Shelter, crime, community safety and infrastructure issues discussed at AUMA conference

The conference ran from Sept. 25th to 28th

The 2018 Alberta Urban Municipalities (AUMA) Conference and Trade Show, hosted in Red Deer for the first time in 20 years, wrapped up Friday after three days of sessions, workshops and meetings with more than 1,000 delegates from across the province. The conference ran from Sept. 25th to 28th.

“My Council colleagues and I were privileged to welcome municipal delegates from across Alberta to our community for AUMA 2018,” said Mayor Tara Veer.

“Not only did it allow us to showcase all that makes Red Deer unique to our municipal colleagues, but above all, it gave us the opportunity to highlight important issues and challenges in our community with our provincial counterparts.”

Throughout the conference, several meetings were held with provincial cabinet ministers and RCMP K Division to discuss a variety of topics, including Red Deer’s shelter, infrastructure, community safety and policing and energy infrastructure needs.

“Council raised some of our most urgent and pressing community issues, including the need for shelter and associated supports, with Minister Sabir, Minister of Community and Social Services,” said Veer.

“The minister heard the significant challenges our council raised, and committed to working with the City to find a long term solution for our community.”

With crime and community safety as a top priority for our community and the City, a meeting was also held with Assistant Commissioner John Ferguson, acting commanding officer of RCMP K Division. Priority topics included downtown safety and crime prevention, 9-1-1 call wait times and the auxiliary program.

“The City values our close working relationship with the RCMP to make significant progress in crime reduction,” said Veer. “Our meeting today focused on how we can continue to respond to our community crime challenges. The addition of 10 new officers this year will help to respond to our community’s need for proactive policing.”

Related to policing, a meeting was also held with Minister Shaye Anderson, minister of Municipal Affairs, to discuss the police funding inequity that exists between urban and rural municipalities.

Currently municipalities with over 15,000 residents pay 90 per cent of policing cost, with a 10 per cent subsidization from the provincial government, whereas municipalities with less than 15,000 residents pay significantly less.

Members of council also met with the Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman regarding matters of health and public safety affecting Red Deer.

“Council again identified the need for strong public process with respect to supervised consumptions services in the community, and once again requested the Government of Alberta adopt a proactive approach to prevent the proliferation of needle debris in the interest of community safety,” said Veer.

Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd, minister of energy, also met with City officials to discuss and provide updates on energy diversification (petrochemical) developments and other important energy issues such as the need for expanded pipeline infrastructure to assist with Red Deer’ s local economy.

In addition, the City of Red Deer was among a group of recipients recognized for demonstrating excellence in implementing sustainability plans and achieving measurable outcomes related to environmental sustainability.

The North Red Deer Regional Wastewater Services Commission (NRDRWWSC) partners, the City of Lacombe, Town of Blackfalds, Lacombe County and the City of Red Deer jointly accepted an AUMA 2018 Sustainability in Collaboration Award for its collective work in this area.

-Submitted by the City of Red Deer

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