Thursday, October 03, 2013

New column day

Here, discussing what elements of Saskatchewan's referendum law look to have worked properly in Regina's wastewater treatment plant referendum process - and where there's some obvious room for improvement where future issues call for a vote among citizens.

For further reading...
- While I note in the column that the 10% signature threshold seems to serve its intended purpose nicely, that of course requires that a municipality apply it fairly. And I'll point back to Paul Dechene's timeline of questionable City steps which attempted to avoid a referendum even though the standard was met by any fair measurement.
- CBC reported on the City's approved funding for the referendum here, and on the money spent by all campaigns here.
- Finally, Shawn Fraser reflects on the referendum - pointing out what's wrong with the City's current decision-making processes (while leaving open the question of whether he'll stake some political capital on changing the culture if the establishment pushes back):
(T)his whole thing could have likely been avoided if there was better public engagement around this decision before council voted on it. I take as much responsibility for this as anyone. It also speaks to a culture at city hall of decisions being made, council voting on them, and then it being council’s job to tell people about a decision that is already going forward. There will no doubt be many other important and divisive issue to come before council in the coming years, and we need to work at changing this.

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