Councillor’s Son Diagnosed With Cancer

There’s been no shortage of cancer unkindly touching the lives of members of City Council.

If Councillor Stevens is unable to continue as Ward 3 Councillor, that will be a real loss to the soul of Regina. He’s been the only Councillor to drive a progressive agenda this term, dependably bringing important ideas to Council for discussion. I wish him, his family, and of course his son well.

#StadiumII Lackluster Design Produces No Energy

It’s hard to look at another new stadium, and not feel some shame about the new Mosaic Stadium with its 4 drinking fountains. Let me guess, the urinals in Regina’s use water too?

How could our elected officials permit construction of a stadium in this decade and not have it generate a single kilowatt of electricity, or use a drop of grey water? It was an opportunity squandered by people who don’t care that we’re a people living well beyond our world’s means.

The good news? We have a municipal recycling service, and it appears to be used to some degree at the new stadium.

Council Fears Access Without Fear 

This is an excellent summation of the inexplicable vote at Council on Monday night.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Council Derails “Access Without Fear” Motion Despite Widespread Support

After little debate, Regina city councillors derailed discussion on the “Access Without Fear” motion at Monday night’s council meeting by passing a motion referring it to other levels of government. The Access Without Fear Motion, submitted by Councillor Stevens, would have committed the city to ensuring that all of its services could be accessed without fear by newcomers and longtime residents alike, regardless of their immigration status.

Members of Access Without Fear Regina, a grassroots group that campaigned to support the motion, are surprised that councillors failed to approve the policy given its overwhelming support among Regina residents. Over 30 organizations, ranging from the Regina Professional Fire Fighters Association to the Regina and District Labour Council and University of Regina Students Union, had endorsed the motion, with a collective membership representing over 60,000 Regina residents. Thirteen delegations, including representatives of organizations and immigrants themselves, spoke to the urgent need for the policy. There was no delegation that registered to speak against the motion. Seven letter of support from community organizations were also submitted as part of the agenda; no letters opposed to the motion were received by council.

The brief debate over the motion ended when a motion by Councillor Bryce to refer it to higher levels of government was approved. According to Emily Eaton, one of the organizers of the campaign, “Clearly councillors failed to understand the motion, which dealt exclusively with municipal services. It’s difficult to make sense of why they would refer a motion about municipal services in our city to other levels of government.”

“By sending the motion and our testimony up the chain to the federal immigration minister, they are betraying the spirit of the motion, which is to protect the privacy of newcomers,” said Mirtha Rivera, who spoke in support of the motion and came to Regina as a political refugee from Chile following a military coup in 1973. Rivera was also frustrated by how councillors responded to the stories of torture, sexual violence, and political persecution shared by delegates. “Following presentations by 13 speakers, Findura likened our fear of deportation and abuse to his fear of snakes,” she said.

Eaton said “it was shocking to see the extent to which councillors seemed to willfully ignore or neglect the evidence presented, despite months of research, consultations, and policy development. Councillors had direct input in the language and intent of the motion before it was submitted, but at the meeting misconstrued its substance.”

The reality of fear facing community members with precarious status will persist while council bides its time with last night’s decision. Access Without Fear Regina intends to continue advocating for a safe, healthy, and inclusive Regina where all residents are entitled to dignity and security. /

Mosaic #StadiumII and Revitalization

Too bad they dropped the important pedestrian and cyclist access pathway promised in the first phase.

Mosaic #StadiumII Grand Opening

Confederation Park, turned 90 on Friday, and got a facelift, and fountain repair.
A time capsule with a letter I wrote, is going to be opened in 50 years.

And the stadium cheerleaders were giving themselves a pat on the back for being “on time and on budget”, despite that not being literally true since they dropped advertised promised features in order to make it on time, and on budget.

Regina’s Forgotten Mode of Transportation

Dear Editor,

Last year’s Leader-Post article “New stadium to encourage move away from cars”, on July 28, 2016 indicated the City of Regina’s plan to build a Multi-Use Pathway (MUP) from Downtown, to Confederation Park.
“Those without wheels (or only two) aren’t being forgotten.”
Turns out, people on bikes were forgotten, and the reporter was misled. The MUP was never built. I asked the City about it a couple weeks ago. The administrator didn’t know what I was talking about, and they took 2 weeks to confirm they’ve shelved the idea, without giving a reason. It remains advertised on the Regina Revitalization Initiative (RRI) website as I write this. In what appears a cruel irony, the City was just awarded a Federation of Canadian Municipalities grant for sustainable infrastructure related to the RRI.

I’ve never been very pleased with the RRI Stadium or Railyard projects. I suffered through the megaproject bluster for years to give the City a chance to deliver on its promise of revitalizing the area and improving it as they advertised. For them to shelve, rather than build, the safe bike route promised, is the last straw. It was a bait-and-switch swindle.

Imagine the City got you interested in a mega-project with the promises of a new stadium to be built Downtown, with a dome, and food and drink services for the advertised price, but then didn’t deliver on a word of those promises. You don’t even have to imagine, to know how I feel. I feel cheated.

Leading The Way in Saskatchewan on Renewable Energy

May 26, 2017

Dear Editor,

In response to your May 24th article “Regina councillors return from Vancouver”, about Regina Councillors seeking to make our city use more renewable energy, I’d like to point out that Regina presently produces no solar electricity on public buildings. This is frankly outrageous since Regina’s solar resource is the best in Canada among major cities. The Federal, Provincial, & Municipal governments, and even the University of Regina all produce 0 Megawatt hours (MWh) of solar electricity for the SaskPower grid in Saskatchewan. That’s 4.6 MWh less than I’ve personally produced with my solar panels, for SaskPower. If the City would spend only $20,000, they could surpass my contribution within a year.

Saskpower is on track to miss their “50% renewable electricity by 2030” target mentioned in the article. 71 MW more fossil fuel electricity is planned to go online than renewable electricity in the next 4 years in Saskatchewan. That leaves a significant shortfall to hit 50%, with no plan as of yet being delivered to explain how the Crown Corporation intends to make it up.

I’m eager to see if City Council is willing to put its money where its mouth is, and stop making me look so good by comparison.

John Klein
Regina, SK