IN THE HOT SEAT - Home builders and developers in Red Deer held an election forum ahead of Monday’s municipal election. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

City development discussed at election forum

Candidates share ideas on how to move the City forward

The Canadian Home Builders’ Association – Central Alberta, the Central Alberta Realtors Association and the Red Deer Construction Association held a municipal election forum in order to see where candidates stand on development in Red Deer.

The forum was split into two sections, with the first section consisting of nine prepared questions from the associations, which mostly regarded home building and the second section consisting of questions from the audience, which were more general.

Incumbent Candidate Frank Wong began the evening by saying that council can forge relationships with homebuilders both formally and informally.

“It is good when conversation is shared both ways,” he said.

Answering the question of what would you advocate for, Candidate Rob Friss said building a world-class hotel and casino resort would drive cash flow into the downtown core.

On the issue of development permits being provided by the City, Candidate Matt Slubik said he was in favour of streamlining the process.

“It isn’t the seller’s burden to go through a cumbersome process,” he said.

Candidate Calvin Goulet-Jones, who describes himself as fiscally conservative, said the the new Municipal Government Act will bloat house prices to the tune of thousands of dollars.

“I do not believe this will help the community,” he said

Candidate Jordy Smith said, although busses to Gasoline Alley are not subsidized with City dollars, he would be in favour of it if they were, especially if it helps bring people to work.

“If providing a higher quality of life for our citizens means providing access to something outside the City, we should be in support of it,” he said.

In order to improve business in the downtown, Candidate Ian Miller said it is important to improve walkability as well as building apartments and high-density living in the core. He added providing adequate parking is also important.

With regards to affordable housing, Candidate Rick More said it is important to improve the economy so that people have jobs. He said temporary housing is a Band-Aid solution, whereas employment would return dignity to those struggling to find work.

As far as improving the economy goes, Candidate Jonathan Wieler said it is important for council to work with business in order to help clear red tape and help discover what they need to be successful.

When asked if taxpayer dollars should be involved with development, Candidate Doug Manderville said it is important that the City helps develop recreational facilities, traffic lights, sidewalks, libraries and other essential infrastructure.

The first question from the audience was regarding the impending federal cannabis legislation which will take effect next year.

Incumbent Candidate Tanya Handley said the legislation was put forward too fast, which puts the onus on municipalities. She added, considering this, most of the revenue generated from cannabis sales needs to pushed back into the municipality.

In regards to the implementation of future bike lanes, incumbent Candidate Dianne Wyntjes said public engagement is crucial and that people need to not label people solely as drivers, pedestrians or cyclists, as anyone could be all of these things.

Regarding the importance of culture in society, Candidate Jeremy Moore said it is important to strike a proper balance when investment.

In regards to infills in historic neighborhoods, incumbent Candidate Buck Buchanan said neighbourhoods tend to regenerate and rejuvenate themselves and don’t need to much input from government.

In regards to the City working with homebuilders for mutual benefit, Incumbent Mayor Tara Veer said it is important the City and council remains in consultation with homebuilders in order for the City to progress.

Other council candidates running in the election include Jason Habuza, Matt Chapin Jim Kristinson, Michael Dawe, Cory Kingsfield, Vesna Higham, Sam Bergeron, Brice Unland, Kris Maciborsky, Ted Johnson, Ken Johnston, Bobbi McCoy, Valdene Callin, Lawrence Lee, Bayo Nshombo Bayongwa and Lynne Mulder. The other mayoral candidate is Sean Burke.

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com

Like us on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/RedDeerExpress/ and follow us on twitter at https://twitter.com/RedDeerExpress.

Just Posted

Niek Theelen continues to build his comedian career

Engaging performer is a popular draw across the region

‘Flipping Amazing’ Pancake Breakfast welcomes 6,000 Central Albertans

Westerner Days is, unofficially, underway after Bower Place held their annual Pancake Breakfast.

RCMP execute search warrant at Syndicate Motorcycle Club Red Deer clubhouse

Four people face charges including kidnapping, forcible confinement and drug charges

Greyhound closure will affect approximately 380,000 passengers in Alberta

Red Deer cerebral palsy relied on the bus for medical appointments

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Angry giant baby Trump balloon makes him feel ‘unwelcome’ in London

Trump told The Sun newspaper that he felt unwelcome in London because of protests, including a giant balloon that was being flown over Parliament on Friday.

Former NHL goalie Ray Emery drowns in Lake Ontario

Police say the 35-year-old’s death appears to be a ‘case of misadventure’

Pussy Riot claims on-field protest at World Cup final

Russian protest group claimed responsibility after four people ran onto field in police uniforms

Fans party on Montreal streets after French World Cup win

To city is home to nearly 57,000 French nationals

Almost every part of Canada’s largest national park deteriorating: federal study

Drawing on decades of research — the report lists 50 pages of citations

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

Belgium finishes 3rd at World Cup, beats England 2-0

France and Croatia will play in the final on Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow

Police arrest Indigenous pipeline protester occupying B.C. park

Led by Kanahus Manuel, the Tiny House Warriors moved into park in Clearwater last week

MONEY MONITOR: Key steps to getting out of credit card debt

B.C. residents carry the third-highest amount of credit card debt in Canada

Most Read