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Nov. 25, 2022

They're Just Not Serious Individuals

They're Just Not Serious Individuals

Welcome back to The SKoop! In a bit of a twist, this week the gang discusses municipal politics, with the very bizarre story about two Regina city councillors suing the City of Regina manager over homelessness funding, the response to that from Mayor Sandra Masters, and wonder whether it's all just a political bank shot to set up a campaign run against Masters in 2024. The team also discusses a possible contested nomination race between two current Saskatchewan Party MLAs in rural Saskatchewan, the evolution of media and coverage of politics, and give their thoughts on What Actually Mattered This Week.

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  • Kevin Doherty, former Saskatchewan Party MLA and cabinet minister, and current Senior Strategy Advisor at Prairie Sky Strategy; 
  • Sally Housser, NDP insider and former Saskatchewan NDP chief of staff, and current Senior Manager, Public Affairs at Canadian Strategy Group; and 
  • Dale Richardson, podcaster and former director of communications for the Saskatchewan Party. 

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Music is "Highway 94" from Blue Dot Sessions. 


They're Just Not Serious Individuals

[00:00:00] this is the SKoop, the podcast that takes you inside Saskatchewan politics from the headlines to the back rooms. Here's former Saskatchewan party cabinet minister, Kevin Doherty, NDP insider, Sally Housser, and me Dale Richardson. 

Dale Richardson: Welcome back to another episode of the Scoop podcast. As always, I'm here with my podcasters and arms, my great friends, Sally Houser. Kevin Doherty. You know, I, uh, so we, as everybody knows by now, I think we do this podcast on Thursday afternoons. I saw both of you. In person yesterday, on Wednesday.

And what a delight it was to see, to see both of you yesterday. So yeah, it was excellent. How are, how are you guys doing? And, and, uh, yeah, how's it going? How are you?

Sally Housser: Oh, uh, 

you know, grand. 

Kevin Doherty: uh, supposed to be 10 degrees, supposed to be 10 degrees or something tomorrow. So we're looking [00:01:00] forward to melting some of the snow off my back deck that's blowing in and I've been shoveling it off and maybe it just nature will take care of that. So, yeah, no, it's great American Thanksgiving.

Lots of football on today if you're a football fan.


Dale Richardson: first, that first game was great. I, I, I just caught the end of it. Uh, Buffalo won on 

Kevin Doherty: I 

Dale Richardson: a, field goal. Yeah. Last second field goal.

Kevin Doherty: didn't see it.

Dale Richardson: Sally, we were, we were watching the, the World Cup briefly together yesterday. Unfortunately, Canada didn't win. Have you, have you recovered or are you still feeling the pain


Sally Housser: Oh yeah. Uh, but you know what, I'm, I'm really proud the, the Canadian did. Belgium is the second best team ranked, the second best team in the world right now, and they only lost by one goal. They've also, they have lots of shots on net, uh, and. Has like one of the best goalies in the world. So, um, it was a, you know, a tough loss, one n uh, but really showed that they deserve to be there at this World Cup.

So I'm excited to see their, their next games.

Dale Richardson: Right.

Well, this podcast is normally a, provincial politics podcast, but I, um, we are gonna be talking about [00:02:00] municipal politics, uh, for quite a bit of this episode. Um, we're gonna talk about how the, how the media is, is changing a bit. And Kevin, Kevin, uh, was reading.

Some news articles about that this week that we'll, that we'll get to. Um, but just before we get into it, I, I, I want to remind people listening, sign up for the, uh, for the gift card referral contest. Leo Pultz Tavern. Sally and I, uh, you, you liked, Sally liked one of my tweets. Leo's just released for a limited time, a grape, vodka seltzer.

Which looks absolutely fantastic. So if you want to spend a hundred bucks on this great, uh, vodka seltzer drink that Leo's now has, sign up for for the gift card referral contest and share it with your friends and you can potentially win win one of those gift cards in addition to a gift card for Victoria's Tavern and co-op.

So there you go. Just before we get into all the other stuff, something that has been kind of bubbling. We talked about it I think in the [00:03:00] summer about some of the, um, new constituencies that are going to be created with the, with the new boundaries. And I think that legislation will be passed by the end of, I think in the fall or I think this fall that legislation is supposed to pass.

And one of the new constituencies is kindersly. And we kind of teed it up in the, in the summer when we talked about this. But at this point, my understanding is, uh, from people in the know, is that it, that it is looking like kindly, bigger constituency will be, contested by two sitting MLA's.

Ken Francis, who is the current MLA for Kindersley and Randy Weeks, who was the speaker, he's currently the MLA for, for Bigger, and I always mess up his constituency. It's bigger than something, or it might just be bigger, but it, it is, um, from all accounts, it is looking at least at this point, like those two will be challenging each other.

[00:04:00] For, for the, for the SAS party nomination in the new Kindersley, bigger constituencies. So, Kevin, uh, any initial thoughts? Obviously that's, as I said, it's looking like that's gonna happen, but two, two current sitting MLA's go, uh, government MLA's challenging each other. That could be very interesting.

Kevin Doherty: Yeah. And, and there could be more, I mean, there could be more people running in that particular constituency for the nomination. It's, you know, at the provincial level, uh, unlike some of the federal parties who guarantee incumbents, uh, The, the nomination without, uh, being contested, uh, doesn't happen at the provincial level.

I don't think it happens in the NDP provincially, uh, Sally, I could be wrong on that, but certainly in the SAS party, it's, it's to my knowledge, has never been where an incumbent is protected from a contested nomination. So you've got Mr. Francis, Ken Francis, and the speaker Randy Weeks, uh, apparently gonna go up against each other.

There could be others, but that's gonna be a very interesting race. Uh, Ken, of course, was elected in a bi-election. Ken France is elected in a bi-election after Bill Boyd stepped down. And, uh, Randy's been. [00:05:00] If memory serves, I think he's in his fourth term or something like that, as the MLA for the bigger area.

So, uh,

both will 

have significant 

Dale Richardson: 99, class 

Kevin Doherty: 1999. Okay. So both will have significant support in their respective areas and it, it could be a very interesting hotly contested domination. So, uh, the people of the members of the party of that area will choose the, choose the nominee.

Dale Richardson: Yeah, no, it's a very interesting wrinkle because, you know, there, there have been many instances where sitting MLA's have been challenged and, and even beaten. Scott Moe challenged the sitting MLA back in 2011, in the 2011 cycle and, and won the nomination and you know, the rest is history. So, but, Two current MLA's.

That is, that is, I, I can't recall a situation where, where that's happened. Um, Sally, what, uh, any, any thoughts on, on this situation?

Sally Housser: I mean, not a whole lot. It's, it's not, uh, probably a, a, a rotting that the NDP is gonna be targeting. Um, you know, [00:06:00] 


Dale Richardson: come on?

Sally Housser: Like, but I have, I do remember after, um, uh, 2015 in Alberta, uh, that there was some boundary redraws and that there was a couple of sitting MLA's, uh, that ended up having to, um, Kathleen Ganley.

I cannot quite remember, um, who the other MLA was, but they came up against each other. Winning and her retaining her seat, uh, in Calgary, one of the four, the NDP retain. So it's, you know, I, I can't remember it happening, uh, here on the NDP side in MLA's, but I've, I've seen it happen before in, in other jurisdictions and it's always, it's interesting what what will happen when you have kind of the melding of, of two ridings in a way like that, is if there is a third person that enters the contest, 

depending on if they are from the.

Area of the writing or the, the other area of the writing in terms of who they, what votes they take away from.

Dale Richardson: Yeah. That, that will be interesting. We'll, uh, we'll keep an eye on. [00:07:00] Before we get to the city of Regina, go show, the $500, uh, mo bucks. The checks still seems to be in the news there.

Uh, continued to be a couple of news stories that have trickled out a couple of columns that came out this week. Uh, I guess the premier at some point this week gave an update to the, uh, to, to the members of the media. There's still another batch of, of checks that sold to come out. I think, you know, for, he gave some numbers, I think it was 300,000 checks have been sent out and, and the rest are, are due to go out within the next 10 days.

Um, some people likely kinda natural critics of the SA pretty government, they're probably reading these stories and getting excited about it. Maybe thinking that, you know, These delays make the government look somehow incompetent or something. But I'd like to ask you guys, maybe Sally, I'll, I'll just quickly, uh, on this is the fact [00:08:00] that this is still in the news and the fact that as we cont, as we're now closer to, to Christmas, and we talked about affordability.

You brought it up last week, Sally, is the fact that this is still in the news. Um, that people are going to be getting these checks right before Christmas, kind of right. In the, in this time of year, particularly if people are, are having a tough time, does this benefit the government with these maybe delays, let's call them, or taking a little bit longer than, than we maybe thought, or, or does it really not matter at all?

Sally Housser: I don't think it really matters. 

Um, you know, uh, just like I I, I joked with, uh, with you before we started, uh, I'm sure that they're happy anytime that, uh, the 500 bucks is, is mentioned, and so I appreciate. You two sha party, uh, guys wanting to, wanting to discuss it again. Uh, but you know, I think that people who have, who have gotten their, like I, I, I think kind of the juice that they were going to get out of it has been gotten.[00:09:00] 

Dale Richardson: Mm-hmm. 

Sally Housser: Whether somebody got got their check three weeks ago or, or three weeks from now. 

Um, I also don't think that there's any real damage in saying, oh, you know, the rollout's, uh, a little bit slow or like we talked about the other day, so, you know, somebody who was deceased got a check or anything like that.

Any of these little stories, nor do I think it, it, it does any damage. I think that the, the juice that they were gonna get out of that announcement, Was really when that was, was made. And then people get their 500 bucks and well, and now and they've been told You're gonna get it. And so you get it and you go, yeah, right.

I had it coming to me. That's great. Like 

it's, you know, people are expecting it. It's not gonna be the, the kind of like extra out of nowhere. I mean that, that's my read on it.

Dale Richardson: Right. No, and, and I should say it's, it's not me and Kevin who wanna keep talking about this. I, I specifically mentioned the, the stories from, you know, members of the press gallery who keep writing about it. And there, there, there have been some funny social media posts from, from like, genuinely funny, [00:10:00] I think not like critical posts of the government, um, about that.

You know, it's that some people still haven't gotten their checks, so people. Outside politics are, are wondering about it. Kevin, as a, as a former finance minister, just, just as we move on, wrap up from this, um, any, uh, any, any thought is, is it, is the fact that it's taking a little bit longer to get to everybody in the province, is that, is that okay?

Or if you, if you were cracking the whip, would you want them out the door

like, you know, three weeks ago?

Kevin Doherty: Well, you want, uh, anytime you announce something, you want it done as, as. As crisply and as efficiently as possible, 

obviously. But I mean, keep in mind, the politicians 

set the policy and they hand it over

to officials. The administration of the, of the, uh, dispersing of the checks is not in the hands of the politicians.

It's, it's being administered by, whether it's finance officials, I, I'm assuming it's the Ministry of Finances looking after this. So, They'll have hired some company, a third party, third party database to use, uh, to get the checks out. So I haven't got mine [00:11:00] yet, so I'm, I'm, uh, maybe I gotta 

Dale Richardson: Yeah, neither have 

Kevin Doherty: colleagues and, and, uh, but, uh, the 

previous said, 

Sally Housser: on the horn. 

Kevin Doherty: Yeah, the premier said that, you know, there's x number of hundred thousand been 

delivered and there's, there's, expect if you haven't received it yet, expect it the next

10 days or so.

So, uh, I suspect if you got towards Christmas in, there's always

gonna be somebody who won't get their checked for, for some reason, and they're gonna, you know, want to maybe set up a, a 100 line or something like that, or some call-in center to deal with that kind of stuff. If there's, if there's a number of people that haven't received their check by Christmas time or something like that.

But, uh, it's, it's in the administration's hands now.

Dale Richardson: Yeah. It's kind of, it's kind of like when, uh, political parties have. leadership races and people haven't got their ballots. I mean, I remember Sally, you, you've been through leadership


Sally Housser: Oh, I sure 

Dale Richardson: know, that's, uh, that's I would say members paid party member, political party members 

who haven't got their ballot yet.

Probably, more, uh, tougher to deal with than people who haven't got a $500 check. 

Uh, you know, [00:12:00] 

Kevin Doherty: I just, just, I, I remember, obviously it's well known that I supported Scott Mo for the leadership of the SAS party. But I remember the morning of 

the convention, the Saturday, my mother 

phoned me and mom had a, 

a, a a ballot and she hadn't mailed it yet, or, and she's sitting in Regina and I'm of course in Saskatoon where the, where the convention's going on.

And , there was a certain deadline that day to get ballots into the, where the, uh, the leadership conference was going on. And so I literally, uh, called one of my friends who had one of his friends go over to my mom's place, pick up her ballot, and literally drove it to Saskatoon 

so we could get in on time to, uh, to support the premier. 

Dale Richardson: people do crazy things to get those, get their votes in. It's good though. It's good.

Kevin Doherty: out. Get out the vote. 

Sally Housser: I mean, I still have PTSD from my, my time doing a leadership race in the ballot process, 

so I'm happy to move on. 

Dale Richardson: Peter Mansbridge yelled at you, you said last week. Yeah, 

Sally Housser: Yeah, 

Dale Richardson: All right. So as I said, uh, uh, of course our, our bread and butter for this podcast is, provincial politics. [00:13:00] This is, this is, this is our background. This is where we have worked the three of us. But there was something that happened this week, yesterday, Wednesday, this happened, uh, and, and to the people in Saskatoon. and all other parts of this province, uh, sorry, um, that we're talking about that might not be as relevant, but the city of Regina and a couple of city counselors in particular, there was a bit of a happening yesterday it's pretty wild. Uh, I haven't seen really anything like this. I, I can't recall.

Um, now mind you, there are definitely crazier city councils out there in the world. Uh, Toronto, I can obviously comes to mind. Calgary seems to have, you know, some, some weird things going on. But basically the gist of it, for folks that don't know, um, two city counselors, Dan, Le Blanc, who is Ward whatever, counselor, and Andrew Stevens, they have sued the city manager of the, of the [00:14:00] city of Regina. City management did not include in the proposed budget as a line item. They did not include funding to, to end homelessness in the city of Regina. There is a lot going on here. and by the way, they've also, part of this lawsuit, uh, is a, uh, well known person in Regina, uh, Florence Stratton, who is, she's involved in all kinds of social justice. So she's, she's, she's another party in this lawsuit. But there is a lot going on here, a lot to unpack, which I'd, I'd like us to do that. But Sally, I'm gonna start with you here. What, what the, what is going on here with this, with this situation? Please, uh, please help everybody understand it because it, it's really something I think.

Sally Housser: well, my read from it is that there was a motion by city council that my understanding is that, that it passed, um, to put, and that I think that is a critical [00:15:00] part of this. That there wasn't just a motion. There was a motion that was voted on and passed. By city council to include this as a specific line item in the budget so it can't be rolled into another group of funding to address homelessness in Regina.

Uh, and then that wasn't done. And so before we go, kind of, you know, I, I like, I, there must in my mind when I go back, like, are there not other recourses to suing, 

but, but to have the city manager or, or, and you know, the staff not take into account the will. Of the council, I think is, is, is something that does need to be addressed.

And I think, you know, if you were to have a government vote on legislation and bills either at the provincial or, or federal level and um, you know, and then the bureaucracy, they might argue with you or they say that this can't be done or whatever if you, but usually that [00:16:00] happens at the legislation part of things.

Um, but if you had somebody simply go, yeah, we're not gonna do. that would be a problem. And so I, I wanna send that as the context here before we get into, you know, how wild it is to have kind of city counselors and citizens suing the manager. But then I look, you know, so that is the context they had, the city council voted to put a line item 

of funding addressing homelessness in Regina specific in the budget.

And that did not happen Now. 

Dale Richardson: a, it's important context. Thank, thank you for adding that in. 

Sally Housser: Yeah. But now, so, but again, my understanding is that this was the, the draft budget that came. . And so I'm just wondering what if there was another avenue or recourse by city Council? Um, and this is where, you know, uh, I, I'd love it if, uh, you know, uh, any of our listeners, um, cuz I know there's a few out there who follow city Council closer than I do.[00:17:00] 

Um, you know, was there not a way to, for the council who voted in favor of this to then reject this draft budget without the line item? Um, and if not, like, you know, I, I just, you know, how we get to the, the litigation part of it is something I haven't, haven't seen before. 

Uh, and I just wonder if there were not other legislative, uh, roads and perhaps there aren't, and perhaps there aren't.

And then, in which case, I don't know what you do as a council when you've voted on something past, something given a direction. Uh, and it simply does not.

Dale Richardson: and to, and to get to the, to the litigation so quickly. I, I, I, I think is, is

Sally Housser: Well, I think, you know, and I, I, I think that this motion motion was passed back in June. 

So it's not something that there wouldn't have been time to discuss or have. And again, I don't know what was happening behind the scenes. If the city manager had gone to the mayor and said, listen, this simply can't [00:18:00] happen.

You've gotta go back to counsel on this or, or anything like that. I did see, uh, mayor Masters's response, um, to, to the, the, the proposed litigation. Um, and it was certainly as, um, I guess angry as I think I've, I've 

seen her on something before and that was, uh, you know, I get it. Uh, but I, like, I just, I wanna know more to be honest of 

the story here, the background and, and like I said, if, if we got any listeners who wanna kind 

of write in and and fill us in on a little background, that would be great.

Cuz there's just, there's a lot of ins and outs of what have yous here that, or steps that I feel like could have and should have and would've been taken. Be between that motion passing and, and here we are six months later getting, 

getting, uh, litigious. 

Dale Richardson: Well, I want us to talk about, uh, at least our thoughts 

without not knowing, you know, 

all the, all the machinations behind the, you know, 


the you know, what's [00:19:00] actually going on. But I'd like 

us to, to try to think about what is actually, 

why did this happen? But Kevin, tell me your, um, 

just an, you know, overview 


What's, uh, what, what the hell is going on with this 


Kevin Doherty: I have a different take on the context that I heard anyway, but let, let me just start by saying, I'm always loath to say, to call anybody crazy or stupid or anything like that. Uh, with respect to people in public life. No, and I, and I mean this seriously because 

I, I said this when, when Premier Smith or Danielle Smith won the leadership in Alberta and there was literally pundits, uh, down east calling her bat shit crazy. Right. I mean, I, I just don't think that kind of language serves any of us in public discourse on policy decisions or debates of this. Now, my understanding of the context is that direction was given Sally's right by, by City Council to the administration back in June. Now, keep in mind, this city manager started at the city on November 1st, less than a month ago.

And from all, uh, uh, what I've read about, uh, this particular individual, she's a highly [00:20:00] accomplished professional that, uh, came, uh, highly recommended by the search firm that, that, uh, that found her and, and, uh, would, would've been interviewed by the executive committee of council and hired by council. So let's keep that in mind in context.

Now, direction was given to present the option of what would this cost. To address the issues that Counselor LeBlanc and Counselor Stevens talked about with respect to eliminating homelessness in, uh, in the city of Regina. So, administration went around, went back and did their work, and came back to council.

They have a responsibility to present a budget to council within the parameters of having a balanced budget. By law, they can't run a deficit budget. In municipal, uh, governance, in in governments in Saskatchewan. So they didn't feel, this is my understanding, they didn't feel that they could put that line item in the budget and still achieve the objectives that council gave them with respect to mill rate increases and balance budgets and all this kind of stuff.

So the draft budget they presented back to council did not include the line items specifically on the homelessness, although they presented the analysis and the information as to what they estimated it would cost, if you included that. [00:21:00] Now, I heard the mayor this morning as well and her term was not mine.

This is crazy town because by simple way of motion with Counselor Lab and Stevens, if they had got a majority of their fellow counselors to direct administration to go back and redo the budget, they would've simply passed that motion and, and done it to go to the extreme of, of having a private citizen backed by a city counselor as a private citizen.

In other words, Andrew Stevens. Uh, launch a lawsuit against the city manager as an individual represented by Counselor Lab, bla, who's a lawyer in his professional life, not as a city counselor, but as a lawyer. He would represent that motion against the city manager to me, has unfathomable consequences. If you think about any public official now who's working in a, in advising governments of any stripe and at any level, and if you're.

When's the next time City Administration's gonna put forward some type of policy analysis to the city council if they don't already know that that's what City Council wants [00:22:00] for fear of being sued. If you and I were at the same function last night, Dale, and, and, uh, there was a number of business people there and, and elected members, uh, from both sides of the house at that function, and there was a few lawyers in, in the room, and I, I had a conversation with someone.

First and foremost, these lawyers said they can't imagine any judge in the province in Court of King's Bench even entertaining this motion in their courtroom because they're getting into public policy decisions. And if you think, if you take it to its extreme, this, if, if a judge does hear this kind of case, and let's say, let's go to the extreme.

And they rule in favor of the, of the, of the motion brought forward by the citizen and Counselor Stevens represented by Counselor Leblum. And they're successful in the injunction against, uh, the city manager. Well, what's to say? An MLA sitting on the government side and the legislature doesn't get his or her way with treasury board and ca and it launches, launches the lawsuit against the premier.

The speaker of the house for not, not getting their way, so to speak, against the finance. So it just, you 

know, that's, I'm going to the extreme here, but if you [00:23:00] just think about the unintended 

consequences of how our system's supposed to work at these different levels, I just don't know what the thinking was behind this.

And I, I suspect that, you know, they're gonna pull this back in, 

in due course. I'm sure they're getting lots of feedback from. Friend and fo alike 

as to what to do here. But, uh, this really throws, uh, uh, a hand gring into the relationship between professional,

um, administrators. And elected officials with respect to the trust that they need to have for being able to present options and analysis, maybe behind closed doors, maybe not in in front of the cameras, to say to whoever, you know, you asked us to look at this.

Here's the results of what we looked at. You make the decision whether you want this or not, which council still has the opportunity to do with this budget? Let's not forget that. So anyway.

Dale Richardson: Well, no. Uh uh. 

Sally Housser: And I, I do find the whole mixing of counselor, private, citizen lawyer, um, 

you know,[00:24:00] 

I don't know if 

distasteful is not the word, but like, it just doesn't sit right with 

me of of that kind of private, you know, the, the, the mixing of your, your, your two, kind of the, 

two hats you wear. Um, I find that, uh, odd as. 

Dale Richardson: Yeah, it's not a great welcome to the new city manager. Like, uh, 

three weeks, like, can you imagine you guys 

being, uh, starting a new job and three 

weeks in you're getting sued by by really your boss, right? I mean, that's not a, 

Kevin Doherty: your, that's exactly what's, that's exactly what's happening. 

Dale Richardson: Yeah. So, um, and of course she, she needs to

hire private, private, uh, legal counsel for 

Kevin Doherty: I think that the 

city manager will be represented by, uh, legal 

counsel, has to be paid for by the 

taxpayer because I'm sure she's got, uh, uh, you know, errors and emissions and liability insurance as a,

as the, the top, uh, bureaucrat at city hall. 

And anytime a city official is sued.

Who's doing work on behalf of The, city will have legal, [00:25:00] uh,

counsel available to them, paid for by the taxpayer. But

I mean, yet again, the, the reason she

has to have legal counsel paid for by the taxpayer. She's being sued by two of her council members who are her defacto bosses, you know, part of 11 members that are her, her, her bosses.

So it's, it's just strange in so many ways. 

Dale Richardson: Right. So 

as, as, 

political practitioners, the three of us 

at least used to be, you know, depending on the day, sometimes we still 

Kevin Doherty: Reco. I'm a recovering politician. 

Dale Richardson: Yes. I believe that this is, it's all about politics and obviously it's, it's, it, it appears to be about homelessness. But I think there was, there were a couple of interesting things that were, uh, reported.

One is that Dan, LeBlanc, I, I think he was quoted as saying that, that they wanted to put this line item in the budget to force counselors and the mayor to vote on. To basically put their, [00:26:00] put their name on the record as we are either in favor of ending homelessness or, or we are, we are not in favor of doing that.

And obviously there is a lot of gray, there's a lot of gray, um, space in the middle there

where you can very, you can very much be in favor of ending, uh, 

that, but you're not 

prepared to. Um, pay 125 million 

and, and the mill rate, uh, goes up 21% to whatever 


Sally Housser: think what, what was the actual number? It wasn't 125 million that the city came back with 

to address. Was it? 

Dale Richardson: 120, uh, 124 I think 

Kevin Doherty: think they, I think they 

Dale Richardson: a, is a figure that 

Kevin Doherty: I 

think they said 98 million in capital costs for building a home or having a home for each one of these 400 and some homeless people. Uh, and then 25 million annually for operating, uh, is what the numbers I read. But, uh, I haven't seen the budget itself. 

Sally Housser: Yeah. 

Dale Richardson: so there's this concept of [00:27:00] a bank shot in politics where a politician or a party or you know, somebody in politics, they do, they do something. But really their intention is to do something else. You know, it, it's like in basketball, the bank shot off the glass and it goes into the hoop.

Is this, is this a very early attempt to set up the next mayor's race in 2024? Is it, it's not necess, it's not first about homelessness, but it is about, you know, for somebody like Andrew Stevens, I don't think Dan LeBlanc is going to run for mayor or seek higher political office. I think even, counselor, Le Blanc sees that he might have some limits there.

but is this an initial move to set up something like that to force the mayor or other counselors to, to put themselves in an awkward position And Counselor Stevens is, is leading the way, 

Sally Housser: You're giving me an opportunity 

to use. Once again, one of my favorite 

[00:28:00] expressions that I 

use so frequently in politics never attribute to cutting what could be attributed to incompetence. And I'm not saying that it is incompetent 

and. My mind, it is very admirable to bring attention to, to homelessness and think about 

ways we can 

actually deal with it and fund it, um, and things like that.

And I think forcing, you know, uh, forcing it, uh, forcing counselors to, you know, put themselves on the record of, of how much. You know, money, we should be investing in these type of things. And particularly when we're getting into, uh, you know, winter and, uh, where people die on the streets. Uh, and also in the, you know, in the contacts, people don't also want homeless camps.

They also 

don't want 

They don't wanna spend the

money. They don't want people in their neighborhood. They don't want camps set up. They don't want, you know, so, so I think as 

reasonable, I think that 

there's a couple of 

steps. Uh, that should have been 


through in, in this one, particularly as 


talk about the, the law of unintended consequences and what it [00:29:00] means for various different issues of the rule. 

Kevin Doherty: Well, you know, if that's the question, Dale, if that's the thinking behind what they're, what they're doing, uh, Up an issue, 

um, that they think is a winning issue. And, and

you know, let me just say who's not 

against. Or who's against 

ending homelessness? I mean, come on. It's, it's,

it's, it's, none of us wanna see people sleeping on the streets or, or, or living in tent camps and what have you. but 

but in the context of a

political campaign, if we're using straight political analysis on this, if, if Andrew Stevens or Dan Lalo wants to use this as a launching pad

to run for mayor, if Sandra Masters runs again in, in whatever the next election is, 2024. If I'm Sandra Masters' campaign and Dan la bla, or Andrew, Steven stands up and says, I wanna end.

If I'm Sandra Masters campaign manager, her only tagline is they wanna increase your property taxes by 21%. Let's go to the ballot box with those questions. I mean, so if, if this is what they're, if this is what they're attempting to do, uh, I think [00:30:00] Sally's right, it, it, it, uh, from a political strategy perspective, it's not the way to go about it.

Sally Housser: you know, and also we've gone and, and, and you know, of course nobody doesn't want to end homelessness, but the difference is, People place it on the priority list of financial output. Right? That's, that's the difference. Um, but the other thing is, is you run, you run the risk here of something that could have been, 

um, you know, made, uh, 

a larger issue at it at City Hall that is now overshadowed

by this weird legal 

Dale Richardson: Mm-hmm. Yeah. By the, by the process of 

it and just, yeah. Getting outta control. Yeah. Well, that's what, yeah, that's why I think it's, it's, it's, 

so interesting if it, if it was just about the issue and not about 

politics or campaigns down the 

road, um, couldn't, they, couldn't this just have gone to the, to the budget 

debate and

c Stevens 

just put, makes 

a motion to include it as a line item with the 


And have them vote on it, which it's why, [00:31:00] it's 



tactic of taking them to court is just, it's so, so weird. It's too much.

Kevin Doherty: Well, I heard counselor, I heard counselor Olan 

in the video clip. I saw this 

morning on the news saying that we had 

no other choice. We had no other, 

uh, uh, path of recourse. I just respectfully disagree. And then the mayor was on 

saying, that's just simply not true. So it's, it's 

if you want publicity 

and you kind of want that, that, uh, The attention focused on you for some issues. I mean, this is the second time. Now, keep in mind, the 

counselor, la bla, has been at the center of

some very controversial policy, uh, pronouncements. He was the one that also

said that the city of Regina should get out the business or, or cease and assist all funding 

of sponsorships from those new oil and

gas sector as they're looking at Mosaic Stadium.

When you talk about resource extract. Which oil and gas is, there's Mosaic Stadium sitting on the grounds of Evers place at the time, which is in the pipeline building business of some 1200, you know, at that time of some 1200 residents of the city, [00:32:00] Regina, it just, and I mean the, the uproar from that particular pronouncement, obviously he retracted on that and, and pulled it back and, you know, city council just did not pass that, uh, that particular motion.

But this is the second time now. So one seriously has to question, um, the judgment. And that's as kind as I as I wanna be or as mean as I want be to, you know, whichever way you wanna look at it. The judgment of what these counselors are putting forward here. This is a serious business when you're dealing with other people's money as a steward of their, of their tax dollars.

And you need to have serious people, um, who take these issues on, agree, disagree on the policy, but this kind of process stuff that has, has blown up in their faces here, um, just leads me to believe that they're not just serious individuals on these issue.

Dale Richardson: So, uh, last last thing is we wrap this up, uh, cuz we're, we're getting on to time here. Uh, CBC in, in the one story today that kind of gave the full rundown of this, there was a really interesting quote. It said, uh, quote, [00:33:00] other counselors were not consulted ahead of the lawsuit being filed and quote, which, uh, I found interesting that, you know, it makes one wonder what, you know, uh, le bla and Steven's political allies on council.

Um, what, what, 

they may think about this 

Sally Housser: it's not a

way to win friends and influence 


Dale Richardson: Dale Carnegie. Yeah,

Sally Housser: Yeah, 

Dale Richardson: So anyway, I'm sure there's more to come out outta this thing, but, um, but again, apologize. Um, uh, my apologies to people in Saskatoon and elsewhere in the, in this province, but, uh, yeah, it's a big, big issue 

and, uh,

That much going on in terms of the legislative assembly this week, or not?

Not as 

much as, as normal.

So, um, Kevin, you, read an interesting, uh, news article. 

Um, it was a column this week. just, just really quickly, um, about how the media landscape 

is, is 



uh, tee us up for [00:34:00] that. 

Give us, give us your thoughts and your takeaways from this, from this column you were, you were reading and the political context of it.

Kevin Doherty: Well, it just, I mean it, you know, there, yeah, there's many aspects 

to it. 

Uh, uh, the column that. I


to the 

two of you, uh, talked about how the uh, the mainstream media, or at least

the The support of mainstream media is dwindling rapidly in the country, and, and, and many of these, particularly in the newspaper

industry, are being 

held up 

Uh, they're on lifelines, uh, and 

would not survive, uh, save 

for the, the federal government providing money to them, 

subsidies to them, 

um, taxpayers dollars again,

uh, to, uh, the editor of the two large, uh, the Star Phoenix and Leader Post wrote, uh, sometime the 

last 10 days or so about how the media, and he used the police example, are ducking the media by putting out these videos and, and communicating directly to, to audiences on these different platforms.

And, and, uh, you know, that's not the way it's done and they have to face the media that, and I'm thinking to myself, things are changing rapidly there, Mr. Editor. [00:35:00] And, and you better keep up with the times cause the politicians have figured out a. 

To go around you with mainstream media and they don't need to have you filter what the messages they're trying to deliver directly to voters.

And I just found it very interesting that they seem to have this entitlement that politicians of any political stripe have to face the media with respect to, uh, uh, the, the decisions that they're making and almost insist upon it. And as opposed to, What we're seeing now, and I think Trump really started this by, by Twitter and not, again, I'm not a Twitter user, but, but communicating directly to people that are on Twitter.

And Sally knows a lot more about this than I do. She's a Com specialist. And, but I just, I find it interesting that the media, uh, um, Platforms are changing rapidly and the mainstream media, if they don't keep up with it, are going to lose the audiences that they so desperately need to stay in business and fighting these old wars of the [00:36:00] 1980s or nineties is just.

It, they've gotta move on. And, uh, you know, having a temper tantrum about politicians facing the press gallery and Pier Poly said it best. I think he had a scrub the other day, said, well, why do I only have to talk to the Ottawa Press Gallery? There's there's thousands of other media outlets out there that I can speak to, to get my message out directly to voters.

I'm not beholden to the parliamentary press gallery. And they were like, consulted by it. But I, it's just very interesting. I, I'd appreciate your guys' thoughts on it. 

Sally Housser: Well, it, it really started in Canada with Steven Harper with the five questions of, um, I decide. I'm only taking five questions outta Scrum and nor normally like before that people would just really kind of, you know, scrum until, you know, the reporters were out of questions. Not, not really. You'd call things at a reasonable times after half hour or whatever, but the, the idea so that, that's been kind of heading that way for a while.

I agree with you, Kevin. in the sense is that, uh, the, you know, more traditional media platforms have to figure out how to reconcile with this [00:37:00] and deal with it. I don't think it's a particularly good thing. Um, the thing with kind of more traditional media, either, um, you know, broadcast journalism, print journalism, uh, radio, um, that there are actual professional oversight bodies. That have a level of regulation of this, um, and there's certain standards you have to adhere to, i e not just printing straight laws. Right. And so the, the way to get around and you can talk all, you know, both the left and the right and, and even liberals think they're being hard done by, by the media sometimes.

Um, but you know, and there's spin, but it's not being able to just straight up lie or for a journalist to be able to make something up. Whereas, you know, politicians and this, 


know, this goes both ways too, of just, you can go out and say, you know, the sky is, is green And And [00:38:00] nobody there to, to, to 

say, well,

that's, that's not

true. And so you're relying 

on citizens themselves to be 

able to

determine, you know, a citizen themselves can determine, well, no, I can look outside and see the, sky is blue. But when we're 

talking about the inner workings and ins and outs and finances of a government or policy and legislation, 

you know, there's a lot of people who are 

able to say stuff that. 

Factually correct or true without any form of filter and 

question around it, and I think that's dangerous. 

Kevin Doherty: It's, I don't disagree with you. S. But the, the qualm I have with that is taking someone who's fresh outta J 

school and you're trying to explain something to them that's very technical in nature. very

complex in nature, in a 32nd clip


uh, a 10 minute scrum. And

they're writing a very 

long story to put in a newspaper that they don't have a fundamental understanding 

of what you're talking about. 

And you can talk to your blue in the face trying to 

explain it to 'em. They don't understand the fundamentals, so they print or the 

editor says, [00:39:00] well, here's what you're gonna say about this 

story. And I

think in today's day,

I don't care which channel you tune into, where your

your political leanings 


You can find a news channel that speaks to your biases very easily. 

and so even that, in that case, the standards you talk about, I don't think are no longer being adhered to for the most part. And that's, that's, that's my 

Sally Housser: I think that there's, I'm not sure where the line is, but there's a difference between spin and bias and like 

omission of not, and then just 

like straight things that absolutely aren't true, 

you know, and 

the like, where you draw 

that line is different, but I mean, that's the way we're going and I, I, once again, I'm it worry. 

Dale Richardson: Well, social, social media has, has totally changed everything. And you know, the, it, it is just a fact of life that Scott Mo, pier Poll jug me saying, Justin Trudeau, pick your politician. They now have the tools at, at their disposal to speak directly to [00:40:00] their constituents without going to the media first.

And whether, 

you know, People from post media, and I, I should say that I am a, uh, paid freelance columnist by post media. 

they, whether they like it or not, that's, that's just the way 

it is now. And, uh, yeah, they, they don't need to always talk to media. They probably should, 

but that's a, that's another further story.


Sally, we'll talk about 

healthcare next time. Uh, I know you wanna 

talk about it. So, uh, we will , 

we, we will get to that really 




mattered this week. Everybody's 

favorite segment. the feedback we've 



on this segment, you guys, by the 

way, has been really good. So, 


so thank you Kevin.

Do what, why don't you go first? What mattered? What actually mattered this week? 

Kevin Doherty: Again, nothing to Do with politics. Uh, what, actually 


this week was the city of Regina, the province of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Refer Rider organization, put on a, a a fantastic show for the entire country to see and [00:41:00] participate in, uh, during Great Cup Week and, and, uh, You know, from all reports that I


and people that 

I talked to that part, uh, participate in the events and the game just had a fantastic time.

The weather cooperated, so just kudos to the hundreds of volunteers and the people of Regina in, in Saskatchewan and who opened up their, their, uh, their homes and their hearts to welcome Canada to, to Regina for the great, so that, that really matters because it, it, it uplifts the province. It demonstrates the rest of the country that we can do these very, very, Um, high 

level, uh, entertainment events, uh, with 

the utmost of professionalism and hospitality.

So kudos to everyone.

Dale Richardson: Hmm, Sally, what actually mattered this week? 

Sally Housser: I was gonna say the exact same. I was actually gonna say the exact same thing as 

Kevin. Uh, I was about out and 

about over the 

weekend, and, uh, crucially talking to 

lots of friends of mine who work in the 

service industry, who, who, uh, 

manage or run or work at restaurants, bars, you know, shops and, and everything like that.

And [00:42:00] to see people have that really kind of good weekend after a really. Couple of years, um, uh, particularly as he head into Christmas, this industry, uh, to see people, you know, happy and feeling good and out and about. Uh, it was really nice. So I, I'd, I'd have to agree with that. It was good. good 

for the, good for the city, good for the province. 

Dale Richardson: Hmm. Yeah, really good, really good spinoff. Um, well, mine's, mine's not about the gray cup. Um, what actually mattered this week, in my opinion. Um, I, I don't think the NDP is moving the needle, um, beyond in this fall, in this fall session. And it's just my perspective. There's the news stories that have been been coming out.

The happenings at the legislative building, uh, I don't think are ones that, that objectively are going to move the needle with the public beyond, you know, the, as as we discussed the fumble with the Colin Thatcher thing on throwing speech day, I, I, I don't see, um, [00:43:00] anything, uh, at least so far that is, that is moving the needle.

And I don't know if that has to do with leadership at the top or that they're just not focusing on the right stuff or there's just nothing. But, uh, the, the NDP has so far, this fall session, in my opinion, has not, not moved the needle, but obviously as everybody knows, I have my, 

my political biases. So anyway, 

that's what I think actually mattered this week.

Well, that's all for this week. Great conversation. Thank you Kevin and Sally once again, as always, for your excellent insight and analysis. We will be back next week. As always, we're getting, uh, speaking of session, it's, we're, we're getting down to the last weeks of it, so, uh, who knows? They'll, uh, I'm sure there'll be things that that will be happening.

But thanks to everybody for tuning in, and we will see you next week.

This has been The SKoop. Kevin Doherty is a senior strategy advisor at Prairie sky strategy. You can learn more about his [00:44:00] Sally Hauser is the senior manager of public affairs for Canadian strategy group. You can learn more about her That's CDN and I'm a podcaster and public affairs professional.

You can learn more about my work at 3 0 6 media productions dot. Or just look me up on LinkedIn. The scoop is made by my podcast production company, 3 0 6 media productions. If you liked this podcast, don't forget to follow it in your favorite podcast app, Ron Spotify, apple podcasts, and all major podcast apps.

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