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City of Red Deer

Masks now required in all City facilities in Red Deer. City council to vote on remaining public spaces next week.

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From The City of Red Deer

City Council will consider third reading of mandatory Mask Bylaw next Monday

City Council will consider third reading of a mandatory mask bylaw next Monday following tonight’s Special Council meeting. If approved, the bylaw will require face coverings in all indoor public places and public vehicles.

The decision to proceed with first and second reading of a mandatory mask bylaw came after approximately seven hours of debate.

As part of tonight’s council meeting, City Council also approved a bylaw requiring face coverings in all City facilities in Red Deer. The Face Coverings Bylaw in Civic Facilities takes effect immediately with employees and patrons inside any City building, where services are provided to the public, required to wear a face covering unless they are within an office or cubicle. The key exceptions are those with medical conditions, when eating/drinking, when doing heavy labour, to name a few.

In addition, City Council endorsed the following recommendations that state The City of Red Deer will:

  • advocate to the Government of Alberta that COVID-19 related health restrictions be applied at the regional level, if not province wide, in order to ensure greater consistency between proximal municipalities whose citizens are likely to travel to and from such municipalities and interact regularly.
  • advocate to the Government of Alberta to request more timely and responsive communications regarding COVID-19 related data and announcements to municipalities, namely The City of Red Deer, prior to information being shared with the public.
  • update Red Deer City Council on current COVID-19 status in the city of Red Deer; actions being taken to curb community transmission; and, progress on targeted communications within the community.
  • increase communications and engagement with Red Deer citizens, businesses and the community as a whole.

In addition to consideration of a mask bylaw, the resolutions endorsed by City Council today focus on enhanced advocacy and communication with the Province of Alberta as The City works to protect the health and safety of not only Red Deerians, but citizens across the province.

The proposed mask bylaw includes the mandating of mandatory masking in all public places in Red Deer. The draft bylaw does not apply to several groups including children under nine, those who are disabled, and anyone eating/drinking, or engaging in heavy labour or physical fitness activities.

It applies to passengers in public vehicles, like taxis or rides for hire, but not to drivers where there is a barrier installed in the vehicle. Businesses affected by the bylaw are required to display signage. In an amendment to the draft, Council resolved to limit the bylaw’s application to only those public places with a capacity of 15 or more patrons. The fine for not wearing a mask in a public place is $50.

“The resolutions endorsed by City Council today will trigger further provincial advocacy on enhanced communication, and regional/provincial approaches to COVID-19 restrictions. These measures will ensure continuity in our region and across the province as we municipally work to support citizens, businesses and our community as a whole while this pandemic continues to evolve and affect us all,” said City Manager Allan Seabrooke.

For more information about COVID

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Business

City of Red Deer expedites patio process for desperate restaurants

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From the City of Red Deer

City accommodates demand for patios

Summer patios are popping up throughout Red Deer as an extension to seating areas at local restaurants. Following the mandated closure of indoor dining by the Government of Alberta, outdoor patios are one way food and beverage businesses can continue to operate.

“We know local business owners are struggling to adapt to changing restrictions and wanted to find a way to expedite the application process so these businesses see minimal impact to their operations as a result of closure of indoor dining,” said Erin Stuart, Inspections and Licensing Manager. “The health and safety of Red Deerians is of utmost importance, and participating businesses must ensure that public health orders and provincial restrictions continue to be followed.”

Patios installed on private property require a development permit and may require a building permit. In an effort to offer immediate assistance to businesses, The City is modifying these processes to allow for installation of patios prior to permits being issued, following discussions with the Red Deer Chamber of Commerce.

A signed waiver is required by the business owner, allowing for the immediate installation of the patio. The business owner will be responsible for submitting a complete application, including a site plan outlining the location and measurements of the patio and the number of seats, within two weeks of the signed waiver being submitted. The permit will continue to be processed, ensuring safety and legislative requirements are met, and will be valid until September 30, 2021.

For patios within the downtown core, business owners are required to apply for a Seasonal Downtown Patio. Businesses within the downtown core require a boardwalk to be installed around the perimeter of the patio to provide a safe, accessible walkway for pedestrians (this excludes businesses located within Ross Street Patio). The City will build, install, remove and store these boardwalks at no cost to participating businesses.

Interested business owners can visit www.reddeer.ca/seasonalpatios for more information and to begin the application process.

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City of Red Deer

City will identify potential locations for new homeless shelter by early May

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From the City of Red Deer

Council supports interim shelter, directs administration to find alternative location

City Council has resolved to support the continuation of an interim shelter and directed administration to find a new location in collaboration with the Province and service providers.

“We have a responsibility to look after our most vulnerable citizens in a responsible manner, with the interests of the wider community in mind as well,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Without a permanent integrated homeless shelter in place, infrastructure we have been advocating the Province for years to complete, it is no surprise that the public is frustrated, the service providers are frustrated and the vulnerable themselves are frustrated. There are significant consequences in the community for having temporary and insufficient solutions to very complex social challenges, but I am hopeful the preliminary direction Council gave today will help will bridge the gap for vulnerable citizens, the service providers, and our business community and community in general until a more permanent solution can be put into place.”

Within four weeks, administration will bring back options for a new interim shelter location for Council to consider. To ensure the proper processes take place for the relocation, administration will also bring forward a recommendation to extend the operations at the current temporary shelter site at Cannery Row.

“Although we are proceeding with exploration of potential new interim sites, we will most likely need Council to approve an extension of the Cannery Row site until the new location is up and running. When we come back in four weeks, we will bring timing, costs and procedural requirements to make the move to a new site,” said City Manager Allan Seabrooke.

At this time, the Cannery Row site has guaranteed Provincial funding until March 31, 2022. The City will work with the Province and Safe Harbour to secure proper funding for a new temporary location.

“During discussions, Council was made aware of the funding agreement in place, and recognizes there could be financial requirements from The City to move and operate the interim shelter in its new location,” said Seabrooke. “We will gather as much information as possible to allow Council to make an informed decision, including potential operating and capital costs, which will require Council approval.”

“City Council’s resolutions tonight aim to balance the needs of Red Deer’s vulnerable population, surrounding properties and the community as a whole. However, despite our best efforts, Safe Harbour and the Province of Alberta may still select their own site, as long as it is zoned for public service,” said Seabrooke.

The interim shelter is expected to support the community’s vulnerable population until a permanent shelter is operational. On February 7, 2020, the Province committed to $7 million in its 2020 Capital Plan for a purpose built integrated emergency shelter in Red Deer. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Province of Alberta and The City of Red Deer was finalized in February 2021 to establish a general high-level understanding related to the provincially managed project to meet the current and future needs in Red Deer. Specifics about location, timing and operational details have not yet been determined by the provincial government.

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