There have been no funding cuts to inner city community associations, Regina mayor Pat Fiacco recently told Maclean’s magazine. Apparently the missing word was “yet”. Under a new funding plan, the $350,00 earmarked for core communities will now be shared with 18 higher-income neighbourhoods.
A motion aimed at increasing the now drastically diluted funding pot – put forward by Councillor Fred Clipsham – was defeated without debate at a Jan. 22 City Council meeting, making cutbacks to some inner city communities a certainty.
The funds help tackle inner city problems like this abandoned gas station site in Regina, now a park. CACA photo.
Clipsham's motion called on Council to consider increasing the funds during upcoming budget discussions. He raised the issue after the new funding arrangement was presented to Council as information only, with no debate or vote. No further discussion resulted, however, as the motion was swiftly defeated.
Three days after the Council meeting, Mayor Fiacco stated in his annual address: “In 2000, I dared Reginans to dream about what their community could be. Today, those dreams are becoming reality.” For some city areas, that reality looks grim – like the Cathedral Area, slated to lose at least 36 per cent of its annual grant.
Details of the new funding regime can be found in the prairie dog, ActUp and the Village Voice. The mainstream media has remained silent.