We’re going to pay for this
Not since Enron has there been such a gross misappropriation of funds as we’ve seen in Regina this decade. It seems that Mayor Pat Fiacco has become paranoid about his legacy in this city, and has begun to sink millions of dollars into unnecessary civic construction. Starting with the groundbreaking of Hill Tower III and undoubtedly culminating in a retractable-roofed stadium, the 2010s will be a banner decade for buying shit that we can’t afford.
Let’s start with that garish monstrosity on the corner of 12th and Hamilton, shall we? That big bastard is now tower three of a proposed four-tower project. Additional office buildings are going up on 12th and Rose and on Albert St., and all the while, our city council will bemoan the death of our already-hobbling downtown culture. If you want the downtown to be a thriving sub-community of artists, then we don’t need more office space; we need more places like the Artesian and the Creative City Center. And please, don’t insult us by installing glass-and-steel phalluses down one of the major traffic arteries downtown and saying that you care about the arts community. We never bought that shit and we never will.
Continuing with civic monstrosities, can we all stand back and agree that, say, a children’s hospital in Regina – hell, even more suitable parking for the existing hospitals – should take precedence over a shiny new playground for the Roughriders? Mayor Pat Fiacco has stated that a retractable-roofed stadium could come in at less than $500 million. That’s what the folks of Indianapolis, Indiana, thought when Lucas Oil Stadium was green-lit. The most recent retractable-roofed stadium to be built, Lucas Oil came in close to the $775 million mark, and bleeds an estimated $20 million every year it’s in operation. But that’s OK! When we build our new stadium, we’re going to tear down the old one and put up low-income housing!
Problem is, it may already be too late for that. There have been several closures of apartments all around the city this past year, sinking the vacancy rate to an all-time low of 0.6 per cent. That sucks. Are these recent evictees are just going to stand in line and twiddle their thumbs until city council can maybe get around to rectifying the rent problem? Doubtful.
It’s high time that the city realizes all of its wheeling and dealing to put Regina on the map is going to cost us. These projects are going to put us into a recession of one magnitude or another. We’re going to be paying off these projects over multiple generations, our citizens are going to start buggering off to at least competently responsible cities and provinces, and Regina will once again take up its post as a hick town.
And our fearless leader, Mayor Fiacco, will sit atop the shambles of the concrete jungle and laugh. I just hope it’s not too late for us to avoid being the punchline.