With holidays just around the corner, things are gradually slowing down for a quick break. Happy Holidays to you and yours and all the best in the New Year! I'm excited for what we can achieve together in 2018.

Ward 2 updates:  

- Expansion plans at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex are well underway. Come learn about the plans: 
Gordie Howe Complex - Master Plan Open House 
1525 Ave P South
Wed. Dec. 20th, 6-8pm come and go.

- Dates are being chosen for the kick off of the 2018 Traffic Safety Reviews -- we anticipate that the initial meeting for Riversdale will take place in early Spring. More updates to come.

- There have been some questions about pedestrian safety on 22nd Street in light of a number of unfortunate collisions between pedestrians and vehicles. Lots of study has taken place and efforts have been made to improve safety with more to come. At Council on Monday, I will be asking for an update to that process and a presentation of some next step options.

Winter season updates:  

- The speed skating Oval is now OPEN. For public skate times at all rinks, visit here, and here to learn about your community rink skate times.

- Landfill is operating on winter hours: 7:30am to 5:00pm daily excluding Dec 25 and Jan 1. More here 

- As always, for up to date road restrictions anytime, visit the online map here

- Snow grading after a snow fall. What to expect:

  • De-icing and grading occurs based on the following Priority Street System:
    • Priority 1: Highest traffic streets - will be plowed within 12 hours after a snowstorm ends.
    • Priority 2: Rapid transit bus routes and busy streets - will be graded within 36 hours.
    • Priority 3: Main streets, school zones and residential pathways - will be graded within 72 hours
  • If another snowfall or blowing snow occurs within the 72-hour timeframe, crews may be required to return to Priority 1 streets, causing clearing to take longer.
  • Our snow grading map shows the status of cleared streets after a snow event.

- Neighbourhood grading will be initiated after snow pack is a minimum of 15cm. This is done to reduce the impact of windrows on parking. 

City-wide updates & happenings/Consultations to participate in:

- The Meewasin Valley Authority is hosting their annual Tim Hortons twinkle lights skating party on Tuesday Dec. 19th. The tree lighting takes place at the rink next to the Bessborough Hotel in Kiwanis Park at 5:30pm and entertainment as well as treats will follow. As always, skating is free and skates are available by donation. 

- Take advantage of a 4-Mall direct Transit loop on the Jingle Bell Express. Learn more here

- Plan a safe ride home on New Year's Eve with FREE Saskatoon Transit service from 8pm-2:45am. 

- Transit Holiday hours: 
Saskatoon Transit will be operating with Holiday Service on Monday, December 25th, 2017 and Monday, January 1st, 2018 and Regular Service on Tuesday, December 26th, 2017.
Access Transit will be operating with Holiday Service on Monday, December 25th, Tuesday, December 26th 2017 and Monday January 1st, 2018.

- Earlier this month, a test of the NotifyNow system was carried out. If you didn't get notices, here's your reminder to sign up for this emergency measures notification system. saskatoon.ca/notifynow

- The Waste/Recycling collection calendar you received recently will be the last one. Go online now to see where this information is available anytime, and search your address to begin signing up for reminders - choose from direct messages, calendar reminders, and more. 

- Didn't get the Winter Leisure guide? Head online for all the details you need.

Policy Updates 

Community Safety & Wellness
As noted previously, Council has assigned strategic priority areas for leadership by individual Councillors. The strategic priority area that I am leading is Community Safety and Wellness.

I have been exploring questions that I am presented with around rental properties and landlord responsibility and on Monday Council will vote on a recommendation that the administration study a rental property business licensing model as well as a nuisance abatement bylaw. I continue to hear about rental properties that negatively impact nearby communities in an ongoing way and do not promote wellbeing for tenants and look forward to supporting this recommendation.

I continue to meet with a large stakeholder group about how to promote a safe community by working differently together across sectors: non-profit, law enforcement, education, government and more. 

It is my hope to be attending a training in Edmonton later this winter to learn more about developing community-wide safety strategies. I should know soon about whether I've been accepted to attend. 

You can find the full set of priority area updates from Nov. 14 here.

Fire pits
I have heard lots of feedback from people about the proposed restriction of backyard open air burning to the hours of 5pm-11pm. Many of you have called for no restrictions while others call for an outright ban. I am open to creating a bit more predictability for residents who suffer from the effects of smoke and a time restriction seems to be the best way to strike this balance (though which hours are correct, I'm not sure) . The discussion on Monday is sure to be broad, and I believe that Council will come up with a good and balanced solution. As always, please do not hesitate to write with your feedback, or write directly to City Council before 10am Monday.

City Council 
Budget 2018: 
The 2018 Business Plan and Budget has been finalized and approved by City Council. It focused on 4 key priorities: 
1. Maintaining services
2. Addressing a revenue gap
3. Controlling expenditures
4. Paying for our services

You can find the budget in full and more details here 

City Council meets on Monday (Dec. 18) at City Hall in City Council chambers. As always, Council meetings are open to the public.  
Brief highlights are outlined below. For full agenda, visit https://www.saskatoon.ca/city-hall/city-council-boards-committees/council/minutes-and-agendas

Regular Business Meeting  | 1:00 PM  
  - Neighbourhood infill - 3-4 storey units on corner lots; Not being advanced at this time reflecting resident input
  - Licensing rental properties & Nuisance abatement (see above)
  - Update on South Caswell project
  - Key strategic risks - annual update
  - Unpaid utilities & landlord property tax
  - Truth and Reconciliation calls to action - update
  - Taxi Service Proposals & Regulation of Transport Network Companies (Ride-sharing)
  - MOU - Gabriel Dumont Institute & Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies
  - Fire Pits & open air burning
  - Air Support Unit - purchase

Public Hearing Meeting  |  6:00 PM
CANCELLED - no agenda items
As always, if you'd like to speak to Council as a whole about something on the agenda, please get in touch with the Clerk's office before the meeting. More info here: https://www.saskatoon.ca/write-letter-councilcommittees

Hilary Gough


Saskatoon #yxe City Councillor - representing Ward 2. Settler on Treaty 6 territory & traditional homelands of the Métis. She/Her