Q&A with the Heritage Community Association

What will you do to ensure Heritage continues to be an inclusive, diverse community as housing costs rise?

I think the issue of gentrification is often lost in the City’s discussions about development and growth. Still, we can look to the Official Community Plan for some guidance, specifically the objective of developing “complete neighbourhoods”:

Create safe and inclusive neighbourhoods that are easy to get around and that have a mix of housing choices, amenities, and services. Community input will drive a proactive approach to city planning.

As community members and developers eye 11th avenue for commercial development we need to keep this in mind. That means ensuring economic growth doesn’t displace people from their homes or communities. New affordable housing units, or repurposed existing dwellings, must be considered in any development plan for Heritage.

As the Councillor for Ward 3, I will insist that Council focuses on advancing affordable housing policies that are appropriate for areas with built heritage and character homes. And it’s important for Council to champion this issue, because by itself the market will not and cannot solve these and other forms of economic inequities.

In May 2016, the City of Regina voted to act on the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Report. What will you do to ensure this commitment results in meaningful, timely action?

Advancing recommendations of the TRC’s Report is one of the reasons I’m running for Council (see http://www.andrewstevensward3.ca/platform). Unfortunately it has received little attention during this election and the previous Council has not done enough to champion the Report or the spirit of reconciliation. What are some of the things I would work to advance from the TRC? Here’s a start: 

  • Call to action #57: Professional development and training for public servants;
  • Work with local anti-racist groups to consider ways of addressing allegations of racialized policing practices;
    • Call to action #75: develop and implement strategies and procedures for the ongoing identification, documentation, maintenance, commemoration, and protection of residential school cemeteries or other sites at which residential school children were buried;
    • Call to action #43: adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation;
    • Call to action #77: collect copies of all records relevant to the history and legacy of the residential school system, and to provide these to the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation

This means starting with a motion from Council supporting the principles of the TRC and committing to implement the recommendations embedded within the report. From there, identify and implement specific calls to action pertaining to municipal governments.

How will you support the continued development of a thriving local economy in the City’s central neighbourhoods?

There are a number of exciting examples in Heritage that showcase the value of small business and community development. To see these institutions thrive I would embrace the Official Community Plan’s definition of “Economic Development”, which includes the following priorities:

  • Embrace built heritage and invest in arts, culture, sport and recreation;
  • Foster economic prosperity;
  • Achieve long-term financial viability; and
  • Optimize regional cooperation

This involves investing in infrastructure like roads, sewers, water, and sidewalks. It also means enhancing public transportation and bike access. Advancing this objective also involves embracing the OCP’s definition of “Social Development”, which prioritizes:

• Developing complete neighbourhoods;

• Supporting the availability of diverse housing options; and

• Fostering economic prosperity.

What this also means is defining economic growth as enhancing the quality of life for everyone in the community.

What approach will you take to ending homelessness in our city?

Please see my homelessness policy at http://www.andrewstevensward3.ca/end_homelessness