Transit Plan Heading to Council

Just came back from the Community and Protection Services Committee meeting at which the Transit Investment Plan was discussed. In short, it's recommendations were passed unanimously by the committee so it will be going on to council with their endorsement.

This was another of those big idea meetings that attracted a big turnout from the community. Five delegations spoke before the committee, four of which were there to laud the report and the transit department for putting it together. The last delegation was also generally favourable of it but had issues with the placement of the downtown transit hub and how it would affect parking. (Always, the bloody parking.)

Also discussed at this meeting was the proposed transit fare increase. It too passed unanimously and will go forward to council for final approval.

Here, there was one delegation who spoke against the hike. Her points were interesting: The last increase came last summer so this is two increases over a year and there hasn't been a similar boost to welfare or the minimum wage. The fare increase, then, hits low income families disproportionately hard. The administration pointed out, though, that Regina's service is still among the most affordable in the country and the fare increase is needed to subsidize the transit improvements people are clamouring for.

Sooooo.... I guess the elephant in the room is that nifty transit plan isn't going to get very far if the transit department and council can't come up with other ways to fund it. Fare hikes can't do it all. The report makes mention of seeking out other funding options -- presumably through the federal and provincial governments -- but it remains to be seen if they'll find them.

Pick of the Day: Tuesdays With Morrie

Through movies like I Love You, Man and Pineapple Express the term "bromance" has entered the popular lexicon. I wouldn't put this Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom-penned memoir in the same homosocial category. But it does concern male bonding. It's just that instead of being two horn-dogs out on one last toot before one of them gets married or whatever other salacious plot contrivance the screenwriter/director/producer opted for to pique audience interest, the male protagonists here are an elderly Chicago sociology professor named Morrie Schwartz and a former student of his named Mitch who reconnects with his mentor after happening to catch him being interviewed on Nightline one night.

Directed by Andrew North, and starring Richard Binsley as Morrie and Geoffrey Whynot as Mitch, Tuesdays With Morrie opens on the Globe Theatre's main stage tonight. It runs until March 6, and is one hour and twenty minutes long with no intermission.