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Opinion

OPINION: When it comes to pools, we can but we will have to hurry to catch up to Medicine Hat and Lethbridge

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The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the writer and should not be interpreted as reflecting the editorial policy of Todayville, Inc.

There has been a lot of attention given and words written about the proposed aquatic centre with a 50m pool, twinning the Dawe ice rink, developing north of 11a, Hazlett Lake and the time and costs. We should seriously think about doing it as one line item.
The city wants to build the new ice rink and a new pool while at the same time develop about 3,000 acres north of Hwy 11a, including Hazlett Lake.
The city acknowledges that it would be easier and possibly less expensive to build stand alone structures. Land costs would differ.
Let us start with Hazlett Lake.
Remember, Hazlett Lake is a natural lake that covers a surface area of 0.45 km2 (0.17 mi2), has an average depth of 3 meters (10 feet). Hazlett Lake has a total shore line of 4 kilometers (2 miles). It is 108.8 acres in size. Located in the north-west sector of Red Deer. Highly visible to Hwy 11a and the QE2.
Adding in that I have written extensively how Lethbridge’ turned a man made slough into Henderson Lake Park. A premier tourist destination.
Henderson Lake Park is one of Lethbridge’s premier parks featuring a 24 hectare (59.3 acres)man made lake, mature trees and groves, gardens, picnic shelters, playgrounds and over 7 km of trails.
(Red Deer has a natural lake, not man made and it is 108.8 acres compared to 59.3 acres.)
Now I would like to talk about Medicine Hat.
Medicine Hat, population 63,260 has Echo Dale Lake Park.
Echo Dale, the largest of Medicine Hat’s parks, is located a short distance west of Medicine Hat along the South Saskatchewan River. The park has two man-made lakes: one for swimming and one for paddle boating and fishing. Two beach volleyball courts and many picnic spots with fire pits are available. There are also many kilometers of hiking trails through the coulees.
Again another city spending money building man made lakes. Red Deer has a large lake with miles of shoreline laying idle. Medicine Hat’s Echo Dale park is a short distance away, not downtown.
When it comes to 50m pools Lethbridge has the Max Bell Regional Aquatic Centre;
The Max Bell Regional Aquatic Centre opened in 1985 to serve the needs of Southern Alberta resident
Max Bell Pool hosts many of the community’s competitive swim clubs and water sport related clubs in Lethbridge including the LA Swim Club, Masters Swim Club, Lethbridge Synchrobelles, Lethbridge Dive Club, Lethbridge Special Olympics and others
Pool offers: private swim lessons, lifeguard courses & pool rentals for swim groups and birthday parties
Popular venue for special events, swim meets, school group rentals and other community organization requirements
Built at a cost of $5.5 million and named to acknowledge the centre’s major benefactor, the Max Bell Foundation
Facility Features
50-metre training facility featuring several springboards, a 3-metre and 5-metre dive tower and 12.5 x 21 metre hydraulically-operated, movable floor that can be set from zero depth to six feet.
Two electrically driven bulkheads allow up to three major activities to take place at once
Olympic sized Pool has a capacity of 3.5 million litres of water or 760,000 gallons
Adjacent viewing gallery, located on the second level; seats 350
Lethbridge built this Aquatic Centre with a 50m pool and built a man made Henderson Lake. Lethbridge is the 5th fastest growing city in Canada.
Now back to Medicine Hat.
In 2016, Medicine Hat, population 63,260, finished a 30 million dollar upgrade to their Family Leisure Centre.
Preview;
The Family Leisure Center is a place to feel empowered, where one’s social, emotional, mental and physical needs can be met under one roof.
They offer a wide variety of structured and unstructured health and lifestyle opportunities for individuals, families and entire communities to meet, grow, laugh, explore and more. Learn a new skill, make new friends, spend time with the family or find a ‘whole’ new you – the opportunities to play are endless.
Completely accessible, the facility sit on 57 acres and boasts the following amenities:
Kinsmen Aquatic Park, complete with:
50 meter multi-purpose wave pool, lazy river, tot pool, hot tub, variable depth pool
Two spring boards and high dive platform
Steam room; and
“Rip-n-Rattler” water slide
Cenovus Arena – 100′ x 200′ Olympic size ice rink
17,000 square foot Fitness Center, complete with 200 meter indoor running/walking track
Indoor Fieldhouse containing twin multi-sport indoor boarded fields
Multi-purpose/dividable gymnasium capable of accommodating 2 basketball, 4 volleyball or 10 badminton/pickleball courts
Flexible program rooms, team change rooms, meeting rooms, offices, customer service areas, and administration space
A central food services space which is currently licensed to Booster Juice
Outside, you will find:
The Methanex Bowl, a premier (lighted) synthetic turf field for football/soccer/rugby
Three regulation size soccer pitches
Four high quality ball diamonds
A BMX Track
A rubber floor accessible ‘Viking’ playground
Accessible outdoor fitness equipment
The Familiy Leisure Centre is home to the following clubs. Please click on the sites below for more information:
Alberta Marlin Aquatic Club (AMAC & Master’s Swim Club) Masters
Water Polo Information: polo@mhwp.ca (e-mail)
Medicine Hat Skating Club mhskate@telus.net
Medicine Hat Speed Skating Club www.mhssc.ca
Panthers Track Club www.medicinehattrackclub.ca
Sledge Hockey and Wheelchair Basketball.
Commitment to Inclusion
The Family Leisure Centre is accessible to all members of our community, including those with disabilities.
The Lobby, Arena, Gymnasium, Change Rooms, Steam Room and Pool Viewing Area all have level entries.
The Wave Pool and Lazy River can be accessed from a ramped entrance off the pool deck while a portable seated lift provides access to the 50m Pool and Hot Tub.
The Fieldhouse change rooms have level entry while a decline ramp takes you down to field level.
The Fitness Area and Track are just a short elevator ride up to the second level, where you will find specialized equipment that can be adapted to varying levels of ability.

Red Deer has been until recently the 3rd largest city in Alberta, but from procrastination and I may suggest fear they have fallen behind in offering recreational facilities. While other smaller communities are building Aquatic Centres and building man made lakes, we are sitting idle and let vital assets remain unused and under utilized. Should we not join the crowd?
Red Deer should be the destination to go to in Central Alberta. But that would take guts and cash. Do we have what it takes?
I believe so. Just saying.

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City of Red Deer

Goulet-Jones says City’s new Environmental Master Plan means higher taxes and an assault on energy sector

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This opinion piece was submitted by Calvin Goblet-Jones

City Council Unanimously Rejects reason by approving a severely flawed Environmental Master Plan.

I honestly can not believe every councillor voted in favour of this document, I am severely disappointed in our Council Today.
Make no mistake, this document deserves to be put through the shredder.  There are a few good elements of the $150,000 document such as strengthening our inner city forests however the document is nothing more than a glimpse into a future of higher taxes, bans and a continued assault on our energy sector by a council who says they support energy.
Of course the document is full of buzzwords and flowery language but this document rejects the benefits of our local energy sector.  Instead of looking towards cheap natural gas as an energy source they look to failed renewable energy projects that you and I will pay heavily for.  The Document wants to limit Red Deers energy consumption, wants to limit your personal fuel consumption, and wants to ban ban ban.  The document wants to ban wood fires, wants to heavily regulate vehicles, and wants to shift all the vehicles the city owns to be electric which will cost taxpayers heavily.
Quickly, take a look at Action 20, they don’t mention a ban outright but they mention open air burning, wood burning and vehicles as part of their “action plan” it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to interpret what they mean.

Look at Focus Area 1.2.2.3 where they want to limit consumer energy consumption and how they reject our local cheap, economy supporting fossil fuels.

Shame on Council for Unanimously approving this document.
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Opinion

Opinion writer says Trudeau is the future and Scheer is a return to the past

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Henry Ford

This post was contributed by Red Deer blogger Garfield Marks

Faster Horses

In less than 100 days we will be voting federally, either for the “past” or for the “future”, because apparently the “present” is unsatisfactory.
Here in Alberta, we yearn for the good old days when we had big pay cheques, big houses, big trucks, big bikes, big quads, big trailers, big boats and big payments. We worked hard and we played hard.
The world evolved around us, over time, and things changed. Our vehicles went from 350 C.I. and 5 miles per gallon at 50 cents per gallon (4.5 litres) to 3.5L and 50 miles per gallon or 18 kms. per litre at ($1 per litre).
Then the environment started having a mid-life climate crisis and consumers started looking for alternatives. Politicians started playing politics and pipelines did not get built and production began to suffer. Big paycheques shrank.
4 years or so Albertans turfed out the provincial government of the day, because they seemed so out of touch with the needs of Albertans. They voted for the future and things started changing but the big paycheques did not return and even though the future was improving it wasn’t the good old days. A few months ago they turfed out the “new” provincial government and brought back the re-branded “old” government and Albertans have not yet returned to the good old days.
4 years or so Canadians turfed out the federal government of the day because they seemed out of touch with the needs of Canadians. They voted for the future, a new government, and things started changing.
Yet oddly enough this “new” federal government, so disdained by Albertans, did what the “old” government was unable or unwilling to do. They bought a pipeline company for billions and moved forward and approved a new pipeline to encourage oil production. Necessary for those Big paycheques and big oil for Albertans.
Albertans will still likely, vote to turf this “new” government out. Well, they want to bring in a carbon tax. That could cost Albertans $10 per week before rebates, and that is a tragedy.
Never mind that this same “new” government invested billions to bring back the big paycheques, that $10/week before rebates is a no go.
This “new” government had nothing to gain, politically, in Alberta helping the Alberta economy in a political rivalry, so why do it? If they had not purchased and approved the new pipeline they would have gained political support in a majority of other provinces but now they are losing support, in other provinces, and could lose their majority in less than 100 days.
In 100 days we will be voting for the future or the past because presently we still have the big houses, big trucks, big toys, but not the big paycheques of the good old days. We voted for the past a few months ago and no big paycheques, yet, so maybe it’s the next time, is the charmer, when we get to go back to the good old days.
Since 1867 Canadians have seen many great economic engines, whale oil, furs, nickel, fisheries, forestry, coal, railroads, and they were great but temporary and now we face another transition. Change is hard.
Henry Ford pushed through change on an unsuspecting and often times uncooperative and unwilling public. He was once reported to have said: “If I had asked what the public wanted, they would have said, faster horses.” but he voted for the future.
In 100 days are we going to vote for the future or for the past with dreams of faster horses? I am hoping for the future, you?

​Garfield Marks

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