Jim Elliott

Bringing a New Voice to Regina

Concerned about Issues?

* No Affordable Housing – There is a housing crisis in Regina: no social housing, no apartments, no affordable houses to buy, and far too many overpriced condos and expanding suburbs.  The city must be directly engaged in providing housing alternatives and stop the removal of housing stock through neglect, demolition and conversions to condos.

* Domed Stadium – The top dogs in the City and many current Councilors have put a first priority on building a domed football stadium, which is certain to cost taxpayers a bundle in the short and long run.  We need to build upon the investments for the 2013 Grey Cup and rejuvenate the current Mosaic Stadium.

* Removal of Neighbourhood Community Schools – The School Board and the City government do not recognize the importance of having schools in our local neighbourhoods, and that includes community schools.  Appropriately-sized local schools must be maintained and encouraged.

*Exclusion of Aboriginal people and Métis – We have a large and growing Aboriginal community in our city which is excluded from just about everything.  Efforts must be taken to include and engage Aboriginal and Métis citizens in the future of their city.

* Privatization – More services are being contracted out or privatized costing the taxpayer more and with no increase value.  We need to bring paratransit, recycling and other services back in-house and save the taxpayers money.

* Seniors – Seniors on fixed incomes face high assessments on their small, older homes and rapidly increasing property taxes and rent.  Seniors need to be given support to stay and live in their community.

* Library Changes – Major changes are being proposed for our main library and the public has been kept completely in the dark on this issue.  The public must give informed consent to the plans for the Central library.  Financing must be with the public.

* Taxation – The proportion of taxes paid by taxpayers has drifted to 60%.  We must push for a re-balancing of the business / residential tax to 50/50. Establish a tax freeze on senior citizens’ homes until they are sold. Oppose the establishment of a base tax.

* Heritage Protection – The City administration does not understand the importance of heritage for all people and communities.  Heritage properties need more protection and be celebrated.  We have to bring the control of our heritage back into the hands of the people who lived the history of this city.

* Voter engagement – With the declining turnout to civic elections and the recent reduction in the number of polling stations, the control of our elected bodies are being put into the hands of the few.  Youth and disenfranchised voters need to be engaged and encouraged to vote for change.

* Open & Transparent Government – Citizens and groups make presentations to the City Council and School Boards but no one is listening or they have reduced the space for public discussion & debate.  City Council must expand the opportunities for discussion and debate with their council, in their meetings and throughout the decision-making process.  Parts of the city budget should be under the direct control of the taxpayer. Citizens need to be able to petition and engage their government on the issues that matter to them.

* Library Changes – Major changes are being proposed for our main library and the public has been kept completely in the dark on this issue.  The public must give informed consent to the plans for the Central library.  Financing must be with the public.

* Taxation – The proportion of taxes paid by taxpayers has drifted to 60%.  We must push for a re-balancing of the business / residential tax to 50/50. Establish a tax freeze on senior citizens’ homes until they are sold. Oppose the establishment of a base tax.

* Heritage Protection – The City administration does not understand the importance of heritage for all people and communities.  Heritage properties need more protection and be celebrated.  We have to bring the control of our heritage back into the hands of the people who lived the history of this city.

* Voter engagement – With the declining turnout to civic elections and the recent reduction in the number of polling stations, the control of our elected bodies are being put into the hands of the few.  Youth and disenfranchised voters need to be engaged and encouraged to vote for change.
* Open Government – Citizens and groups make presentations to the City Council and School Boards but no one is listening or they have reduced the space for public discussion & debate.  City Council must expand the opportunities for discussion and debate with their council, in their meetings and throughout the decision-making process.  Parts of the city budget should be under the direct control of the taxpayer. Citizens need to be able to petition and engage their government on the issues that matter to them.


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5 responses to “Concerned about Issues?

  1. Donald Mclean says:

    What is your position on the proposed stadium? Are you for, or against building a new facility?

    • I am for prudent use of public funds. Spending almost $300 million dollars and getting very little additional public benefit seems to me as not prudent. Governments need to be accountable for their investments in their community. From what I know, we have good basics in the current stadium. To bring it to the level of service that is being proposed for the new stadium would be less costly and less disruptive. The housing benefits from the move of the location can be easily replaced through investment in other parts of downtown. With a few properties, we could have double the housing supplied.

  2. Jake says:

    It is now confirmed that there is a new stadium being built. How will you prevent property taxes from shooting up? Do you think the facility is going to help the city or be a waste of money?

    • Thanks for the questions. What has been approved so far by Council is a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Regina, the Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. This outlines the basis for negotiating the binding MOU. It sets out the general rules. Council has said that it intends to sign something binding by the end of September. So if you are concerned, let your Councillor and Mayor know.
      As to your other questions, the current Council cannot legitimately bind future Councils regarding future tax increases especially this late in its mandate. But if the directions identified in the MOU are done, this will bind future Councils for 30 years. The longer the loan is in place, the more the City will pay in interest.
      At this point, I cannot see this as being beneficial to the city in the long run. They are simply replacing the current stadium albeit needing repairs with another stadium of equal size. We do need to repair and renovate the current stadium.
      What I do see is this plan will limit the city’s capacity to pay for capital projects into the future. It will not allow the city to effectively deal with other aging infrastructure and affordable housing. It will limit the city’s capacity to deal with the pension liability debt and the upgrading of various facilities like the Sewage Treatment Plant, recreation centres and the Downtown Branch of the Regina Public Library.
      Thanks again for your ideas and questions. And it will increase our taxes for the next 10 years at least.

  3. Jim Elliott says:

    In light of the recent disclosures from Mayor & Council on their expenses, I will be very upfront with my feelings on this. If a Mayor or Council member wishes to an event, sport or otherwise, unless there on official business, they will pay for their presence on their own, not taxpayers funds. The City Council, using taxpayers money, has many ways to financially support organizations or events through their investment strategy and general promotion of the event. And perhaps that funding should increase. I know that if I was there, my presence at those football games or other events would be paid for by me personally.

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