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 clerks@regina.ca 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