Thursday, February 23, 2012

A peak into Pandora's Box?

I don't know whether you can close Pandora's Box once it's opened. Gerry Klein's column today (SP Feb. 23/12) calls for a full disclosure on the negotiations between the federal government and the city on funding for the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan so "the heat can be taken off this debate before the election campaign begins in earnest." Given the angst on this issue within the city, I don't think this will help our civic leaders much when they hit the campaign trail.

He also suggests a report should come to Council in the public portion of the Executive Council meeting. Why not at a City Council meeting when the whole of the public can tune in and listen to what is being disclosed?

Personally I get the sense that the majority of the public is ambivalent about the location, but concerned about the amount being spent on this item - as well as other major projects being done. To justify it by saying the federal government put condition on their contribution is not sitting well with taxpayers who know that federal dollars are also their tax dollars. Left pocket, right pocket or back pocket - its all tax money.

And then there is the operating costs . . . .


  1. What is misleading about Atchinson’s and Klein’s reference to Bev Oda is that she was only responsible for one meager source of federal funding designated for cultural facilities when she was heritage minister, that being the Cultural Spaces program, which has never had very much funding in its budget, certainly not enough for the federal government’s contribution to the Mendel expansion. The mayor and Klein forgot to mention that the Mendel did indeed receive funding from this program to help develop the construction plans and start the renovation work by opening up the skylights in the Mendel.

    The funding from the federal government for large-scale building projects always comes from other federal departments/sources, as in the case of the RAGS and all other mega cultural projects across the country, not the heritage department. What is suspected is that the mayor did not actually apply for any of this available federal funding for the Mendel project, since he had every possible federal dollar pegged for River Landing, and his reference to Bev Oda is simply a diversion to conceal this fact. If he made a formal application/request on behalf of the Mendel to the actual federal departments that have the level of funding required for the renovation/expansion project, there would be a paper trail, and so far nothing along this line has materialized.

  2. I for one really like the RAGS. Will i go often - probably not; I also didn't go to the mendel as often as I should have.
    I am particularly pleased the the Mendel Art Gallery has a MOU to become a Children's Museum. What a great use of space and the potential to create impressionable minds into thinking of going to the RAGS when they get older.
    I also think that Mr Mendel would be proud that his vision of the art gallery has created a group of citizens that want to think even bigger - I can't imagine him not wanting that.
    It would seem to me that most blogs are filled with negative diatribe against absolutely everything. It goes way beyond thinking critical and yet, the consistent message seems to be "I certainly hope someone will run that I can vote for". Maybe a page from the Neighbourhood Express's article on Mr Wright needs to be taken. He ran for Alderman because he was always complaining. (he got deal with the controversial issue of the arena)...

  3. Anyone who thinks that PM Harper would rather give a city more money to build a new building than less money to renovate an older building to serve the same purpose hasn't been paying attention to Harper's career.

    There is no way that the feds said, "either you take the extra money for a new facility or deal's off."

  4. Anon 03:35;
    That is exactly what happens


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