A letter for ‘residents of the future’

As we celebrate our Centennial, we can reflect on the City’s amazing growth from a population of less then 3,000 in 1913 to a population of over 90,000 today.

Red Deer is now Alberta’s third largest city and is clearly on the provincial, national and even international radar. In thinking about what to place in the time capsule on March 25, I decided to highlight surveys and rankings of the City that were published in 2012. These clearly show a diverse, dynamic and progressive City “on the move.”

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) rated Red Deer #6 in its list of the top entrepreneurial cities in Canada. Its highest score was in the category of “supportive local government policy.”

Venture Magazine listed the City as one of the “25 Best Communities for Business in Western Canada.”

Foreign Direct Investment Magazine rated Red Deer as one of the top 10 micro-cities (cities under 100,000 population) in the Americas for “quality of life.”

Moneysense magazine rates 200 cities in terms of the “best places to live in Canada.” Over the last few years, we have been rated in the top 20%, and our highest ranking was #9 in 2012. The City was also ranked #4 as one of the “best places to raise kids.”

The City 2012 Report Card (IPSOS Reid Survey) showed that 98% of residents say the quality of life in Red Deer is good or very good.

In addition, 84% of residents believe that they get very good or fairly good value for the taxes.

Mark Foley wrote, “History should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future.” Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs often quoted Wayne Gretzky, star hockey player, saying, “I skate to where the puck is going to be not where it has been.”

Our job in government is to learn from the past and look ahead to the future. As we celebrate our Centennial, there is much to learn as we prepare “A Future for the Past.”

Craig Curtis

City manager