Meewasin Valley Authority Funding
Whenever I go to schools or talk to the young citizens—and future leaders—of our community, the number one concern that I hear about is environmental sustainability. These young people are concerned about the large, complex problems that will affect our community and our planet for the generations yet to come. In Saskatoon and Saskatchewan, the work that the Meewasin Valley Authority does in conservation, trail development and education is crucial to this work and in making sustainability part of the culture of Saskatoon.
The recent cutbacks and legislative changes by the provincial government are putting the future of the Meewasin Valley Authority in jeopardy. When I speak with provincial cabinet ministers or provincial leadership candidates I bring up the importance of Meewasin and the benefits of maintaining this partnership between the City, the Province and the University.
In the recent budget deliberations, the City agreed to increase its funding to Meewasin by $331,000 to help set them up for success into the future. As a board member of Meewasin, I’ve seen a tremendous effort to find cost savings while still delivering on the mandate of the agency. This hasn’t been an easy process, but through it we have been able to create a plan that works for the City, the Province and the University. The City’s increase in funding will help Meewasin during a time of uncertainty and can set Meewasin up for success in the long term.
The work that the Meewasin Valley Authority does is not a luxury for a certain group in Saskatoon, but it benefits people across the community and region. Meewasin preserves and enhances the river valley, helps the Saskatoon region grow in a sustainable way, pulls together expertise on issues of conservation, promotes environmental stewardship in our community and is critical to the very identity of Saskatoon. Without this partnership, it would cost any one of the partners 1.2 to 4.6 times as much to offer the same services as it costs Meewasin. Meewasin has had such success because it is a collaborative effort, and all partners must recognize this and continue to make these investments.