Well, Cathedral is getting its Safeway expansion. We all knew this was coming, right? Not much new to say on it. Councillor Clipsham did make a point about commercial architecture being, you know, commercial architecture and as he won’t be concerned when the McDonald’s on Albert gets torn down, why get so sentimental about what Safeway is doing. (I’m paraphrasing.) Take that as you will.
As for the proposed changes to the taxi bylaw, reps from two cab companies came out to speak against them. They say they’d agreed to a list of proposed changes but then in an in camera meeting of executive committee a bunch of those proposals were altered by council without input from the taxi industry — things like, the number of temporary cab licenses being increased from six to 12, and shrinking the timelines they’d have to install GPS systems and in-car cameras. Councillor Szarka proposed a motion to reduce the number of temporary cab licenses back to six. That motion passed. And then making a final decision on the bylaw was postponed until a meeting in March to give the taxi industry time to provide more input.
Hopefully industry’s concerns can get dealt with in that time.
Also up for consideration tonight was an information report about the housing strategy work plan. Mayor Fiacco took a moment to discuss a meeting he and Councillor Clipsham had had with Regina’s MLAs. And Fiacco was sure striking a more conciliatory tune towards the Sask Party goverment this evening. In the past we’ve heard some pretty strongly worded language from this council about the province not acting decisively enough on the housing front. Tonight, it was all, “we’re working with our provincial partners” and “playing the blame game won’t get us anywhere.”
Anyway, in short: Fiacco’s claiming that the provincial government is listening to the cities’ concerns and they’re serious about solving the housing crisis.
Of course, the province says that. But I read their recent housing strategy and it was, in a word, bollocks.
Council tonight also gave out their Muncipal Heritage Awards. In the preservation category, awards went to Aaron and Naomi Lynn and to stonemason Charles Pirie for their work on the Mulligan Residence at 2022 Retallack Street. In the education category, an award went to Sandra Bingaman for her book Storm of the Century: The Regina Tornado of 1912. And awards also went to the team who put together the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation Heritage Conservation Bulletin Series — they are, Suzanne Pambrun, Garth Pugh, Wayne Zelmer, Frank Korvemaker, Murray Miller, Marlon Janzen, Liberty Watson, Peter Lang and Bill Hutchinson.
Beyond that, at some point during the meeting I wrote myself a note that reads, “shark guns,” and I have no idea why I thought that was pertinent. You have to admit, though, it’s a stroke of genius. A gun that shoots sharks. It’s so simple. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner.