The Regina Mom

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Bernadette Wagner is an award-winning writer, a community activist and a singer. Her work has been published in newspapers, magazines, chapbooks and anthologies, on radio, television, CD and film, as well as online. Her first collection of poetry is available from Thistledown Press. This summer, she participated in an international women's recording project, A Widening Embrace, a collection of love songs for Earth and all its beings.

Too much politics all at once

| February 26, 2013
Connaught School 1915

Really, the regina mom thinks she should take up juggling. She'd be good at it, given her propensity to deal with many things at once. Oh, sure, the kids have moved out and she's not juggling their lives in with hers as much as she used to, but it seems that other things have moved into her life and she's throwing them around, too. Last week, this ridiculous idea of a Public-Private Partnership (P3) that the HarperCons have set up to help their friends make more money/municipalities deal with infrastructure issues, in this case Regina's wastewater issues came to the fore. In an email conversation with City Councillor Wade Murray, the regina mom learned that Councillor Murray doesn't much like public involvement in such issues. From that conversation:

I am open to dialogue and learning of the alternatives, for until the moment the question is called, I reserve my decision. It's unfortunate that people only get involved just before the decision is to be made. We have been discussing this for 2 years, it was a topic through the election, but no one really seemed to care at that time, all of a sudden it's time to get involved.

the regina mom really doesn't remember a single councillor making an issue of this during the campaign, do you, dear Reader? And now, at last night's council meeting, they approved going ahead with it. Unanimously.

Connaught School 1915

At close of business on Friday the Regina Board of Education announced via its Agenda for the Tuesday, February 26 meeting that it's considering the wrecking ball for Ecole Connaught Community School, the oldest school in Regina that's still used as a school. the regina mom's kids attended there, as did her 86-year-old mother-in-law! The irony is that at said city council meeting, the Connaught Centennial Committee and the kids who put on a spectacular array of events to celebrate the school's 100th anniversary last year, received a Municipal Heritage Award.

Real Renewal, the group that came together a few years ago when school closures were all the rage has come forward to speak out against this ridiculous plan. The group has raised questions in 13 different areas and, being the helpful political activist she is, the regina mom started a petition on Avaaz which you are welcome to sign. At last look, there were 661 signatories on the petition requesting:

That the Regina Board of Education delay the decision to demolish or retrofit Ecole Connaught Community School until the recommended studies and thorough and proper community consultation can be carried out.

It's a long shot but here's hoping that one of the oldest buildings in the city stands for many years to come.

And then there's the Saskatchewan NDP Leadership contest, heading into the homestretch. We on the Ryan Meili/Erin Weir team are working hard to GOTV, contacting hundreds of voters who have not yet cast their ballots. It's going to be close and thus, interesting, come the March 9 convention in Saskatoon. We'll either have the same-old New Democratic Party or we'll have a New Democratic Party that will change the conversation in Saskatchewan politics.

On top of the political work the regina mom does, there's her volunteer work with the Sage Hill Writing Experience and the Cathedral Village Arts Festival. Oh, and her writing career!

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