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Alberta

FINALLY! Province announces new Red Deer Hospital expansion and it’s much bigger than previous plan

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Red Deer hospital $1.8B expansion builds for the future

Alberta’s government will invest $1.8 billion to redevelop and expand the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre as part of the province’s strategy to increase health care capacity, providing central Albertans with better hospital care for years to come.

The $1.8 billion hospital expansion is the largest in Alberta’s history and the largest taxpayer investment in the history of central Alberta. It will begin with a $193 million investment over the next three years and will include 200 new in-patient beds, increasing hospital capacity from 370 beds to 570 beds or by 54 per cent.

The expansion also provides for three new operating rooms, increasing surgical capacity to 14 operating rooms.

A new cardiac catheterization lab will also be part of the hospital’s expansion.

“For too long, central Albertans have been waiting for these critical upgrades and expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital. That’s why we’ve made expanding the Red Deer Regional Hospital a priority, and we’re putting our money where our mouth is. Alberta’s Recovery Plan has already seen healthcare infrastructure built from Grande Prairie to Calgary, and now, it’s making sure world-class health care is there for Red Deer and central Alberta for years to come with the largest investment in the history of central Alberta.”

Jason Kenney, Premier

“This important investment will ensure the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre continues to provide exceptional quality hospital care for the residents in the Red Deer region for decades to come. This investment is a key component of the Alberta government’s commitment to building health-care capacity throughout the province.”

Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

The project’s next steps include functional programming and design. Completion of the expansion is slated for 2030-2031.

“Red Deer and central Alberta’s growing populations mean that our ability to effectively provide health care with the current hospital is limited, resulting in all too frequent disruptions to patient care. This needed redevelopment will increase capacity and expand services to meet central Albertans’ needs into the future. It’s another example of our government’s commitment to build health system capacity throughout Alberta.”

Jason Copping, Minister of Health

“I know how important this project is to the residents of central Alberta. This important expansion of the Red Deer hospital will create jobs and improve residents’ access to health-care services in the years to come.”

Prasad Panda, Minister of Infrastructure

“The expansion of the Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is extremely significant for our city and long overdue. This historical investment means that central Albertans will benefit from increased surgical and in-patient capacity, benefiting our community in ways that were previously not possible. In addition, I am so pleased that local patients will finally have a cardiac catheterization lab as part of this amazing expansion, which will literally save lives. As the third-largest city in the province, this expansion will go a long way in providing the medical care and attention we have long needed and strongly advocated for.”

Adriana LaGrange, Minister of Education and MLA for Red Deer-North

“This is welcome news for our staff and physicians at Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre, as well as to all those we care for within its walls. Being able to expand our in-patient capacity, as well as critical programs like surgical services with new operating rooms, is paramount to continuing to serve the health-care needs of central Albertans as so many rely on Red Deer Regional. On behalf of Alberta Health Services, we are grateful for the support of government partners in moving this project forward, and for the ongoing efforts of our teams who eagerly await this expansion.”

Dr. Verna Yiu, president and CEO, Alberta Health Services

“This is a monumental day for our city and for the central Alberta region. It is with extreme gratitude that we recognize the provincial government for this significant investment in the care of central Albertans.”

Ken Johnston, mayor, City of Red Deer

“Located along one of the busiest transportation corridors in the province, Red Deer County serves close to 20,000 residents within central Alberta. The county welcomes this news and is appreciative of the Government of Alberta’s capital investment to our region for the improvement of health care for our residents.”

Jim Wood, mayor, Red Deer County

Quick facts

  • The Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre is the busiest hospital outside of Edmonton and Calgary. It has the fourth-highest volume of any Alberta Health Services’ facility.
  • Approximately 50 per cent of patients seen at the hospital are referred from communities outside of Red Deer.
  • The hospital offers a full spectrum of acute care, including advanced surgery, internal medicine and diagnostics, as well as obstetrics, pediatrics, oncology, critical care and emergency care.
  • $100 million was allocated to the project in Budget 2020.

Alberta

Male suspect involved in tragic incident between Beaumont and Edmonton sought by police; EPS release photos of suspect

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News release from the Edmonton Police Service (EPS)

The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) is assisting the RCMP with the investigation into a tragic incident that claimed the life of an innocent woman last night on 50 Street.

Yesterday, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, at approximately 9:40 p.m. various EPS resources were deployed to the area of 50 Street and 22 Avenue SW at the request of the RCMP. It was reported to police that RCMP attempted to conduct a traffic stop on a suspicious U-Haul in Beaumont, when the vehicle fled. The U-Haul subsequently travelled north on 50 Street into Edmonton, where it struck and killed a woman inspecting the exterior of her vehicle. Moments later the U-Haul came to rest just outside a gas station off of 22 Avenue and 50 Street.

After crashing the U-Haul, the male suspect then reportedly stole a Honda Civic that was parked outside the gas station with a child inside. Police did consider an Alert to the public at the time, though thankfully the child was located unharmed in the area of 66 Street and 25 Avenue minutes later. The suspect then fled the scene in the Honda Civic. The stolen vehicle has since been recovered outside of Edmonton.

The EPS and RCMP continue to actively seek the identity and whereabouts of the male suspect described as being approximately 5’11” who was last seen wearing a black hoodie with white text on the front, brown shorts and black shoes. CCTV photos of the suspect are included below.

“We are incredibly saddened to hear about the tragic death of the innocent woman who was killed on 50 Street,” says Det. Nigel Phillips with the EPS Investigative Response Team. “Our hearts are with her family and friends who will now have to carry on with this unfathomable loss.”

“We are doing everything we can to track down the suspect and we trust the public will help us identify and locate him as soon as possible.”

Assist to identify and locate: Male suspect running in area of 50 Street & 22 Avenue SW
While the RCMP is leading this investigation, the EPS is assisting and working collaboratively with its law enforcement partners.

Anyone with information about the suspect’s identity and/or their whereabouts is asked to contact the EPS immediately at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.

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Alberta

Low emissions, Indigenous-owned Cascade Power Project to boost Alberta electrical grid reliability

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The Cascade Power Project. Photo courtesy Kinetcor

From the Canadian Energy Centre

By Will Gibson

New 900-megawatt natural gas-fired facility to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s power needs

Alberta’s electrical grid is about to get a boost in reliability from a major new natural gas-fired power plant owned in part by Indigenous communities.  

Next month operations are scheduled to start at the Cascade Power Project, which will have enough capacity to supply more than eight per cent of Alberta’s energy needs.  

It’s good news in a province where just over one month ago an emergency alert suddenly blared on cell phones and other electronic devices warning residents to immediately reduce electricity use to avoid outages.  

“Living in an energy-rich province, we sometimes take electricity for granted,” says Chana Martineau, CEO of the Alberta Indigenous Opportunities Corporation (AIOC) and member of the Frog Lake First Nation.  

“Given much of the province was dealing with -40C weather at the time, that alert was a vivid reminder of the importance of having a reliable electrical grid.” 

Cascade Power was the first project to receive funding through the AIOC, the provincial corporation established in 2020 to provide loan guarantees for Indigenous groups seeking partnerships in major development projects. 

So far, the AIOC has underwritten more than $500 million in support. This year it has $3 billion  available, up from $2 billion in 2023.  

In August 2020 it provided a $93 million loan guarantee to the Indigenous Communities Consortium — comprised of the Alexis Nakota Sioux NationEnoch Cree NationKehewin Cree NationOChiese First NationPaul First Nation, and Whitefish (Goodfish) Lake First Nation — to become equity owners. 

The 900-megawatt, $1.5-billion facility is scheduled to come online in March. 

“It’s personally gratifying for me to see how we moved from having Indigenous communities being seen as obstacles to partners in a generation,” says Martineau. 

The added capacity brought by Cascade is welcomed by the Alberta Electrical System Operator (AESO), which is responsible for the provinces electrical grid. =

“The AESO welcomes all new forms of generation into the Alberta marketplace, including renewables, thermal, storage, and others,” said Diane Kossman, a spokeswoman for the agency.  

“It is imperative that Alberta continue to have sufficient dispatchable generation to serve load during peak demand periods when other forms of generation are not able to contribute in a meaningful way.” 

The Cascade project also provides environmental benefits. It is a so-called “combined cycle” power facility, meaning it uses both a gas turbine and a steam turbine simultaneously to produce up to 50 per cent more electricity from the same amount of fuel than a traditional facility.  

Once complete, Cascade is expected to be the largest and most efficient combined cycle power plant in Alberta, producing 62 per cent less CO2 than a coal-fired power plant and 30 per cent less CO2 than a typical coal-to-gas conversion.  

“This project really is aligned with the goals of Indigenous communities on environmental performance,” says Martineau. 

The partnership behind the power plant includes Axium InfrastructureDIF Capital Partners  and Kineticor Resource Corp. along with the Indigenous Communities Consortium. 

The nations invested through a partnership with OPTrust, one of Canada’s largest pension funds.  

“Innovation is not just what we invest in, but it is also how we invest,” said James Davis, OPTrust’s chief investment officer. 

“The participation of six First Nations in the Cascade Power Project is a prime example of what is possible when investors, the government and local communities work together.” 

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