I hesitate to make this presentation to Council, with some budget requests. I have no confidence they’ll be reasonably considered by most people able to vote on them. Still, anyone else listening may enjoy hearing that someone else in their community sees shortfalls we could easily address with some important changes. That’s why we’re all here, to get what’s best for our city.
I sent a single question to Council’s Catalyst Committee, when only 7 people were following the website, and I didn’t get a response for days. What I eventually got was disheartening. They first sent a form letter telling me to fill in a survey. I asked my question again, and they finally responded:
Your distrust in the Catalyst Committee consultation process is recognized, respected, and will be shared with the Catalyst Committee.
City of Regina
No one from the Catalyst Committee bothered to contact me to defend their integrity when challenged. I can only imagine why. A decade after the Regina Revitalization Initiative, there are vacant lots at Capital Point / The Plains Hotel (Wow), The Yards (which won a sustainability award from FCM), and even the trees are gone from the site of Taylor Field where only a fence remains to keep away roving bands of wild drivers seeking to park their cars.
I’ll make only 3 points, even though there are far more areas that need big funding.
- Housing first – Council wanted to know what it would cost to end homelessness in our community, since that has to be done. Why is it not still the highest priority to get everyone a safe place to sleep and live in our harsh climate? Saskatchewan and Regina are spending thousands of dollars more per person to police, imprison, or treat in hospital all sorts of people who just need a small, safe place to live. There are abandoned houses throughout the city, on a completely related matter.
- Water safety – We have asbestos and lead water pipes throughout our community, and neither is safe to leave in place for long. This is the kind of project that can’t wait, the problem doesn’t go away unless the city’s population moves away.
- Active Transportation – Regina is spending a tiny fraction of what Edmonton is budgeting for a safe and vibrant cycling network. Your “Cross-town” bike lanes don’t go across the entirety of Regina even when completed several years from now. You’re connecting less than 1km/year to the outdated patchwork of bike lanes. What’s being done is not sufficient to meet the “Big Moves” of the Sustainability Framework you all passed.
Over 2 years ago here’s what a member of Council said: “If we want people to get on their bikes, we have to have the infrastructure. I hope there will be attention paid to gaps in the city.”
You can do 2 of my suggestions without raising property taxes, or giving me any credit when you do them. Please ask me how.
My trust is damaged from Council’s inability to implement the crucial Sustainability Framework. The City Admin is telling Council to implement a plan at least 6 years old, instead of looking to the future with a Framework passed this year.
–Stop permitting sprawl, against the Official Community Plan infill target of 30%.
-Defund the Regina Police Service. You’ll have millions more dollars to work with. They can maintain effective policing with important and clever changes. Fewer gas burning SUVs, for example, would save millions of dollars.