Going into these budget deliberations I had three priorities: investing in the basic services and infrastructure that citizens rely on every day, creating higher quality of life for individuals and families, and stretching the value of tax dollars through problem-solving, partnering with different groups, and making investments in the short-term that will pay off in the years and generations to come.
Council Highlights, November 2018
lanning for a Downtown Arena District This week City Council made another step forward in the replacement of SaskTel Centre and signalled that a new arena should be built downtown. We didn’t approve the construction of a new facility (and this won’t happen for awhile), but we did begin making a plan for the future. We are making crucial decisions in the months to come about Bus Rapid Transit, North Downtown development, River Landing Phase II, Idylwyld Drive and others. Now is the time to ensure these decisions are made with a future Arena/Convention district in mind, so that all the pieces fit together to make a great downtown for generations to come. These next steps will involve many stakeholders and community discussions in developing and implementing this plan.
Procurement, social enterprise, and social sustainability
The City has a tremendous amount of purchasing power within the community. This gives us tremendous potential to do things differently and have a positive effect. Each year the City spends millions of dollars on different purchases—construction projects, water main replacements, and facility repairs, to name just a few—and this is something that we can leverage beyond infrastructure improvements to have other benefits as well. I believe the City of Saskatoon has a responsibility to make sure that the investments we are making in the city are best serving the community as a whole.
City Council Highlights, October 2018
At October’s meeting of City Council, we moved forward with a decision to establish a city-wide curbside organics collection program. This is a huge step forward for our city and it will have a significant impact on extending the life of the landfill—an estimated additional 23 years. The current (and optional) green cart program has been successful, but the City’s research has shown that 58% of what ends up in the black bin is organic material that could be diverted.
Downtown, Where We Belong
In partnership, we are working to create a healthy, vibrant and prosperous environment in the heart of our city. By focusing on key strategies in collaboration with residents and businesses, we want to accelerate the plan to create a dynamic, inclusive and welcoming Downtown where everyone belongs.
Update to residents and stakeholders about the June 20 Meeting on Bus Rapid Transit and Bike Lanes
Council has been hearing questions about what will be happening at the June 20 Special Governance and Priorities meeting, in particular around the new Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) routes and the future of bike lanes in the downtown. Below is a quick overview of what to expect on June 20th.
Here are five of the issues discussed and debated in City Council in May that will have an impact on Saskatoon and the people that live here: Hiring of a City Manager | New Multi-Use Safety Pathway along CP Rail Line from Ave D to Ave W | “Downtown: Where We Belong” Initiative | Green Infrastructure Strategy | Next step for Cannabis rules in Saskatoon
An update on ride sharing in Saskatoon
I know that many people in Saskatoon are interested in the possibility of having ride-sharing companies—such as Uber, TappCar, or Lyft—come into our city. In order for this to happen, the provincial government first must pass legislation, create regulations, and sort out issues such as insurance and licensing. A couple of months ago the government introduced legislation that would begin this process, but it has yet to be passed and come into effect.
State of the City: Building a Stronger Community, Together
As I reflect this year on the state of our city, I do so in the shadow cast by the tragedy of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash. This tragedy has sent shockwaves through our city, our province, and our world. We hear of events like this happening elsewhere and we sense the devastation, but we don’t have the connections to the real lives and the people to make it real. And then it lands right in our own backyard.
Study on Train Delays in the City
City Council commissioned a study to look at the costs and benefits minimizing or even removing train delays in Saskatoon through underpasses, overpasses, and relocating the rail lines out of the city. There are a number of different issues regarding the rail study that make it somewhat confusing. While I think there is broad agreement that there would be many benefits to getting trains out of the City—from safety, to travel times, to new opportunities for redevelopment—the bottom line from the study is that there are very large hurdles to either relocating or building overpasses and underpasses.
More than you ever wanted to know about snow clearing in Saskatoon
08 MARCH, 2018 More than you ever wanted to know about snow clearing in Saskatoon Over the weekend, Saskatoon received almost 25 cm of snow, roughly one-third of all of the snow this entire...
Seeking a Way Forward
As Mayor, I have made it central to my leadership that we are stronger united than divided. It is more important than ever to confront the undercurrent of racism that has become escalated since this happened. We have been aware of racism and discrimination in our city and province, but the level of contempt and hatred that has emerged in comments online and in daily interactions has revealed the magnitude of these sentiments. This cannot be tolerated if we are to build a better society. They are a risk to our future.
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.