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Red Deer sees the glass as half empty while Blackfalds and the County see it as half full.


4 minute read

The opinions expressed are those of the author.

The city dealt with a 10 year capital budget recently and what came out of it was a news article about not building a swimming pool. The gist of it is that if the city wins a lottery they will build a pool.

The city says it needs to win the Provincial Government lottery or the Federal Government lottery in order to build an Aquatic Centre that could cost a $1,000 per resident of Red Deer.

Let us revisit a spending article 4 months ago about Canada’s fastest growing community with a population over 5,000.

July 3 2019, and the town of Blackfalds announced they are expediting moving forward on twinning their Multi-Plex to the tune of $15 million, and $5 million to expand their library. This is only a few years after opening their $15 million Abbey Centre.

Blackfalds moved construction up a few years to avail themselves of economic savings. Construction costs are down while the industry has slowed and the residents will save money.

Granted it is still $2,000 per resident as Blackfalds only has 10,000 +/- residents.

The city of Red Deer is delaying discussing building an Aquatic Centre, 18 years after opening the Collicutt Centre.

Blackfalds, population of 10,400 will spend $1,500 per person twinning their multi-plex just a few short years after spending $2,000 per person on the Abbey Centre. $500 per resident on the library.

In just a few years Blackfalds is committing about $4,000 per resident on recreational facilities.

A story this past week, Bentley Alberta, population 1,078 recently opened a playground at a cost of $500 per resident. Fundraising and community support helped.

These are communities investing in themselves with councils that see solutions instead of problems.

The city says it is broke, after building new ice rinks, subsidizing ice rinks and will be paying for many years to come. The Harris rink will see million dollar payments for another 7 years or so from the city taxpayers. Keeping our debt levels up there.

Blackfalds built the Abbey Centre a few years ago, but at least 10 years after Red Deer built their last complex, Collicutt Centre, at a cost to Blackfalds, of about $2,000 per resident yet they are back in the game, now.

Sylvan Lake is investing in recreational infrastructure, the county is building. Due to tenders coming in 50% and lower real estate costs.

The County, Blackfalds, Sylvan Lake, and Penhold are seeing the glass as half full while our council sees the glass as half empty.

When ever you watch a documentary of a success story there is always the negative fearful book keeper trying to keep things status quo. Is there a documentary out there about book keepers seeing a half full glass? I don’t know.

I think that our city council is sated with book keepers and sorely lacking of much needed visionary leadership.

The terms to describe this council appears to be “Caretaker” and “Interim”. The feeling is this council is between generations, maintaining the status quo, until the next “Growth” or “Next Generation” council comes in.

Perhaps it is time for the next generation, open to new ideas and new processes open to more risk and investing in infrastructure that benefits all citizens of Red Deer. Just saying.



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The Grand Opening is TODAY!

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A Day Filled With Hope – Years in the Making!
For years the CACAC has been walking hand-in-hand with many different partners, community members, donors, policy makers, and leaders in research and advocacy towards this moment.The Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence now stands in the heart of Central Alberta, the first Centre of its kind in North America, creating space for different strategic partners to operate alongside one another in the best interest of children, youths, and families who have experienced any form of abuse.

Now, during this momentous chapter in our history, we invite you to join us for the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence. 

We’re excited to welcome you and your family to the Grand Opening of the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence today!

Today’s events are family friendly, and there’s something for everyone!

From Noon to 5:00PM the public is welcome to come and see everything the building has to offer at the SKCOE Open House! Staff from every organization from within the SKCOE will be there to answer questions. This is a great opportunity to learn about why this Centre is so important for Central Alberta.

Beginning at 7:00PM, the public is also invited to the formal program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, which is the building immediately North West of us across the parking lot. The formal program will have many messages and presentations from dignitaries, and you can pick up our Champions of Courage pin, which was minted for the Grand Opening only! Following the program there is a ribbon cutting ceremony.

There is a lot to celebrate, so come out and say hi!

When: Thursday, May 16

Where: Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence, and Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Main Campus of Red Deer Polytechnic, Red Deer, AB.

12:00 PM – 5:00 PM – Open House

7:00 PM – Formal Program at the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to follow.

How to get to the Sheldon Kennedy Centre of Excellence

Please note that there will also be parking available at the lot directly North of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

Detailed RDP Parking Map

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Last Day: What would you do with $20,000 Early Bird Prize?

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