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Opinion

Red Deer’s population grew by 195 since 2015

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red deer city hall

2019 RED DEER MUNICIPAL CENSUS = 101,002

2016 RED DEER MUNICIPAL CENSUS= 99,832

2015 RED DEER MUNICIPAL CENSUS= 100,807

In the four years since 2015 Red Deer has grown by 195 residents or less than 0.2% in 4 years.

Timberlands grew from 1834 residents in 2015 to 3038 residents in 2019 or 1204 residents, for a growth of about 66% so where did we lose all our residents? Let us look at the neighbourhoods north of the river.

Residents living north of the river in 2015=32,005, 2016=31,228 and finally 2019= 30,576 for a total decline of 1,429 residents.

Let us break it down;

……YEAR………..2019.…………….2016.……………..2015

Kentwood-………….4235.……………4267.……………..4299

Glendale………..….4284.……………4288.……………..4430

Normandeau……….3275.……………3530.……………..3603

Pines……………..…1725.……………..1718.……………..1851

Highland Green……3896.…………….3920.……………4065

Oriole Park…………5200.…………..…5244.…………….5300

Riverside Meadows..3423.…………….3686.…………….3810

Fairview…………….733.………………710.……………..761

Johnstone…………..3805.……………..3865.…………….3886

Total……………….30,576.…………31,228.……………32,005

So it looks like we just relocated residents from north of the river to new subdivisions like Timberlands. In an age where we are trying to limit our footprint Red Deer expanded our footprint faster than our population growth demanded. New neighbourhoods require infrastructure ($), schools ($), sewers ($), water ($), roads ($), transit ($) etc.

30,000 plus people live north of the river down from 32,000 plus 4 years ago, but still a large community. I wrote about this very topic in 2016 and was given the brush off by many in city hall. One city councillor suggested that I have more children to populate the north side.

The issue was not taken seriously in 2016 and again in 2019.

I wrote that Lethbridge would overtake us and become the 3rd largest city in Alberta, and they did.

I dove deeper to see what was happening in local neighbourhoods and found that the north side of the river is being decimated and annexing or new neighbourhoods are fuelling our growth.

People keep telling me it is the provincial economy that is preventing growth. Lacombe grew by 7% last year, Blackfalds has seen record growth, Penhold, Sylvan Lake and the county grew in the same province, so I discount that theory.

My thinking is perhaps more closer to home. The other communities invested in their residents. New recreation complexes that required per capita investments that dwarf Red Deer’s by huge margins, up to 100s of percents.

Red Deer has neglected the residents north of the river. For every dollar they spend north of the river they spend 20 south of the river. No high school north of the river with 4 current and 2 planned, south of the river.

If the city could just bring their culture from 1980 to 2020 then maybe we will not lose so many residents from north of the river. It is time to stop neglecting the residents living north of the river.

Start investing in substantial recreational facilities north of the river after years of building so many south of the river. Build the next aquatic centre north of the river, build the next school, especially high school north of the river.

For the whole city the powers that be need to wake up, and invest in it’s residents. It has been said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It is time to wake up, what the powers that be have been doing has not worked, the census proves it, it is time to do things differently.

No I am not having more children, councillor.

Political editor/writer and retired oilfield supervisor

Community

The Little Red

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Title The Little Red

The Little Red by Tim Lasiuta

From time immemorial, the creek has flowed.

Its life blood, the swiftly flowing stream that has ebbed and surged has both moved and has been moved through the gently hilled landscape.

Around it, the land has been home to natives and immigrants for at least 12,000 years and possibly as long as 20,000 years.   Migrating bands of natives had called this area home, using the rich resources of animal life and water supply to feed their people.  Summer camps, winter camps and elk/buffalo pounds all lie beneath what we now call Red Deer.

“…If Shakespeare were here, he might write sonnets…”

Cree legends speak of the Great Spirit and what we now call the Medicine Hills noting events we deem to be 12,000 years ago.

With the arrival of immigrant settlers and the exploration of Central Alberta by Thompson and others, the dwindling supply of buffalo and the breaking of traditional land into settler lots the wandering creek still brought life but now became a symbol of a burgeoning settlement.

Mankind has traditionally settled near water, and the hamlet and later town, and city of Red Deer did the same.  What was once viewed as a source of life was now a feature to be seen as an anchor to the wild beauty of the area.  Like the elders of the native tribes before him, Kerry Wood fought for the natural areas in his beloved community and his hand is obvious for those who look.

Creek and forest

We, as present citizens of the city of Red Deer, cannot ignore the legacy that the ‘keepers of the land’ left behind.

Pre-contact natives looked on this land as far as the eye could see and deemed it a blessing from the Great Spirit.  Great chiefs looked on this land as their charge, and considered it a responsibility to protect the land.

Farmers look on their land as their responsibility to keep and protect for future generations.

Modern day urban and real estate planners look on priceless natural areas as part of urban development with an eye to profit than to protection.

Once upon a summer day, I wandered through the Bower area and I discovered a treasure.

Turning  a corner into the east side of the green area by Bower Mall, the beauty of the wandering creek overwhelmed me.  The summer day sun just magnified the greatness of the area.  Birds sang songs to each other and the silence that encompassed the aerial arias was magnificent.  The sheer experience of the time was priceless.

All around me the might trees swayed in a slight breeze and the warm air flowed around me.  Looking north, south and east the hand of our Creator was obvious.  True beauty cannot be bought, engineered, nor constructed by human hands.

Such is the heart of the jewel that is Red Deers natural areas.

This area, as seen in the photos cannot be replaced by a bridge, walkway, or overpass.  In fact, the beauty of the area will be lost forever.

It is not hard to imagine that centuries ago young braves and their families set camp beside the creek and enjoyed life.  If you could listen to the past, you might hear sounds of campfire conversations, drum circles, singing and laughing.

More importantly, they, like modern citizens today, and myself on this day, knew this was a special place that perhaps was sacred for some and just a place of rest for others.

If Samuel Taylor Coleridge were here, he might compose Xanadu.

If Shakespeare were here, he might write sonnets.

If the Sons of the Pioneers were here with instruments, they might compose a haunting song like “Blue Prairie,” or “The Touch of Gods Hand.”

An artist might paint a moving memory.

Young lovers from all eras might declare their everlasting love to each other.

Yet, we, as a city, are considering its desecration.

Today, it is a reminder that we cannot and should not consider turning this priceless area into a traffic zone.

We should never, ever forget that our responsibilities to shepherding and managing the land must consider environment over people every time.

Take a moment, look at these pictures and ponder…..Bridge or beauty….

Tim Lasiuta is a local writer with interests in history preservation, from environmental to pre-contact native archaeology, faith and telling stories that matter in Central Alberta.  His work has appeared in Canadian Cowboy Country, True West Magazine, Mad Magazine, Alberta Venture, in published anthologies and Comic Buyers Guide.

You can contact Tim at timlasiuta@hotmail.com.

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Alberta

Premier Kenney wants to share this video with the nation: A message from BC MLA Ellis Ross

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Ellis Ross is the B.C. Liberal MLA for Skeena and was chief councillor for the Haisla First Nation from 2013 to 2017.

(This was pulled from a facebook post submitted by Premier Jason Kenney)

Former Haisla chief councillor, now BC MLA Ellis Ross nails it in the article below

“Professional protesters and well-funded NGOs have merely seized the opportunity to divide our communities for their own gains, and ultimately will leave us penniless when they suddenly leave.”

Read it here: http://bit.ly/2OR2yAX

 

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february, 2020

sun12jan(jan 12)2:00 pmsun22mar(mar 22)5:00 pmAnne Frank: A History for Today opening at Red Deer MAG(january 12) 2:00 pm - (march 22) 5:00 pm mst Red Deer Museum & Art Gallery Address: 4525 - 47A Avenue, Red Deer

sun02feb(feb 2)7:00 pmsun15mar(mar 15)8:00 pm7:00 pm - (march 15) 8:00 pm Festival Hall, 4214 58 St, Red Deer, AB Event Organized By: Country Pride Dance Club

tue25feb5:30 pm7:30 pmDiabetes Discussion Drop InLearn about Type 2 diabetes5:30 pm - 7:30 pm

wed26feb7:30 pm11:00 pmCeltic Illusiion7:30 pm - 11:00 pm

thu27feb5:30 pm7:00 pmMonthly Mindfulness Drop-In5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

fri28febsun01mar54th Annual Sport & Outdoor Show4:00 pm - (march 1) 9:00 pm

fri28feb6:00 pm11:00 pmFriday Family DanceFamily Dance6:00 pm - 11:00 pm

fri28feb7:00 pm11:00 pmBattle of the Bands for Crime Prevention7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Burgundy's Food & Stage, 5008 48 ST Event Organized By: The Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre

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