Red Deer Minute: Legal Aid, Pet Bylaw, and Downtown Business Tax

Red Deer Minute: Legal Aid, Pet Bylaw, and Downtown Business Tax


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


This Week In Red Deer:

  • This morning, at 10:30 am, there will be a City Council Regular meeting. An update on the permanent shelter will be provided, though this discussion will take place in-camera. Mayor Ken Johnston will bring forward a Notice of Motion on positioning Red Deer as a city that is focused on addiction recovery. Council will also give first, second, and third reading to the 2022 Organization Bylaw Amendment to set out the primary responsibilities and expectations of a City Manager, as well as add a City Assessor position.

  • Later in the meeting, at 5:00 pm, there will be a public hearing regarding several land use amendment bylaws. One of those amendments looks to rezone two portions of 47 Street in the Capstone neighbourhood and another looks to amend Dynamic Sign Regulations on Public Service Sites.

  • The Housing and Homelessness Integration Committee will meet at 5:00 pm on Tuesday. On the agenda is a potential funding extension for Reaching Home: Designated and Outreach and Support Services Initiative core services as well as a discussion about additional funding priorities. The Audit Committee will meet on Thursday - no time or agenda is available for this meeting yet.


Last Week In Red Deer:

  • The City has drafted a Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw. Based on feedback received from public engagement last year, five priorities were identified: roaming cats, off-leash dog roaming, dog feces, barking dogs, and a desire to keep chickens. Residents are now being asked to review the draft bylaw and provide further input. This phase of engagement is open until October 21st. The draft bylaw and the report about previous engagement can be viewed online.

  • Red Deer’s Downtown Business Association urged Red Deer North MLA Adriana LaGrange to reinstate the Business Improvement Area tax on Provincial buildings. In 2019, the DBA was told that Provincial buildings in the downtown area would not be paying the annual tax levied on businesses in the area to help with marketing. The DBA claims that when Provincial buildings stopped paying the tax, it resulted in a 60% hit to the budget, a 25% reduction in staffing, and reduced programs and services. We've long advocated against Business Improvement Areas - they're essentially compulsory unions for businesses and should be abolished. Businesses don't need to be paying even more taxes, and they certainly don't need some government agency doing their marketing for them - they can and should do it for themselves.

  • Red Deer lawyers have joined in the job action to refuse new Legal Aid cases. The Red Deer Criminal Lawyers Association said that the Legal Aid system has been underfunded for many years and that promises by the Province to re-examine the funding model have not resulted in the changes needed for the 1,200 defence lawyers who take on these cases. The job action was described as “indefinite”.




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