September 20, 2013 7:04 pm
Updated: September 20, 2013 7:05 pm

Could referendum be fight between left vs. right?

Regina Water Watch Spokesperson, Jim Holmes, and Mayor Michael Fougere debate a P3 option for our waste water treatment plant.

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REGINA – We’ve heard plenty of numbers from both sides, and everyone agrees that Regina needs a new waste water treatment plant.

The dispute over whether the city should retain total public control or partner with a private company to build and run the plant may be easily summed up as the political right against left.

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“If you’re more comfortable with a larger (government) role, it’s left; less comfortable and it’s right,” said Jim Farney, a University of Regina political scientist. “Obviously, it goes to the core of this debate.”

Farney says there is no doubt, the issue is more complicated than that.

Even though municipal politics are supposed to be non-partisan, the question remains, if ideals of party politics are playing a role.

Not so, according to Regina Water Watch.

“I don’t think democracy is a left-right issue,” said Jim Holmes, RWW spokesman. “That’s how we organize ourselves.”

Mayor Michael Fougere doesn’t see it on the political spectrum either.

“I see it as council making a proposal, and another group saying we want to talk about what that looks like,” Fougere said.

Both sides are quick to dismiss this right-versus-left debate, making it one thing the city and Regina Water Watch can agree on.

That said, both suggest the other is skewing facts in their campaign.

“People are looking for answers. ‘What’s the information I need to make an informed decision?'” Fougere said. “That kind of dialogue clouds the issue unfortunately and it’s unfair.”

“The city wants to drag lots of things out to distract people from the fact they’re not giving them information,” said Holmes. “To scare them, I guess.”

Regardless of what your values are, experts say with so many details to consider, it may come down to who you choose to believe.

Advance referendum polls are open on Saturday from 10 am. to 5 pm.

Global Regina is also happy and proud to announce we’ll be hosting an informal debate between Fougere and Holmes on September 24, the day before the referendum.

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