Craig Curtis, city council candidate. (Contributed photo)

Craig Curtis, city council candidate. (Contributed photo)

Municipal election: Red Deer city council candidate Craig Curtis

My background is city planning, urban design, and architecture.

• I began working in Red Deer in 1980

• I designed the plan for the Waskasoo park system and the first trail system along the river valley.

• As former director of community services – I was involved in building the Centrium and other facilities.

• As former city manager – I oversaw the city’s role in the successful facility development and staging of the Canada Winter Games.

• I received the “Dedicated CAO Award” from the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association (AUMA 2013)

• I worked and volunteered with not-for-profit organizations including the United Way, the Golden Circle, the Westerner, and the Kerry Wood Nature Centre.

• Provincially, I was chair of the Alberta Cultural Heritage Foundation and a member of the Alberta Multiculturalism Commission.

My experience with all three levels of government will benefit a new council. With my experience in municipal negotiation, I will work to bridge the gap, reach consensus, and move forward with action on critical issues.

It would be my honour to be elected and serve this city in a new role.

• Economic development

Red Deer has according to its citizens a great “quality of life” and has been ranked one of the most livable cities in Canada. However, the city and the downtown in particular has been impacted by crime and inadequate facilities for the homeless. These must be addressed for the downtown to be revitalized.

It is crucial that we leverage our location to attract people working “from home.” Red Deer offers an affordable, better quality of life in a smaller community. Our work on the 2019 Canada Winter Games left us a great legacy of recreation culture and sport facilities that can be used to host provincial and national events with real economic impact. We need to use these to ignite prosperity for businesses of all sizes

• Housing and shelter

We need an integrated shelter with on-site wraparound services and funding was announced two years ago. Meanwhile, people will go unhoused while a permanent shelter is built. I will immediately address a temporary solution and fast-track construction of the new facility.

• Environment

Red Deer must address the impact of climate change with real action. All projects and activities need to be examined through an environmental lens, ensuring the city upholds its responsibility to reduce its carbon footprint.

• Diversity, inclusion and reconciliation

We must hasten progress on the Calls to Action outlined by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. An ally to those marginalized by income, race, sex, gender, or age, I will continue to denounce hate speech and any form of racism, including institutional racism, and advocate to ensure our workforce and community provide equal opportunity.

• Transportation

I support a full update to the city’s 2007 Transportation Study to reflect current growth and future projections. Red Deer must also address the lack of synchronisation of the entire traffic light system to maximise the use of our existing road infrastructure. With a vision for the future, I propose the City play an active role in ensuring there is a red Deer stop on any future high speed rail connection between Edmonton and Calgary and that this is fully integrated with our transit system.

• Seniors

Seniors have borne the brunt of the pandemic crisis and governments must find new ways to deliver services and housing to this growing demographic group.

The Golden Circle provides an outstanding outreach program and drop in centre. However, I support its post pandemic plan which supports greater advocacy as well as expanding its membership to reflect the diversity of Red Deer’s senior population.

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