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Opinion

If Canadians believed in Gender Equality why in 151 years have we not allowed a female Premier a second term.

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  • If Gender Equality is so important to Canadians, why do we not allow female Premiers a second term?
    Many argue that historically parties in decline and doomed to electoral defeat elect a female leader to clean up their mess. When the mess gets tidied enough for a possible electoral win they replace the female with a male.
    2 recent examples may be highlighted with British Columbia’s Christie Clark and Ontario’s Kathleen Wynne. Were they desperate measures for parties in decline? Yes according to polls at the time of their taking the reins.
    Alberta’s Allison Redford could be another example but not Alberta’s current Premier, Rachel Notley.
    With most cases, the women were elected leaders of governing parties, but not Alberta’s NDP Premier Rachel Notley. She became a party leader then became Premier through a provincial election.
    She outshone her competition that was split on the right and many of her MLAs rode her coat tails to victory.
    She cleaned up a lot of messes and unfinished business, so is it time to give the office back to a man? According to many talking heads on the television, it looks like we are.
    So is gender equality really important to Canadians or are women here for cleaning up the messes of men and only arm candy for political parties desperate for the next win?
    We have been slow to give women the right to vote, we have yet to give them income parity, we are still trying in some circles to control a woman’s right to control her own body, so will we ever allow a woman to have a second term as a Premier in Canada? I hope so.
    I have argued with various ministries of this government, on issues like no high schools north of the river and plans for 5 high schools east of 30 Ave. in Red Deer. Basically thinking that they were identical to the previous 40 years of Conservative governments, on these issues.
    Now it appears that this government has made progress on many other issues like minimum wage, environment, and pipelines, they are very different from the previous Conservative governments.
    Based on skills, accomplishments, direction and many other things, I will consider voting for giving for the first time in Canadian history a second term as Premier to a female. GASP.


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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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