With just over a week left before the civic election, the current Regina city council gathered for the final time Monday night.
The meeting was special for another reason, though, as one seat sat empty.
A football jersey and helmet, flowers and a headshot graced the seat of the late Ward 9 councillor, Terry Hincks.
The meeting began with a moment of silence and a round-table of councillors reminiscing Hincks.
Mayor Michael Fougere said emotions ran high.
“This is a hard evening, filled with emotion — I think you saw that with every member of council,” said Fougere. “We lost a great friend and collegue — and far too early.”
Hincks was trying for a fifth run in the upcoming election, before losing his battle with cancer last Friday.
- ‘His heart was as big as Regina’: Mayor Michael Fougere remembers Councillor Terry Hincks
- Terry Hincks’ name will remain on Ward 9 ballot in upcoming civic election
Come election day — as outlined in Saskatchewan’s Local Government Election Act — Hincks’ name will remain on the ballot.
The Act reads: “When a candidate passes away prior to the close of voting on Election Day, they are deemed to have withdrawn from the race, however, their name will remain on the ballot. Votes cast for them will not count toward the election result and the candidate with the most votes will be deemed as elected.”
But before Regina votes, city council had some housekeeping to do.
On the agenda were a number of things, including: expanding the east end of the city, implementing traffic signals on Highway 6 North, residential road renewal, and upgrading the current Buffalo Pound water treatment facility — all of which passed.
A hot item on the list was upgrading the electrical system at the Buffalo Pound water treatment facility — something Mayor Michael Fougere said is a priority.
“(Upgrading the Buffalo Pound water treatment facility) is critical because the technology for the electrical component is outdated,” explained Fougere. “We just need to make sure that we have the technology to ensure that the water flows safe.”
The project will cost more than $42 million, and the city will be asking for federal dollars to help foot the bill.
According to council, this upgrade will create a sustainable power supply, assuring Regina and surrounding areas have clean water for the next 25 years.
At the end of the meeting, council took time to reflect.
Ward 2 councillor Bob Hawkins said being on council was a “life-changing priviledge,” while Ward 8 councillor Mike O’Donnell said the welcoming council atmosphere was one of the best parts of his term.
For long-time Ward 6 councillor Wade Murray, who isn’t returning for a fifth term, he calls council more like family than friends.
Unlike Murray, Mayor Michael Fougere is hoping for a another run.
Fougere reflected saying he came into his role with a mission to build a team and he’s satisfied with all council has accomplished.
“The wastewater plant, the stadium, the pension plans were so huge,” Fougere listed. “The RM of Sherwood and how we dealt with that, the expansion of the city boundaries, the implementation of the Regina Revitalization Initiative…so many monumental things happened over the past four years.”
Reginans head to the ballot boxes on Oct. 26.