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Red Deer is still fighting and losing the fight of 1900s. Is it time for a change?

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5 minute read

Perhaps it is time to let go of the past. It is time to embrace, and capitalize on the present and possibly the future.

The Federal Finance Minister stepped down, and it was time. He accomplished some great things during his term, but it was time. The new Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland did not come from Bay Street, but she has proven herself more than capable of dealing in trade with other levels of government.

The market may tremble in the immediate future but the market will grow and prosper under this new minister. No one is irreplaceable, nobody is the only one, needed for any time but sometimes the old “ONE” may be past their due date. As shown, in this situation.

Alberta, experimented with change, but did not get past the “Good Old Days”, mantra. There was no miracle in the oil patch so they returned to humming the old tunes and hoped for the best.

Individually, Albertans know the “good old days” are gone, but there is always that slim chance.  With this pandemic, uncertainty abounds.

The past actions are not working in today’s world before the pandemic and have proven disastrous afterwards.

In the past few years, towns and cities in Alberta have changed. Some invested in themselves and maintained growth. Blackfalds is a prime example. Some cities withdrew into their shells and saw their population stagnate or decline. Red Deer unfortunately falls into this category.

Even Red Deer County, and towns like Blackfalds, took advantage of low prices, low interest rates, and high unemployment and expanded their infrastructure and maintained growth. City of Red Deer hunkered down and saw stagnation and decline.

The city is trying to change in small ways like allowing offices to open in areas beyond the downtown. In large ways they are not changing.

The city continues to let developers lead them around. One example, the developers present their neighbourhood plans and get city’s approval but they will then ask for relaxations on 80% of the lots that they designed. Developers need to make money now, and are not at all concerned about the city’s future needs. The city’s elected representatives should be, but are they? Developers are building new homes faster than population growth causing our homes to depreciate. Developers make money at tax payers and home owner’s expense.

The city continues to compartmentalize the city. NIMBY projects go north of the river. All desired projects go south of the river. Downtown is the life of the city even if police officers warn people about going downtown. Industry goes into the north-west part of the city. Residential amenities, those go into the east. The city talks about having 25,000 new residents north of Hwy 11a. Yet no high school and no swimming pools for 25,000 residents are planned.

red deer city hall

The city of Red Deer has fallen into stagnation and decline. Lethbridge with its growth ideology has overtaken the city of Red Deer to become Alberta’s third largest city.

I mean when a city can take a man-made slough and turn it into a well-known tourist attraction, while we turn a natural lake into a residential neighbourhood, is it any wonder?

I think it is time for Red Deer to stop being a spectator, or sitting in the waiting room, and step up to the plate. Let us start investing in ourselves, leave options open for future councils, become attractive to new businesses besides oil and gas, attractive to young families, attractive to entrepreneurs and attractive to tourists and attractive to ourselves.

The old ways are not working. The old ideology is failing us. Perhaps there are those who need to step aside, even if they have achieved wonders before, and let new ideas emerge. No one is irreplaceable.

The world changed, did we? I’m just asking.

Political editor/writer and retired oilfield supervisor

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Southside Dodge donates new van to Ronald McDonald House

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Matt Swainson (Vice President & General Manager, Southside Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram) -left , Lori Rechlo (General Manager, Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta – Red Deer House) – right

Submitted by Sarah Heibein, Stakeholder Relations Manager, Central Alberta Ronald McDonald House

We’ve received a donation of use of a Dodge Caravan from Southside Dodge- they’ve been an incredible support of us over the years.  Attached is the photo we took at the dealership when we picked up the keys on Friday.

Ronald McDonald House Charities Alberta, Red Deer House is truly grateful to Matt Swainson and his entire team at Southside Dodge for their steadfast support of our work to keep families together during the unimaginable hardship of the need to travel for medical treatment for their sick or injured child. Our House is not a nice to have, but a need to have, and we are honoured to work with such an amazing community partner in Southside. The use of the 2021 Dodge Caravan will help us to keep our operating costs down so that we can focus on our work to keep families close.

We have operated in the city for over 8 years, ensuring there is a safe and comfortable place for families to rest while they focus on the recovery of their child(ren).

We are grateful to everyone in Red Deer who supports us!  😊

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Smiles Thru Lindsey reaching out with a new video message and urging Albertans to look out for each other at this challenging time

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The holiday season is well behind us, we’re heading into the coldest part of the winter, and although the days are starting to grow longer there’s still a definite lack of daylight in our lives.  The winter blues are a real thing and this year we have COVID, a whole new serious problem to add to our mental health issues.

COVID is also the reason the Smiles Thru Lindsey team has not been able do public events for many months.  Unable to reach out physically through school visits and fund raisers, Smiles Thru Lindsey is reminding Central Albertans to check in on each other.  Also, please follow the Smiles Thru Lindsey Facebook page .  They’ll lead you to the resources you or your loved ones need right away.

Meet Lindsey and the Smiles Thru Lindsey team in this powerful video.  …And remember to check in on the people in your life.

If you’d like to help Smiles Thru Lindsey with a donation please click here.

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