Council approved E-scooters as a permanent transportation option in Red Deer, following a three-season pilot program that ended in October. No changes to the program were proposed, as bylaw amendments to the Business Licence Bylaw and Traffic Bylaw were completed as part of the pilot program.
  • Benefits to allowing E-scooter companies to operate in Red Deer include alignment with City of Red Deer strategies such as the Multimodal Transportation Plan and all three focus areas of City Council’s current Strategic Plan – Thriving City, Community Health and Wellbeing, and Engaged and Connected City.
  • In 2023, 100,909 rides were taken on E-scooters. The average distance traveled per ride was 3.35 km and the average ride time was 18.2 minutes. Riders are required to be a minimum of 16 years old and are advised to wear a helmet.
  • The 2024 E-scooter season begins March 15. Learn more: reddeer.ca/escooters

How does it work?

Similar to car and bike sharing technology, shared e-scooters will be GPS-enabled and can be rented using each company’s smartphone app. A shared e-scooter can be parked in a designated drop zone that is not impeding pedestrian traffic. It is then available for the next customer, who will be able to locate it and begin the rental using an application on their phone.​​​​

How old do I need to be to ride an e-scooter?

To ride an e-scooter in Red Deer you must be 16 years of age or older. A child or any other person cannot be a passenger on a shared e-scooter. They are intended for one rider.

Do I need to wear a helmet while riding an e-scooter?

Helmets are not required, but are strongly encouraged.

What is the speed limit for e-scooters?

The max speed limit is 20 km per hour with some higher traffic areas reduced to 5-10 km per hour.

How will I be able to park an e-scooter?

E-Scooters can be parked on city sidewalks, in City parks and adjacent pathways, subject to all Federal, Provincial and City Legislation. All parked e-scooters must remain in an upright position with all wheels in contact with the ground.

E-Scooters will be parked in a Furniture Zone and must not be parked in a way that does not obstruct or interfere with the Sidewalk Zone or Edge Zone at any time.

In the absence of a Furniture Zone, e-scooters must not be parked in a way that impedes pedestrians moving through the Sidewalk Zone to access any buildings. E-scooters must be parked next to the edge zone leaving at least 2.0 metres of sidewalk zone unobstructed for pedestrian movements. E-scooters must not be parked where these minimum distance requirements cannot be met, and parked in the upright, standing position, with all wheels in contact with the ground.

Tips for rider safety

  • Pedestrians first– Always yield to, and be mindful of people walking on sidewalks.
  • Be considerate– Use the bell to alert others when passing on the sidewalk or pathway.
  • Rider safety rules – Shared e-scooters are available to riders aged 16+. Helmets are encouraged but not required. Maximum speed limit is 20 km / hr. Only one rider per e-scooter is allowed.
  • Park responsibly– Park in a secure, upright position in designated areas, such as furniture zones of sidewalks, public bike racks and other marked parking zones. On sidewalks without furniture zones, give at least two meters of clearance for accessibility.
  • Right and report– If you see a shared e-scooter toppled over or parked improperly, help out by righting the shared e-scooter or reporting the issue. Contact info for each company is provided on each shared e-scooter.
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