Red Deer Minute: Airport Expansion, Shelter Extension, and Harm Reduction Options

Red Deer Minute: Airport Expansion, Shelter Extension, and Harm Reduction Options


Red Deer Minute - Your weekly one-minute summary of Red Deer politics


This Week In Red Deer:

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  • Today, at 10:30 am, there will be a regular meeting of City Council. The meeting will begin with a closed session for Council to discuss the annual performance evaluation of the City’s Chief Administrative Officer. Once the meeting opens up to the public, there will be two Notices of Motion introduced. Councillor Lee will bring forward a Notice of Motion requesting that Administration produce a report on how to deal with encampments within Red Deer's publicly owned land. Then Councillor Higham will bring forward a Notice of Motion asking Council to request an “orderly transition” of the existing Overdose Prevention Site out of Red Deer by the end of 2024, and instead provide harm reduction options “that focus on health, wellness, and recovery, including more detox capacity, medication-assisted treatment, recovery coaches, counsellors, and culturally appropriate health and wellness supports”. Both motions will be debated at the Council meeting on January 22nd, 2024. Council will also discuss a confidential item - an update on the permanent shelter - before holding a public hearing on the closure of a back alley to facilitate the development of an Ambulatory Care Facility as part of the Red Deer Hospital expansion.

  • On Wednesday, at 1:00 pm, the Audit Committee will meet. The Committee will discuss the 2023-2024 Audit Committee Work Plan, along with two other reports, before going into a closed session to discuss a legal matter. Also on Wednesday, at 5:00 pm, the Housing and Homelessness Fund Adjudication Sub-Committee will meet. The Sub-Committee will elect a Chair and Vice-Chair before heading into a closed meeting to discuss a Request For Proposal for Homelessness Supports Services. On Thursday, at 5:00 pm, the Housing and Homelessness Integration Committee will meet. The Committee will receive a report on the Innovations in Housing Engagement Grant, detailing an opportunity to allocate remaining surplus funding from the Federal Government’s Reaching Home Program to support the grant program.


Last Week In Red Deer:

  • After a multi-day public hearing, Council voted to renew the zoning on the temporary homeless shelter at Cannery Row for 15 months. Originally, Administration recommended that the extension be approved until the permanent shelter could be built, however Councillors Lawrence Lee and Vesna Higham suggested the 15-month time limit. Other extension options of one and five years were also considered, with Mayor Ken Johnston advocating for three years. The decision to go with 15 months means that Council will revisit the matter in 2025 to debate another extension if required. Councillors expressed disappointment at being unable to provide definitive answers on the permanent shelter. Safe Harbour, the temporary shelter operator, applied to the Province for funding to make safety upgrades at the temporary shelter site as well as for the addition of showers.

  • The CEO of the Red Deer Regional Airport said the expansion project is on track and on budget. The project includes space for security, baggage pick-up, a future customs area, and facilities to handle up to 189 passengers from a full aircraft. The expansion is expected to be completed and ready for use by July 31st, 2024. Despite industry shifts, the airport CEO remains confident in Central Alberta's potential and is engaged in ongoing discussions with low-cost carriers.

  • The City of Red Deer and Red Deer Polytechnic have partnered to conduct local testing for the Firefighter Applicant Physical Test, a crucial requirement for aspiring Firemedics. This collaboration streamlines the testing process, allowing candidates to complete the challenging assessment locally rather than by traveling to the University of Alberta. The test includes seven stations, such as cardiovascular fitness and victim rescue, with candidates wearing a 45-pound weighted vest.




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  • Peter McCaffrey
    published this page in News 2023-12-17 22:56:48 -0700