Former Regina Exhibition board chair, Sandra Masters, announces run for mayor

Sandra Masters, Regina's first female elected mayor, will be sworn in with the rest of council Monday night. Daniella Ponticelli / Global News

The former chair of the Regina Exhibition Board, Sandra Masters, announced on Wednesday she is running for mayor in the upcoming municipal election, focusing her announcement on building the local economy.

The well-known member of the community says she promises to be a strong voice for Regina that goes beyond the status quo.

Read more: Regina residents with coronavirus concerns can vote in the municipal election via mail-in ballot

“I am not a career politician,” Masters said. “I am a working mother and business professional who built my career and raised my children in our community. I will be the change Regina residents are looking for.”

During her announcement at the Cathedral Social Hall, Masters promised to support policing, improve the safety of downtown and drive new economic development.

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If elected, Masters would introduce multi-year budgeting, which she says would help residents maintain their property tax without facing unexpected increases.

Regina Mayor Michael Fougere has also made property taxes a campaign issue. On Tuesday, the incumbent launched his re-election bid on the promise to freeze property taxes in 2021.

There are eight people seeking to become Regina’s 35th mayor, all of whom promise to deliver strong leadership.

Read more: Jim Elliott announces Regina mayoral bid for 3rd time

On Wednesday, Masters said she is the most equipped to lead Regina businesses into recovery during the coronavirus pandemic based on her experience in banking and finance.

“Now more than ever our city needs a clear vision and a plan. We need strong leadership to drive our COVID-19 recovery and ensure we are prepared to deal with the opportunities that will come our way,” Masters said. “City council must provide that leadership, and I want to be a catalyst for progress through new ideas and innovative thinking.”

George Wooldridge, who recently ran for the leadership of the Green Party of Saskatchewan, offered similar promises during his official campaign announcement Wednesday in front of the Prince of Wales Library.

George Wooldridge officially announced his bid for Regina mayor on Regina. Wooldridge, who is the eight person to announce his run for mayor, showed up to the press conference in front of the Prince of Wales Library with a sign he made himself that reads “Vote George 4 Mayor”. Daniella Ponticelli / Global News

Like Masters, Wooldridge promised to improve relations with the provincial government and to develop downtown.

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Candidate Jerry Flegel, who is currently the councilor for Ward 8, has made similar promises. On Tuesday, Flegel presented an eight-point plan that includes redeveloping the vacant railyards along Dewdney Avenue and building affordable housing on the vacant Taylor Field site.

While the candidates share a desire to improve the downtown core, they differ on the issue of policing.

Masters said she would continue to support the Regina Police Service because “we all deserve to feel safe in our community.”

Mayoral candidate Tony Fiacco has promised to put more money into policing, while Wooldridge said he would decentralize the police.

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Wooldridge told reporters on Wednesday he would reallocate resources to address homelessness and addiction. His other policies include redeveloping the city’s transit plan to support light rail in the future and to increase library funding.

Read more: Long-time Regina politician Jerry Flegel announces mayoral bid

But if elected his first order of business will be reducing his salary by 30 per cent.

“As much as I like myself, I don’t think I’m worth that much,” Wooldridge said. “I’m a champion of the city, but I don’t need to be paid like a rock star.”

Candidates running for mayor in the Regina municipal election are Darren Bradley, Jim Elliot, Tony Fiacco, Ward 8 councilor Jerry Flegel, incumbent Michael Fougere, Mitchell Howse, Sandra Masters, and George Wooldridge.

The Regina municipal election in on Nov. 9.

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