On Wednesday, with signs and flyers bearing his name in blue on almost every surface, Michael Fougere explained why the people of Regina should keep him at the helm of the city.
Fougere said, if elected, he would concentrate on being fiscally responsible, infrastructure, housing, and keeping Regina a safe city.
His number one priority is infrastructure, specifically mentioning the next phase of the railyard renewal project.
“We have a chance, like no other city in Canada, to actually change the nature of our downtown – and that’s so important,” said Fougere.
He said the city has been talking to people in the community, to see what they want for the railyard. Fougere said he wants to see a bridge over Saskatchewan Drive to connect the railyard to downtown.
Thanks to a partnership between the federal and provincial governments, the City of Regina will be getting a big chunk of money for infrastructure in the near future – Fougere said they need to have a plan to spend it.
Fougere also said housing is going to be a big issue for him in this election.
He specifically wants to create a plan to eradicate homelessness.
“I’ll be talking to our partners and say ‘look, let’s set a plan of action to say by this date we will want to eliminate homelessness in our city.’ I think that that’s pretty important to do that.”
Fougere touched on keeping Regina communities safe as well. He said the city has seen more guns, meth, and cocaine in the last little while, but we need to keep things in perspective.
“We live in a safe city. We’re doing okay, but we have work to do, we have challenges, no question about that,” said Fougere.
When it comes to Fougere’s last four years in office, he said he had a “rock-solid” council and learned that teamwork is critical. He couldn’t pick just one thing he’s most proud of, instead opting for three: getting the new wastewater treatment plant going, the new stadium, and settling the dispute over the city workers and police pension plans.
“We’re talking about the lives of thousands of people who work for the city, worked for other groups and they have a right to have a pension plan that protects them,” said Fougere.
He said one of those was also his biggest challenge – the referendum over the new wastewater treatment plant.
Fougere is one of five people running for the mayor’s seat. The other candidates include Tony Fiacco, Evangeline Godron, Wayne Ast, and Jim Elliott.