The real choice that will be made in a representative democracy is whether the voters have trust in the elected officials and the people they employ. The real issue, in both last year’s mayoralty race and in the upcoming vote on the waste-water initiative, is this: do you trust the people we currently have at City Hall to make important decisions for us?
In my case, the answer is ‘no.’ I don’t know what the original design or use was supposed to be for the City Square Plaza, but on a good day it’s a barren wasteland of concrete stone: in the winter I half-expect Snake Plissken to descend on a hang glider and crash into one of those Jedi lightsaber poles to rescue the President of the United States. The former chair of the Regina Public Library Board oversaw a needless $400,000 study on expanding the RPL Central Branch that was done on the assumption that the Grand Lodge of Saskatchewan would be willing to sell the Masonic Hall and its parking lot – a cheaper way of finding the answer would be calling up the Grand Master, or Grand Pooh-Bah and asking him over coffee (and finding out there would be no way that would happen). That former chair served on the executive of Mayor Fougere’s election committee.
The Roughriders’ stadium deal with the province is a very bad one, which Regina taxpayers will find out over time. And considering he didn’t fight very hard with the federal government regarding Ottawa’s strings on the waste water project funding, it’s pretty obvious that Mayor Fougere didn’t fight very hard for leeway to determine what option was going to be the best one for Regina citizens.
So is Mayor Fougere actually paying attention when he’s going to work at his desk at city hall? Or is he just an automaton programmed long ago by some conservative programmer, would up and let loose on civilization with no idea his program was last edited in the 1990s?
Well, here’s evidence that Michael Fougere and his staff aren’t taking their jobs seriously.
Plans for Regina to celebrate something being called “European Heritage Week” are being cancelled after it was revealed a white supremacist group is behind the event.
Civic proclamations are generally granted as a way of recognizing or bringing attention to significant issues, historical occasions, or charitable events. The city confirms that at some point earlier this year it received a request to have a week in October proclaimed as “European Heritage Week.”
The request was made by the Nationalist Party Of Canada. What the Mayor didn’t realize, at least not until News Talk Radio informed him, is that the Nationalist Party is a white supremacy group.
“We were hoodwinked on that one,” Fougere admitted.
I don’t know what the protocol is for getting civic proclamations, but I don’t understand why someone at City Hall wouldn’t check out the group requesting the proclamation. It could have saved Mayor Fougere a lot of embarrassment. He wouldn’t want people to think that he was endorsing the ravings of white supremacists. Any time a group wants to talk about ‘Eurpoean Heritage,’ someone should have checked this out: the term is a frequent dog-whistle that means ‘white supremacy.
But the fact of the matter is that the people Fougere has hired at city hall didn’t do their homework. And they’re supposed to. Otherwise the city looks bad. And if Mayor Fougere and his cronies can’t handle the simple jobs at City Hall, God knows what’s going to happen with the more complex jobs …