By Jordan Halkyard
Once again, infrastructure was one of the big issues in the 2012 Regina civic election. Every candidate running this year had infrastructure as one of their key platform issues. South Regina residents Uta and Ray Fichter have seen the disintegration of infrastructure in their area.
“Well the streets are a disaster,” Uta said.
“There are a lot of pot holes in the roads around here, that make it hard to drive on,” Uta’s husband Ray added.
Candidates running in the civic election have heard cries of outrage from residents like the Fichters about local infrastructure and have made the issue one of their top election priorities in this campaign.
“Since the beginning of the campaign infrastructure (was) my number one priority. As a city, we cannot continue to neglect (our infrastructure). (As an issue) that (was) it for me,” said Ward 5 council candidate Femi Ogunrinde.
These sentiments were shared by mayoral candidate Meka Okochi. Okochi went out to speak to many people across Regina during his campaign, and people’s main concern was usually the ground under their feet.
“It was a simple thing, it was the roads. Yeah, they want (the roads) to be health, and that is normal because what they see first and foremost is the roads. They drive on them everyday, so those are things that they can observe,” Okochi explained.
Aside from the roads, federal government funding was also an important part of Okochi’s platform. The former candidate for the top job at City Hall said “we need to get a bigger piece of the ‘money pie.’”
“In 2014, the ‘Building Canada’ fund will start to take affect, which is a deal the federal government struck with the municipalities over the past few years. This is an opportune time for us to keep making these discussions. (We need) to keep working with other municipalities to make sure we continue to talk with the federal government to make sure we can continue to talk to the federal government about infrastructure funding… We need to go the federal government and asked for an increase in our portion of the pie,” Okochi explained.
Even though many plans were presented to voters across Regina about infrastructure during October, for voter Ray Fichter it did not really matter which one was selected.
“Yes, (the state of infrastructure in my community) is important to me, but (all the candidates) said they were going to fix it but nothing every happens,” Fichter said.