Shift of priorities in report card

Red Deer’s third annual report card, released at noon today, shows some significant shifts in the way people view life in the city compared with previous reports.

Red Deer’s third annual report card, released at noon on Tuesday, shows some significant shifts in the way people view life in the city.

Vital Signs, prepared by the Red Deer and District Community Foundation, gathers data from a variety of research organizations and then quizzes local citizens for their reaction in 12 key areas, says foundation CEO Janice Wing.

Areas include safety, education, health, poverty, arts and the environment.

Respondents were given statistical details such as crime rates and compliance with recycling programs, and then asked to grade Red Deer on a scale of one to five.

Despite stats showing a drop in both violent crimes and property offences, people in Red Deer rate crime, law and order as their No. 1 area of concern this year, said Wing.

Following that are health care in second place and poverty, homelessness and hunger in third.

That’s a shift from 2007, the first year of the program, when crime was in third place among people’s concerns and health care actually got top grades as one of the region’s strengths.

“Not that long ago . . . health care was on the top of the list of things that were going really well. Again, you know, that’s an area that has changed very quickly.”

Also significant, education was given a much better grade this year while it had not performed as well on previous report cards.

“Education from this year is something that people are proud of and think that we’re doing well,” said Wing.

The report showed that people in Red Deer feel relatively confident in the local economy.

That said, there is significant worry about poverty and homelessness.

Kim Pasula, vice-chairman of the community foundation, said the report is a vital tool for making decisions about where to apply resources to get the most efficient use of money when there isn’t enough to go around.

It’s a sad irony that, in a weakened economy, needs increase while funding sources dry up, said Pasula.

New this year, the foundation has compiled its report to community stakeholders in a calendar, examining one issue per month.

Copies of the calendar are not available for sale but can be downloaded from the community foundation’s website, www.rddcf.ca.

A full Vital Signs report supplement will be published in the Advocate on Thursday.

Red Deer’s Vital Signs project is part of a nationwide program operated by the Community Foundations of Canada. Vital Signs reports were released on Tuesday by 16 communities across Canada, said Wing.

bkossowan@bprda.wpengine.com

• Click here to visit reddeervitalsigns.ca

Just Posted

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Report: China is driving use of armed drones in Middle East

BEIRUT — The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven… Continue reading

Canadian home sales fall for a 3rd month; new listings also down: CREA

OTTAWA — Home sales across the country fell for a third month… Continue reading

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

‘Are we going to play?’ Alberta boy with rare illness no big deal for classmates

ONOWAY, Alta. — Four-year-old Porter Stanley has some new pals at preschool.… Continue reading

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

Jeff Bridges to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Bridges may have once been considered as one… Continue reading

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

NEW YORK — Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Speaker Geoff Regan opens the door to his apartment in Parliament

OTTAWA — One of the best-kept secrets inside the main building on… Continue reading

Baloo the cat is back at home after being mistakenly shipped to Montreal

HALIFAX — Much to the relief of his loving family, Baloo the… Continue reading

‘It’s what we do’: Famous Newfoundlanders help replace veteran’s stolen guitar

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Two famous Newfoundlanders stepped in to help an… Continue reading

Most Read