red deer advocate, october 08, 2013

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October 08, 2013 edition of the Red Deer Advocate

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  • Red Deer AdvocateTUESDAY, OCT. 8, 2013

    Your trusted local news authority www.reddeeradvocate.com

    Two sectionsAlberta . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A3Business. . . . . . . . . . . . . A7,A8Canada . . . . . . . . . . . . . . A5,A6Classified . . . . . . . . . . .B8-B11Comics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B4Entertainment . . . . . . . . . . .A12Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . B5-B7

    INDEX

    PLEASE RECYCLE

    Egyptian militants strike back

    A string of attacks killed nine members of Egypts security and military forces Monday.

    Story on PAGE A9FORECAST ON A2

    WEATHER Sun and cloud. High 10. Low -2.

    Red Deer 1913 2013 Create Celebrate CommemorateTHE GREAT GROCERY

    GIVEAWAY IS BACK!

    DETAILS INSIDE

    Cranberry sauce

    complements many

    dishes all year round

    SWEET AND TANGY

    A11

    Ward or at-large?BY CRYSTAL RHYNO

    ADVOCATE STAFF

    Information on how Red Deerians could choose their future elected councils drew about 60 residents

    to a panel discussion in Red Deer on Monday. Political scientist Duane Bratt, blogger Dave

    Cournoyer and former Red Deer city councillor Lar-ry Pimm outlined the pros and cons of at-large and ward systems of representation.

    In Red Deer, councillors are currently elected in an at-large system where the politicians represent

    the entire city. But on the Oct. 21 civic ballot, electors will answer

    the non-binding plebiscite, Do you want the City of Red Deer divided into wards?

    DONT LET THIS OPPORTUNITY GO TO WASTE

    Thousands spent on partisan

    Tory eventsBY PAUL COWLEY

    ADVOCATE STAFF

    The County of Stettler spent $6,540 in violation of election financing rules on partisan Tory events over nearly a decade, according to an internal investiga-tion.

    The municipality went back through its books last month after Wildrose Party justice critic Shayne Sas-kiw called for an Elections Alberta investigation of the county for possible rules violations.

    It was alleged that documents provided under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act suggested county staffers may have done work for the Progressive Conservative Party on county time.

    In one case, an email was sent drawing attention to a Facebook page by then-local MLA Jack Hayden. In another incident, it was alleged a county worker put up election signs for the Tories while on the job.

    There was no evidence to suggest that either of those activities have or are currently taking place, says county chief administrative officer Tim Fox in a statement issued on Friday.

    In reviewing documents dating back nearly a de-cade, the county did find that $3,440 was paid out to councillors to attend politically associated events and another $3,100 was reimbursed to staff.

    Reeve Wayne Nixon said the practice was stopped when the last council came to power in 2010.

    Nixon said at the time the political events were seen as useful opportunities to press government leaders for funding and other issues of local con-cern.

    We just looked at it as the cost of doing business at that time, he said, noting the county depends on government grants for many of its projects.

    The amount of money doled out is small consider-ing hiring a lobbyist would have cost in the tens of thousands, he said.

    Nixon said county politicians and staffers are free to continue to attend party events, but now they pay their own way.

    In the long run it leads to less confusion and less finger pointing.

    Nixon remains frustrated by the amount of time and effort that went into what he calls little more than a witch hunt by the Wild Rose Party.

    He sent letters to local MLA Rick Strankman and Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith calling the freedom of information requests a waste of time and they would better serve constituents by doing something constructive.

    Strankman and Saskiw could not be reached for comment on Monday.

    The use of municipal dollars for attending politi-cal party events has come up before around Alberta.

    In February, the towns of Rimbey and Sylvan Lake were been identified as making illegal campaign do-nations in a report posted by Elections Alberta.

    COUNTY OF STETTLER

    Olds College introduces course in which iPad is mandatory

    BY HARLEY RICHARDSADVOCATE BUSINESS EDITOR

    Some educational institutions frown on the use of tablet computers.

    At Olds College, its now mandatory for most stu-dents.

    The college has introduced an entrepreneurship course that can only be completed using an iPad. Not only that, its in the form of a game that challenges players to operate and grow a lemonade stand busi-ness.

    It will take then anywhere from 30 to 40 hours to complete it, like it would a normal course, said Jason Dewling, Olds Colleges vice-president of aca-demic and research.

    Players progress through 12 modules, making fi-nancial decisions, improving the efficiency of their operation and applying marketing strategies along the way. New activities and business concepts are unlocked as they advance.

    Called Spirit of Entrepreneurship, the iPad app must be completed by students enrolled in programs that run for 16 weeks or more. And it could foreshad-ow a shift in the way curriculum is delivered at Olds College.

    In the U.S. right now, 99 per cent of boys and 94 per cent of girls under the age of 18 play at least eight hours a week of games, pointed out Dewling.

    We believe that to engage this generation, it would just be an amazing opportunity if we could find the right partnership with a gamer and whatnot to get the curriculum embedded in gamification.

    In the case of Spirit of Entrepreneurship, Olds

    College partnered with GoForth Institute, which spe-cializes in web-based small business training; and Robots and Pencils Inc., a world-class app-designer. It also boosted the campuss Internet connectivity from 40 to 1,000 megabits.

    We have more bandwidth per student here than anywhere in Canada, said Dewling, adding that the Wi-Fi zone covers virtually every building.

    The college chose Apple iPads as the platform for this electronic initiative after assessing the alterna-tives. But it caught the eye of Apple Inc. long before that.

    We had made a decision internally to commit to this entrepreneurship game before we even made a commitment to go to the iPad one-to-one environ-ment, said Dewling.

    Apple came to us and said, This is two years ahead of anything thats out there. Wed like to find a way to work with you.

    Other post-secondary institutions are also show-ing interest.

    The top guy at Harvard, related to educational technology, hes got a licence to the game as well, and has actually downloaded it.

    Recent presentations by Dewling in Chicago and Boston attracted queries from more than a dozen post-secondary institutions, as far away as New Zea-land. Hes scheduled to speak at upcoming educa-tional technology conferences in Cyprus and On-tario, sharing the stage at the latter with Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield.

    So thats the level that this is getting attention and were not out pushing it.

    Photo by JEFF STOKOE/Advocate staff

    Taking advantage of this weeks free yard waste drop off at the City of Red Deer waste management facility, Dan Boucher, left, and Ike Martens pull a load of branches out of Martens truck. City residents have until Saturday Oct. 12, to take their yard waste to the landfill and drop it off at no charge. Waste, including grass clippings, leaves, garden materials and tree branches, will be recycled by the city and given new life as compost and wood chips.

    MEETING OUTLINES PROS AND CONS OF SYSTEMS OF REPRESENTATION

    Please see REPRESENTATION on Page A2

    Please see INVESTIGATION on Page A2 Please see COURSE on Page A2

    CANADA GUILTY OF A DOUBLE STANDARD FOR OILPAGE A4

  • A2 RED DEER ADVOCATE Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013

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    REPRESENTATION: Whats best for a city of this size?

    In a ward system, councillors would only repre-sent a certain area of the city.

    Albertas two largest cities Calgary and Edmon-ton elect officials using ward systems.

    Its really about representation, argued Bratt. When a city gets to a certain size is it ungovernable without a ward system?

    Bratt said a city with a population of 100,000 could go one way or another. He said there are strong argu-ments either way.

    Youre right at the cusp, but one thing I did predict and one thing I maintain, if it is voted down now and the population continues to increase, this will continue to come back, said Bratt. Whether it is four years, eight years, 12 years, there will be a ward system in Red Deer. The question is at what point. What is the threshold? Is it 100,00 people? Is it 130,000 people?

    Cournoyer, an Edmonton-based political blogger, agreed the question for Red Deer is whether a ward system is merited for 100,000 residents or 200,000. He noted Edmonton moved to a ward system when its population reached around 300,000.

    Some of the arguments for moving to a ward sys-tem include having strong advocates for an area; closer relationships with the councillors and more citizen participation in the community.

    On the flip side, the needs of the entire city may be ignored, said Pimm, a councillor for 24 years. He said some day Red Deer will reach the size where a ward or hybrid system would be worth exploring but not today.

    For me, I want to be