With the next municipal election 17 months away, and rumours circulating that Pat Fiacco will not be seeking a fifth term, an intriguing development occurred today when a 2009 Cadillac Escalade (pictured) announced its intention to run for mayor of Regina.
The political neophyte made its announcement at a well-attended early morning press conference at the Tim Horton’s drive-thru in east Regina. “Since I arrived in town three years ago I’ve watched with growing alarm as our prosperity has been threatened by all sorts of crazy ideas like downtown revitalization and sustainable urban planning,” the SUV said to a raucous chorus of honks and engine revs from its supporters.
Pointing to a recent SGI stat that showed that the number of motor vehicles in Saskatchewan’s two largest cities actually exceeds the number of residents, the SUV said it was time for a U-turn at City Hall. “Last fall, Rob Ford drove a wave of suburban discontent to victory in the Toronto mayoralty race,” it said. “Like him, I promise to end the war on cars that’s being waged here and restore dignity to Regina motorists.”
If elected, the SUV said, it would immediately reconvert 11th and 12th Ave to one-way to facilitate thru-traffic in the downtown. It would also discontinue the bike lanes on Smith and Lorne St. south of downtown, and boost the speed limit on city streets to 60 k.p.h. to reduce commute times.
“Longer term, I intend to explore the feasibility of relocating downtown Regina to a parcel of land north of the city,” said the SUV. “The new site will allow for much wider roads to lessen traffic congestion and more parking to ease the current crunch, plus provide good access off Highways #11 and #6 and eliminate panhandling. Then we can use some of the freed up land in the old downtown for parking when the new stadium finally gets built.”
When asked by prairie dog if it had a plan to address the city’s infrastructure deficit, which is projected to require a $2.1 billion investment in the next ten years to repair crumbling roads, bridges, water and sewer systems and whatnot, the SUV replied, “I’ve got a few ideas on how we can tighten our seatbelts.”
Cutting transit service, the SUV noted, would save $6 million a year. “Nobody rides the bus anyway, so that’s a no-brainer,” it said. “We need to take a hard look at our sidewalks too. The traffic they carry is miniscule, yet the city is expected to build and maintain them everywhere. And think of all the money we spend on paint for crosswalks and those flashing light things that force motorists to stop whenever some loser who’s too poor to afford a car decides they want to cross the street.”
Boasting all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, a GPS, heated leather seats and a sun-roof, the silver-coloured SUV joins two other declared candidates for mayor in the October 2012 election — businessman David Loblaw and civic activist Jim Elliott.