Organizers of a petition aimed at forcing a vote on plans for a new football stadium in Regina say they did not reach the numbers required, but will present their results to city hall anyway.
In a news release issued Wednesday night, organizers of the petition said they obtained about 10,000 signatures, roughly half of what was needed to require the city to hold a referendum.
The group had 90 days from launching the petition-drive to reach the 20,000 mark. The collection of signatures ended Nov. 7.
The petition, as it is, will be delivered to city hall Thursday at 3 p.m., organizers said.
"Collectors are disappointed they did not reach their goal of 20,000 signatures," the release said. "The signature count of 10,000 is a significant number and indicates to Regina’s new city council that there is a considerable level of dissatisfaction with the stadium proposal."
According to the organizers, people who signed on for a referendum had different reasons to support such a move.
"Some folks felt, from a public perspective, that the proposal has been handled in a secretive manner," the release said. "Some people did not like the proposed location for the new stadium, while others wanted a domed structure. However, the majority of those who signed were upset, indeed angry, that such a huge sum of money would be spent on a stadium when Regina has so many pressing needs."
The organizers noted affordable housing was mentioned most often
One of the organizers, Dawn Thomas, noted that referendums were not out of the ordinary for Regina.
"Regina has a long history of referendums on a variety of issues," Thomas said. "[The issues included] keeping stores closed on Monday, fluoride in the water supply, the construction of a fire hall, and the building of the Lewvan [Expressway]."
There was a stadium referendum in 1977, when Regina citizens voted on whether to allow the city to borrow $4 million to upgrade Taylor Field.
Florence Stratton, a petition collector, said 90 days was a short time frame to gather 20,000 signatures.
"With more time we would have gotten the 20,000 signatures," she said. "I hope Council knows that citizens will not stand by when they want their voices heard."