Red Deer Minute: Shelter Optimism, Unemployment Rises, and a Library Service Dog

Red Deer Minute: Shelter Optimism, Unemployment Rises, and a Library Service Dog


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


This Week In Red Deer:

  • There will be a meeting of City Council on Tuesday at 10:30 am. The meeting will begin in a closed session where Council will discuss an update on the permanent shelter location (more on that below), utilities governance, and Westerner Park taxation. Once the meeting opens up to the public, Council will discuss the Greater Downtown and Railyards Neighbourhood Development Strategy, as well as another amendment to the Code of Conduct Bylaw. Unfortunately, there are no attachments available for these items yet, so no more detail is available.

  • The Audit Committee will meet on Wednesday at 1:00 pm. The Committee will first elect a Chair and Vice-Chair. Then, the Committee will receive a report on the Audit Plan before going into a closed meeting to discuss that plan, as well as a legal matter.

  • Seasonal reductions to green cart collection begin today, as the City says they see a steep decline in organics over the winter months. Until April 1st, green carts will now be collected every other week, on the same week as blue carts. Updated cart collection calendars are available on the City’s website, and you can sign up for cart collecting notifications through Notify Red Deer.


Last Week In Red Deer:

  • Mayor Ken Johnston said he’s optimistic that the City can announce the location of the permanent homeless shelter by the end of the year. The shelter location has been an ongoing saga, with more than 100 possible locations examined by Council. After three chosen sites from that list fell through, either due to rejection by the Province or failure to reach an agreement, this fourth site has been the subject of negotiations both about price and feasibility. The Mayor says no other sites are being considered. There is also a public hearing taking place on December 4th to allow Red Deerians to weigh in on the continued operation of the temporary shelter at Cannery Row, in case the permanent shelter doesn't open in time.

  • A dog who works at the Red Deer Public Library recently earned her service dog vest after two years of training with Aspen Service Dogs. Katja is the first designated library service dog in Alberta. For several years, the Red Deer Public Library had been borrowing service dogs to help children feel at ease during reading programs, but those dogs had other jobs and were only available at limited times. Library staff thought it was time for RDPL to get its own permanent four-legged friend. The library is offering a program called “Sit, Stay and Read with Katja”, which offers half an hour of one-on-one time with the pooch.

  • Unemployment rose in the Red Deer region last month, and the area now has the highest jobless rate of any economic region in Alberta. StatsCan’s figures show a 7.4% unemployment rate in October, up from 6.7% in September and 5.6% in October of last year. The next highest unemployment rates in Alberta are 5.7% in the Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake region and 5.6% in Edmonton.




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