That’s My Unanimous Town

I was going to urge you all to vote yes for apostrophes, but that’s not the worst of it. I’m convinced these people are simply crazy. (Metro)

Author: Carle Steel

Carle Steel was a simple moisture farmer on a barren, sun-baked world who, through fate and destiny, brought the mighty Galactic Empire to its knees. She likes cats, bats, mice and you.

23 thoughts on “That’s My Unanimous Town”

  1. PD citing Metro? That must be a first. If Mr. Whitworth were dead, he’d be spinning in his grave.

    On the serious side, I’ll leave the debate about legality to those better placed to engage in it. On the face of it, the use of the city’s Twitter and the “VoteNo” hashtag looks like yet another in the series of clumsy and stupid actions on the part of the city administration, serving to discredit both the admin and their employers, the Mayor and Council. Now, the latter may have thrown the admin a curve by deciding to go ahead with the referendum the admin tried so hard to quash, but one would think that discussions about how to disseminate information would have taken place, and guidelines laid down. If not — can you say “administration-driven?” I knew you could.

  2. Imagine if those Economic Action Plan ads said “Vote Tory!” at the end. That’s the line the administration has crossed. Bureaucrats should never tell citizens how to vote.

  3. It’s a referendum, not a vote. That’s why there is a difference in how the administration is approaching the whole lobbying thing. I personally don’t care how they are getting the information out there (as long as it is getting out there). The issue at hand is how to build the Wastewater Treatment Plant, and that’s the issue people should be focusing their intellectual efforts on.

  4. A referendum is too a vote.
    Political activity by unelected government employees using government resources is an abuse of the public trust and diminishes the administration and the council it serves.
    Had the city merely provided lopsided information in favour of P3s, it would have been business as usual and no one would have cried foul too loudly. But the city is directly telling people how to vote and that’s just not done in a democracy.

  5. The referendum is a vote, but it has not been characterized as binding; that is, the city is not required to obey the dictates of the vote.

    The issue is indeed how the Wastewater Treatment Plant should be built and operated, and how that will effect the taxpayers now and in the future. Information from both sides of the issue needs to be aired fully and freely, but the city administration, which has skin in the game, should have used a different hashtag. To be seen as telling people how to vote is, to say the least, ethically questionable.

  6. Hey, at least there is a referendum going on. How the city spreads the word and advertising to vote no shouldn’t be a problem as the yes side can do it just the same.

    The mayor did concede a referendum was the best option to get this resolved quickly, Otherwise this whole project will be held back by the courts no thanks to the Regina Water Watch group whom gets it’s funding from (GASP!) CUPE all in the name of how a sewage plant will be funded and not for drinking water! How ridiculous can this get?

  7. You must have more privileged information than I do. My understanding was that, as laid out in the SK Municipalities Act, a referendum triggered by petition was non-binding, while one called by council was binding (for one year).

  8. MB: I think the issue is that it’s the voice of administration not council. Admin are supposed to provide information and options not tell people how they should vote on anything.

  9. On whether it’s binding or not, here from the Cities Act…

    Result of referendum
    111(1) If a proposed bylaw or resolution is approved by a vote at a referendum by a majority of the electors voting whose ballots are not rejected, the council shall pass the bylaw or resolution within four weeks after the date of the vote.
    (2) If a majority of the electors voting at a referendum do not approve the proposed bylaw or resolution, the council is not required to pass the proposed resolution or bylaw, but the council may pass the proposed bylaw or resolution if the council chooses to do so.

  10. Just for clarification, I said that the referendum “has not been characterized as binding”.

  11. Whoops, should have been more clear, that was for a referendum that’s called due to a petition. Here’s what it says for a referendum that’s called by council…

    Referendum initiated by council
    105(1) A council may submit any proposed bylaw or resolution, or alternative proposed bylaws or resolutions, to a referendum.
    (2) If a referendum approves the proposed bylaw or resolution, the council shall proceed to pass the bylaw or resolution.
    (3) If a council submits a proposed bylaw or resolution to a referendum pursuant to subsection (1), the council is bound by the result of the vote for a period of one year from the date of the vote, except to the extent the council’s subsequent intervention is required to deal with an imminent danger to the health or safety of the residents of the city.

  12. Barb: Yeah. I caught that. I just wanted to get the Cities Act content on the blog for future reference.

    I’m not going to have time to go over my recordings tonight. But I’m pretty sure (like 76.8% +/-3%) the mayor has said that he’ll abide by the results of a referendum. Whether he’s said the word “binding” or not, I wouldn’t trust my memory to say one way or the other.

  13. Make that “comments”. My original thought still stands, because in the media, the referendum has not been referred to as binding.

  14. Hey, webmaster: I keep getting duplicates, in the Leave a Reply space, of comments I’ve already posted.

  15. I wonder, on the off chance that a city employee happened to hashtag “VoteYes,” what the ramifications might be. Oh, I’m sure the employee would get a reprimand (at the very least), but I’m curious as to how the City would explain its rationale for doing so.

  16. It’s funny, how #voteno is created before the Question on the referendum,has yet to be presented.. & now this new BS has to be cleared up before any Vote.

  17. According to CJME, the referendum is binding; see here:

    And the referendum question has been chosen, Ron. Look to for the information and ballot question. I believe it is the same question that was originally posed by Water Watch during the petition.

    I hope Prairie Dog will continue to cover this from all angles. Definately an *interesting* debate.

  18. What’s interesting to me is that, way back in February, council was not especially enamoured with the P3 model, as Pat Book reported here:

    “During Monday’s meeting mayor Michael Fougere admitted he doesn’t necessarily agree philosophically with the idea of P3s the vote hinged on the practicality of securing money from the feds. He and several other councillors admitted they aren’t comfortable with the federal government essentially forcing municipalities to take on a P3, which have proven contentious in the past.”

  19. Discussion over binding or non-binding is valid. But what’s being overlooked is the continued deplorable behavior of Regina’s elected and non-elected officials.

    The previous Mayor had a brutal attendance record, finally using your tax dollars to hire a stand-in personal assistant to fill in for him.

    He used tax money to fund his own entertainment, and used tax dollars to pay the losses on his gambling debt to Montreal’s mayor. City administration obstructed access to this information, then lied about how it wouldn’t be feasible to publish it.

    The city’s paid tweeter and communications department stalked and intimidated a fringe candidate in the last election.

    The outgoing mayor used his office and stature to campaign for his hand-picked replacement, and spent his last months in office promoting his own private business.

    The current mayor received generous corporate donations and spent them to assure election.

    He has a full time job as president of the construction association, and many of the current council members gleefully vote on issues where they have glaring conflicts of interests.

    The petition and referendum process have been brazenly meddled by the city clerk, whose conduct was actually endorsed by the mayor and council. The city spent your money doing robocalls for damage control.

    Rather than give citizens some information on both options, the city is now running an expensive one-sided promotional campaign.

    So given all this, does the word ethics even have any meaning in Regina?

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