Save Public Services

Good evening Your Worship,
I’ve a list of requested changes to make to the budget. It’s more important to me that we build our public services than hold taxes low. The City has been able to dig deep for the Roughriders, and now it’s time to come through for equally important Libraries, Schools, public transportation, and reducing our world-leading air pollution figures.

  • Cities should buy Saskatchewan Transportation Corporation buses, or transfer them from the provincial government, then operate them on STC’s profitable routes to better service the people of Saskatchewan. Even though the Government of Saskatchewan has fallen down on that job, it doesn’t mean we have to lose ground-based public transportation to our closest neighbouring urbans and their services. As you know, Regina has no Via train service. It’s madness to lose our only bus routes to Saskatoon, Weyburn, Estevan, Yorkton, and other cities. We must not let it happen. Regina, Saskatoon, and Moose Jaw all have transportation services that could be extended to enhance inter-city transportation options that were lost with the pending closure of STC.
  • Ensure the Regina Public Library can function the best it can, with the loss of the Inter-library Loans program due to provincial anti-education cuts.
  • If you dare think of closing a public pool for the season to save money, I want to see it being properly repaired during the closure, to make the pool last for decades more.
  • Do not end holiday bus service. That’s one of the few areas that Council has permitted Regina Transit to improve upon in recent years, so it would be taking a large step backward to deny people that important service, and cause uncertainty about the availability of Transit in Regina on any given holiday.
  • To save money, reverse the earlier decision to give $193,000 to Wascana Centre to extend a parking lot at Candy Cane Park. Paving more of the park for cars does not fit with the Official Community Plan’s Sustainability requirements. People can park at the Science Centre’s new lot, and walk, or park on Broder St. or any number of nearby residential streets within walking distance. If the apparent safety problem is due to illegally parked cars as I was told by Wascana Centre, ticket and/or tow them. Boom, revenue! People can also take Regina Transit to the location, on #15, which is another reason that holiday Transit should not be cut. Instead, add a sidewalk to Victoria Avenue east of Park St. to connect downtown to points in east Regina. Connect Regina Avenue’s sidewalk to the multi-use pathway the Regina Airport has built to the bridge at Sandra Schmirler Way. It’s really shameful there’s no safe active transportation options to our airport or to the entire north-east side of our city from this spot.
  • Spend enough on cycling infrastructure to ensure there is more than 1 project this season to improve the safety of children on bikes in our city. Enough men have died on bikes in Regina in the past year to make most people realize that it’s crucial we fix our streets’ level of safety. You can put the right sort of lanes, bollards, and paint down while crews are repaving any given street so it meets a modern safe standard. The City has promised to do this for years, so make sure it happens this year.
  • Set aside $10,000 to spend on rewewable energy equipment, so the City can finally generate more renewable power than I do for our grid with a modest investment 2 years ago. The City would also surpass the Province’s contribution to renewable energy on our electrical grid. This should especially appeal to you after the Province’s mismanagement and unkind cuts made tonight’s meeting necessary.

Sincerely,
John Klein
Regina, SK

  • And Garbage pick-up going to bi-weekly is a positive change, so glad it’s been made.
  • Household hazardous waste collection is a matter of public health and should be expanded, not discontinued.
  • Glad you’re not advertising about making road repairs. Who thought that was a good communications idea? It wasn’t. Take the thousands of dollars and fill some potholes, or sweep the bike lanes that are full of sand.

“Whichever way you look at it – financial, moral, compassionate – the city-led, mostly provincially funded 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness launched by then-Mayor Steve Mandel in 2009 has been a success.

You can look at numbers until your brain is spinning, but a few big ones stand out.

Since 2009, Homeward Trust – the umbrella organization coordinating housing and social programs in Edmonton for the homeless – says 6,000 formerly homeless individuals have been housed.

Two-thirds of those helped were considered to be chronically without shelter.

The annual 2016 Homeless Count – the best measurement available – was 1,752 people. The 2014 count was about 2,170. The count in 2008 was about 2,500. Had no action been taken, the 2009 report suggests the homeless count could have jumped to 8,500 by 2018.”

UPDATE:

Another hot topic from delegations was the considered elimination of statutory holiday bus services effective July 1. The service change will save $68,300 in on-going savings.

“Do not end holiday bus service. That’s one of the few areas that council has permitted Regina Transit to improve upon in recent years,” John Klein told council. “It would be taking a large step-backward to deny people that important service, and cause uncertainty about the availability of transit in Regina on any given holiday.”

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About John Klein

My full time blog is at AbandonedStuff.com My personal site devoted to my Regina politics work is at JohnKlein.ca

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