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In a highly unusual move, Red Deer County Mayor Jim Wood writes a letter to everyone in the Red Deer region

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Letter submitted by Mayor Jim Wood, Red Deer County

City of Red Deer Economic Climate

To the residents, business owners and elected officials of the Red Deer region.

I am writing this letter on behalf of Red Deer County Council, in the spirit of cooperation among those of us elected to lead this region into the 2020s.  This letter also comes as a response to a recent submission from the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce that indicated the City of Red Deer was a poor supporter of their business community.

I happen to believe that we are all in a better position to move forward when we work together.  As the saying goes, “A rising tide lifts all boats.”  This is certainly true when it comes to the local economy we rely on for goods, services, and employment.

In my 15 years on Council – the last 9 as Mayor – I have had countless dealings with the City regarding all kinds of matters.  Overall, the relationship has been extremely positive.  We collaborate with the City on crucial issues such as regional water and sewer services, and partner with them on many shared boards such as the Red Deer Regional Airport, Westerner Park, Family and Community Support Services, Central Alberta Economic Partnership and Access Prosperity.  The County and City have also worked in conjunction on funding requests for the Canadian Finals Rodeo and the Canada Winter Games.  In addition, we have participated together in regional lobbying in relation to our local College, Hospital and Courthouse.

I would like to point out that the Red Deer City and County Intermunicipal Development Plan (IDP) has been in effect for 13 years and has provided for a mutually beneficial relationship.  As you read this, we are beginning the process for our mandated Intermunicipal Collaborative Framework (ICF), and I anticipate this will be a very smooth process as well.

Much has been made in the press about City businesses leaving for other jurisdictions such as Gasoline Alley.  Red Deer County does not actively ‘poach’ businesses from the City, and we do not see Gasoline Alley or the New Junction 42 Partnership Rest Area as being in direct conflict with Red Deer Economic Development.  To put it simply, different businesses have different needs.  Some needs can be best managed in a City environment, and some are best met outside an urban setting.  Ultimately, business chooses the best location for success.  Regardless of the municipality, business growth in central Alberta provides important jobs for the region.

I have read that 90 new businesses opened in Red Deer over the last two years.  This statistic points to the overall health and resiliency of our regional economy.  As for the downtown area, Red Deer County recognizes that most cities struggle with downtown development; every modern urban environment goes through transition stages.

In closing, I hope that we all continue to work together to foster a welcoming business environment in the Red Deer region.  I know that working together to attract and retain jobs is a far more effective use of our time than creating a divisive and hostile climate among the leaders of our community.

Yours truly,

Mayor Jim Wood

Red Deer County

Alberta

Province says books will be balanced again by 2022-23

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Premier Jason Kenney and Finance Minister Travis Toews present the 2020 Budget: A Plan for Jobs and the Economy.

From the Province of Alberta

Third-quarter results show the deficit has declined more than expected. With the deficit $1.2 billion lower than projected in Budget 2019, Alberta taxpayers can expect to pay $35 million less in debt-servicing costs.

Budget 2020 also provides stable funding for health, education and core social services. The budget focuses on finding cost efficiencies and creating jobs while maintaining the high-quality services Albertans expect.

“Budget 2020 continues our focus on creating jobs, growing our economy and streamlining programs and services to ensure a sustainable future. Our plan is working. We are on track to balance the budget by 2022-23 and Alberta’s surplus in that year is expected to be higher than that projected in Budget 2019. We are also maintaining funding for health and education while ensuring each dollar is wisely spent on what Albertans need most.”

Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

Included in Budget 2020 is A Blueprint for Jobs – the government’s plan to get Albertans back to work. It supports dynamic growth from the technology, energy, agriculture and forestry sectors and supports diversification in other key sectors through initiatives, including:

  • Improving competitiveness through further reductions in the Job Creation Tax Cut.
  • Accelerating growth-oriented projects through the capital plan to provide job opportunities for Albertans.
  • Reducing red tape in all sectors to make Alberta the best place to do business in Canada.
  • Accelerating the reclamation of “legacy sites” – including orphan wells – in ways that prioritize job creation.
  • Filling gaps in the labour market, such as increasing access to training for Class 1 drivers.

“There is no greater job for our government than getting Alberta back to work. Budget 2020 and A Blueprint for Jobs leverage the natural strengths of our province and support new opportunities for diversification, economic growth and job creation. We are putting a growth and prosperity lens on everything we do to ensure the choices we make as a government support economic growth and jobs for Albertans.”

Travis Toews, President of Treasury Board and Minister of Finance

Budget 2020 capital plan highlights

The 2020 Capital Plan commits $6.9 billion in 2020-21 to build and maintain key infrastructure projects across the province. Over the course of the three-year fiscal plan, an estimated $772 million in new projects will be added, bringing the total capital plan to $19.3 billion. This will create opportunities for private sector participation and support more than 3,000 jobs, increasing employment by 2022. Some of the new projects include:

  • Twinning Highway 40 to facilitate economic growth and improve safety.
  • Funding to renovate the Peter Lougheed Centre to alleviate pressure on Alberta’s most-congested emergency department.
  • New funding for critical laboratory equipment needs in Edmonton and northern Alberta.
  • The Alberta Surgical Wait-Times Initiative, which will fund new operating rooms and purchase new hospital equipment. The initiative will reduce Alberta’s surgical wait times to an average of four months, funding 80,000 additional surgeries by 2022-23.
  • The launch of a new Rural Health Facilities Revitalization Program to provide infrastructure upgrades across Alberta.
  • Funding for the Red Deer Integrated Emergency Shelter for 160 new spaces for the homeless.
  • Funding for the Bow Reservoir Options project to assess the feasibility of a multi-use dam on the Bow River.

Bill 4, also tabled today, implements a fixed budget period. This provision is an amendment to the Fiscal Planning and Transparency Act and aligns with a recommendation from the MacKinnon Panel.

A fixed budget period will help organizations that provide services for Albertans to better plan their own budgets. The fixed budget period means a budget must be released each year in the month of February.

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Business

Junktiques – Home Decor – DBA Business Spotlight

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We were very excited to sit down with Vicki Finlay, owner and operator of Junktiques – Home Décor this week. Vicki is extremely passionate about her business and her commitment to her downtown community is inspiring! We were amazed at all the unique treasures and how welcoming her space is. Check out our interview with Vicki below! 

What is your business?  

My business consists of new, vintage, and re-purposed items. A little bit of everything and a lot of nothing! You never know what you’re going to find in here! Junktiques is really about anything that is cool! 

When did your business open?  

Officially it became Junktiques in December 2017.  

What makes your business unique?  

Everything makes us unique! Our location is great because we are in the center of everything! Our customers are unique, all walks of life come here. I sell products that I love, make my soul happy, and I believe someone else will love as well. I don’t accept consignment items, so I won’t sell ‘just anything’. I strive in the ability to be fluid and ever-changing. I don’t have to follow rules such as opening and closing times and what I can sell and cannot sell, I carry pride merchandise year-round and myself, because when you come into my store I try to make you feel like you’ve come over to visit.  

What are some products/services that you offer?  

I offer new home décor, jewelry, hardware, vintage treasures, and an all year-round pride selection. I offer a huge variety and selection. I can find someone an item they need for a project that they may not have considered. So, its re-purposing an item from one use to another use and that’s what I’m good at.  

Why did you choose Downtown Red Deer as the location for your business?  

I didn’t originally choose the location, but if I was given the option to move, I wouldn’t. Downtown is vibrant, unique, interesting and always changing, just like Junktiques. There is no other place it would work, and I love the spot I’m in.  

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?  

The people, the cafés, the atmosphere, unique & one-of-a kind stores, also the fact you can be outside. You are not inside a mall where you don’t see the weather or birds. It’s cold in the winter but it’s worth it in the summer because it’s the most beautiful place in the world.  

I love Downtown Red Deer because… Everything good happens in the heart of a city and Downtown is the heart of Red Deer!  

Junktiques – Home Décor is truly a pillar in our Downtown community. Vicki not only runs a successful and uniquebusiness; she is a champion advocate and stanch supporter of her Downtown and LGBTQ community. We invite you to stop in to Junktiques Home Décor and experience this hidden gem!  

‘You never know what you might find!’  

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Junktiques-Home-Decor-261465131048237/  

Barbershop on Gaetz – DBA Business Spotlight

LV’s Vinyl Cafe – DBA Business Spotlight

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february, 2020

sun12jan(jan 12)2:00 pmsun22mar(mar 22)5:00 pmAnne Frank: A History for Today opening at Red Deer MAG(january 12) 2:00 pm - (march 22) 5:00 pm mst Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery Address: 4525 - 47A Avenue, Red Deer

sun02feb(feb 2)7:00 pmsun15mar(mar 15)8:00 pm7:00 pm - (march 15) 8:00 pm Festival Hall, 4214 58 St, Red Deer, AB Event Organized By: Country Pride Dance Club

fri28febsun01mar54th Annual Sport & Outdoor Show4:00 pm - (march 1) 9:00 pm

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