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Opinion

I will miss those 3 years…….

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  • The last 3 years has been a blessing to my soul.
    For 3 years I have heard less and less the terms; “Rig Pig” and “Redneck”. For 3 years Alberta was involved in nation building, national conversations without the patronizing tones so often experienced before.
    Now it is returning and with a vengeance.
    Jason Kenney made a statement in Alberta, and the host of a political show, “Question Period” asked former Minister Peter MacKay, if he believed that Jason Kenney actually believed that statement, and Mr. MacKay shrugged it off with; You have to remember who he is talking to. He is talking to his constituents.
    Now Mr. Kenney is regularly in the news dealing with party members involved or making statements regarding, racism, anti-Semitism, swastikas, and other backward issues. Promoting Mr. Carpay who compared the Pride flag with a swastika.
    I will miss those 3 years.
    This week I made a comment about steak sandwiches were getting smaller but more expensive, and I was told in a loud voice that it was because of Notley’s carbon tax. I reminded them that we are talking about a decades long trend but this gentleman, insisted.
    Another gentleman brought up that if it snows on the QE2, it will be blamed on the carbon tax.
    I will miss those 3 years.
    I mentioned that I did not believe that any one single Premier had anything to do with the judge ruling against Keystone XL piping in the U.S. and I was called a Trudeau lover.
    I will miss those 3 years.
    I was condemned for maintaining my tipping style at a restaurant because because of Notley, the waitress is now making minimum wage.
    I will miss those 3 years.
    For 3 years I had peaceful political conversations. Many disagreements, but mainly, they were peaceful, mature, informative and enjoyable. That was before.
    Perhaps it was simply because our Premier was a lawyer, pre-politics like Peter Lougheed and learned how to navigate through contentious issues with training and real life experiences that influenced the political arena.
    There has been discussions about quality education, quality care for the sick and the elderly but now the talk is about tax cuts and rolling back services to 2015 levels.
    I will miss those 3 years.
    No female Premier ever won 2 elections in a row in Canada, even former B.C. Premier Christie Clarke lost her seat in her second election as Premier and had to run in a by-election, later. 3 years ago I would have thought that Alberta may crack that glass ceiling but now I am unsure.
    For 3 years I was content, shredding that Alberta persona of “Redneck”, “Rigpig” and basking in the glow that Alberta was leading the country in Economic Growth and in fighting the Climate Change battle.
    Now we are back to wanting to pay less and get more. Simple.
    I will miss those 3 years.


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    Opinion

    3 wards for the city based on federal and provincial governance models.

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  • An interesting proposal has been suggested for our municipal governance that is modeled after the provincial and federal electoral system.
    Federally we have Members of Parliament (MPs) and one of them is also the Prime Minister. Provincially we have Members of the Legislature (MLAs) and one of them is also the Premier.
    Federally our fine city is divided into 2 electoral districts or ridings both federally and provincially, so we have 2 MLAs and 2 MPs, and anyone could also be our Premier or Prime Minister, or Speaker, Cabinet Member, or Opposition Leader.
    Back to our city’s governance, we elect 9 people currently, 8 councillors and 1 mayor for 1 electoral district. The idea being suggested is 3 wards, 3 councillors each with 1 also being the mayor.
    Population wise and geographically 3 wards would be fairly easy. Using the last municipal census. Approximately 1/3 the population lives east of 30th Avenue so that would make an easy boundary and approximately 1/3 live north of the river, another easy boundary. The other 1/3 would be south of the river and west of 30th Avenue. Easy and already done.
    Now, why would we consider 3 wards over governance of a single entity?
    Look at thhe history of the wards, the services offered, crime rates, return on investments and you can see the reason.
    The east of 30th Avenue ward has, 3 high schools with plans for 2 more, has the Collicutt centre with a recommended site for the next multi-use aquatic centre, 2 emergency services location, and a pickle ball court centre.
    The north of the river ward has no high schools with no plans for any, the Dawe recreation centre, YMCA, and 1 emergency services centre.
    The other ward has 1 high school, 1 college, downtown recreation centre, museum, tennis courts, Michener pool, Westerner, Kinex arenas, curling rinks, a proposed cultural centre, hospital, multiple emergency services to name but a few.
    So it is easy to see the rationale behind and the appeal for a ward system as our city grows in a manner favourable to some and not to others. 3 wards with 3 councillors each and 1 of the 9 would also act as mayor. It works provincially and federally and it would make councillors responsible and accountable for any continued disparities, right?
    It is an option. Just saying.


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    Opinion

    Will Red Deer finally get a seat at the adult table? Do we want a seat at the adult table?

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  • Opinion by Garfield Marks

    “Red Deer needs a Cabinet Minister“, says the Chamber of Commerce. Yes the fact is we need a seat at the table, but do we have a politician worthy enough to sit at the adult table?

    Yes, I believe we do, at least 2. For far too long, Red Deer has been electing invisible politicians, seat warmers, trained seals, caricatures of what we think we want as politicians. People representing in some shallow way what the population wanted, perhaps we want invisible politicians. But that is not what we need.

    The subject came up due to the recent Provincial election but it is the same in all 3 levels of government. Federally, too like Provincially there is a cabinet table that makes the decisions and sets directions and implementation but there is a somewhat cabinet like table municipally, involving a few people including city manager, mayor, downtown reps, developers and others, that kind of set the game plan, at least in my opinion.

    This came up over coffee one day, started when someone asked who decided to spend almost a million dollars of our taxes on a piece of art off 32 Street saying “Welcome to Red Deer”?

    The hypothesis is that there is an inner circle or small group, not city council, that decides what, where and when to do anything in this city. Which subdivisions to build as we seem to be opening up new subdivisions every year while we have trouble filling the ones already on the market, means there must be at least one developer at this table.

    The question remains then about whether the citizens of Red Deer want a seat at the adult table? Do we accept just paying the bills as our only role?
    We spend millions and millions of dollars every year on politicians, for what? Photo ops, ribbon cuttings, welcome speeches and to vote as they are told by the members at the adult tables.

    Will we get a Cabinet Member from Red Deer? I think we might but just 1 at the Provincial Cabinet level, because the table is small and Red Deer is not seen as a major player needing to be heard. As for federal and municipal tables that is not even on the horizon. Just saying.

    The views in the above story are the opinion of the writer’s. 


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