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Red Deer DBA announces Entertainment District events

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4 minute read

With great enthusiasm and anticipation, the Downtown Business Association (DBA) is thrilled to share some exciting updates and plans for the future! After careful consideration and a deep understanding of our community’s needs, we are here to announce our latest developments.

Firstly, while we understand the disappointment caused by the cancellation of the upcoming season of the Downtown Saturday Market, we want to assure you that this decision was made with the utmost care and consideration. Our valued vendors and attendees have shown incredible support and enthusiasm for this new venture, and for that, we are truly grateful.

Though we faced time constraints and logistical challenges that hindered our ability to organize the event effectively, we have not lost sight of our mission to bring joy and entertainment to the community. Our plans for the Wednesday Market remain unchanged and we are are thrilled to inform you that the music programming meant for Saturday market entertainment will continue to thrive!

Every Saturday from 2-4pm, the public patio will come alive with soul-stirring performances from amazing artists from all over Central Alberta and beyond. Best of all, this event is free and open to the public, inviting everyone to share in the magic of live music. This will be in addition to the regularly scheduled Tuesday – Friday Programming, with an extra special open mic night every Thursday evening. Friday’s will take it up a notch with business-led events that will make your evenings truly unforgettable.

We have an incredible lineup of events and activities planned for this summer to enhance your enjoyment of the Ross Street Patio, day and night. To stay up-to-date with all the showtimes and artist line-ups, we encourage you to follow us on our social media channels.

In addition, our Host-It! Program offers community partners the opportunity to use the stage every Saturday throughout the summer. Imagine the possibilities—music, theatre, art galleries, and so much more. We are committed to providing a platform for diverse activities that will invigorate the heart of our downtown. And let’s not forget the festivals! The Downtown Business Association is proud to support several upcoming festivals on Ross Street and nearby this summer. These celebrations will infuse the area with a joyful and festive atmosphere, attracting thousands of visitors to revel in the excitement. After immersing yourself in these vibrant events, the Ross Street Patio will be the perfect spot to unwind and savor a refreshing beverage.

Our little Entertainment District has flourished, and we couldn’t be prouder. The first full summer season with this new bylaw in place promises to be an absolute triumph, as we are still the only Entertainment District in Alberta.

Looking ahead, the DBA remains dedicated to fostering a vibrant and thriving downtown. We are already hard at work planning an afternoon market for next year based on valuable community feedback. This revised schedule will provide vendors with greater flexibility and the opportunity to participate in other morning markets. We are committed to announcing and implementing these efforts earlier, ensuring that vendors have ample time to plan their seasons accordingly.

Together, as a united community, we will continue to create successful opportunities for all. Let’s embrace the vibrant future that awaits us and build a downtown that will inspire and uplift us all.

 

The Downtown Business Association is the champion for Red Deer's Downtown businesses. We serve approximately 500 businesses and property owners in Downtown Red Deer, Alberta.

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Red Deer

Expelled member of Red Deer Catholic School Board will have judicial reviews heard May 1-3

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News release from The Democracy Fund

TDF and James Kitchen Defend School Board Trustee Monique LaGrange

Briefs were filed in Monique LaGrange’s case on the week of April 8, 2024.


RED DEER: The Democracy Fund (TDF) has partnered with lawyer James Kitchen to represent former school board trustee Monique LaGrange as she takes The Board of Trustees of Red Deer Catholic Separate School Division to court for kicking her off the Board because they took offence to one of Ms. LaGrange’s social media posts.

Mr. Kitchen filed two applications for judicial review in December 2023, challenging the Board’s decisions to penalize Mrs. LaGrange and disqualify her from sitting on the Board. Mr. Kitchen has now filed his briefs, which lay out in detail how the Board’s decisions are procedurally unfair and unreasonable and should be overturned by the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta.

The two judicial reviews will be heard virtually by a Red Deer judge over the course of a three-day hearing on May 1-3, 2024, starting at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, May 1. Members of the public are encouraged to attend by accessing this link.

In Alberta, judicial reviews are heard on the basis of a record of documents compiled and submitted to the Court by the decision-maker, which is supposed to include everything presented to the decision-maker at the time the decision was made. In this case, Mrs. LaGrange had submitted to the Board 33 pages of emails and letters from Albertans who supported her. At first, the Board failed to provide these supportive emails and letters to the Court, but that changed when Mr. Kitchen filed an application to compel the Board to do so. Redacted versions of these emails and letters, which are also quoted at length in the briefs, can be viewed here, starting at page 113 of 169.

Mrs. LaGrange was democratically elected to the Board in 2021. Despite this, the Board expelled her because she allegedly failed to comply with sanctions imposed on her by the Board in September 2023 for posting a meme to her Facebook account that some people found offensive. The impugned meme depicted two side-by-side photographs, one of children holding swastika flags and the other of children holding pride progress flags. The meme, which drew much support but also some disapprobation from the community, included a caption stating, “Brainwashing is brainwashing.”

The Board asked Mrs. LaGrange to apologize for the meme, which she declined to do because she believed she had done nothing wrong. In speaking to the Western Standard, Mrs. LaGrange stated, “I was elected to stand up and protect our children, and that is what I am doing.” Among other things, the Board, on September 26, 2023, ordered LaGrange to undergo sensitivity training at her own expense for allegedly breaching their code of conduct by posting the meme and to refrain from making public comments about sexual minorities in her official capacity as a Trustee.

The Board subsequently alleged Mrs. LaGrange had breached some of these sanctions and voted to disqualify Mrs. LaGrange as a trustee.

TDF and lawyer James Kitchen have chosen to defend Mrs. LaGrange to defend the free speech rights of all Canadians, especially in the context of statements made by democratically elected representatives.

To support Mrs. LaGrange, please consider making a tax-deductible donation on this page.

About The Democracy Fund:

Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education, and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education and supports access to justice initiatives for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.

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Business

Red Deer District Chamber responds to Federal Budget

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From the Red Deer District Chamber of Commerce

The Red Deer and District Chamber has reviewed the federal budget and despite a few bright spots,
there are no efforts to boost productivity and innovation in the country which is sorely needed for
economic growth.

Scott Robinson CEO for the Red Deer District Chamber commented, “The budget’s tagline is “Fair-
ness for every generation”; however, it is unlikely that the spending will improve conditions and continuing to increase taxes and spending will simply add to the inflation and GDP stagnation that
we are facing, as public debt reaches record highs”

Highlights include:

• Carbon tax rebates are finally being introduced for small businesses (499 or fewer employees), with approximately 600,000 firms eligible for a share of $2.5 billion. Consumers began receiving these rebates over five years ago and now small businesses will finally see the return of some of the tax dollars collected through the carbon price’s fuel charge.

• A framework for open banking will allow consumers to easily access financial data across institutions, apps, and services. Specifics will be forthcoming before the end of 2024, but this could result in business opportunities and choices for consumers.

• The targeted 3.87 million net new homes by 2031 is a step toward combatting the housing crisis experienced in Red Deer and across the country. However, our city has yet to be successful in securing funding support through the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s (CHMC) Housing Accelerator Program, despite being the 56th most populated city in the country and a vacancy rate of 0.8 percent for 2023. We are hopeful to see additional federal investment in our city and have identified recommendations to all levels of government in the Chamber’s Homelessness Task Force Report.

Areas of particular concern:

• Increasing the capital gains tax through reducing exemptions is estimated by the federal government to bring in $20 billion in additional revenue over the next five years. The Red Deer Chamber of Commerce opposes increased taxation, especially when this represents an additional tax on already taxed income. This plan will likely result in decreased investment within the country.

• Deficits of $39.8 billion are projected for 2024-2025. The government also plans to spend $54.1 billion on debt servicing, with no plans at all to decrease total public debt. This amount equates to $2 billion more than is allocated to healthcare ($52.1 billion).

• $53 billion in new spending has been identified over the next five years. This continued spending and increasing debt will negatively impact investment and will continue to increase taxes for all.

“The federal government’s 2024 budget was an opportunity to enhance economic growth and set the country on a new path, toward prosperity and investment indicated Chamber CEO Scott Robinson. “In our view the initiatives suggested by the federal government will not benefit Red Deer and district, or indeed much of the country”. The Federal Budget presented by the Government yesterday just solidify how important it is for Chambers across Canada to advocate for economic growth, innovation, and productivity policies our country needs”.

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