A whole new universe for Red Deer College

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The name selection follows the Government of Alberta’s approval of Red Deer College’s request to become a university. Although the name cannot be officially used by the institution until it formally completes the transition process, identifying a name is an exciting step forward.

“A university’s name is not only about higher education and the programs it offers, it serves as a beacon of pride for the community it serves. I look forward to officially celebrating this new name following Red Deer College’s successful transition to become one of Alberta’s newest universities.”  

Marlin Schmidt, Minister of Advanced Education

“The Government of Alberta has heard the voices of our students, community members and partners as they echoed our message about what a university will mean to this region. We are incredibly pleased to begin the next step of our journey as Red Deer University, a name that reflects the strong legacy of our institution and also its bright future.”

Morris Flewwelling, chair, Board of Governors, Red Deer College

“As a comprehensive regional teaching university, we are committed to offering innovative, practical and relevant programs that will set our students up for successful lives and careers. We are forging a new future as Red Deer University, and this name reflects the immense pride our students, alumni, faculty, staff and community have in the quality of education our institution has provided for the past 55 years.”

Joel Ward, president & CEO, Red Deer College

The transition process for a college to become a university in Alberta takes several years and includes a number of steps to ensure the institution is fully prepared, that the degrees offered are meaningful, and that the credentials granted to students are universally recognized. Red Deer College is working on a transition plan, and will continue to work with the Campus Alberta Quality Council to ensure that all new degree programs meet provincial and national standards.

With roughly 100,000 residents, Red Deer is growing into one of Alberta’s most prominent cities and economic hubs. Improved access to undergraduate degree programming in the Red Deer area will ensure central Albertans can stay in the region and create a more diverse workforce and stronger regional economy.

Red Deer College offers about 75 programs, including certificates, diplomas, apprenticeship training and university transfer programming in areas such as health services, tourism, transportation, business, arts and science.

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Investing in the future of Lois Hole park

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St. Albert MLA Marie Renaud presents Jim Hole with a copy of the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park Management Plan.

The popular park on the edge of St. Albert is globally recognized as an important bird and biodiversity area that supports recreation opportunities like hiking and bird-watching.

The Government of Alberta is investing $160,000 under the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park Management Plan to support the facility improvements and the development of a new nature trail.

The management plan also builds on recent inclusion and accessibility investments, including last year’s upgrades to the John E. Poole boardwalk inclusion trail and parking lot.

“The Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park is a beautiful and unique natural wonder, and a prime example of how conservation and recreation can coexist in harmony. The newly completed management plan lays out exciting possibilities for the park’s future and I’m especially proud that this plan also supports inclusion and access for people with disabilities.”

Marie Renaud, MLA for St. Albert

The park is named after Alberta’s 15th lieutenant-governor, Lois Hole, a beloved businesswoman, academic, professional gardener and best-selling author of more than a dozen gardening guides. Hole passed away in 2005, and the park was established to honour her legacy and accomplishments.

“My mother would be very proud to have her name inextricably linked with this wonderful park named in her honour. The lake and wetlands teem with life and are host to more than 220 bird species, including tundra swans, pelicans and great blue herons. As the only urban provincial park in the capital region, this treasured ecosystem is right in our backyard and here for everyone to explore and enjoy.”

Jim Hole, son of Lois Hole

Future opportunities identified in the plan include development of a day-use area, additional trails and collaborative monitoring and stewardship programs to protect the park’s sensitive ecosystem. The plan supports nature-based education and maintains the park’s status as a globally recognized Important Bird Area which draws visitors from far and wide.

“Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park is a very special place for everyone in our community. We are excited by the vision outlined in the management plan and appreciate the more inclusive approach. We look forward to ongoing conservation, increased access and additional opportunities for our residents to enjoy the park.”

Wes Brodhead, deputy mayor, St. Albert

The park’s John E. Poole Wetland plays an important role in helping Ducks Unlimited Canada advance conservation in Alberta.

“Each year, it provides a place for thousands of nature enthusiasts, visitors and community members to experience wetlands. It also serves as nature’s classroom for Grade 5 students who take part in Ducks Unlimited Canada’s wetland visitation program which provides hands-on learning opportunities for youth so they better understand wetlands’ function and value. We are proud to be a partner in the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park Management Plan. Let’s work together so that these natural assets continue to hold a significant place in our hearts, minds and spirit.”

Cathy MacKenzie, head of outreach programs-Alberta, Ducks Unlimited Canada

“We are very excited for the release of the Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park plan and associated funding. The park has significant conservation value with its designation as an Important Bird Area and internationally recognized wetlands. We are pleased the plan supports continued protection of the park’s flora and fauna, wildlife viewing and low-impact recreation for residents and visitors.”  

Alan Henry, chair, Big Lake Environment Support Society

Quick facts

  • Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park was designated on April 19, 2005, in honour of the late lieutenant-governor Lois Hole.
  • The dominant feature of Lois Hole Centennial Provincial Park is Big Lake, which makes up about 60 per cent of the park.
  • The park is recognized as a globally significant Important Bird Area for its abundant and diverse bird populations, especially waterfowl and shorebirds.
  • Through a memorandum-of-understanding with Alberta Parks, Ducks Unlimited Canada has constructed interpretive boardwalks to educate visitors about the sensitive ecology of the area.
  • There is a wildlife viewing platform along the eastern shore of Big Lake at the mouth of the Sturgeon River.

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West Calgary Ring Road construction to start

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Transportation Minister Brian Mason and Calgary-Bow MLA Deborah Drever announce contracts are in place to begin West Calgary Ring Road construction.

The 11-kilometre project is divided into three segments: the south one that connects with the Southwest Calgary Ring Road, the north one that meets the Trans-Canada Highway and a new bridge across the Bow River.

The north segment, running between Old Banff Coach Road and the Trans-Canada Highway, will be constructed by EllisDon. The West Bow River Bridge twinning project will be built by Flatiron and AECON.

Between now and 2022, the north segment of the West Calgary Ring Road will support 2,393 jobs, while the West Bow River Bridge will support 300 jobs.

“This project is something the people of this city have been asking to have completed for nearly 50 years. When complete, travel will be more efficient, industry will operate with fewer delays and, in the process, thousands of jobs will be supported. We will have shovels in the ground this spring.”

Brian Mason, Minister of Transportation

The Request for Qualifications for the south segment of the West Calgary Ring Road, between Highway 8 and Old Banff Coach Road, will be issued in the coming days. A contractor is expected to be in place for the 2020 construction season.

The West Calgary Ring Road will be open during fall 2022, one year following the expected completion of the Southwest Calgary Ring Road project. When complete, the entire Calgary Ring Road will provide travellers with 101 kilometres of free-flow travel.

“I’m pleased to see progress is being made on the West Calgary Ring Road. This is a critical connection not only for those who live on the west side of the city but for all Calgarians.”   

Jeff Davison, councillor, Ward 6

”EllisDon is proud to be selected to build this important piece of infrastructure for the province of Alberta. We’re looking forward to delivering the next stretch of the 101-kilometre ring road, providing better free-flow access around the City of Calgary.”

Jeff Fox, senior vice-president and area manager, EllisDon, Calgary

“We look forward to working with our partner, Flatiron, to successfully and safely execute this important project for Albertans. This project will be a key component in the completion of Calgary’s ring road, providing vital infrastructure for the growing Calgary area.”

Jean-Louis Sevranckx, president and CEO, Aecon Group Inc.

Quick facts

  • 11 kilometres involving three projects
  • includes upgrading of five kilometres of Trans-Canada Highway
  • north segment tendered at $463 million
  • West Bow River Bridge segment tendered at $89 million

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