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It starts this week! Plenty planned for summer season on the Ross Street Patio

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Plans are quickly taking shape for an exciting and entertainment-filled summer season on Red Deer’s Ross Street Patio. Starting this Thursday, April 7, and every Thursday for the rest of the month, the Downtown Business Association is bringing live music to the Ross Street Patio between 4:30 and 7:30 p.m., explained Amanda Gould, the DBA’s executive director.

Jeremy Doody and Dom Benzer are slated to hit the stage April 7, followed by Stephen Scott and Guests on April 14. Kayla Williams brings her engaging musical stylings to the Patio on April 21 and Jay Bowcott and Syd Zadravec round
out the month on April 28.

Gould also noted the next few weeks are still considered to be ‘spring’ programming – not quite the official launch of the patio’s summer programming.

But it certainly promises to be an engaging taste of what is just around the corner.

“It will be great to see people, as the weather warms up, come downtown to explore everything that we have to offer, and then to relax at one of the restaurants on the Patio and enjoy the music,” she said.

Another annual favourite, the Downtown Market, kicks off on Wednesday, May 25. An accredited farmers’ market, folks are invited to come down and purchase all their fresh fruits and veggies between 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday.

“We are also looking forward to more vendors and visitors this year now that the pandemic restrictions have lifted,” she added. Live music on the Ross Street Patio is also a key feature on Wednesdays as well.

“Wednesdays are a very popular day on the Patio because people come downtown, do a bit of shopping, go to the market, and then head to the Patio to have dinner and watch some live music! So, it’s absolutely jumping on Wednesdays – and we are really looking forward to that coming back.

“And based on how busy it was last year during the pandemic, we expect it to be crazy this year,” she said, adding that the Market runs through to the first week of October.

Gould added that Friday, May 27, is the official kick-off to summer on the Ross Street Patio.

“To celebrate, we have partnered with Sawback Brewing to introduce a limited-edition Ross Street Patio beer which is super exciting,” she explained.

“Free samples will be available at 5 p.m. that day (May 27), and there will also be music and other activities, too. The special beer will be available through the summer and will also be featured at several downtown restaurants.

“It just continues to solidify the Ross Street Patio as an entertainment location.”

Looking into June, performances on the Patio will run Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.

Meanwhile, the DBA’s mission is to build an engaged downtown community, develop a downtown brand and to enhance the downtown experience.

And that is indeed a year-long mission.

Over this past winter, programing was featured on the Patio, and it proved to be quite the draw as well – weather permitting of course. “We had ice sculptures which people loved – they were an absolute treat. We also offered a lot of free hot chocolate which also really did attract a lot of people.”

Folks were certainly pleased to have outdoor things to do on the milder days, so the awareness about the year-long appeal of the Patio is building.

“I’m really excited about all this activity on the Ross Street Patio because we are making it a proper entertainment location now, and I think that is really becoming solidified more in people’s minds,” Gould explained, adding that she’s very confident more locals will discover over the coming months all that downtown Red Deer really does have to offer.

“Because of the pandemic, people are feeling desperate to get out and enjoy what is being offered. We are also continuing to work on a brand for the downtown. That should be happening later this year, or the beginning of next year,” she said, adding that is a project happening in partnership with the City.

“I think it will help to promote downtown as a destination, too.”

For more information about all things downtown, visit www.downtownreddeer.com.

Born and raised in Red Deer, Mark Weber is an award-winning freelance writer who is committed to the community. He worked as a reporter for the Red Deer Express for 18 years including six years as co-editor. During that time, he mainly covered arts and entertainment plus a spectrum of areas from city news and health stories to business profiles and human interest features. Mark also spent a year working for the regional publication Town and Country in northern Alberta, along with stints at the Ponoka News and the Stettler Independent. He’s thrilled to be a Todayville contributor, as it allows him many more opportunities to continue to focus on the city and community he not only has a passion for, but calls home as well.

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Economy

Taxpayer watchdog slams Trudeau gov’t for increasing debt ceiling: ‘Put down the credit card’

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From LifeSiteNews

By Anthony Murdoch

Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland authorized an additional $73 billion in borrowing this fiscal year.

After Canadian Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland gave herself and the government the authority to borrow an additional $73 billion this fiscal year, the head of the nation’s leading taxpayer watchdog group said the federal government needs to “put down the credit card” and return to common-sense spending.

Freeland, as per a February 15 cabinet order made under the Financial Administration Act, allowed the extra borrowing to take place.

The government has set “$517 billion to be the maximum aggregate principal amount of money that may be borrowed” before April 1. Before this cabinet order, however, the maximum amount was $444 billion.

Despite Freeland claiming that the increase in borrowing is “in no way a blank cheque,” Canadian Taxpayers Federation federal director Franco Terrazzano said the borrowing needs to end.

“The Trudeau government needs to put down the credit card and pick up some scissors,” Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews.

“The government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.”

In 2021, Canada’s Parliament raised the federal debt borrowing amount by a whopping 56% under the Borrowing Authority Act. The amount went from $1.168 trillion to $1.831 trillion.

“What it does is set a ceiling for how much the government can spend,” Freeland said at the time.

Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that the Trudeau government should be cutting spending and balancing the budget, not racking up more debt for years to come.

Terrazzano observed that in the coming year the Trudeau government will be spending “more money on debt interest charges than it sends to the provinces in health transfers.”

“In a handful of years, every penny collected from the GST (Goods and Service Tax) will go toward paying interest on the debt,” he noted.

Under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, due to excessive COVID money printing, inflation has skyrocketed.

Last month, LifeSiteNews reported that fast-rising food costs in Canada have led to many people feeling a sense of “hopelessness and desperation” with nowhere to turn for help, according to the Canadian government’s own National Advisory Council on Poverty.

Last year, the Bank of Canada acknowledged that Trudeau’s federal “climate change” programs, which have been deemed “extreme” by some provincial leaders, are indeed helping to fuel inflation.

Terrazzano told LifeSiteNews that Trudeau should “completely scrap his carbon tax,” which is making everything more expensive.

Conservatives blast increased debt

Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) MPs have been critical of the raised debt ceiling. “You’re simply saying, ‘Give me a blank cheque and then trust me,’” MP Ed Fast said.

Freeland claimed that the “characterization of the borrowing authority limit as a blank cheque is simply false.”

CPC leader Pierre Poilievre recently asked, “Is there a dollar figure to which she would limit the debt?”

She replied that the government is “mindful that limits exist.”

During a February 13 Senate national finance committee meeting, Budget Officer Yves Giroux noted how Trudeau’s cabinet plans in terms of spending are not clear.

“We don’t know exactly what the government plans on spending or doing in terms of new spending or potential spending,” he said when asked by Senator Elizabeth Marshall if the new borrowing limits are “still realistic.”

Marshall added, “As it stands now, do you think it looks reasonable?”

“It looks sufficient, but the government always wants to give itself some room to maneuver in case there are unforeseen events that require borrowing on short notice,” Giroux replied.

A report from September 5, 2023, by Statistics Canada shows food prices are rising faster than headline inflation at a rate of between 10% and 18% per year.

According to a recent Statistics Canada survey of supermarket prices, Canadians are paying 12% more for carrots, 14% more for hamburger (ground meat), and 27% more for baby formula.

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Alberta

Edmonton triples venture capital investment in 2023

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Alberta’s tech sector continues its strong momentum, with Edmonton seeing its strongest growth ever, proof Alberta remains a hot tech market.

As global and national investment have declined, Alberta has remained a strong tech market and is showing continued leadership, as shown by Pitchbook ranking Calgary as the 12th fastest-growing tech ecosystem in the world and LinkedIn ranking Calgary as one of the best places to hire and recruit tech workers.

At the end of 2023, Alberta’s five-year growth rate for venture capital dollars invested reached an impressive 48.5 per cent, more than triple Canada’s compounded average growth rate of 13 per cent, according to the 2023 Canadian Venture Capital Private Equity Association fourth-quarter report.

The province’s growth rate means Alberta finished 2023 with $707 million invested over 86 deals, in line with Alberta’s 2022 record-breaking year. In contrast, Canada ended the year with a 31 per cent decline in investments. Over the past five years, Alberta technology companies have secured more than $2.7 billion in venture capital funding across 350 deals, creating thousands of jobs for Albertans.

“While Canada as a whole saw massive declines, Alberta has held steady. We are a major venture capital player in Canada, as technology drives growth across all sectors.”

Nate Glubish, Minister of Technology and Innovation

Alberta’s two largest cities continued to attract investment dollars in 2023, with Calgary and Edmonton coming in fourth and fifth respectively for number of deals, with $501 million invested in 64 deals in Calgary and $188 million invested in 21 deals in Edmonton. Edmonton saw a 324 per cent increase from $58 million in 2022 to $188 million in 2023. In total, Alberta captured 10.3 per cent of dollars invested in 2023 and 13 per cent of venture capital deals in Canada.

“Edmonton’s tripling of venture capital investment in 2023 underscores our city’s position as a dynamic tech capital within Alberta’s thriving innovation ecosystem, reaffirming our role as a powerhouse driving technological advancement and economic prosperity across diverse sectors. It is the local innovators’ relentless pursuit of solutions to real-world problems, with the continuing support of the Government of Alberta, which not only attracts significant investment but also propels our city to the forefront of Alberta’s tech revolution and fosters job creation for our community.”

Launa Aspeslet, interim chief executive officer, Edmonton Unlimited

“At Platform Calgary we are working with our partners to continue this momentum by linking up high potential tech startups with the investors that can help them take their businesses to the next level. The evidence is clear, Alberta is emerging as one of the most exciting and resilient tech ecosystems in the world. Together with our growing tech community, we can secure Alberta’s position as the best place in the world for anyone to launch and grow a tech business.”

Terry Rock, president and chief executive officer, Platform Calgary 

Alberta remains a growing market for the technology and innovation sector, and Alberta’s government celebrates its steady contribution to the Alberta economy, including in the fourth quarter of 2023. The end of last year saw venture capital investments in the province increase by 35 per cent for dollars invested and 19 per cent for deals closed compared with the third quarter. There were 25 deals closed valued at a combined $173 million in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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