Former Regina Mayor Pat Fiacco has downtown plaza named after him

·3 min read
Pat Fiacco says he is happy his family was present during the downtown plaza renaming ceremony. (Jennifer Francis/CBC News - image credit)
Pat Fiacco says he is happy his family was present during the downtown plaza renaming ceremony. (Jennifer Francis/CBC News - image credit)

Regina's City Square Plaza was renamed to the Pat Fiacco Plaza on Wednesday afternoon.

Fiacco, who was mayor of Regina from 2000 until 2012, said the event was humbling.

"When you get into politics, you don't do it to have something named after you, you do it to give back to the community," he said. "It's humbling, it's an honour, [it's] something I don't take for granted."

Fiacco said having his family — especially his mom and dad who are 92 and 93 respectively — present during the unveiling was important to him.

"I'm just grateful that they're alive to actually see what a difference they made in our lives," he said. "I don't think they would have expected back in 1957, when they made a decision to move to Regina, that there would be a plaza with the Fiacco name on it."

Former Mayor Michael Fougere was also in attendance at the renaming ceremony.

He said his council passed the motion to rename the plaza after Fiacco and he is pleased "it actually did happen."

"I'm very proud of Pat, [he] has been a leader of our community for so many years," Fiacco said. "This recognition really sets the tone for his legacy."

From city council to carbon capture on First Nations

Fiacco was just turning 50 when he left office nearly 10 years ago.

"There [were] some things I wanted to get done outside of politics and there's still more things I want to get done," Fiacco said.

When asked if he would ever return to politics, he said he will "never say never," but is quite happy with his current work.

Richard Agecoutay/CBC News
Richard Agecoutay/CBC News

He said as of right now, he is working with First Nations on their economic development files, a path he said is "very rewarding."

"I also work with a company called Carbon RX, that is a carbon capture company, specifically focusing on First Nations lands so they actually get to participate in the carbon economy via carbon credits on their lands," he said.

Fiacco's council was the first one in Canada to raise a First Nations flag outside of city hall. Regina has permanently flown the Treaty 4 flag since 2011.

"When we talked about 'I Love Regina', it's about an inclusive community, our vision was about inclusiveness," he said, referring to the slogan and campaign for Regina that his council developed.

When asked what he thought about the argument that the plaza should have been named after an Indigenous person, Fougere said it wasn't an "either or" situation.

"This, I thought, was a really good way to demonstrate what Pat did for our city," he said. "[On] the issues of Indigenous recognition, we have many parks that we recognize, we have streets that we recognize for Indigenous [people] as well.

"We celebrate diversity in our city."

Advice for current council

Fiacco said he believes his council "thought big" over the 12 years he was mayor. He believes people started realizing that Regina could "be more than we actually were."

"If you don't think big and you don't dream big, then nothings gonna happen."

When asked what he thinks about the direction current city councillors are going, Fiacco said that during his time, council's goal was to always do things for the greater good of the community.

"If you do that, then everybody wins, but if you've got a personal agenda and you come to city council as a council member, you end up dividing a community," he said.

"If I was to give advice, not that they've asked for it, the current mayor and council, I think they need to look at the big picture for Regina. What's in the best interest of every person living in this city?"