City of Regina
The massive pension deficit facing the City of Regina is improving but taxpayers are still potentially on the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars.
The agenda for Tuesday afternoon's scheduled Finance and Administration Committee meeting included the annual update on the Regina Civic Employees' Pension Plan. The numbers are positive, with the deficit of the plan improving by more than 14 per cent in the last year to sit at $251.5 million, a substantial improvement from the year before when that number was at $294 million.
A comprehensive set of new policies passed at Monday night's Regina City Council meeting could mean your children or grandchildren will have a lot of new neighbours.
A lengthy meeting saw Council sign off on a new long-term plan to set Regina's growth target at a population of 500,000 people. The ambitious target is aimed for forty or fifty years down the road.
As a means to get there Council also pushed through a wide-sweeping implementation plan for a Comprehensive Housing Strategy, formed ahead of (and fine-tuned after) the mayor's recent housing summit.
Anger over a proposed public/private partnership could lead Regina to its first referendum in almost 20 years.
A group called Regina Water Watch, calling itself a "citizen's coalition," is seeking to trigger a public vote on the P3 funding model that City Council has put forward for the construction and operation of a new wastewater treatment plant.
Regina isn’t typically known for traffic jams in the summer, but work at the Capital Pointe development site at Albert Street and Victoria Avenue is creating the closest thing to that.
SaskPower is currently doing work at the development site. As a result, there are partial lane closures which are backing up traffic for blocks, especially as people are driving to work or coming home from it. Essentially it’s creating a bottle neck.
“It’s a bit of a mess,” said driver Ken Rumsey.
We know summer is here based on the amount of construction happening in Regina.
For many of us, we don’t actually realize we’re right in the middle of a construction zone until it’s too late—and there’s nowhere left to go.
Signs are posted at various sites and where possible, detours are in place. Some believe those are adequate.
“They let people know a couple blocks ahead,” said one woman. “[The City] does a good job.”
Dirt and grime still covers most of Regina's side streets.
The city has a staff of around 60 people operating ten sweepers, 16 hours a day, five days a week.
"Typically by the first of June, we have the city all cleaned up" says Karen Howie, manager of sweeping and alleys for the city of Regina. "It's just because of the weather and the long winter."
Unlike previous years, some Regina streets were still snow covered in the first weeks of this May. That meant sweeping crews started their work roughly a month late.
The province could be stepping into the on-going fight between the Rural Municipality of Sherwood and the City of Regina if they can't get along.
Government relations minister Jim Reiter confirms that changes made earlier this spring could allow the province to order the two sides back to the table, compelling them to hold tangible discussions on regional growth instead of just worrying about their own interests.
The reeve of the Rural Municipality of Sherwood is denying accusations of a potential conflict of interest involving a "mega-project" worth over $2 billion.
There could be more redevelopment happening in the near future at the roughly 50 former gas stations sitting dormant throughout Regina.
The mayors of Canada's biggest cities say housing has to be the federal government's next big priority.
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Big City Mayors Caucus met earlier this week in Vancouver ahead of the FCM's annual conference. The meeting happened roughly two weeks after Regina hosted Mayor Michael Fougere's long-promised housing summit, aimed at finding the next steps in addressing the rental vacancy crisis the city is facing.
Fougere said that also happened to be the over-riding topic at the mayors' meeting.