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


9 minute read

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.
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: [email protected] (e-mail)
Medicine Hat Skating Club [email protected]
Medicine Hat Speed Skating Club
Panthers Track Club
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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What happened to the guy in the blue truck

Open Letter to Premier Jason Kenney

February 23, 2021


Red Deer – Mountain View, AB

On August 1, 2016 you began your “Unite Alberta Truck Tour” in a blue Ram 1500. Your mission: to consolidate conservative support by uniting the Tories with the Wildrose Party. We all know the results of the truck tour and how the tour carried over to the 2019 United Conservative election platform: “Getting Alberta Back to Work”.

It is now February 2021, four and half years after you launched the truck tour. Even though Albertans have suffered through the past year with COVID-19, the three pillars of your 2019 election platform are still of the utmost concern to Albertans: Jobs, Economy, Pipelines.

When the UCP government took office in 2019, no one could have foreseen the significant challenges that would be presented to both your government and Albertans just one year later. These challenges however, should be viewed a rallying point rather than a crutch.

Moving forward, Albertans are looking for strong leadership. We want to see drastic reductions in red tape. We want a government that champions our interests within Canada and to external markets. Simply put, we want jobs, a strong economy and pipelines. We are not interested in more panels and consultations. We do not want the ideological policies of those in Ottawa dictating our future or our children’s futures.

To secure our financial future, public sector bureaucrats, specifically those on Alberta’s “sunshine list”, need to share in the economic downturn that the private sector is currently facing. Alternative routes to get oil to market, not subject to the Canada Energy Regulator, need to be explored immediately. Small businesses need a concrete plan for reopening and a guarantee that no further lockdowns will be imposed.

Polls suggest that the conservative base is fragmented again. Albertans know what happened the last time this occurred. Premier, it is time to be the guy in blue truck again. Albertans are counting on you.



Jared Pilon

Libertarian Party Candidate for Red Deer – Mountain View, AB

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Freedom Pipeline

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Freedom Pipeline
Open Letter to Canadians
February 16, 2021
Red Deer – Mountain View, AB
Hours after being sworn into office on January 20, 2021, U.S. President Biden signed an executive order to revoke the presidential permit, thus cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline expansion project.
Thousands of direct jobs on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border were immediately lost. While this is disappointing to many Albertans, it does not come as a surprise as the Obama administration, which Biden was vice-president in, took a similar stance.
Prior to cancellation, TC Energy committed to operate the pipeline with net zero emissions when it was placed into service in 2023. Although Keystone XL is cancelled, the demand for oil will continue. Instead of shipping oil via a zero emissions pipeline, alternatives such as truck and rail will be required. This results in higher emissions and increased safety concerns.
From recent polling data, there is very little support from Canadians to see the federal government engage with the Biden administration in an attempt to have the permit re-instated. The Alberta government and other supporters of the pipeline have called for retaliatory measures and sanctions against the United States in an effort to restart the permit negotiation process. Unfortunately, these calls will fall on deaf ears. Additionally, the sanctions that could be brought against the United States would likely have little impact or only serve to make the situation worse. It is evident that the current Liberal government will not be taking further action on this file based on their initial comments on the decision and their overall ideological stance regarding the Western Canadian energy industry.
As nations around the world shift to stronger nationalist positions in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada too must look out for its own interests. We must stop relying on other countries in matters of national importance. Energy independence is a decision of national importance.
The United States will continue to be a major trading partner for Canada but we must take steps to become more self-reliant. This starts with understanding the regulatory and social environment that Alberta’s oil and gas industry currently operates in.
Bill C-69 (no more pipelines) and Bill C-48 (tanker ban) enacted by the current Liberal government have created a poor investment climate in the oil and gas industry. The cancellation of Energy East and Enbridge Northern Gateway were both tied to these Bills. Critics will state that neither project was economically viable. This however is false. Global oil demand continues to remain strong, and has rebounded quickly after a significant decline due to wide scale shutdowns due to COVID-19.
Energy infrastructure projects that cross provincial borders are subject to regulatory review by the Canada Energy Regulator. This process is time consuming and overbearing. Given the current regulatory environment, Canadians (specifically Western Canadians) have two options. Continue to complain about said regulatory environment or think outside of the box to develop a new solution to get our most important resource to market. This is where “Freedom Pipeline” comes into play.
Pipeline infrastructure currently exists to move Western Canadian oil from Fort McMurray, Alberta to Cromer, Manitoba. The “Freedom Pipeline” would build on this existing infrastructure and move oil from Cromer to Churchill, Manitoba. As this leg of the pipeline would be completed within Manitoba’s borders, it would not be subject the Canada Energy Regulator (CER). This is supported by the July 26, 2019 decision by the National Energy Board (now CER) in relation to the Coastal GasLink Pipeline in British Columbia.
In order to proceed with this pipeline, the National Coalition of Chiefs should be immediately consulted so as to maximize the opportunities for First Nations communities throughout Manitoba. This should include discussions around the inclusion of First Nations owned businesses in the construction of the pipeline as well as an ownership stake in order to defeat on-reserve poverty.
Modern technology should be used to construct, protect and operate the pipeline. These include:
  1. Pipeline leak detection and containment system.
  2. Equipping oil tankers, moving through the Hudson Bay, with double-hull tanks and with Small Modular Reactors (SMRs) for propulsion.
  3. Commitment to operate the pipeline with renewable resources within a reasonable timeline and when economically viable.
In addition to providing good paying jobs to First Nations communities along the pipeline route and to Western Canadian oilfield workers, this pipeline will bring significant benefits to other Canadians. Jobs within Ontario’s steel industry would be created. Refinery positions would be created on Canada’s east coast, a region that is desperately in need of private sector investment and growth. Engineering and other professional service positions would be created as well. All of these jobs provide the dignity of work to the individuals who secure them and hope for a brighter future for their children.
What happens if the Liberal government enacts legislation to ban tanker traffic in the Hudson Bay and ultimately the route to refineries on the east coast? If this were to occur, Western provinces would immediately need to make a decision about their ongoing position in Confederation. If a tanker ban was enacted, Western provinces should exercise all available actions to secure autonomy. This would include exploring provincial pensions and referendums on equalization payments. The next step would be to explore options for separation.
Western provinces cannot continually be expected to be a part of a Confederation that doesn’t allow their industries to get products to market, families to provide for their children and communities to support the vulnerable.
The COVID-19 pandemic has ravaged our economy. Governments have spent hundreds of billions in response. We are faced with difficult decisions on how to secure our future. The “Freedom Pipeline” provides a quality option to secure paycheques for thousands of Canadians and bring hope back to our great country. It’s time to get to work.
Jared Pilon
Libertarian Party Candidate for Red Deer – Mountain View, AB
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