Red Deer Minute: Snow Removal, Information Delay, and the Canadian Finals Rodeo

Red Deer Minute: Snow Removal, Information Delay, and the Canadian Finals Rodeo


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 Organizational Meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to determine appointments to Committees, Quasi-Judicial Boards and External Boards and Societies. The first hour-and-a-half of the meeting will be held in-camera.

  • Also today, at 1:00 pm, there will be a meeting of City Council. The first 30 minutes of the meeting will be held in-camera discussing a financial matter. Council will then give first reading to a zoning amendment to allow a Temporary Shelter at 5239 53rd Avenue. If first reading proceeds, a Public Hearing will be held on December 4th, 2023. First reading will also be given to a bylaw amendment disposing of municipal reserve land at 3733 45 Street and rezoning it from a “park” to multifamily housing zone. This land is essentially a small green space on the end of a block.

  • The Canadian Finals Rodeo is back in Red Deer for a five-day event starting Wednesday, November 1st. There are lots of free events going on beyond the rodeo at Westerner Park including a cabaret with live music, a western market, and a Alberta Hereford showcase. This is the last year the CFR will be held in Red Deer. (See below for more info). Tickets to the rodeo are available online.


Last Week In Red Deer:

  • Speaking of the Canadian Finals Rodeo, it was announced that the marquee event is moving back to Edmonton. After leaving Edmonton for Red Deer in 2018 in what was described as a 10-year deal, more information has come to light revealing that the deal was actually for five years, with an option to renew for another five. Westerner Park did not exercise their renewal option, leading to a bidding process in which Red Deer participated, albeit with an undisclosed proposal. Documents revealed that Westerner Park absorbed over $1.4 million in losses in the last four years of hosting the event. Despite that, the City’s Economic Development Department believed that the economic spin-off was valuable for the region, generating between $12 and $25 million over the same time period. Red Deer’s new bid was unsuccessful, and the Province will be supporting the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association with $4.5 million over three years to host the event in Edmonton. Westerner Park received $250,000 a year in provincial support.

  • As Red Deerians suffered from Sudden Onset Winter Syndrome after a serious snowfall, the City issued a press release letting the public know that details of a new pilot program for snow clearing will be released next week. That’s after Council adopted a new Integrated and Accessible Transportation Policy in June, leading to changes in the 2023-24 Snow and Ice Program that were short on specifics. Council was asked to trust Administration to come up with a better procedure. Guess we’re about to find out whether that procedure is, in fact, better? The pilot program will apparently address issues such as windrow removal and the possibility of implementing parking bans on green-route streets.

  • A Freedom of Information request regarding a 2021 Council Conduct Code investigation has been delayed for up to another year. The investigation cost taxpayers $107,000 and the results were never released to the public. It was discussed at a closed-door meeting and the majority of Council decided not to accept the findings of the report, resulting in no action being taken against the accused and no information becoming available to the public. The FOIP request was filed by the Red Deer Advocate in November 2021 after concerns arose about the lack of public disclosure of a report funded by taxpayers. The Advocate says there was no specific reason given for the delay, but earlier communications indicate a backlog of cases.




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