Opinion

A good paint and bad engine is an easier sell than a good engine and bad paint.

It is easier to sell a vehicle with a good paint job and a bad drive train than it is to sell a vehicle with a good drive train and a bad paint job. Buyers will over look the blue tinged exhaust but worry about the dime sized rust spot by the rear wheel. Not everyone but I would say the majority.
Sales people and politicians know this. Voters will vote for the fancy platform over the more substantive policy based platform. Former Prime Minister Kim Campbell is known for declaring elections are not the time to discuss policy. Between elections our politicians, generally, are invisible and voters are busy with their lives, so between elections policy is not discussed.
This October 16, we will be having our municipal elections, we will hear much about our downtown, the Riverlands, our trail systems like all the past elections, and we will hear much about the 2019 Winter Games.
The Winter Games is the paint job while our decreasing population is our engine. We will spend $2,000 for every visitor that will visit this city over those 2 weeks, but last year we lost 975 permanent residents. Which is the bigger issue? The city is not doing a census this year, so we will not know if the losses will continue. How much discussion will there be on reversing this trend, or will it all be blamed on the economy?
The five fastest growing cities in Canada are Calgary, Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon and Lethbridge. They are all in western provinces, affected by the same economy, and Lethbridge is almost the same size as Red Deer. So why did they all grow while Red Deer shrank?
Blackfalds, Penhold, Sylvan Lake all grew while Red Deer shrank, but we are not discussing it, because it is the economy.
Let us delve further into Red Deer’s shrinkage. One third of the residents live north of the river and they lost 777 residents while two thirds of the residents live south of the river and they only lost 198 residents. So the north side is shrinking 8 times faster than the south side of the river. You cannot blame this on the provincial economy.
It might have more to do with the city planning for everything being on the south side. No high schools on the north side and 6 for the south side. 1 recreational complex on the north side, (Dawe Centre) and 10 on the south side ( the Downtown Recreation Centre, Michener Aquatic Centre, Downtown Arena, Centrium complex, Collicutt Recreation Centre, Pidherney Curling Centre, Kinex Arena, Kinsmen Community Arenas, Red Deer Curling Centre, and the under-construction Gary W. Harris Centre. The city is also talking about replacing the downtown recreation centre with an expanded 50m pool).
There will be few words or thoughts given to our bad engine and many offered about the winter games paint job.
Reminds me of the Rio Olympic Games, it emphasized the class differences, burden placed on the populace for the benefit of the few, and I did not hear of any mass migrations to Rio after the games. I did hear about the long term debt carried by the forgotten masses. I have no belief that our 2019 Winter Games will be the panacea for our declining population and economy in Red Deer.
Will we discuss the exiting from our downtown, businesses relocating to the county’s Gasoline Alley? No, probably not. because that is too negative while the trails have more positive spins and recognition. Though not because of the actions of our politicians now but from the actions of politicians long forgotten.
I think I see in my mind’s eye a lot of politicians taking note of the paint jobs but I do not see many lifting the hood. I really hope that I will be proven wrong, but if history is anything to go by, I won’t be. Fingers crossed.



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june

wed1mar - 15jul12:00 amjul 15- 11:45 pmPaving Our FuturePaving our Future- Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre Legacy Walkway(march 1) 12:00 am - (july 15) 11:45 pm

mon1may - 20aug6:00 amaug 20- 6:00 pmRed Deer Marlins Summer Swim Club RegistrationNow Accepting Registrations!(may 1) 6:00 am - (august 20) 6:00 pm

tue13jun - 14sepjun 1311:30 amsep 14Live Music On The Ross Street Patio!11:30 am - (september 14) 6:30 pm MST Ross Street Patio

wed14jun - 15sepjun 1411:30 amsep 15Live Music On The Alexander Way Parklet!11:30 am - (september 15) 1:00 pm MST Alexander Way Parklet, (4916 48 Street)

wed14jun - 4octjun 143:30 pmoct 4ATB Financial Downtown Market3:30 pm - (october 4) 6:30 pm MST Little Gaetz Avenue, (4902 Gaetz Ave)

wed14jun - 2augjun 146:00 pmaug 2TRIPLE T -Act/Dance/SingYouth 6 Create Your Own Play!6:00 pm - (august 2) 7:45 pm

sat24jun11:00 am- 4:00 pmSt-John The Baptist Day Celebrations - Red Deer11:00 am - 4:00 pm MST Ecole La Prairie Elementary School, 4810 34 St

sat24jun - 25jun 241:00 pmjun 25Red Deer Arts Council Open Studio Tour 2017Red Deer Arts Council’s Second Open Studio Tour takes public behind closed doors in this two day event!1:00 pm - 4:30 pm (25)

thu29jun8:00 pm- 12:00 amCharlie Jacobson at the Krossing8:00 pm - 12:00 am

fri30junAll DayÉcole Secondaire Notre Dame High School Graduation(All Day: friday)

fri30jun - 1juljun 309:00 pmjul 1- 1:00 amCharlie Jacobson Band at The KrossingJune 30 and July 1 Performances9:00 pm - (july 1) 1:00 am

fri30jun9:00 pm- 12:00 amCharlie Jacobson Band at The KrossingJune 30 and July 1 Performances9:00 pm - 12:00 am

fri30jun - 1juljun 309:00 pmjul 1- 1:00 amCharlie Jacobson Band at The KrossingJune 30 and July 1 Performances9:00 pm - (july 1) 1:00 am

july

sat1julAll DayLacombe High School Graduation(All Day: saturday)

sat1jul11:00 am- 11:30 pmCanada Day Celebration at Bower Ponds150 Celebration11:00 am - 11:30 pm MST Bower Ponds, 4715 Fountain Drive, Red Deer, AlbertaEvent Organized By: Red Deer Cultural Heritage Society

mon3jul - 18augjul 39:00 pmaug 18Summer Camps @ the Red Deer Museum Art Gallery9:00 pm - (august 18) 4:00 am

tue4jul - 7All DayOff the Wall Drama and Improv Camp for Teens12-17 years(All Day)

fri7jul4:00 pm- 9:00 pmFirst Friday Red Deer for all the GalleriesCheck out all the galleries and their newest exhibits.4:00 pm - 9:00 pm

fri7jul5:00 pm- 8:00 pmFirst Fridays Red Deer: Memory Bones - Opening Reception5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

fri7jul6:00 pm- 8:00 pmFirst Friday Red Deer with cottonwoodSky Exhibit in Kiwanis GalleryArtists Theresa Potter and Lorene Runham exhibit6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

mon17jul - 17augjul 179:45 amaug 17Westerner Days Parade 2017!9:45 am - (august 17) 12:00 pm mdt

thu20jul8:00 am- 5:00 pmMS Golf ClassicTHE FUNdraising Tournament!8:00 am - 5:00 pm

sat22jul8:00 am- 12:30 pmMarket at Red Deer8:00 am - 12:30 pm

sat22jul9:00 am- 5:00 pmMake-A-Wish Rope for Hope9:00 am - 5:00 pm

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