Monday, October 2, 2017

A Safe & Healthy Community

Hey everyone,

As I write this the snow is blowing outside and Red Deer is getting its first major snow storm of the year. It would be nice to have winter tires for my vehicle but a while ago someone came into my back yard and stole them! They were stacked up beside my house and blocked in by my wheel barrow and a some scrap wood that I had stacked up. I wish I could say that this was the only time I have personally been the victim of crime, but it's not. I wish I could say that I am the only one experiencing things like this and that this is the worst of what's happening, but it's not.

What is happening in Red Deer? Why are stories like mine becoming more and more common? I hear about more and more violent and disturbing crimes. Why are the stories getting worse?

The economic downturn and the rising drug crisis are closely correlated to the increase in crime. All of these things are connected in very complex ways. That's why our solution must be full spectrum. If we want to address why people are stealing tires from peoples back yards then we have to address things like unemployment and public health. 

Let's address unemployment by attracting new and more diverse businesses to Red Deer. As a councillor I will work with existing businesses to find out what they need to be able to continue to operate profitably and I will reach out to prospective businesses and find out what we can do to make Red Deer a desirable place for them to set up shop. Also, I recognize that the more we partner with RDC, soon RDU hopefully, then the more our community will prosper.

Connected to that is also the concept of social economic development. We want to prevent crime and we know that when people have a good job they have hope and that when people have hope they are less likely to turn to crime. That's the bigger picture that we're looking at. I am a strong advocate for linking our social, cultural and environmental goals with our economic goals. True sustainability, wether social, environmental or cultural must be financially viable in order to last and our economic goals must contribute to the general wellbeing of our citizens at the same time. Thats good policy.

My campaign for city council is focused on what we can to right now to get results. Right now we can provide more tools to our police services and our justice system. GPS tracked ankle bracelets are proven to be effective in disrupting the pattern of crime. If we put enough of these devices on repeat offenders; the guys stealing trucks and dealing drugs, then we will throw their destructive patterns out of balance. If a gang member gets an ankle bracelet then that guy is out of the gang because the others won't want him around. These devices are cost effective, legal and would be put to good use immediately. We can start a pilot project right away and start gathering evidence to prove if the technology works for Red Deer and how best to fund and implement a strategy.

A hot button topic is the drug crisis in our community. When we let fear dictate public policy then we are reacting to the problem. What's the difference between reacting and responding? It's how much planning goes into the process beforehand. When we generate public policy based on evidence then we will be able to respond to the problem. We must be very intentional with how we respond to the rising drug crisis and treat it the way we would treat any other public health emergency.

I've heard a lot of discussion about building a supervised consumption site and there is a lot of concern about how this will be implemented. If we build a high security medical facility to supervise people using drugs then we must intentionally focus on prevention, outreach and long term treatment and support. Right now we don't have any control over the situation, people are injecting everywhere in the city and leaving their needles in places that are creating a serious hazard to the community. How do we regain control of the situation? The evidence shows that there are effective ways to help people with addictions; but it will require a concerted effort to put together a plan that will work. We must listen to all the voices in our community; to the experts and front line workers, to families affected by addictions, to nearby residents and businesses. As a councillor I will be committed to engaging our community to find solutions that will make our city healthier and safer.

I'm prepared to roll up my sleeves and get to work. Please help me to secure a seat on city council so I can work with you to move our community towards these goals!

Thank you

Let's go for coffee!

Please feel free to email me ( or contact me on social media; just search for Wieler4RD on most platforms or use the hashtag #CoffeeWithWieler.


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