Well, it may be nearly the end of January, but I'm going to say it anyway: Happy New Year! I hope you have been staying warm and well since my last email and also that you received my mailed newsletter in the last few days. I am grateful that you choose to get more regular updates in this way and welcome to those who've signed up since receiving the recent flyer. For those who may be newer to these updates, please note, all past emails (yes, dating back to Jan 2017!) can be found here.

Winter seems to be throwing all sorts of curveballs this year with yo-yo-ing temperatures and substantial snow accumulation. If you've been wondering about winter road maintenance, check out the Q&A video or text here from our team.

There are a number of Ward 2 project updates below, and some COVID updates along with a link to the final draft of the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan. 

As always, if you have feedback on any of these or other issues on the Council agenda (list at the bottom of this email), I commit to reading all emails I receive before Monday's 1pm meeting. To have all of Council read your feedback, correspondence needs to be received by the Clerk before 10am Monday.

Ward 2

Two major Ward 2 infrastructure projects were the subject of discussion at the Planning Committee this month. Both reports are in front of City Council on Monday. 

City Center Recreation Facility
The City has been exploring opportunities to develop a City Center Recreation Facility - an upgrade to White Buffalo Youth Lodge (WBYL) facility and model - for quite some time. As WBYL partners have explored this, Saskatoon Tribal Council has expressed interest in leading the project, and intends to facilitate a process with the City to plan and build a new facility with likely connection to the new amalgamated school at Ave H near 20th Street. City Council is being asked to endorse this partnership model on Monday (item 8.3.4). This would be followed by community consultation and collaborative planning between STC and the City and will be informed by recreation needs established in previous engagements as well. I'll provide email updates here and on social media with future engagement opportunities and updates on this exciting project.

Hoist the Hoops basketball
In June of last year, City Council approved the Hoist the Hoops proposal for an outdoor basketball court in Victoria Park. This project was approved as a municipal project funded by the Hoist the Hoops group. Since that time, the Hoist the Hoops group has established a partnership with Jumpstart and the vision has expanded to include some additional amenities such as sunshades and additional court space. The partnership will allow the project to go ahead more quickly due to capital support from Jumpstart and requires City Council approval due to the changes in the partnership and court design (item 8.3.6). The City will continue to be the ultimate owner and operator of the courts and the new agreement sees the City take on the maintenance costs at opening which may be as early as 2022.


Strategic Plan
Thanks to all who submitted feedback on the draft strategic plan for 2022-2025. I reviewed all of the feedback and carefully reviewed the feedback on my portfolio area of Community Safety and Wellbeing. The final draft was received this past Monday at GPC with full reporting on updates made based on the feedback received. City Council is being asked to approve it on Monday (item 8.5.2).

The COVID-19 situation continues to change rapidly. The City's framework doesn't capture the current state with Omicron and is challenged by less comprehensive data availability. Earlier this week we directed that it be set aside (approach to be confirmed Monday - item 8.5.1). Since then, this week has brought reduced provincial Public Health Orders at a time when hospitalizations are climbing, yet again changing the landscape. I am unclear about the full implications of this, but will continue to fully explore the City's responsibility and authority in safety measures. I thank you all for doing what you can to limit COVID-19 spread.

Assessment appeal deadline
The deadline to appeal property assessments for 2022 is February 4th. 2022 was not a reassessment year, and therefore, most property owners will not have received a reassessment notice, however, an appeal period is opened each year, regardless of whether or not reassessment has taken place. I have spoken with many commercial property owners who are concerned about their reassessments from 2021. Owners of Retail commercial properties are likely to see an amended assessment resulting from some appeals in 2021. These notices will be mailed, and a new 30 day appeal period will open at that time for properties affected. Details about assessment and appeal can be found here. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the assessor's office to discuss your property assessment and options.

Community safety & wellbeing

The  Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC) Wellness Center has been operating well and STC is seeking some additional space in the building being leased from the City. The report that Council will consider Monday (item 10.4.1) outlines that the request is for some programming space and an additional 20 shelter beds.

If you're looking to support neighbours who could use a hand this winter, One Small Step is a great resource to help you direct donations, and STC has updated donation options for the Wellness Center here.

Community Updates

The Saskatoon Tribal Council and City are inviting everyone to consider how they can #ActOnReconciliation. I urge you to think about furthering your knowledge and pushing for systemic change to address colonial harms that have intergenerational impacts. 

Community Job Fair
The City is proud to partner on the Community Job Fair again this year. The event is virtual on facebook live Feb 7th - 11th. Details here.

Green Carts
City-wide green carts will be ready in 2023, but registration and renewal for the subscription-based green cart program for 2022 is now open

Getting outside!
Looking to get active outside? Ski trial conditions and Skating rink hours are updated regularly online. Looking for other ideas? Check out the winter events/activities guide or the winter leisure guide

Upcoming transportation upgrades
A couple of exciting pedestrian crossing upgrades will be installed on major roads in Ward 2 this year at 22nd/Ave J and at 20th/Ave K. 

City Council | Jan 31st

City Council meets virtually on Monday. Brief highlights are outlined below. Click here to find the full agenda. Council continues to meet virtually. Correspondence on Council items can be made in writing or as a request to speak (accommodated by phone). Meetings will continue to be live streamed.

Regular Business Meeting  |  1:00 PM
  - Cultural Grant Capital awards 2022
  - City Centre Recreation Facility - STC partnership
  - Façade Conservation/Enhancement - grant program updates
  - Basketball Court project - updates
  - 2022 Internal Audit plan
  - Pilot presale - Kensington low/med density residential parcels
  - Land funds - reallocation to Affordable Housing reserve
  - COVID-19 update - framework approach
  - City of Saskatoon Strategic Plan - 2022-2025
  - Appointments: various
  - Emergency Residential Shelter - Request for additional floor space
  - Leave of Absence Policy for Members of City Council
  - Bylaw amendment:  Private Sewer and Water Service Connection 
  - Motion - Coun. Hill - Budget processes

Public Hearing Meeting |  6:00 PM
  - Rezoning - Hampton Village business park - FUD to various
  - Discretionary use - Car wash - Gallagher St/McClocklin Rd
  - Rezoning - 1121 College Dr. - AG to M3
  - Zoning Bylaw - amendment - In-ground swimming pools - riverbank slope overlay
  - Public notice matters: 
    - Intent to borrow - various water & wastewater projects
    - Lease property - Cosmopolitan Seniors Center - 11th St E
  - Proclamations & Flag Raisings

Looking to connect with the City? 

306-975-2476  [email protected]

306-975-2828   [email protected]  

All the best,

Hilary Gough - Ward 2 Councillor

Hilary Gough


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