Candidate Profile: Shawn Fraser For Ward Three

Name: Shawn Fraser

Ward You’re Running In: 3

Current Occupation: Community-Development Worker/Stay-at-home Father

Voter Information: Phone: (306) 551-5030, E-mail: [email protected], Facebook: Shawn Fraser For Regina Ward 3, Twitter: @shawnsfraser

I’m originally from Carnduff, Sk but have lived in Regina for the past 11 years. I hold a Political Science Degree from the U of R and have been involved with various community organizations and initiatives both in Regina and abroad. Over the past three years I’ve become a husband, a father, and a homeowner in Ward 3. During this time I’ve also served as the Executive Director of Carmichael Outreach, a non-profit agency that serves those most directly affected by Regina’s Poverty. I finished up at Carmichael in September, and am now the primary caregiver to our son, a perspective that I think would be a refreshing addition to City Council.

QUESTION AND ANSWER

1. Briefly, why are you running for council?
I have three main motivations in running for council:
-I really like people and believe I can do a good job of being on Council.
-I’m part of an exciting community in Ward 3 and I want to bring some of the values and initiatives to City Hall that my friends, neighbours, and family will be proud of.
-Having severed as the Executive Director of Carmichael Outreach for the past three years, housing has been on my mind a lot. I’ve seen the impact that Regina’s housing crisis has on our most vulnerable people. A lot of the good work that Regina’s non-profits and charities are doing is being un-done by the shortcomings of our housing market. I believe being on council is the best way I can help change this.

2. What is the single most pressing issue facing Regina? How would you solve it?
Housing. Regina currently has the lowest rental vacancy rate of any city in Canada at .6%. I want to be part of a council committed to achieving a 3% vacancy rate by our next civic election in 2016. Reaching this goal will require the creation of more student and senior housing, by-law innovation, proactively promoting existing government incentives, soliciting champions from the private sector, buy-in from the provincial government, and first and foremost, commitment and leadership from Council.

3. Imagine the Regina Of The Future that you want to help build. What will it look like?
My ideal Regina:
-Would have a suitable home for everyone who wanted one.
-Would have a reputation as the most welcoming city in Canada to new people.
-Would have twice as many trees as it does now.
-Would have a transportation system that worked with taxi companies, STC, and the Regina Car Share Co-op to allow anyone one who wanted to live comfortably without owning a personal-vehicle/second-vehicle to do so.
-Would get along with the RM of Sherwood.
-Would have many mixed-income neighbourhoods and no ghetto.
-Would strive to lesson the divide that exists in Regina between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people.

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?
Universities usually bring more young people to a city, but because of the U of R’s location, Regina actually has very few young people downtown during the day. I would love to see this change and think it would be great to have some student-specific housing in the heart of the city. I also get excited every time I walk down 11th avenue. The Heritage Community it changing so quickly and I think if that change is managed correctly, 11th Ave can become a compliment to the 13th Ave we love so much.

5. Name something the last council got right.
Going a little farther back, while I can’t say the esthetic was my favorite; I do think Pat Fiacco’s ‘I Love Regina’ campaign has brought a positive attitude to the city.

6. Now, point out their biggest mistake.
Lack of leadership on our housing crisis.

7. What are you reading these days?
I’ve just finished A Healthy Society by Saskatoon’s Ryan Meili. I’m now onto The Dust of Empire by Karel Meyer, which is a history of British, Russian, and American influence in the Middle East, and The Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way We Feed Cities by Peter Ladner, which was a gift from Catherine Verral.

8. Beyond your residence, do you own any property in Regina or in the immediate area?
Nope

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FUN QUESTIONS!

1. What is your favourite Regina restaurant?
Siam (1946 Hamilton St). Great authentic Thai food at very reasonable prices. Lunch at the German Club (1727 John St.) is also hard to beat.

2. Who is your favourite Regina artist?
Author: Trevor Herriot
Bands: Lonesome Weekends, Rah Rah.
Visual Arts: Heather Cline, Mike Wysminity
Dancer: Nichole Huck

3. What actor would play you in the gritty cable drama, Queen City Hall?
Neil Patrick Harris?

4. How would your character die?
Happily, choking on a cinnamon bun from the Green Spot.

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PICK A SIDE

Cats or Dogs? It’s always been cats, but dogs have recently taken over.

Vampires or Werewolves? Werewolves

Boxing or Roller Derby? Boxing

Steak or Sushi? Sushi

Hill Towers or Legislative Building? Leg

Quance Street or Dewdney Avenue? Dewdney

Artesian or Wascana Park Gazebo? Artesian

Prairie Dog or Richardson Ground Squirrel? Prairie Dog

Giant Grasshopper or Stegosaurus? Grasshopper

Saskaboom or SaskAdvantage? Saskaboom

Bike or Sports Car? Bike

Le Macaron or Five Guys? Five Macarons

The Beatles or the Rolling Stones? Beatles

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BONUS QUESTION: Make up your own question (And answer it, of course!)
What is something you remember about the Regina of your childhood?
I have a lot of early memories of shopping in the Army and Navy on Broad for some reason. Strange things in discount bins, an ancient elevator, and always the faint smell of floor tile adhesive.

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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.