Rassembler to me is Re-assembler

French words make sense to English speakers, in different ways. The Connaught school was taken apart, I helped pick up some bricks that once were a part of it, and others reassembled them into art and a functional bench and tree planter at a major intersection.

On Saturday afternoon, the Cathedral neighbourhood gathered to unveil their latest community project masterpiece titled ‘Rassembler’ — which translates from French as “gather together.”

There are still a few bills to pay, and the group is still accepting help here: https://saveourconnaught.ca/donate/

Where the bricks stopped over, before their hopefully final resting place at the other end of 13th Ave. in Cathedral neighbourhood:


Connaught school remains at the #yqr landfill.

Regina Recycling Oxymoron

Why is Regina a laggard city?

“A new report shows Regina lags behind several other Canadian cities and regional municipalities when it comes to waste management.”

“Municipal Benchmarking Network (MBN) Canada’s 2015 performance measurement report examined the efficiency and effectiveness of services provided by 16 municipalities, 11 of them in Ontario.

The report found Regina diverted the lowest percentage of residential waste at 17.8 per cent. Only 0.25 tonnes of residential garbage was diverted per household in Regina – the lowest amount among the municipalities.”

Regina is charging people for recycling on a utility bill. Maybe it’s time to charge for garbage and make recycling “free” part of other taxes. This was advised against by Darren Hill of Saskatoon, who points out this could contaminate the recycling stream as people try to avoid putting actual trash into their brown bins. Yet Regina is sucking with the current system, so something else must be tried.

Online Budget Tool Returns

You can make a budget here. But it’s a bit pointless because they don’t let you take anything down to $0. Do I want $64.6M for policing still? No, I’d like to see what they can do with $40M, for a casual example.

Why is $42.8M the cap put on Transit? I think it should probably be $100M or more, so why is that not even an option to visualize?


4 New Councillors Could Shift The Balance

I’m more optimistic today than I was yesterday about the new Council. Although a majority 6 Councillors were returned, with 4 new faces it’s possible that some of the incumbents could be convinced to change their votes on a number of issues.

Lori Bresciani is new in Ward 4. I’m concerned about her current view on downtown parking.

If we want to people to come downtown Parking has to available and convenient.  I do not believe we have adequate parking and we need to provide more parking options for residents.

Contrast her view with Joel’s below. I hope her perspective will change with experience.

Jason Mancinelli, a highly rated auto mechanic, is new in Ward 9. I couldn’t find his campaign page. He appears to want action on environmental issues. If he makes his first impact on changing the culture of transit by turning down his Council parking pass, and insist upon a Transit pass instead, that will be great.

Andrew Stevens in Ward 3 wants a bus route to the airport, first thing. That’s long overdue, and low hanging fruit. He also wants a housing first strategy that works, like Medicine Hat has. That’s great! He wants to “work towards water conservation and stewardship.” Excellent! He’ll focus on implementing the Transportation Master Plan, and Official Community Plan.

Fixing our infrastructure: The current Council has prioritized sprawl at the expense of maintaining and improving our existing infrastructure. Instead, we need to develop a strategy for improving public transit, bike infrastructure and recreation facilities, while fully implementing the Official Community Plan and Neighbourhood Plans.

When it comes to infrastructure, we need to talk about dedicated bike lanes and a better public transit systems. Cars are expensive and damaging to our health. We need to change, and that’s why I’d look to recommendations in our Transportation Master Plan for guidance.

Joel Murray in Ward 6 seems to understand that parking in downtown cannot be solved by adding more car parking. He gets bonus points for knowing about car sharing.

If we can invest more into options other than a private car (bike lanes, car sharing, and transit) we can keep rates low and have more parking available.

Protecting out environment is paramount. As a community we need to work together on diverting more from our landfill, expanding transit, increasing bike lanes, shopping local, and working from home if possible.

Is approval of the Blue Dot motion forthcoming from this changed Council? Time will tell.

Which Foxes Run The Hen House?

The LeaderPost editors asked some good questions about a delayed report:

Noting that [school board] controversy, and a need for good relationships with other governments, Nicol said, “That’s why it came out after the election. I would stand by that thinking that it was a prudent decision.”

Taken together, these statements raise some questions:

• The city and its staff work for the taxpayers of Regina and their elected representatives. Does that not necessarily include being critical of others when needed — and letting the political chips fall where they may, rather than taking pains to avoid controversy?

• Would any senior city employee take it on himself or herself to delay a major report? Who controls council’s agenda: our elected representatives or bureaucrats?

• If there was, as Nicol as indicated, a serious misunderstanding between senior managers, why did somebody in authority not take a few minutes to write an email formally setting things straight — to get a correction “on the record”? If such a correction exists, now would be a good time to make it public.

• Finally, all this transpired about eight months ago. Is this week’s disclosure coincidence, or is whoever released the emails involved in a little municipal election mischief making?

All in all, the city’s too-delicate response to one election is now a distraction during another.

Who Would I Vote For?

I decided not to run for City Council this year. A lot changed in my life since 2012, and although I’m not happy with who makes up City Council (and incumbents who are most likely to next time either), I didn’t feel enabled by enough people in Regina to be a leader for change this October 26th.

Instead I’ve provided some support to other candidates who sought my advice or support. For those interested, I’m going to list who I’d vote for in each Ward, if I had that opportunity.

Ward 1:
Neither. I don’t think either of the candidates is suited to building a Regina we need. Councillor Young has promised more cycling infrastructure, but her track record suggests it will never become enough of a priority for her to follow through on that promise. I’ve never met the other candidate, and he doesn’t appear to be running a serious campaign.

Ward 2:
SILZER, Laur’Lei. Why? Just a gut feeling.

Ward 3:
STEVENS, Andrew. Why? Never met the fellow, but he’s a co-worker, and I read he also bikes to work year-round.

Ward 4:
​DEBIA, Asfaw. Why? I’ve met him once.

Ward 5:
GOODMAN, Anthony. Why? He’s not an incumbent Councillor.

Ward 6:
This is difficult. Not Femi, as I’m informed he sought to be a HarperCon MP. Maybe even Murray since he’s recommended by some friends of mine, but I remain skeptical because his father wasn’t a very positive influence on Council. Maybe Deiter, Deacon, or Lavallee. I’d pick one at random between Deiter or Lavallee unless something changes. Stephenson I’ve met before, but he ran for the Sask Party, and the last Sask Party candidate to become Councillor has been a disaster.

Ward 7:
DULMAGE, James. Why? I’ve spoken with him a couple times online.

Ward 8:
CHAPADOS, David. Why? He’s the best of the candidates I’ve met running during this election campaign.

Ward 9:
WOTHERSPOON, Aidan. Why? I’ve met him, and he’s the obvious choice to replace Hincks.

Ward 10:
SKLAR, Brian. Why? I’ve met him, and he’s a capable musician involved in left-wing politics for years.

ELLIOTT, Jim. Why? He’s a friend, and the obvious choice for a capable Mayor who also cares about Regina’s long-term viability.

There are also school board positions.
Brett Salkeld I went to University with. He even once borrowed a computer of mine. He’d be a good choice for Catholic Board.
Misty Longman is another co-worker, and I think she’d do a great job for the school board.