Saturday, 21 September 2013

Why Not a Stadium Referendum Question?

Good afternoon Regina!!!

I have heard from many, many great Regina Taxpayers over the course of the past while, and one common element I keep hearing is "Why didn't they put the Stadium to a referendum?" (Also of note, I've heard on more than one occasion that this referendum should also be considered a Vote of Non-Confidence/Impeachment if the Vote YES side wins)

Just as an FYI for everyone reading this. No matter the turnout of this referendum, ANYONE can file a Court Injunction to immediately stop the development of the Stadium until City Council satisfies the public desire to have their input on the project. Now, I am not saying I want to see another referendum; the City has made it quite evident how they would approach such a thing (unethically and borderline illegal activity), but I do know that I have heard many, many folks state that they’d have rather had a referendum on the Stadium, and can’t believe that the City Council wouldn’t put it on this ballot anyways.

Keep in mind – The referendum you are voting on is NOT the result of Regina Water Watch’s petitioning. As great and amazing as they had been in their efforts, the City of Regina deliberately ignored the true intention of the Provincial Legislation (Cities Act and Local Government Elections Act) and deemed “just enough” signatures to be “invalid” to consider the petition invalid. Thus, when Regina City Council decided to pursue the referendum anyways, “on their own accord”, they had the opportunity to word the question however they wanted, include as many questions as they wanted, and have as many options as they wanted.

Public opinion is that they “gave in” to public pressure and worded the question EXACTLY as the petition, because if they didn’t, well, they’d have faced a pretty angry electorate and they’d guarantee themselves no re-election in 2016. However, the reality is that because they chose to pursue the referendum on their own accord, the results are NOT BINDING, at least as far as those that wrote the legislation are telling me. It would be absolutely ludicrous for the City to deny the electorate if a Vote Yes wins, but unfortunately, nothing would surprise me anymore with this group of self-entitled blowhards.

Regarding the Stadium issue, I DID request that the City of Regina put this question on this referendum, since they were going to incur the costs of a referendum anyways, and that seemed to be a big argument against the Stadium Petition drive during the election. (The reality is they just didn’t want to hear the true opinions of an informed electorate) They outright refused, with the explanation that “we believe people gave us the mandate by voting us all in – in the 2012 Municipal Election”. Translation: “Nah, nah, nah we won – you didn’t – too bad, go cry in a corner.
This leaves only one other option. That of legal means. And, considering I’ve already begun legal action against the City of Regina, as has Mr. Keith Peterson for a completely separate matter, this would not be too difficult to add to the case in a motion, if we so chose. (FEDERAL COURT for those who want to search the publicly available documents - EDIT: Apparently someone has already searched the documents and made them available on the internet - See links below)

Who Would You Trust?

Good morning Regina!!!

There has been a question posed by the Regina Chamber of Commerce on more than one occasion, and it's really a very simple question: "Who do you trust more? Those you elected or a national organization?" Well, given the following situations, I think, in a healthy society and democracy, putting blind faith in your elected officials is not only ridiculous, but actually can be very dangerous. Am I saying to never trust your elected officials? Of course not. But, to hold them accountable only once every four years at election time is not only irresponsible, but has the potential to harm the taxpayers in far more ways than it helps them.,7340,L-4430985,00.html

I hope you'll pardon me if I don't necessarily have the confidence to put blind faith in our "elected" officials. In a democracy, it is healthy to question those that represent you, otherwise you can have situations like:

Thursday, 19 September 2013

BREAKING: Is this democracy??

Good morning Regina!!!

UPDATE: I have sent an email to Government of Saskatchewan this morning, outlining my serious concerns with the City of Regina sending this Voter Information Card to the electorate. I am hoping they will respond on this within a short timeframe. In the meantime, here is a copy of said email:

Good morning,
I am attaching a photo of the Voter Information Cards that the City of Regina is distributing to voters leading up to the Referendum on September 25, 2013. The Mayor has stated that there will be no other information cards mailed out, and thus, it is my interpretation that this is the official Voter Information Card for voters to know where they will be voting. The Mayor claims that this did not come from the City Clerk's office, that there is a "firewall" between the Mayor's Office and the City Clerk's Office. Obviously, my concern here is purposely instructing people to "Vote No" on the same pamphlet that tells them where to vote. Is this, in any way, a violation of the Cities or Local Government Elections Act, and if so, what recourse does the average taxpayer have against the City of Regina in this instance? Would the Government of Saskatchewan be willing to step in on this issue?
Thank you in advance for any assistance you can offer in this regards.
Best Regards,
Chad A. Novak, CMA
Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group

This. Is. HUGE. Please share with all your friends who demand transparency, accountability and independence from your City Hall!!

Check out @JohnKleinRegina's Tweet:

By the Way Regina, PLEASE DO NOT BELIEVE THE WOLF IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING. The City Council, Chamber of Commerca and others continually say "Who are you going to trust?" 

Well, I don't blindly follow politicians with Carte Blanche authority. If you do, it leads to situations like Pamela Wallin, the Corruption in Montreal, and more! PLEASE DON'T BE A "SHEEPLE"

Ask questions of your elected officials, and DEMAND ANSWERS!!! 

They work for YOU, not the other way around.


Wednesday, 18 September 2013

CUPE vs City of Regina?

Good morning Regina!!

First off, I just want to quickly mention, for those of you who did not attend last night, or watch the LIVE stream, I have officially announced my intentions to seek nomination for the Liberal Party of Canada in the next Federal Election. I will post more details on that in the coming weeks. For now, here is the link to the stream for your viewing pleasure.

Now, this past week, the University of Regina "Carillon" posted an editorial that was, in my opinion, quite one sided and very misleading. I have asked how to clear the air on what I feel is misleading, and I was told I could submit a Letter to the Editor. I'm confident that it's far too long, and probably far too factual, to get published, so here is the letter in it's entirety.


In response to the Carillon (U of R student publication) editorial "This September, Vote No To CUPE", I feel there are some extreme myths that are being shared that, sadly, even they have fallen prey to. The City of Regina has been deliberately muddying the waters, pun intended, in order to confuse and distract the voters from the real issues at hand.

First off, remember 24,000+ taxpaying citizens signed the petition. TWENTY-FOUR THOUSAND!! Do you honestly believe that many folks were "duped" by the Regina Water Watch (RWW) folks into whatever ridiculous message it is that the City of Regina is saying that RWW had "deliberately misinformed" petition signers? This is a ludicrous claim, and one that I find appauling that the City would even suggest. The fact of the matter is, this IS about our water supply, this IS about protecting a public resource that many in our world don't have the ability to even have access to. This IS about the citizens rights, and respecting democracy. No matter how you slice it, the fact of the matter is that ALL WATER goes back into the ecosystem to eventually become another's drinking water. Where do you think our water comes from? Also, keep in mind it wasn't that long ago that the City of Regina had taken on massive advertising campaigns to remind us how important our entire water system is, including wastewater, in an effort to remind the Federal Government how they shouldn't differentiate between the two in their efforts to get additional infrastructure funding. (See below image)
Secondly, I am not a member of any union. Nor do I believe that even half of the 24,000+ that signed the petition are union members. Do I support unions? Of course they have their place in society. Like any organization, some lose their vision of their original existence, to prevent corporate abuse of basic human rights, but as a general rule, unions do serve a very vital purpose. We are seeing this very evidently in this referendum, as there are CUPE members being forced by the City of Regina to support City Council's decision, regardless of whether or not they personally support it or not. I personally do not care if CUPE funds RWW $1 or $1 Million, if it helps to protect DEMOCRACY then the more power to them!
As a Certified Management Accountant, I have studied P3's in depth, and there has been much debate over P3's amongst the CMA community for many years. There have been great arguments to both sides, and don't get me wrong, P3's certainly do have a time and a place that make sense. For example, the Stadium would be a prime example where a P3 would be a fantastic opportunity (BTW - It's NOT a P3, no matter what 'some' individuals will lead you to believe). However, a vital resource such as water/wastewater should never, ever be jeopardized by putting it into the hands of private, FOR PROFIT, corporations. Call it privatization, don't call it privatization. The fact is, a private, FOR PROFIT, company WILL operate, finance and maintain it, if the City of Regina gets their wish on September 25. How much profit? The City will not tell us, citing "privacy". However, as per the below image, it would appear 22% is not an unreasonable number. So, in essence, the P3 would have to save us over 22% of the total cost over the 30 years, just to be on even grounds as a traditional DBB model. Where are those savings going to occur? Either increase revenues (utility costs to you and I) or cut expenses (staff, standards, etc.). Add to that the fact that a private company also borrows at a higher interest rate than government, and it makes it even harder to come anywhere close to the cost efficiency of keeping it in public hands.

Finally, in regards to the supposed $79.6M that the City is touting as "savings" realized by a P3, one must keep in mind this is NOT REAL MONEY. This is the assigned dollar value to that of their assumed "risk" that is transferred to the private company. This is a common misconception, and should never be factored in as seriously as the City has. Yes, risk is real and it's nice to transfer that to someone else. But a FOR PROFIT company isn't dumb enough to tell it's investors "hey, check this out, we get to take on more risk, which means you might make less money!!". No investor in their right mind would put their money into that. As for the Federal $58.5M, all I am going to say is there ARE other Federal monies available, as well as potential provincial monies, and all the City of Regina needs to do is put the request into the right department. Many, many other municipalities have done this, and succeeded, and won awards for innovation in design. Why can't we?

Chad A. Novak, CMA
Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group
(Mayoral Candidate in the 2012 Municipal Election)

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Take a STAND Against the Chamber of Commerce

Good afternoon Regina!!

This amazing individual did what I hope many other members of the Regina Chamber of Commerce are doing, and sent in their honest feedback regarding their disgusting tactic of purposely misleading their membership regarding the Wastewater Treatment Plant Referendum. I want to extend my congratulations to this individual and hope that more join the effort to not only work to VOTE INFORMED on September 25, but also to tell those that deliberately LIE to you just what you truly think of their tactics.

Attention Regina City Council, Senior City Administration and Regina Chamber of Commerce:  
Respect Democracy and tell people the TRUTH about the referendum!!

From: Orion Paradis
Engineer, Producer at SoulSound 
*Posted with express written permission from Mr. Paradis

I just received the latest "ChamberLink" magazine which I assume they started sending me because I run a small business - I was very dismayed by their coverage on the P3 Wastewater question.

Here is the email I sent them:


I was very disturbed to find that new Regina ChamberLink Magazine (Sept 2013) has a very biased and uninformative article about the upcoming referendum, which leads with the cover quote "Would YOU like to pay higher utility fees".

Obviously, no one would, but there is no way one can say for sure that a P3 model will deliver lower rates over the body of the 27 year contract - this is misleading your readership by painting a black & white picture of higher rates vs continued public management.

I also did not like the way that unions are demonized as having some kind of hidden agenda - are decent working hours, wages and health benefits some kind of communist plot from 1950, or can we agree that unions are made of regular Canadians who have the right to negotiate on their own behalf?

I also must take exception to the enlarged quote on the first page of the article "Ultimately we are asking voters to ask this one simple question: Who do you think really has your best interest in mind, the people you elected to act on your behalf or an organization backed by the largest public sector union in Canada"

I would point out that the "people elected" in Ottawa are trying to push an ideological model on our city by dangling this money which comes with "you must P3" strings attached - why does the federal government care to interfere with the democracy in Regina - they should be giving us this money in good faith and letting it be used in the model we choose to adopt - not attempting to force our hand.

As well, our "people elected" in Regina (with the exception of Councillor Shawn Fraser) have repeatedly shown that they are more interested in getting the P3 deal pushed through, than dealing with the hassle of engaging in a healthy democratic debate with their own electorate. From attempting to change the petition rules for number of signatures needed, to discounting signatures based on minor technicalities, to engaging in robocalls and finally spending hundreds of thousands of tax payers own dollars to get them to vote "No" instead of educating them to make their own decision - these are all signs of a broken democracy.

I do not trust a council or mayor who believes this is the path to proper civic governance - there were only 33% of Regina voters who elected this council, so I think we can safely assume they do not have the majority mandate without public consultation on important issues such as this one.

Waste water IS water - it goes back into the watershed and continues to cycle though our environment - this is a public trust which can not be turned over to a "for profit" entity, even in joint partnership. It is city councils responsibility to manage this trust for the people of Regina and those down river of our city. It is the councils job to figure out how provide this service without offloading any of the the accounting and responsibility to a private firm.

Please remove me from your mailing list - I have no interest in your magazine and will work very hard to help the YES side win."

Friday, 6 September 2013

Why I Am Voting YES on September 25, 2013

Happy weekend Regina!!

You may have seen my flyers downtown, but if you haven't already, I'm posting this information today for your reading enjoyment. As I strongly pushed for during the 2012 Civic Election, I am a very strong believer in being accountable and transparent to you, the taxpayers of Regina. As such, I want to inform you as much as possible about the upcoming Referendum without explicitly telling you HOW to vote. I want to give you as much information, so that you can become an informed voter, and make your own informed decision on September 25, 2013. You know, kind of like what the City of Regina SHOULD BE doing!

Below, I provide to you an explanation as to one of the main reasons that I, personally, am voting YES on September 25, 2013. As I said above, I do not want to push you one way or another, but if you read what I write below, and wonder why the City of Regina continues to dodge even the most basic of questions regarding the Wastewater Treatment Plant P3 Referendum, then I have a strong feeling you may be inclined to vote yes, to keep our public utitlities PUBLIC.

Why I am Voting YES on September 25, 2013
– By Chad A. Novak, CMA (Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group)

Amongst many other concerns, my primary concern is that the “Value For Money” argument is not supported anywhere in the Deloitte report. The reason for this is that it is completely mythical, and has no evidence to back it up, and is a hypothetical assumption at best, assigning a dollar figure to what it determines to be the “risk” associated with the potential delays in the construction from a Design, Bid, Build project. THIS is where the City got its magical $79.6 Million “savings” that they touted for months, and allegedly based their decision in February 2013 on. If this is true, then their very “unanimous” decision is very flawed. Add to that the fact that many experts in the industry have determined that the “Value for Money” argument is completely subjective, and can easily be manipulated to support any kind of argument that a party would like to. Keeping in mind that a Private Company would build this WWTP regardless of P3 or DBB, one has to wonder just how realistic these risk assumptions/”Value for Money” are. Assuming, of course, that the P3 benefits include promises included in an eventual contract that would withhold money from the private company if it didn’t perform to standards.

When you factor in the $58.5 Million that the City of Regina is advertising as “lost money” if it doesn’t choose a P3, of course, to the layperson, this would scare the hell out of them to say “Well, why would anyone NOT want to support this P3 project?” The $58.5M seems to be the City’s only argument now, and they’ve even gone to the extent of breaking it down to an annual “savings” on your utility bill of $276/year for 4 years. What they aren’t telling you is that there is indeed other Federal and Provincial Funding available. Until recently, they have said these have long expired, and thus are no longer on the table. Recently, the Mayor realized that this funding is continuing well into the future, but claims “the next funding” isn’t happening until 2014, which apparently, in his mind, is too late. In addition, they aren’t telling you that the total cost of the WWTP Upgrades has been represented in such a manner to make the WWTP seem like a “deal” when you factor in the P3 Grant, even though just last July it was being publicly advertised as a $150M project, and is still to this day only a $120M project, according to Enterprise Saskatchewan. The City of Regina would have you believe that the project is now in the $224-$234M range, but provide nothing other than “oops, we forgot inflation” as their justification. They fail to mention that in the “Pro P3” Deloitte report, it states that any projects lower than $224M are “unattractive” to investors. Coincidence?
On September 25, Your Choices Are:
Vote No
- Up To $58.5 Million P3 Grant available
- Outsource non-management jobs and operations
- Control handed over to a for-profit corporation
- Higher bills due to private profit being added

Vote Yes
- Canada Builds grant available - Amount still TBD
- Provincial Funding possible (based on similar projects)
- Jobs and Operations protected
- Control stays with the public
- Bills are lower as no profit needs to be added

Monday, 2 September 2013

Land Annexation - Who's Profiting??

Good evening Regina!!

Apparently, I have to draw a map for some people to get them off my back. Well, "some people" being those that our former Mayor has to sick on me, because he's too scared to face me himself. Regarding the lands that Mayor Fougere and the City of Regina are looking to annex from the RM of Sherwood - specifically the land to the immediate Southwest of Regina - otherwise known as "Harbour Landing West", including Devonia Park. These lands are (or were??) owned by a number of individuals/corporations, but most notably being Mr. Pasquale Fiacco (aka Pat Fiacco), and his two brothers, courtesy of a gift from their parents in 1974. Also, notable of course would be Dundee Developments, which was headed by Mr. Tom Shepherd until 2008. But more on Mr. Shepherd in a future post.

Why is this such a big deal? Well, when you become Mayor and get lands developed that were never intended to be developed, paving the way for the lands that you own to get developed, that were once worthless because of the government's decision in 1974 to disallow foreign ownership of lands for speculative purposes, there tends to be some issues with that. Then, when you conveniently step down as mayor and mere months later, you want the City to annex those same lands which immediately makes your land more valuable, and you already have apparently arranged for an extension to the subdivision that you helped get built, to be developed on your lands, making you extremely rich when you sell those lands to that developer, that's when people like me and about 24,000 others who have a problem with Democracy being disrespected in Regina ---- that's when we have an issue. 

Not only is this unethical, but it also tends to lead to court action. And, if one can prove such actions were deliberate to defraud taxpayers, CRIMINAL CHARGES are sure to follow. And people wonder why Pat Fiacco and his family and friends (aka ‪#‎yqrmafia‬) have been working so diligently to discredit ANYONE (not just me) that dared to challenge him within the past decade.

This is scheduled to be discussed on October 15 (or November 4) at 5:30PM at City Hall.

Please, if you care for your City and want democracy respected in Regina, attend and demand justice be served for this disgusting behaviour. Please do share and invite all of your friends and family to attend that day.

(If you plan to speak - Please, try to keep your speeches on topic, and in as respectful a tone as possible. Also, note, you will have ten minutes to speak, and please respect decorum in Council Chambers by not applauding - as much as you may want to.)

Here is my original blog post on this issue: