A Canadian Birthday Wish

We recorded this birthday wish for Sir John A Macdonald back in January. But seeing as our first (and arguably drunkest) PM was knighted on the very first Canada Day, we thought it'd be worth revisiting this on July 1. Happy Canada Day, everybody!

City Hall WTF? What is Executive Committee?

Many people have never heard of the city's Executive Committee. And among those who have, there are some misconceptions about Executive Committee's role in the city government.

During the last municipal election, there was even one council candidate who suggested that the Executive Committee is a shadowy cabal of elite councillors — the mayor's cronies — who work in secret like puppet masters, pulling all the strings behind the scenes, making all the important decisions.

"Not many people know that," said this candidate.

They don't know that because it isn't true.

Here then is a short primer on what Executive Committee is actually all about. It's mostly true.

This CIty Hall WTF? was originally broadcast as part of the Sep 14 2017 QCIB meeting, "Dango Much Fun."

After The Sanctuary City Motion Died

At their July 31 meeting, council debated a motion from Councillor Stevens called the "Access Without Fear City" motion. It would have declared Regina a place where people with insecure immigration status can be sure that they won't be deported if they access city services. Basically, a Sanctuary City motion only with a harder-to-say name.

But because municipal councils are terrified by change and reject anything that costs money that doesn't rhyme with "palladium", Regina's council referred Stevens' motion into oblivion (where oblivion = the federal & provincial governments).

For details about council's debate, check out our Aug 03 meeting, "Post-hoc Proactive Planning Proposal". Unfortunately, we had too much content to fit into that meeting and had to skip playing all the interviews we collected after the council meeting. So we're posting those here.

First up, here's Mayor Michael Fougere explaining why he felt the motion was unnecessary, what he will be communicating to those upper levels of government about the Access Without Fear motion and what he hopes to hear back on that.

Next, reactions from Deborah Simpson and Emily Eaton, two people who worked with Councillor Stevens on drafting the motion.

Finally, reaction from Mirtha Rivera, an immigrant to Canada and spokesperson with the Access Without Fear movement.

Premier V Mayor On City Reserves

Our lawn bowling discussion went a touch long during our April 13 meeting and we had to bump an item from the agenda. We were going to juxtapose comments made by Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall during question period on April 10 with Regina Mayor Michael Fougere's comments from later the same day, recorded after a special meeting of council to consider how to cope with the city's recently revealed revenue shortfall — a revenue shortfall created by the Wall government's decision to end the Grants-In-Lieu program.

As the spin and counter spin on Wall's provincial budget is changing nearly daily, there will doubtless be meaty nuggets to digest at our April 20 meeting and we won't need these audio clips any more. So I thought I'd post the audio we didn't use here, for posterity.

For background on the Grants-In-Lieu program and why its conclusion is such a disaster for Saskatchewan cities and towns, check out our discussion with the Saskatchewan Urban Municipality Association's Sean McEachern in our March 30 meeting. And for more talk about the impact of provincial budget cuts on cities, schools, libraries and parks, you can check out our discussion with Regina Councillor Joel Murray and NDP MLA Nicole Sarauer in our April 6 meeting.

Thank The Gods Of Sensible Bureaucracy, We Have A Boring Budget

The world may be burning around us but those fires are just keeping us warm here in the quiet, sensible Queen City. Our budget debate was a total snoozefest. But not quite so sleepy that I actually fell asleep during the six hours of deliberations. Oh no. I was buzzing on the high of a slow, steady government that isn't being dissolved from within by the crazed machinations of amphetamine-fuelled white supremacists.

So if you're looking for a respite from the geo-political gong show, you've come to the right place. Close your CNN tab, sit back and read my tweets from council's Feb 13 special budget meeting and remember a time when politics was less freakish than professional wrestling. I guarantee there isn't a single leaked dossier or Russian water sports scandal in here anywhere. Enjoy the serenity…

Ward 3 Candidate Forum Q&A

The candidates for city council in Ward 3 faced voters in the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre on October 17. All five candidates attended: Amanda Baker, Jeanne Clive, Tamara Knight, Brian Rieder and Andrew Stevens. The Queen City Improvement Bureau escaped their subbasement office once again, tape recorder in hand, to capture this precious moment for the citizens of that most fairest of wards.

What follows are recordings of the Qs and As from the audience participation portion of the evening. However, the questions, as written below, bear almost no resemblance to the actual questions asked. They probably say more about the caustic mental state of the writer.

Read More

Mayor Fougere Loves Being Mayor

I spoke with Mayor Michael Fougere after the October 6 mayoral forum at the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre and our conversation was supposed to figure heavily in our October 13 QCIB meeting. But then we broke the radio station and that meeting never happened. So, here's that interview in full.

Topics discussed…
• Transparency and accountability
• Keeping it fresh
• Specifics on affordable housing
• Housing First commitments
• Regina policing and the TRC

Quizzing The Candidates At The Cathedral Mayoral Forum

On October 6, residents of the Queen City had a chance to put questions to four of the candidates running for mayor: Incumbent Michael Fougere, Jim Elliott, Tony Fiacco and Evangeline Godron. (The fifth candidate, Wayne Ast, was a no-show.)

The Queen City Improvement Bureau was there, dutifully tape-recording the proceedings. Below are both the audience questions and the candidates' answers. Because the QCIB is thorough.

Read More

Stuck In Bypass Construction-Related Traffic? The QCIB Can Help!

Traffic snarl-ups due to construction on the Regina Bypass got you down? The Queen City Improvement Bureau is here to help. The rage, frustration and anxiety that come from not being able to speed your automobile along a highway at top speed are real feelings. And tragic. But you don't have to suffer.

We at the QCIB have prepared a self-hypnosis recording that will contribute to a feeling of relaxation and tranquility. Download the file below and play it in your car the next time you are stuck in Bypass-related traffic. You won't regret it.

(As heard during the broadcast of the June 19 meeting of the Queen City Improvement Bureau on 91.3 CJTR, Regina community radio.)

Warning: This self-hypnosis recording is only to be used to relieve traffic-related stress. Use for relief of other stressors is not recommended. The QCIB is not responsible for any side effects (or effects) that stem from exposure to self-hypnosis recordings. If you experience any adverse effects from self-hypnosis, consult an accredited mesmerist immediately. 

City Hall Fanfic: Cast of Characters

You're all very excited about the QCIB First Invitational City Hall Fanfiction Challenge! But how do you recast the council and project them into fantasy universes of your own design? We've provided suggested character names and sketches for your imaginative exploration.

Ward 1 - Sara Juventes, a councilor with a metal leg and a dark secret.

Ward 2 - John Osprey, a man who once mounted a constitutional challenge against a package of razor blades - and won.

Ward 3 - Sam Foster, a progressive councilor who may actually be the anti-Christ (for all you Left Behind fans out there).

Ward 4 - Byron Floret, a wild romantic with a penchant for writing his opinions in epic verse and engaging in romantic dalliances with other councillors.

Ward 5 - Tom Fedora, a former Private Investigator who gave up that life to become a city councilor - or did he?

Ward 6 - Dave Bluray, a cyborg.

Ward 7 - Shannon Vice, a tough-as-nails cop who’s seen it all. They say the only mystery she hasn’t cracked is her own heart.

Ward 8 - Terrence FitzMonaghan, a reincarnation of the Irish folk hero Cu Chulainn.

Ward 9 - Perry Jinx, a ten-year-old who gets up to all kinds of mischief and keeps trying to close down the schools in order to get out of going to class.

Ward 10 - Harry Bagel, a man who decided to embrace his name and open up a labelling business called Bagel’s Labels. He gets very angry when people ask him why he doesn’t go into the bagel business.

Mayor Pickerel Mujher, a fish from Lake Diefenbaker who got a wig caught around his head and was mistaken for a person. It’s an inspiring story of perseverance and courage. To this day, he is terrified of hooks.

Rules and Regulations

1. Write some fanfiction using members of the Regina City Hall Council. Please do not use their real names.

2. Submit your story! Contact us on Twitter or email us, you know. Submissions should be shortish. If you can write city hall fanfic longer than 750 words, you're meant for greater things than this challenge.

3. The winner, or winners, will have the opportunity to read their story live during an episode of Queen City Improvement Bureau.

4. The fourth rule is not worth discussing.

5. The author will retain all rights over their creation, but the hosts of QCIB may turn the story into a one-act play.