Saturday, 3 December 2016

2017 Budget Coming Soon

Hello Regina!

I know it's been a while since I posted last, but well, I think I earned that break after the hard fought election. While I wasn't successful in my run for City Council, I am pleased with the outcome, as we have a new Councillor in this Ward, as well as a few other new - hopefully very good - councillors in other Wards.

This week, there are a couple Committee meetings that are happening at City Hall. Both are interesting in their own accord, but one that has really grabbed my attention is the Winter Maintenance Budget anticipated surplus for 2016. Thanks to Mother Nature and/or climate change (whether or not you believe in it, I really don't care), we've been granted with extremely little snowfall last year, and so far this year as well. As a result, there is a projected surplus of over $3 Million in this year's Winter Maintenance budget. What does that mean for you and I? Well, it all depends on what City Council decides. I'll be there this week to give my thoughts on this, and I hope that this new Council at least listens to my thoughts that should benefit all of Regina.

The 2017 Budget deliberations are still ongoing, but we, the general public, are being kept in the dark now until February 2017. Why is this necessary? Well, the public excuse is that, with the election, it wouldn't be fair for the new Councillors to just 'jump into' it so fast, which was originally scheduled for December 5, 2016. Of course, this doesn't seem to affect other cities, but well, we here in Regina, we're a special group, apparently. Anyways, it certainly would be nice of the City to at least give the public an idea of what is to come, at the very least let us know how the City is doing with regards to their 2016 budget. Given that every single year for at least the past decade, we've realized pretty big surpluses, it sure would be nice to know if that's the case again this year, as we could put that towards any projected increases in the 2017 Property Tax hikes. You know it's a given the Regina Police Service will ask for their standard 5-6%, even if they don't deserve it, and City Hall knows residents have become accustomed to at least a few percent increase in their property taxes, even if it's not needed. So, the question now becomes, how much, and how can it be reduced?

Only time will tell! Oh, and you really should tune into my Facebook page if you want to keep updated on breaking stories that I don't take the time to post about on here.

For example, did you know, Mr. Brad Wall is playing an interesting game of 'shuffle the deck' where he is (most likely) increasing your property taxes, due to the "Percentage of Value" for property assessments. What does that mean for you? Well, go check out my Facebook page to find out!

Tuesday, 18 October 2016


Hello Regina!

After a very successful day yesterday, today I am so happy to see some more resident questions being sent along because it tells me that many are truly paying attention to this election. We held the (Para)Transit Rally yesterday, and I was extremely impressed with the turnout and the commitment by many Council and Mayoral Candidates to dramatically improve the Paratransit and Transit systems in Regina. You can see the video of the Rally on my Facebook page. I was very pleased to see current Ward 3 Councillor Shawn Fraser take some time to stop in and hear of the concerns as well, even though he is not running again. I feel it is very important to note, however, that not one current City Councillor who is running for re-election bothered to show up. This should be very telling to you in terms of their commitments to residents.

Also yesterday, City Council heard an application by Forster Projects and Harvard Developments to approve the Aurora Retail Complex in East Regina. While I am not opposed to this commercial development, per se, I felt it was the perfect opportunity to at least make a point and have this report delayed until next City Council meeting, where the new City Council will be allowed to vote on it. All it needed was one vote against the third reading of the Bylaw...and it happened!!!! I was so happy and excited to see this happen. While merely a formality, it sends a message to this Council that further public consultation was sorely lacking and the residents deserve a say. I want to thank Councillor Shawn Fraser for standing up for what is right here, as he was the lone voice voting against the approval.

Further resident Questions and Answers follow:

As per the resident: The literature of candidates, including yours, is vague to the point of being irrelevant.  Everyone wants “transparency”, everyone wants  “lower taxes”, no one likes “traffic congestion” ..and so on. What I want to know are your specific proposals in these areas.

-  on relieving traffic congestion?  Might you advocate  free public transit ( much like the Riders will be providing) at specific times in the day and/or on specific routes. ?

I envision more roads accessing the East End of Regina, most notably the long-planned-but-never-executed extension of Prince of Wales Drive to Wascana Parkway, and the extension from Ross Ave to Prince of Wales Drive in the North. Our current situation is absolutely unacceptable at the best of times, but when construction hits Victoria Avenue, Arcola Avenue, or Dewdney Avenue - or worse yet two or three at the same time - accessing East Regina is a gong show. Adding these two alternate routes will help alleviate that congestion and to me, they are common sense items that should have been done long ago. In addition, adding a third lane in both directions on Arcola Avenue, along with a proper merging lane from Ring Road onto Arcola Avenue that you don't have to come to a complete stop from 100km/h. Finally, in terms of Transit, what I want to see is increased ridership, and this can only be done by providing top-notch service. Current commute times can exceed two hours on the bus, and until this is remedied, it is futile to offer any other incentives to ride the bus. I think the solutions are there, we just need a City Council that is willing to invest in a viable solution. I have committed to having "Free Ride Fridays" as well, in order to increase ridership once we have a service that we can be proud of. Ideally, this will encourage more people to try transit, and hopefully that will translate to increased ridership long term. Any revenues that might be lost on those days could be considered research costs, or they could be offset by a corporate sponsor.

-  in terms of sustainable development, plastic shopping bags are currently not recyclable. Would you favour of banning them, as some communities have done,  if they can not be made a recyclable item?

I strongly encourage the use of reusable shopping bags as much as one can do. To me, they are the long-term, environmentally responsible solution. With that said, I know there will always be that time you forget your bag, and then we must look at an environmentally responsible alternative. It is my understanding there are plans in the works in the recycling industry to feasibly recycle plastic bags. However, until such time, what is the alternative? An outright ban? Paper bags? I think the financial 'penalty' is one solution that many stores have implemented. I would like to see this possibly be a higher fee, which can be diverted to local recycling initiatives. That being said, I know I don't have all the answers on this, but I would look to citizens like yourself for input on what you feel is the best solution to a problem that is growing, thanks to our awareness of the environment.

- in regard to ”...proper planning for our urban growth....” what are your views on urban expansion in the Regina bypass area?

I have attended City Council and delegated on this very issue, and I feel very strongly that public consultation has been extremely poor on the Southeast Neighbourhood Plan, and I have pushed for further public consultation before it got approved. I think we need to have a comprehensive plan in place where we know where the next group of residences will be built before we allow another subdivision to be built. There is no reason we cannot have a 5, 10, or 25 year plan for this as developers should be aware of the need for proper planning, both from a community perspective, but also from an infrastructure perspective. It is really concerning to me that the City Administration had clear warnings about their concern for the inability to service the 17,500 new residences along the new Bypass, and yet City Council had no problem rubber stamping the approval. This is both irresponsible and damaging to our City as a whole.

- in terms of “transparency”, would you advocate that any councillor recuse him or her self in any instance where a council motion would benefit a campaign contributor of that councillor?
I cannot tell you how much I support this initiative. I am a strong believer in transparency, and if a Councillor is in a position that the average person would perceive them to be in a Conflict, they should recuse themselves from the vote, no questions asked. As it sits right now, the reliance is on the Councillor to determine if they are in a Conflict, and even at that, the average citizen has to file a court application to express their concerns about any potential Conflict. I want to ensure that the public are aware of all major contributors to all current City Councillors and remind them of these at every meeting. While the general public may not push the Councillors to declare a Conflict, I would think this would add a layer of guilt to those Councillors, and they would be more inclined to recuse themselves as such.

Wednesday, 12 October 2016


Hello Regina!

Another very busy, yet productive week on the go. I have organized a small Rally at City Hall on Monday, October 17, 2016 at 5:00PM in order to raise public awareness to the issues that currently face users and drivers for Regina Transit and Paratransit services. I was shocked to learn some of the situations over the past few days, but unfortunately, it does not surprise me one bit. If you can spare a few minutes on Monday, your attendance would be greatly appreciated! You can find more information on our Facebook Event page.

Another issue that has come up in recent months is the unfair treatment of Daycare facilities in our province. Following up on some of that media coverage, and a great conversation with one of the directors, I issued the following Media Release to demonstrate my commitment to this cause.


Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Regina, Saskatchewan – In recent years, the City of Regina has reassessed a number of home-based not-for-profit Day Care facilities, in order to be consistent with other day cares operated out of commercial facilities. While this succeeds in levelling the playing field for Day Care facilities that are operated out of homes and commercial properties, it does nothing to address the significant cost savings that other Day Care facilities realize by operating out of the University of Regina or the YMCA, as they are currently exempted from paying Property Taxes. This results in a significant cost to these home and commercial property based Day Care facilities, even though they are providing the exact same service to consumers.

The Day Cares have recently joined forces to lobby the Provincial Government to introduce or amend legislation to correct this situation, but in the meantime, these not-for-profit facilities are left with significant operating costs that could otherwise go towards improving the level of childcare offered at their facilities. As a group, they have called upon the City of Regina to introduce temporary tax relief until such time the legislation is changed to accommodate their request. Unfortunately, however, the current City Council did what they often do, and blamed the Provincial Government for this situation. This does nothing to address this situation, and only further aggravates an already sensitive situation.

Ward 4 Regina City Council Candidate, Chad Novak, has been committed to fair and equitable treatment for all taxpayers over the past number of years, as evidenced by his continued delegations at City Council. Consistent with this approach, he feels that the City of Regina owes a duty of care to these organizations that provide a social good to all residents of Regina, and he is committed to pushing hard for these exemption requests if he is successful in his bid for City Council. “City Hall has had no problems giving tax breaks to big businesses that simply don’t need it, or other organizations that truly can afford it in their annual budget, but these Day Cares are having a hard time getting City Council to listen to their reasonable requests for a level playing field.” Novak continued, “I have long advocated for fair and equitable treatment of all taxpayers, and this is a prime example of where improvements can be made with minimal impact to the budget.”

Once these exemptions are legislated, assuming provincial approval, the City of Regina will be required by law to exempt all day care facilities, so this could be considered as a voluntary expression by the City in support of that legislation change, as well as demonstrating their support for working parents to fully utilize the day care facilities without fear of large cost increases.


For media enquiries, please contact Chad Novak (306) 596-7685 or email .

Tuesday, 4 October 2016


Hello Regina!

Tonight is a special night for Ward 4 and Ward 5 residents, as it will be your first opportunity to meet the candidates in the same location, and grill us with the questions that you've been dying to ask us. In preparation for this evening, I thought I would share with you a (not so) brief questionnaire that Newstalk 980 CJME sent to all candidates last month that they should be publishing soon.

I also want to remind you that there is so much more to follow on my Facebook page that I don't get to publish on here, and it is a great opportunity for you to interact with me as well!

Why should voters hire you?
I am passionate about improving the quality of life for all residents of Regina. I have demonstrated my dedication to doing just that through my continued appearances at City Hall on a number of different issues over the past few years, and feel that should show residents that I am not just about words, I am a man of action. Our City is a great place to call home for some, but for others, they dread living here for a number of reasons, including crime, gangs, unemployment, housing costs, and so much more. City Hall can do so much to affect those issues and until we directly address them, and pretend they are not a serious problem, we are going to have a set portion of the population dreading living here.

Who should we call for a reference?
Pat Fiacco - Not saying he will give me a glowing reference, but he does know how passionate I am about this City.

What is your greatest strength?
Obviously, my ability with numbers. I'm about far more than a financial accountant who can tell you how much your business made last year, though, I can also tell you what things you can improve upon, how to improve, and lay out a detailed road map to get you there. Translating this to City Council, I've analyzed the numbers that get reported to residents each year through the budgetary process, and I am very confident that we have a lot of room to make all of the changes I've included in my platform and so much more, with absolutely no impact to residential property taxes. (Other than them going down as in my platform)

What is your greatest weakness?
I am a little too trusting in people that I have just met. It caused me to falsely believe the rumour of Pat Fiacco's father-in-law back in 2012, and I've put trust in some during the 2012 election that ended up burning me in the end.

What would be your priorities at city hall?
Improving the quality of life for all residents of Regina. This includes focusing on reducing water bills, reconfiguring residential and business property taxes, improved downtown and hospital parking, improved transit, increased recreational opportunities and so much more!

Where do you stand on city taxes?
I feel that residential property taxes are far too high, and an independent report by CFIB confirms this. For every dollar that residents pay, businesses only pay $2.12, compared to the national average of $2.83. This needs to change. Businesses should be subsidizing residential taxes, not the other way around. This can be done through a variety of means, including raising business taxes, lowering residential taxes, or a combination thereof.

Where do you stand on city debt?
Debt can be a good thing if it is managed properly, and used for essential infrastructure items. No, the stadium was not an essential infrastructure item. However, it is done and we can do nothing more than try to maximize the utilization of the facility now that it's been built. Thankfully, we have quite a bit of room to our current maximum debt limit, so if we did need to use it, it is there. However, we do have a significant amount of financial reserves, with nowhere to use it. As an accountant, it bothers me that we would rather borrow money than use money we already have, since you are going to pay for borrowed money, than the interest you would lose on reserves.

Where do you stand on downtown development?
I think the Regina Revitalization Initiative is an amazing opportunity and that should be the key focus of City Hall over the next four years. The Railyard Renewal Project is an opportunity that should not be squandered, and it needs to be done right. I don't believe any of the current alternatives that the City has considered are the right path. I have a plan that I have shared on my website that I feel residents would be more supportive of if they were given the option.

Where do you stand on downtown parking?
Downtown parking is horrendous. I can't tell you how many times I hear of people from out of town who avoid downtown like the plague, for fear of parking 0.1 metres too far from the curb, or outstaying their welcome at their meter by five minutes and getting a hefty parking ticket. This is the wrong way to encourage people to visit our downtown, and sadly, the Regina Downtown BID doesn't quite get it. I plan to address this issue by adding off-street parking options, including at least one major parkade, which will take the 9-5'ers off the streets. The Cornwall Centre has a 12 month waiting list for long-term parking, and this is completely unacceptable and well within the City's ability to address. Once the off-street parking options are addressed, then we need to reconsider the rates we charge and the time limits we have in force.

Where do you stand on roads and infrastructure?
I feel our roads and infrastructure are being horribly neglected, and the current Council just doesn't have a realistic plan to address this anytime soon. We have a situation where City Hall is paying $10 Million of taxpayer money on the Victoria Avenue overpass, while they missed out on the Federal and Provincial Government's funding any of it, as they had thought they would be able to obtain. The Provincial Government was apparently supposed to hand that over to the City about six years ago in "as new" condition, but apparently someone at City Hall screwed up and now it's basically a lost cause, at least per Mayor Fougere (if you watch the City Council video from September 26, 2016, you can confirm this). He "makes no apologies" for doing this, however, because apparently the overpass was now in such dire shape that it might have been risking lives to delay it any longer. Yet, this wasn't the #1 priority item in January 2015.

At the end of the day, we need a better plan to address this and without a City Council willing to focus on a realistic 5, 10 and 20 year plan, this will never happen.

Where do you stand on photo radar?
To me, photo radar is nothing but a cash grab. Mailing someone a photo of an offense they allegedly committed weeks, if not months prior, does absolutely nothing to curb that offense as it occurred. Maybe it might deter them from speeding in that area again in the future, but we need a system that punishes offenders as the offense is happening to have a real impact. When you add the fact that the photo radar has had major issues with its technology and the fact that only a portion of those offenders actually get a ticket, it really makes one question the validity of the enforcement process. Thankfully, touch wood, I have never been ticketed for speeding, either through photo radar or otherwise, but even if I had, that wouldn't change my opinion on this matter.

Where do you stand on environmental issues?
I'm not really a big environmentalist by any means, but I do believe that the City should do everything it can to minimize it's negative impact on the environment. One such item that I supported was the implementation of electric or hybrid vehicles into the City's fleet of vehicles. This would have a two-fold impact, as it would require charging stations to be placed at locations around our City which would help those that have electric vehicles and currently do not have a great selection of charging locations in our City.

There is absolutely no reason why we should have Parking Enforcement officers driving to the suburbs in GMC Terrain SUV's. This is a perfect example of what the City is currently failing miserably at.

Who inspires you and why?

A current person that inspires me is Senator Bernie Sanders in the United States. I feel he is a prime example of what a politician should be and we should all aspire to be like him. He doesn't just talk the talk, he walks the walk. I feel the US would have been so much better off with him as a candidate, but sadly, the two left are an example of what is wrong with the format of the United States electoral system.

Saturday, 24 September 2016


Hello Regina!!

I received an email from a resident recently that I wanted to share with you all. They posed a number of questions about Regina in order to determine their vote this October. I am extremely pleased to see anyone take the time to reach out to candidates, but to go to the extent this person did, I am speechless. This is the kind of attention and dedication that I feel all residents should put towards all elections, but most importantly, municipal elections, because after all, that is where you can have the most impact.

I will post the questions and answers below, and then add them to my "Campaign FAQ" page for future reference as well.

Thank you everyone for your continued support and attention to this election!

1)   Did you support the destruction of a functioning football stadium and its replacement with a new stadium at taxpayer expense?
I campaigned against this in 2012 when I ran for Mayor, for the simple reason that the current stadium is most certainly in decent enough shape to host the Rolling Stones, AC/DC and Sir Paul McCartney as recent as 2013. It hosted the Grey Cup in that same year. While it is certainly in need of updating and repairs, I feel the City portrayed the cost of these in such a manner that made it sound like the new stadium was the cheaper alternative. With that said, the new stadium is now near completion, and while I still don't agree with the need for it, we must now find ways to make it used as effectively as possible. I only hope that the promises to redevelop the current stadium site and the railyard do not disappear suddenly.

2)   If unforeseen issues arise requiring more spending to make the new stadium functional, should the taxpayers pay, or should the Riders and their fans pay?
This is a good question, and as an accountant, I would want to know the full details of what would be required. If there are deficiencies that were promised with the construction, and it is within the contract, I would first want us to go back to the builders to honour their commitment. If there were things that the City didn't consider and realize now that it's either do it or the facility cannot open to the public, I would be hard pressed to simply rubber stamp it. I would want to ensure we are balancing both sides of the balance sheet, and the good thing is we do have the current facility still able to be used until such time the new facility is deemed ready for the public. I feel the Riders got a sweet deal in this entire transaction, as they actually aren't paying one red cent for this new facility. Contrary to Mayor Fougere and Fiacco's assertions, the Riders "contribution" is actually money funnelled through them from sponsors. Not one single dime comes from the Riders accumulated surplus, which I feel is a kick in the teeth to taxpayers.

3)   Regina has one of the highest residential property tax rates and one of the lowest commercial to residential rate rations in Canada. Would you consider shifting the burden to commercial property?
I am so pleased that you posed this question. This is actually one of the items that I am campaigning on. I had discovered this over the summer through some research of a report done by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. I was shocked, but not completely surprised, to learn that in Saskatchewan, businesses pay only $2.13 for every $1.00 that residents pay. Contrast that to the national average of around $3.00 and the highest near $4.00. I most certainly plan to address this situation, and it would have to be some kind of compromise of reducing residential taxes and increasing corporate taxes. I have found through my own independent research that companies in Regina pay 30% less than similar assessed properties in Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. 

4)   The Regina Chamber of Commence supported the construction of the new stadium at taxpayer exense. Would you consider shifting the burden of paying for the stadium onto commercial property?
I will say this - the Regina Chamber of Commerce has been responsible for so many favours to the business community in our City. That is one of the reasons why they pay the lowest in the Country in contrast to residential taxes. I have personally expressed my frustration with the Chamber at City Hall on numerous occasions, partially because of their tendency to exaggerate statistics, such as "67% of businesses agree with so and so", when in reality they only represent 1,200 registered businesses, of which fewer than 15% typically respond to their surveys. So, in reality, it is 67% of 15% of 1,200 of how many businesses are in Regina. So, to answer your original question - I would do anything I can to ensure businesses are not being subsidized by residents and that would include the burden for the new stadium.

5)   Do you think Libraries should be closed?
While I have rarely used a library since I was in school, I do see the need for them and until such time that this becomes a global trend that libraries are closing, I would want to keep libraries open. I see them becoming about more than just books as people traditionally see them. With that said, if there are valid reasons anyone can provide to me for the contrary, or to possibly reduce the locations, I am always open to listening.

6)   Do you believe recreation facilities should be closed?
Absolutely not. On the contrary, in fact. This is one of my campaign platform ideas, and I feel that recreational opportunities are far too lacking in our City. We have a tremendous amount of greenspace, which is great, but not very many viable opportunities for our kids to partake in activities that don't cost much or anything at all. I want to see more skate parks opened and bmx parks (the city currently only has one of these along the grid road that is 13th Avenue by the airport), places for kids to spend their time productively, rather than resorting to situations that are less than productive like gangs or the like. Another popular item I have heard on the campaign trail (and over the past number of years) is a water park. Of course, to be most effective, this would have to be indoors. I think this is a great idea, as our current facilities really lack that "fun" factor that a water park would offer. As for the cost of it - we have a significant amount of room in our reserves and in our debt ceiling. Another viable option would be a P3 - which I don't normally support, but this is a good example of where that would probably be the preferred option.

7)    Do you believe recreation facilities in low-income neighborhoods should be closed? (the last administration attempted to do this)
10000000% no. As I said above, I feel offering recreational opportunities to kids are a great way to keep them from less appealing options, like getting involved and gangs and crime. While it may not be the ultimate solution, it is certainly a way to show them that the City appreciates them and knows they have a meaningful contribution to our City now and in the future.

8)   Do you agree that Wascana Park should be opened up for commercial development (ie: office building construction)
This most recent situation with the Conexus office building, I do not agree with whatsoever. I campaigned against this over the summer, and was adamant that the City should not donate land for this purpose. If the university were using it for their own purposes, then it would be a different story. Granted, Conexus is a great community partner, and I am a proud member, I do not feel this is the appropriate use of the space. There were options available, and given our 15% vacancy rate downtown for office space, and the fact it went against the Official Community Plan and Wascana's own plans, it just seemed to be a no brainer that it shouldn't have happened. I was disappointed to see the lack of community backlash until after it was approved, but hopefully that serves as a wake up call to all residents to always be diligent with anything City Hall is capable of, regardless of how we feel they ought to decide.

9)   Would you reverse the City’s decision to allow Conexus Credit Union to build office space in Wascana Park?
If it is possible, absolutely, 100% I would do what I can to make that happen. Worst case, I would want to work with the partners to possibly get them to move it over to where the Conservatory is being demolished (this should never have been allowed to get to the point of no return either), so that there is minimal impact to the current greenspace and trees that make our park so beautiful.

10)  Do you support P3s for infra structure projects?
As I said above, I don't normally support P3's in any way, whatsoever, but I do admit there are times when they can make sense. A recreational facility like a water park, which can traditionally be viewed as a commercial venture, would be a good example. A private business might have a tough go of it in Regina, but with a P3, the government and the private company can work together to ensure the community's best interests are met.

11)  Do you agree that companies from out of province or out of country should be involved in Regina P3s?
No. Personally, I would much rather see preference given to Saskatchewan companies first and foremost. I realize this may go against our free trade agreements, etc. (at least according to Brad Wall), but Saskatchewan workers should always be given first priority. If a company coming in from out of province (or out of country) can somehow do a project for cheaper than our local companies, I would have to question the validity of their bids and what are they compromising on that our local companies are not. Most importantly, as an accountant, I would want to know what specifically is affecting our local businesses that doesn't impact those from out of province or out of country. It has to be, after all, a level playing field for all.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Introducing your Ward 4 City Council Candidate

Hello Regina!!

Well, today was a great day, both in terms of the weather, and in terms of the big announcement I was telling you all about just a couple of weeks ago. I held my campaign launch today, and I am officially running for Ward 4 in the Regina City Election 2016. I could not do this without the ongoing support and following from everyone out there, whether it be on my Facebook page, in person, on the street, or at City Hall.

Below is the Press Release that was sent to the Media, along with a copy of my door hanger that is being distributed all over Ward 4 over the next few weeks. If you want to display a lawn sign, my team has plenty to go around, and your support is always appreciated! You will also be seeing a billboard or two going up in Ward 4. I am taking this run for City Council very seriously, and I am putting a good amount of money into my campaign this go round. If you would like to support, any amount of money is appreciated, but by no means will I be soliciting funding from anyone as I do not want to have any perception of undue influence in my role as your next City Councillor.

Thank you again everyone, and as always, please remember....

It's Your Money. You Deserve Better!



Regina, Saskatchewan - Over the past number of years, Chartered Professional Accountant, Chad A. Novak, has been advocating for individual rights at Regina City Hall on a number of different issues. Ranging from property tax breaks to water rate increases to the recent land donation in Wascana Park, Chad has stood strong toward the overall goal of equality and fairness for all taxpayers of Regina.

Knowing another run for City Council was inevitable, Chad had spent much of 2016 determining which areas of the City lacked reasonable representation, and what issues mattered the most to the majority of residents of Regina. After long deliberation with friends and family, Chad has decided that running in his own area of the City, that being Ward 4, would provide him with the best opportunity to win a seat on Regina City Council. However, in a unique twist, recognizing that many areas of the City are lacking reasonable representation, and noting that many issues are similar across the City, and thus impact residents all over Regina, Chad has vowed to be available City-wide for any residents that feel they aren’t being listened to by their local City Councillor.

Some of Chad’s recent advocacy successes has been bringing attention, and meaningful action, towards the dust problems along Winnipeg Street North and Pinkie Road, the Glockenspiel in Victoria Park and raising many questions with regard to land transactions surrounding the entire Regina Bypass, but in particular Tower Road, which is within his area of Ward 4.

                            FRONT                                                                     BACK

BACK - Zoomed In (Easier to read in person)

Friday, 26 August 2016

Big News Coming Soon!

Hello Regina!!
It's coming to the end of yet another absolutely amazing summer in Regina, and what better way to end it than a celebration of all that is City Hall. What's that? You aren't as enthused about City Hall as I am? Oh, that's okay! I'll make up for your lack of enthusiasm this fall, I assure you.

Well, I've finally made it official - I am running for City Council in the 2016 Regina Election. I have chosen Council over Mayor for many reasons, including the fact that this gives you the opportunity to see what kind of a Councillor I can be, and what kind of Mayor I will be in the future. I plan to make an official media announcement in early September as to which Ward I am running in, and what my platform will be.

For now, I'll leave you with this little snippet that you can share far and wide.

Further to this, I want to extend my sincerest gratitude to the Star Newspaper out of White City for publishing my latest Letter to the Editor regarding the very questionable land transactions along Tower Road. This is further to the one they posted previously, which I will include below as well. I'll leave this for you to decide what should be done about it. I guarantee you, though, one way or another, this will be talked about publicly this fall in the election.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016


Good evening Regina!!!
Once again, it's officially on record, ladies and gentlemen, the entire current Regina City Council is in favour of major commercial developments in suburban residential sprawl neighbourhoods, even if they contradict the very concept plans that were designed and in place for over a decade. Yes, even Councillor Shawn Fraser supported this plan, who allegedly is against urban sprawl. It should be noted the developer is none other than Harvard Developments and Forster Projects, who are also behind the new commercial development just up the road along Victoria Avenue and Tower Road.

To me, this continues to demonstrate a genuine disregard for public consultation of residents of Regina, and an utter disdain for anyone who dare try to oppose a development by the all-mighty Harvard/Forster team, who many rightfully suspect "own" City Hall. The blanket approval of this without so much as a peep to the neighbouring residents in the Greens on Gardiner is a perfect example.

So, remember...

This fall, you are going to have choice. 

The current Council is obviously okay with allowing commercial development at any cost, with little to no public consultation. There will be alternatives this fall, who will provide you the ability to make a real change at City Hall. This change has been needed for years now, and 2016 is the perfect time to do it.

Remind City Hall that they work for you, and not the development industry.

This fall, remember:
It's Your Money. Demand Better.


If you weren't already aware, there was a Regina City Council Meeting this Monday, July 25, 2016. I had submitted four delegations, which I have included below for your review, and while three of them didn't go as I'd hoped, all four went as I had expected.

There was the new Business Plan and an ask for $85,500 by the Regina Plains Museum, otherwise known as the Civic Museum of Regina, and they still haven't provided any answers as to how the money was spent last year. They were provided "up to" $60,000 to reopen their doors, but never did succeed in actually reopening their doors. They have made excuses about staffing and the like, but it doesn't explain why they spent even one dime last year or this year, without having the doors open. That, I had thought, was a condition of receiving those funds.

There was further property tax exemptions for the Tartan and Highland Curling Clubs, in an effort to "level the playing field" with the Callie. Even though the Callie doesn't actually get a property tax exemption, it is an offsetting contract for rent that the City would pay to the Callie for using their facility as a clubhouse for the City-owned Golf Course. Even though their research suggested otherwise, they asked for, and administration gleefully recommended, further tax exemptions, and of course, glad-handing City Council (remembering there is an election this fall and the curling community is quite large) approved their request.

Finally, the controversial development at 13th and Elphinstone. To me, this is a situation where there simply was no desire by the developer to compromise their proposal, and seemed to assume that it would be a slam dunk. This is further supported by the fact that they spent around $300,000 to acquire the house next door, which they claim is old and dilapidated. They even tried to use this as justification for City Council to approve their development, almost in a guilt trip kind of fashion that your teenager would use to borrow your car. The Cathedral Community rallied together, and it was evident by the over 20 delegations last night, only 5 of which were in favour (the developer, his wife, the Regina Chamber, a 40 year family friend/realtor, and a lady that seemed to be more irate that the Protect Cathedral group were "spreading lies"), that the development had strong opposition by the community. I attended their open house to find out what their concerns were, and really, they weren't asking for much. Simply removing one floor of the development, which means fewer parking spots were required, and the house didn't need to be destroyed. The developer claimed this wasn't financially feasible, but couldn't provide any hard numbers to back that claim up. When asked if they had a plan B if this was denied (which was the recommendation in fact), they said simply, no. At the end of the day, the two parties are not that far apart, and if the developer would simply accept the concerns of the community, and work together with them, rather than the arrogant attitude of "it's my money, I can do what I want with it", then I think everyone would be a winner. I see this still a possibility. Stay tuned!

Here are the links to my delegations, and the corresponding video.

Greens on Gardiner Commercial Development (PDF)

Civic Museum of Regina (PDF)

Curling Regina Tax Exemptions (PDF)

13th and Elphinstone Development (PDF)

Friday, 8 July 2016


Good evening everyone,

As you may or may not be aware, there is a MAJOR Shopping Centre being proposed for the Greens on Gardiner. "Acre 21 Developments Inc.", a new corporation created May 30, 2016, includes Harvard Developments, Forster Projects and Deveraux Developments. It goes to City Council for final approval on July 25, 2016.

This new Shopping Centre is on 21 Acres, and is set to include, at minimum:
- A 38,000 sq ft Grocery Store (about the size of your local Sobey's)
- At least eight approx 5,000 sq ft Restaurants (Average Size Montana's)
- Two 17,000 sq ft Mixed Use Retail/Residential (Possibly Hotels)
- 17,000 sq ft Retail Store
- 15,000 sq ft Retail Store
- Two 12,000 sq ft Retail Stores
- 11,000 sq ft Retail Store
- Two 6,000 sq ft Retail Stores
- 4,000 sq ft Bank
- 3,000 sq ft Retail Store
- A future 3 Acre Gas Bar

To give you a visual, imagine the developments currently occurring on the two Superstore lots in Regina, and that's basically what they want to develop here in quiet, residential, suburban Greens on Gardiner. To be clear, I am absolutely fine with having a strip mall or two, as have always been in the original plans, and are supposed to still be happening (Google Gateway Regina). I am not fine, however, with a major shopping centre on Chuka Boulevard, only two blocks away from our new school, and creating a traffic nightmare in our quiet area. There is a reason why no other residential area along Arcola Avenue has a development like this. If I wanted to live in Harbour Landing, I would have built there.

Further to this, Harvard Developments and Forster Projects (they are one and the same for all intents and purposes) are developing the Aurora Retail Complex at Victoria Avenue and Tower Road, and is also looking to do the same kind of development listed above, in the new Towns subdivision, just north of the Greens on Gardiner. So there will be no shortage of accessible commercial development within a two minute drive, or a five minute walk of our area.

I'm sure you're asking yourself - Why is this an issue? Why should you care? 

Well, because this opens the door to future developments of a similar nature being hammered in at the last second City wide. If you think this doesn't affect you because you live elsewhere in the City, you couldn't be more wrong. From the date of inception, all the way until May 2016, the 21 Acres that this development was set to be residential, or at most "mixed use". One of the many reasons I chose to locate in the Greens was because of the lack of commercial development, like the mess that is currently Harbour Landing. (Also a Harvard Development)

I want to make it perfectly clear, contrary to what these developers would lead you to believe, there has been little to no public consultation actually conducted on this development. The only way I ever became aware of it was through my weekly review of Agendas for City Meetings this past week. Very few people are as anal as I am when it comes to that regard, and even fewer subscribe to or even read the hard copy Leader Post, which is the only other place it was publicly advertised. In today's day and age, there are many other ways to involve the public, and at the very least, the Ward Councillor ought to have a responsibility to his constituents to inform them of a major change in developments, such as this. 

So, what can you do? Attend City Council on Monday, July 25, 2016 5:30PM. Your mere presence speaks volumes. If you wish to speak to this issue, you must email before 1:00PM on Thursday, July 21, 2016 with your exact speech. (They won't let you veer from this speech and you are limited to five minutes)

I ask you to please share this far and wide. We must take our City back from these greedy developers. We can't just wait for the election this fall, we must take action now.

Thank you for your time.

Chad A. Novak, CPA, CMA
Saskatchewan Taxpayers Advocacy Group 

Saturday, 28 May 2016


Good evening Regina!!!
UPDATE MAY 31, 2016: Well, it's officially on record, ladies and gentlemen, the entire current Regina City Council is in favour of continual property tax hikes and water rate increases, even though they continue to realize multimillion dollar surpluses.

To me, this is completely unacceptable, as it shows a genuine disregard for the well being of all residents of Regina, and completely misses the mark when considering the ability to bear these continued increases. Surely, for the Councillors and Mayor, these increases may not seem like a big deal, but to those barely scraping by, struggling to put food on the table, or trying to scrounge enough money towards a down payment for their first home, every single penny makes a difference.

This fall, you are going to have choice. 

The Status Quo is obviously okay with needless tax and water rate increases. The Alternatives will provide you the ability to make a real change at City Hall. This change has been needed for years now, and 2016 is the perfect time to do it.

Remind City Hall that they work for you, not the other way around.

This fall, remember:
It's Your Money. Demand Better.


If you weren't already aware, there is a Regina City Council Meeting this Monday, May 30, 2016 starting at 5:30PM, and anyone is allowed to attend - so if you have a spare couple hours or five, come on down and see the excitement first hand! But, if you aren't so daring, and you subscribe to Access Communications, you can watch in on Access7, or if you don't have that, you can always watch the online stream - even though it's not always the greatest quality, and sometimes has "technical issues".

Anyways, onto the fun stuff. I have submitted three delegations, which I have included below for your review, and I'm hoping it brings some of these issues to the public, and if we are lucky, we might even get some real answers out of City Council and/or Administration. But...I'm not going to hold my breath.

One of the more controversial subjects year in, year out has been the continued "need" for property tax hikes, and endless water rate hikes. As you'll see by my delegation, average water bills have actually doubled in the past decade. What's worse? There was never a need for any of these increases, as we currently have nearly $80 Million in the Utility Reserve, with no plan in sight to deplete that.

Speaking of reserves, did you know, any year that the City of Regina realizes a surplus (actual net income is higher than budgeted), it is considered a "one time" item, and is automatically sent into our ever-growing reserve accounts. Apparently, for at least the past decade, we have had a surplus every single year! That has helped grow the Reserves over 500% in the past decade. Meanwhile, they keep coming back to you and I, saying they need more money to operate. There is absolutely no reason this needs to have happened, and I'm hoping that we actually get some answers out of City Council on Monday on this one. Do you think it will happen?

Here are the links, ladies and gentlemen! Have a great weekend and hope to see you Monday!!

2015 Annual Report Delegation (PDF)

Financial Report Delegation (PDF)

Westerra Development Application Delegation (PDF)

Thursday, 19 May 2016

City of Regina Continues to Cater to (Certain) Developers

Good afternoon Regina!!

Last Wednesday, I attended the Regina Planning Commission meeting, where on the Agenda was the Westerra Subdivision, and an application to rezone a parcel of land from Major Arterial Commercial to Designated Shopping Centre. I won't get into details on what the differences between the two zonings are here, because honestly, it's irrelevant to this discussion.

What is important here are the following two things:

1) The need for remaining consistent with our Official Community Plan

2) Who the developers are behind Westerra (and Aurora on the opposite side of town), and why they are being allowed to develop lands that, not even five years ago, the former owners were told the lands were "undevelopable" and "frozen" for the forseeable future (25 years+).

Further on Point #1, it seems that "Discretionary Use" applications come before City Hall more often than would sound reasonable to the average person, given the whole concept behind "discretionary use". If the point of this kind of rezoning was intended to be more of the rule than the exception, then why even have an Official Community Plan (OCP) in the first place? The whole point of an OCP is to lay out a framework for the next (insert number here) number of years. This allows developers, residents, industries, and most importantly, the City Planning Department, to have an idea on where our City will be in 25 years and how it is most likely to get there. Given that you are planning a quarter century ahead, you are always going to have one-off situations. Hence the need for "discretionary use" applications. If you review the past five years, however, you're going to see more of these on the books than almost any other type of development application. I'll leave this as is, because honestly, I don't know enough of the intricate details involved in this kind of situation, and I will put the trust in my elected officials to become learned enough to translate it into layman's terms for you and I. After all, that is what they get paid to do. I just do this out of the goodness of my heart.

Onto Point #2, and quite likely one of the most contentious - and least publicly talked about - situations facing Regina over the past few decades. And, that being the appearance of favouritism towards certain developers. Many presume, rightly or wrongly, that Harvard Developments Inc. basically runs City Hall. If you follow the trail of people leaving the City, from the Planning Department in particular, chances are you'll see them going to either DREAM Developments (formerly Dundee) or Harvard Developments. I'm sure City Hall would chalk that up to coincidence, but anyone with half a brain could connect the dots.

Speaking specific to the current development projects in the works, Westerra Regina and Aurora Retail Corp., these are two very interesting situations that most certainly deserve further investigation. Since the process to get a full investigation to happen legislatively is extremely prohibitive, hopefully enough candidates can come forward this fall to make an investigation happen that is worthy of taxpayers questions.

Both of these parcels of land were actually formerly owned by separate companies, theoretically "outsiders" when it comes to developing within the City of Regina. (For those that aren't aware - outsiders are very frowned upon at City Hall, but I'll get into that another day) Both of these former companies were told that, in essence, their lands were "frozen for development" and "undevelopable" (See Exhibit A) for the forseeable future, presumed to be 25 years or more. Both of these companies then sold, probably unbenounced to each other, to Harvard Developments and Forster Projects Inc. Both of these parcels of land, suddenly, were then deemed "developable" and the City of Regina even went so far as to annex the East lands for the Aurora Retail Corp. (Keeping in mind the lands don't need to be annexed to be serviced, but it certainly does help the private developer by increasing the value of the lands they can then re-sell or lease out to commercial entities)

Also very important to this discussion is the timeframe of land sales to development applications. But I'm leaving that with my legal counsel to discuss to determine the best method to pursue these concerns.

I plan to speak further on these issues at the May 30, 2016 City Council Meeting, but suffice it to say for now, there are neighbour concerns that had been brought up in previous meetings that still have not been addressed adequately, and are still very much a concern. I present to you my video delegation and RPC's responses/follow up in Exhibits B and C.

Exhibit A
Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

City Goes on Defensive After Glaring Inaccuracies Noted

Hello Regina!!

Well, this week has been an interesting week at City Hall. Today, there was another application to change the always-evolving Westerra Developments - A joint venture brought to you by the great folks at Harvard Developments and Forster Projects. (Sarcasm intended) We all assume (know) that Harvard basically runs our great City, and I, for one, don't intend to let that continue to happen without at least a little pushback from the taxpayers. It's high time we had a City Council and Administration that didn't simply bend over backwards for one or two developers, and the rest be damned! Westerra is a very interesting project and I do plan to talk more about this in a future blog post.

Trust me. The wait will be worth it.

Yesterday, at the Finance and Administration Committee Meeting, there were a number of items on the Agenda, most notably for me was the 2015 Annual Report, Public Accounts and Financial Results. This is always a fun time for me, being a Chartered Professional Accountant, I love numbers. I love analyzing them. I love picking them apart. I don't, however, love arrogant fellow CPA members who feel they are impenetrable and not vulnerable to human error. Such was the case when I found a number of glaring errors within the 2015 Annual Report. The reason why this is so important is that if there are glaring inaccuracies in any part of the Report, how can you and I, the people who pay for that Report, put any trust into the reliability of the entire Report?

Simple answer - you can't.

Below is one of the most glaring inaccuracies, and no matter how much I pressed, City Administration (notably departing CFO Ed Archer who spent a whopping two years here - who replaced the now fired Brent Sjoberg - I'm sensing a trend here), and Finance and Administration Committee simply would not address it directly. Perhaps they will at City Council on May 30, but I'm not holding my breath.

As you can see above, when you look at the numbers from "Budget 2015", the four boxes add together to equal the total at the bottom. However, when you look under "Actual 2015" it is actually the top box that mirrors the total on the bottom, which is the other three boxes added together. Long story short, it's just wrong. Whether this was a typographical error, or someone messed up on putting the totals where they should be, in the end, this tells me the report did not get the scrutiny it deserves, and therefore I have a hard time believing the accuracy of anything else within the report.

One number that Administration better damned well have accurate is the SURPLUS. Unfortunately, there are at least three different figures found within the 2015 Annual Report. One says $9.9 Million (See Exhibit A), which is contained in the letter signed off by Mr. Chris Holden, our new City Manager. One says $5.1 Million (See Exhibit B), which is what Mr. Ed Archer insists is the actual surplus. And finally one shows a whopping $169.8 Million (See Exhibit C)!!! Which is it?? We'll never know, because apparently daring to ask that is akin to calling the entire City Administration liars and they simply take offense to the mere implication that they may not have the best report in the world. City Councillor Bob Hawkins took a good shot at me personally by making some pretty ignorant accusations against me that, if I were someone like Bill Boyd (google "GTH land scandal"), then I might have the audacity to take him to court for defamation.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B:

Exhibit C:

But I digress.

Finally, this evening, here are my delegations for your viewing pleasure.