Connect with us
[bsa_pro_ad_space id=12]


Is it time for the Mayor and City Councillors to roll back their pay?


There will be no raises for exempt staff at city hall this year. No “top up” for cost of living increases, for increased schooling, increased transit, increased property taxes, and all the other increased costs coming down the road.

The staff down at city hall earn a good living and they will most likely not quit over this issue, but the hypocrisy is blaringly obvious.

According to the Red Deer Advocate’s September 4 2019 edition: “The decision to not provide an annual wage adjustment to exempt staff was made in an effort to ensure we are being highly sensitive to our local economic context and financially responsible,” said Mayor Tara Veer.

Where was this effort when the Mayor voted herself a $19,741.49 raise and Councillors Wong, Lee, Buchanan, and Johnston voted in favor of giving councillors a $8,151.72 raise.

Councillors Wyntjes, Handley, Higham and Dawe voted against this wage increase, last November.

Maybe it is time for Mayor Veer or Councillors Wong, Lee, Buchanan or Johnston to show real concern and table a motion to roll their wage back 5% like the Premier and MLAs did. Remember all those provincial government employees who had their wages rolled back a few years ago?

This is a blog I wrote the evening the Mayor and City councillors voted themselves a raise.




A “PAY RAISE” by any other name is still a “PAY RAISE“.

The Mayor and city council just voted themselves an 18% and 14% pay increase to offset a federal subsidy they enjoyed, unlike the normal taxpayers.

On March 22, 2017 the federal government tabled a budget that would eliminate the 1/3 tax free subsidy to politicians on January 1, 2019.

On October 16, 2017 we had a municipal election where we re-elected Mayor Veer and Councillors Lee, Johnson, Wong, Handley, Wyntjes, and Buchanan. We also elected newcomers Higham and Dawe as councillors.

My point is that they ran, knowing that the subsidy they enjoyed for years would end 14 months after the election. At least Mayor Veer and Councillors Lee, Johnson, Wong,Handley, Wyntjes and Buchanan would have, if not they should have known. Newcomers Councillors Higham and Dawe should have been told by the city.

Good money managers would have prepared for the end of a federal subsidy. We pride ourselves of being more free market and less government hand-out proponents and yet here we are looking for hand outs from the Red Deer taxpayers.

Councillors Higham, Handley and Buchanan wanted to delay this issue and look at the overall compensation package and whether the council position should be deemed a full time position but it failed to pass.

The Mayor broke the tie and voted herself a $19,741.49 pay increase to see her pay rise from $112,198.94 to $131,940.49 because she felt, in my opinion, entitled to her entitlements.

Councillors Lee, Johnson, Buchanan and Wong voted them selves $8,151.72 pay increase to see their pay rise from $60,466.44 to $68,618.16.

Councillors Handley, Wyntjes, Buchanan and Dawe voted against the raise. Councillor Dawe said that we are and will be asking taxpayers for restraint so felt uncomfortable giving himself a raise.

Councillor Handley thought it could better handled on the expense council side of compensation, Councillor Lee worried about receipts, time and money. Talks about transparencies but would it not be more transparent to reimburse receipted expenses than just giving out $8,151.72 and $19,741.49 pay raises?

I know many people who put in long hours for free out of necessity or a sense of duty. I know people who work fulltime and have 2 other jobs and make less than a councillor, yet they cannot vote themselves a raise to cover the extra bills and taxes imposed on them by this municipal government.

I actually thought that this council would not vote themselves a raise even if ten other councils did. What about the hundreds perhaps thousands of village, town, city councils and public, private and separate school boards, across Canada, dealing with this same issue?

When it comes to making tough decisions involving themselves, I know 5 who couldn’t step up to the plate.

Every household will now have to pay $2 a year more to subsidise 9 fairly well off people.

I know they put in a lot of hours, I know they enjoy the job, but there are so many who work even more hours and make a lot less, but they have no cookie jar to reach in to guarantee their net pay. Probably out of a hundred thousand residents you might find a dozen including these 9 lucky ones.

Enjoy your hand outs. Just saying.


Political editor/writer and retired oilfield supervisor


Downtown Business Spotlight: Sunworks Living features high-quality products and expert customer service



For this week’s Business Spotlight, we popped into Sunworks Living, located at #110, 4913 Gaetz Ave in the heart of Downtown Red Deer. Visitors to this unique shop are treated to a shopping experience like no other in Red Deer. The selection of high-quality products and expert customer service allow Sunworks to stand out, and why people keep coming back. We sat down with Kathryn Harris of Sunworks to learn more about this exceptional downtown business.

What is your business?

We are Sunworks Living, quality gifts and local art gallery, we offer a unique shopping experience.

When did your business open?

The business opened May 10th, 1996.

What makes your business unique?

Our focus is on local products, so we try and bring in unique, local but very curated pieces. Some of our works in the store are from a few neighborhoods away, others are from as far away as Quebec. We try to stay as Canadian as we can. We do have an emphasis on staying environmentally friendly so some of our products do come from away, but they are a little more sustainable.

What are some products/services that you offer?

Local is one of the key things for the business. We showcase local art, we build special order pieces with local materials based on customer-specific requests, we are very particular as to what we bring into the store, it must be of a certain quality, not found anywhere else. In-store, we carry housewares, handmade natural soy candles, greeting cards, books, kitchenware, a little bit of everything.

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

When Paul and Terry started Sunworks, Downtown Red Deer was a desolate wasteland. Paul grew up in Calgary and it was very important to him that the downtown be the beating heart of the city. At the time you could virtually hear the slamming of the wooden outhouse door and tumbleweed rolling across the street, but downtown is where they always wanted to put their business. I’ve heard Paul say to Terry,’ we need to do something about the downtown or we need to move’ so, they felt compelled to get involved and felt a call for change. The community has always been very important.

What do you think makes Downtown vibrant?

The people that work here. I can stand outside in front of the store in the sun on a Tuesday afternoon and can greet people as they walk by. I will see businesses across the street, and we give each other ‘the nod’ in greeting. You must acknowledge the people that are here. 

Finish this sentence: I love Downtown Red Deer because…

It’s where I work, where I play and it’s close to home. It’s close to pretty much all homes in Red Deer because it’s the heart of the city. You must go through the downtown to get anywhere anyway so why wouldn’t you stop?

The charm and relaxed atmosphere of this quaint shop make it a pleasure to be in. The perfect gift is easily found with the help of the friendly and highly knowledgeable staff, as the possibilities are endless. Give yourself time to browse, there is a lot to discover!


Make sure to follow Sunworks Living:





LV’s Vinyl Cafe – DBA Business Spotlight

Alberta Art & Drafting Supplies – DBA Business Spotlight

Continue Reading

Central Alberta

Red Deer Woman to be honoured for helping other women through her photographraphy



From the Central Alberta Soroptimist Club

Central Alberta Soroptimist Celebrate International Women’s Day

Soroptimist International of Central Alberta is please to host their International Women’s Day Garden Party on Sunday, March 8 from 2 to 5 pm at the Penhold Memorial Hall in Penhold.  Tickets are $25.00 each and available on Eventbrite.  Our guest speaker will be Councillor Teresa Rilling from the Town of Sylvan Lake.

sylvan lake town councillor

Soroptimist International is a women’s organization that goes to great lengths to promote concerns, challenges and achievements of women everywhere. With the multiple award programs of the organization, deserving women and girls in the community are recognized and honoured.

“We are very pleased this year to present Ashley Jackson with our “Ruby Award: Women helping Women”, said Sherri Smith, of Soroptimist International.  Ashley Jackson Boudoir is a Red Deer portrait studio that focuses on female empowerment.  This award honours a woman that has worked to improve the lives of women and girls through their professional and volunteer work, and Ashley says that sums up her life’s goal in one magical sentence!

The club will also present the first “Live Your Dream Award” to Adra Mckenzie, a single mom of two boys from Lacombe.  She is enrolled at Burman University taking her Bachelors BioMedical Sciences with the intention of one day becoming a pharmacist.  The second “Live Your Dream Award” will be presented to Cheralee von Gunten, a single mom of four from Red Deer.  She is currently enrolled at Athabasca University taking her Bachelor of Arts in English and Bachelor of Arts in Women’s and Gender Studies.  She intents to pursue a career in writing, or in a field that contributes to addressing women’s issues.  The third “Live Your Dream Award” will be presented to Lindsey Steeves, a single mom of two from Eckville.  She is currently enrolled at Grant MacEwan University completing a Correctional Services Diploma.  Her goal is to obtain a career that will allow her to support her children and pursue a career within the Correctional System of Canada.

The Violet Richardson Award (for young girl volunteers) will be presented to Santera Ogles of Blackfalds, a Grade 10 student at Ecole Secondary Lacombe Composite High School.  Her volunteer effort include the Red Deer Regional Hospital, JS McCormisk School and fundraising projects for Safe Harbour.

For more information about the International Women’s Day Garden Party or Soroptimist International, call Sherri Smith at 403-391-7912 (cell) or visit us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Continue Reading

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

tue25feb5:30 pm7:30 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop InLearn about Type 2 diabetes5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

wed26feb7:30 pm11:00 pmCeltic Illusiion7:30 pm - 11:00 pm

thu27feb5:30 pm7:00 pmMonthly Mindfulness Drop-In5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

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

fri28feb6:00 pm11:00 pmFriday Family DanceFamily Dance6:00 pm - 11:00 pm

fri28feb7:00 pm11:00 pmBattle of the Bands for Crime Prevention7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Burgundy's Food & Stage, 5008 48 ST Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre