Well, we can't get together, but a virtual gathering is the next best thing. I hope you'll join Mayor Clark and I on Thursday at 7pm for a virtual Ward 2 Town Hall meeting. There will be lots of time for Q&A and I look forward to connecting with you online. No accounts will be required. Head to hilaryyxe.com on Thursday for full details.
I hope you're keeping well and staying healthy in this challenging time. Thank you for all you're doing to minimize the spread of COVID-19 in Saskatoon. I know the sacrifices and adjustments we've all made are difficult and that the uncertainty of this experience can take a toll. Maintaining connection is so important for our wellbeing while we're physically distant from our loved ones and community. Keep it up - the health of our neighbours and community depends on it. Thank you also to all who are working in essential services, are looking after children, caring for elders, or checking in on a neighbour. We're going to get through this together.
There's another virtual Council meeting on Monday, and a few updates to municipal services to catch up on, so keep reading to stay informed.
Saskatoon and COVID-19:
The City of Saskatoon's Emergency Operations Centre has been activated for several weeks, led by Saskatoon's Emergency Management Organization (EMO). A truly incredible team of individuals is leading the City's response to COVID-19. Established partnerships are informing and tied to that response, with the ethnocultural community, the business community, and the social-serving sector playing key roles among others.
Aligned with my strategic priority area of Community Safety and Wellbeing, I've been directly engaged in the work of the Saskatoon Inter-Agency Response to COVID-19. I encourage you to learn about the work of the 50+ organizations dedicated to meeting the needs of people who are especially vulnerable to the negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic due to entrenched housing and food insecurity. The site includes resources about where individuals can access certain services, and also how the community can support this essential community-based work with ongoing donations drives and contributions through the Saskatoon Community Foundation or United Way.
The City is also engaging with the Province about the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan. It is critical that this take place carefully and with as much clarity as possible. I have heard from many who find the advice around how this impacts residents and their physical interactions to be unclear. I and many others have flagged this concern and will continue to seek clarity from health professionals and Provincial leadership. City leadership is reinforcing the need to continue physical distancing to ensure we do not lose progress on flattening the curve. Up to date Provincial Public health orders can be found here.
There is a listing of additional resources on COVID-19 on the City's site. Of particular interest may be a statistical analysis of the public data around cases, testing, and more. This analysis dives deeply into the situation in Saskatoon with provincial and national context and the data is updated multiple times a week with analysis re-posted regularly.
Civic services adjustments:
City Council and Civic administration have been making careful and difficult decisions about civic services to curb the spread of COVID-19, guarantee essential services, and support Saskatoon residents. A full updated listing of all civic services impacted/not can be found at saskatoon.ca/covid-19.
Most recently, there's been discussion about garbage pickup frequency. The work to resume weekly pickup in line with seasonal adjustments is underway following Council's direction recently. Weekly pickup will start in mid-May, with the online calendar updated once start date is confirmed. Green cart pickup begins May 4 with compost depots opening the same day.
This forms part of a thorough report on Council's agenda Monday that details the Financial and Operational Implications of COVID-19. The financial impacts of COVID-19 on the City are substantial. A thoughtful and balanced plan is required to get back on track. The administration is proposing we balance the following priorirites to manage impacts, but also maintain services where reasonable and do our part to flatten the curve:
- maintaining civic services;
- reducing expenditures;
- utilizing fiscal stabilization reserves; and
- continuing to work with other orders of government on solutions.
The full report can be found at item 10.5.1 here.
And as the weather gets warmer, here are some tips about how to physically distance outdoors.
Ward 2 updates & engagements:
Visit the engagement page to check on any ongoing online engagements.
- Ward 2 Townhall - Mayor Charlie Clark will join me for an online town hall this Thursday April 30th at 7pm. I hope you'll join in to watch the livestream and ask some questions. No accounts needed, just a wifi connection and mobile or desktop device. Go to hilaryyxe.com on Thursday to connect!
- Caswell Hill and Riversdale - water infrastructure replacements with private lead service line connections in these neighbourhoods are being deferred to reduce impact to residents during the Pandemic. These will be deferred to later in 2020 or 2021. Residents whose properties are directly impacted by these projects and decisions are being contacted by administration. More details here.
Policy & updates:
The City Council section below lists policy files and land use amendments under consideration this month. Some projects are being delayed or suspended, and while things aren't quite 'business as usual', City Council and Civic administration are trying to keep as much work going as we can - in particular work that supports businesses and employees to weather this storm.
- Community Association programming: In light of the recent measures being taken by the City of Saskatoon and the School Divisions to ensure the spread of the Covid-19 virus is minimized as much as possible, all Community Association programs are postponed, including registration for spring programs. For updates on program information please contact your Community Association directly.
City Council | April 27th
City Council meets virtually on Monday. Brief highlights are outlined below. Click here to find the full agenda. City Hall is closed to the public at the moment. All correspondence on Council items must be in writing (no requests to speak will be approved). Meetings will continue to be live streamed.
Regular Business Meeting | 1:00 PM
- Corporate Leisure card - new product
- AGM notices - controlled corporations
- Internal Audit Update - year end 2019
- 2020 business incentive abatements - SREDA
- Preliminary Year end financials - 2019
- Establishment of Polling places - 2020 Local election
- Community appointments/resignations - various
- Tree protection process amendments
- Conversion Therapy - move to ban
- 2020 Capital Construction program strategy
- Transit service levels - COVID-19
- City administration support in the Community During the Pandemic Response
- Financial and Operational Impacts of COVID-19
- 2020 Property Tax levy and BID levy bylaws
- Brighton Land Exchange
- 2020 Civic Service Surveys - postponement
- Bylaw - enacting property tax 3 months deadline extension
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- Deferral of Short Term Accommodations decisions
Discretionary Use & Rezoning applications:
- none in Ward 2
Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment - Supportive Housing in B1B district
Proposed Right of Way closure - Dundonald/Valley Road (portions)- new ROW to SK Power, Recovery Park, & Landfill from Valley Road
Procedures and Committees Bylaw - process and housekeeping amendments
Proclamations and Flag Raisings
If you'd like to communicate to City Council as a whole about something on the agenda please get in touch with the Clerk's office or fill out the form before 10 am the day of the meeting.
Need to talk to the City?
You can now find all of the online services available on the City's site on one page here.
Customer Service Centre (24hr line)
Roads, Water, Sewer and Sidewalks Emergency Service - Maintenance Requests Program Information
Safety & Property Maintenance:
Report graffiti, unsafe structures, open excavations, smoke alarms, junked vehicles, long grass and weeds
Please note that these appointments help to focus my work, but do not limit my scope.
My City Council Strategic Priority: Community Safety and Wellbeing
My 2020 board and committee appointments are:
Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services
Standing Policy Committee on Environment, Utilities and Corporate Services (vice-chair)
Diversity Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee
Saskatoon Public Library
33rd Street Business Improvement District
Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership
Wanuskewin Heritage Park
Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM):
Standing Committee on Community Safety & Crime Prevention; Member
Standing Committee on Increasing Women’s Participation in Municipal Government; Member
Standing Committee on Social-Economic Development; Member
Don't hesitate to write, call, or catch me in person to discuss an issue or ask any questions you might have. If you have a service/operational question or need to speak with someone urgently please consult the list of phone numbers above, or call the 24hr Customer Service line: 306-975-2476
Take good care. Wash hands often.
All the best,