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City of Red Deer

Molly Banister Drive extension remains a possibility as City Council shelves development plans for creek-side lots

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From the City of Red Deer

Molly Banister Drive extension to remain in plans

On September 10, Council gave first reading to a report regarding the future of Molly Banister Drive extension. The administrative report recommended removal of the protected alignment from the development plans, meaning the roadway would come out of the plans, and development of the area could continue without holding space for this road to be developed at some point in the future.

Tonight, Council heard from 31 people who spoke either for or against the protection of the road alignment at a public hearing. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, residents voiced their opinions either at an offsite location via video to Council, or over the phone.

Following the public hearing, and consideration of the written statements received, Council began deliberations in consideration of second and third reading of the amendment.

Currently, The City’s statutory plans show the protected alignment as a four lane undivided arterial road, similar to 22 Street between 30 Avenue and 40 Avenue, bisecting Piper Creek. Tonight, Council voted against removing the protected alignment, which keeps this potential road as an option to accommodate traffic in the city’s southeast when the population of Red Deer is about 188,000 people.

The Molly Banister Drive alignment was projected to be required when the population of Red Deer reaches 188,000, which is estimated to be in about 34 years, in 2054.

“The discussion of whether or not Molly Banister Drive should be extended has been a recurring topic for many years,” said Deputy Mayor Michael Dawe. “The Molly Banister Drive extension was first shown in City planning and transportation documents in the 1970’s, and after considering input from the many residents who joined us tonight or submitted feedback in advance, Council decided not to proceed with second and third reading, which keeps the protected alignment in development plans.”

In the fall of 2019, The City received an application to amend two development plans in the East Hill area. Melcor, the developer of the area, requested that the Municipal Development Plan (MDP) and the East Hill Major Area Structure Plan (MASP) be amended by removing the Molly Banister Drive protected roadway alignment (extension of Molly Banister Drive to 40 Avenue) from the plans.

More information can be found at www.reddeer.ca/mollybanister.

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City of Red Deer

Councillor Buck Buchanan facing sanctions after Mayor Veer submits complaint

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Code of Conduct investigation closes with sanctions for Councillor Buchanan

Following an independent investigation stemming from a complaint received by City Council on April 15, 2021, Councillor Buck Buchanan faces sanctions for breaching Red Deer City Council’s Code of Conduct Bylaw. By a majority vote on July 26, 2021, Council accepted the findings in the investigator’s report, which conclude that Councillor Buchanan breached three sections of the Code of Conduct Bylaw.

All municipalities in Alberta are required by the Municipal Government Act (MGA) to have a Code of Conduct Bylaw that sets shared expectations for conduct or behaviour. The bylaw outlines how members should conduct themselves while carrying out their responsibilities and establishes a review and investigation process when a complaint is received. The City of Red Deer passed its Code of Conduct Bylaw (2608-2018) on July 23, 2018.

The formal Code of Conduct complaint (C-01-2021), submitted by Mayor Tara Veer in response to public and staff complaints, alleges that Councillor Buchanan breached the bylaw through his social media activity in January 2021 and prior actions, causing City Council to lose leadership credibility and frustrating The City’s pandemic response efforts.

After a review committee of three Council members initially reviewed the complaint, and by majority vote determined that it should proceed to formal investigation, SAGE Analytics Inc. was hired to investigate and report back to City Council.

SAGE is a municipal consulting firm with expertise in governance evaluation, dispute resolution, and council code of conduct complaint investigations. SAGE utilized a process that included interviews and follow-up with both parties, witness interviews, a review of related correspondence received by The City, document review, analysis and report writing.

With the investigation complete, the findings conclude that Councillor Buchanan breached three sections in the Council Code of Conduct Bylaw:

  • 7.1, which states “members shall uphold the law established by the Parliament of Canada and the Legislature of Alberta and the bylaws, policies and procedures adopted by Council.”
  • 7.2, which states “members shall respect the Municipality as an institution, its bylaws, policies and procedures and shall encourage public respect for the Municipality, its bylaws, policies and procedures” and
  • 4.1(d), which states, City Council must “arrange their private affairs and conduct themselves in a manner that promotes public confidence.”

According to the findings, a social media post made by Councillor Buchanan in January 2021, combined with his prior actions, amounted to a breach of the bylaw. SAGE determined these actions were disrespectful to the local pandemic response efforts and increased a division in the community between individuals in favour of and opposed to health restrictions. SAGE’s report finds that through Councillor Buchanan’s actions, The City’s reputation was damaged, and The City’s pandemic response efforts were negatively impacted. They also determined he demonstrated a pattern of conduct where he made negative comments that did not promote public confidence in The City’s pandemic response efforts.

Having accepted that Councillor Buchanan contravened three sections of the Bylaw, Council considered the sanctions recommended by SAGE and ultimately resolved by majority vote to require that Councillor Buchanan:

  • Issue a public apology to Red Deer residents, businesses, staff, and Council for his actions and social media post on January 27, 2021, which caused increased confusion and division in the community during a time of crisis; and that this apology be provided to the satisfaction of Council, during a public portion of a Council meeting.
  • Arrange an in-person meeting with the AHS Central Zone Medical Director, or designate to offer a personal apology to Alberta Health Services for any harm caused by his public comments during the pandemic response.
  • Be suspended from all Council committees and all Deputy Mayor rotation duties until sincere apologies are provided.
  • Complete social media training hired and paid for by The City of Red Deer that aligns with typical media training for City staff.

The investigation is considered complete. Councillor Buchanan continues to serve as Red Deer City Councillor.

This is the first formal Code of Conduct complaint received by The City of Red Deer.

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City of Red Deer

Keep cool with the firefighters this Thursday!

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Pop-up Spray Parks

Members of Red Deer Emergency Services, RCMP and Municipal Enforcement blasted the hoses to keep you cool Thursdays in July and August.

Pop-up spray parks are popping up across Red Deer this summer. Beat the heat with Red Deer Emergency Services, Municipal Policing Services and RCMP in a neighbourhood near you.

Participants are reminded to not attend if they are feeling unwell or are currently required to quarantine.

Thursdays from 6:30 – 8 p.m.

Date Location Address
July 22 Highland Green Community Centre 65 Halladay Avenue
July 29 Deer Park Community Association 181 Dowler Street
August 5 To Be Confirmed —–
August 12 Riverside Meadows Community Centre 6021 57 Avenue
August 19 Joseph Welsh Elementary School 4401 37 Avenue

*Events are weather dependent.

 

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july, 2021

thu15jul(jul 15)6:30 pmthu19aug(aug 19)6:30 pmPop-up Spray Parks6:30 pm - (august 19) 6:30 pm

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