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