Mayor reflects on 2021

As residents in Regina have flipped their calendars to 2022, the Mayor is looking back on 2021.

Mayor Sandra Masters, who was in her first full year in office, said after one full year on the job, she feels encouraged by the residents’ passion for the City.

She noted that the City faced many challenges, including businesses continuing to recover from COVID-19, nearly 500 homeless individuals being counted, and drug overdoses and homicides seeing high numbers.

Masters said despite the pandemic hurting the economy; she feels Regina is poised for economic growth.

“I think before us we have enormous economic opportunities that I don’t think the City of Regina has ever been faced with before,” she said. “It’s about seizing upon those to have growth in our City, and I think specifically are tourism industry. Our hotels, restaurants, and our retail are very much looking forward to coming out of this on the other side and getting back to work and welcoming people back to our city.”

She said focusing on the homicide and homeless count, she feels the Community Well-Being and Safety Plan that council approved last year is a good first step.

“The Community Well-Being and Safety plan that was passed, one of the areas of focus is community safety; it’s both real and perceived,” Masters said. “I do sit on the Regina Police Commission as well, and I know the commission is extremely interested in organizing more community outreach to do determine and to understand what folks want in order to feel safe. Part of our job is to support the police in terms of what they do to both prevent and solve crimes that occur.”

As for the homelessness problem the City is facing, Masters believes working with different organizations can help.

“Continued collaboration with the community-based organizations that address some of the issues, not just of the housing insecurity but the underlining issues, whether that is addictions or mental illness or poverty, and collaborating with the province,” she said. “At the end of the day, all parties need to come together for the solutions that are going to be effective, and what’s effective for some particular folks won’t be effective for the others, so it’s always about being willing to adapt and continuing working through those issues.”

Looking forward to 2022, she said she feels optimistic about Regina taking its rightful place as an urban-rural connection.

“We started as a City back in the 1880s as an outpost for agricultural supplies, and so it seems to be that we’re returning back to our roots,” she said. “I look forward to being a global ag and food hub, and what that means is really being that connector piece, between what we do so well here, which is agriculture and being that source of processing, and manufacturing, and tech relative to those things, so we can share it world.”

More from Play92