CITY RESPONDS - Mayor Tara Veer delivered the City of Red Deer’s response to the Government of Alberta’s Throne Speech on March 9th. Todd Colin Vaughan/Red Deer Express

WATCH: City responds to Provincial Throne Speech

Specifics on health care, cannabis revenues and municipal investment wanted by City

The City of Red Deer recently gave their response to the Government of Alberta’s Throne Speech, which championed “creating jobs in a diversified economy”, “working for regular people and families” and “addressing inequality”.

Mayor Tara Veer said the biggest win for Red Deer in the Throne Speech was the inclusion of Red Deer College being granted degree-granting status.

“That is a clear win for our community in terms of advanced education opportunities in the region,” she said.

Veer mentioned that much of the actual specifics of the speech will be ironed out during the Provincial Budget process, however there are several key aspects the City is keeping an eye on including the diversification of the Alberta economy, Truth and Reconciliation, the Opioid Crisis, crime, the municipal sustainability initiative, cannabis revenue and health care.

Diversification of the oil and gas industry is of particular interest to the City according to Veer due to its direct relation to employment and housing.

“Given Red Deer’s strong connection to the oil and gas industry and the trickle-down effect that has on our housing market and directly with respect to employment, we will be watching that closely,” she said.

Veer noted the Government’s reference to affordable aboriginal housing is one the City will watch closely.

“Given affordable housing shortages in the community and the City’s commitment to Truth and Reconciliation, I think this is an area that will have direct potential for Red Deer,” she said.

The City’s discussions with the Province regarding the opioid crisis has consistently been around the topic of harm reduction.

“The Throne Speech did acknowledge the Four Pillars, which is consistent with Red Deer’s Drug and Alcohol Strategy. Those Four Pillars are prevention, treatment, harm reduction and enforcement. We will look for further details about how that will roll out,” she said.

Most of the Throne Speech references to crime was regarding rural crime, and it is currently unclear whether Red Deer falls into that designation.

“We know that crime knows no boundaries and the efforts of our regional task force that we have in partnership with neighboring personalities has proven that,” she said.

Of key interest to the City, according to Veer, was the future of MSI, which was not mentioned in the speech and is scheduled to end in the fiscal year of 2017.

“Municipalities across the province rely on MSI to fund capital investment. This is an area of significant concern for us,” she said.

The Federal Government had previously promised a 75 per cent revenue share on cannabis, which will flow through the Province. This was also not mentioned in the speech and is of interest to the City.

“We will be watching the budget closely for how the Provincial Government intends to allocate that to municipalities, recognizing that the regulatory and enforcement costs will predominately fall to municipalities,” she said.

The Throne Speech did mention health care, however not specifically to the needs of Red Deer — most notably the need for expanded infrastructure and services.

“We will be watching the budget closely in terms of how the Government proposes to attend to the infrastructure and programming needs at the Red Deer Regional Hospital,” she said.

Like us on facebook at follow us on twitter at

Just Posted

Red Deer Chamber Awards recognize outstanding businesses

The 37th Annual Business Awards saw five recipients take home prestigious awards

UPDATE: Aurora Rafer has been found unharmed

RCMP have a man in custody and continue to investigate

The Sadies slide into the City on Nov. 6th

Popular band gearing up for a show at The Hideout

Recreational pot is now officially legal

Here are some things you need to know and how legal recreational pot will affect you in Red Deer

Puff, puff, pass: Cannabis is officially legal across Canada

Alberta readies itself for cannabis sales with 17 stores (for now) and a new provincial website

Mellow opening to B.C.’s only legal pot shop

About five people lined up early for the opening of the BC Cannabis Store in Kamloops.

Jagmeet Singh says marijuana pardons are not enough

Trudeau government will streamline pardon process for Canadians convicted of simple possession of marijuana in the past

Test case challenges a politician’s right to block people from Twitter account

3 people say Watson infringed their constitutional right to freedom of expression by blocking them

After 50 years, ‘Sesame Street’ Big Bird puppeteer retiring

The puppeteer who has played Big Bird on “Sesame Street” is retiring after nearly 50 years on the show.

Britain, EU decide to take some time in getting Brexit right

Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier said “we need much time, much more time and we continue to work in the next weeks.”

Parole denied for convicted killer-rapist Paul Bernardo after 25 years in prison

Paul Bernardo plead for release on Wednesday by arguing he has done what he could to improve himself during his 25 years in prison.

B.C. Lions look to cement CFL playoff spot with victory over Eskimos

B.C. can cement a post-season berth in the wild West Division on Friday night with a home win over the Edmonton Eskimos

Canada ban on asbestos takes effect but mining residues are exempt

Environment Minister Catherine McKenna plans to announce the new regulations implementing the ban on Thursday in Ottawa

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan are on day two of their 16-day tour of Australia and the South Pacific.

Most Read