Further to my open letter to #RBE, another open letter to @PremierBradWall

the regina mom attended a public meeting with representatives of the Regina Board of Education regarding Ecole Connaught Community School.  The following open letter to the Premier follows the open letter to the RBE published in the Regina Leader Post earlier this week.

Dear Mr. Premier,

No doubt my constant challenges and snide remarks on Twitter are annoying to you and your staff.  That’s kind of the point, you know.  It was always tit-for-tat in my family of origin.  Yes, I do try to be a better person now, but sometimes I fall back into old patterns.

It seems the Regina Board of Education (RBE) is also falling back into old patterns.  Yet again, they’re trying to dupe the Cathedral community.  Through years of neglect, the RBE has created a crisis at Ecole Connaught Community School.  Two construction firms with which the RBE conducts regular business have declared the school to be in such terrible shape that the cost to fix it is prohibitive.  Yet, neither of those firms are known as experts in the area of heritage buildings.  In fact, both P3 Architects and J.C. Kenyon are known for their involvement in new builds in the province.  Are there no conflict of interest guidelines within the Ministries of Education or Highways & Infrastructure for local school boards to follow?

And so, based on questionable data, the RBE decided that a rebuild is the only option and will proceed to convince you and your government to fund it.  This is in direct opposition to what residents and the school community have requested.  The RBE has furthermore refused to work with the community and allow heritage conservationists, funded by private citizens, into the school to conduct tests and to provide expert opinions on the matter.  I therefore hold to what I stated in a March 2013 letter to you regarding this matter,

As a 25-year resident of the area I draw on my fundamental human right, as guaranteed by the United Nations, to insist you preserve the building. The real value of Connaught has not been properly assessed. The non-market aesthetic, cultural and other values of a refurbished school have not been properly accounted for. Furthermore, the environmental, social, and economic cost-benefit analysis of alternatives requested in public consultation meetings have not been addressed – in essence, the impacts of redevelopment on our community, our property values, our local businesses, our environment and other amenities such as the Connaught library have not been properly assessed nor communicated to local residents.

It is time for the Province of Saskatchewan to insist that the Regina Board of Education take its fiduciary responsibility seriously.  But to do so, the Province must take seriously its role as Steward of a nationally-recognized historic school.

Really, Mr. Premier, there is an easy fix for this.  Send the RBE back to the drawing board.  Otherwise, according to the rumblings I heard tonight, you’d best be prepared for lawsuits.  And, quite possibly, for me to fall back into old habits.

Sincerely,

B. L. Wagner
Regina SK

cc: Minister of Education
Deputy Minister of Education
Minister of Highways & Infrastructure
Deputy Minister of Highways & Infrastructure
Regina Board of Education Trustees
Regina Leader Post
Prairie Dog
Metro News
Save Our Connaught
Real Renewal

An Open Letter to Premier Brad Wall Regarding Connaught School

As you are aware, dear Reader, the regina mom is not impressed with the Regina Public Schools Board of Education and their decision to tear down a 100 year-old school without benefit of a second opinion.  So, the regina mom, being who she is, sent a letter to the Premier and copied it far and wide.*

.

Here’s the letter:

An Open Letter to Premier Brad Wall Regarding Connaught School March 16, 2013

Dear Premier Wall:

I understand that your government has received a request from the Regina Board of Education (RBE) to replace Connaught School. For a variety of reasons, I request that you deny it.

Before you is the opportunity to make a reckless decision or to invest in an integral piece of our history as a city and a province, as housed in that building. As a 25-year resident of the area I draw on my fundamental human right, as guaranteed by the United Nations, to insist you preserve the building. The real value of Connaught has not been properly assessed. The non-market aesthetic, cultural and other values of a refurbished school have not been properly accounted for. Furthermore, the environmental, social, and economic cost-benefit analysis of alternatives requested in public consultation meetings have not been addressed – in essence, the impacts of redevelopment on our community, our property values, our local businesses, our environment and other amenities such as the Connaught library have not been properly assessed nor communicated to local residents.

As well, the RBE’s renovation options as presented to the Ministry of Education appear to be over-costed and under-researched. Some RBE documents contain basic arithmetic errors in the thousands of dollars! A recommended investigation of the building’s structure was, to my knowledge, not completed, except for a basic visual assessment. In discussions with the Heritage community, I learned that the RBE made absolutely no effort to obtain the advice of experts in the assessment and repair of older buildings. Nor has an embodied energy study been conducted. Neither has the RBE requested comparable estimates, despite the Chair’s recent statement that the consultant’s report is a second opinion to her staff’s. In effect, the RBE has one estimate, provided by a company that specializes in new construction. Hard facts, then, do not underly the cost estimates.

RBE has done a less than impressive job of assessing redevelopment. The community consultation process was seriously flawed, conducted by a private firm that will likely bid on the new build. The recommendations in no way serve the school community, my Cathedral community, the residents of Regina or the people of Saskatchewan. The community input we gave through the consultation process has been disregarded and disparaged. This is in direct contravention of our community’s right to appropriate development strategies and equitable participation in decisions affecting heritage, as guaranteed under the ICOMOS Stockholm Charter, signed by Canada.

To demolish Connaught is to miss an exceptional opportunity to preserve our history. It is a cornerstone of the Cathedral Village and holds significant cultural and aesthetic value, a source of pride to past and current students, to residents and to all who pass by or enter its halls. That it be sent to the landfill is a disgrace and should be the absolute last resort of any administration!

I therefore support the demands, as articulated by the Save Our Connaught Committee which came into being on the March 3, 2013, that your government agree to the following:

  • An independent second opinion by experts in the field on the renovation versus new build option for Connaught School, based on thorough research, recommended studies and detailed unit costs. ‘Best guesses’ are a slap to the face of our joint cultural heritage.
  • A full and independent consideration of the environmental, social and economic costs and benefits of redevelopment options which includes proper consideration of the relative value of a new building versus a refurbished historic school must inform the decision.
  • The Ministry of Education and the Province of Saskatchewan must apply a more fiscally responsible, community-sensitive approach to school renovation in our community.
  • The Province must understand, acknowledge and take seriously its role as Steward of a nationally recognized historic school, on behalf of citizens of Saskatchewan and Canada.

I trust you will do the right thing. Thank you for your time and immediate attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Bernadette L. Wagner

Regina SK

cc: Ms. Katherine Gagne, Chair, Regina Public Schools Board of Education

Honourable Kevin Doherty, Minister Responsible for Parks, Culture & Sport

Honourable Russ Marchuk, Minister Responsible for Education

Mr. Cam Broten, Leader of the Opposition

Mr. David Forbes, NDP critic for Education

Ms. Danielle Chartiere, NDP critic for Culture

Hon. John Nilson, MLA for Regina Lakeview

Save Our Connaught

Real Renewal

Regina Leader-Post

Prairie Dog Magazine

Metro News

CKTV

Global News

CBC-TV

CBC Radio

Radio Canada

Rawlco Radio

MBN Radio

Accidental Deliberations

Saskboy’s Abandoned Stuff

.

* Email addresses should you care to follow suit:  citydesk@leaderpost.com, ckck@ctv.ca, globalnews.reg@globaltv.com, Jacob.Zehr@globalnews.ca, Jdedekker@leaderpost.com, direction@accesscomm.ca, mwood@rawlco.com, news@620ckrm.com, news@mbcradio.com, ponops@hotmail.com, regina@metronews.ca, saskboy@gmail.com, sasknews@cbc.ca, sheila.coles@cbc.ca, tjsask@radio-canada.ca, kdoherty@mla.legassembly.sk.ca, rmarchuk@mla.legassembly.sk.ca, cbroten.mla@sasktel.net, dforbesmla@sasktel.net, saskatoonriversdale@ndpcaucus.sk.ca, gagne@accesscomm.ca, saveourconnaught@gmail.com, realrenewal@gmail.com,<j.nilson.mla@sasktel.net>, greg@gregfingas.com, <carlabeck@sasktel.net>

A story, unfolding.

Perhaps URcomm attempted cutesy-fartsiness when it posted this video as a news story on the front page of the University of Regina’s website.

 

the regina mom thinks it’s kinda hurtin’ to see that there, especially when there are hard times at the U of R.  An Academic Program Review that was done cheaply and poorly, rejigging by the Administration and reduced funding from the right wing Wall government have forced cuts across the board within the institution (even though The Premier Himself says the province’s economy is booming).

However, certain faculties at the U of R will face deeper cuts to their budgets because the research dollars they bring in are lower than those of other faculties.  It seems, then, that Arts, Fine Arts and the Humanities faculties — the fundamental pieces of any university education — are under attack.  And the regina mom finds that to be very sad, especially because the U of R was once regarded as one of the most progressive institutions in the country.

It strikes the regina mom rather hard right now because she’s been hearing from her daughter, a student at the University of Ottawa, about the Orientation Week activities on that campus.  In particular, the regina mom is excited about the Alt101 activities, offering up something a little more real to students.

No doubt, student groups at the U of R are doing their best to be real with new students, too.  With an administration that treats new students to meaningless tripe such as the video above, it’s not gonna be hard.

Check out the Facebook page, Community Support for U of R Arts, Fine Arts & Humanities Programs, for the story as it unfolds.

UDP: Saskatchewan’s biggest scam

Saskatchewan Premier, Brad Wall, is attempting to pull off the biggest scam in the province’s history.  He called together a cabal of his cronies, an all-male group posing as a panel of experts, and named them the Uranium Development Partnership. Their report, “Capturing the full potential of the uranium value chain in Saskatchewan” is, quite simply, a propaganda piece on behalf of the nuclear industry.  It tries to sell the idea that “nuclear industry is enjoying a global renaissance” when, in fact, it is dying.  According to The Nation,

The fact is, nuclear power has not recovered from the crisis that hit it three decades ago with the reactor fire at Browns Ferry, Alabama, in 1975 and the meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979. Then came what seemed to be the coup de grâce: Chernobyl in 1986. The last nuclear power plant ordered by a US utility, the TVA’s Watts Bar 1, began construction in 1973 and took twenty-three years to complete. Nuclear power has been in steady decline worldwide since 1984, with almost as many plants canceled as completed since then.

Wall Street will not invest in the nuke industry.  Forbes magazine says it’s a “managerial disaster.”  Still, Wall’s 12 Disciples of the UDP say we need a nuclear reactor in Saskatchewan.

We can Go Green, they say, even though nukes are definitely far from green.

We can Make Money, sell the power to the USA, they say, even though nukes always cost more than expected.and the USA may not buy “dirty energy.”

We can make medical isotopes and Save Lives, they say, even though there are alternatives to the nukey isotopes.

So why the hard-sell for a nuclear reactor? What are little Bradley Wall and his buddy Billy Boyd really up to?

Most agree that it’s all about fueling the Tar Sands, the most destructive project on Earth.  The tar sands have prompted Alberta writer, Andrew Nikiforuk, to write the award-winning, Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and the Future of a Continent, in which he declares a political emergency:

A business-as-usual case for the tar sands will change Canada forever. It will enrich a few powerful companies, hollow out the economy, destroy the world’s third-largest watershed, industrialize nearly one-quarter of Alberta’s landscape, consume the last of the nation’s natural gas supplies, and erode Canadian sovereignty.

A coalition of Saskatchewan residents and organizations has taken up the call.  The Coalition for a Clean Green Saskatchewan (CGS) has worked hard to bring the real issues to the public eye and, if participation in Wall’s so-calledconsultation process” is any indication, CGS has been very successful!  In all, almost 2,000 concerned citizens turned out to the consultation meetings across the province.

I was not one of them.  I could not bring myself to legitimate this scam by participating in it, though I did participate in the Elm Dance outside the Regina meeting location.  Call me what you will; I can take it.  But I have to live with myself when this is all said and done.  Thank goodness for those who were able to move beyond the illegitimacy of the UDP and make their views known.  I suppose this post is my meagre contribution to that.

Happy Birthday, Prairie Lilies!

A version of this article was published in Canadian Dimension Volume 43, Number 2.  Feel free to leave your greetings in the comments section, below.

Happy Birthday, Prairie Lilies!

by Bernadette L. Wagner

Last year, in celebration of International Women’s Day, the Canadian Labour Congress and a collection of Saskatchewan’s labour organizations hosted an Equality Dinner in Regina. It provided opportunity for feminists old and new to come together with supportive brothers in a social setting. Those kinds of opportunities have been few in recent years. Feminism in Saskatchewan had taken a serious blow. The pseudo-progressive New Democratic Party of Saskatchewan targeted feminists working within the party. Feminist organizations struggled to keep doors open with incrementally less money. The once-thriving, Saskatchewan Action Committee on the Status of Women withered and died. The women’s movement in Saskatchewan seemed to stop moving.

Until last year, that is. At the dinner, after the food and speeches, an informal discussion began among those gathered. Sheila Roberts, a long-time activist, stood to raise a question. “Is there interest in starting a new women’s organization along the lines of Saskatchewan Working Women (SWW)?” she asked. SWW helped to put women’s issues on bargaining tables and made them known in the public sphere. My personal longing for organized feminist activity in the province made me stand up, speak in support, and call for a provincial women’s conference which would bring women together to share and network and speak to our issues.

Most women gathered liked the idea. Cara Banks, a feminist active in the Labour movement came up to me afterwards, saying we had to talk. Within six weeks we gathered a dozen women into my living room and brought to life the Prairie Lily Feminist Society. With an interim board of directors we decided to incorporate as a member-based non-profit corporation which would work to “promote an explicitly feminist analysis of issues, to educate and act in ways that are progressive and feminist and to interconnect with other individuals, groups and organizations who share our vision for change.” We also decided we wanted to be “a place where women could develop leadership skills, including public speaking, organizing, educating, agitating, and critically analyzing issues.” And, we felt it important that we “provide a place where we are free to debate issues from feminist perspectives and to develop policy responses as a collective.”

As if that wasn’t enough, we decided to plan a women’s symposium for Saskatoon in December 2008. To accomplish that would mean fundraising and organizing. Our connections to brothers in the trade union movement helped. Thanks to the support of the Saskatchewan Federation of Labour and other unions in the province, we had a manifesto and a bank account of more than five thousand dollars. By the middle of May, less than two months after the idea of a new women’s organization had been put forward, we had part-time paid staff to begin organizing and mobilizing for the symposium. Because of a personal injury, I had to completely remove myself from involvement in all organizations but that didn’t stop the “Lilies.” I passed my files along to Ann McCrorie and she carried our dreams forward into being.

On December 6 and 7, 2008 the Prairie Lily Feminist Society held its first provincial symposium for women in Saskatoon. Almost a hundred women from many Saskatchewan communities attended. A cursory glance at the evaluation forms suggest it was a great success and certainly something long overdue in the province. Keynote speaker, Morningstar Mercredi, opened the symposium. The storyteller, actress, social activist, researcher and author of “Morningstar: A Warrior’s Spirit” delivered a powerful message: “Lilies, step into your power.” It’s precisely the message Saskatchewan women needed to hear. In many ways, we had allowed our power to be usurped by male privilege. And so, we not only gathered but we also learned, connected, and got excited!

In workshop sessions we learned about the work that’s gone on around women who are missing, about peace activism, and working women. We connected around our spiritual work, our right to be assertive, our planet and our children. And, thanks to an activist roundtable, where represen­tatives from women’s organizations shared with one another about their campaigns, we got excited! Stories from Oxfam, the Rebelles, la Fédération provincial des Fransaskoises, the Canadian Labour Congress, the Saskatoon Women’s Community Coalition, Real Renewal.org, the Sask Eco-Network, Amnesty International, the Canadian Childcare Advocacy Association, the Prairie Women’s Health Centre for Excellence, and Nancy Allan who sold Fair Trade goods during our event moved us.

The symposium was deliberately planned for the weekend of December 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. To mark the day the Prairie Lilies hosted a commemorative dinner, catered by Two Women from Burr. Those two women, Laurel and Marie, put on a fantastic spread wherever they cater with delicious locally-grown and organic foods. Following the dinner, the Saskatoon Women’s Community Coalition hosted a formal ceremony to honour the women killed in the Montreal Massacre and all women who face violence in their lives.

As with all good events, they seem to end too soon. The symposium’s closing sessions saw agreement in many areas. Among other things participants agreed to walk in support with women in Saskatchewan who are organizing around the issue of missing and murdered women and raised money for workers walking the picket line. We recognized that our power together is strong and so we will organize, fundraise, and lobby for women and their families. Participants identified areas they’d like to focus: balancing work and family; women’s sexuality; media training; lobbying; writing and debating resolutions; chairing meetings; fundraising; and online organizing were but a few.

At present, the Prairie Lily Feminist Society is looking forward to its first Annual General Meeting scheduled for Regina on March 7th. It will be our contribution to the 2009 International Women’s Day celebrations with a dinner, a silent auction, entertainment and a social. And we’re donating a portion of our proceeds to the Sisters in Spirit Saskatchewan campaign.

Though feminist activism in our province had suffered a blow, it did not die. Feminism is a-happening here! And of course, it would be. The personal is political.

Isn’t it amazing what can transpire in a year?

ACTION: Save Crown land that is native grassland!

Trevor Herriot, a writer, birder, naturalist and friend, has asked us to take action in order to save Saskatchewan’s native grasslands, especially the millions of acres protected by the Wildlife Habitat Protection Act.  Here’s why:

Last fall the Government of Saskatchewan announced a program to sell 1.6 million acres of Crown land (an area equal in size to PEI) to current leasees at a price of up to 10% below market value.

While lessees are not required to purchase their leases they have been told in writing from the Government that they should know that it is the government’s intention to see saleable land in the hands of private ownership.

Saskatchewan residents recognize and appreciate the important role many landowners play in maintaining habitat on their privately owned and leased lands. However, Crown land that currently has an ecological value on it should not be sold. These lands should remain protected and cherished as a “Crown Jewel” for the future benefit of all Saskatchewan residents.

A significant amount of Crown Ag land in Saskatchewan contains habitat that is critical in preserving our native flora and fauna.

The lack of concern being expressed by Saskatchewan residents to date regarding the sale of Crown owned land is being interpreted as support for the sales program.

You can read more about it over at Trevor’s place.  And download these documents to help you write your letter to Premier Wall. There’s more about Trevor’s latest book, Grass, Sky, Song: Promise and Peril in the World of Grassland Birds, here.

And hey, just because you don’t live here doesn’t mean you can’t write to Premier Wall.  The more the merrier, I always say!

UPDATED: SK Nurses have strike mandate

Update: SUN AND SAHO to continue bargaining

<> Today, through the conciliator, SUN received a message from SAHO indicating they have a revised mandate and are asking SUN to return to the bargaining table. It is our understanding that SAHO will also remove most of their proposals when we return to the table. SUN will not undertake strike action as we permit negotiations to occur.

The Saskatchewan Union of Nurses (SUN) have voted “decisively in favour of a strike.” The vote found 77 percent of iSUN’s members in support of strike action in the union’s current negotiations with the Saskatchewan Association of Health Organizations (SAHO).

“Nurses are tired of seeing patient safety compromised,” said Rosalee Longmoore, SUN President. “They’re tired of working the long hours with no relief in sight. They want their voices heard. And with their votes, they’re sending a message loud and clear – it’s time to get serious about retaining the nursing workforce and recruiting for the future if we are to be able to keep our health care system – and the safety of patients – from deteriorating any further.”

This is an interesting development in organized labour’s struggle against the SaskParty government’s Bills 5 and 6 which have been deemed anti-worker, ant-union and anti-woman. Stay tuned for more!

SaskParty MLA calls NDP MLA a “dumb bitch”

Well, it is not surprising to this SK citizen that the SaskParty’s MLA for Cut Knife-Turtleford, Mike Chisholm, called the NDP MLA for Moose Jaw Wakamow and the former Minister of Labour, Deb Higgins, a “dumb bitch” in a legislative committee meeting this week. It didn’t surprise me at all. I wish it had.

But no, Chisholm is from rural Saskatchewan where that is just the way women are often treated. Many women, even those who consider themselves feminist, are afraid to speak their minds lest they be ostracized — or worse — by the men in their communities. It’s appalling, to say the least!

And yes, Premier Wall can accept some of the blame for this. His less than convincing response to a videotape featuring racist comments, sexist slurs and homophobic hatred in which he and some of his current colleagues were featured players did little to quell the rampant sexism in the province. And the premier had no choice, given what he did say in response to the video, to accept Chisholm’s resignation as legislative secretary.

But the NDP can assume some of the responsibility for this, too. Had the initiatives set forth by the Saskatchewan Women’s Agenda of the early 90’s been adopted by the government of the day, the very culture of the province would have become a lot less sexist. However, that was not the case. Sexists and misogynists within the NDP were able to get away with writing off the Women’s Agenda as that of “feminazis”, of radical feminists. And today, one of their own, one of the women who withstood all the sexist shit thrown at her, still has to be subjected to it.

Will this be a lesson for the NDP? One can hope, but I doubt it.

Here’s the CBC’s story on the issue.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/saskatchewan/story/2008/05/08/chisholm-mike.html
MLA apologizes after making offensive comment against Opposition member
Last Updated: Thursday, May 8, 2008 | 10:41 AM CT
CBC News

A Saskatchewan Party MLA has apologized and resigned as a legislative secretary after referring to an NDP member as a “dumb bitch.”

Mike Chisholm, the MLA for Cut Knife-Turtleford, made the comment Wednesday in a legislative committee in reference to New Democrat Deb Higgins, who represents Moose Jaw Wakamow.

The comment came just after Chisholm had been complaining about language used by an NDP MLA.

On Thursday, Chisholm told the legislature he had submitted his resignation as legislative secretary to Premier Brad Wall, and Wall accepted it.

“I have no excuse,” he said. “I was wrong and it shouldn’t have been thought or said.” Chisholm will retain his seat and remain in the government caucus.

Chisholm made a reference to Wall’s recent call to MLAs to be more careful about using insulting language.

That followed after a 17-year-old videotape of Wall surfaced showing him at a social gathering making jokes in a Ukrainian accent.

A Project to Raise Awareness of Sexual Violence


Several years ago I served on the Board of Directors of the Regina Women’s Community Centre and Sexual Assault Line. It was an important way for me to give back to the Centre which had helped me come to some kind of peace with my experience of a date rape that had occurred in my late teens. For too long, I had blamed myself, even though I had loudly and clearly said, NO!

It disturbed me when I saw the video featuring Premier Wall, MP Tom Lukiwski, and those anonymous Conservative men denigrating women in the way they did. It bothers me that they have not yet apologized to the women of the province, for the role they have played in promoting sexism and sexist behaviour. And it disturbed me even more, then, when I learned this:

Regina has the third highest rate of sexual assault per capita in Canada (Statistics Canada 2006).

Now, many of you know that I’m not a major fan of Mayor Pat Fiacco, but I’ll give him credit for this:

Mayor Pat Fiacco has proclaimed the week of April 13 to 19 Sexual Assault Awareness Week. It is time to Draw The Line against sexual violence in our city.

The Regina Women’s Community Centre and Sexual Assault Line have organized this event:

A Project to Raise Awareness of Sexual Violence

Bring a t-shirt to decorate to honour yourself or someone you know who has experienced sexual assault

Regina City Hall Courtyard
April 19, 2008
12:00 p.m. — 2:00 p.m.

Sexual Assault affects us all; young and old.

Please come support this event because survivors of sexual assault are someone’s mother, sister, grandmother, aunt, daughter, niece, friend, or even someone’s father, brother, uncle, or son.

Thank you in advance from all of us at The Regina Women’s Community Centre & Sexual Assault Line for sharing this message with those you know and love.

I can be at this event for only a short while as my daughter arrives home from her immersion experience that afternoon (YAY!!!). I’ll hope that this awareness campaign can prevent all of our daughters from experiencing what I experienced when I was just a wee bit older than my daughter is now.

Brad Wall, meet Saskatoon!

Just over five months in office and Premier Brad Wall has more than a video scandal on his hands. He and his SaskParty have managed to rile up a significant portion of the citizens in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. It appears that he’s getting a bit more than he bargained for by pulling the plug on the Station 20 West Community Enterprise Centre, a broad and innovative community-based project that transforms contaminated wasteland into an environmental showcase and will bring much-needed attention to a core neighbourhood:

The Station 20 West Community Enterprise Centre

An innovative three-storey state-of-the-art structure, located at 20th Street West between Avenues L and K on Saskatoon’s West Side, will be a home to:

  • non-profit community organizations
  • public institutions
  • for-profit businesses and cooperatives

Working Together Works.

The Station 20 West CEC will integrate the delivery of needed community services and programs such as:

  • medical and dental
  • access to healthy food
  • jobs, training, housing

This initiative is a model one and it is one which has garnered broad-based support from not only the community of Saskatoon but also from people across the province. It’s not surprising then that more than 2,500 folks showed up for a Community Walk in support of Station 20 West. From the Saskatoon Star Phoenix:

Thousands gather to protest Station 20 West cuts

Danielle Mario, TheStarPhoenix.com

SASKATOON – The sidewalks around the block designated for Station 20 West were filled with a throng of people taking part in the largest demonstration in recent Saskatoon history.Between 2,000 and 2,500 people gathered on the lot at the corner of 20th Street West and Avenue L on Saturday morning to protest the provincial government’s recent decision to take back $8 million in funding for the development, which was to feature dental and medical clinics, public health and nutrition programs, and a co-op grocery store.

Demonstrators started trickling onto the empty lot at 9 a.m., and within the hour, the area was filled with people of all ages.

“It’s not about politics. It’s about the community,” said Sheila Pocha, co-chair of the project’s board of directors.

“I think that’s the real problem. (The government) never met with us, and never saw our financial plan. It’s sustainable, it’s viable, and it makes a lot of sense. The government is telling us to go find an old church, or an old school, or an old Barry Hotel now.”

It seems to me that the real problem now is Premier Brad Wall’s narrow, ideological bent, nothing more, nothing less.

Shame on you, Premier Wall! And shame on former Premier Lorne Calvert and his NDP administration for not providing secure funding for this project when it was first requested!

h/t to Sean in Saskatchewan

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,663 other followers