Something nobody tells you when you have children is that the second you have kids, everyone else on the face of the planet instantly becomes a parenting expert. You’re in luck though because there are only five hard and fast “rules” to successfully ensuring your replicant DNA becomes a fully actualised, contributing member of society:
- Always follow through with consequences;
- Repetition works;
- Repetition works;
- Repetition works; and
- Repetition works.
You can now ignore everyone at the airport/restaurant/family reunion who has advice for you. You’re welcome.
There’s one situation where repetition *doesn’t* work, and that’s if you violate the cardinal rule of child rearing, which is the one about consequences. If you show weakness or if there is a chink in the armour of your resolve, they will destroy you. (“They” being children. Vicious, snarling children. Seriously. “Lord of the Flies” is not a work of fiction.)
So when the City of Regina said it was going to pull the permits for development on the corner of Albert and Victoria *the first time*, everyone was all “ooooh. MOM IS USING HER LOUD VOICE” about it. Because we all believed that the City of Regina had had enough. It’s one thing to tear down an “eyesore” (arguably, the Plains Hotel was the victim of brutalist design that even its architect wasn’t fond of) in favour of a shiny new downtown condo/hotel mashup; it’s another thing to watch as the prime real estate featured pile of rubble month after month, then a blue porta-potty, then, and for the ensuing years at a time, a “feature” lovingly referred to as “Regina’s Gaping Maw”.
Far be it from me, gentle reader, to criticise private business. No doubt the private business that now owns the site on which Regina’s Gaping Maw is a primo tourist destination still has Grand Plans for the site. Why, people come from TENS of blocks away just to gaze upon the covered walkway and tumbleweeds. Those tumbleweeds don’t grow on trees, my friend.
No, the real problem here is that the City of Regina has broken the rule. They said there would be fines levied if construction didn’t resume on the site. They said that a bunch of times, and each time saw some progress – from pile of rubble to empty lot, from empty lot to porta potty, from porta potty to Regina’s Gaping Maw. But then those threats stopped working.
The City of Regina was all, “well if FINES aren’t enough, we’re going to make you fill IN the Gaping Maw!” This was followed by a layer-after-layer parfait of “we’re gonna fine you! You’re gonna hafta fill in that hole! I’m TELLING YOU, MISTER! If you’re not filling in that hole by April, you’re gonna be sorry! Fill that hole in! Fill it in! I swear if you don’t fill in that hole by September, SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN!”
But the damage has been done. The City of Regina has warned so many times of fines and backfilling and rescinding permits that at this point, whenever something comes up that involves the Gaping Maw, the entire province rolls its eyes. Except for the handful of people who unfortunately *bought in at the ‘ground level’* (as they say) and purchased condos in the Emperor’s New Tower.
Here’s a list of things older than the condos that haven’t been built at the corner of Victoria and Albert: Snapchat; Google +; Tinder; Siri; lab-grown meat; my best friend’s kid, and the list goes on. *Lab-grown meat has a longer lifespan than luxury condos*. It’s time to either follow through on those consequences or just turn Regina’s Gaping Maw into, as one Twitter user has suggested, a whale rescue operation. Or a dirt half-pipe. Or an inverted disco. Or accommodations for Winnipeg Blue Bombers fans. The possibilities are endless.