City Council Highlights
Below are some of the highlights from the June Council and Committee meetings. The full reports can be found at saskatoon.ca/meeting.
Renaming John A. Macdonald Road
City Council voted unanimously to rename John A. Macdonald Road as a way to further reconciliation in our city. I want to thank Saskatoon Tribal Council Chief Mark Arcand and Councillor Kirton for their work in bringing this forward.
This is an important step for our city in honouring the truth of Residential School Survivors and their families. It recognizes the harm of holding up the name of someone instrumental in the creation of institutions that created so much pain and trauma, and that continues to affect thousands of residents in our community today.
I will be working with Councillor Kirton, residents of John A Macdonald road, and with Elders and Survivors, to make this a process that builds bridges rather than one that creates divisions. We know that this will cause disruption to the residents who live on the streets, but we will work together as a community through the name changing process.
Sustainability of Saskatoon Curling Organizations
Local curling clubs are very important and have been a major backbone to our community for generations. We want to find a way forward that ensures their sustainability over time. Building codes, COVID, and taxes are all playing a part in a combination of factors that are creating challenges for curling clubs. I had hoped we’d be able to find a cleaner way to address the issues being faced and provide more flexibility for clubs to generate revenues to stay fiscally stable.
With the passing of two motions, the City will create a Recreation and Sport Grant Program similar to the Culture Grant Program that provides annual operating funding to recreation and sport organizations through a combination of grant dollars and tax abatements. Administration will also bring a report back on how many organizations meet the criteria for the new program to be created. This program would be open to organizations other than strictly curling clubs.
High Performance Civic Building Approach
The High Performance Building Policy considers how to reduce emissions impact as part of the City’s targets to cut Greenhouse Gas emissions by 40% by 2030. The decisions made by Council will set a path to allow civic buildings to be better positioned to manage operational costs, construct, and operate buildings above the existing standards. These decisions move the City forwards towards achieving net-zero facilities that will also lower emissions, improve building quality, and save on utility costs. This policy to guide the way that civic buildings are designed and built is set to be finalized by the end of 2021.
Hoist the Hoops Basketball Court
Hoist the Hoops is a group of community leaders including Michael Linklater, Michael Donauer, and Marcus Storey. They are raising funds to build an exciting feature outdoor basketball court at River Landing Phase 2. City Council has now unanimously approved the concept and the location as well as a framework to receive donations. Hoist the Hoops has pledged to raise all of the funds to build the court and make contributions to the operations of it.
This project will provide more amenities for residents in the area and those who come from throughout the city to play basketball. Hopefully this can help lead to the next Michael Linklater star developing their skills on Saskatoon courts.
A number of Innovative Housing Incentives including tax abatements were granted for new projects designed to incorporate low and mixed-income units. This will help Saskatoon’s housing supply for people of all income levels.
After review from the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation Review Board, Council passed second reading of a bylaw amendment that would allow for development on the current parking lot of the land owned by Knox United Church.