City Budget

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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 You’re connecting less than 1km/year to the outdated patchwork of bike lanes.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.

Don’t widen Arcola Ave. E.

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.

John Klein’s presentation to Council by phone

How Would You Fix Arcola Ave. for $42,300,000 or Less?

City Council unanimously approved a plan to spend more than $42 Million on making traffic on Arcola Ave. worse. Yes, you heard me, worse. That wasn’t their intention, but Councillor Stadnichuk brought up the problem, and still voted with the pack to make the mistake.

Direct Administration to bring a supplementary report to City Council
during the 2023-2024 budget consideration, that will include the following:
a) The financial implications to capital planning of the redistribution of
$42.3 million from long to medium term project planning to
expedite the expansion process for the Arcola Avenue corridor”

The City will consider the potential financial implications of building more infrastructure for specifically privately owned, single-occupant motor vehicles, but wasn’t directed by Council to consider the sustainability implications. That’s likely because it violates the Energy and Sustainability Framework’s “Big Moves” related to transportation.

“b) The potential financial implications of adjusting the SAF model to
account for increased costs due to expedition of this project.”

“While the Framework provides an ambitious community-wide plan that will require sustained effort from all sectors of the community, the City of Regina will play a leadership role in modelling the changes and behaviours that are required to reach our goals through advocacy, partnership, awareness/education and direct action in the municipal operation.”

If we’re not addressing transportation with sustainability in mind, why’d we pass the Energy and Sustainability Framework? The Council’s “ambitious community-wide plan” couldn’t even be sustained until even their very next two ~$100M transportation decisions. They took over a hundred million from Transit to build a pool facility, now they’ve assigned nearly that much again to expanding freeways and turning lanes for car drivers with nothing for cyclists or pedestrians or transit users.

My trust is damaged from Council’s inability to implement the crucial 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.

Here’s an insight by Councillor Bresciani that I hope she takes to heart with her ability to first spend millions on improving transportation infrastructure for either people on bikes, or people in single-occupant motor vehicles who are costing the city more than we can sustain.

The City’s website asks, “Who’s Listening“. Here’s who, with contact info:


Speed limits for Arcola were changed a few years ago, and had no apparent impact on the number of collisions because the number is still far more than 0 every week.

Free Election Day Transit in Regina/Saskatoon

How did it come about? Twitter played a role. Regina Transit initially wasn’t going to offer free transit on election day, despite doing so for a previous municipal election.

Transit Report To Improve Regina

Six years ago I ran a transit petition in the city, with a specific list of changes needed to immediately improve bus services in Regina. I also helped re-initiate the U-Pass discussion at the University of Regina, which led to implementation of the U-Pass a few years later. Unfortunately there haven’t been many significant improvements since, even though we face a climate crisis, and transit is a key to fighting it here in Regina.

City Council pledged to make Regina renewable by 2050, but they’ve not put our money where their mouths were.

Here’s the straight-forward list, shamefully not complete half a decade later:
X More frequent stop times after 9PM for routes serving major streets.
X Sundays and Holidays use the Saturday routes and schedule.
IN PROGRESS: Express routes on major roads including but not limited to Albert St., Broad St., Victoria Ave. & E.,
NOT DONE: Dewdney Ave., and Rochdale Blvd. Where possible, bus-only lanes will be created, and strictly enforced to reduce Transit delays.
Unclear if this is fixed: Enough Para-Transit resources made available to reduce by half or more, the 2011 monthly average number of stranded users requesting service, by the end of 2013.
X Bus or Shuttle service to the Regina #YQR Airport.


“Oh, can you pass on to them that the Number 8 route is The Best Route in the city. And it’s starting to get busier. People are discovering this transit secret.”

Carla Harris:
‏”Also test #YqrTransit on foot. Many residential bus stops & even stops on main roads are without sidewalks, which makes them inaccessible all winter & wet spring. You won’t notice these accessibility limitations until planners try walk to destinations from drop points themselves.”