Making Peace Vigil

Standing up for peace

NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS FOR THE CITY OF REGINA

Posted by strattof on December 28, 2017

In four days’ time, it will be 2018. A new year is a time for new beginnings.  

Let’s reflect on the changes we need to bring about in our city to make life better for all Regina citizens.

MAYOR FOUGERE: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION 

End homelessness in Regina.

In the 2016 municipal election, Mayor Fougere ran on a platform of ending homelessness. In his words: “We need to provide more housing and we need to end homelessness. Those are the major things I want to see happen.” These are encouraging words.

The Mayor’s preferred solution to Regina’s homeleness crisis is Housing First, a program that finds permanent housing for people experienceing homelessness and offers them support. The trouble is the Mayor refuses to put any money into Housing First.

Currently, Regina’s Housing First program only receives federal funding—a mere $1,200,000 million annually. As a result, the program has only managed to house 53 people. Meanwhile, the list of homeless people keeps growing.

In August, Mayor Fougere brought a motion before City Council to develop a plan to end homelessness. There has already been an overabundance of such plans: ●the 2007 Regina Community Plan on Homelessness ●the 2013 Regina Comprehensive Housing Strategy ●the Mayor’s two Housing Summits ●the Mayor’s Housing Commission. Did nothing come out of these?

Now is the time for action, not more planning!

Here’s a motion on ending homelessness Mayor Fougere could make at the first 2018 meeting of City Council: that the City of Regina commit to allocating $1,250,000 annually to the Housing First program until there are no more homeless people in Regina.

$1,250,000 is not an arbitrary figure. It is the total of the amounts City Council recently awarded to sports facilitites: $1.2 million to the Brandt Centre to support hosting the 2018 Memorial Cup; $50,000 to the Saskatchewan Volleyball Association to support hosting the 2019 Volleyball Canada National Championships.

Even in hard times, there does always seem to be money for sports facilities. Let’s demonstrate the same concern for eliminat-ing the suffering and misery that is homelessness in Regina!

Let Mayor Fougere know there have been more than enough plans to end homelessness in Regina and you want the City to take concrete action: mayor@regina.ca or 306-777-7339.

BOARD OF POLICE COMMISSIONERS: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

 Start defunding Regina Police Service.

In 2017, the operational expenses of Regina Police Service (RPS) saw a 7.2% increase over the 2016 level and the RPS budget consumed a whopping 17.7% of the city’s operating budget. How much of the City’s 2018 budget will the RPS consume?

Police spending keeps increasing, yet nothing changes. Money needs to be taken out of the RPS and invested in reducing the social causes of crime.

Ask Board of Police Commissioners chair, Mayor Fougere, to begin defunding the RPS. How about reducing its budget by 7.2%  for a few years. The money saved can be put into Regina’s Housing First program. As studies show, reducing homelessness is an effective crime reduction strategy. Such an investment would also help Mayor Fougere keep his election promise to end homelessness: mayor@regina.ca or 306-777-7339.

REGINA PUBLIC LIBRARY: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

Encourage all Regina citizens to use the library.

Central Library has removed the benches that used to be on the Lorne Street side of the Library to the 12th Avenue side, where nobody wants to sit on them. Central Library also seems to have implemented a new policy of banning people from congregating in the Library lobby.

These changes suggest that the Library wants to discourage people who fall into one or more of the following categories from being in the vicinity of the Library: poor/Indigenous/youth.

Tell Regina Public Library Director, Jeff Barber, you want the Library ●to return the benches to their original location on Lorne Street and ●to stop banning people from congregating in the Central Library lobby.

Also ask Mr. Barber to wave Library fines as a New Year’s gesture of goodwill. Many Library patrons cannot afford to buy books or subscribe to Netflix: jbarber@reginalibrary.ca or 306-777-6099.

REGINA BOARD OF EDUCATION: NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION

Rename Davin School

Davin School was named after Nicholas Flood Davin, the author of the 1879 Report on Industrial Schools for Indians and Half-Breeds. In this report, Davin urged the government of John A. Macdonald to establish residential schools in Canada.

The 2015 Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission highlights the role Davin played in implementing the residential school system—a system it labels “cultural genocide.”

Tell Regina Board of Education chair, Katherine Gagner, that we cannot continue to have a school named after the man who laid the groundwork for the genocidal residential school system: katherine.gagne@rbe.sk.ca or 306.585.6601

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