Saturday, 1 June 2013

The Regina Housing Crisis - All Talk VS All Action - You Decide

Good morning Regina!!!

Another glorious weekend ahead of us here, with the perfect temperatures of a balmy 70F, which in my eyes, is better than any of the 90s (sounds better when you use the Imperical system), because you don't have to worry about wasting energy of A/C and/or fans, and can truly enjoy all that Mother Nature has to offer.

Something that has been an issue for me for some time now, basically since I opened my eyes and started listening to those actually affected by the housing crisis in the most visible ways, has been that of homelessness. Whether we choose to believe it or not, it is a serious issue in Regina, and we need to do something NOW to address this known problem, before it gets even worse. Step 1 is to open our eyes, and the City of Regina seems to want to do everything in their power to downplay the seriousness of this situation, in an apparent attempt to make the problem even worse, which in the end, helps their developer friends literally profit off of others' pains. I met one tremendous Social Activist over the last year and a half, that being Stella Rogers. Anyone that knew her, knew that she always, always had her heart in the right place. She had faced the severity of homelessness in a number of ways, and had experienced it in several cities. She had lived in Regina for some time, and I actually had the pleasure of meeting this fine lady during the Occupy Regina movement. Sadly, she had since relocated back to Vancouver, and recently passed on to the Heavenly Father.

For anyone that had been following that movement, you would be aware that I did not like the idea of what Occupy Regina was doing, that being what I saw only as what the media portrayed, and that being deliberately breaking bylaws to prove some apparent point. My eyes were closed to the realities of the situation here in Regina, and as such, I actually sided with the City of Regina saying that these people should be obeying by bylaws to demonstrate whatever message they wanted to get across. After having the courage to attend ONE of their meetings, after several invitiations to do just that, I must say I was blown away. These people were not the bums that the media made them look to be, they weren't the "get a job" crowd that some in our community only saw them as. They were real, living, breathing human beings, who had the courage to bring about an awareness campaign, and in that regard, the point of breaking the bylaws was that of civil disobedience. Since that day, I have never been the same. That was the inspiration for my Mayoral Campaign, and also for my steadfast approach at standing up against the ridiculous rule of our current City Council and their alleged decorum, which is unique to Regina in all of Canada.

Fast forward to the Mayor's "Housing Summit" and the RM's recent announcement for (in my opinion) a TRUE attempt at working towards a solution of this ever growing problem in our community. The Prairie Dog wrote up a very well written article,, and it addresses the issue directly. Without some great community activists like Stella Rogers, Patrick Smythe, or Dr. Marc Spooner, to name but a few, this issue would continue to be on the back burner, and Mayor Fougere would continue to pretend it's not a real issue, and continue to say it's not his problem. (Oh wait, I guess that last point is still true - he still uses that as a fall back excuse)

This article brings the crux of the problem right into the forefront. We need to change out approach and our attitude in this City and Province in order to truly affect change. We need to first recognize that we have a housing crisis, a serious one at that, AND we have a homelessness crisis, a VERY serious one at that. What's the way to bring this to the forefront? Tent cities? (Like Occupy Regina attempted to do?) Unfortunately, I think that seems to be the ONLY THING that the City of Regina will listen to, which applies severe PUBLIC PRESSURE.

It's sad that the City of Regina won't listen to the people who are actually facing the problem, and instead continue to cater to the developers who make billions off these exact problems, and actually profit by making these problems worse. Something needs to change Regina, and it's our attitudes. If the City of Regina doesn't want to recognize this is a serious problem, and the Council continues to pretend that they are actually DOING something to fix it, we the citizens are forced to take drastic actions, like the one I am doing, that being taking legal action against the City and other related parties.

Did I WANT to have it come to this point? Of course not! Did I do everything I've done over the past year and a half, specifically with the intent to sue the City? Of course not. BUT, after banging your head against the wall over and over again, there comes a time that you begin to realize that the only way to get through that brick wall is with a (metaphorical) sledgehammer. The lawsuit IS that (metaphorical) sledgehammer.
Stay tuned Regina - the City has until Saturday, June 8, 2013 to respond to my Notice of Civil Action.  
Will they implement the actions I demand of them? 
Time will only tell.

Notable Quote from the above article:
"You have an opportunity here in Regina and in Saskatchewan to get at this and fix it while it’s a million dollar problem before it’s a billion dollar problem

My Two Cents:
I think there’s only one statement that needs to be made here. The City of Regina is all talk. This has been proven. The RM of Sherwood: Seem to want to walk the walk. As demonstrated by their MEGA PROJECT announcement this week. You can’t get a better real-world example of a situation where talk means nothing without action. I heard very little need for BS talk from the RM, and pretty much all action. I guess we will see who actually cares to address the affordable housing situation in Regina. So far, RM of Sherwood: 1 City of Regina: 0 (Hell the RM, in my opinion, deserves bonus points for not spending months upon months promising something and delivering nothing – like a certain other former mayoral candidate, now mayor)


  1. So your against a city that develops 2000+ houses a year, but for an rm that may have some development in 3+ years?

    Your against a city expanding because a few land owners may make some money now versus alot of money later, but for a few land owners making alot of money now?

    Your logic is 100% flawed and based on your hatred of a few people.

  2. Thank you for your comment RamSST. I would like to clarify that I am not for or against any party, in particular, in this situation. What I am against is the intent of said development. On one hand, you have the City of Regina, and on the other you have the RM.

    The CoR allegedly wants to grow to 500,000 people within the next 40 years or so, and as such, they outlined a pretty vague looking "map" on May 24, 2013. What is wrong with this? First off, 500,000 people - where did that number come from? As the media has clearly identified, that came from left field to many parties, myself included. Up until late April 2013, the figure that's been used in pretty much every CoR planning document has been 300,000. The question becomes - what is the true intent of magically bumping that number up to 500,000 all of a sudden? Why did the CoR bump up their OCP plan, that they've been working years on allegedly, by a matter of mere months? The public excuse is "because of demand", but honestly, a few months will not make that much of a difference in the long term planning aspect. One has to legitimately ask - what else was behind this sudden advancement of plans?

    The RM has also been working on their OCP for years, and have been holding public information sessions for weeks now. For the City to say they had never seen these plans before is a load of crap. The PUBLIC has seen it, how on Earth could the City not have been privy to it? The RM has publicly stated that they brought the Wascana Village plan to the CoR over a month ago, and I believe this to be true because they have no reason to lie, that I can see at least. When you compare the extremely vague document released by the CoR on May 24 to the very detailed one released by the RM less than a week later, it should become obvious that this was simply a move on the part of the City to "one up" the RM and make them look like the bad guy, trying to step over their boundaries on lands that the CoR allegedly wants.

    In the end, what both parties need to do is compromise. Do I support the RM plan whole heartedly? Certainly not. Do I support the CoR plan whole heartedly? Absolutely not. The CoR "plan" isn't much of a plan, because it doesn't tell us anything further than "these are lands we want". The RM has gone to the extent of saying "these are our actual plans for said lands" - including what is to remain farmland, what they want to zone commercial, industrial and residential. The overall goal is the same, to accomodate growth. The CoR is being very greedy in the fact that it simply wants this extra population in it's tax base, and the RM can go screw themselves. Or - the RM "can" develop all they want - far away from the City. What is so wrong with the RM wanting to develop close to the City? I know that truly appeals to me, because you can live close to the City, while having all the amenities you need and want in your own community.

    There will be those that argue those in this new Wascana Village will be using the City of Regina services, like roads, and if they continue to work in Regina, certainly. But, how is this any different from the communities of White City, Pilot Butte, Grand Coulee and Pense, to name but a few? Many, many, many Regina citizens have relocated to these bedroom communities solely for the purpose of avoiding the high taxes and high housing prices in Regina. Does the CoR have an agreement with those communities to charge their residents a tax for using our services daily? I don't think so. And, the commute for those people is horrible, and at times life-threatening, depending on the weather situation.

    In the end, the ultimate goal is the same, and the CoR needs to stop being a bully on the RM and be willing to work WITH them instead of trying to stomp them out.

  3. Oh and as for my "hatred of a few people" - the only hatred I have in my heart is for that of corruption and deceit. It is unfortunate that there are those in our great City that choose this avenue for enriching their own lives. Thankfully, we have laws in place to address these situations, and hopefully justice will prevail in the end.

  4. Chad, I don't need to read your long winded explaination of why you hate these people. Please when your "legal document" gets thrown out of court will you finally just shut up and get off the internet and on with your life? The "corrupt" individuals your so against have no interest in ruining a life that you've already ruined for yourself.