Saskatchewan

Council to vote on members of committee to help shape 'catalyst projects' for Regina's downtown

Regina city council is set to vote on whether to approve a large portion of the committee that could help shape the city's downtown core on Wednesday. 

'Catalyst committee' to oversee 3 proposals that could shape future of the city's downtown core

Regina Mayor Sandra Masters is seen at a city council meeting. On Wednesday, council will be asked to approve 14 of the 16 members of the 'catalyst committee,' as well as the committee's terms of reference. (Alexander Quon/CBC)

Regina city council is set to vote on whether to approve a large portion of the committee that could help shape the city's downtown core on Wednesday. 

The catalyst committee will be made up of 16 members, drawn from council members as well as representatives of private industry, business improvement districts and social agencies in Regina. 

At its Wednesday meeting, council will be asked to approve the committee's terms of reference, and approve 14 of its 16 members.

The committee, which city council's executive committee voted to create last month, is named after proposals dubbed "catalyst projects" because they're meant to generate growth, development and private funding in the city.

The committee will likely be a significant political entity because of the scale of the projects it will be in charge of.

They include an aquatics facility that would replace the aging Lawson Aquatic Centre, a possible replacement for the Brandt Centre and a feasibility study for a multipurpose outdoor facility geared toward high-performance baseball.

The committee is intended to make sure the possible developments are developed in tandem, rather than being siloed from one another. 

The 14 members for the committee whom council is being asked to approve include co-chairs Bob Hawkins, the councillor for Ward 2, and Tim Reid, CEO of Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL). 

Couns. Lori Bresciani (Ward 4) and Andrew Stevens (Ward 3) will round out the council representatives.

The other members proposed for the committee are:

  • Tiffany Stephenson, who co-chaired REAL's arena strategic planning committee.
  • Lisa McIntyre, Regina Downtown Business Improvement District board of directors.
  • Jeff Boutilier, vice-chair of the Regina Warehouse Business Improvement District.
  • Chris Lane, president and CEO of Economic Development Regina.
  • Jeff Keshen, president of the University of Regina.
  • Melissa Coomber-Bendtsen, CEO of YWCA Regina.
  • Edmund Bellegarde, former tribal chief and CEO of the File Hills Qu'Appelle Tribal Council.
  • Cindy Kobayashi, Regina Public Library board of directors.
  • Ruth Smillie, former artistic director of the Globe Theatre.
  • Kyle Jeworski, president and CEO of Viterra.

If that list is approved, two spots would remain open, with the committee's terms of reference specifying one must come from the development, real estate or construction community, and the other must represent "next-generation leadership." 

The committee will meet at least once a month.

A budget for the scope of work — which council was previously told will include broad public consultation — will need to be prepared within 60 days of the committee's commencement. 

Along with the budget will be a proposed timeline that outlines the key stages of work proposed by the committee.

The committee will have to act quickly. It must prepare a report by the end of 2022 and the committee itself is set to be disbanded by March 31, 2023. 

Council's Wednesday meeting is set to begin at 1 p.m

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexander Quon is a reporter with CBC Saskatchewan based in Regina. After working in Atlantic Canada for four years he's happy to be back in his home province. He has previously worked with the CBC News investigative unit in Nova Scotia and Global News in Halifax. Alexander specializes in data-reporting, COVID-19 and municipal political coverage. He can be reached at: Alexander.Quon@cbc.ca.

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