Dear City Clerk:
Hello, this is John. I’ve fed the Catalyst Project into a computer, and produced a monologue in the style of Tommy Douglas responding to the City of Regina’s proposed downtown event centre from the Catalyst report and how money would be better spent on addressing lead and asbestos water pipe remediation and affordable housing. Here is my delegation for City Council.
I am unable to attend, could the following please be read to City Council?
Your Worship, City Councillors, my fellow Reginans,
I have read with great interest and concern the report of the Regina Catalyst Committee, which recommends building a new multi-use pathway, multi-purpose event centre, aquatic centre, and central library in downtown Regina. The committee claims that these projects will revitalize the city’s core, attract private investment and create jobs.
But I ask you: at what cost? And for whose benefit?
The report does not provide any clear explanation of who will pay for them. It does not address the potential impacts on traffic, parking, noise, pollution, or heritage preservation. It does not consider the needs and preferences of the residents who live and work in downtown Regina. It doesn’t significantly consider Indigenous peoples’ input.
And most importantly, it does not acknowledge the urgent social and environmental challenges that our city faces.
Friends, we are living in a time of crises. A time when thousands of our fellow citizens are struggling to find affordable housing, when hundreds of our children are exposed to lead and asbestos in their drinking water, when our public services are underfunded and overstretched.
These are not luxuries. These are necessities. These are human rights.
And these are the priorities that we should focus on as a community.
We do not need a new event centre to entertain us. We need decent homes to shelter us.
We do not need a new aquatic centre whose funding depends upon a grant intended to improve our transit system. We need clean water to drink.
We do not need a new central library that tears down the old, instead of renovating the historic and well-located building we have.
These are the investments that will truly revitalize our city. These are the projects that will create lasting social and economic benefits for all.
That is why I urge you to reject this report and its recommendations. I urge you to address our human needs. I urge you to stand up for what matters most: people over profits, justice over vanity, democracy over bureaucracy.