Fiacco Lies on a Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & an Inland Port

Veering ever-so slightly off my no nukes agenda to slip in an I told you so.  Mayor Fiacco would not reveal the plans for this before the municipal election and now that he is safely back in office he can reveal his real plan.  Today P’n’P learns of the plan for a Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port which is part of the NAFTA Highway, the Security and Prosperity Agreement, the ecological devastation called the Tar Sands, and North American Union.

This gateway involves moving the rails from central Regina to the west side where industrial development is taking place and will likely increase dramatically without our approval.  It will increase land and air traffic which means more air and noise pollution.  It will move us closer to BushCo’s & HarperCo’s dreams of not only continental unity but also a continental currency.  At a time when we need to be doing our utmost to curb green house gas emissions, our City is promoting increased consumption and an increased use of fossil fuels!

Thanks for what amounts to lies, Mayor Pat, and for selling us out to the corporatist extremists. We’ll see you at the polls in less than two years.  And we will remember.

Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port

Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port

The Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port, or “Prairie Gateway” is a virtual combination of services and a cluster of numerous transportation, distribution and assembly players working and investing together. This is the best way to maximize the existing transportation assets across an integrated region, with many transportation, production, storage, trans-loading, assembly, product identification and research resources working as a team. This base will draw additional investment, labour and technology as a catalyst for a host of new ancillary business service companies.

What is an Inland Port?

An Inland Port is defined less on the physical aspects of one location and more on the intelligent logistics and coordination of a multitude of services.  It has the following qualities:

  1. Is an organization or coalition made up of key transportation stakeholders
  2. Serves the regional trading area businesses and economy
  3. Facilitates growth for both import and export trade logistics
  4. A mechanism for cooperation, marketing the regions trade processing abilities
  5. Provides national coordination and collaboration among ocean port users

Why Saskatchewan?

Like the Kansas City Smart Port regional model, the Prairie-to-Ports Gateway & Inland Port will be anchored by “connecting” the three major cities of Saskatoon, Moose Jaw and Regina. This will promote regional asset and system optimization. It is proposed that Saskatchewan’s central continental location and lower costs would be of sufficient appeal to attract international investor attention. The high level of cooperation among the principal transportation centres of Saskatchewan, through the tri-cities will generate distinct advantages, including:

  1. Integrate and maximize the unique sub-regional advantages of each community to generate even greater synergies than each community could achieve by working separately;
  2. Provide a value-enhancing alternative to the various less coordinated and smaller scale and scope terminals, hubs or trans-loading sites existing in other parts of Canada;
  3. Foster freight movement productivity through modernization of regulatory reform (i.e. highway road weight limits) and preservation of freight-corridor efficiency on road, rail and air.

Politics in Regina, changed

In Regina, 36.47% of eligible voters bothered to vote in yesterday’s municipal elections. That’s up 11.5% from three years ago when Fiacco was acclaimed. Pretty appalling isn’t it. The work the Coalition for a Citizen-Friendly Regina (CCFR) did to field candidates and highlight a number of issues during the campaign should not go unnoticed. Though none of the CCFR slate were elected to Council, their contributions to the political discourse in this election should be commended. In personal conversations, several have suggested that the local media bias against the CCFR brought out a backlash vote. And, one cannot deny that the cult of personality surrounding Mayor Fiacco as the primary reason for his handy victory over CCFR’s Jim Holmes.

CCFR should be proud of its foray into local politics. As a grassroots organization modeled faintly after the Coalition of Progressive Electors (COPE) in Vancouver and with hints of the passion that moved Citizens for Local Democracy (C4LD) into action in Toronto a few years ago, CCFR changed the course of politics in Regina.

Prior to the campaign, Council chose not to create rules on the public disclosure of money spent during the election campaign, with Mayor Fiacco stating that, “I’ve not heard any complaints and I don’t think you need to fix something that isn’t broken.” During the campaign, however, Fiacco appear to flip-flop referencing a Leader-Post poll that showed significant public support for spending disclosures. “I think in the next year what should happen is whoever is elected should revisit it … and have a good discussion on whether or not disclosure is what the citizens want,” he said.

Another issue brought to the fore in the recent campaign was the proposed development of Regina’s southwest. Immediately after the Regina Media Collective broke the stories about the Fiacco connection and RREDA’s NAFTA lobbies, and Holmes publicized it, City Council placed the development on the back burner.

This election was a beginning for CCFR. Within less than one year, the organization formed, developed policy, and fielded several candidates who changed the course of politics in the Queen City. That is democracy in action.

Vote CCFR in Regina

Vote for progress that considers people before profits.  Vote CCFR!

There is a better way…Vote CCFR on October 25th

In many ways, the Coalition for a Citizen-Friendly Regina has already succeeded – we’ve sparked a genuine debate about the choices we face, and about what sort of city we’d like to build. But the outcome of the municipal and school board elections on Wednesday, October 25 is incredibly important. Regina citizens can make a positive difference. Vote

Ten extremely qualified CCFR candidates are seeking your support, and a
number of the races are sure to be extremely close – 200, 100, even 20 votes
could tip the balance one way or the other. Your vote matters.

Even just two or three CCFR victories will ensure that voices of reason will
be able to make themselves heard in the next city council and public school board.

Polls are open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 25. For information on where to vote visit the City of Regina election web page.

Encourage others to vote

Call three close friends and ask them if they’re planning on voting. Tell
them how you’ll be voting, and why. Encourage them to vote. If they don’t
have transportation, offer to drive them to the poll.

Celebrate with us

After the polls close on Wednesday evening, come out to the Exchange (2431 8th Ave.)  to join with other CCFR members to relax and celebrate our many victories.

Mayor mad with power?

I could not believe this (from NewsTalk 980 radio) when I heard about it!

Mayor’s Advisor Off The Campaign
September 29, 2006

Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco is facing some tough questions on the first full day of his campaign for re-election.
Reporters grilled the incumbent mayoral candidate Friday after witnessing his Senior Advisor participating in his campaign kickoff the previous day.

Friday morning, Fiacco didn’t seem to think it was a problem, saying they have been following the general practice laid out at city hall over the years. He says he still has to do his job as mayor during the campaign, and that every municipality in the country does the same.

But that’s not entirely true, according to City Clerk Randy Merkewich. He tells us the city’s general practice is that employees do not participate in an election campaign during work hours.

Then I read this:

Mayor defends use of car, assistant during campaign

Last Updated: Friday, September 29, 2006 | 6:51 PM CT

There are no laws against a mayor using city hall staff — such as a senior adviser —and a city-operated vehicle during an election campaign, Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco says.

“There’s nothing specific there that says you can or cannot do it,” said Fiacco, who’s seeking a third term in office in the Oct. 25 election.

“During an election, you’re the mayor, you still have a job to do and you’re out there trying to get re-elected. So, I’ve been doing this for quite some time and, frankly, this is what every municipality in the country does as well.”

In Winnipeg, officials said, staff in the mayor’s office go on unpaid leave during an election.

In Saskatoon, an official said, the mayor’s staff are forbidden from doing anything connected with an election campaign.

When I finally got my hands on this fax, sent out from the City of Regina Acquisitions Department — presumably to all City of Regina Flood Control suppliers, I flipped! It’s a request for votes. And donations!

Hardly suggestive, is it? Nuh-uh, Mayor Pat. Paid staff, a City-operated vehicle, and use of the City’s office equipment and suppliers’ list. This is an abuse of your Office, Mister Mayor!

I’m thinking you’ve been Mayor for too long and — just like the Liberals who had been too long in power federally — have come to believe that your privileges are entitlements.

I’m thinking Reginans deserve better.

I’m thinking it’s time for a change.

Thanks to The Jurist at the Saskatchewan Citizen’s Federation for the lead.