City of Red Deer to educate voters on ward plebiscite

Watch for your chance to learn about choices for electing city councillors.

Watch for your chance to learn about choices for electing city councillors.

The City of Red Deer will launch an education campaign related to the plebiscite on the ward system on this fall’s civic ballot in September.

Legislative Services manager Frieda McDougall said the question needed to be locked down before they delved into the details because it will inform a lot of the strategies.

McDougall said the campaign will be launched in September because the summer is an ineffective time to catch people. She said there will be a wide variety of opportunities for the public to plug into.

“We will try to bring in different speakers with respect to the different models of representation,” said McDougall. “It will be very similar to what we did with the fluoride dialogue. There may be some opportunities for online chats. We will probably bring in some experts for a public forum.”

Red Deer city council approved the plebiscite question — Do you want the City of Red Deer divided into wards? — on Monday.

The city will begin preparing the legally required ads to reflect the question.

The city budgeted $5,000 to add the question to the Oct. 21 municipal election ballot. McDougall said this should cover all the printing and the pamphlet but the cost may go up if there’s no room on the ballot. The city would have to include another ballot.

Council approved $35,000 for a communications campaign, including the $5,000 for adding the question to the ballot.

Council voted 5-3 in support of adding a question regarding ward systems on the municipal ballot in March. Mayor Morris Flewwelling and Councillors Frank Wong, Dianne Wyntjes, Tara Veer and Chris Stephan were in favour. Councillors Paul Harris, Cindy Jefferies and Lynne Mulder were opposed. Coun. Buck Buchanan was absent.

crhyno@bprda.wpengine.com

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