1 ON THE WASTEWATER PLANT REFERENDUM AND CHANGING RULES IN THE FOURTH QUARTER OF A GAME It looks like Regina Water Watch, an organization that opposes building Regina’s new waste-water treatment plant with a controversial public private partnership (P3) model, is going to get enough signatures to force a referendum on the project. But yesterday, the group got an e-mail written by the city clerk to the Province that requested the referendum threshold be raised, based on a higher Regina population figure (read Pat Book’s story for details). The basic idea here is all right but the timing,obviously, is unacceptable. If the rules do get changed, Regina Water Watch should lawyer-up. The City Of Regina can’t move goalposts during the game–especially when it’s obviously convenient for our (small-C) conservative City Council. In any case, the biggest problem here is Conservative government policy on federal funding of projects, which if I understand correctly is basically blackmailing cities to use questionable funding models that probably aren’t in citizens’ interests.
2 IT’S LIES, THEY SAYS Long-time awful country Syria, and their Russian allies, say the United States has fabricated evidence that Syria used chemical weapons. Want to read the story on the BBC as well? Okay! The U.S. has said it’s going to start giving direct military aid to the rebels. Canada sides with the U.S. version of this story, in case you were wondering.
3 WALT NATYNCZYK: SPACE GENERAL The Canadian Space Agency has a new president but I’m uncomfortable with the post going to a retired general. It sends an alarming message. The last head, Steve MacLean, is a retired astronaut and physicist. Do I need to explain to anyone that astronaut-physicists are just plain better than generals? Also, I just whined about this out loud and publisher Terry said, “hey, whatever gets us more weapons in space.” Hopefully he was being sarcastic.
3.5 ATTENTION QUEBEC: STOP ACTING LIKE BIGOTED DICKS I’m really glad that FIFA supports soccer players’ right to wear turbans. Quebec has been absolutely idiotic about this. And here’s a Canadian Press interview that sums up the correct position on this matter.
4 PAMELA WALLIN, ROB FORD, ANOTHER WHINING CONSERVATIVE RULE-BREAKER Wallin has her own version of spending missteps; Rob Ford says Toronto city council is “addicted to spending” revenue from an important land transfer tax, which is perhaps an unfortunate choice of words as well as bullshit and Ontario Tory MP Jeff Watson says Elections Canada is pursuing a “vendetta” against him.
Friday afternoon animal video up next, and with that, have a good weekend! I’ve been on reduced vacation hours for the past couple weeks (surprise!) but I’ll be back at this desk at 8:30 Monday morning. See you then!