Saturday, 28 December 2013

Canadian Corruption Versus The World

Good afternoon Regina!!

Taking a bit of a holiday break from the "Dirty Little Secrets" series, but still on the same general topic: How does Canada compare to the rest of the developed world when it comes to Corruption? If you read this media report, it sounds as though we aren't all that bad. However, if you dig deeper into things, and start to actually investigate matters, you will quickly find that our elected officials are not necessarily as clean as the mainstream media would lead you to believe.

I submit to you the following excerpt from this very same media report:

In other words, it's not so much that our politicians are less corrupt than those of the rest of the developed world, it could very well be that we have a far too lenient enforcement system in Canada, which fails to investigate serious concerns raised by taxpayers. Take, for instance, the fact that the City of Regina does not currently employ an independent City Auditor. In fact, it doesn't even appear that this is a legislated requirement of Saskatchewan Municipalities, as in other provinces. Please note there is a significant difference between "Audited Financial Statements", and an "Independent Auditor/Audit Committee". Audited Financial Statements are just that, Financial Statements that materially reflect the financial position of a City. An Independent Auditor would be more of a government watchdog supervising the day-to-day activities of City Council and City Administration, to ensure there is no fraudulent activity happening. I can assure you - If we did have an Independent Auditor, similar to how the provincial government does, then you might see things reported in the media in a very different light.

The unfortunate thing is that mainstream media outlets in Regina typically only investigate issues that get ratings, and what brings in advertising revenue. And, when you have an organization, such as the City of Regina, that is probably one of the largest contributors to local media advertising revenues, you quickly realize why those same outlets will be sensitive to investigating and reporting on any issues that may paint the City in a negative light. This concern has been brought up by many reputable journalists, all of whom have since moved on to other cities or organizations, out of frustration of the way the Regina media handles these kinds of issues. And, until there is an independent authority legislated to report these kinds of issues to the media, sadly these issues will continue to be swept under the rug. 

What can you do, as a taxpaying citizen of Regina? Contact the Provincial Government, Municipal Reltations Department, and explain to them that you want your elected City officials (and non-elected senior management) to be held accountable for how they spend your hard earned tax dollars. Demand that they review the Cities Act in order to modernize it, so that an Independent Authority is required by law for Municipal Governments. As it sits right now, the only way to hold your elected City Officials accountable is to vote every four years, or get a "sufficient petition" to force an audit or inquiry. I don't know about you, but to me, this is a very dangerous situation that allows Corruption and Collusion to go largely unchecked. At no other level of government, do you have such total authority provided to such a small group of people. What's worse, is there is currently no way for you and I, the taxpaying citizens, to ensure our tax dollars are being spent wisely and ethically, without going through many, many hoops.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Regina's Dirty Little Secrets - Regina Police Service

Good afternoon Regina!!

UPDATE: The response to this post has been overwhelming! Given the Christmas Season, and the reason for the season, and keeping the Anti-Bullying/Harassment message going, I invite you to read this message.
What would you do if you were constantly harassed and the authorities who are in charge of helping you, refused to help? What if some of the individuals alleged to be responsible for this behaviour, were actually on the Board of Police Commissioners? Would you expect fair and equitable treatment, even when it could result in actions against some of their own? 
This leads to the obvious question:
This is exactly what is playing out before our very eyes, right here in the City of Regina. What began as seemingly innocent fun and mocking several months ago, has developed into a disturbing obsession for some, and in my opinion (and others), it has come to the point of Criminal Harassment long ago. However, when you report this behaviour to the local authorities, and they refuse to even look into this activity further, what do you do?

Excerpt from Police Report:

I have decided to go public with the Police Report (File #RM13044792), that was filed with the Regina Police Service back in August 2013, and subsequently dismissed by Constable Dana Adams within only a couple of weeks. It should be noted that this investigation was closed against my wishes to meet and discuss the matter further in person, and I have been refused any further action on this file, other than filing a complaint against Ms. Adams. Apparently, a front line officer has the authority to make decisions on matters that should - at minimum - be brought up to their commanding officer for a decision on what to do with the file. I do have the option to open a brand new file, with yet another police report, but when you've been treated like I have, on more than one occasion, what would be the point of getting it dismissed again. And we wonder why so much crime goes unreported in our City?

Excerpt from Police Report:
I should note that the harassment has gotten even worse since filing this report, and it has escalated into harassment of my employer and event sponsors and participants for the Queen City Cruise In. These individuals have gone so far as to create entirely fake email accounts to harass my employer by claiming they will not purchase a home from the business, simply because I am employed there. Thankfully, my employer is reasonable enough to know these complaints are not to be taken seriously, but does anyone deserve this kind of continued stalking and harassment? These same individuals claim that I am insignificant to them, and I should just go away. Well, if I'm so insignificant, then why must they waste so much of their time trying to make my life a living hell?

You wouldn't think that a taxpayer would have to do the job of the Regina Police Service for them, but it seems that this is exactly what I have been pushed to do. Thus, the following excerpts are directly from Justice Canada's website, and perhaps given this exposure, the RPS will reconsider investigating this activity further?

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

PREVIEW: Regina's Dirty Little Secrets - Chapter 3

Good morning Regina!!

While I work on Chapter 3 of Regina's Dirty Little Secrets over the next short while, I thought I would share with you a preview of the information that will be referred to.

Frontier Centre for Public Policy Report on Housing Affordability - This report speaks volumes about the heart of the problems that are behind Regina's artificially created Housing Crisis. Who do we have to blame? None other than the scoundrels at City Hall! Land Prices are through the roof - who benefits? Our former Mayor? Our current Mayor? Many on the current and former City Council? Yes. Yes. and Yes!

Sadly, thanks to folks like the ones in the above photos, this is a harsh reality for many this Christmas season:

Other links of interest:

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Loss of Independence at City Hall

Good morning Regina!!

Well, as expected, Regina City Council voted last night, unanimously, to subvert democracy even further, and have appointed Mr. Jim Nicol (below) to the position of City Clerk, upon resignation of Ms. Joni Swidnicki. It is unclear as to whether this will be a demotion for Mr. Nicol, or if he will be holding both roles as City Clerk and the one he currently holds, effectively collecting two salaries for one job. Ironically, he would be his own boss if this is the case. Yes, even more of your valuable tax dollars wasted in an already ineffective Senior City Administraiton at City Hall.

UPDATE: The Leader Post did a lovely PR Piece for the City today, where I am actually quite surprised that they quoted Mr. Nicol as stating something that is completely contradictory to what Mayor Fougere had been trying to emphasize for months.
That's right, folks. During the WWTP Referendum, the mayor went out of his way to stress to taxpayers just how "independent" the City Clerk was from City Council, to validate her decisions on invalidating signatures on the petition. But, Mr. Nicol wipes all that out with one statement to the local rag. ONLY IN REGINA!!

Here's his mug shot, you might want to remember this face - you'll be seeing it a lot in the Courts over the next few months!

And, again not surprisingly, they voted unanimously to give their best friend, Mr. John Hopkins, another questionable tax break. The Regina Trades and Skills Centre, with Mr. Hopkins at the helm, subverted the City's own policy of applying for tax breaks through the Regina Regional Opportunities Commission, and received another five year, 100% property tax exemption for their surface parking lot. When will these favours for friends of City Hall stop? Sadly, only when the Federal Courts intervene, it seems.

At least we know, now, why the Regina Chamber of Commerce would go against their own mandate of representing business interests, and participating so heavily in the "Vote No" campaign. Favours for favours? Seems to be the order of business in Regina!

Below is a copy of my delegation from last night, regarding the appointment of Mr. Nicol. Note that not a single one of my concerns were addressed.

Good evening Members of City Council and Senior Administration,

My name is Chad Novak, and I am here today representing myself, a devoted taxpaying citizen of the City of Regina. I am here to address the recommendation before you today, regarding the appointment of Mr. Jim Nicol as the City Clerk.

I would like to open tonight by extending my sincere gratitude and appreciation to Ms. Joni Swidnicki, who has done an amazing job of City Clerk over the past number of years, and I know I don’t just speak for myself when I say that she will truly be missed in these chambers. It is because of her dedication and hard work that I have learned a lot about how our municipality functions and I have found her to be very personable and friendly, even when I’ve called her to account on a few occasions. I am confident that she is not leaving particularly because she wants to, and I can only hope that she is appreciated as much back in Manitoba as she was here.

Now, speaking directly to the recommendation before you tonight – a surprise recommendation to the public I might add – that being the appointment of Mr. Jim Nicol to the position of City Clerk. I find it so very unfortunate, and yet not surprising, that this appointment has been discussed behind closed doors for the past few weeks. I note that Ms. Swidnicki’s notice was provided to you on November 12, 2013, and it was discussed in a PRIVATE session on December 4, 2013. I have several concerns about this process, the least of which is how this has been kept from the public eye until a Friday afternoon, as is traditionally expected in the media world for news that one wants to be “lost in the hustle and bustle” of the weekend ahead. I find it truly disturbing that this has been kept from the public eye for so long, especially considering the questionable actions that came from the City Clerk’s office during the WWTP Referendum, and in light of the current Federal Court proceedings that speak directly about the City Clerk and her activity with the recent Referendum. I should note this information is 100% publicly available, so I would hope you won’t censor me from mentioning this as the public should be aware of this action.

It is my hope that there will be some answers provided this evening in regards to the many questions that have come across my mind, only a few of which I will speak about this evening. The first is how are we, the voting public, to be assured that the office of the City Clerk will remain independent from the Mayor’s office, when Mr. Nicol is currently on the Executive Leadership Team, which consists of Senior Administrators, and works hand in hand with those around the Mayor’s office? Secondly, why do you feel it is appropriate to simply appoint an individual, let alone from a higher-level, into this position - rather than putting out a competition to get the best qualified candidate? Thirdly, why are you not “promoting from within”, as I note there are a number of individuals that have assisted Ms. Swidnicki in her duties over the past number of years. Will Mr. Nicol be demoted into this position, or is he to receive his current salary plus that of the City Clerk’s $140,000? In regards to Mr. Nicol’s “fine” performance, could you provide the taxpayers with documentation to back this up? I know I, personally, have not seen anything that would demonstrate this, and in fact, I feel that he has taken his authority and “rapport” to some pretty extreme lengths, that I think a reasonable person would certainly find questionable.

Finally this evening, I would like to note that I feel it would be in everyone’s best interest to have a City Clerk who may not have such a “strong rapport” with Council and Administration, as that position best suits taxpayer needs when they remain independent, as has even been stressed by the Mayor during the recent referendum. If you aren’t willing to do this, then perhaps it would be appropriate to hold a competition for an Independent City Auditor as many other municipalities have, and which Regina seems to have been without for a number of years.

Thank you for your time, and I will now welcome any questions you may have.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Learning from the Nazi Party

Happy Saturday Regina!!

UPDATE: It would appear I'm not the only one who is willing to stand up and be vocal about comparisons with the Nazi Party. 

I tell you, I cannot believe what ONE tweet can do to get people riled up!!!

I've experienced this most recently when I made the flippant comment above about the Regina Parking Enforcement being FAR too strict. This, in turn strongly discourages many people from ever stepping foot in our downtown, which I find is contradictory to the very existance of the Regina Downtown BID. I made this point very clear during the election, with of course, no resolution by the City. Oh wait, I guess you could say their solution was to increase enforcement. So, now they have THREE MILLIONS DOLLARS in unpaid parking tickets, and they can't seem to figure out why or how to collect. Is it any wonder I used the term "Parking Nazi"?

FYI, for anyone that never watched the show, the sense that I used the term "Nazi" above is referencing Seinfeld's use in the episode "The Soup Nazi".

Many on Twitter are freaking out because they are immediately associating the term "Nazi" with "Holocaust" and choose to ignore the years that actually lead up to the horrific events. They would rather people never speak the word "Nazi", instead of learning from the behaviour that caused millions of people to follow this regime. They would rather people ignore history and not learn from it. We must remember, the Nazi Party had millions of followers. I highly doubt anyone would have supported a party that blatantly told people "If you are of a certain race, sex or culture, we're going to kill you."

Ironically, the very same individuals who are trying to censor the word "Nazi" seem to forget about how we, Canadians, virtually stole this land we call our country from the First Nations, and exposed them to horrific treatment that continues to this very day.

Now, if we take a look at the history of the Nazi Party, it's actually quite startling how many similarities there are between how it was run (and gained millions of followers by doing so) and our current government, municipally, provincially and federally.

- I often speak about the "Corrupt Elite" in Regina. Well, the Regina Police Service has a file (#RM13044792) that includes a sample of about twenty-five of these individuals. They continue to do favours for each other, give each other cushy government jobs, and share your tax dollars amongst themselves for their own benefit.
- For the above, there are some pretty glaring examples, but all one has to do is go to the Regina Chamber of Commerce website or the Regina Regional Opportunities Commission to understand how this works in Regina. As for the freedoms lost, well that's another easy one.
  - It's no secret that Pat Fiacco and Brad Wall have an utter distaste for unions, and if they had the power, I am confident they would all be disbanded without a second thought. As for the "concentration camps", think about North Central Regina. When you hear about the RRI, for example, do you ever wonder why they want to put all of our less privledged folk in one area of the City? The term NIMBY (Not In My BackYard) certainly applies to the ruling elite. Oh, and the reference about reporting parents to the Gestapo? Just ask any former City of Regina employee who dared question their ruling leaders. (If they'll talk!) And people wonder why there are photos circulating the internet of Fougere and Wall in Nazi uniforms?

In the end, the point I have been trying to make, and I think is slowly sinking in to some that are vehemently opposed to anything I say, is that we cannot just ignore an entire generation of activity. We cannot ignore what happened to convince so many that something was seemingly so right, while they did horrendous acts to others that did not agree with their regime. Those that spoke out, didn't speak loud enough, and unfortunately many never made it out of Germany. Those that did come out, were often refused entry into our own Country! If we do not learn from the history of the world, we are most certainly doomed to repeat it. When you see something that you know is not right, don't just ignore it, speak up, do something about it! Don't just assume "that's life" and "it's not that bad".

UPDATE: I share the following from a Former Mayoral Candidate, verbatim. (With edits for grammar)

Repeated reading of these books is a must "do" for everyone. The American Bar has told me they are looking at reducing the time in University to earn any law-ish degree to 2 years and, they are looking at getting rid of 'The Bar" altogether. Truth be told..?.....anyone can learn all it takes to attorney in 6 months. These books will get you there. Paramount equal to this is " the cult that is the courts enjoys people who have been indoctrinated". Nowhere in the Commonwealth is a law degree or any degree required to practice law as a profession. Note: always refuse 'indoctrination invitations' then never a favor is owed.

Example of stupid people who joined that cult: Katrina M. Swan, Christine L. Clifford, both employees of Regina City Hall, both inept at life in general, both corrupt, both not employable to any private law firm, right out of school. Look at their combined mistakes on the court record, at their mere simpleton arguments, at their branch of the cult. Look hard and you will see people who have the symptoms of real power, but lack real power. People who earn taxpayer supplied wages not because of any brilliance or acts of fairness. No. Not that. Because of family ties alone are these prigs paid wages to screw every person who crosses their path, and, they do so in the hope that some other cult member higher up in the clan will cover their back.

This too has proved not to be an eager reality for them. They are doomed. They know it. Just as the City Clerk fessed up to the reality that [ I ] alone, not a cult member of any kind, forwarned her to do the right thing or else suffer fools. As you see, she also thought her back was covered but it was not. Now she is toast too. There will be others. I suspect my cousin Minister Christine Tell will also soon fall from the Wall. And then...there will be others. Because I know how their cult works, I can succeed. Because they do not know how or where I gained my legal smarts.....they will never succeed at getting to me.

Mark my words. Some are so dire and afraid right at this moment - members of their various and connected cult, people like the mentally ill John Gormely - so distraught and afraid are they that suicides are likely to occur. Do not weep for them, the Earth deserves to be rid of these psychopaths. And, with my talents in the courts, a non cult member who can turn the heat up on their asses with no problem or struggle, mark my word here, expect death notices of the neo con cult to appear in the obits next year.

Friday, 13 December 2013

BREAKING: City Clerk Resigns


UPDATE: Congratulations go out to the CBC for being the FIRST of the "mainstream" media outlets to report on this. Certainly more information than I thought would be revealed, and looking forward to even more!

The City Clerk of the City of Regina, Joni Swidnicki, has submitted her resignation. Details are few and far between at the moment, but suffice it to say, this is something that we have all been watching very closely, and have been wondering if her conscience would get the better of her. We believe Ms. Swidnicki is an upstanding individual, and she has done a damn good job of doing what she does. But, when you face constant attacks and pressure from Senior Executives, there is only so much one can take before you call it a day.

The City Clerk's Office confirms that she has in fact resigned - or "retired" (after they already used the term resigned) - and the City Council Agenda for Monday notes that City Council wants to appoint Mr. Jim Nicol as City Clerk. It is unclear if this is a temporary measure, or a long-term one, but we do plan on getting more information on this and sharing it with you as the story develops.

All I have to say is I hope to hell she didn't sign a confidentiality agreement and is willing to talk and stand up in a Court of Law when her former managers are charged for Conspiracy to Commit Fraud, amongst other charges.

This is the only information that has been published on this matter, buried inside the City Council Agenda for Monday:

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Tax Breaks for the Rich - The Streets for the Poor?

Good evening Regina!!

First off, I would like to congratulate the rest of Regina's media outlets for finally catching up on a story we brought you right here first. It would appear that the Leader Post has finally put a story together about an expected Property Tax Increase for 2014. We here at the Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group broke this story nearly a month ago! On a side note, it would appear City Council still doesn't care about the poor or anyone that truly needs affordable accomodations.

Now onto the big story of the evening. Property Tax Breaks. Who should get them? Who shouldn't? What criteria should be used to decide who gets them? Why does it seem it's always big business getting the breaks, and never the people that could really use a break? Why is it okay for the City of Regina to continue to ignore the plight of the common man/woman while they pad their own and their friends' pocketbooks with our money?

On Monday, Regina City Council will vote on whether or not to allow the Regina Trades and Skills Centre a 100% Property Tax Exemption for a full five years. Now, on the surface, this would seem like a great idea! And, well, it is. IF it was applied equally and farily to all. Unfortunately, this does not seem the case.

I certainly plan to address City Council on this issue on Monday, and have submitted my delegation today. I haven't heard back, so that's a good sign that they won't be editing my speech!! Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that the Chair of the Board for the Regina Trades and Skills Centre is none other than Mr. John Hopkins, the CEO for the Regina Chamber of Commerce (who happened to expend a lot of "their" own money - members money - on their own version of the Vote No campaign during the WWTP Referendum). I guess you could suggest this is the return of that favour?

Here you go, exclusively for you dedicated readers: (Don't worry, City Council and Regina Chamber CEO/Regina Trades and Skills Centre Board Chair John Hopkins get a sneak peak at this anyways - so they can prepare their canned answers or speeches for Monday to debunk anything I say)

Good evening Members of City Council and Senior Administration,

My name is Chad Novak, and I am here today representing the Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group, a truly grassroots group of individuals from Saskatchewan that are pushing for Accountability and Transparency from their municipal governments. You can find more information about our goals on our website I am here to address the recommendation before you today, regarding the requested Five Year Property Tax Exemption for the Regina Trades and Skills Centre.

First off, I would like to say that we are very much in support of providing financial assistance to any agency or non-profit that is able to provide a valuable community resource that contributes to our overall social well-being. Without agencies like this, we are confident that companies would have a much harder time finding the skilled labour they require to answer to the demand that has been created over the past few years. However, we do have some serious concerns regarding the fair and equitable treatment of similar organizations, and we think that we can all agree that the goal of property tax exemptions help reduce the financial burden on these kinds of organizations. With that said, I have found through my research that the City of Regina, through the former Regina Regional Economic Development Agency, has an established policy that is used to ensure that all such agencies, non-profits and businesses alike, do get the same fair and equitable treatment, in order to maintain a level playing field for all. 

I would like to note that we have a few concerns regarding this application, specifically, and it is my hope that these concerns can be addressed to the taxpaying citizens of Regina, before any final approval is given. I should note, that it is not clear in the application as to what factors were actually considered when providing the previous tax exemption, and what factors are being considered for the current tax exemption request.

My first concern is that of financial necessity. I am quite confident that most non-profits only continue to exist with as much community support as possible, and without that support, it would be near impossible for them to provide the social benefits that they offer. I note that the RTSC receives a substantial amount of financial assistance from various levels of government funding already, and this would lead me to wonder, would they have a hard time providing the training that they do, without this requested Property Tax Exemption? Without seeing the Financials that are noted as being included in their letter, it is very difficult for the general public to determine just how essential this requested tax break is to their continued existence. 

Secondly, the policy that is outlined on the Regina Regional Opportunities Commission website, specifically states that they are to be the first point of contact for any Property Tax Exemption requests, and they are to evaluate each request based on a variety of pre-determined criteria. I note that this request, along with the previous request from 2011, were not sent to RROC, but directly to your tax assessor, Don Barr, and to the Finance and Administration Committee respectively. In this policy, it specifically states that the RROC would handle requests all the way through to putting a recommendation through to City Council. I could see this as a mere oversight for an average taxpayer, but given the close relationship of the RTSC and the City of Regina, one would reasonably expect this protocol to be very well known, and thus raises some questions as to the fairness of these requests. If, in fact, these requests did go through the RROC, then certainly you shouldn’t have a problem with providing this information to the general public, including how the RTSC placed on the evaluation matrix, which determines just how much of a tax exemption an organization would get, and for how long. Not knowing much more about the RTSC than what’s in the report and other publications, I did a quick calculation, and it would seem they score pretty low on the matrix, and at best would be eligible for a 2 year, 25% Property Tax Exemption.

Thirdly, I may have missed it in my research, but it does not appear that the RTSC actually applied for a renewed Property Tax Exemption when they relocated to their new facility. Pardon my ignorance, but I would expect that a Property Tax Exemption be renewed/reapplied for to the new property, with a different assessment.

Through my research, I did find it quite interesting that Saskatchewan is the only province that actually provides their municipalities with the authority to grant tax exemptions on a case by case basis. To its credit, this does allow municipalities to set up their own guidelines in order to – in theory – attract more business investment by offering further incentives to set up shop. Through this same research, however, I also found that we already are extremely competitive – tax wise – even before any Property Tax Exemption. One certainly has to wonder if this is even a needed incentive to bring business investment into our currently booming economy. 

We continue to hear about how there is only so much money that City Hall has to go around, and it would seem that you would want to maximize every tax dollar you have access to. With that said, would it not be in the taxpayers best interest to keep a very close eye on what Property Tax Exemptions are provided, and ensure that the original request qualifications continue through their given exemption break? We saw what can happen when you don’t monitor this, in the recent situation surrounding the District Brewing Company pretty much reconstructing an entire building that was previously exempted. Unfortunately, the tax exemption was only caught very late in the process, when they applied for a permit. This is a real concern, and leads one to wonder how many tax dollars are being “left on the table” with these exemptions going unmonitored?

Finally, specifically to the parking lot in the application today, I note that typically Land Ownership is a requirement nationwide in order to get a tax exemption. It’s even noted in the report before you today, but I don’t see an explanation as to why the land owner hasn’t applied for this, and then passed on those savings to the RTSC? I apologize if I missed it in my review.

Thank you for your time, and I will now welcome any questions you may have.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

City Hall Has Blood On Its Hands...

Good evening Regina,

UPDATE: According to this information, it would appear that, at the bare minimum, there should be an investigation done to determine if the City of Regina, including its Executive Leadership Team, should be held criminally responsible for Gross Negligence causing death.
In what has become an all too common occurence lately, the City of Regina has been found to be lying to the general public, once again. This time, the mainstream media are actually willing to report on it, and ask the tough questions. As you will see in various news reports, Mr. Brent Sjoberg, the Chief Financial Officer for the City of Regina (sadly, also a CMA), stated that "The brakes didn't fail" back on September 9, 2013. However, the Coroner's report suggests otherwise. What's more troubling? This was known as far back as the day of the accident. Meaning the City has known full well that the potential cause of the accident was faulty brakes, and has been lying about this for months.

Mr. Sjoberg is trying to play semantics about the situation, saying it was caused by an accident. Of course it was an "accident", but the CAUSE of the accident was faulty brakes, due to a lacklustre maintenance system. What Mr. Sjoberg suggests is akin to a drunk driver smashing into another car, killing someone, and claiming that it was just an accident, so he shouldn't be held responsible. For Mr. Sjoberg to try to justify this accident by anything other than admitting to criminal negligence leading to this poor woman's death is beyond reproach. What is the reason for the poor maintenance of our Regina Transit system? All signs point to severe underfunding of the Regina Transit system. Apparently, this matter is currently before the courts, and I sincerely hope that the courts hold Mr. Sjoberg, and the Executive Leadership Team, including the Mayor, personally and criminally responsible and negligible in this horrific - preventable - accident. Along with the previous Council and Mayor as well, as it's no secret that Transit has been suffering for many years at the helm of some questionably ethical individuals.

On a related note, it would appear that the City may have blatantly violated the Cities Act when they authorized sole negotiating power to Mr. Sjoberg for the Regina Revitalization Initiative. But - more on that in a future blog post.

Here are some of my initial thoughts after hearing this news today, that I shared on the Prairie Dog story:

I am both disgusted and pleased that this report came out.

Disgusted in that an innocent person was taken from this world far too soon, in a tragic circumstance that could have very easily be prevented.

Disgusted in that the City of Regina played dumb for months, claiming that the investigation was "ongoing" and they knew nothing as to what the possible cause was.

Disgusted in that Mr. Brent Sjoberg, CMA, our Chief Financial Officer - given sole deciding authority over two MAJOR projects in excess of over a half a billion TAX dollars - would dare to try to cover up something that he inevitably HAD to know would come out in the coroner's report.

Disgusted in that this poor family has been battling with the City for months now, just to get treated with respect and dignity.

Disgusted in that the City of Regina is far more concerned about their public image in ensuring we have "ample" buses on the streets - regardless of condition - than the safety of not only those that rely on this mode of transportation day in and day out, but also innocent pedestrians who would never have, in a million years, thought that the simple act of waiting for a bus, would cost them their lives.

Pleased, though, that this scathing report SHOULD finally open the door to the mainstream media finally starting to ask the TOUGH questions of those that are paid to represent our great City. Ask the TOUGH questions, and hold them accountable for their deplorable actions that cost people's livelihoods (affordable housing) and in the worst cases, their lives.

No matter how much you think we need to have a good "public image" to cover your mayor's ass, our safety should come before anything - anything - else!!! PUT OUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS City of Regina, and start giving the Transit Department the money they desperately need and have been asking for, for a long, long time. This is not the fault of the driver, not the fault of the inspectors, this falls squarely on those that choose to continue to funnel dirty money through City Hall to their friend's pocketbooks.