Managers locked-in and living on-site since December. Replacement and turn around workers living at the Refinery rather than renting accommodations in the community. Hardship for trucking companies and truckers. Struggling local businesses. Divided friendships and families. A police force that is accused of being too harsh or not harsh enough when it comes to enforcing the law. Resources are being diverted away from serious public safety issues in Regina, as a result. And, of course, the hundreds of Unifor Local 594 members and their families who are suffering economic hardship because of the lockout. Sound sensational? It's not. With no end in sight to the Cooperate Refinery Complex (CRC)-Local 594 dispute, City Council must pressure the provincial government to intervene. Oh, and did I mention that the replacement worker camp, which is part of what is allowing this dispute to unfold as it has, was leased to the CRC by the City of Regina. We have a horse in the race, like it or not. That is why I'm advancing this notice of motion.Read more
In September of 2019, SaskPower announced that it was cancelling its popular solar rebate program. As SaskPower president and CEO, Mike Marsh stated, “Going forward we will be reviewing the program to ensure it remains financially sustainable and continues to meet the needs of our customers and our company." Shortly after, Minister of the Environment, Dustin Duncan, said publicly that a new, less generous program, would take its place. Both the government and SaskPower insisted that the program would inflate the cost of electricity in Saskatchewan, and amounted to a subsidy to largely high-income earners who were installing solar panels on their property. But how accurate were these claims?Read more
Media coverage from Ontario suggests that the City of Guelph is on the verge of electrifying their transit fleet. So I contacted that municipality to find out more. Short version: it's not that simple.
On November 19 I co-hosted a town hall with the YWCA CEO, Melissa Coomber-Bendsten, to discuss the Y's proposed new facility on the old Victoria School site and Lucy Eley Park. The land was given to the YWCA at a January, 2019 meeting of Council. One of three town halls, community members wanted an additional opportunity to voice their concerns about the project, both positive and negative. With the help of residents I collected these questions and advanced them along to City of Regina staff for answers. The Q&A can be found below. The YWCA will be hosting another event in January when the concept plan is ready for public release. To find out more about the YWCA, visit their website at https://www.ywcaregina.com.
Councillor Lori Bresciani and I believe we need more expertise and diverse representation on the Board of Police Commissioners. That means catching up with other municipalities and adding additional civilian members. We have many local experts who could add valuable insight to the Board, which functions at arms length from Council. This should also spin into a bigger conversation about the complaints and investigation process, evidenced by the conviction of a serving RPS officer for assaulting a 13 year old boy who was held in custody. A call from a resident last week reminded me that trust in our police service has been jeopardized by the officer's actions. More civilian oversight is a start.Read more
Regina needs a new approach to addressing the crime problem that effects our community. This doesn't mean taking a tough, law-and-order stance. This means responding to the root causes, rather than forcing the Regina Police Service to shoulder all of the responsibility. For these reasons, I am proud to have co-sponsored this motion with my Council colleagues Murray, Bresciani, Findura, Mancinelli, Flegel, and Hawkins. For a snapshot of potential options before us, and the problems associated with the status quo, check out this important episode of the Fifth Estate, which was filmed in North Central, called "The Hood: Cops, Gangs, and the Community in the Crossfire." The solution ahead involves community engagement and community-directed initiatives, public education, anti-gang initiatives, poverty reduction, and other social determinant measures. It's time for the City of Regina to take a leadership role. There's no silver bullet, but we need to start somewhere.Read more
In September I sent a list of questions to all registered federal candidates seeking to represent the various communities that make up Ward 3 (Regina-Lewvan, Regina-Wascana, Regina-Qu'Appelle). Those questions are listed below. Only one candidate responded: Winter Fedyuk (Liberal, Regina-Lewvan).Read more
The Recreation Master Plan (RMP) makes it clear that Regina needs to keep up with resident demands and to repair aging infrastructure. We can't just focus on roads. Advancing the RMP will take money and political commitment. That's why I'm pleased that Councillor Hawkins' idea turned into a broader discussion amongst Council, which then become a notice of motion sponsored by all eleven of us.Read more
The World Resources Institute has made it clear that we need to "act before it's too late" in Saskatchewan when it comes to protecting our water resources. One quarter of the world's population is under "extreme water stress", and that includes our province, according to the Institute's recently published report. Managing how we use and re-use our water should be a priority at the municipal and national level. This motion I co-authored with Councillor Jason Mancinelli helps to confront this challenge.
When the City street sweeping crews hit neighbourhoods they do a good job, but parked cars and other obstacles results in patches of dirt and debris that can sit there for over a year. That needs to change. Towing and signage is great in some areas, like downtown, but not everywhere. A more expansive towing regime and better communication is needed to help the City keep our street clean. In this motion I ask Administration to take a look at ways of improving our current strategy.Read more