After widespread public outcry, including the City of Regina’s city council vote last week in favour of restricting further commercial development in Wascana Park, the Saskatchewan NDP is calling on the Sask. Party government to:
- Re-establish a fair balance with the University of Regina and the City of Regina by undoing the Sask. Party’s unilateral changes to the Provincial Capital Commission Act that gave the province a majority of the seats on the board,
- Work with a newly balanced board to end future commercial development in the park,
- Make the needed public investments to maintain the park and its buildings.
“Wascana Park is the heart of Regina and people are rightly angry to see it being handed over to private interests,” said NDP Leader Ryan Meili. “The Sask. Party has never had an satisfactory explanation as to why they took control from the city and the university. These stakeholders, and everyone who has spoken out in defence of the park, deserve answers.”
Further questions have been raised about the Sask. Party’s handling of replacing a park legacy building with a large commercial office building that will be owned outright by a large corporation. They initially claimed the new building would have the same footprint as the existing one when seeking approval for the development, but later admitted the new building would actually be four times larger and have twice the surface area.
“The Sask Party government wants to pave our Wascana Park paradise and put up a parking lot and more commercial office space. We say: no more,” said NDP Provincial Capital Commission Critic Warren McCall. “Only by restoring the balance of power and ensuring local voices have a seat at the table can we keep Wascana Park in public hands for future generations to enjoy.”