Friday, 31 January 2014
Mr. Rex Murphy did a great piece on the State of Politics, and as much as he hits the nail on the head, I felt he missed a tremendous opportunity to expose some of the dirtiest politics happening in all of North America, right here at home. I don't fault him, though, since much of the Regina Media outlets refuse to touch the subject, for fear of biting the hand(s) that feed them.
Here is a letter that was submitted to his team this morning:
I want to thank you for bringing up the subject of how the State of Politics in Canada, and the world, has reached an all new low. I think you missed a very important subject, though, and I am gladly sharing it with you today.
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada - as amazing a City it is - has some serious, serious issues. The root of the problem is a City Hall and City Council that refuse to admit that we do have those serious issues, and continue to play along as if the glass is half full. Our Former Mayor Fiacco is a prime example of this, when he refused to acknowledge how North Central Regina is truly one of Canada's Worst Neighbourhoods, in a 2007 MacLeans article. Rather than acknowledging this very true fact, and working to resolve it, he preferred to lambaste MacLeans, in his typical media-treatment fashion, and cheerlead like an 18 year old high school football cheerleader about how wonderful his City was.
Today, seven years later, the City of Regina - as great as its' citizens are - faces a national crisis. Our housing has never been more unaffordable, our homelessness situation is at all-time highs (if the City would even acknowledge just how serious as issue this is, we might actually know how many truly homeless there are in Regina), and our crime rates haven't really gone anywhere but up since the horrific realizations brought out in the 2007 Macleans article. What's sad, though, is how the Regina media - most bought and paid for by the City of Regina and their "officials" - refuse to address this very real and very serious problem. While in Toronto, you have media stammering at the chance to report even the most miniscule of issues that arise with their celebrity mayor, true crime and corruption very much exists and continues here in Regina without so much of the bat of an eyelash. It's up to national media outlets, such as yourself, to bring these issues to light.
I would like to personally invite you to read up on the issues on my website www.chad4regina.com under "Dirty Little Secrets", and read the Affidavit provided to the Premier of Saskatchewan https://www.dropbox.com/s/61v1jdxqi8pmtzp/Affidavit%20to%20Brad%20Wall.pdf, essentially denouncing the 2012 Municipal Elections null and void, due to some very serious and obvious problems that the City of Regina had full control over, as did our new mayor, the former President of the Saskatchewan Construction Association - one of his duties which was to lobby the WCB, among other municipal and provincial government organizations.
Here are some more links for your reading enjoyment:
Thank you in advance for your time, and I sincerely hope you are willing to report further on this situation. SOMEONE has to.
Chad A. Novak, CMA
Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group
Thursday, 30 January 2014
Tuesday, 28 January 2014
Last night at City Council. What can I say? It most certainly did NOT go as planned, but when one really sits back and thinks about it, what difference would it have made if I was allowed to remain at City Council and address them? As usual, they would have glazed their eyes over, not asked a single question of me, and voted unanimously anyways. I must say, though, I am truly ashamed at Councillor Shawn Fraser for not having the balls to stand up to these dictators beside him and voting against the Bylaw - effectively FORCING this to the next Council Meeting in February. I expected far more of him. As did his constituents. Many have already contacted me asking how to force him out of office, which is a pretty sad state of affairs when he is the only one that was elected on a platform of being accountable to taxpayers. Yes, I can appreciate it takes a lot to stand up to the crooked bitches beside him, but if he can't do it, then he simply isn't built of the fortitude to truly represent his constituents.
Many have asked what happened last night. All I can say is - a lot. I certainly didn't plan it that way, but when you have an arrogant blowhard know-it-all like Councillor Terry Hincks stand up, spouting off deliberate lies to make the public think this is an amazing project, something has to be said. So, I said it. I spoke out. I dared to break Decorum and speak out during a Council Meeting. I am such a rebel - a badass. I am speaking facetiously of course. These are things that should be considered reasonable in a democracy, but here in Regina, it gets you kicked out of City Hall. And, apparently, is worthy of calling upon the services of five innocent Regina Police Service members who are only doing their job.
I will speak more to this and give my originally prepared speech this weekend in a LIVE VIDEO BLOG on Saturday. It's truly unfortunate that the City of Regina continues to stomp on Taxpayers like this, but the great thing is, it's nearly time for them to either submit their resignations or get arrested and charged with Conspiracy to Commit Fraud, amongst other Criminal Charges. I know it may sound like tough talk, hard to believe, but the truth is they are afraid. Not physically afraid. Afraid of what power the taxpayers hold when they finally demand City Hall be accountable to their employers.
Here is a copy of the Affidavit that was served to Premier Brad Wall earlier this month, and submittted to the Deputy City Clerk, Amber Smale, last night. As Mr. Jim Nicol, self-appointed "City Clerk" refused to take it.
Monday, 27 January 2014
Just a bit of a notice for anyone in Regina or that subscribe to Access Communications.
You're going to want to either attend in person, or watch City Council on TV tonight. Starts at 5:30. Should also be available on regina.ca under Council Agendas. I will also be LIVE STREAMING my delegation tonight. It will be 100% professional, 99% respectful and 100% "must see TV". I promise you that.
After months of frustration and preparation, tonight it's on. The Mayor and his boys will get to see just how powerful I can be, given the right circumstances. Not physically of course. It's sad I have to clarify that, so they don't bring in a barrage of officers, uniformed and plain clothed, thinking I'm going to be violent. The RPS are fully aware of how docile and little threat I really am - when they aren't instructed by their makers at City Hall that is.
No written delegation or script required. 100% shoot from the hip. Calling them to action and emphasizing just who they work for. Taxpayers will no longer be their BITCH.
Sunday, 26 January 2014
For those that aren't familiar with the controversial new neighbourhood development that our wonderful City Council recently approved (two of whom stand to profit from any residential development as they are realtors), where have you been? THANKFULLY this was most certainly not a unanimous decision, but unfortunately it still passed. It should be noted, that if those with vested interests were to declare a Conflict of Interest, as they rightfully are required to do by law, the vote would have failed miserably.
We have heard the arguments from Mayor Fougere, Terry Hincks, Wade Murray, and Jerry Flegel (all of whom have a vested interest in this development in one form or another) that "Hey, look, Uplands has been in existence for a few decades now, and if we said no to Somerset, what does it tell those who live in Uplands?". Well, here's what it tells them. As a human race, we have evolved tremndously since the 1950's and 60's. When we once thought it was not only socially acceptable to smoke cigarattes, we actually encouraged our youth to start smoking. When we once thought it was completely acceptable to smoke cigarettes in dining establishments, offices and hospitls. When we thought it was perfectly acceptable to develop buildings (including HOSPITALS) with dangerous asbestos.
Thankfully, years of public pressure and research has changed this attitude and we have gone so far to now prohibit even the visibility of cigarettes to minors. We completely shut down buildings that were filled with asbestos (and then turn them into schools). We find it utterly ludicrous to think it was once acceptable to smoke and drink while pregnant. Yet, all of these things were not only acceptable, but encouraged in many instances.
Thus, we need to learn from our past. Admit we screwed up with Uplands, don't repeat the same mistake again, and most certainly do not put the most vulnerable of our society into a development that is hazardous to their health simply because it's the only place they can afford. A "caveat" on the property isn't going to prevent the potential health risks and environmental catastrophes that are just waiting to happen, given the close proximity to Evraz and CCRL.
Saturday, 25 January 2014
Thursday, 23 January 2014
UPDATE: Another interesting turn of events, it would appear that Mr. Brent Sjoberg is no longer signing cheques issued by the City of Regina. Whether this is a temporary or permanent situation, it remains unclear. When asked, Mr. Sjoberg's assistant pleaded ignorance to knowing anything that her boss was doing. Stay tuned for more on these developing stories! EXCLUSIVELY here first!
We have it on good authority that City Manager, Glen Davies, is no longer with the City of Regina. Details are few at this point, but sources confirm that "new" multi-tasker City Clerk Jim Nicol has temporarily taken over this role. This latest development is the largest in a series of continual vacancies since the Federal Lawsuits were served on the City in September. And, if this is true, this is by far the biggest accomplishment to date of the Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group.
Saturday, 18 January 2014
Good afternoon Mayor Fougere,
Granted, this is subject to interpretation, as is most legislation. The question that arises here would be what is determined to be "power". Using the City of Regina's procedures from the WWTP Petition Process, when the question surrounding what would be considered the "date" an individual signed, we feel it is only fair to use the same type of interpretation - that being the dictionary definition.
Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group
Wednesday, 15 January 2014
Today, I came across a post written by none other than Mr. City Hall himself, Paul Dechene of the wonderful Prairie Dog Magazine. In it, Paul talks about some issues that should have been paid more attention to, one of which is something I've been monitoring quite closely for many months now. If you haven't had a chance to read his article, go check it out.
Below is my feedback on his article. On a related note, Mayor Nenshi is continuing the battle against a developer in Calgary. This is something that we must watch extra closely in Regina, as it is sure to rear it's ugly head right here at home - in due time.
Sunday, 12 January 2014
What exactly is considered "Affordable" Housing? According to CMHC, it is defined quite clearly as "Affordable housing costs less than 30% of before-tax household income". It is important to note, that shelter costs include utilities and property taxes, as applicable. For the layperson, this seems like a pretty clear cut definition, and something that would be very easy to measure and apply to any given situation. Why is it then, that our Regina Senior Administrators and City Council prefer to use a special "Made In Regina" definition, leaning towards "at or below market rate"?
By now, I'm sure you're asking yourself, "Well, if the situation is truly this bad, why aren't residents out on the streets with pitchforks and demanding accountability from their elected officials?" The answer, quite simply, is apathy - due to how people have been treated in the past from these officials. Never mind the fact that many are struggling every single day to determine how they are going to find their next meal. And, when you add the fact that the Provincial Government pretty much wipes its' hands clean of any potential wrongdoing by municipalites (because municipalities are their own level of government with ultimate accountability to the taxpayer), and it becomes quite clear that the only way to hold our elected officials accountable is to place tremendous public pressure on them.
There are a number of solutions available to taxpayers, many of which are certainly not attractive to Realtors, in that they stand to gain nothing by promoting these alternatives. This, of course, lends itself even more to the question of Conflict of Interest, and which hat the Realtor is wearing when voting on a decision that could very well affect their livelihood.
The first solution is to put extreme public pressure on the City of Regina to open its' books to the public and allow an inquiry and/or forensic audit to ensure that our tax dollars are indeed being spent in the most fiscally responsible manner. These are both available to the public in the Cities Act, in sections 354 and 352. The province has confirmed with me that they will only step in, in extenuating circumstances. So, it is up to you and I, the individual taxpayer, to demonstrate the overwhelming desire of the public to review the goings on at City Hall. Stay tuned for more on this developing story in the coming weeks.
Secondly, pressure the Realtors/Lobbyists on Council, and anyone else in a position of authority at City Hall, to withdraw themselves from any given vote that may even be perceived as a Conflict of Interest. A better solution to this would be to have Realtors remuneration changed from a percentage of sales price, to a flat rate or an hourly rate. This simple change would remove any incentive for those individuals to vote for decisions like the new Somerset development solely for the purpose of padding their own pocket books. As well, I am quite confident you would see a dramatic change in the overall real estate market in and around Regina.
Thirdly, and probably most important, would be to change the mindset of City Hall to one of cooperation and community. While this stands very little chance of ever being considered, let alone adopted, by our current City Council and Administrators, it lends itself quite well to a truly community-minded and focused City Hall. With this in mind, I present to you the proposal for the City of Vancouver called "The Cooperative City". This is a tremendous resource, and it builds upon the Co-operative nature that the great residents of Saskatchewan know and love, and one of the major principles of how our province was established.
Wednesday, 8 January 2014
I am very proud to be unveiling to you today, the brand new section of my website called "CHAD ABOUT YOU".
Please read my Chad About You page, and decide if you see any purpose for breaking this story wide open. You have until Saturday, January 11, 2014 to contact me for further information. If you feel there is no story to even begin an investigative report on, so be it. Just be warned that this is something that many journalists would do anything to cover, and there are in fact many journalists throughout Canada who have expressed a deep interest in covering this topic. It has far reaching implications to many other jurisdictions in Canada, so I feel I am being more than generous by giving you, the local Regina media, the opportunity to break it first. All I ask is for credit of providing you the idea, and exclusive rights to be able to discuss the implications as I see it before any other interviewee.
Saturday, 4 January 2014
Mayor Michael Fougere has gone to the media in the past couple weeks making some pretty bold statements about the anticipated 2014 City of Regina budget. He refuses to get into specifics, but promises "at least" a similar tax increase to last year (4.45%). Interesting to note is how he has brought in Saskatoon's approved 7.43% hike in their 2014 Budget. for comparison sakes. Also, as we exclusively broke here, the chair of the Finance & Administration Commitee, Wade Murray, leaked that the increase could be between at least 3-4%. No matter how you look at it, it seems that City Hall is expecting more money in their pockets.
Add to the fact that they are hinting at yet another increase in your water rates, similar to the previous years of 9%, and the individual taxpayers are getting royally screwed once again. I say individual taxpayers, because if you are a business that is "friendly" to the City, it seems that you don't have to worry about property taxes. Either you'll get a complete exemption, or you'll get - at least - a few year break. But, well, if you're a non-profit or doing something worthwhile in the community, don't expect such a favour. (Unless, of course, you bow to the "corrupt elite")
- What, exactly, is the reason for the anticipated property tax (and water rate) hike? Is the City of Regina truly doing everything in it's power to maximize the efficiency of how our City is managed, in order to reduce the burden on taxpayers?
- How does the Provincial Government's "reduction" in it's Municipal Operating Grant truly affect the annual budget? Why is this such a "surprise" to the City when it ought to have known about this possibility when the funding formula was changed early in 2013?
- Considering we have had record growth in construction over the past few years, would it not stand to reason that the City should expect a significant Property Tax Revenue increase? This past year alone, only counting the single family housing units, at an average Property Tax of $2,500 (Municipal portion), one would reasonably expect the City to have an extra $2.75 Million - just from the increased units in 2013. Multiply that by the number of new properties developed over the past number of years, as well as the multi-family units and commercial buildings, and you quickly realize that the City ought to have a significantly higher tax base than it did just five years ago. Without a detailed calculation and reviewing all of the stats in detail, a reasonable estimate would be an extra $30 Million per year, just based on the construction activity over the past few years.
Perhaps the Property Tax system isn't as "antiquated" as the Mayor suggests, in that the revenue doesn't increase with the economy, per se, but it certainly increases with every additional property, particularly in boom periods. I should mention that I anticipate the Mayor and/or Council/Admin to try to justify this by somehow stating that these extra revenues offset the development and maintenance costs of new subdivisions. Which is complete bullshit. Developers pay Service Connection Fees to the City for this very purpose, and you - the taxpayer - pay these in the purchase price of your new home. Extra services? What services? I highly doubt it costs an extra couple million to send buses, graders and garbage trucks to the new areas. I openly issue this challenge to the Mayor or any City Councillor to provide documented evidence to support their argument on this.
So, after considering the above, one has to ask themselves, just how dire is the City of Regina's financial situation? I mean, it can't be all that bad if we are considering spending half a billion dollars on just two projects alone over the next couple of years. (Which, by the way, is expected to increase our debt by 500%)
Why are we, the individual taxpayers, having to pay more for effectively the same level of services as last year?
Why are we, the individual taxpayers, having to subsidize giant corporations' tax breaks?
Why were we tricked into believing that the WWTP P3 arrangement would not cost us anymore in taxes, when in fact, they are going up - as well as water rates? Oh, and why won't the City ever acknowledge the $80 to $240M in expected revenues from this deal where they promised to sell off our wastewater? And why won't they answer the most basic of questions as to what happened since 2008? (Hint: Could it have anything to do with Monetization?)
Why can't our City Administrators simply realign their priorities, and reconsider the multi-million dollar projects currently on the table? These projects should - at minimum - have an independent authority reviewing the proposals, in order to ensure that they are indeed in the individual taxpayers' best interests, and we are, indeed, getting the best bang for our buck. Not to mention the question of whether or not the City of Regina has learned their lesson from the clusterfuck that was the Plaza.
In closing, I would like to share with you probably one of the most honest statements of any City Councillor - current or past - in terms of a possible solution to our problems facing City Hall. (I should note that he immediately removed this from Twitter after either realizing it's not the best idea to bash your former employer, or perhaps he meant to post this under a Parody Account.)
Wednesday, 1 January 2014
I will try to keep this post short and sweet for today, but I just wanted to let everyone know that one of the major New Years Resolutions I have made for 2014 - and I plan to stick to it for the entire year - is to be far more positive in my outlook on life. Now, this does not mean I will completely remove criticisms about situations which I find unjust; but it does mean that I will work to not only identify those situations, but to also find a positive in each situation, and provide meaningful solutions that you and I can do to hopefully bring on the change that is needed.
I share with you some very positive images here, which have been great inspirations to get me into this mindset, and I hope it inspires each one of you as well. I would like to issue this one challenge to each one of you reading this today: In 2014, please make an effort to do one Random Act of Kindness, each and every day, even if it's as simple as smiling at that person on the street that looks like they are having a down day. You just never know what that one act may do to change their outlook in life, or even - in some rare situations - save a life! If you do this one simple act each and every day, you can have touched 365 lives in 2014.