City Council Highlights
Below are some of the highlights from the May Council and Committee meetings. The full reports can be found at saskatoon.ca/meeting.
Reintroduction of Downtown Grocery Store
Having been a City Councillor for the Downtown for 10 years, I know people have long been asking about a grocery store. This City Council has made it an objective to reintroduce a downtown grocery store for residents that live and work downtown or nearby.
This is an exciting development which comes at a time where the Downtown has been hit hard by impacts of the pandemic. This investment will be a great opportunity to ensure the Downtown has a strong future.
In order to accommodate this investment, the City will be advancing the timeline on some of the planned work along Idylwyld Drive to make this location easier and safer to access.
Moving Forward with East Side Leisure Centre – YMCA Partnership
The City is moving forward with its plans to build a new Leisure Centre in the Holmwood Development Area, in partnership with the YMCA. This planned facility would be placed between two new schools, similar to the Shaw Centre, and also include the two school boards in the planning.
This partnership has the YMCA as the primary operators of the Leisure Centre on behalf of the City of Saskatoon. This will provide more options and amenities for residents on the rapidly growing east side of the city.
Arena/Event Centre Site Options Evaluation Criteria Approved
City Council has approved a set of criteria that will help to determine the location for a new downtown arena/Event Centre site, which will be one of the anchors for the new Downtown Event and Entertainment District. We will be releasing the proposed sites for the district shortly, with public engagement following throughout July and August.
This will be a chance to make sure people understand the direction we’re going and give them the chance to weigh in on the process. Residents will get a number of opportunities to have their opinions heard on this important city-building project.
Emergency Residential Shelter Time Limit Bylaw Amended
Cities and communities across the country have seen a growing crisis of addictions, mental health and homelessness. This is something that we have been working hard to address as a City in coordination with Fire, Police, community service providers and the Provincial and Federal governments.
Last year, the Saskatoon Tribal Council stepped forward to open the Emergency Wellness Shelter. The Provincial Government recently made a significant contribution to provide the wraparound supports that could assist people to stabilize and have a better chance at moving into more permanent housing situations.
This bylaw change will allow the temporary Emergency Wellness Shelter to operate for a longer period of time than initially approved. The Saskatoon Tribal Council and the City recognize that this is not the right location for this facility and since January we have been working towards a longer term permanent facility. This is a complicated process as it requires securing a building and the funding to pay for it. The Saskatoon Tribal Council has plans underway for at least one other location, if not two, and is working as quickly as they can towards opening.
Thanks to the Administration for finding a way forward and the Saskatoon Tribal Council for educating us on how you are doing the work differently and seeing good outcomes. Partnerships are key in helping us address this complex issue.
My thanks to Assistant Deputy Minister Louise Michaud for attending the Council Public Hearing and speaking on behalf of the Province of Saskatchewan on progress and plans being made to better help our vulnerable population.
- Council has approved a borrowing bylaw for the Home Energy Loan Program that will help to make it more accessible and provide better benefits for lower income homeowners in Saskatoon.
- During the month of June, Saskatoon and Regina will be in another challenge against each other. This time, we’re out for blood. There are roughly 2400 open appointments in Saskatoon available to make a donation of blood. 1 in 2 people are eligible to donate, yet only 1 in 81 actually do. Help save lives and consider booking an appointment in June.