Experience Regina Faceplant

To impress the federal Tourism Minister, Tourism Regina changed their name in homage to a parody video of the city. Several other people were not impressed very much, and the campaign has since been scaled back to appear less misogynistic.

Ouch, the WaPo gave it some notoriety.

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Bus, Pool, Computer Pity The Foo’

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?

My thanks,

John

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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.

Sincerely,

John Klein
Regina, SK

Catalyst Repeating The Lies That Worked

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.

Sincerely,

John Klein

Most Of a Million Dollars

The province is wasting more money on a single-owner vehicle parking structure at General Hospital in Regina, when it could buy a bus for the cost of the the cursory dig and the project’s budget for 2022:

“The excavation is also not anticipated to strain the project’s allocated $750,000 budget for this year, as surveys were included in the planning.”

There’s a shuttle that travels between health facilities in Regina, stopping at parking lots, but the ridership is restricted to Sask Health Authority employees. If Regina Transit was offering the service instead, everyone going to or visiting the hospital would be able to ride it. Our city would get better transit, and the province wouldn’t be spending any additional money. And we could probably have the hospital there without constructing another stranded asset, which is what a parkade is when built during a climate crisis.