Q1 Food: Food is one of our most fundamental basic needs, but not everyone in Saskatoon has access to fresh, affordable food. The Saskatoon Poverty Reduction Partnership’s 12 Bold Ideas to Eliminate Poverty states that making food more affordable includes a combination of reducing food costs, ensuring people have more income to buy food, and ensuring everyone has access to healthy food choices. Building food assets (e.g., emergency food assistance, meal programs, gardening and farming, grocery markets/stores, community supports and education programs) in every Saskatoon neighbourhood would improve access to healthy food, reduce social isolation, drive local economic development, and address food insecurity. What initiatives and policy options will you champion or support to ensure every neighbourhood in Saskatoon has access to healthy and affordable food?
As a healthcare worker, I truly believe a healthy society is a rich society. For us to reach that goal to have a healthy society we need to make sure people have access to fresh and affordable food.
To ensure every neighbourhood in Saskatoon has access to fresh, healthy and affordable food, the council should continue to work with different organizations hand in hand that helps to educate, provide and support our community. This will ensure every child has access to healthy food to eat and families can provide meals according to their budget. Saskatoon community food council will promote collaboration in our community. Like CHEP Good Food that offers a variety of programs for schools, families and individuals in Saskatoon.
The key is working together to achieve a common goal.
Q2 Arts and Culture: A new central library is an investment that will benefit all members of the Saskatoon community for years to come. The new central library build will generate jobs and economic growth. This will be especially important as we recover from the financial fallout of COVID-19. The total project budget has not changed since it was approved and is $134 million. Since 2009 there have been scheduled incremental increases to the library levy to build the capital reserves for the project. Future increases are scheduled to be $645,000 in the years 2021-2024; and $200,000 in 2025 and 2026. The average homeowner will see increases of less than $5 per year in 2021-2024, and less than $1.60 per year in 2025 and 2026. This schedule fully funds the new central library project, including debt repayment and increases to operating costs once the library is open, which means there are no additional increases related to the new central library project beyond 2026. Do you support the building of a library for downtown Saskatoon, as committed to the current City Council?
In the new central library business case, the economic impact assessment estimates the construction of a new central library will contribute approximately $132 million to Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP) and create 1,043 full-time equivalent jobs in Canada over three years. Nearly 70% of this economic benefit will occur in Saskatchewan. Once open, the new central library will produce over $15 million annually in GDP. These added jobs and GDP will be incredibly important to the community as we recover from the economic fallout of COVID-19. In addition to a positive economic impact, the new central library will also contribute to the health and well-being of the community. Public libraries are needed now more than ever because they provide equal access to everyone, regardless of age, income, abilities, or other barriers. By helping bridge the digital divide and providing important educational materials, programs and services, public libraries strengthen communities. The simple answer, building infrastructure will help boost our economy, it will create jobs for the community members and a salary that will be invested back to local businesses.
Q3 Arts and Culture: Our built and natural environments provide a framework for our urban living. Our buildings and spaces contribute to a unique sense of place and help tell the story of Saskatoon. Our heritage buildings and structures remind us of our history and provide much richness to our surroundings. They are appreciated by residents and play an important role in attracting visitors to our city. If elected, will you champion support for our built heritage?
The young and future generations deserve to know our history not only by looking at pictures but also by seeing and being in an actual building.
Q4 Food: Food sovereignty is defined as “the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.” Indigenous food sovereignty refers to a specific policy approach to addressing the underlying issues impacting Indigenous peoples and their ability to respond to their own needs for healthy, culturally adapted Indigenous foods. How can the City of Saskatoon contribute to Indigenous food sovereignty?
The City of Saskatoon can help by having an open dialogue and working together with the indigenous people to address the issues.
Q5 Urban Planning: One of the goals of Saskatoon’s Strategic Plan (2013-2023) is “Sustainable Growth.” This includes planning for a healthy balance of greenfield and infill development – to grow the city inward and upward as well as outward. Responsible and strategic neighborhood infill would include consulting with the vulnerable populations affected, protecting existing affordable housing and heritage sites, and taking steps to limit sprawl and disparity in living conditions in new neighborhood developments. Do you support providing affordable housing to people living in core neighborhoods to minimize the social and economic displacement that could result from significant increases in infill development?
One of the reasons why I am running for council is to ensure that the most vulnerable people have access to the services they need when they need them. That they have a voice in the council who will advocate for them. Everyone matters and nobody should be left behind or falls in between the cracks of our broken system.
Q6 Urban Planning: Mandatory parking requirements have been shown to increase construction costs and decrease affordability of housing. Some cities — including Edmonton — have done away with parking minimums, to allow the market to decide how much parking to build. Do you support Saskatoon allowing the market to decide how much parking to include with new developments?
It bothers me that if ever I decided to invest in a property. I have no right to decide how much parking I want when in reality I am or I will be paying for the mortgage.
Q7 Urban Planning: The Meewasin Trail is one of Saskatoon’s outdoor recreation treasures, used daily by city residents and visitors for strolling, running, and cycling. Winding under bridges and linking parks and natural areas along both sides of the river, it runs more than 90 kms in length. If elected, will you support the Meewasin trail development plans currently in progress and look for ways to continue to sustain the trail network in Saskatoon?
Meewasin Trail is significant to be maintained for young and future generations to see, play and enjoy the beauty of Saskatoon.
Q8 Urban Planning: Many Saskatoon neighbourhoods now have speed bumps on residential streets to slow drivers and reduce vehicle noise. Do you support the further expansion of speed bumps as a way to manage the negative effects of car traffic in Saskatoon?
I do support the further expansion of speed bumps. I would like to take this opportunity to share the comments I’ve gathered from the doorsteps. Most of them agree it does work to slow down drivers. What trouble them is proper planning where it should be. The community believes the parks where the playground is the best place to have speed bumps to slow down drivers and keep the young people safe.
Q9 Public Transportation: Saskatoon has invested significant resources in the development of a Bus Rapid Transit system as part of the City’s Growth Plan (2016). Planning is well underway for a high-frequency, direct bus service along the city’s major corridors and construction is scheduled to begin in 2022. The full system is expected to be in operation by June of 2025. Are you committed to maintaining the timeline to meet the 2025 completion date for the Bus Rapid Transit system?
My family relies on public transportation. The people of Saskatoon deserve reliable and affordable transportation. Bus rapid transit system will help our city move forward. Our city bus divers will benefit from this plan, as a more efficient and comfortable public transit system encourages more people to become transit users, reducing congestion and pressure on roads. Creating a better transit system will decrease carbon emissions by helping take cars off the road.
Q10 Public Transportation: Other enhancements to Saskatoon Transit have been discussed that would make bus service more affordable, accessible, and reliable, while still minimizing greenhouse gas emissions. They include, for example, changes to the fare system, better connectivity, provisions for the poor and disabled, and improved communications. What are your priorities in further enhancing Saskatoon Transit to meet the needs of all people in Saskatoon?
First, I would love to have affordable transportation for the people of Saskatoon. I would like to dig into the possibility of a free bus ride for all students to lessen the financial burden that our students facing right now.
I would like to share what I’ve heard from the doorstep in regards to accessibility to city transit. We have so many new residential areas in Ward 3 in particular with no bus services. That is one of my goals, to ensure all the people have access to affordable transit. I wish it’s pre-plan because it’s only right to have a projected plan that includes transit services before building the areas rather than letting all of our new homeowners stranded.