Everyone needs to see last night’s news report by Global Calgary about that city’s developers plotting to buy influence with (actually, total control of) City Hall. Really, the only thing surprising about this is that it was caught on tape, because meetings like this, where wealthy and well-organized individuals discuss controlling democratic institutions, surely occur all the time.
The question for Reginans: is this happening here? Well, I can’t think of a significant instance since Dechene started covering City Hall where our council voted against the interests of property owners and developers. In fact, our city council’s collective position seems to be that property owner and developer interests ARE Regina’s interests. This is of course nonsense. Sometimes they are and sometimes they certainly are not.
I do know that a lot of really good people are no longer with our City’s civil service–people like Bob Bjerke, suspiciously fired in 2011, who enforced city policies rather than signing off on whatever developers wanted, when they wanted it, whether it benefited the city or not.
Maybe it’s time for Regina’s amateur secret agents to shoot some video of our business community’s closed-door meetings.