Attend the Saskatchewan Smart Cities Event

December 05, 2017

The Canadian Smart Cities Challenge kicked off last week, but don't let the name fool you — it's open to all SUMA members. In fact, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is hosting a regional event next Monday, December 11, and you can attend in person or by teleconference. 

Space for the event is limited, so register now to save your spot. You'll get to hear an overview of the challenge, including the process, and have a chance to ask questions. You can also get more details on the challenge on the Impact Canada website

Register Now: Asset Management Training Tailored for Saskatchewan Municipalities

November 27, 2017

As we told you last month, Asset Management Saskatchewan is designing and delivering local training to municipalities, thanks to funding from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

Registration is now open for webinars, which begin this Thursday, November 30. So far, webinars are planned through mid-April. They will also start offering in-person workshops around the province in February 2018. Get all the details on upcoming training opportunities on their website

 

Engaging Provincial Leadership Candidates

November 22, 2017

Saskatchewan is experiencing a rare phenomenon, with the two main provincial political parties both undergoing a leadership race. In these exceptional circumstances, SUMA took the opportunity to ask leadership candidates about several issues that are important to Saskatchewan hometowns. In late October, we wrote to the declared candidates for the Saskatchewan Party and Saskatchewan NDP, asking for their responses by November 17. (Another candidate entered the race in November, and while we sent the same letter, it had a later deadline.)

As of November 22, we have received responses from five of the eight candidates. This grid includes a summary of the answers we received, and you can read their full responses at the links within the grid. 

Letter from SUMA to provincial leadership candidates

Dear Leadership Candidate:

Saskatchewan hometowns are on the front lines of the province’s growing economy — we provide the foundation for the growth our province has been experiencing over the last decade. Our cities, towns, villages, resort villages, and northern municipalities provide core services that are essential to our quality of life.

These include the infrastructure and services we rely on and use every day:

  • safe drinking water;
  • wastewater management;
  • streets and bridges;
  • police and fire services;
  • snow clearing;
  • public transit;
  • recreation, arts and culture facilities and programming;
  • economic and community development; and
  • garbage and recycling collection and processing.

The success of Saskatchewan is inextricably linked to the success of our hometowns. When our urban municipalities do well, so does the province. The Government of Saskatchewan has a vested interest in hometowns that are great places to work, live, and play.

Over the last 11 years, Saskatchewan has experienced enormous economic and population growth, the majority of which can be attributed to growth in our hometowns. We have welcomed 195,768 people to Saskatchewan, and incorporated three new cities, each with at least 5,000 residents: Martensville, Meadow Lake, and Warman—the last of which has been deemed the fastest growing city in Canada. Many of those moving to our province have also taken up residence in our two largest cities, Saskatoon and Regina, both of which are also growing faster than the urban average across Canada, according to a 2016 Statistics Canada report.

With this growth comes an increasing demand on municipal services, existing municipal infrastructure, and the need for new infrastructure to meet the demands of this growth. Meeting these demands can be a challenge for hometowns.

Municipalities only collect about eight cents of every tax dollar and have a limited ability to bring in revenue beyond property taxes. Municipalities are also bound by legislation to run a balanced operating budget. As a result, municipalities alone cannot support the incredible growth in their communities and rely on the province to broaden their revenue base.

Both municipal revenue sharing and infrastructure funding give municipalities access to another form of revenue. This support from the provincial government helps provide the services and infrastructure vital to growing the economy and keeping up with that growth; and supports Saskatchewan’s economic, environmental, cultural, and social quality of life goals.

We value the partnership that we’ve developed with the provincial government. This collaborative relationship has resulted in provincial funding that supports municipal operational and capital expenditures. But there is still much work to do.

We want to continue being partners in the future of Saskatchewan. To do that, we need a commitment to permanence when it comes to both municipal revenue sharing and infrastructure funding, as well as a strong, collaborative consultation process to ensure that municipalities and the province are working together and making informed decisions. SUMA has been asking for a formalized consultation protocol for years that could alleviate many of the surprises and reactions that otherwise occur when unexpected programming and policy changes are made.

SUMA is asking all leadership candidates to take the time to respond to the following questions. Your answers will be shared with our membership.

  1. Do you support one point of all PST revenues being dedicated to municipal revenue sharing? Why or why not? How will you ensure this program remains a permanent funding program for municipalities?
  2. Do you support a made-in-Saskatchewan infrastructure program for our hometowns, beyond the federal cost sharing programs currently in place? Why or why not?
  3. Do you support a formalized consultation protocol between the Government of Saskatchewan and SUMA? Why or why not?
  4. Do you support hometowns having access to additional revenue sources such as additional taxing authority beyond property tax? Why or why not?
  5. How will you support municipal leadership on dealing with climate change?
  6. In most cases, SaskPower and SaskEnergy do not provide any compensation to municipalities for municipal services provided, such as emergency services and road infrastructure—all of which private sector companies pay for. How would you deal with this disparity, both in terms of buildings within municipalities and for underground infrastructure?
  7. At what level of funding, and in which funding pools, do you support the province participating in Phase II of the federal infrastructure program? Why?

I look forward to hearing back from you regarding your commitment to Saskatchewan’s hometowns and to working with you in the future. Please provide a response by November 17, 2017.

Sincerely;

Gordon Barnhart, C.M., S.O.M., Ph.D
SUMA President 

 

Responses from candidates

Summary grid

Ken Cheveldayoff (Saskatchewan Party leadership)

Alanna Koch (Saskatchewan Party leadership)

Ryan Meili (Saskatchewan NDP leadership)

Trent Wotherspoon (Saskatchewan NDP leadership)

Gord Wyant (Saskatchewan Party leadership)

Asset Management Training Tailored for Saskatchewan Municipalities

October 03, 2017

Last week, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) announced funding for asset management training programs across Canada. Asset Management Saskatchewan is one of the 22 organizations that will receive funding to design and delivery local training to municipalities. Details on training sessions, dates, and locations will come out later this fall; SUMA will share information with members on our website and through Urban Update, so be sure you're signed up to get the latest information. 

Starting Citizens on Patrol Programs

September 21, 2017

Interest in Citizens on Patrol Programs in Saskatchewan has been growing. Any individual or group can consider establishing a local group. If someone in your municipality is interested in starting a local program, you can check out the documents below, and contact:
Cpl. Mel Zurevinsky
Crime Prevention/ Crime Reduction
Saskatchewan RCMP
Phone: 306-780-3931
Cell: 306-216-8294

Pamphlet
Starting a program
Recruitment, meetings, patrol, recognition
Application process

Provincial Caucus Committee on Crime Report and Recommendations

August 24, 2017

On Tuesday, August 22, 2017, the province released the Caucus Committee on Crime report and recommendations to reduce crime in small urban and rural Saskatchewan. SUMA was pleased to be a part of the consultations for the CRC report, and it appears the committee considered our members' concerns. 

We applaud the move toward proactive programming, such as mental health and addictions treatment, and school liaison officers. These efforts can help in the long term to reduce crime and improve the quality of life for all Saskatchewan residents.

However, we remain concerned that the re-purposing of ministry-funded positions in municipal police departments and RCMP detachments will negatively affect policing capacity for some of our larger members. 

We look forward to further discussions with Minister Wyant and his staff to ensure that the policing needs of all SUMA members — from our smallest villages to our largest cities — are being met.

You can read the committee's full report and recommendations on the Government of Saskatchewan website.

Third Mayors Summer School Kicked Off

August 21, 2017

Yesterday, SUMA kicked off our third Mayors Summer School, the first program of its kind in Canada. Mayors and deputy mayors from more than 40 member municipalities (including President Barnhart) will be on campus at the University of Regina taking in education tailor-made for Saskatchewan mayors. Watch our Twitter feed for sneak peeks at the action, and see the media release for more details on the event. 

2017 Golf Tournament a Success!

July 20, 2017

Thank you to the Town of Rosthern for hosting the 29th Annual SUMA Golf Tournament!

It was another great golf tournament starting on Thursday, July 13 with dinner and hypnotist Corrie J. with a DJ to finish off the night. Two communities stepped up to host the 2018 and 2019 golf tournaments: The Town of Hudson Bay invites you to attend the tournament in 2018 and the Town of Spiritwood in 2019. Friday morning started with breakfast, followed by 75 golfers teeing off at Valley Regional Park Golf Course. 

Check out the action (including trophy winners) on our Facebook album!

SUMA and SARM Concerned About Bank and Credit Union Closures

July 14, 2017

The spate of recent bank and credit union closures in hometowns across Saskatchewan is raising concern for both the associations representing municipalities in the province. The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) and the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) want to ensure residents have access to banking close to home.

“SUMA believes in the importance of access to financial services for local governments, businesses, and residents in Saskatchewan’s hometowns,” said SUMA President Gordon Barnhart. “While we understand the financial industry needs to adjust to a changing landscape and an increase in online banking, we are concerned about these closures.”

For more details, read our joint media release.

The Benefits of SUMAdvantage

July 13, 2017

SUMAdvantage, our group purchasing program designed to help members save money was created to benefit all SUMA members and support the work SUMA does on behalf of its members. While we encourage inter-municipal cooperation between member municipalities, we want you to know about the many benefits received through utilizing the SUMAdvantage program.

  1. Your SUMA membership gives you access to SUMAdvantage, with no additional cost. In fact, vendors pay us a marketing fee, which helps support the work SUMA does all year long, on behalf of all our members, and helps keep your membership fees low.
  2. You get to be involved as much or as little as you like in the development of our group purchasing programs. We offer two committees for members to participate in: Program Development Advisory Committee or Bid Evaluation Committees. Our Program Development Advisory Committee gives you a say in the programs we decide to pursue. Our Bid Evaluation Committees allows you to have a say in how our request for proposal is designed and help pick the vendor(s) we partner with. (You can get more details on the committees on page 40 of the fall 2016 Urban Voice.)
  3. You can trust that our partners have been vetted through an extensive process, because we make it our business to continually educate ourselves in public procurement best practices, and ensure our process is fair, transparent, and compliant with trade agreements.
  4. We share that knowledge and our resources with members. We have templates and presentations, and are available to answer your questions. Just ask us!
  5. We can even help you find a vendor for a particular product or service not offered through SUMAdvantage. We have an extensive list of vendor contacts, so don't hesitate to be in touch if you're looking for a vendor.

Want to know more about how to utilize SUMAdvantage or get involved in the committees? Contact Tania Wendling, Director Corporate Programs and Member Services, at twendling@suma.org or 306-525-4379.

SUMA CEO Retiring This Fall

June 26, 2017

Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) President Gordon Barnhart announced today that Laurent Mougeot is stepping down after 12 years as SUMA’s Chief Executive Officer.

Mougeot’s last day will be September 22, 2017. A search for SUMA’s new CEO will start in the coming weeks.

“Laurent has been a strong leader on the local government scene,” said Barnhart. “He has been an invaluable advisor and a good friend to many in the municipal world — in Canada and abroad. A true career civil servant, Laurent has worked with northern communities, rural municipalities, and the entire urban sector. I expect that he will continue to make a significant contribution to local governance in whatever role he decides to take on in the future. Our Board and staff will miss his wise counsel and his sense of humour.”

Mougeot said he plans to take some time off and travel before considering new opportunities.

“Forty years goes by quickly when one enjoys work as much as I did. I have met and worked with so many great people and developed strong friendships.” Mougeot said. “SUMA and our member municipalities play a key role in defining our quality of life. Every day we all access at least half a dozen of municipal services without ever thinking about the complexity of our municipal operations. Local governments matter a lot in our lives!”

We all wish Laurent the best in his retirement, and rest assured that the whole SUMA team will be here for our members and partners through the transition.

Connect with Environmental Experts to Take Action on Climate Change

June 14, 2017

Members passed a resolution at Convention 2017 that urban municipalities take a leadership role in adopting carbon reduction strategies, and a new initative from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and the Government of Canada can help you make that happen. Your municipality now has the chance to connect with an environmetal expert through FCM's Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program (MCIP).

Regional climate advisors will support a number of activities, including:

  • developing greenhouse gas emissions inventories and local action plans;
  • helping set greenhouse gas emissions targets; identifying and applying for project funding;
  • network building; and
  • providing access to peer learning opportunities. 

With this initiative, regional climate advisors will help municipalities reach their goals towards becoming low-carbon resilient communities, through the Partners for Climate Protection (PCP) Milestone program. More than 300 municipalities of all sizes are already participating in the program, which is free to join.

Municipalities are on the front lines of climate change. They are working to build more climate-resilient communities, often in partnership with the federal government. With influence over half of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions, municipalities are also seeking opportunities to scale up local green infrastructure solutions that bring emissions down. 

Past President Button Receives Roll of Honour

June 05, 2017

Congratulations to Past President Debra Button! She received the Roll of Honour at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) annual conference last week. Past President Button joins more than 100 other recipients over more than 30 years who have a proven record of sustained exceptional service to municipal government in Canada and to the goals and objectives of the FCM, and who have served FCM with distinction. 

During her time as Mayor of Weyburn, Debra Button was actively involved with SUMA through the City Mayors’ Caucus; her involvement brought valuable insight to that sector. She was also involved at the federal level during much of her time as mayor, through the FCM. She held several positions with FCM, including Vice-Chair of FCM's Standing Committee on International Relations, the Gender Government Representative for Ukraine, and PTA Representative on FCM's Executive Committee. She also took part in FCM international missions to Ukraine, to share her experience as a female mayor.
 
Debra was elected SUMA President in 2013, and made history as SUMA’s first female president. This historic role complemented her continued work in encouraging women to seek leadership roles, especially those in municipal politics. She was invited to speak at a variety of events, at home and abroad, on the importance of gender diversity and strong leadership to inspire the next generation, and crossed cultural boundaries in encouraging the leadership of First Nations and Métis women.
 
Debra immediately showed her capabilities as a strong and charismatic leader for our Association, working tirelessly on behalf of our more than 440 members. Though there are many examples of Debra’s leadership, one of the most pivotal examples was her impassioned defence of municipal revenue sharing in 2015, when the Government ofSaskatchewan speculated that “everything is on the table” due to an economic downturn. Her leadership in meetings, the media, and through a stellar President’s Address at SUMA’s 110th Annual Convention, succeeded in convincing the provincial government to maintain a municipal funding model that has become the envy of the other provinces and territories. In the wake of that victory, she visited many of our sister associations, including the AMO, the UMQ, and the AUMA, to tell the story of SUMA’s advocacy work with the provincial government that led to creation of this nation-leading revenue sharing formula.
 
From the moment of her election as SUMA President, Debra raised the Association’s profile in the media, and increased our influence with our partners in other orders of government. Her level of engagement and preparation made her an excellent brand champion, inspiring and rallying our members behind her, educating the public on the role of SUMA, and establishing a reputation within provincial government as a strong, capable, and respected municipal leader.
 
She brought her fierce determination to advocate on behalf of Saskatchewan’s hometowns to her work with FCM, taking on the PTA Representative role, and looking for every opportunity to work on behalf of SUMA’s members whenever and wherever she could. From acting as the Vice-Chair of the Saskatchewan Scrap Tire Organization to serving as the elected representative to the National Nuclear Waste Municipal Advisory Board, Debra ensured that SUMA’s voice was heard whenever issues of municipal importance were discussed, inside or outside of Saskatchewan.
 
Impressively, Debra managed to fulfill and expand her role while still spending quality time with her family, whether it was during relaxing weekends at home or summer days at the lake. She frequently credited the support of her family for allowing and inspiring her to work on behalf of her community and the causes dear to her heart.
 
You would be hard pressed to find a more devoted, inspiring, engaged, passionate, and extraordinary municipal leader than Debra Button. She made a true difference in Saskatchewan municipalities. On behalf of SUMA and our members, we congratulate her on the recognition of her outstanding contributions through selection for the FCM Roll of Honour.
 
Past President Button receiving FCM Roll of Honor award
Past President Debra Button receiving her FCM Roll of Honor award in Ottawa. (Photo credit: Tom Goulden)

Town and Village Sector Meeting Underway in Saskatoon

May 25, 2017

As part of a very busy week, SUMA staff and Board members are in Saskatoon for the annual stand-alone sector meeting. This year, towns and villages were both invited to attend, and we're happy to see more than 100 attendees join us from 55 member municipalities. More details on the meeting are available in the media release and on our Twitter and Facebook accounts. 

Municipal Leadership Development Program Facilitators

May 24, 2017

The Municipal Leadership Development Program (MLDP) is accepting requests for proposals to facilitate two of the MLDP modules:

The MLDP is a series of workshops developed exclusively for elected and appointed municipal leaders in Saskatchewan. If you or anyone you know is interested in facilitating one of these two modules, check out the details at the links above and get your application in by the June 14 deadline.

 

Budget Reaction Continues for SUMA

April 10, 2017

The days since the March 22 release of the provincial budget have been busy for SUMA. The best place to find the latest details on how the 2017-18 budget hurts hometowns is on the hub page we created specifically for this issue. There you will find our communication with members, media releases, links to our social media accounts, what our members and the media are saying, and resources that will help you have your voice heard on this budget. 

As the voice of urban Saskatchewan, SUMA will promote, protect, and defend our members' interests in the wake of a budget that downloads responsibilities and cuts funding to hometowns.

SUMA’s Reaction to The 2017-18 Provincial Budget

March 23, 2017

Yesterday, the Government of Saskatchewan released its latest budget. Among other things, the budget held the line on municipal revenue sharing, raised the provincial sales tax percentage and removed exemptions, cut provincial funding for libraries and urban parks, and will move to cut the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) and shift payments from Crown corporations to the provincial general revenue fund instead of municipalities. You can read SUMA's response to the budget in our media release, and our policy position on the STC.

Estevan Mercury Editorial: Leave Municipalities’ Money Alone

February 16, 2017

This week, the Estevan Mercury published an editorial defending the current revenue sharing forumula. You can read the full editorial on their website.

SUMA Grateful for Federal GTF Funding for 120 Urban Projects in 2016

January 05, 2017

Project plans for 2016 show the federal Gas Tax Fund (GTF) supported 120 local roads and bridges projects in Saskatchewan's urban municipalities. On behalf of members, SUMA expressed gratitude today for the "predictable, long-term, indexed funding" our members receive thanks to the GTF. SUMA thanks the Government of Canada for their commitment to Saskatchewan hometowns.

More details on the projects the federal GTF helped make possible are available on the Government of Canada website.

Municipal Management Essentials Training

December 28, 2016

SUMA is excited to partner with our friends at SARM and the Southeast College to offer Municipal Management Essentials training to members. This training is intended to supplement training available through the Municipal Leadership Development Program (MLDP) and help municipalities build skills and capacity for administrative staff and foremen (though council members are welcome to attend, as many of the workshops will also apply to them). We encourage you to find out more about Investing in People to Create a Stronger Municipality, and check out the training schedule for more information on upcoming schedules.

If you have any questions, please get in touch with Jacquie Becker at Southeast College. You can reach her at 306-848-2506 or jbecker@southeastcollege.org.

Crime Reduction Committee Tour

December 15, 2016

The Crime Reduction Committee was struck recently to examine crime in Saskatchewan. Their goal is "to determine where provincial policies are effective in reducing and eliminating crime, and what best-practices can be used to reduce it in other areas." The committee will be touring the province to receive input from organizations, individuals and communities (see the schedule below) and are welcoming written submissions if you cannot attend. Interim President Goulden will appear on behalf of SUMA at the Yorkton stop on the tour, but we encourage members to attend or provide submissions as well. Submissions can be sent to CRCSubmissions@skcaucus.com. If you attend or provide a submission, please also email your thoughts to Sean McKenzie; we may also provide a written submission and would like to have a full picture of what our members have to say. 

Crime Reduction Committee tour:

Date Location Time
December 19, 2016 Regina 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
December 20, 2016 Estevan 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
December 21, 2016 Yorkton 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
January 23, 2017 Meadow Lake 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
January 24, 2017 North Battleford 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
January 25, 2017 Saskatoon 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
January 26, 2017 Prince Albert 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
January 31, 2017 Swift Current 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
February 7, 2017 La Ronge 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

 

Apply Now for Infrastructure Funding

December 08, 2016

The Government of Saskatchewan is now accepting applications for infrastructure projects through two funding programs: the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF), and the Provincial Territorial Infrastructure Component (PTIC) of the New Building Canada Fund. You can use the same online form to apply to both programs, but previous PTIC applications will need to be resubmitted. The form and more information are available on the Government of Saskatchewan website. Start now, because applications are due by noon on Monday, January 23, 2017. Details on the announcement are also available in their media release.

Board of Directors Update

November 29, 2016

Randy Goulden has be elected Interim President by the Board of Directors to serve until the end Convention 2017. Rounding out the Executive Committee is: 

  • VP of Cities: Bob Maloney;
  • VP of Towns: Rodger Hayward;
  • Interim VP of Villages, Resort Villages, and Northern Municipalities: Mike Strachan; and 
  • Saskatoon/Regina Executive Member: Mike O'Donnell. 

The single-city regions are represented by:

  • Saskatoon: Darren Hill and alternate Randy Donauer;
  • Prince Albert: Don Cody;
  • Regina: Bob Hawkins and Mike O'Donnell; and
  • Moose Jaw: Dawn Luhning.

Regional meetings wrapped up last week, so the seven southern regions have elected their Board representatives: 

  • East Central: Randy Goulden
  • West Central: Al Heron
  • Central: Lee Finishen
  • Northwest: Richard Beck
  • Northeast: Glenn George 
  • Southeast: Mike Strachan
  • Southwest: Dale Domeij

The Northern region will elect their Director (currently represented by Bruce Fidler) at their Regional Meeting at Convention 2017. The positions of President, VP of Towns, and VP of Villages, Resort Villages and Northern Municipalities are also up for election at Convention. All the details on those elections are available on the Convention page.

Register Now for Fall MLDP Modules

November 17, 2016

While SUMA staff are giving the Municipal Leaders' Roles and Responsibilities workshops around Saskatchewan, we also remind you that you can register for the other Municipal Leadership Development Program (MLDP) modules coming up later this fall. These workshops are a great way for council members to network and learn about strengthening leadership in local government. Past attendees have had glowing reviews:

  • "Great presenter with a vast knowledge of the material as well as a varied background on many aspects of the profession."
  • "Very good workshop — I wish that all of council would take it!"
  • "All councillors should be encouraged to take this workshop. People are our most valuable resource and can also be our biggest liability."
  • "Very knowledgeable presenter, great flow of presentation."
  • "So good, I missed my afternoon nap!"

The fall 2016 MLDP modules are quickly approaching (November 28 – December 2) and we still have lots of space available. If you are thinking about attending, please register as soon as possible. It’s never too late to learn something new, but we'd hate for you to miss this fantastic opportunity tailor-made for Saskatchewan's municipal leaders. Workshops run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and even include lunch! All five workshops are running this fall:

Register today on the MLDP website to secure your spot. If you have any questions, you can contact the program coordinator, Ashley Leugner, by email or at 306-761-3931.

SUMA Pleased to See Further Investment in Infrastructure

November 02, 2016

The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) is pleased to see the Government of Canada expanding their investment in infrastructure as announced yesterday in the fall fiscal update.

See our full response in today's media release

Bylaw Enforcement Officer Survey

November 01, 2016

Do you have a bylaw enforcement officer? SUMA and our friends at SARM are surveying members on behalf of the  Saskatchewan Association of Municipal Enforcement Officers  (SAMEO). We are looking for information on the salaries and hours for your bylaw enforcement officers. Please take a few minutes to complete the survey.

SUMA Elections

October 28, 2016

Now that municipal elections are concluded, SUMA is looking ahead to the elections for our Board of Directors. This document explains the official procedures to elect and appoint SUMA Board members.

Some members of the SUMA Board did not seek re-election in their municipalities, and some were not re-elected. All of those vacancies will be filled in accordance with our bylaws as we move through the full election process.

The election process for the new Board of Directors will begin in November, when the seven southern regions will elect their respective directors and alternates. The Northeast, Northwest, East Central, Central, West Central, Southeast, and Southwest regions have their own meetings happening from November 15-25. Elected officials must be sworn in by the meeting date to run for the Director (or alternate) position. Nominations are open, and will also be accepted from the floor at the meetings.

The Vice-President of Cities is elected when the City Mayors’ Caucus (CMC) elects their chair. The CMC will meet in Regina on November 18, 2016.

The Northern Regional Director and remaining Executive Committee members will be elected at Convention 2017. 

Elections for President will take place on Monday, February 6, 2017. 

On Tuesday, February 7, 2017 there will be elections for the:

  • Vice-President of Towns, during their sector meeting;
  • Vice-President of Villages, Resort Villages, and Northern Municipalities, during their sector meeting; and
  • Northern Regional Director, during the Northern Regional Meeting.

If neither the President nor the Vice-President of Cities is from Regina or Saskatoon, those two cities will also elect the Executive Member for Saskatoon/Regina on Tuesday. 

Nominations for the Northern Regional Director and Executive Committee are open now.

If you have any questions about SUMA elections, you can contact our CEO, Laurent Mougeot, at 306-525-4387 or lmougeot@suma.org.

Election Procedures
Regional Director Nomination Form
Executive Position Nomination Form 

FCM Program to Establish Joint Solid Waste Management Projects

October 04, 2016

Municipalities and First Nations are invited to apply to the Community Infrastructure Partnership Project to establish joint solid waste management projects. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is delivering the program with funds from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. Six partnerships between First Nations and municipalities will get facilitation and capacity building services for two years (2016-18) to develop service agreements on solid waste management, including recycling and composting. Don't miss this valuable opportunity; get your application in before the Monday, October 24 deadline. Details are available on the FCM website and in their October 4 media release

Federal Infrastructure Funding Announcement for Saskatchewan

September 16, 2016

The provincial and federal governments announced their agreement under new federal infrastructure funding programs today, and SUMA's Vice-President of Cities, Mayor Malcolm Eaton, was on hand to give remarks. 

"The residents of our hometowns expect high-quality, safe, reliable infrastructure. They deserve it," said Eaton. "This funding helps us ensure urban Saskatchewan is a great place to live, work, and play."

FCM Seeking Canada 150 Community Leaders

September 08, 2016

The Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) is launching a network to help local leaders get involved with the 150th anniversary of Confederation, and you can designate leaders from your municipality. Canada 150 Community leaders will not only serve as representatives during Canada 150 events, they will also share information and continue the network beyond the 2017 celebrations. Your choices aren't just limited to council members, and you can choose more than one. Details on who you could designate as your community leader, including a submission form, are available on the FCM website. Be part of the celebration by indentifying a leader in your community before the December 2016 deadline.

Statistics Canada Reports Best Census Since 1666

August 29, 2016

No, that's not a typo; today, Statistics Canada thanked Canadians for "making this the best census since 1666" — the first Canadian census. The response rate was 98.4 per cent overall, and 97.8 per cent for the long-form census. Statistics Canada says the response rate will have high-quality information for virtually all communities, a major shift from the 2011 data, which left nearly half of Saskatchewan communities without information. SUMA advocated for the return of the long-form census during last year's federal election, and launched a campaign this spring encouraging the people of Saskatchewan to complete the census. Thank you to everyone who completed their census (the Chief Statistician of Canada also says thank you) and we look forward to the release of data, which will begin on February 8, 2017.

Banner with fire hall, bridge, water tap, and park reading "You count so be counted" from SUMA

Get Registered for Community Safety Officer Program Training

August 24, 2016

Is your municipality interested in hiring a Community Safety Officer (CSO) to supplement policing and bylaw enforcement? To get a Special Constable Appointment, your CSO must have completed a six-week training course, and the next round of training will be held at the Prince Albert Campus of Saskatchewan Polytechnic from November 7–December 16. The deadline to register for next round of CSO training is Saturday, October 1, so start preparing now. More details on training are available in this poster from the Ministry of Justice. You may also want to check out the FAQs on the CSO program.

Federal Government Wants to Hear from You on Canada’s Infrastructure Plan

July 21, 2016

The Government of Canada plans to invest $120 billion over the next 10 years to build strong, inclusive and sustainable communities, and they want to hear from you. Phase 1 is already underway, and now the Government of Canada is inviting you to share your views on Phase 2 of Canada’s infrastructure plan.

You can provide feedback in five ways: eWorkbooks, discussion forums, photo and video submissions, written submissions, and community-led events.

The Government of Canada is particularly interested in your thoughts on four important themes:

  • Community infrastructure: your needs and the infrastructure priorities in your community
  • Green infrastructure: Canada's ongoing transition to a clean-growth economy
  • Public transit infrastructure: improving and expanding public transit systems in communities across Canada
  • Social infrastructure: building stronger communities through social infrastructure projects like affordable housing and cultural and recreational infrastructure

To join the conversation on the Government of Canada’s infrastructure plan, visit their website or send a tweet to @INFC_eng using the hashtag #INFRAconsults.  

Infographic for federal consultation on infrastructure plan. Reads: Have your say as the Government of Canada develops Phase 2 of the $120 billion infrastructure plan #INFRAconsults

SUMA Processes Through Postal Disruption

July 06, 2016

Canada Post has served lock-out notice, and we face a disruption to postal services as early as Friday July 8. SUMA has prepared so we can still provide services to members. This article should cover all possible changes, but if you have any further questions or encounter other issues, you can contact the office at suma@suma.org or 306-525-3727. We will monitor the situation, and revisit our processes if necessary.
 

Getting Things to SUMA

We encourage you to send any items you can by fax (306-525-4373) or email. If an original is required, you can send that in the mail after Canada Post services resume. Please hold any cheques until Canada Post resumes service, or consider sending via courier. For group benefits, the process may differ, so see that section below for specifics.
 

Election Supplies

Our SUMAdvantage purchasing program for election supplies will continue to run, regardless of any postal disruptions. We can send ballots and supplies via bus service, FedEx and Purolator, or you may wish to pick up your order directly from our office. We will discuss shipping options during the order process to find the option that works best for your municipality.
 

Group Benefits

Members who take part in our group benefits program face the most changes, so we've broken the details up to make changes easy to follow and implement. We encourage you to share relevant information with your employees to help them avoid delays in claim processing and payment.
 

Monthly Bills

SUMA will not send out monthly bills during a disruption. If you need a copy of your bill, email gis@suma.org, and we can email one to you. 
 

Premium Payments

As with other items covered above, please hold any cheques until Canada Post resumes service, or consider sending via courier.
 

Applications/Change Forms/Termination Notifications

You can fax these forms (306-525-4373) or email them to gis@suma.org. We will process using the copy, but you must send the original copy. You may wait until Canada Post resumes services or send immediately via courier.
 

Drug Cards/Certificates

SUMA will send drug cards and certificates once mail service resumes. Should your office have a new employee, please contact our office and we can provide you with the information needed to make electronic claims.
 

Health and Dental Claims

You can submit many claims without using postal services:
  • Member eClaims allows you to submit many health and dental claims online or via the GroupNet app on mobile devices. Employees must be registered for GroupNet for Plan Members to use Member eClaims. If they have not yet signed up, encourage them to do so now, as there is a 48-hour delay after registering before they can submit their first claim. eClaims is not available for out-of-country claims.
  • Your dentist, pharmacist, chiropractor, physiotherapist, massage therapist, naturopath, or acupuncturist may be able to submit claims electronically.
  • Some employers may collect claims and send to Great-West Life or SUMA by courier.

To avoid payment delays, employees can sign up for direct deposit through GroupNet for Plan Members under the profile tab. Otherwise, cheques will be mailed once the postal disruption has ended.

Life/ADD&D/Disability Claims

You can fax these forms (306-525-4373) or email them to gis@suma.org. We will process using the copy, but you must send the original copy. You may wait until Canada Post resumes services or send immediately via courier.
 

Vision Claims

Any vision claims can be sent to the SUMA office via courier. Employees may sign up for direct deposit by completing the applicable section on the claim form.

Now Accepting Nominations!

June 22, 2016

Is your municipality going the extra mile? Submitting a nomination to the Saskatchewan Municipal Awards (SMAs) is a great way to get the message out about the great work happening in your community. The awards will give your municipality provincial exposure and an opportunity to showcase and gain recognition for your accomplishments.

See this video for an explanation of what the SMAs are, and check out last year's first place project. Nominations are now open for the 10th Annual Saskatchewan Municipal Awards until September 9!

For more information visit the Saskatchewan Municipal Awards website.

Thank you to this year's Title Sponsor, Affinity Credit Union!

Funding for Flood Mitigation Projects through NDMP

June 22, 2016

Overland flooding is one of the most frequent and costly types of disaster in Canada, and the effects can be devastating for communities. The National Disaster Mitigation Program (NDMP) was created in 2015 to help Canadians in high-risk communities reduce the anguish and high costs associated with major flood-related events. 

Through the NDMP, the Government of Canada will cost-share flood mitigation project costs: up to 50 per cent for eligible provincial projects and up to 75 per cent for eligible projects in the territories.  

To receive funding, community officials should submit a proposal to their provincial or territorial contacts. The province or territory will then need to submit eligible proposals to Public Safety Canada by June 30, 2016 for projects to be eligible for this round of funding. 

Various types of flood mitigation projects are eligible for funding under the NDMP, including:

  • risk assessments;
  • flood mapping;
  • mitigation planning; and
  • investments in non-structural and small-scale structural mitigation projects. 

For more information on the four funding streams or the application process itself, you can visit Public Safety Canada’s website or email ps.NDMP-PNAC.sp@ps-sp.gc.ca.

 

Urban Saskatchewan Representatives Elected to FCM Board

June 20, 2016

Earlier this month, four representatives from Saskatchewan urban municipalities were elected to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Board of Directors:

  • Mayor Debra Button (Weyburn)
  • Councillor Darren Hill (Saskatoon)
  • Councillor Randy Goulden (Yorkton)
  • Mayor Sheryl Spence (Warman)

President Button was also re-elected at the Provincial and Territorial Association representative to the FCM executive. 

Congratulations to all four on their election!

Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program Beginning Second Intake Next week

May 18, 2016

As part of Canada 150 Celebrates, the Government of Canada is investing in community infrastructure. There will be $46.2 million available through Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) for the second round of the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. These dollars will invest in projects aiming to rehabilitate existing community infrastructure in Western Canada, and priority will be given to:

  • recreational facilities;
  • projects that support a clean growth economy (i.e., energy efficiency upgrades); and/or
  • projects that support indigenous communities and peoples.

The application window will open on Tuesday, May 24, and remain open until 3:00 p.m. (depending on our time zone) on Wednesday, June 22. Details are available in a President's Update and on the WD website

Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness Week in Saskatchewan

May 10, 2016

The Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed May 8–14 Aquatic Invasive Species Awareness week, and SUMA is pleased to see this emphasis on the need for diligence on this issue.

Last month, SUMA sent a joint letter to Environment Minister, Herb Cox, alongside our sister associations, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) and the Provincial Association of Resort Communities of Saskatchewan (PARCS), urging action on aquatic invasive species. Awareness, inspections, and decontamination are critical parts of protecting our water bodies and water-related infrastructure.

SUMA welcomes the Province's acknowledgement of this issue, and we look forward to working with our partners and the province on ensuring continued progress.

Emergency Preparedness Week 2016

May 02, 2016

The first full week of May each year is Emergency Preparedness Week, coordinated by Public Safety Canada. The theme for May1–7, 2016 is Plan. Prepare. Be Aware. There are plenty of resources available from Public Safety Canada to help you and your community make the most of this week. The toolkit is a great place to start, with tips and ideas to promote Emergency Preparedness Week in your community and workplace. 

For more information, please contact info@GetPrepared.ca or call 1-800-830-3118.

Federal Infrastructure Program Update

May 02, 2016

SUMA met with officials from the Ministry of Government Relations last week for an update on federal infrastructure programs. This meeting followed the receipt of a letter from the federal minister of infrastructure, the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, to the Ministers of Government Relations, and Highways and Infrastructure outlining details on the Government of Canada’s infrastructure programs.  

New Building Canada Fund (NBCF)
Canada has asked that the province commit all remaining funds (roughly $130 million) from the small communities and the municipal portion of the national/regional program components of the NBCF - Provincial and Territorial Component to projects by March 2018.

As of April 2016, 37 projects have been approved for funding. The ministry advised that there are currently 20 projects remaining for possible approval.

Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) 
Saskatchewan has been allocated $29 million from this fund to support investments in public transit in Saskatchewan cities that report on transit ridership.

Clean Water Wastewater Fund (CWWF)
Saskatchewan will be receiving $89,342,112 for clean water and wastewater projects. The Government of Canada’s portion towards these projects will be 50 per cent of the total cost. The remaining 50 per cent will be covered by the province and local government. SUMA has communicated to the province that local governments share should be reduced to 17 per cent, while the province keeps their share at 33 per cent. No decisions have been made on the municipal/provincial funding breakdown. 

SUMA does not yet have details on when applications for the PTIF and CWWF programs will be received. 

SUMA calls for commitment to permanent revenue sharing and infrastructure funding

March 07, 2016

During the 2016 provincial election, the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) is calling on all political parties to commit to a permanent municipal revenue sharing agreement, and a Made-in-Saskatchewan infrastructure program that is permanent, long-term, sustainable, and predictable.

You can read more about our call in the media release, and get all the details on the issues SUMA is raising during the provincial election on our election hub

New Building Canada Plan funds 11 projects through Small Communities Fund

March 01, 2016

Last week, the federal and provincial governments announced funding for 11 infrastructure projects under the New Building Canada Pan's Small Communities Fund. Two of the projects cover drinking water, while the other nine or for wastewater. All 11 projects are taking place in municipalities with a population below 2,000. Details on the announcement and which projects are being funded are available on the Government of Canada website.

Revenue sharing continuing as promised in 2016-17

February 25, 2016

The Government of Saskatchewan announced yesterday that the revenue sharing program for 2016-17 will continue as one point of the PST (collected two years ago), with a total pool of more than $271 million. This is a roughly two per cent increase over last year's revenue sharing amount. Funding will be allocated from the total pool to the sectors as follows:

  • Cities: 47.945 per cent
  • Towns and Villages: 16.345 per cent
  • North: 7.456 per cent
  • Rural: 28.254 per cent

A detailed breakdown of the funding is available on the Government of Saskatchewan website. 

“Our cities, towns, villages, and northern communities are grateful for the predictable funding delivered through revenue sharing, and for the partnership this funding represents,” Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) President Deb Button said.  “We rely on these dollars to fund our operations, and to foster and sustain the incredible growth our communities have seen in recent years.”

You may also be interested in the details on SUMA's recent advocacy on revenue sharing in 2012, 2015, and during the 2016 provincial election.

Convention 2016 Evaluation

February 04, 2016

Thanks to all our Convention 2016 delegates for a busy four days. Now is delegates' chance to tell us what they thought of SUMA's 111th Annual Convention. Fill out the short survey for your chance to win two nights at the Hilton Garden Inn in Saskatoon!

Government of Canada Launches Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

December 09, 2015

Yesterday, the Government of Canada announced the launch of a national inquiry on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. SUMA joined our voice to the many calling for an inquiry earlier this year — first through a resolution at Convention 2015, then as part of the quality of life theme of our federal election advocacy. We appreciate the Government of Canada's commitment and their movement forward on the inquiry.

More details on the announcement are available in this news release.

Information Bulletins on Conflict of Interest

December 03, 2015

The Ministry of Government Relations issues three information bulletins last week on the conflict of interest amendments and how they pertain to each of the three municipal acts. They were emailed to all municipalities, but are also available for reference here:
Informational bulletin: The Cities Act
Informational bulletin: The Northern Municipalities Act
Informational bulletin: The Municipalities Act

SARCAN Phasing Out Milk Container Collection

November 23, 2015

As of January 1, 2016 milk containers will be obligated to be a part of municipal recycling programs in Saskatchewan. Starting January 1, 2016 SARCAN will begin a six-month phase-out of their milk recycling program.

Milk container recycling will be covered by the Multi-Material Recycling Program (MMRP) operated by the Multi-Material Stewardship Western (MMSW). If you have not already done so, and are interested in receiving money for your residential recycling program, contact MMSW.

Details on signing up for the MMRP are available in the November 16 Urban Update, and details from SARCAN on their phase out of milk container collection is available in this letter.

SUMA Welcomes Return of Mandatory Long-Form Census

November 05, 2015

The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) applauds the federal government for today’s announcement on the reinstatement of the mandatory long-form census. This was a major point in SUMA’s advocacy work during the federal election campaign.

For more details on SUMA's reaction to this announcement, read the full media release.

Toronto Star Story: Liberals to restore mandatory long-form census

November 03, 2015

One of the new Liberal government's first acts will be to restore the mandatory long-form census, says the Toronto Star. SUMA is watching this file closely after the federal election, and is hopeful that Saskatchewan municipalities will once again have access to the valuable data provided by the long-form census. (See our municipal issues backgrounder in the 2015 Federal Election Advocacy Hub for more details on why the census is important to Saskatchewan's cities, towns, and villages.)

Canada Post Community Mailbox Conversion "on Hold"

October 27, 2015

Late Monday, Canada Post announced it is re-evaluating its path forward, given the challenges in the postal system.

More details are available in this story from CBC.

Municipal Reaction to Federal Election

October 22, 2015

Since Monday's federal election, there has been several places to see the municipal reaction to the results of election day.

Thank you to SUMA members from President Button
Sask. cities eager for Liberals' infrastructure plan
Atchison welcomes Trudeau government

For all the information from our efforts during the campaign, see the 2015 Federal Election Advocacy Hub:

SUMA Media Release: SUMA calls for reinstatement of mandatory long-form census

October 09, 2015

During the 2015 federal election, the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) is calling for the reinstatement of the mandatory long-form census.
“The loss of the mandatory long-form census four years ago has resulted in a significant loss of the data municipalities need to plan for the future to meet the ever-changing needs of their residents,” said SUMA President Debra Button. “In some cases, the data is completely unavailable, and many statisticians say the data we do have is unreliable — even worthless.”
For more details, see our media release.

SUMA Media Release: New Building Canada Fund is inadequate and hinders growth

September 24, 2015

During the 2015 federal election, the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) is once again calling for a permanent, long-term, sustainable, and predictable infrastructure program that increases the overall amount of funding available for municipal infrastructure projects.
“Saskatchewan municipalities need a program that helps us tackle the challenge of providing the services and infrastructure needed to accommodate growth, attract business and new residents, and deal with a significant infrastructure deficit from years of underfunding,” said SUMA President Debra Button. “Saskatchewan’s predictable allocation of the New Building Canada Fund works out to $43.67 million annually over 10 years that must be shared between the province and 800 municipalities. That figure is woefully inadequate and doesn’t even begin to meet the urgent demand for infrastructure in our cities, towns, and villages.”

For more details, read the full media release.

Nearly $20,000 Donated after SUMA Golf Tournament

September 18, 2015

The City of Prince Albert announced today that they are donating almost $20,000 to six projects as a result of a successful tournament and thanks to the contributions of private sponsors. For all the details on the donations, see the city's media release.

City of Moose Jaw’s Improved Worker Safety Nets One-Time Payment

August 19, 2015

See the story in the Moose Jaw Times Herald about the city's improved worker safety record, and how it meant a $148,617.45 payment.

First Intake of Approved New Building Canada Plan Projects Announced

August 05, 2015

Funding was announced last week for 26 Saskatchewan projects through the New Building Canada Plan's Small Communities Fund. These projects total $11,517,336 each from the federal and provincial governments, with a matching amount coming from the individual municipal governments.

You can see the full list of projects, and more details on the announcement are available on the provincial government website.

SUMA Thanks Strong Urban Leaders in Northern Fire Emergency

August 03, 2015

As the fires in northern Saskatchewan continue, the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) offers words of support to affected communities and residents. Our northern communities have many strong leaders, who are working extremely hard on behalf of their communities. Many of our other members are also to be commended for their cooperation and support.

 "SUMA applauds everyone who has reached a hand out to their neighbour in this unprecedented emergency situation," said SUMA President Debra Button. "SUMA knows the value of municipal cooperation, and we are proud to see our cities, towns, and villages helping one another. I encourage all municipal leaders to think about what we can do to help."

SUMAdvantage: Calendar of Opportunities

July 13, 2015

Earlier this year, we surveyed members to find out what purchasing opportunities you wanted us to pursue under the SUMAdvantage group purchasing program. We asked questions about your municipal annual spend, critical items to keep your operations running, and your suggested top five opportunities for us to consider. Thank you to all who responded; we received 111 responses to our survey which provided us with a good amount of data to analyze.

Once we ranked the order in which the opportunities would be pursued based on the survey responses, we consulted with the SUMA Program Development Advisory Committee to finalize the list. We also have noted the approximate quarter in which the opportunities will be undertaken.
 
Year Quarter Opportunity
2015 2 *Signage
  4 Road Salt
  4 *Office Supplies
2016 1 Maintenance, Repair, Operations (MRO)
  1 Fire Equipment
  1 Chemicals
  2 *Natural Gas
  3 Vehicles
  3 Gravel
  4 *Janitorial
  4 Waste/Garbage/Recycling
2017 1 Fuel
  1 Paving
     
 
For each opportunity, we follow a request for proposal (RFP) process engaging the member municipalities in the process. We will do this through the SUMA Program Development Advisory Committee and the bid evaluation committee. The bid evaluation committee will be composed of those member municipalities that wish to participate in a particular RFP. We will call for participation at the start of each opportunity. Those on the bid evaluation committee can be a council member or from the administration who has knowledge in the subject area. You may notice that in the above list we have some programs already in place (noted with an *). These programs will go through the same process when it comes time to review them.
 
In order to keep focused and moving forward we are going to try to follow this list as closely as possible. However, if a need arises from the membership we are open to suggestions and will determine through SUMA Procurement Development Advisory Committee if it’s an urgent need or can be added to the future list of opportunities to pursue.
 
For more information on current SUMAdvantage, check the program page. Inquiries can be directed to Tania Meier, Director of Corporate Programs and Member Services at tmeier@suma.org or 306-525-4379.

SUMA Thanks Strong Urban Leaders in Northern Fire Emergency

July 06, 2015

As the fires in northern Saskatchewan continue, the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) offers words of support to affected communities and residents. Our northern communities have many strong leaders, who are working extremely hard on behalf of their communities. Many of our other members are also to be commended for their cooperation and support.
"SUMA applauds everyone who has reached a hand out to their neighbour in this unprecedented emergency situation," said SUMA President Debra Button. "SUMA knows the value of municipal cooperation, and we are proud to see our cities, towns, and villages helping one another. I encourage all municipal leaders to think about what we can do to help."

New Program for Brownfield Redevelopment

June 17, 2015

Today, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) launched a new program to help municipalities better understand, navigate and reduce the barriers to brownfield redevelopment. FCM unveiled the program at the Canadian Brownfields Network’s annual conference in Toronto, ON.
A brownfield is an abandoned, underused or contaminated commercial, institutional or industrial property where past activities have led to real or perceived health and safety issues. Redeveloping these sites addresses environmental concerns, boosts local economies and revitalizes neighbourhoods.
Offered through FCM’s Green Municipal Fund (GMF), the Leadership in Brownfield Renewal (LiBRe) program will bring municipal practitioners together in a collaborative peer learning environment through which they will gain knowledge and skills to better facilitate brownfield redevelopment in their communities. Developed following a successful two-year pilot, the new program will help municipalities overcome common barriers to brownfield redevelopment, including risks and uncertainties associated with remediation costs, complex approval processes, potential liabilities and financing challenges.

FCM invites all municipalities committed to brownfield redevelopment — from those ready to start taking action, to those with experience in revitalizing underused sites — to join LiBRe as soon as possible for activities starting in September. Members will benefit from peer learning activities, workshops and networking opportunities, as well as tailored knowledge resources that centre on a seven-step best practices framework. LiBRe membership is free of charge and open to any municipality, large or small, that pledges to: support brownfield redevelopment; make progress through the LiBRe best practices framework; and share their progress through an annual program report.
Interested municipalities may contact Peter Farrell at pfarrel@fcm.ca or 613-907-6382. Participating communities will be announced at a later date.

You can find more information on the LiBRe website, including a program overview, a membership form, a best practices framework, and an overview of GMF funding for brownfields.

City of North Battleford Wins Environment Award

June 08, 2015

Congratulations to the City of North Battleford on winning a national municipal environment award for your biosolids management program. The Canadian Association of Municipal Administrators (CAMA) presented its 2015 CAMA Environment Award, in the under 20,000 population category, last week.

See more details in the media release and this video.

New Infrastructure Grant Announced

May 20, 2015

This morning, SUMA sent out a special edition President's Update to alert our members about a new infrastructure grant program. The program opened yesterday and closes Wednesday, June 17, so we want to be sure all Saskatchewan urban municipalities have a chance to apply for this program. The program will invest $150 million over two years in projects that rehabilitate or improve cultural and community infrastructure.

You can also visit the Western Economic Diversification Canada website for further details.

Province Provides $700,000 for Community Airports

May 12, 2015

Congratulations to the 14 urban municipalities and one RM that received funding from the province through the Community Airport Partnership (CAP). The funds – part of a cost-shared program – will be delivered to:
  • Carlyle;
  • Gravelbourg;
  • Kindersley;
  • Kipling;
  • Luseland;
  • Maple Creek;
  • Moose Jaw;
  • North Battleford;
  • Shellbrook;
  • Swift Current;
  • Tisdale;
  • Unity;
  • Wynyard;
  • Yorkton; and
  • the RM of Eldon.
Details on the funding are available in the media release from the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure.

Saskatchewan Court of Appeal Upholds Prince Albert Ban on Cabs using Drive-Thru Liquor Outlets

May 06, 2015

The 2014 bylaw in the City of Prince Albert prohibiting taxi-cabs from going through drive-thru liquor outlets has been upheld in the Saskatchewan court of appeal. Read the CBC story for more details.

Western Canadian Municipal Associations Meet in Regina

April 24, 2015

Today, representatives from municipal associations in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba met in Regina to discuss issues of common interest. The associations represent urban and rural municipalities across the Prairie provinces.

For more details, read the full media release.

Register Now for 2015 Town Sector Meeting

April 20, 2015

Registration is open for the Town Sector Meeting, held May 12 and 13 in Regina. The draft agenda is available, and Policy Advisor Sean McKenzie is taking suggestions, should you have a topic you'd like to see discussed.

Celebrate National Employee Benefits Day!

April 02, 2015

April 2 is National Employee Benefits Day, and Great West Life – the provider SUMA contracts for many of our group benefits plans – has created several videos on benefits that you may enjoy. Take a few minutes today to learn more.

Why care about your benefits?



How to sign up for GroupNet for Plan Members and direct deposit


How to submit an online claim

How to review your benefits and claims history

GroupNet Mobile

SUMA Thanks the Government for Honouring their Commitment

March 18, 2015

From our smallest villages to our big cities, urban municipalities across Saskatchewan applaud today’s announcement that the provincial government will honour their promise to share one point of the PST with municipalities. The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) welcomes this announcement, after months of uncertainty for our hundreds of member municipalities.
For more information, read our full media release on today's provincial budget.

President Button called "a role model for all women"

March 11, 2015

At Convention 2013, Mayor Debra Button was elected the first female president of SUMA. While she was in Saskatoon for Convention 2015, Jenn Sharp from The StarPhoenix and Bridges newspapers interviewed her for a profile. The article was published this morning, and President Button covers topics from her life as a woman in municipal politics to her role as the voice for Saskatchewan's urban municipalities and plenty more.

You can read the article on The StarPhoenix website.

SUMA Convention 2015 a Busy Four Days

February 10, 2015

Hundreds of delegates from towns, villages, cities, and northern municipalities across Saskatchewan gathered last week in Saskatoon for a whirlwind of excitement at SUMA’s 110th Annual Convention. Along with a rousing President’s Address from President Debra Button, there were many highlights:
  • The involvement of the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations’ Acting Chief Kimberly Jonathan at the opening ceremonies. Chief Jonathon shared a message of inclusion, compassion, and understanding.
  • A resolution from the SUMA Board of Directors on revenue sharing received unanimous support from delegates, sending a strong message to the provincial government about the importance of this program to urban governments.
  • Effective February 4, Regina City Councillor Mike O’Donnell is the new Executive Member for Saskatoon and Regina.
  • SUMA’s CEO, Laurent Mougeot, received the Federation of Canadian Municipalities’ International Awards of Excellence – he is one of only 10 recipients in the country.
  • The President’s Banquet and Awards ceremony dazzled attendees with a new format full of home-grown entertainment, including slam poetry from Saskatoon’s Isaac Bond and the vocal-centric stylings of FOGDOG.
  • The full provincial Cabinet attending Wednesday’s Bear Pit.
  • Attendance of Opposition Leader Cam Broten.
SUMA thanks all delegates for their attendance, and looks forward to building on the momentum of another exciting convention.

President Button Talked to Premier Wall

January 12, 2015

Late last week, amidst news that the provincial government is considering cuts to municipal revenue sharing, SUMA President Debra Button talked with Premier Brad Wall via phone. This article on Discover Weyburn explains more.

Premier Says Revenue Sharing Cuts Possible

January 09, 2015

As falling oil prices tightens the provincial budget, Premier Brad Wall has gone on record saying that cuts to the Municipal Operating Grant (also known as revenue sharing) are "on the table" for the 2014-15 fiscal year. Read the full article on the Leader-Post website.
SUMA will continue to work with the provincial government to remind them of some the tenets of the agreement that we made at the beginning of this program:
Revenue sharing is tied to the economic performance of the province as a whole – not the price of a barrel of oil
The formula in place will pass the economic slowdown to municipalities – with some lag time
We will keep members updated on what progress we make on this issue.

Free Workshops on Building and Fire Code Requirements for Alternative Family Care Homes

December 15, 2014

The Building Standards and Licensing Branch of the Ministry of Government Relations is hosting free workshops around the province from January 14-April 22. The workshops will provide information related to the building and fire code requirements for small care homes that accommodate 10 or fewer total occupants. The presentation will include information related to whether occupants in care are capable of self preservation and the requirements for automatic sprinkler systems. Workshops are offered to service providers, program consultants, industry, municipal officials, building officials, fire officials, designers, and all other Code users.
To ensure there is a place for everyone, you need to register with Building Standards and Licensing in advance. Return your completed registration form at least three days before the workshop.

Winter 2015 Workshop Schedule

January 14 8:30 a.m. to Noon Regina
January 28 8:30 a.m. to Noon Humboldt
February 11 8:30 a.m. to Noon Melfort
March 4 8:30 a.m. to Noon Estevan
March 18 8:30 a.m. to Noon Saskatoon
April 8 8:30 a.m. to Noon North Battleford
April 8 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Meadow Lake
April 21 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Moose Jaw
April 22 8:30 a.m. to Noon Swift Current

Applications Open for New Building Canada Fund

November 24, 2014

The Provincial Terrritorial Infrastructure Component (PTIC) of the New Building Canada Fund (NBCF) is now open for applications. There is $240.2 million in matching funding available for municipalities – over 10 years – on projections of national, regional, and local significance. There is a focus on projects that "support economic growth, a clean environment, stronger communities, growth in export and trade, as well as projects that meet the opportunities and challenges of growth."

Deadline for applications is noon on Monday, January 12, 2015 for the first intake. More details are available in the media release from Government Relations, and on their website.

Resolution Deadline Approaching

November 13, 2014

The deadline for submitting resolutions for Convention 2015 is coming up quickly! Resolutions need to be sent to SUMA by Friday, November 21. All the details on submitting your resolution are available in the call for resolutions. You may also want to review the new Resolutions Policy and past resolutions as you work on your own resolution.

Voluntary Compliance Period for Land Surveys Ending October 4, 2014

September 11, 2014

Amendments to The Land Survey Regulations, 2014 came into force on June 12, 2014. The amendments require all plans to be:
  • submitted in an electronic format acceptable to the Controller of Surveys using the web-enabled submission tool;
  • accompanied by an AutoCAD file (when necessary, based on plan purpose); and
  • contain at least two georeferenced points (when necessary).
The Controller of Surveys has allowed voluntary compliance of these amendments, but the voluntary compliance period will end on October 4, 2014. That day, ISC will introduce changes to its Plan Submissions Online tool. More details on submitting a plan online is available on the ISC website.

SUMA President Travelling to Ukraine

September 08, 2014

SUMA sends safe travel wishes as President Debra Button travels to Kiev, Ukraine this week. As the gender representative for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), President Button is attending a conference hosted by the Association of Ukranian Cities. The Weyburn Review has more details on President Button's trip.

SUMA’s Second Mayors Summer School a Success

August 20, 2014

This year's Mayors Summer School wrapped up Tuesday, and Leader-Post reporter wrote a story about the experience. You can check it out in Wednesday's Leader-Post. We've also created a photo album on our Facebook page documenting the action for those who couldn't make it.

Thanks to all the mayors who attended!

Signs of Economic Growth: Regina and Saskatoon named "star" cities

August 13, 2014

The executive vice-president of the Business Council of British Columbia has named Regina and Saskatoon among the "stars" of Canadian cities, based on median family incomes across 33 metropolitan areas. Jock Finlayson calls the cities' strong showing reflective of Saskatchewan's "buoyant economy and enviable basket of export-oriented commodity industries."

Finlayson's complete article is available to read on the Troy Media website.

Another Increase for Municipal Operating Grant

July 24, 2014

Thanks to higher PST revenues in the last fiscal year, the pool for the municipal operating grant is going to be $8.3 million bigger in 2015-16. The revenue sharing program is based on one percentage point of the PST. Since it began in 2007, the Saskatchewan-made funding program has made our municipalities the envy of our counterparts across Canada.

To find the total for your municipality, visit the revenue sharing page on the Government Relations website. Details on the announcement are available in the provincial media release.

Register Now for Mayors Summer School!

June 30, 2014

You have until Wednesday, July 16 to register for Mayors Summer School! Join us August 17-19 on the University of Regina campus for a one-of-a-kind experience with mayors from across the province. To get all the details, and find the registration form, visit the event page now.

Flooding: Information from the Ministry of Government Relations

June 02, 2014

The Ministry of Government Relations has provided the following information for municipalities, in light of the recent flooding.
  • Municipalities that require emergency equipment, such as sandbags, water barriers, pumps, or any additional support should contact the Ministry of Government Relation's Emergency Management and Fire Safety branch directly at 306-787-9563.
  • Any private citizens requiring sandbags need to coordinate with their municipality.
  • For more information on the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP) and how municipalities can apply, call 1-866-632-4033 or visit the PDAP page on the Government Relations website.
  • Municipalities should contact PDAP as soon as possible if considering a claim. If the type of event appears to be eligible for disaster assistance, the municipal council or band council is required to pass a ‘Resolution in Council’ or ‘Band Council Resolution’ requesting designation for eligibility under PDAP. Once the Resolution has been passed by the local government authority and sent to PDAP, the request for disaster assistance is assessed based on PDAP criteria.
  • To qualify for private damage, there needs to be one resident with $5,000 in damage or multiple residents with combined damages if $25,000. For municipal damages, the damages need to exceed the municipal deductible, which is 0.1 per cent of the 2012 confirmed taxable assessment.

Nominate Your Municipality - Saskatchewan Municipal Awards Now Open

May 30, 2014

Is your municipality doing something new, innovative, ahead of the curve – maybe even award worthy? Are you working with neighbouring municipalities? Submit a nomination for the eighth annual Saskatchewan Municipal Awards! This is your chance to be recognized in front of your peers at our next convention.

For more information on the Saskatchewan Municipal Awards (SMAs), visit their website. You'll find past success stories, and everything you need to know to submit your nomination today. Don't miss this opportunity to celebrate municipal success!

SUMA Board Members Running for FCM Board

May 12, 2014

Beginning tomorrow, representatives from municipalities across Canada will gather in Niagara Falls, Ontario for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Annual Conference and Tradeshow. Four members of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) Board of Directors will be running for positions with FCM.

Get more details in our media release, and best of luck to them all!

$700,000 for Community Airports

May 08, 2014

SUMA has long advocated for sustainable funding for community airports. In 2010, the SUMA Board of Directors endorsed a policy advocating for additional funding for airport infrastructure in southern Saskatchewan. The Community Airport Partnership (CAP) program has since received a much-needed boost to continue building links among Saskatchewan and national and international markets.
This is the fourth consecutive year the CAP is providing $700,000, spread among 15 communities – two of which are receiving CAP funding for the first time.
  • Assiniboia, $10,000 for an engineering services report;
  • Carlyle, $95,000 for runway extension and lighting;
  • Esterhazy, $37,470 for runway lighting, crack sealing and a cement beacon pole;
  • Humboldt, $30,000 for crack repair and asphalt patching;
  • Kindersley, $7,000 for beacon replacement and runway crack sealing;
  • Kipling, $62,500 for taxiway and apron rehabilitation;
  • Luseland, $44,940 for crack filling;
  • Maidstone, $16,250 for GPS/weather tracking system;
  • Moose Jaw, $15,000 for new lighting wiring system and taxiway crack sealing;
  • North Battleford, $80,000 for storm sewer replacement;
  • RM of Snipe Lake, $123,450 for runway rehabilitation;
  • Shellbrook, $99,390 for drainage repairs and runway upgrades;
  • Swift Current, $28,000 for asphalt maintenance and beacon refurbishment;
  • Unity, $15,000 for runway chip seal and asphalt patching; and
  • Yorkton, $36,000 for runway and taxiway repairs, drainage rehabilitation.
For more information on this year's CAP, read the full press release.

Regional Recreation Collaboration Research

May 05, 2014

The Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) and the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) have entered a partnership to collect information on Saskatchewan practices for regional collaboration on recreation services and to develop a guide to help local governments establish regional partnerships. We have contracted independent firm HJ Linnen Associates to conduct the research.
This research project has three key objectives:
  • Gather province-wide information outlining the needs and current practices around collaborating to operate and program community recreation services and facilities.
  • Develop a resource to guide communities’ collaboration discussions with other local governments.
  • Establish a comprehensive communications strategy to support the use and distribution of the research findings and implementation of the resources.
This research project was inspired in part by the response to sessions at the annual SPRA and SUMA conferences.

Saskatchewan is growing; communities are actively searching for new and innovative ways to meet the recreation needs of an increasingly diverse and growing population. A number of local governments have been investigating and, in many cases implementing, strategies that increase the level of collaboration and support for joint facility and program operations.
We anticipate more local governments in Saskatchewan will investigate the possibility of increased collaboration as an option to meet the increasing demands for recreation.
This research will help local governments get ready for the discussion. Many are already looking for this information. Project outcomes will provide guidance so local governments can respond to opportunities for regional collaboration in recreation service provision.
For more information about this project, contact:

Sean McEachern

John Firnesz and Luella Newman

Director of Policy and Communications

Managers – Program; Communication, Information and Research

Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association

Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association

Phone: 306-525-4394

Phone: 306-780-9214

Email: smceachern@suma.org

Email: jfirnesz@spra.sk.ca; lnewman@spra.sk.ca

We Want Your Feedback!

April 15, 2014

SUMA members, we want your feedback. Please fill out this quick survey on the partners' program we run during our annual convention. Your responses will help us plan a successful Convention 2015.

New Building Canada Fund Update

April 03, 2014

On Friday, March 28, 2014, the Government of Canada launched the New Building Canada Fund (NBCF) – a $14 billion, 10-year plan to invest in provincial, territorial, and municipal infrastructure.
Under the NBCF, there are three components that total $14 billion over 10 years.
  • The National Infrastructure Component – $4 billion/10 years
  • The Provincial/Territorial Infrastructure Component – $9 billion/10 years
  • The Small Communities Component – $1 billion/10 years
At this time the NBCF is only accepting applications for the National Infrastructure Component. Negotiations are still ongoing to finalize the application process and funding agreements for the Provincial/Territorial and Small Communities Components. SUMA will continue to monitor progress and immediately notify members of any new developments.
More information on the National Infrastructure Component application process is available on the Infrastructure Canada website.

Recycling Infrastructure Grant Program Launched

March 26, 2014

You may have heard last month that the Ministry of Environment is partnering with SUMA to manage a grant to support municipal recycling infrastructure in Saskatchewan in preparation for the upcoming MMRP.
We are pleased to tell you that you can now send in your application for eligible projects. The program guidelines and application form are on the program page. To get the wheels turning, here are some examples of eligible projects:
  • Large bins for depot collection
  • Bailers
  • Trailers for collection and shipping of recyclables
  • Mobile scale to weigh recyclables
The deadline for applications is June 30, so don't delay!

2014-2015 Provincial Budget

March 20, 2014

The provincial government released the 2014-2015 budget yesterday afternoon in the legislature.

SUMA's response is that we are pleased with the investment in urban governments, but continue to have concerns with the lack of details on the Building Canada Fund.

Government media release on budget's support for municipalities
Budget documents

SUMA media release

CFIB Report on "Rich Municipalities" Misleading

March 10, 2014

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) released a report entitled “Municipalities Are Richer Than They Think” on February 24, 2014. The report says when all revenues received by cities are calculated, including transfers and user fees, the actual amount of funds received by cities amounts to 15 cents out of every tax dollar in Canada rather than 8 cents argued by FCM. The report concludes that instead of a revenue problem, cities have a spending problem. The report was released the day before the FCM Big City Mayors Caucus meetings in Ottawa on February 25 and 26.
While the CFIB relies on Statistics Canada numbers as the basis for its claims, the report by CFIB focuses on all revenue received by municipalities while the FCM focuses on tax dollars directly collected by municipalities. The CFIB includes in its analysis municipal tax revenue, sales of good and services, investment income, and other revenue (e.g., fines) as well as all federal and provincial transfers for a total of $73 billion in revenues. The FCM solely refers to property and other taxes collected by municipal governments, which accounts for about $38 billion in tax revenue.
The CFIB claims that while the amount of transfers to municipalities declined in the 1990s, transfers have since increased to a record level ($16 billion in 2008). The CFIB also states that any funding lost during the reduction in transfers was covered by increasing property and other taxes, which still remain at the higher rate, and that municipal spending increased during this time at a rate exceeding population growth. As such, instead of a revenue problem, the CFIB argues municipalities have a spending problem. The CFIB concludes by calling on governments to freeze additional funding to municipal governments until spending is better managed.
Municipal responses to the report included, among others, FCM, the Municipalities of Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities. FCM wrote a letter rebutting the report, reaffirming that municipalities only collect 8 cents of each tax dollar collected in Canada and advocating for a fairer share of taxes collected in Canada. The MNL posted a formal response to their website stating staffing issues, unsafe drinking water, and inability to maintain roads indicate that revenue is indeed the problem particularly in light of transfers being project-specific and municipal operating grants having been on the decline since the early 1990s. The President of the UNSM stated that municipal expenses are rising due to increasing costs of regulations and citizens demanding higher levels of services, and municipal income sources are limited.
SUMA takes issue with the CFIB report, as it does not reflect the fiscal reality facing communities, which includes the following:
  1. The total amount transferred by federal and provincial governments to all municipalities is not a stable and predictable funding source for each municipal government. Moreover, the large majority of the transfers (81 per cent in 2008) are for specific individual projects.
  2. The lack of stable revenue sources continues to be a struggle for municipal governments meeting increased regulations (such as solid waste regulations), and citizen demands for more and better quality services. This is particularly true for Saskatchewan which is experiencing tremendous growth while dealing with outdated infrastructure maintained during times of scarce resources.
  3. Municipal governments are trying to deal with these budgetary constraints and only having access to 8 cents of tax dollars in Canada while providing the most immediate and essential services out of any level of government, including safe drinking water, fire and police services, transportation, and waste management services.
References:
CFIB report
A general breakdown of the Statistics Canada numbers

Municipal organization responses:
FCM
MNL
UNSM

Request for Proposal: Inter-Municipal Recreation Services Research Project

March 05, 2014

The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) and the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) are partnering on a research project to identify Saskatchewan practices focussed on the collaboration of municipal governments in the provision of parks and recreation services.
Local governments recognize the value and benefits that the provision of parks and recreation services offer to individuals, families and communities. They provide a variety of services and facilities that support and meet the recreation needs of their citizens.
Saskatchewan is currently in a period of growth and communities are actively searching for new and innovative ways to continue to meet the recreation needs of an increasingly diverse and growing population. A number of municipalities have been investigating and in many cases, implementing strategies that increase the level of collaboration and support for joint facility and program operations.
It is anticipated that the province will see an increase in the number of municipalities investigating the feasibility of increased collaboration as an option considered in meeting the increasing demands for recreation.
The purpose of this research is to be ready for the discussion. Many local governments are already seeking this information. The outcomes of the project will provide guidance for municipalities in responding to opportunities for regional collaboration in recreation service provision.
If you are interested in leading this project, SUMA and SPRA invite you to submit a proposal on the services you can provide. Here is the RFP outline for the project. If you have any questions, please contact Sean McEachern, SUMA's Director of Policy and Communications at smceachern@suma.org or 306-525-4394.
The deadline for RFP submissions is Monday, March 31, 2014 at 4:00 p.m. (Central Standard time).

SUMA Urges Federal Government Action on Building Canada Fund

February 12, 2014

The 2014 federal budget is missing important details to support our cities, towns and villages in their efforts to help our province grow despite promises of action. Yesterday’s budget lacked details regarding the Building Canada Fund (BCF) despite the 10-year, $14 billion fund being announced in the 2013 federal budget.

For more details, read the full media release.

Convention 2014 Evaluation and Grey Cup Photos

February 06, 2014

Thanks to everyone who attended Convention 2014! We want to know what you thought of this year's event, so please take a moment to fill out the evaluation, and be entered into a draw for a gift certificate.

If you went to the Municipal Marketplace Tradeshow on Monday and had your photo taken with the Grey Cup, you can check out your photos in this album.

SUMA Gets Social

January 31, 2014

SUMA is proud to announce that you can now also keep up with all our news on social media. You can follow us on Twitter @SUMA_amplify, and like us on Facebook.
We've been on YouTube for a few years now, and are excited by the warm welcome we've already received on the new networks.
We are also happy to share the social media policy and handbook that we are using, so you can use it as a basis for any social media efforts our members may want to undertake.

Bridge Funding Deadline Approaching

January 10, 2014

The deadline to submit documentation for the second round of the 2013 Municipal Recycling Bridge Funding Program is fast approaching. SUMA must receive all documentation by Wednesday, February 19, 2014. A complete submission includes a Receipt Submission Form and actual tonnage information from July 2013 to December 2013. Remember, you must submit all of this information by the deadline to receive the $150 bonus payment. Late and incomplete submissions will be ineligible to receive the bonus payment. Please also note that the program only reimburses for paper and cardboard recycled in 2013.
For more information you can visit the website or contact recycle@suma.org.

Reading Up on the Keynote Speaker

January 09, 2014

Ted Jaleta, the keynote speaker for Convention 2014, and his Jaleta Pacers running group hit the news this week. If you want to find out a bit more about Ted and his work in the community, check out the Leader-Post article from January 5. Ted talks about why and how he and his team do the work in the community.

Ted Jaleta's keynote speech will beo on Monday, February 3 at 9:30 a.m.

Almost $1.6 Million for Community Rinks

December 19, 2013

Congratulations to the more than 300 communities that received their share of the Community Rink Affordability Grant. Today, the government announced almost $1.6 million would go to 520 facilities across the province. The grant is administered and delivered by our partners at the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association.

More details are available in the goverment's news release.

President Button Takes SUMA’s Voice to Ottawa

December 04, 2013

Last week, SUMA President Debra Button travelled to Ottawa for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities' Advocacy Days. While there she met with members of the federal government and opposition, and the senate.

Housing, infrastructure funding, and railway safety were all hot topics. Her trip was featured in the Weyburn Review this week. You can read the full story on their website.