Council votes in favour of Canada Winter Games bid

Red Deer’s bid for the 2019 Canada Winter Games may not include hosting synchronized swimming locally.

Red Deer’s bid for the 2019 Canada Winter Games may not include hosting synchronized swimming locally.

Council voted in favour of the bid Monday, hosting all sports locally except for an off-site venue and athletes village for synchronized swimming.

Having to move synchronized swimming out of the city re-awakened the debate of a new swimming facility in Red Deer.

Councillors debated public consultation about a new swimming facility in relation to their bid for the games, but ultimately approved the bid and moving synchronized swimming off-site.

Mayor Morris Flewwelling said the motion approving the bid does not preclude the city from going beyond it.

“Given the work that has already been done and given the potential this community has in terms of its location, facilities, volunteers and readiness we’re going to put on a winter games the likes of which this country has never seen,” said Flewwelling.

Administration recommended placing a bid to host all sports locally with synchronized swimming to be held at a secondary site in either Calgary or Edmonton.

Council heard the bid would come with an estimated $22.1 million capital price tag to ensure all existing facilities are up to technical standards.

Building an aquatic facility to host synchronized swimming along with the other facility upgrades would cost in the neighbourhood of $71.5 million.

Shelley Gagnon, Recreation, Parks and Culture manager, said the city put together what they felt was the best economically advantageous and financially sustainable and strongest bid possible for the city. She said this option would have the least impact on the capital budget.

Gagnon told council the community must demonstrate the ability to host all sports in the games with the appropriate venues, field of play standards and support space requirements. She said the venues must be a maximum of a 30-minute travel time (with some exceptions) and the community must have a strong history of hosting major sporting events. The community must also be 90 minutes away from a major airport.

Gagnon told council that the city is well-positioned for a successful bid.

The budget implications will be considered during the 10-year Capital Plan deliberations in November 2013.

The city will also consider pursue discussions with community partners like Red Deer College on the construction of a multiplex to host short track speed skating and with Canyon Ski Resort to meet the technical requirements to host most of the alpine, freestyle and snowboard sports.

In the past, the federal and provincial governments have committed $3 million each in capital funding. More details are expected to come at the official bid meeting. In terms of operating, in past games both governments have contributed $8.1 million each to the games.

Council also agreed to submit a letter of intent to bid and to pay $12,000, the first portion of the bid fee.

The deadline for letters of intent to bid is Nov.29, 2013. The shortlist of cities will be announced in February 2014. In September 2014, the successful bid community will be announced.

The Winter and Summer Games alternate every two years, and each province and territory takes their turn. The last time Alberta hosted Canada Games, they were Winter Games held in Grande Prairie in 1995.

In other council news:

l City council set the clear message – pay your taxes on time. Council received 15 requests for property tax penalty cancellations of a total of 91 properties totally roughly $20, 633.84. Council voted not to waive the penalty cancellation requests.

“It is not our money,” said Mayor Morris Flewwelling. “If it was my money I might do it differently. It is public money. And we have to do what we believe is publicly acceptable for the majority of our public.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Attendees of the Downtown Red Deer Market, which runs every Wednesday during the summer on Little Gaetz Avenue, have complained about the lack of public washrooms. (Photo contributed by Red Deer Downtown Business Association)
Portable washrooms to be set up in downtown Red Deer this summer

More data is needed before the city invests in a permanent structure

A survey of 3,083 Red Deer residents was done by an online platform on behalf of the City of Red Deer, generating about 11,607 comments.. (File photo)
Red Deerians speak out about COVID-19 concerns in survey

More than 3,000 city residents were surveyed

A Calgary energy company's request for a tax break was turned down by Lacombe County. About $31,000 was owed by a company that went bankrupt and Silverleaf Resources Inc. bought some of their assets.
(Advocate file photo)
Lacombe County turns down oil company’s tax break request

Silverleaf Resources Inc. hoped for break on $31,000 in back taxes

RCMP recovered hundreds of stolen items, including Bibles and historical items stolen from the Bowden Pioneer Museum.
(Photo from RCMP)
Museum artifacts among hundreds of stolen items recovered by RCMP in central Alberta

Second World War and other historical and religious items recovered

Red Deer dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Kailer Yamamoto (56) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Morgan Rielly (44) reach for the rebound from Leafs goalie Michael Hutchinson (30) during second-period NHL action in Edmonton on Monday, March 1, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Michael Hutchinson earns 31-save shutout, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 3-0

Michael Hutchinson earns 31-save shutout, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 3-0

Washington Nationals' Ryan Zimmerman watches his solo home run during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Houston Astros Monday, March 1, 2021, in West Palm Beach, Fla. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
In-game video returning to baseball for 2021

In-game video returning to baseball for 2021

Winnipeg Jets' Nathan Beaulieu (88) clears the puck in front of goaltender Connor Hellebuyck (37) as Vancouver Canucks' Elias Pettersson (40) looks for the rebound during second-period NHL action in Winnipeg on Monday March 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Greenslade
Three first-period goals pace Vancouver Canucks to 4-0 victory over Winnipeg Jets

Three first-period goals pace Vancouver Canucks to 4-0 victory over Winnipeg Jets

Rugby training gear is shown during a Torotno Wolfpack during a practice at Lamport Stadium in Toronto. Bradford, Featherstone, Leigh, London,  THE CANADIAN PRESS/Neil Davidson
Plans announced to create a grassroots Canadian rugby league co-op

Plans announced to create a grassroots Canadian rugby league co-op

Ottawa Senators left wing Brady Tkachuk (7) and centre Chris Tierney (71) get sandwiched between Flames defencemen Rasmus Andersson (4) and Juuso Valimaki (6) during second-period NHL action in Ottawa on Monday, March 1, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Batherson scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 5-1 win over Calgary Flames

Batherson scores twice for Ottawa Senators in 5-1 win over Calgary Flames

Skiers may be safe from COVID-19, but not those working to keep slopes open: experts

Skiers may be safe from COVID-19, but not those working to keep slopes open: experts

Armas likes what he sees in Toronto FC camp but there are still issues to resolve

Armas likes what he sees in Toronto FC camp but there are still issues to resolve

Team Canada's Jocelyne Larocque celebrates her goal past the U.S.A. with goaltender Embrace Maschmeyer during first period of Women's Rivalry Series hockey action in Vancouver on February 5, 2020. The Canadian women's hockey team opened a camp Monday in Halifax, which is co-hosting the upcoming world championship. Hockey Canada invited 35 players to participate in the seven-day camp closed to the public and media at Scotiabank Centre. The women are training under restrictions because of the COVID-19 pandemic, including a limit of 25 players on the ice at one time. "They will continue to follow strict COVID-19 testing as per team health and safety protocols that have been detailed and approved by Nova Scotia Public Health," Hockey Canada said Monday in a statement. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canadian women’s hockey team preparing for possible May world championship

Canadian women’s hockey team preparing for possible May world championship

Most Read