Current Red Deer City Councillor Dianne Wyntjes will be seeking her third term in October.
“For me it is a passion for politics, giving back to my community, listening to our community and being part of the decision making in order to make our City better,” she said. “It is still about listening, learning, reading, attending meetings, attending community functions and making sure you know the pulse of the community.”
Wyntjes explained it is even more important that a council comes together and determines an overall platform that will serve the most amount of citizens.
“For me, it is similar to previous years – it is always under the guise of the economy. We need to make sure that citizens understand the value of their tax dollars, so we need good wisdom at the council table to ensure we are making wise expenditures and decisions financially.”
Wyntjes spoke about being a good environmental steward and that air quality and water quality are very much part of her platform.
Growth is also important to Wyntjes, however she spoke about the importance of using land appropriately when it comes to City expansion. She also spoke about an issue that is omnipresent in the lives of Red Deerians.
“Community safety is a high priority for our citizens,” she said. “I think working with our RCMP through the annual policing plan and getting updates from our superintendent helps and we have always have had some really good successes.”
Wyntjes added the issue of opioid addiction is something that also needs to be addressed by all levels of government and she believes working with mental health and community agencies will aid in this battle.
Building a culturally aware community is something Wyntjes spoke extensively on, saying that the 2019 Canada Winter Games will leave a legacy of not only infrastructure in the community, but also volunteering and a sense of culture in Red Deer.
Wyntjes said ensuring that diversity is respected in Red Deer is also important to her platform.
“It is important to monitor and respond to racism as our diversity changes in our community,” she said. “I give a shout out to our community groups like C.A.R.E.”
She added municipal governments working within the framework of the Truth and Reconciliation Committee are important to ensuring inclusive communities. She used the recent completion of the Asooahum Crossing as success in this area.
She added Red Deer City council must continue to search for affordable housing options and also work alongside other municipalities in the AUMA and FCM as well.
For Wyntjes, all projects must fall within prudent financial planning that invests for the future without drastically cutting services.
“I think council’s decision to lower our debt limit from 90 per cent to 75 per cent is a good demonstration of council recognizing we don’t want to borrow more money,” she said. “For fiscal issues, it is about listening to the community, responding the best you can and delivering good public services.”
For capital projects, Wyntjes feels it is important to plan for the future.
“We have put together our Capital Savings Plan, which is dollars aside in every budget so when the time is right and we have matched provincial or federal dollars – we have some dollars in the bank to complete projects.”
Wyntjes also noted council must address the needs of both young people and seniors in order to ensure that Red Deer is a place that people can have a good quality of life for their whole lives.
She noted that advocating for a new hospital, supporting a new polytechnical degree-granting institute at RDC and supporting groups like the Golden Circle and CAPRA are all important issues in Red Deer.