Be afraid! Be very afraid!! With Halloween upon us, we seek out the genuinely frightening things in our city.
They’re scarier than ghosts, goblins, and witches. They’re scarier than Darke Hall, the site of a number of deaths and ghost sightings. They’re even scarier than the building on Dewdney Avenue, now home to Bushwakkers, where a ghost is regularly spotted on the premises.
For a genuine fright, turn the page to see what is REALLY SCARY in Regina.
NIGHTMAYOR ON FOUGERE STREET: 5 SERIOUSLY SCARY THINGS IN REGINA
1. REGINA HOUSING HORRORS
THE GOOD NEWS
- Regina’s rental vacancy rate has improved, rising from l.8% in 2013 to 4.8% in 2015.
THE BAD NEWS
- Rents too have increased. For example, rent for a one bedroom apartment increased by 2.9% between 2013 and 2014 and by another 3.1% between 2014 and 2015. As a result, most rental housing is still unaffordable.
- Many Regina families still have to choose between paying the rent and buying food.
- Regina’s shelter system is filled to capacity. Many other Regina residents make up the “hidden homeless,” staying with friends or relatives on a temporary basis.
TRICK OR TREAT: Tell Mayor Fougere you want the City of Regina to build 100 new units of affordable rental housing a year, with matching funding from the province.
2. SCARY SCHOOL DAYS
Regina high schools, both public and Catholic, offer a military training program to grade 11 and 12 students. ●Students earn 2 credits for taking the course. ●They are also paid $2,000.
- Wouldn’t it be better for society if students were paid $2,000 to take Math or English or Biology?
- Shouldn’t we be encouraging students to resolve conflicts non-violently?
- How about a high school course for credit in Peace Studies?
TRICK OR TREAT: Let Premier Brad Wall know you don’t want a military training program in Regina high schools.
3. PERNICIOUS POLICE PRACTICES
Carding ‒ also known as street checks ‒ is the police practice of arbitrarily stopping citizens when there is no reason to do so.
Data shows that, in Toronto, black people are three times as likely to be carded as whites. Regina Police Service freely admits to practicing carding, but claims it doesn’t keep statistics. Indigenous people are, however, the clear target of carding in Regina.
Unwanted Guest is an initiative of Regina Police Service that allows businesses to ban individuals from their property. Nowhere is it specified exactly what activities can give rise to a ban, leaving room for influence by stereotypes. In fact, poor people, homeless people, and Indigenous people are clear targets of the initiative.
TRICK OR TREAT: Tell Premier Brad Wall that you want these racist and classist practices of Regina Police Service stopped.
4. PIPE DREAMS NIGHTMARES
TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline cuts right through Regina in the Harbour Landing area. The pipeline would carry 1.1 million barrels of tar sands oil a day.
Energy East is a perilous pipeline.
- TransCanada has a poor safety record. Its first Keystone pipe-line, built in 2010, had 12 spills in its first year of operation.
- Energy East is also an environmental hazard. Its purpose is to expand Canadian tar sands production ‒ the main cause of increasing carbon emissions in Canada.
TRICK OR TREAT: Treat yourself to a movie. See This Changes Everything, now showing at Rainbow Cinemas, located at the Golden Mile, 4 pm and 9:30 pm daily. Inspired by Naomi Klein’s book of the same title, the movie has a hopeful message: that climate change isn’t only a crisis; it is also our best chance to build a better world.
5. PESTICIDE POISONING
The City of Regina sprays city parks with pesticides, including RoundUp and 2, 4-D. Wascana Centre Authority sprays Wascana Park with the same pesticides.
- Over 170 Canadian municipalities have banned the use of pesticides on lawns and gardens. But not Regina.
- Seven provinces have banned the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes. But not Saskatchewan.
“Research linking pesticides to serious health issues is significant and growing. Leukemia and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, breast, brain, prostate, lung, pancreatic…and other forms of cancer have all been linked to pesticides.” – Canadian Cancer Society
TRICK OR TREAT: ●Tell Mayor Fougere and your City Councillor you want the city to ban the use of pesticides for cosmetic purposes. ●Let the Director of Wascana Centre Authority know you want the Centre to stop using pesticides for cosmetic purposes.