Parking was the big issue at Thursday’s election forum held at the Golden Circle.
About 80 people were on hand to listen to City mayoral and council candidates speak about their platforms. Questions were also posed to each candidate and while there were many seniors’ issues that were addressed, parking was top of mind for many.
Many seniors expressed concerns over the amount of people parking in the Golden Circle parking lot who were not using the facility. As well, others were concerned about the lack of parking in the City’s downtown.
Councillor Cindy Jefferies was asked if she thought the new parkade and bus terminal would alleviate the problems the users of the Golden Circle were experiencing in terms of parking.
“I would hope that the parkade would help solve those issues,” she said.
Councillor Buck Buchanan said more enforcement was needed to ensure those who were parking in the Golden Circle lot were using the facility.
As for the downtown, Councillor Lynne Mulder was asked where the 600 to 800 students who will use Red Deer College’s satellite campus located in the Millennium Centre will park.
“I would encourage the students not to bring their cars to the downtown, but to rather walk or cycle or take public transportation,” she said.
Meanwhile, Mayor Morris Flewwelling was asked about an Olympic sized pool for Red Deer and whether that was something that was on council’s radar.
“I would love to have an Olympic sized pool for Red Deer,” he said. “But I’m not sure that the cost of the building and operating it can fit into the system.
“I don’t think it’s something we’ll see in the near future. It is cost prohibited.”
Other concerns included why Red Deer does not have a more successful airport.
“I think we need to slow down on the high speed rail concept because it won’t help our airport to grow,” said candidate Terry Lee Ropchan.
Candidate Jeffrey Dawson was asked how council would promote strengthening neighbourhood communities.
“I think we need to take pride in our neighbourhoods and people need to get to know their neighbours,” he said. “We should encourage block parties and programs that keep people in their communities.”
The next election forum is set to take place on Oct. 5. The Native Friendship Society Aboriginal Talking Circle is the host. The time and location have not been announced.