If Winnipeg is mini-Detroit, can Regina be mini-Winnipeg? At least until R-Town gets the domed stadium that promises to be the (sadly) hottest issue of its fall municipal election. Then maybe Regina can be mini-Vancouver. It's already rocking the urban poverty thing like no one else can (though not as sensationally as Wpg), so why not let well-fed white guys* watch football indoors? What's the worst that could happen? Municipal and provincial taxpayers blow an obscene amount of money that might be better spent on social services, infrastructure, health care & education? So Regina closes a few libraries, a few highways fall into disrepair and the inner city rots further into third world levels of poverty, disease and despair. Think of the KISS concerts, won't anybody think of the KISS concerts?
So Dome-Lovers like Pat Fiacco, Brad Wall, John Gormley and Kevin Blevins might be guilty of narrow-minded, irresponsible arrogance. Big deal. This is Melville-level sleazebaggery, Moosejavian at best. If these fellows really want Regina to be a world class city on par with, say, Vancouver, they're gonna have to try a little harder.
Here in the Lower Mainland, we've made something of an art of scuttling sensible priorities in favour of corporate-interested extravaganzas. Gordon Campbell's Liberal government has lately made sweeping cuts to education--including pulling funds already promised and budgeted for by school boards, sports teams and parent groups--and health care. All standard issue deficit-battling that should be familiar to all who remember the early years of the Romanow gov't in Saskatchewan, with the big difference being that amid all these "tough love" cuts Campbell has boosted Olympic spending by 27.5 per cent. These aren't cuts to high-falutin' sculptors who make statues of dead Paraguayan tone poets out of cat feces (though, yes, there are some killer cuts to the arts) or cancellations of programs that protect the rights and safety of drug addicts (likewise, nasty cuts), these are cuts to high school sports, which purportedly are the foundation of the ideals the Olympics are supposed to be promoting the first place.
Y'know, at least Fiacco is being upfront about his vainglorious, wasteful, potentially harmful plans before the election. On a sliding scale of scumbaggery, that puts him in misguided oaf/lackey of industry territory well below Gordon Campbell's Lex Luthor-level of treachery and deception.
mp3: "Pennies, Fountains And Stars" by Mack Mackenzie
mp3: "Used Car Salesman" by Ira Lee
*some of my best friends are well-fed white guys