Photos from Community Crime Watch Facebook Page. Submitted by Tom TJ, Visual Storyteller
From the City of Red Deer Emergency Services
Downtown residential fire
The fire displaced an estimated 20 residents. The residents were shuttled to a temporary reception centre at G.H. Dawe Community Centre and were put up at a local hotel overnight.
Due to fire and water damage, the building was destroyed and will be torn down. Investigators will remain on scene overnight.
Councillor Buck Buchanan facing sanctions after Mayor Veer submits complaint
Code of Conduct investigation closes with sanctions for Councillor Buchanan
All municipalities in Alberta are required by the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to have a Code of Conduct Bylaw that sets shared expectations for conduct or behaviour. The bylaw outlines how members should conduct themselves while carrying out their responsibilities and establishes a review and investigation process when a complaint is received. The City of Red Deer passed its Code of Conduct Bylaw (2608-2018) on July 23, 2018.
The formal Code of Conduct complaint (C-01-2021), submitted by Mayor Tara Veer in response to public and staff complaints, alleges that Councillor Buchanan breached the bylaw through his social media activity in January 2021 and prior actions, causing City Council to lose leadership credibility and frustrating The City’s pandemic response efforts.
After a review committee of three Council members initially reviewed the complaint, and by majority vote determined that it should proceed to formal investigation, SAGE Analytics Inc. was hired to investigate and report back to City Council.
SAGE is a municipal consulting firm with expertise in governance evaluation, dispute resolution, and council code of conduct complaint investigations. SAGE utilized a process that included interviews and follow-up with both parties, witness interviews, a review of related correspondence received by The City, document review, analysis and report writing.
With the investigation complete, the findings conclude that Councillor Buchanan breached three sections in the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw:
- 7.1, which states “members shall uphold the law established by the Parliament of Canada and the Legislature of Alberta and the bylaws, policies and procedures adopted by Council.”
- 7.2, which states “members shall respect the Municipality as an institution, its bylaws, policies and procedures and shall encourage public respect for the Municipality, its bylaws, policies and procedures” and
- 4.1(d), which states, City Council must “arrange their private affairs and conduct themselves in a manner that promotes public confidence.”
According to the findings, a social media post made by Councillor Buchanan in January 2021, combined with his prior actions, amounted to a breach of the bylaw. SAGE determined these actions were disrespectful to the local pandemic response efforts and increased a division in the community between individuals in favour of and opposed to health restrictions. SAGE’s report finds that through Councillor Buchanan’s actions, The City’s reputation was damaged, and The City’s pandemic response efforts were negatively impacted. They also determined he demonstrated a pattern of conduct where he made negative comments that did not promote public confidence in The City’s pandemic response efforts.
Having accepted that Councillor Buchanan contravened three sections of the Bylaw, Council considered the sanctions recommended by SAGE and ultimately resolved by majority vote to require that Councillor Buchanan:
- Issue a public apology to Red Deer residents, businesses, staff, and Council for his actions and social media post on January 27, 2021, which caused increased confusion and division in the community during a time of crisis; and that this apology be provided to the satisfaction of Council, during a public portion of a Council meeting.
- Arrange an in-person meeting with the AHS Central Zone Medical Director, or designate to offer a personal apology to Alberta Health Services for any harm caused by his public comments during the pandemic response.
- Be suspended from all Council committees and all Deputy Mayor rotation duties until sincere apologies are provided.
- Complete social media training hired and paid for by The City of Red Deer that aligns with typical media training for City staff.
The investigation is considered complete. Councillor Buchanan continues to serve as Red Deer City Councillor.
This is the first formal Code of Conduct complaint received by The City of Red Deer.
Additional information resources:
Keep cool with the firefighters this Thursday!
Pop-up Spray Parks
Members of Red Deer Emergency Services, RCMP and Municipal Enforcement blasted the hoses to keep you cool Thursdays in July and August.
Pop-up spray parks are popping up across Red Deer this summer. Beat the heat with Red Deer Emergency Services, Municipal Policing Services and RCMP in a neighbourhood near you.
Participants are reminded to not attend if they are feeling unwell or are currently required to quarantine.
Thursdays from 6:30 – 8 p.m.
|July 22||Highland Green Community Centre||65 Halladay Avenue|
|July 29||Deer Park Community Association||181 Dowler Street|
|August 5||To Be Confirmed||—–|
|August 12||Riverside Meadows Community Centre||6021 57 Avenue|
|August 19||Joseph Welsh Elementary School||4401 37 Avenue|
*Events are weather dependent.
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