What a month it's been. I have a few reflections to share before getting to the immediate business of City Council.
[Trigger Warning: residential schools, abuse, Islamophobia, hate crimes. Resources for support in Community News section below]
In last month's newsletter I reflected on the devastating news out of Kamloops. This week has deepened that grief with the documentation of 751 unmarked graves here at home on the Cowessess First Nation at the site of the Marieval residential 'school'. This is a time of grieving and a time to face the truth head on. We know more graves are being, and will be, identified. My heart aches for those who lie in those unmarked graves, for the children who did not get to go home, their families, and all who feel the pain inflicted by the systemic and personal abuses and harms of the Indian Residential School System (IRSS). If you are not personally impacted by these events, please make space for Indigenous colleagues, friends, and neighbours as they grieve. Please offer support. Please do not ask for their energy right now. Please do your own reading and research and let this move you to action.
Yesterday brought more sadness and anger to our doorsteps as we learned that an Islamophobic hate crime was committed against a community member and neighbour in our city. Similarly motivated & heinous attacks have taken place across the country. We shouldn't be surprised to see this here, and we must not turn away. We must address it. This neighbour was physically and verbally attacked and left injured and alone. The perpetrators told him that he doesn't belong here. Last night, at a walk against Racism and Islamophobia, one of the organizers, Ali, reflected on the local attack and said it best: "We belong here. Hate doesn't". I agree, and I want to live in a community where everyone belongs and feels safe.
Please. If you witness words or actions in our community (whether online or in person) that dehumanize others, that promote hate, that seek to divide -- speak up, spread love, intervene. Learning and practicing how to do so in safe ways is the job of those who are not at risk of racist and/or Islamophobic attacks. It is the job of those whose families are not suffering the intergenerational traumas of the IRSS and other colonial harms. This means it is my job and it may be yours as well. In my job as Councillor, I am committed to moving forward anti-racist and inclusive policies and engaging with my colleagues on these issues everyday. Please think hard about what you can do to help to speak up to hate, misinformation, and division. There are many places to start. As a citizen, I find the concept of being an active bystander helpful. If you have ideas for the City/for me, please reach out. A safer and happier community for all of us is possible, but we have to commit to the uncomfortable work.
City Council meets on Monday. I commit to reading all correspondence I receive before the meetings, but cannot commit to responding to all of it before the meeting. If you want to have your correspondence received by all of City Council (and as part of the public record) on Monday, head down to the last section to find the options for submitting that.
Last month, City Council chose to leave an 'opt-out' option within the Advance Metering Infrastructure (AMI) implementation. This will be one-direction only, and 'Smart Meters' that have been rolled out through Saskatoon Water and Saskatoon Light and Power to customers will not be removed. This was a challenging decision, and one that I supported in part, due to recognizing that a number of Ward 2 neighbourhoods have not yet seen the rollout of the water meter upgrades, and therefore, are less reflected in the data available about resident requests. More on AMI rollout through Saskatoon Water here.
As you are likely aware, the Meadowgreen Recycling Depot has now been closed. The site has been cleaned and remains so. The alternate sites for disposal of various recyclable and non-recyclable materials are not ideally located and I am eager to achieve commissioning of the Recovery Park site at the landfill (scheduled for 2023) for easier excess recycling options in our area.
The Saskatoon Public School Division has made a final decision on the location of their consolidated city centre school project which will see 3 schools (Princess Alexandra, Pleasant Hill, and King George). Their chosen site is at the current site of the Princess Alexandra school near 20th St and Ave H South. You'll find background and updates on their site. The City will remain engaged in the project as a regulator, regulating development (ensuring traffic impacts are considered and mitigated/accommodated, reviewing development permits, etc.). The City will also remain engaged as a potential project partner with the consideration of a new City Centre Recreation facility to replace/upgrade White Buffalo Youth Lodge takes place and there remain potential synergies.
Ward 2 News & Engagements
- The Council agendas are packed this month. Scroll down for the full list.
There may be particular interest from Ward 2 residents in
Heritage amendments at Knox United Church
Hoist the Hoops basketball court proposal, and
Right-of-way closure in Agrpro Industrial
- The engagement for the Dundonald Ave Solar Farm (Utility Scale Solar Project) is underway! Thank you to all who attended last week's meeting. The comment form remains open until June 30th! engagement likely in June or September
- The third engagement meeting for the West Circle Drive project will likely be in September. Stay tuned here and on my social media for updates. Residents most directly impacted will receive flyers.
- There is a lot of construction underway in our areas this summer. Please watch for construction notices, drinking water advisories, and other notices from the City in your mailbox. If there is a major project near you, email [email protected] to ask to be signed up for regular email updates or to have specific questions answered.
- Mail delivery can sometimes be disrupted during major construction projects. This is decided on a case by case basis by Canada Post. Connect with Canada Post at 1-866-607-6301 to find out if your mail is being held at a nearby postal office.
- Wondering about sweeping and potholes? Look no further.
- Civic Services Survey: to continue evaluating City services and to plan for a growing and vibrant city this survey will measure a wide variety of services the City delivers. Open til July 28.
- Transit is making a number of service adjustments starting tomorrow. None are in Ward 2, but may still be relevant to you. Check them out here.
- Have you tried Transit 'On Demand' ? I'd love to hear about your experience!
- Have your say in the implementation of our Green Infrastructure Strategy. Survey open til July 4.
- Council must consider how to address 'private side only' lead service lines (where the City's side has already been replaced). Homeowners with this situation on their properties have been contacted for input, and background is available here.
- Council is expecting some amendments to neighbourhood level infill policies and guidelines. Engagement has been underway and recommendations are expected in the fall. To get up to speed, visit the engage page here.
- Riversdale and Mayfair pools are open and bustling. Booking ahead is highly recommended as there are only a few spots available for walk ins. More info online.
- The Good Neighbour Guide is a great overview of city bylaws, standards and regulations to help us all do our part to keep our neighbourhoods and city safe, clean and beautiful.
- Wondering about how the City of Saskatoon is managing the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic? Updates here.
- Next week marks the end of Pride month and Indigenous History month. Celebrations and learning are so critical to combatting misinformation, fear and hate and the marking of these months is an important part of that. Join me in taking the time to learn from some of the many organizations leading in our community:
- Saskatoon PRIDE
- OUT Saskatoon
- Office of the Treaty Commissioner
- Gabriel Dumont Institute
If you or someone you know needs support, please reach out. Here are a few numbers that may be helpful.
- 24hr crisis line for Residential school survivors & families: 1-866-925-4419
- Indian Residential school Survivor Society toll free: 1-800-721-0066
- Kids Help Phone: 1-800-668-6868
- Native Youth Crisis Hotline: 1-877-209-1266
- Wellness Together Canada: 1-866-585-0445 (Adults) or 1-888-668-6810 (Youth)
Finally, Canada day is coming up. I understand that this day is a meaningful celebration for many. It is also important to acknowledge that Canada's colonial foundation harmed many, and the hurt continues today. With all of the hard truths that are coming to light in new ways, I will be spending the day reflecting on my role in building a stronger community and country based on upholding promises, respect for all, and anti-racism. I hope you'll join me in your own way.
City Council | June 28th
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
- The Knox United Church Heritage Designation Amendment Bylaw
- Home Energy Loan Program – Contractor List Requirement Changes
- High Performance Civic Building Approach
- Recovery Park Project Capital Budget Adjustment
- Enhanced Service Level Options for Snow Grading and Removal
- Saskatoon Transit Proposed Service Standards
- Policy and Program Options to Promote Permanent Accessibility Improvements to Buildings
- Hoist the Hoops – Landmark Outdoor Basketball Project
- Financial and Operating Sustainability of Saskatoon Curling Organizations
- Innovative Housing Incentives – Various Projects
- Civic Conservatory Renewal Options
- Request for Business Event Allocation from Civic Hospitality Fund
- 2021 Tag Days – Additional Application & policy amendment
- Saskatoon North Partnership for Growth (P4G) - 2020 Annual Report
- Saskatoon Municipal Review Commission - 2021 Budget Adjustment Request
- TCU Place Financial Support
- Motion – Councillor D. Kirton – Renaming of John A. Macdonald Road
- Party Bicycle Pilot Program
- 14th Street Parklet
- Servicing Agreement – Mamawi Holdings Corporation – Hampton Village Business Park
- Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program
- 2020 Public Accounts
- The City Administration Amendment Bylaw, 2021 - Proposed Bylaw 9765 and 9766
- Saskatoon Municipal Review Commission - 2021 Municipal Election Committee Report
- Councillor C. Block - Proposed Alcohol Consumption in Parks
Public Hearing Meeting | 6:00 PM
- rezonings - Brighton
- [Ward 2] Proposed Closure of Right-of-Way – Caledonia Avenue, Transfer Avenue, Wabash Avenue, Orth Avenue, associated lanes, and Portion of 12th Street West adjacent to 11th Street West – Agpro Industrial Neighbourhood
- Proclamations & Flag Raisings
Do you like this page?