Red Deer city council approved a strategic plan Monday, with goals for the next three years. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer city council approved a strategic plan Monday, with goals for the next three years. (Advocate file photo).

Having a healthy, engaged community is Red Deer city council’s goal looking ahead to 2026

Councillors approve new strategic plan

Looking ahead to 2026, Red Deer city council aims to have a thriving city with connected, healthy citizens.

A strategic plan from 2023-2026, containing aspirational goals for the City of Red Deer to work towards, was unanimously approved by city council on Monday.

Coun. Bruce Buruma felt the aims of having a vibrant city with a healthy, engaged and connected community, are particularly timely, given the challenges Red Deer has faced over the last few years with the pandemic, recession, homelessness and the opioid crisis.

“If we have a thriving city, it means the people are thriving, families are thriving, and the community is thriving,” Buruma said.

For the first time, the strategic plan has a framework for measuring outcomes and indicators and several councillors were pleased with this accountability. Mayor Ken Johnston said this isn’t just a council wish list but a visionary document with a mechanism to allow citizens to assess “how are we doing?”

Outcomes for a thriving city, for instance, include having a “vibrant, enjoyable” downtown, while for community health and well-being they include having a safe and secure city and people who feel involved and included.

“You don’t know where you are going until you have a vision,” said Coun. Dianne Wyntjes, who thanked 1,600 citizens for giving their input through workshops and other engagement processes conducted last spring. This is the first time a city strategic plan included input from Red Deerians.

Coun. Cindy Jefferies was glad the city’s strategic plan happens to align with her personal priorities — having inclusive relationships a good quality of life for all citizens, including Indigenous people and vulnerable Red Deerians.

“This is a test of ourselves,” said Coun. Michael Dawe, who feels councillors will be able to assess whether they are staying true to the identified goals for the next three years, “or are we off-course?”

Johnston invited Red Deerians to “talk to us, support us. Criticize us — in a good way — and lift us up and we will work for you.”



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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