Save STC – SaskParty Ending Rural Transportation System

In a shocking turn of events, it’s been left to the NDP to defend the interests of people in rural Saskatchewan. This is something that would not have been predicted ten years ago, when the NDP name was mud outside of Regina and Saskatoon for having closed hospitals and schools in many small communities. Now, the SaskParty government is selling off STC’s assets to private companies, destroying a critical transportation infrastructure that has been in place for 70 years.

About 200 people gathered over lunch hour in Regina at the new STC Bus terminal, to tell the government to stop the closure. Guest speakers include City Councillor Andrew Stevens. Andrew was on the Morning Edition to explain the ridiculous cuts to the Cities.

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Move To Saskatoon?

George C. Sharpe of Regina writes to the Leader Post:

Regina is at least three steps behind similar-sized cities such as Saskatoon.

For example: There is still no transit service to Regina International Airport in spite of pleas and requests from the airport authority. (It is much like having bus service denied to an entire neighbourhood.)

No ban on smoking on outdoor patios. Saskatoon has been doing this for 10 years.

Still no bylaw making it mandatory for all Regina residents and businesses to clear their sidewalks after each snowfall.

The first snarky response to his letter from the public?

“So, move to Saskatoon then.”

That’s a bad attitude, and possibly why Saskatoon is ahead of us. If everyone who wants those common sense improvements is told to “Move to Saskatoon”, Regina will continue to be left behind. I’ve tried pressuring the Mayor and Council to reinstate bus service to the Airport for years, but it won’t happen without greater public support for my George’s and my position on improving Transit.

CBC’s Unfair Election Coverage

Letter to CBC:

Dear CBC Saskatoon,
I’m extremely displeased with your unfair coverage this morning, which intentionally excluded a candidate from Saskatoon Grasswood. This runs counter to CBC’s decision to invite the Green Party leader Elizabeth May to the Consortium debate this election. It also is contrary to the decency shown the Conservative candidate, who was invited but refused to even initially respond.

A public broadcaster should strive to be more fair, and offer equal unpaid time to political candidates, even if you happen to disagree with their ideas, their party, or their chances of becoming elected. If the likelihood of being elected was the deciding factor, why was the Liberal candidate invited?

If your technology constrains having more than 2 guests on the air simultaneously, perhaps an upgrade should be considered, or an alternate style of presenting the candidates individually as The National did last week. If time was the constraint, please reconsider what’s more important news than the discussion of platform ideas by local candidates during an election campaign.

Sincerely,
John Klein

Why Do We Hurt Ourselves With Cars?

Jordon Cooper makes a good effort to explain the psychology behind why people still choose to drive over using active transportation methods. Unfortunately, we know the reality of the costs of driving are much higher than dollars and a less healthy waist line.

Until driving becomes too expensive (another oil shock), too slow (traffic gridlock) or the personal cost of taking transit declines because transit service has become a lot better, people will keep driving.

Cities across the world have all learned the same thing. You need to invest in a world-class transit system first before lots of people begin to use it.

Like other cities that have made this happen, Saskatoon will need provincial and federal funding. The incremental upgrades the city is doing are nice, but they won’t change the underlying problem. Transit currently costs a person more than driving does.

While smog gets a mention in his column, climate change doesn’t come up once. Maybe it’ll turn off too many people who’d read it otherwise. More human psychology to deal with, right? That’s probably why the Conservatives’ budget never mentions climate change either (that, or the Cons permanently have their heads up their oily big gas).

So given the fact that not dealing with climate change is leaving human civilization on the road to likely ruin, and condemning countless species to early extinction, what’s the true economic cost of driving versus mass transit? Economists have trouble with that question, for the most part.

And on the subject of the cost of cars and transportation, and death, why aren’t there automated braking systems in all semi trucks? 3 teens died this past weekend because they were rear-ended by a semi when stopped for construction. The 4 people who would have been saved by the cost of installing such a braking system in every Saskatchewan truck, would have probably “paid” for it all.

Saskatoon Aiming To Make Buildings Efficient

The biggest surprise is that it hasn’t been done already.

With overspending of $60,000/month on utilities, the cost of the upgrades would be recovered after less than 4 years! After that point, the City will have $60,000 more each month to spend on further upgrades, like adding solar panels to public buildings to offset natural gas and coal electricity production.

The question also is, when will the City of Regina catch on, and how much each month are they wasting through building inefficiency?

Saskatoon Council Letting People Down

Jordon explains how people he’s helped in Saskatoon are being hurt by City Council there.

◾A guy I know who pulled himself off the streets lost his job because of not being able to get to work because he lived on the westside yet had a job in the far north side of the city.

A couple of weeks ago a local politician phoned me up and simply said, “You are stupid and naive”. That intrigued me so I said, “go on”.