My City Election Predictions Revealed!

I know the city election is already a couple days old and mostly forgotten. There are only a few twitter trolls left to torment Billy Goat Novak. The rest have returned to their twitter bridge homes. So I can’t imagine anyone really cares about my pre-election picks and how they fared versus reality. If I’d wanted them to be relevant/interesting I should have written this post yesterday morning at the latest but I really needed a day away from the blog, out on the town, watching the big machines at construction sites with Young Master Dash.

So, irrelevant as they are, here are my picks. Which I literally wrote on a slip of paper, sealed in an envelope and am revealing here for the first time. And please keep in mind, this is a list of people I expected to win, not who I necessarily wanted to win.

And yes, because I know you’re wondering, my lapels are just as magnificent in real life as they appear in those pics above.

Mayor: Michael Fougere
Ward 1: Barbara Young
Ward 2: Heather McIntyre (real winner: Bob Hawkins)
Ward 3: Susan Birley (real winner: Shawn Fraser)
Ward 4: Tina Beaudry-Mellor (real winner: Bryon Burnett)
Ward 5: John Findura
Ward 6: Wade Murray
Ward 7: Sharron Bryce
Ward 8: Michael O’Donnell
Ward 9: Terry Hincks
Ward 10: Jerry Flegel

After the jump, a few notes on why I made the picks I did.

Continue reading “My City Election Predictions Revealed!”

Fougere Declared Mayor Of All Regina

More than half the polls are reporting now and Fougere has a comfortable lead. Looks like all or all but one of polls are in. The vote tally is Fougere 20740, Donnelly 15591, Okochi 8844, Brass 2470, Elliott 432, Novak 374, Wiebe 278, Siekawitch 179 Brown 132.

He’s already dropped by city hall and met with the media. CJME has declared it a Fougere victory.

Here’s the audio of that first scrum with Mayor Fougere.

Fougere talks to the media by Paul Dechene

Right now, the council that we can safely say we’ll be seeing in this session is, Fougere as mayor, Shawn Fraser for Ward 3, John Findura for Ward 5, Wade Murray for Ward 6, Sharron Bryce for Ward 7, O’Donnell for Ward 8, Terry Hincks for Ward 9. And now we can say that we have Barbara Young has taken Ward 1, Hawkins took Ward 2, Burnett took Ward 4 and Flegel took Ward 10.

Where To Find Prairie Dog When The Results Are Coming In

We’ll be at city hall, of course. Henry Baker Hall will be open to the public to watch the results come in on the big screen. Steve and I will be there, live tweeting the numbers or getting interviews for the upcoming issue or secretly getting drunk or something.

You should come too. We went last election and it was pretty fun. There will be candidates and media types. But no word yet on whether there’s coffee.

After the results are in, I’ve heard tell that several campaigns are hosting events at different venues downtown. My guess is you won’t have to look too hard to find an election party of some kind. Either a triumphant howling boozefest. Or a glorious piss up of defeat. And I wouldn’t be at all surprised if I were to wind up at some place that rhymes with Go Shmamlons.

Oh almost forgot… starting at 7:30pm tonight, the Artesian is hosting an election party (2627 13th Avenue, that’s the former church on the corner of 13th and Angus) and everyone is invited. They too will be showing the election results as they come in.

I like the Artesian a lot. The lounge in the basement is basically what I wanted my living room to look like. So now I’m kind of regretting that I’ll be at city hall instead.

Anyway, if any Dog Blog readers happen to run into me or any other Dog Blog writers tonight, please say hi!

And watch our twitter channel @prairiedogmag and the blog for election updates this evening.

And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to vote!

It’s Election Day In Regina

Like the title says, it’s election day. And if you haven’t voted in one of those crazy advance polls, you better get out there and cast your ballot as soon as possible.

I know you’ve probably heard this a million times already but I’m going to mention it again: Voting in a municipal election actually matters. I mean, it really, really matters.

Turnouts — even in a high profile election like this one — are usually much lower than they are at the federal and provincial levels. And wards have small populations compared to ridings. That gives your vote way more clout, proportionally speaking.

Plus, you get to vote twice. Once for your councillor and once for mayor. That’s two bodies on council you hold sway over. Use that power! Abuse that power! Vote for someone awesome!

Also, based on that poll that came out last week — the one no one wants to talk about when I bring it up socially — the situation going into election day is pretty much the worst imaginable for people wanting to see a dramatic change in the mayor’s office.* If that poll is to be believed, Fougere has a 13 point lead and Donnelly and Okochi are evenly splitting a portion of the vote that, if it went to just one candidate, would seal the election for a challenger.

Ultimately though, the most important thing on election day will be which candidates can motivate their supporters to get out to vote. With the low turnouts you typically see at the municipal level, good organizing can confound any polling.

Anyway, if you’re unsure where exactly to cast your ballot, you should first check out prairie dog‘s Ward Map of Regina because it was drawn by Dakota McFadzean and is gorgeous. You can also go to the City of Regina’s “Where Do I Vote?” page to find out which polling station you should go to.

And if you still need to learn about the candidates, we have a wealth of information about them right here on the Dog Blog. You can check out all of the candidate profiles we’ve put together based on the answers they gave to our Candidate Questionnaire.

Additionally, on the mayoral front, we have short audio interviews with all nine of the candidates. Listen to them here.

And if you’re not happy with any of the candidates for mayor and are looking for a name you can just write-in, we have responses to our Candidate Questionnaire sent in by readers of the Dog Blog. Brent Bradley, Baby with a Blowtorch, The [Faux] Fouge, Mrs Dawg and Princess Fiona are all worthy mayoral contenders and deserving of some election day love. Ignore the fact that a vote for them is basically a spoiled ballot.

And if you’re voting for Mayor of the Sea in one of Regina’s many marine wards, you will certainly have to check out The Palinode’s candidate profile.

Lastly, you can check out all our 2012 City Election coverage, which includes essays, analysis, podcasts and all the usual prairie dog shenanigans — the kind of shenanigans that gets us hectored by mayors. But that’s okay, we can handle the hectoring, because it’s your hearts we’re trying to win.

Not council’s.

Continue reading “It’s Election Day In Regina”

Candidate Profile: Rob Armstrong For Ward One

Name: Rob Armstrong

Ward You’re Running In: 1

Current Occupation: Telecommunications Sales Manager

Voter Information: Twitter: @RobVArmstrong ; E-Mail:; Phone: 209-2888

I was born and raised in Lloydminster. I moved to Regina in 2010 with my wife, Andrea. I am a rabid sports fan (Riders, Oilers, Jays, Raptors, Patriots). I dedicate a lot of time to the Arts, primarily with Regina Lyric Musical Theatre. I started performing with the group in 2010, and have recently become a board member. I am employed by Koodo Mobile, a company that I’ve been with for nearly 4 years.

Continue reading “Candidate Profile: Rob Armstrong For Ward One”

Some Unfinished (Ranty) Business

Tomorrow night, we’ll have a new mayor and a new council. I’m really enjoying covering the election and will be sad to see it end. But as I mentioned on Twitter last night, it would seem I’ve put on some weight while covering this election. I’d like to think that it’s because democracy is fattening. That way, the problem would be out of my hands. But in truth it’s probably because when I’m up late writing I stupidly occupy my body during those stretches when I’m staring at a screen and thinking by eating.

If I was smart I’d swap out the 1 AM raisin bran with ice cream (what? we were out of milk) for gin (if it’s transparent it doesn’t contain calories, right?) but then good luck getting up in the morning to play with the kids.

When you start showing up at the local moms’ group smelling like a distillery, that’s when social services gets involved.

Yeah. If drinking gin at 1 AM in the middle of the week is starting to sound like a rational solution to my paunch, maybe it’s for the best that the election is wrapping up.

Anyway, in addition to noticing a growing democracy-induced bulge forming around my mid-section, it also occurred to me that I have collected all this city hall dross in my head — tidbits and miscellany about issues and projects that bug me — that’s going to be worthless once the new council comes into power. I can’t saddle all these newbs and greenhorns with years-old beefs they know nothing about.*

So I’m going to have to get everything off my chest now. Below the fold because it’s going go on for a very, very long time.

Consider it a system purge so I can approach our next council all bright-eyed and fresh as a new-blossomed daisy.

Continue reading “Some Unfinished (Ranty) Business”

A Little Help For Undecided Ward Three Voters

There are going to be some very interesting ward races on Wednesday. There are, for instance, the two rematches: Gray trying to retake Ward 5 from Findura and Flegel trying to knock Szarka off his perch in Ward 10. And I have to admit I’ve no idea who’s going to be the Rocky and who the Apollo Creed in either of the those contests. And to be honest I’m actually more interested to find out if a Clubber Lang will emerge in those wards four years from now. Because really, a little Mr T would be great for Regina’s self esteem, don’t you think?

Or, wait. Aren’t we just coming off 12 years of a little Mr T?

Maybe this analogy has flown off the rails.

Anyway, what this post was supposed to be about is the unpredictable way votes could split in Ward 3. Seven candidates, six of whom seem to be reading from the same playbook: be nice, be progressive, be a bit of a renegade but not so much the renegade that people stop taking you seriously. (The seventh candidate, Justin Slobodan, seems to be running some kind of stealth campaign.)

From what I’ve seen, Susan Birley and Shawn Fraser have the most lawn signs out in the community. But Don Young and Shirley Dixon have both run in the ward before and built up a lot of support and name recognition. And Eric Anderson and Janice Muir both performed extremely well in the forum.

Six candidates who all seem like the right kind of candidate for the ward. The vote might get diced up pretty fine.

As evidence of how fractured things are here, election day is only two days off but I know a lot of Ward 3 residents who are still undecided. Or decided but troubled by the decision they’ve made. They want more information but are running out of time.

Well, as it happens, I recorded the Ward 3 candidates’ forum at the Cathedral Neighbourhood Centre. And, to help you undecided voters out — or maybe to muddle your thinking even worse — I’ve uploaded it to prairie dog’s server so those of you who missed it can have a listen.

The file’s huge so I won’t be streaming it.

Download the Cathedral Ward 3 Candidate Forum. (51.9MB mp3)

Follow all of our online election coverage — including interviews, analysis and podcasts — on our Regina City Election 2012 page. And you can read about everyone running in this election on our Candidate Profiles page.

Interviews With Regina’s Candidates For Mayor

Over the last few days we’ve conducted short phone interviews with all of Regina’s candidates for mayor.

We asked them about their particular visions for Regina and how they’d achieve them. Also we chatted a bit about the 2012 city election campaign and some of the challenges they’ve faced and the things they’ve learned.

The interviews range from about 10 to 20 minutes long and you can listen to all the interviews below the fold. I’ve put them up in a random order because all the alphabetization at the forums was wearing me down.

Continue reading “Interviews With Regina’s Candidates For Mayor”

U of R Research Group Grades Candidates

The University of Regina’s Public Interest Research Group did a survey of all of the mayoral candidates. They asked five multi-part questions and then gave each of those who participated a letter grade.

The resulting candidate report cards can be read here.

The questions were pretty much what you’d expect from a PIRG (and that isn’t a bad thing). The first set was about what the candidates will do to support a cycling culture. The second concerned transit. Third was about community gardens and food sovereignty (which I REALLY could have done without but have already raged about at length here). Fourth was about affordable housing and fifth was on waste management.

The candidates’ answers were then scored on whether they demonstrate an understanding of the issue, how thoroughly they answer the questions and whether or not they present tangible solutions to the issues. Their scores were then averaged into overall letter grades.

And here’s how your candidates did according to the University of Regina Public Interest Research Group:

Liz Brass B-
Tom Brown D+
Marian Donnelly A-
Jim Elliott C+
Michael Fougere D+
Chad Novak C+
Tim Siekawitch D+
Charles Wiebe C+

(Meka Okochi, for reasons I can’t find on the RPIRG site, did not respond to the survey.)

Now, I’m a big fan of PIRGs. They’re groups that have formed on campuses across Canada* which study and advocate for various progressive causes I’m generally friendly to. So, I’m sympathetic to what RPIRG is trying to do here. But I have some issues with the results.

And my misgivings all comes down to one grade they gave out….

Continue reading “U of R Research Group Grades Candidates”

Hacking Allegations In Regina Election

Pat Book at CJME is breaking this story as I type. Here’s the news as we know it: mayoral candidate Liz Brass is coming forward with allegations that she has been the victim of computer hacking.

According to Brass, starting in the spring, she noticed that her e-mail, Facebook account and campaign website had been compromised by hackers. She says she believes campaign-related files were stolen from her computer.

Regina Police Service has confirmed that they have received a complaint about this and are investigating. They could not give any other details.

Brass says she believes the attacks were an effort to undermine her run for mayor. And the attacks were successful insofar as her ability to organize was hindered as she could not promote her run through the internet until she was able to secure her website, e-mail and Twitter from further attacks. She also says that the whole experience took a psychological toll on her and her family.

I’ve spoken with the RPS about this. And as I say, they have policies that prevent them from giving any more detail than “an investigation is taking place.” They won’t even confirm or deny if something criminal has actually occurred as, apparently, determining if a crime has happened is part of an investigation.

The communications people at the RPS are really nice. Really, really nice. But man, they’re infuriatingly vague.

So, normally, with a story like this, we’d be able to take a look at the evidence the complainant has brought forward and make an educated guess as to whether or not an election-related crime has actually occurred. But in this case, as hacking is involved, I can’t look into Liz Brass’ computer and examine the gewgaws and scrimshaws and say, something hinky is definitely going on here. For all I know, this is a web attack that’s completely unrelated to the election. Or maybe not. Or maybe she’s facing a really nasty Word bug. (I’ve seen those. They can be nasty. And they can appear sentient.)

More details as they emerge.

UPDATE: Have spoken with Donnelly and Fougere. Both say that they have not experienced any hacking or dirty tricks. And they would of course condemn any such activities if they’ve occurred.

UPDATE #2: Included a link to Book’s story over at CJME. Has a lot more detail.

UPDATE #3: And I’ve now spoken to Meka Okochi. He also says that he has not experienced any hacking or dirty tricks. He also condemns any such actions. Should also note that Donnelly, Fougere and Okochi say that they nor anyone involved with their campaigns have been contacted by the police.

Follow all of our online election coverage — including interviews, analysis and podcasts — on our Regina City Election 2012 page. And you can read about everyone running in this election on our Candidate Profiles page.

Candidate Profiles: Now It’s Your Turn

The number of candidate questionnaire’s returning has shrunk to a trickle. In fact, I suspect we’ll only get one or two more before the election hits next Wednesday.

And you know what? After sending all those out, getting them in, reading, formatting and then posting them, I’ve grown a little tired of all the electoral platitudes. All the “Regina’s the very bestest” and people answering the “boxing vs. roller derby” question wrong. I’d like to read a few honest answers for a change.

So gang, who’s up for answering prairie dog‘s Very Serious Candidate Questionnaire?

I will post the questions below the fold. Just cut and paste them into a comment box and go nuts.

It’ll be interesting to see how your answers stack up against the candidates. And feel free to use the comments section for this post for any general comments on the election so far and how the candidates seem to you.

Continue reading “Candidate Profiles: Now It’s Your Turn”

Candidate Profile: Janice Muir For Ward Three

Name: Janice Muir

Ward You’re Running In: 3

Current Occupation: Systems Analyst

Voter Information: 306-565-3249

I.S.P. and ITCP/IP3P certification with CIPS
Bachelor of Arts in Computing Science from Dalhousie University
Bachelor of Science in Biology from Dalhousie University

Professional Experience in the IT Industry
SaskTel – 1996 to present
Prairie Farm Rehabilitation Administration – 1993 to 1996
IT industry in Nova Scotia prior to moving to Regina

Other Relevant Experience
I volunteer about 150 – 200 hours per year and have served on many boards and committees in this context. For example, I was the VP Environment for the Telecom Pioneers for several years, Co-chair of a Committee for Recognizing Diversity, and Area B24 Governor in Toastmasters International. Currently, I am VP for CIPS Saskatchewan, VP Public Relations for Not-Just-Us Toastmasters Club, and Secretary of the Prairie Rock & Gem Society.

Continue reading “Candidate Profile: Janice Muir For Ward Three”

Graffiti Question From Cathedral Mayoral Forum

The Cathedral Area Community Association hosted a mayoral forum last Thursday that was extremely well attended. And the association decided that they’d get to ask the first several questions of the night which I appreciated because sometimes questions from the floor can be more lecture than question and then the questions themselves can be pretty batshit insane.

Not to be outdone, the CACA asked their own crazy question: As graffiti is a problem in Regina, if elected, would you support a ban on the sale of spray paint to minors.

Okay, maybe it isn’t “crazy.” But it really came out of nowhere. This is an election issue? The laughter from the crowd indicates I wasn’t alone in thinking this.

Thing is, though, the candidates rose to the challenge and gave really sane, thoughtful answers, most of which were along the lines of, “No but… address the root cause,” or “No but… graffiti artists are creative people who need more outlets for their work” or “No but… how about more skate parks?”

So maybe it wasn’t such a ridiculous question after all. It revealed some interesting stuff about the people who want to be mayor.

Anyway, here is the complete audio of that exchange.

Download candidates’ responses to a question about a ban on sale of spray paint to minors. (6.3MB mp3)

Should mention, that I’m actually on the board of the CACA but have recused myself from all participation in putting on their candidate forums. Didn’t see the organizing emails. And I even begged off putting chairs away. Which I suppose makes me kind of a shitheel.

Follow all of our online election coverage — including interviews, analysis and podcasts — on our Regina City Election 2012 page. And you can read about everyone running in this election on our Candidate Profiles page.

Candidate Profile: Michael Fougere For Mayor

Name: Michael Fougere

Current Occupation: Business Executive

Voter Information: Michael Fougere Campaign Office, 309 Albert Street, Phone: 306.775.1255, Email:, Twitter: @fougereformayor, Website:

I served five terms on Regina City Council, representing the residents of Ward 4 and been President of the Saskatchewan Construction Association since 2004. I hold a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from St. Francis Xavier University and a Masters of Science degree from the London School of Economics. I have been involved in many community activities, including president of the Home and School Association at his children’s school. Also coached soccer, baseball, and basketball and has managed a local hockey team. I have also served on many committees and boards during my time on Council. I have worked extensively in business development, investment attraction, and business immigration in Asia, Europe, and South America.

Continue reading “Candidate Profile: Michael Fougere For Mayor”

Candidate Profile: Sharron Bryce For Ward Seven

Name: Sharron Bryce

Ward You’re Running In: 7

Current Occupation: Registered Nurse

Voter Information: Ph 949-5025 email-

I was born in Northern Ireland and immigrated to Regina when I was 8yrs old. I grew up in ward 7, and graduated from O’Neill High School. I attended SIAST and I am a registered nurse. I have a seventeen year old daughter.

I have served 3 terms on city council.

Continue reading “Candidate Profile: Sharron Bryce For Ward Seven”

Candidate Profile: Marian Donnelly For Mayor

Name: Marian Donnelly

Current Occupation: Consultant/Entrepreneur, and current CEO of Creative City Centre (but have trained talented young people who are taking over from me no matter what happens October 24th)

Voter Information:, Campaign HQ Tel: 306.352.2577, Email:

I was born and raised in Regina, but have also worked and lived in Winnipeg, Vancouver and Toronto. My background is the music industry (the business side, not the music side). I’ve been an entrepreneur most of my life, but moved back to Regina in 1996 to work as Executive Director of a non-profit industry association, now called SaskMusic. I also worked as General Manager of Globe Theatre for a few years and as a consultant to the provincial Department of Culture, Youth and Recreation. Since 2005, I’ve been self employed again, doing strategic planning work for organizations and communities. I went back to school when I was 48 and earned a Masters Degree in Business Administration. I also teach a class in the Faculty of Business Admin at the University of Regina. For the last 4 years, my focus was on renovating and establishing the Creative City Centre, which has now been up and running since May 2011. I have a 25 year old son named Matt, and there are 42 people in my immediate family. That’s not a typo.

Continue reading “Candidate Profile: Marian Donnelly For Mayor”

Interviews From Heritage Mayoral Forum

After the mayoral forum hosted by the Heritage Community Association on October 10, I once again did some quick interviews to get a sense of how people think the candidates are doing.

(The clip starts near the end of my first interview because, like an idiot, I didn’t press the record button right off.)

Download audience reactions to the Heritage Community Association mayoral forum. (3.8MB mp3)

Follow all of our online election coverage — including interviews, analysis and podcasts — on our Regina City Election 2012 page. And you can read about everyone running in this election on our Candidate Profiles page.

Clips From Lakeview Mayoral Forum

On October 2, candidates for Ward 2 and for mayor gathered at the Lakeview Elementary School for a pair of forums put on by the Lakeview Community Association. I recorded both but the audio kind of stinks and it takes a bit of Audacity magic to make them listenable. So I’m only going to post two excerpts from the mayoral forum that I’ve managed to fix up.

First, here’s how the candidates answered a question about the housing crisis and how they’d cope with it.

Download candidates’ responses to a question about housing at the Lakeview Community Association mayoral forum (72.MB mp3)Speaker order is Okochi, Novak, Fougere, Elliott, Donnelly, Brown, Brass and Wiebe.

I like this bit because it’s the only point in this forum where the candidates get a little feisty. These mayoral forums are pretty well-mannered affairs and the Lakeview one was no exception.

And, incidentally, Tim Siekawitch’s response is missing because he misheard the question and so his answer was pretty off topic.

Second, I wanted to post this response from Jim Elliott to the question of how to deal with the pension crisis. Typically, I haven’t been singling out stuff specific candidates have said because I frankly don’t want another accusation of unfairness right now. But here, Elliott suggests a way to use pension money to support local projects and I thought it was pretty smart. An elegant and novel idea in an election where there haven’t been a lot of surprising ones. I don’t know if Elliott’s suggestion is at all feasible or even legal (and a friend of mine who knows this pension stuff better than I do says it’d be supremely difficult to implement), but hey, I thought I’d throw it out there.

Download Jim Elliott speaking about the city pension fund and housing. (340kb mp3)

Follow all of our online election coverage — including interviews, analysis and podcasts — on our Regina City Election 2012 page. And you can read about everyone running in this election on our Candidate Profiles page.

Meka In Apology Mode

The adjacent photo was taken in the women’s washroom at the Lazy Owl at the University of Regina last night. Friday night, the Owl is typically humming so the potential audience for the ad was large. But it’s raised a few eyebrows on Facebook where accusations of misogyny have been levelled.

According to a response Regina mayoralty candidate Meka Okochi provided to a concerned commenter on his Facebook page, the image, which was part of larger video and projection campaign at the Owl that night, was intended to target first time female voters in the Oct. 24 municipal election.

No word yet on whether there was an equivalent ad in the men’s washroom targeting potential male voters who have reached the age of majority since the last muncipal election in 2009.

Here’s Meka’s reply to the Facebook commenter:

I want to start by apologizing concerning any offense this ad may have caused. It was not my intention or that of anyone on my campaign. The buck stops at my table, and I take full responsibility. This ad was targeted to first time voters, many of them University youths. That’s why it’s in the owl. I accept that the concept is edgy. But it was intended to stimulate debate, not offence. The ad simply shows a young lady voting behind a polling booth. What happens on the other side of the curtain is shown in the video with the same theme also showing as a projection ad at the owl. Again, my apologies for offending. It was not my intention. Kind regards, Meka

Stadium Referendum: Just Say Novak

From a press release we got today from Regina’s most entertaining mayoral candidate:

Regina – In what has become one of the most heated issues in Regina’s history, the Regina Revitalization Initiative, one Regina Mayoral Candidate isn’t afraid to lay his cards on the table. Chad Novak announced today that he no longer feels a referendum is necessary, saying that a renovation to Mosaic Stadium is now his preferred choice if he is elected Mayor on October 24.

More here. And now here’s a picture of Chad Novak at a Sept. 17 Occupy Wall Street anniversary event standing next to Ward 9 council candidate Dawn Thomas, who he’d been collecting referendum signatures for:

Chad Novak’s delightful malarkey has made this election a lot of fun. I salute him.