Another weekend gone by, and another week closer to the referendum. With that said, I want to make sure that you become as informed as possible before heading to the polls on September 25, 2013. BUT - Don't forget that there are still many, many other things going on at City Council this month and next that you really shouldn't divert your attention from. This week, for example, is the big one that many have been waiting years for. The Design Regina Official Community Plan is being discussed at tomorrow's City Council Meeting, and potentially the new Bylaw could be put into effect. There are a few delegations to speak on this plan, and hopefully City Council can be convinced to slow down the process for a bit. Wait until they actually have had time to discuss important factors in this plan, that can and will affect the citizens of Regina for decades to come.
Also, they will be discussing the proposed Land Annexation plans from the RM of Sherwood on Thursday. And, by the looks of the delegations, this should be a pretty heated meeting, or at least it shouldn't go without some pretty detailed discussion on it. This is the one and only City Council meeting where, if you are so inclined, you can speak at will, with no prepared speech, on this very subject. Just show up that evening, fill out a request to delegate (speak) and the floor will be yours for up to ten full minutes. Your speech should remain on topic as much as possible, and please refrain from applauding or booing any other delegations, as much as you might want to.
Finally tonight, regarding the ongoing Wastewater Treatment Plant Referendum. The City of Regina will lead you to believe that - if you Vote YES - you will be saying "goodbye" to $58.5 Million in the only Federal Funding available to Regina, and as such, will have to make up the shortfall on your utility bills by adding $276/household for the next four years. Is this true? Would Regina Water Watch be so ignorant to reality, that they would want to jeopardize this alleged "free money" from the Federal Government?? I can assure you that this is, in fact, 100% FALSE.
Why would I be so bold as to call the City of Regina Senior Administrators and City Council LIARS? Because, there are more than enough examples of similar projects being conducted currently, and also in the works, or recently completed, where other Federal (AND Provincial) Funds have, indeed, been accessed. Now, are we talking small money? Absolutely not! In fact, in this most recent example, the Federal Government is putting up $51.5M of the total $158.5M project through the Green Infrastructure Funding Program, while the Province of Ontario is matching the Federal contribution, leaving the remaining $55.5M for the RM/City to fund. Now, keep in mind, this project is about double the size of Regina's WWTP upgrades, and also adds a Tertiary System to the equation, which we in Regina already have had for years.
This is just one of the many Federal Funding programs that the City of Regina very well could have applied for towards the WWTP Upgrades. There are some that may say "but these programs are no longer available" - what one needs to keep in mind is that the City of Regina has been working on these WWTP Upgrade Plans for nearly a decade now. YOU decide who is telling the full truth here.
Remember Regina, on September 25th:
Vote Yes - Vote No - Just #VoteInformed