October 2016 News Archive

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Red Deer municipal infrastructure needs discussed at AUMA conference

October 6, 2016 3:10 PM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

While attending the annual Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA) conference this week, Mayor Tara Veer and members of City Council met with the provincial minister responsible for infrastructure and spoke briefly with the federal minister responsible for infrastructure to discuss issues important to Red Deerians.

Discussions with the Honourable Brian Mason, provincial Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure, included infrastructure funding, a new Red Deer courthouse, transportation improvements to Highway II and planning for the Michener lands.

“Infrastructure is such a critical component of community vitality,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “Municipalities are responsible for 60 per cent of infrastructure in Canada so the conversations with Minister Mason and Minister Sohi were critical to the economic prosperity of not only Red Deer and Central Alberta, but to long term national prosperity.”

Recent funding announcements from the federal government of $120 billion over 10 years will result in municipalities receiving funds through an agreement between the federal and provincial governments. The City of Red Deer has advocated for a tri-lateral agreement between municipal, provincial and federal governments for this funding to ensure municipal priorities are part of the conversation when these agreements are built and criteria is developed.

“Minsters Mason and Sohi were very receptive to our concerns related to the allocation of funding,” said Mayor Veer. “As a unique mid-sized hub city, we are concerned that Edmonton and Calgary will receive the majority of the money and leave Red Deer short. This funding must meet the needs of municipalities and not just provincial priorities.”

Tomorrow, a resolution regarding this funding model will be presented by The City of Red Deer and considered by the AUMA membership.

“We expressed our gratitude to Minister Mason that the Government of Alberta began work this week on the improvements to the QEII interchange with Gaetz Avenue,” said Mayor Veer. “This is a critical investment that will greatly enhance safety and improve access for residents. We continue to advocate for our other infrastructure needs, including a high speed rail and north highway connector funding.”

The City requested an update on the timing for a new courthouse in Red Deer from Minster Mason. Although the province identified Red Deer among the top provincial priorities for a new courthouse, no money has been allocated. Discussions also took place on the joint municipal/provincial planning exercise for the north Michener site that ensures the appropriate cultural, environmental, heritage and community value of the site is maintained.

“We also shared our concerns with various government officials and ministers regarding low income transit pass funding provided solely to Calgary and Edmonton earlier this year,” said Mayor Veer. “As in all major cities in Alberta, Red Deer has many citizens and families who face financial challenges in meeting their daily needs. Affordable transportation provides the opportunity for low income citizens and families to access employment and education opportunities, as well as important community and government resources.”

“These opportunities allow us to further our relationships with other orders of government and raise issues of importance for our city. We believe building strong cities and communities results in a strong Alberta and Canada,” said Mayor Veer.

Meetings will be followed up with a letter to the ministers formally documenting the discussions and ensuring follow up meetings are held on all items discussed.

For more information, please contact:

Mayor Tara Veer
The City of Red Deer

Craig Curtis
City Manager
The City of Red Deer

Communications & Strategic Planning
The City of Red Deer

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