Hello Ward 6
As the days get longer and the signs of spring abound, there is a new sense of optimism as we continue to manage COVID 19. I am hopeful that the province’s phase-in approach for recovery will be successful for our city. Please remember that public health officials say it is critical for each of us to continue practicing strict personal conduct, staying 2 metres away from those who do not live in the same residence. These efforts have helped us get this far, and may well determine our success moving forward.
I want to give a huge shout out to everyone who is going above and beyond during this time. To the landlord who forgave last month’s rent; the neighbours clanging pots and pans to support frontline healthcare workers and the kids down the street preparing free meals for those who need it – THANK YOU! Your generosity is truly inspiring.
In our new virtual reality, City Council continues to meet almost daily, and our regular agendas for committee and Council work have resumed. Note, that beginning Monday, May 11th, residents will once again be able to speak to agenda items per regular procedure, only it will be done via telephone.
Recovery Plan & Financial Strategy
Here is a graphic that shows how the City is managing the crisis. There are no plans to increase property taxes. We are maintaining core services, reducing spending, re-deploying staff where possible and issuing layoff notices as necessary. We are moving ahead with capital projects this summer, though most lead line projects will be deferred to 2021. We are working with other levels of government on solutions and financial help, as all municipalities are facing deficits. Gratefully, Saskatoon has a fiscal stabilization reserve and a AAA credit rating. This will help support our recovery moving forward
Weekly pickup will begin on May 18th. Your collection day hasn’t changed, but remember to check Saskatoon.ca/collectioncalendar to ensure you don’t miss it! Also, remember to use Saskatoon.ca/wastewizard to put your waste in the right place.
Collections began May 4th for those who have signed up for the organics program. For more information go to: Saskatoon.ca/greencart
Physical Distancing Ambassadors are moving throughout our 200 parks, and also along busier areas of Meewasin Trail to monitor physical distancing and provide education when needed.
*A reminder that all playground structures are closed and no group sports or activities are permitted under the provincial emergency order. This includes basketball, soccer, baseball and lacrosse.
It’s great to get outside, and we know we have work to do to get proper signage in place along bridges and also to ensure enough space for everyone. Right now, the message is: If you go out – spread out. I have expressed concerns about our ability to physically distance, often requiring us to walk on the roadway. Our administration is endorsing this, and asking walkers to ensure they are walking along the left side, close to the curb, facing traffic. Motorists are being asked to be more alert as there are more pedestrians and cyclists on our roadways.
Cranberry Flats is Open
As of May 4th, Cranberry Flats, Poplar Bluffs, Paradise Beach and Fred Heal Canoe Launch are all open 7 days a week from 8 am – 8 pm. *Note: Beaver Creek Conservation Area remains closed due to construction.
Residential Parking Permit Program
After a year-long review, the report is being tabled this month. The Transportation Committee discussed the report at its meeting this week, and it will be going to City Council for approval on May 25th.
For more information about the COVID19 in Saskatchewan, here is the link to the province’s website:
This Saturday at 7pm the entire city is invited to join Cheer for Heroes. Using your pots and pans on your front step, let’s show support for our health care and emergency workers during their shift change. These frontline heroes know more than anyone that the pandemic is a marathon – not a sprint. You may hear about it in the media as we build on efforts already underway on Quance Avenue, 10th Street and other areas of our city. Let’s get out and cheer them on!
If you or someone you know is going above and beyond during the pandemic, drop me a note. I’d love to hear about it and share it. Also, if you are able to make a donation to support those in need, a reminder that the United Way and Saskatoon Community Foundation are accepting donations and working together to fill the gaps. You can donate here:
And to all of the moms out there, Happy Mother’s Day! This will definitely be one to remember.
Stay well and safe. Continue to be kind and look after each other. Together, we will get through this and rise like never before.