A Fairer City
City fairness starts with how we pay our bills. City Council should focus both on what we spend money on, and how we get that money.
I think people and businesses should each pay about half of Regina’s taxes. Unfortunately, right now people pay about 60% of Regina’s taxes, while businesses pay only 40%. I would work to make this fairer.
Fairness also comes up in the way we pay for our water. In Regina, every homeowner pays the same high “base rate” just to have access to City water, and then a low rate for each unit of water they actually use. This model unfairly imposes high “base” charges on all homeowners, including those who use little water. The low “consumption” rate also encourages people to use more water than they should - which is bad for the environment. I would work to lower the “base” charge while increasing the “consumption” charge, so that those who use more pay more.
A Livable City
Regina should be the most livable city in the Province. This means access to good schools, parks and cultural events. It also means making sure that regular people can afford to live and raise families here.
Saskatchewan has the lowest minimum wage of any Canadian province or territory. Minimum wage earners in Regina find it difficult to make ends meet. The Province’s lack of action on this issue does not justify the City’s.
I would work to make sure that any business operating in Regina must pay its employees at least $15/hour for their work. This rate is still sustainable for businesses, while being much fairer to employees, who should receive reasonable pay for their work.
An Accessible City
People of all abilities and income levels should be able to enjoy all that Regina has to offer. This is only possible if people can get around without personal vehicles.
An accessible city means making sure that sidewalks are well-maintained, and free of snow and other obstacles which can stop wheelchairs. It includes sidewalks being present on all important roadways, and that the sidewalk ramps are accessible for all users. People who walk must be able to get where they need to go.
While vehicle ownership is unaffordable to many residents, so too is a bus pass. Regina transit should be free for seniors, students and those on social assistance.
For disabled residents and seniors who rely on transit, running errands can be especially difficult. I would push for a program allowing qualified riders to receive a ride to their grocery store of choice, along with a prompt ride home from the same driver. All Regina residents should be able to access quality food in a safe, convenient way.
A Safer City
All Regina residents deserve to feel safe. A safe city includes good roadways - without dangerous potholes, clean parks and alleys, proper housing and access to supports when you need it.
In some Ward 6 neighbourhoods, unwanted garbage and used needles make streets feel dangerous. While residents often volunteer to take care of these issues, this is work which paid City employees should carry out.
Some unwanted garbage issues could be solved by switching to larger, dumpster-style trash bins. These bins can hold mattresses and other household items which many residents are unable to take to the dump themselves.
Used needles should be picked up by trained professionals who are paid for their time. More importantly, the City should have safe injection sites where needles can be properly disposed of by healthcare providers. The City needs more therapeutic staff, including for drug users.
In the past, City Council has attempted to improve safety by increasing the police budget. Regina’s police budget and crime rate seem to rise together: we are not getting good results from our efforts. We have improperly asked police to do the work of social workers and nurses; that needs to stop. A good example is police investigating people for simple drug possession, which should be a health rather than a legal issue. I would work to direct the RPS to stop enforcing simple possession of drugs; this will reduce their work, and therefore allow a reduction in their massive budget. Money saved on police can be spent on things which will make us a healthier community, such as housing, mental health professionals and safe injection sites.
A Sustainable City
I come from a strong environmental background, including being a previous board member of the Saskatchewan Environmental Society and helping to found Saskatchewan's first solar power co-operative. I'm dedicated to making sustainability work for everyone.
Regina is committed to being carbon neutral by 2050. We can only meet this important goal by acting together. We need a plan that works for everyone, including people with low incomes.
We need to change the way we produce and consume energy, and the way we get around the City. I support locally-produced sustainable energy, including solar and geothermal. I support good, energy efficient houses for renters, and good, well-paying jobs in the renewable economy for workers. I support safe, accessible bus routes, bikes lanes and walking paths, as well as tight-knit, walkable neighbourhoods.