#YQRcc Council’s Deliberations On The U-Pass

4:30 Hawkins:”Doing a little bit of social engineering here.”

“I’m worried about the environment too, and quite frankly I don’t think this is going to help the environment one bit! I think they way we’re going to help the environment in the next 20 & 30 & 40 years is to build better cars that pollute less, that run on energy efficient clean fuels and that are built with materials that are recyclable. In other words, I think that we’re going to solve the problem of urban transit with technological innovation.

I’m well aware that some people disagree with this, but that’s what I think is going to happen. I don’t think it’s a realistic vision of the future to think that in a Winter city, like Regina, that we are going to abandon cars en masse, Therefore I think the correct solution is not to try and change the culture, but to allow people choice, and to make sure that we have available to people, technologically clean choices. That’s the direction urban transit will go in the future.”

8:15 O’Donnell: “The way I look at this, is a group of students in a democratic society…, who chose to vote and go with something… I like that.”

9:15 Fraser: “For people that’ll never use it, it means better parking actually.”
“Students don’t have to buy a car… this is really going to save them thousands of dollars.”
“The big cultural change piece here, we’re going to start graduating transit riders, when they graduate university and keep riding the bus.”

11:20 Bryce: “I truly think this is a good deal for the people of Regina.”

11:50 Burnett: “I have to be honest, I actually changed my point of view from when the package first came into the system, when I was very uncomfortable and nervous about the numbers around the vote, but as we started getting into the discussions I think and certainly others have mentioned the key benefits to the City are a chance to get $1.6Mil in revenue. In terms of the enhanced bus service in parts of the city, my Ward, Ward 4, certainly will benefit from those services. But I think in my mind, the change in my mind came from I guess the professionalism of the delegations of students coming forward. At my age I gotta start to recognize as time moves on, to start putting trust into the next generation. And I have to believe and trust you folks who are on the ground at the campus, you’re hearing from students daily, and it would be your phone that would be rung off the hook if it’d been a backlash. … Is it really our responsibility to question how you raise the money? …Health and Dental, I’m sure the insurance carrier wasn’t questioning if the students were going to pay.”
15:46 Flegel: “Mr. Enright, the last time we had a non-profit come here and say we’ll give you $1.6Mil, if you help us out?”
Mayor: “Trick question Mr. Enright.”
Enright: “Your Worship, in the time I’ve been here, that has not happened. And to the best of my knowledge prior to that it did not happen.”
Flegel: “They’re offering to give us $1.6Mil to help them out, and we’re debating this? Originally I was not for it, because I was looking more on the side of us vs. them, but it’s become a community affair and it’s not just the university students anymore, yes they’re funding it because it’s directly related to what they want, but it also helps the city out with 5 buses…” “A non-profit.. it’s pretty stable ground in my books.”

17:00 Young: “I am so for this.”
“Ward 1, where we have parking issues, and also the UofR is in Ward 1.” She compliments the City and students being able to come up with an agreement in a short span of time.

18:00 Hincks: “I too will be supporting this.” Expresses concern for areas of the city without sidewalks where people have to walk to the bus.

19:00 Mayor: Initially not in favour, and now is. “I’m not so sure it will revolutionize how we take Transit in the city, I think that will be evolutionary over a number of years. But anytime we can enhance bus service across the city, that’s very good as well.
“included or excluded from voting”
He seemed to remark that some URSU students living outside of the City were not allowed to vote, which is not the case. Devon made this clarification to the media after.

Put That In Your Tailpipe And Smoke It

The U-Pass will greatly improve Transit in Regina, and it’s thanks to students investing in their community when City Council would not do it by themselves.

When the U-Pass first came up at Council two years ago, that Councillor said she didn’t want to build the Transit system “on the backs of seniors”. Now, Councillor Hawkins doesn’t want it done on the backs of students, apparently. Maybe they both forgot that it’s the taxpayers who should be directly paying for their Transit system. And as for “financial hardship” they each voted to raise student bus fares with no increase in service just last year.

Councillor Hawkins seems to have no problem with Reginans being socially engineered to drive everywhere with incomplete neighbourhood developments (a violation of the Official Community Plan bylaw), but objects to a lower-pollution transportation option. He claimed at this meeting to support new cleaner car technology instead, but only this Summer voted AGAINST 0-tailpipe emission car chargers that the City was being offered for free.

In January, the Councillor said the referendum turnout lacked legitimacy. Perhaps realizing his own election turnout was comparable, tonight he changed his tune to try and cast other aspects of the URSU referendum as needing a re-vote. Councillors Burnett and Flegel both soundly shot down that point, the latter asking the City Administration when the last time a non-profit waltzed into Council with over a million dollars offered if only they get a little help with a service the City provides anyway.

If City Council had taken my advice and bought enough new buses last year, instead of now, they’d have saved enough money to buy an extra bus!

BONUS snark:
This tweet tends to work for most of the Councillors in any given context:

UPass At City Council

Showing my support of the students who’ve took it upon themselves to improve the City’s transit system.

Dear City Clerk:
I wish to appear before council with the following presentation:

Good evening Your Worship and City Council,

As a staff person at the University of Regina, the UPass will indirectly make my commute to work better.

John Klein

Globe And Male’s Unfair Election Coverage


And now the unfair Munk Debate is being challenged in court for its violation of CRA rules regarding charities.

CBC’s Unfair Election Coverage

Letter to CBC:

Dear CBC Saskatoon,
I’m extremely displeased with your unfair coverage this morning, which intentionally excluded a candidate from Saskatoon Grasswood. This runs counter to CBC’s decision to invite the Green Party leader Elizabeth May to the Consortium debate this election. It also is contrary to the decency shown the Conservative candidate, who was invited but refused to even initially respond.

A public broadcaster should strive to be more fair, and offer equal unpaid time to political candidates, even if you happen to disagree with their ideas, their party, or their chances of becoming elected. If the likelihood of being elected was the deciding factor, why was the Liberal candidate invited?

If your technology constrains having more than 2 guests on the air simultaneously, perhaps an upgrade should be considered, or an alternate style of presenting the candidates individually as The National did last week. If time was the constraint, please reconsider what’s more important news than the discussion of platform ideas by local candidates during an election campaign.

John Klein

#EatThinkVote Event A Success

The tables were full of people, and full of delicious free organic food too, at the Eat Think Vote forum for candidates this evening at the Core Ritchie hall. (The event had to wrap up at 8:30 for floor hockey at 9pm.)

After, I got to speak briefly with Della Anaquod of the Liberals, Ralph Goodale (Lib), Tamela Friesen (Green), and Erin Weir (NDP). There was a Libertarian candidate there, and others of each party except the Conservatives. It’s so disrespectful of the Conservative candidates to shun non-partisan campaign events such as this one, which help raise the level of discourse and idea-debate during an election campaign.

I asked Della why she didn’t speak with Ralph, and she said that in 8 minutes it was thought Ralph would be able to get across the Liberal’s points the best. The NDP used this strategy too. The three Greens all spoke well though in their allotted time.

Next political campaign event that you should plan to attend in Regina is Sept 29th: