Your Worship and City Council,
The Catalyst process has learned that most people are not in favour of a downtown arena. The report is public, and easily found. Yet we heard some media like CTV Regina report deceptively that a so-called “majority” in the Regina Chamber of Commerce wants it downtown. Fewer than 7% of its members replied to their member-only survey, in favour. Some of 6% is not a majority, in case I need to spell it out.
Surprise! Priority #4 is listed as a downtown arena. The fix is in. CTV, along with whoever is telling them to frame it as a majority in support, are not going to stop when we bring facts to the table. They’ve got the audience to try and change minds, but the people have the truth. Their job, apparently, is to change the truth.
I realize my presentation to you today won’t change your votes, but I want others who hear it to realize that taxes are going way up thanks to this latest stadium swindle. We’re still paying off the last new stadium for more than another decade. In our rapidly changing world with global catastrophes, we couldn’t even make use of it for over a year at the start of the pandemic. I’d argue it shouldn’t be used exactly how it is now, facilitating outbreaks of deadly disease even as responsible journalists reveal the cover-up of super-spreader events.
Instead of repairing the Agridome/Brandt Centre, and improving transportation to the facility, you’ll try to send millions more dollars to our construction industry for another arena we don’t need and most people don’t want. Old City Hall lasted only 55 years in Regina. The present one is already 47 years old. Will it be replaced by 2030, going by our need to tear down functional 50 year old buildings? How’s the roof coming for Mosaic Stadium, by the way? We apparently have more money for policing and yet another event building, but not enough to provide safe housing for vulnerable people as the provincial government lets us all down.
The next insulting sequencing priority for the Project? A trail to join the districts in the downtown core. Why is that insulting? Because it was part of the original Regina Revitalization Initiative, and was not built despite it being listed on the RRI website for years during construction of roof-ready Mosaic Stadium II. That deception, along with claims that Taylor Field would become a site for affordable housing and possibly even groceries, is why residents of Regina can’t trust City Council or City Hall to honour the projects it puts forward in black and white.
CBC reported on Mar. 14, 2019 that by 2023 Regina would have ~30km of new bike infrastructure. The result was about 10 times less than that much. An independent researcher found Regina lags behind other western Canadian capital cities with fewer bike lanes per capita, and per square km too. The amount must be doubled to even catch up. Take one scintilla of the money and effort wasted on the Catalyst Project, and catch the heck up.