Voters ask about bike lanes, pool

A crowd of over 200 people had the opportunity to start whittling down their choices for city council at an election forum at the Golden Circle on Wednesday night.

A crowd of over 200 people had the opportunity to start whittling down their choices for city council at an election forum at the Golden Circle on Wednesday night.

Candidate Dennis Moffat said voters in Red Deer have never had it so good.

“You’ve got 30 good candidates to choose from and if you can’t choose eight good ones out of 30, there’s something wrong with you,” Moffat said to laughter from the crowd of mostly seniors at the first candidate forum for the Oct. 21 municipal election.

Some people were turned away from the forum because the seniors centre was packed.

Several members of the audience stood the entire time the 29 candidates who attended took turns at the microphone during the marathon session that lasted an hour and 45 minutes.

Moffat didn’t wait to voice his opinion on Red Deer’s controversial bike lanes and earned a round of applause.

“I think the bicycles should stay on the sidewalks and not the roads. They’re too dangerous,” said Moffat, a former city councillor.

After one minute introductions, each candidate randomly pulled one of eight questions out of a hat. Accommodating the growing number of residents using cycling as transportation was one of the questions a few candidates had to tackle.

Candidate Calvin Yzerman joked that the cyclists needed “prayer.”

He said as traffic has became heavier, he chose to ride his bike on sidewalks to be safe and suggested double-wide sidewalks, expanding the trail system and looking for better solutions when building new subdivisions.

Paul Harris, who was on city council trying to solve the cycling issue, said it was just like magic that he picked that question.

“My very first stance, and it’s still my stance, is that bike lanes should be safe and separated,” said Harris, an incumbent.

He said he has rented bikes to cycle in other cities and has found safe and separate lanes work.

Candidate Lloyd Johnson said the bike lane project should be shelved.

Building a 50-metre pool, if the province closes Michener Centre pool, had support from candidates who chose that question.

Candidate Ken Johnston said with Red Deer’s growing population the city has a “pool deficit” and he was in favour of a new pool as it would draw visitors and events.

“We are the only city in Western Canada with a population of about 45,000 people without access to a 50-metre pool,” Johnston said.

Incumbent Frank Wong said the city must be creative when it comes to funding and could partner with a corporation to construct a 50-metre pool.

Candidates that were asked if Red Deer should have a concert hall were mostly in favour of the project.

“If we are willing to pay for these things by having fundraising I would support it.

“Those things that improve the arts in Red Deer improve the lives of everyone who lives here. The one thing I would object to though is bringing consultants in to tell us what to do,” said Moffat which had the audience clapping loudly.

Candidate Dan McKenna said the city already has facilities for concerts.

“For this size of city, I don’t believe a concert hall is necessary. If it is we should probably look at a private investor to build this thing,” McKenna said.

In response to a question about the city’s role in assisting seniors, Tanya Handley, a member of the Red Deer First slate of candidates, said the city’s debt is unmanageable for the senior population.

“Our taxes continue to go up year after year and those living on fixed incomes are strapped,” Handley said.

To deal with the root causes of crime, candidate Lawrence Lee said engaging youth, finding out their lives, and providing them with support programs would help address such a complex issue.

Other candidates participating at the forum were incumbents Buck Buchanan, Dianne Wyntjes, and Lynne Mulder, as well as candidates Jerry Anderson, Bettylyn Baker, Terry Balgobin, Matt Chapin, Stephen Coop, Gary Didrikson, Serge Gingras, Calvin Goulet-Jones, David Helm, Tim Lasiuta, Victor Mobley, Dawna Morey, Ben Ordman, Janella Spearing, Troy Wavrecan, Jonathan Wieler, and Darren Young.

Candidate Bob Bevins was unable to attend the forum.

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

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

Chopped Canada-winning chef Pete Sok is trying to focus on the future as he reopens Boulevard Restaurant and Lounge in the Holiday Inn on Gasoline Alley during the pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer’s celebrity chef looks past the pandemic with new restaurant opportunity

Pete Sok is reopening Boulevard Restaurant — and betting on the future

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Red Deer science-communicating 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

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

Leader of the Government in the House of Commons Pablo Rodriguez rises during Question Period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Friday, Nov. 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Gummed-up bills in House of Commons: harbinger of a federal election?

OTTAWA — All federal party leaders maintain they don’t want an election… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

Most Read