Saskatoon seems to provincial authorities to replace ward boundary laws – Saskatoon

An information report was brought forward to the City of Saskatoon’s governance and priorities committee on Monday regarding ward boundary changes in the municipality.

A report back in October noted the requirement for the city to undergo a ward boundary review before 2024, and city council wanted to see if Saskatchewan’s provisions were consistent with other jurisdictions.

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City Clerk Adam Tittemore said the information report addressed the 10 per cent variance allowance required by Saskatchewan.

“So we completed a jurisdictional review of a number of cities across the country to try to determine what variances exist through their legislation, and what we’ve determined is that Saskatchewan is in fact more restrictive than most, if not all other jurisdictions across the country,” Tittemore said.

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BC doesn’t have a specific variance allowance in its jurisdiction, Alberta variances can range up to 25 per cent in Calgary and Edmonton, and Manitoba has a 25 per cent variance set for Winnipeg, with other municipalities getting to choose ward boundaries.

Tittemore added that the city could lobby the province for change to fall in line with other jurisdictions.

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It was noted in the meeting that only Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert have a ward system in the province.

If the city decided to push the province for change, it likely wouldn’t be seen until October 2023.

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Councilor Randy Donauer recommended that the city reach out to Regina and Prince Albert and see if they’re dealing with a similar issue.

Councilor Cynthia Block pushed forward a motion for Mayor Charlie Clark to send a letter to Prince Albert and Regina, as well as the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) and the Ministry of Government Relations to note that this is a change the city is looking to make.

Clark noted that change probably wouldn’t come until the election after the upcoming one.

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“If we want to have any change by next election in 2028 we probably have to start now knowing how the process of legislative change provincially,” Clark said.

The motion was altered after some discussion to get the ball rolling, with it indicating that the mayor would write a letter to the Minister of Government Relations with proposed changes to the Cities Act to change ward boundary variances to allow higher thresholds between 15-25 per cent.

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