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Council approves extension of operations of interim shelter at current location

May 26, 2021 8:18 PM
(Red Deer, Alberta)

A short term extension to allow operations of the interim shelter at Cannery Row until September 30, 2021 was approved by Council today following a Public Hearing.

“Council heard from hundreds of citizens both in advance of and during the Public Hearing, a mix of supportive and opposed opinions to allowing the temporary shelter to operate at the current site,” said Mayor Tara Veer. “It has been a very difficult road to come to this decision, but based on administration’s update on feasible alternate sites for the interim shelter, public feedback and consideration of the community as a whole, Cannery Row is the pragmatically reasonable temporary option at this point in time.”

The items approved today to allow temporary operations to continue at the current site include:

  • Land Use Bylaw extension with an amendment: second and third readings approved to allow operations to continue until September 30, 2021.
  • Development Permit: approved with time extension to September 30, 2021 with conditions
  • Business License conditions

Council also approved options for issue mitigation in the Railyards neighbourhood. Approved is more than $41,000 for a plan that includes tactical implementations such as enhanced business and resident engagement, security, cleaning and new programs such as a safe walk program. Also approved was up to $8,500 to cover business license fees in 2022 for businesses located from Gaetz Avenue south to the Red Deer River to the west to the Red Deer River and Ross Street to the Red Deer River.

“Approving the implementation of mitigation strategies in the downtown core is a critical step to addressing issues being faced by affected residents and businesses,” said Veer. “Council heard there is a multitude of longstanding and detrimental issues such as crime, safety and neighbourhood cleanliness that must be resolved in the short term.”

Over the coming months, administration will work with community partners to roll out the tactics approved by Council in the mitigation strategy.

The current interim shelter at Cannery Row was established in March 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting need for a safe, physically distanced shelter for our community’s vulnerable population. With the ongoing pandemic, there is still a need for a space large enough to comply with Provincial health measures.

The City is also working closely with the Government of Alberta to solidify a location for the permanent shelter. On February 7, 2020, the Province committed to $7 million in its 2020 Capital Plan for a purpose-built integrated emergency shelter in Red Deer. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Province of Alberta and The City of Red Deer was finalized in February, 2021 to establish a general high-level understanding related to the Provincially managed project to meet the current and future needs in Red Deer.  

For more information, please contact:    

Corporate Communications
The City of Red Deer

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