Thursday, February 01, 2007

Remai Ventures and Saskatoon City Council responsible for pending loss of historic downtown Canadian Legion Building

Wrong to portray developer as rescuer of legion branch

The StarPhoenix

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It's unconscionable that developer Remai Ventures would demolish the historic downtown legion building.

In Last dance at downtown legion draws large crowd (SP, Jan. 22) branch president John Davidson confirms what most people have thought all along: Remai made the struggling organization an offer it couldn't refuse.

The sad and wistful article misses an important point. The dance on Jan. 20 needn't be the last, for it's Remai that wants the building destroyed, not the branch.

We also can't forget city council's role in this sorry tale, when it voted behind closed doors in June 2004 not to help save the building and then kept the decision secret. Only when details began leaking out last spring did the public learn what was going on. Why has the city not been held accountable?

Remai, first and foremost, is a land developer. It clearly wanted the legion property badly enough to pay nearly four times its appraised value. The SP seems intent to portray the developer as some kind of Good Samaritan that rode to the legion's rescue.

Make no mistake; it was greed for land that carried the day, not concern for an irreplaceable piece of heritage built by local veterans of the First World War.

One does not need to be a legion member to appreciate the building's beautiful architecture, or the sacrifices made by Saskatchewan men and women in conflicts past and present.

The legion said it best in its Dec. 1, 2003, letter to city council: "The building is significant not only to our membership but also as a historical Saskatchewan building." It was built as "a memorial to their fallen comrades."

Remai and city council should be ashamed.

Debra Harder

┬ęThe StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2007

Legion future brighter

The StarPhoenix

Thursday, February 01, 2007

It was nice to see such a great organization as the downtown Royal Canadian Legion branch receive a double dose of good PR lately.

Not only has it received the media coverage needed for its membership drive but has had the opportunity to work with Ellen Remai and P.R. Developments Ltd. in preparing itself for a newer facility.

The legion was fortunate to find a strong community supporter with whom to work. P.R. Developments, like other strong-minded community businesses, has put a lot of financial support into community groups such as Tamara House, Persephone Theatre and the YWCA.

Thanks to the unselfishness of the Legion's leaders and members, Saskatoon now will have a stronger South Downtown and future legion members will have a nicer facility.

Robin Bellamy

┬ęThe StarPhoenix (Saskatoon) 2007

[Note: Mr. Bellamy, if this is the same individual, was the Saskatchewan Party (a centre-right political party formed in 1997 by a coalition of former Progressive Conservative and Liberal party members) candidate for Saskatoon Eastview in the 2003 provincial election. He is the current Ward 7 public school board trustee. -- Joe]


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