Keep Wascana Park Public

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The Conexus Credit Union is planning to construct an 80,000 square foot head office adjacent to Darke Hall in Wascana Park. The deal-makers are the University of Regina–Vianne Timmons, the City of Regina–Michael Fougère, Wascana Centre Authority (now Provincial Capital Commission)–Bernadette McIntyre, and the Conexus Credit Union–Eric Dillon.

In exchange for $8.25 million from Conexus to the U of R College Avenue Campus Renewal Project, Conexus has received a 90-year, cut-rate rent lease on 2.6 acres adjacent to Darke Hall. The land value is $3.25 million.

Although Wascana Park is a public resource, and publicly funded, the public was left out of the decision-making process. Once the door is open to one business, it will not be easily kept closed to others: the Brandt/CNIB commercial office project is about to receive Provincial Capital Commission approval. The public park will most certainly be subject to further private business ventures.

In voting for this Conexus deal, City Council has violated its own Official Community Plan, which states that it shall limit any new major office developments to the downtown area only.

The public have been misinformed. The restoration of Darke Hall is a separate fund, not connected to the College Avenue campus renewal project. People have been led to believe that by opposing this Conexus deal the Darke Hall restoration will be halted. This is not the case.

As the University itself announced, “The current restoration work is made possible thanks to $4 million in donations received for the College Avenue Campus Renewal Project.”