In a dispute between Brandt and the provincial government, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) has been left without a new home.
Based on a 2014 partnership, Brandt was to have built a new project on Wascana Park, demolishing their current building and build a 77,000-square foot building, with the CNIB as tenants. Brandt has filed a lawsuit against the government and the Provincial Capital Commission (PCC) due to the fallout from the now-dead project.
A statement from the CNIB stated that their involvement with the project is, and has always been, about the community they serve and their mission to change what it is to be blind in Regina.
“The project was designed to invest and use CNIB funds to create and deliver more programming for the blind and partially sighted community in Regina,” said a statement from Christall Beaudry, CNIB vice president, Western Canada.
In 2011, and engineering report suggested the CNIB’s old building on Wascana Park land was beyond its useful life and should be replaced. The old building demolished in 2019.
“Unfortunately, this important community project has left CNIB in the place where we found ourselves nine years ago, seeking a new affordable and accessible space to serve our community,” the statement read.
The CNIB and Brandt reached a partnership on a building in 2014. After concerns about transparency throughout the project, the provincial auditor said in 2019 the PCC must be better when it comes to approving developments in Wascana Park.
Going forward, they need to “(m)ake sure that they are getting sufficient public input and public consultation, they need to work on that area,” said provincial auditor Judy Ferguson in her 2019 report. “When they make decisions, share those decisions when they’re acting as a regulator and a steward, which is what they’re doing as a commission, and be able to defend those decisions.”