Sandra Masters lays out platform in race for Regina mayor

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“It’s connected to so many of our social issues.”

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Alec Salloum

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Sep 25, 2020October 2, 20202 minute read Join the conversation Sandra Masters announces her candidacy for mayor in the upcoming municipal election during an event held at the Cathedral Social Hall in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sept. 16, 2020. Sandra Masters announces her candidacy for mayor in the upcoming municipal election during an event held at the Cathedral Social Hall in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sept. 16, 2020. Photo by BRANDON HARDER /Regina Leader-Post

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Masters announced her plan on Friday to create and develop an anti-poverty strategy in the city. She said that when it comes to the social determinants of health, those living in poverty often experience worse health outcomes which can affect all other aspects of life in the city.

“It’s connected to so many of our social issues — be it crime, domestic violence addiction or education rates. It affects not only our most vulnerable but our whole community,” said Masters.

“You can’t really talk about safety without talking about poverty. You can’t really talk about economic development without including low-income earners.”

Citing the Regina Food Bank as a source, Masters said that one in eleven homes in Regina experience food insecurity and approximately one in eight residents live in low-income households.

“To not deal with (poverty) is actually just not dealing with your budget 10 years down the road,” said Masters.

On the matter of budgets, she acknowledged the police and their current budget ask. To her, reducing poverty is a way to alleviate some of the stresses currently facing the Regina Police Service.

“I believe in supporting the police,” said Masters. “They’re dealing with a lot of issues that aren’t necessarily within their purviews.”

As for a timeline, Masters said within her first year as mayor there would be a completed anti-poverty plan. While the city has a current plan to end homelessness, its implementation has been held up. On the plan — a promise Fougere made during his 2016 election campaign and first proposed as a motion to council in 2017 — Masters said “like many things that pass through the office of the mayor, action has stalled.”

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An anti-poverty strategy is the first specific policy point outside of Masters’ announcement where she listed the pillars she would run on.

“Covid has hit individuals in our community in kind of an unfair way,” she said. While some people and some businesses have been able to carry on, Masters said she is bracing for higher levels of unemployment. That means more people facing housing insecurity and more people facing hardship as the winter approaches.

While the city does not have an anti-poverty strategy the federal government and province do. Masters plans to incorporate both within the city’s plan.

Tuesdays with Tony

Also in Friday municipal election announcements, mayoral candidate Tony Fiacco put forward his new campaign slogan — “create your Regina.” In a release, Fiacco said he feels it embodies his campaign goals, which include transparency and accountability at City Hall.

Fiacco is also holding what he calls “Tuesdays with Tony,” where each week Fiacco will go to new wards in the city to speak with voters. The events will be broadcast live on Fiacco’s campaign Facebook page.

The next event will take place in Ward 3 at the Italian Club. Fiacco says the focus of the event this coming week will be crime, how to redevelop the area into a more business friendly setting and access to public transit.

The Regina municipal election will take place on Nov. 9.

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