Councillor Blog: Hearing Date and One Community History

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Councillor Blog: Hearing Date and One Community History

Welcome back fellow residents of White City, and those reading from the surrounding area, for the October 2021 edition of the White City Councillor Blog. 

As many of you know, I’ve been advocating for a One Community approach in our region for well over a decade. I believed then and still do now that we are stronger together, as one united, urban community.

Residents and businesses across the region would benefit from the clarity, stability, and proactive planning of a single, united government.

It does really mean stronger communities, stronger services and a stronger future for all, across this great area of Saskatchewan.

No other system of two governments, bumping up against each other, with a variety of complex arrangements of districts and partnerships and agreements makes sense.

One Community is simple and just makes sense.

We have the opportunity to jointly create Saskatchewan’s next city – which is unique, and I can’t wait to be part of it.

I even have some good news to report on our One Community proposal.

On November 18th, White City and the RM of Edenwold will finally have a jurisdictional hearing with the Saskatchewan Municipal Board (SMB).

This hearing was delayed for months because of COVID. In fact, the hearing was only necessary because the RM of Edenwold requested a review of how we submitted our proposal. The result has been a significant delay.

If this jurisdictional hearing goes as planned, we expect a binding decision by the SMB on bringing our communities together by mid-late 2022.

Many have asked how we got here and what has been done since the launch of the project. Below is a brief history of events.

 

We launched our Future Growth Study in 2018 to showcase the need for a proper system of government to meet the needs of this growing area. We followed it up with a detailed proposal of how the only common sense solution was all the communities coming together as a new city.

We held four open houses with hundreds of people attending along with positive media coverage.

In 2019, White City conducted a formal presentation with residents to explain the ins and out of the proposal followed by many private meetings.

We also began negotiations with the RM of Edenwold to seek their support in forming a new city. It was clear their leadership was not interested in joining together, despite support from many in the RM.

We then engaged in volunteer mediations conducted by Saskatchewan Justice between the Town and the RM, which proved unproductive.

That’s why we ended up submitting an application to the Saskatchewan Municipal Board to force a decision to bring Our Communities Together.

In 2020, a hearing was set to move the application forward and then quickly cancelled because of COVID.

However, we continued to push as best we could. We updated the Town’s Future Growth Study to confirm its accuracy and the need to push forward in the best interests of our growing region.

We also provided additional financial analysis and documentation as requested by the SMB.

In May 2020, a case manager was finally assigned to our file only for the RM to bring up the jurisdictional technicality mentioned above. A hearing was set for January 2021 on that issue – and then delayed until November 18, 2021.  

COVID has certainly set us back but it’s good to see the process continuing.

A big thank you to our advocates, our Town’s administrators and fellow councillors for working so hard to make our One Community vision a reality.

We will continue to move forward for the betterment of this region.

If you’d like to be an advocate for One Community, please sign the petition in support at www.one-community.ca. We continue to need your support to push forward.

Thanks for reading and talk to you soon!  

If you have any questions, have a comment, want more information or want to suggest a topic for a future blog please email [email protected] or call 306-781-2355 – we look forward to hearing from you!

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