Candidate Profile: Allan Kirk For Ward Six

Name: Allan Kirk

Ward You’re Running In: 6

Current Occupation: Currently semi-retired

Voter Information: Call me at 737-0004 or follow my thinking on facebook and email me at [email protected]

I have a passion for justice and this has led me in many different directions, from social worker in small northern communities to involvement in both Federal and Provincia politics. As a former funeral director (Speers), addictons counsellor and caregiver to individuals with a wide range of cognitive impairment from Alzheimers to Schizophrenia, as well as palliative care. I have always been an activist: active for aboriginal and gay rights in the ‘seventies and for ecological issues in the ‘eighties and after. A long-time Green Party member and former candidate, I have come to appreciate the supreme, yes, supreme importance of local politics. This is where the battle will be won or lost; this is where I want to be.

QUESTION AND ANSWER

1. Briefly, why are you running for council?
Briefly, I’m running for Council because I’m tired of seeing the present Council sit idly by while the Mayor makes Regina his own private fiefdom. Yes, we will have a new Mayor, but unless we also have a Council which does its duty by representing the people and holding that Mayor accountable, in no time at all we will discover that nothing has really changed.

2. What is the single most pressing issue facing Regina? How would you solve it?
Do we want a municipal government that makes decisions behind closed doors; a top-down government where public opinion is manipulated by the selective release of information; one where the Mayor rules, surrounded by a coterie of self-interested yes-men? Of course not. This makes for bad decisions. One part of the solution is to elect a Mayor who understands the value of a Council made up of independent thinkers; thinkers who, in turn, recognize the tremendous contribution that an informed public can make, if only their ideas were welcomed and considered instead of being ignored. The other part of the solution is to shake-up an administration that cares nothing for the common man. Compassion, reason and the rule of Law have been cast aside and in their place there has arisen a tyranny of small minds that get satisfaction from abusing the weak and helpless.

3. Imagine the Regina Of The Future that you want to help build. What will it look like?
I would like to see a Regina that embodies the principles outlined in Schumacher’s “Small is Beautiful. A place where progress and the good life are not defined by Growth. Of course, for many it will be hard to separate Growth from the jobs that people need, but the truth is that jobs are not inevitably the result of Growth; Growth has predictable results only to the extent that it is controlled, planned. When Growth becomes the end in itself, when there is an assumption that growth is necessarily good, at that point it is no longer under control and uncontrolled growth can destroy jobs as easily as it creates them and it can destroy the planet. The other key element in an ideal Regina is the restoration of the rule of Principle as opposed to the rule of regulations. Regulations and laws are important but when they lose the foundation of principle they become hollow and ineffective.

4. Beyond immediate concerns like housing, the stadium and infrastructure renewal, what “big idea” project do you want to work on that nobody seems to be talking about?
Besides being determined to put rail line relocation back on the table, the issue that has a special interest to me is the need to reform the system of bylaw enforcement. This may appear to border on the irrelevant to more affluent segments of the population but I believe it would be a top priority for many in the Ward that I hope to represent. The present system is driven by anonymous complaints and this creates an atmosphere of suspicion and hostility which is poison to the kind of neighbourly, co-operative community that residents of Ward 6 would like to have and that City Hall always claims it wants to foster.

5. Name something the last council got right.
The only thing that I can think of that the last Council got right was the work completed on deepening Wascana Lake. In general, Wascana Park is the jewel in the crown of Regina and the fact that the Wascana Center Authority has been permitted to work its magic there is to the credit of City Hall.

6. Now, point out their biggest mistake.
Their biggest mistake was taking on a public service job when service to the public was not their top priority.

7. What are you reading these days?
I am currently reading “Aspects of the Masculine” by Carl Yung and “Where God Was Born” by Bruce Feiler

8. Beyond your residence, do you own any property in Regina or in the immediate area?
No, I do not.

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FUN QUESTIONS!

1. What is your favourite Regina restaurant?
My favorite restaurant is the Copper Kettle

2. Who is your favourite Regina artist?
My favorite Regina artist is the musician and song-writer, Norm Walke

3. What actor would play you in the gritty cable drama, Queen City Hall?
Dustin Hoffman

4. How would your character die?
A heart attack at the height of a passionate appeal for justice.

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PICK A SIDE

Cats or Dogs? Cats

Vampires or Werewolves? Vampires

Boxing or Roller Derby? Boxing

Steak or Sushi? Steak

Hill Towers or Legislative Building? Legislative Bldg.

Quance Street or Dewdney Avenue? Dewdney Ave.

Artesian or Wascana Park Gazebo? Wascana Park Gazebo

Prairie Dog or Richardson Ground Squirrel? Prairie Dog (of course)

Giant Grasshopper or Stegosaurus? Giant Grasshopper

Saskaboom or SaskAdvantage? Saskaboom

Bike or Sports Car? Bike

Le Macaron or Five Guys? Le Macaron

The Beatles or the Rolling Stones? The Beatles

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BONUS QUESTION: Make up your own question (And answer it, of course!)
Do you think these choices are representative or indicative?
Answer: No. I have no faith in dichotomies: right or wrong, black or white. Truth is almost always a ‘best approximation’.

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Find out about all the other people running in this election on our Candidate Profiles page. And follow all of our online election coverage — including interviews, analysis and podcasts — on our Regina City Election 2012 page.

Author: Paul Dechene

Paul Dechene is 5'10'' tall and he was born in a place. He's not there now. He's sitting in front of his computer writing his bio for this blog. He has a song stuck in his head. It's "Girl From Ipanema", thanks for asking. You can follow Paul on Twitter at @pauldechene and get live updates during city council meetings and other city events at @PDcityhall.