Protestors concerned about developments planned for Wascana Park
Published Wednesday, April 18, 2018 5:29PM CST
Last Updated Wednesday, April 18, 2018 6:53PM CST
Changes are coming to Wascana Park after the City of Regina gave a commercial development project the green light.
A group of protestors called No Business in the Park is against the new buildings. The protestors are looking for more support from the public to stop the project.
The group is planning to protest at the Conexus Arts Centre on Wednesday night, where Conexus Credit Union is holding its annual meeting. Conexus is planning to build an 80,000 square foot head office in Wascana Park, west of Darke Hall.
“The park belongs to the people,” said Lorraine Weidner with No Business in the Park. “It was paid for by the people and they are taking 2.6 acres of land away from people and wildlife.”
One of Weidner’s biggest concerns is for the trees that will be cut down. She says it will be nearly impossible to replace vegetation that has been around for half a century.
Conexus says the trees that can’t be moved will be replaced in other areas of the park.
“Our commitment has been to make the site as good or better as it is today, in terms of trees and vegetation and all those things,” Eric Dillon, CEO of Conexus Credit Union, said.
The location was chosen because Conexus offered to help fund the University of Regina’s College Avenue Campus Renewal Project. In return, Conexus received a 90-year lease on the land.
“If I were to stand here and say ‘Should we commercialize the park,’ my answer would be no,” Dillon said. “That’s not the right answer. The park is a very special place in the city, and frankly in the province. But, in this case, we feel like if we’re ever going to save the College Avenue campus, that something has to give.”
Weidner plans to hand out pamphlets on Wednesday night to Conexus employees to get them talking about her group’s concerns. She hopes it leads to a change in the company’s plan.
“If the forefathers of this beautiful park knew what was happening, they would be turning in their graves,” she said.
Once Conexus has final approval on its design, it will be unveiled to the public.
Based on a report by CTV Regina's Colton Wiens