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‘Poorly managed organization’: Controversy follows independent review into REAL

A file image of Wayne Morsky, chair of the REAL board of directors. Global News

While the Independent review of the Experience Regina rebrand has wrapped up on paper, questions still remain for many on the direction of the review.

On Thursday, July 13, the independent review completed by George Cuff was released to the public.

The review found that no changes of employment at Regina Exhibition Association Limited (REAL) will be required following the Experience Regina rebrand.

For one public policy professor, problems at REAL were exposed during the rebranding, and perhaps again with the lack of consequences identified in the review.

“I think it says it’s a poorly managed organization and I would argue poorly envisioned it,” Cheryl Camillo, an associate professor at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy said. “To me, there’s no mutual understanding of what the mission and vision of the organization is.”

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As a citizen of Regina, Camillo feels there is a lack of accountability within the organization.

The review by Cuff outlines that junior employees sent out controversial slogans like Show us your Regina, and The city that rhymes with fun.

“The relationships are almost circular the way the organization is governed,” Camillo said. “There is not a strong accountability process built in.”

With no jobs lost as a result of the rebrand, the question of finances has come forward.

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In 2022, REAL president and CEO Tim Reid made $263,031. It is currently unclear how much severance would cost for REAL if he was fired.

“Are we going to end up as a better organization by firing either the person that hits the send button, which is ridiculous … or are we going to fire the CEO and spend copious amounts of money on a severance package,” Cuff said on Thursday.

Regina mayor Sandra Masters spoke to Global News Friday morning, saying a few councilors had met with REAL and recommended Cuff for the independent review. Masters said after the interviews, and if the REAL board of directors is satisfied with the quality of the review, they can come to city council to discuss next steps forward.

“I think people are going to hate what they hate,” Masters said.

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“Recognizing the mistakes made in the Experience Regina brand launch, the REAL Board of Directors is committed to a constructive path forward that best represents our City and our citizens,” said Wayne Morsky, chair of the REAL board of directors.

People have also taken to Twitter to question the legitimacy of the report and the topics they feel it missed.

“I know it’s the next day, but I’m still on this REAL report. What did the RFP ask for? What was the original scope of this investigation? Why was the problem framed as a governance problem rather than a misogyny problem?” wrote one person.

“Do you even know what it feels like for a girl? An OLD dude mansplaining why this trash campaign was not insulting to every woman and girl in #yqr … the review was a waste,” said another.

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Moving forward, Camillo said there needs to be a strong look at REAL both internally and externally.

“The organization continues to ask the city for more money,” Camillo said. “You would think that given that request of the people of Regina (for a review), that there would be a greater effort to ensure that their performance will improve going forward.”

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