Red Deer Minute: Ambulance Dispatch, Invasive Fish, and Expanded Online Learning

Red Deer Minute: Ambulance Dispatch, Invasive Fish, and Expanded Online Learning


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


This Week In Red Deer:

  • It’s going to be fairly steady at City Hall with three meetings scheduled for this week, starting with a City Council meeting today at 12:30 pm. Council will begin this meeting in-camera for approximately two hours discussing the recruitment of a new City Manager, a land matter, and Council representation at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. Council will then make a motion to open the meeting back up to the public where they will receive a report on next steps regarding a permanent shelter location.

  • Also at today’s City Council meeting, the Tax Rate Bylaw and the Business Improvement Area Business Tax Bylaw will receive first, second, and third reading. If the Tax Rate Bylaw is passed, there will be a 4.7% tax increase in 2023, followed by a 4.3% increase in 2024.

  • On Wednesday, there are two meetings scheduled, starting with a meeting of the Audit Committee at 1:00 pm. At this meeting, Council will receive a number of reports, including a February Investments Report, a March 2022 Debenture Report, a report on the Council Reserve Policy, and a Financial Statement Review. The Committee will then move in-camera to discuss the KPMG Audit Findings. There will also be a meeting of the Public Art Commission at 5:00 pm. There’s not a whole lot to report about this meeting, other than an in-camera discussion regarding a Red Deer Emergency Services Headquarters Public Art Update, and a discussion about Intermediate School Public Art. If you're wondering why the City would be discussing public art in relation to Emergency Services and schools, the City has a policy that requires at least 1% of the budget for any large capital construction projects be spent on public art, rather than the actual capital project. Remember that when Council claims they've already cut all the wasteful spending they could find.


Last Week In Red Deer:

  • Mayor Ken Johnston had a virtual meeting with Alberta’s Health Minister Jason Copping in an effort to reverse the Provincial Government’s decision to centralize ambulance dispatch across the province. Johnston called the new dispatch model flawed and the Mayors of Calgary, Lethbridge, and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo - who were also at the meeting - echoed the same sentiment. Johnston said the Minister seemed ready to engage on the issue and was open to further discussion.

  • Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division announced the launch of a new online middle-school program. The program will begin this spring and will look to replace the current at-home learning program. The Associate Superintendent of Curriculum said the changes offer families a choice and a way for students to personalize their learning.

  • The City asked residents to be on the lookout for invasive goldfish and other species following a recent uptick in goldfish lurking in the City’s stormwater ponds. The City says goldfish are particularly problematic as they can rapidly reproduce. With so many of the little critters ending up in Red Deer’s lakes and ponds, something fishy is definitely going on. In 2019-2020, 882 of them were removed from Anders Pond alone, costing the taxpayers a whopping $250,000. Goldfish, the snack that smiles back, or in this case, the fish that piles cash. Someone is making a pretty penny cleaning up Red Deer’s goldfish problem, now if only residents would stop flushing these fish down the toilet so we can stop throwing tax dollars down the drain.




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