Who will build our stadium?
While Mayor Pat Fiacco is taking a break from city politics and spending some time at the Olympics as deputy technical delegate at the London Games, let’s take a look at some of the six individuals who are vying for his position, one of which will win the hearts of the people of Regina come October 24th. Well, maybe that’s a little optimistic.
Michael Fougere is the favourite candidate and probably most preferred by the electorates to succeed Fiacco. He knows his stuff and obviously has an advantage over his opponents. However, he’s been criticized for not releasing his platform and plans for the city when he becomes mayor. He cannot be blamed. He is currently a city councillor. He has Ward 4 to worry about, a position his opposition Jim Elliott has publicly asked that he resign from citing a conflict of interest”. Elliott might be right on one hand because Michael Fougere has an upper hand, as he is at the center of attention, and at a better position to put himself out there. However, one would expect Fougere, with a masters degree from the London School of Economics, to better deal with the economic challenges that will arise as a result of the proposed new stadium.
Another fascinating candidate is Meka Okochi who is taking a stand and asking the city to release more information to ensure transparency on the proposed new stadium. In his platform, he mentions that he would create what he calls the “Regina Transparency Office”. The key question is, are the people of Regina entitled to know all the business that council undertakes? Sometimes, what people do not know won’t hurt them. I'm not one hundred per cent against Okochi’s plan, but not everyone agrees on the city plans.
"One would expect Fougere, with a masters degree from the London School of Economics, to better deal with the economic challenges that will arise as a result of the proposed new stadium."
Regina psychologist Liz Brass has also expressed her intention to run, and she has mainly listed her platform around three basic components: sustainability, attainable housing and complete neighbourhoods. However, Regina needs a mayor whose ideas go beyond the vital infrastructure that has already being put in place, someone with more than general ideas to run this city. Marian Donnelly, another candidate who is totally against the idea of the new stadium, was quoted as saying “My limited experience in the world of construction has taught me that it is always cheaper to renovate and rebuild than it is to build new.” Considering that this city desperately needs a new stadium, and renovating is only a short-term solution, she is not the best candidate for mayor.
Other candidates running are Charles Wiebe and Jim Elliot. Let’s also not forget about Chad Novak who dropped out a couple of weeks ago. What a joke!