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,



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.


John Klein
Regina, SK


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

#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.

Regina Wins Award For Mediocrity

City completes planned project in under a decade. Wins award from local board that was less inspired by literally everything else (not) happening.

In a province where the SaskParty leads, this is what can happen:

It’s not a bad project, just not award-worthy. And I’m concerned RCE will give Councillor Hawkins another chance to justify calling Regina enviro-friendly. To give an example of how not friendly Regina is toward our environment, some of our latest bike parking infrastructure was installed in the 1990s (and is removed each Winter to inconvenience Winter cyclists). More recently a small rack showed up in front of Vic’s Tavern.

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