Businesses are looking to Saskatoon as the place to be. We need to make sure we continue to support, attract and retain good jobs in our city.
Business leaders have told me what they want in a city is certainty, collaboration, and a level playing field. It is important we work together to get this right.
This means a City Hall that is nimble and adaptive to our changing times, that is continually looking for ways to be more efficient, to cut red tape, and to problem solve with residents and businesses.
We have strong economic fundamentals, great quality of life, and have proven to be one of the safest places in the world through COVID. We have every reason to be hopeful, but we are going to have to work hard.
Short term - Support the local economy through COVID
I will support businesses and workers through the economic recovery process from COVID, while also looking for opportunities that will position us with strength in the future.
When faced with challenges, the Saskatoon business community steps up. They find solutions, adjust their processes and adapt to serve their community. The pandemic showed the importance of local business and access to local goods and services.
My focus will be to work with our local business community to get through the difficult winter months and be well-positioned for the summer.
- Promote a Winter Animation and attraction strategy to build as much activity into winter as possible for people to get out and support our local hotels, restaurants, destinations, shops
- Continue to drive flexible and adaptive regulation, similar to what we did in allowing restaurants to implement more sidewalk and parking patios
- Strengthen the local supply chain through best value procurement and Priority Saskatchewan efforts to ensure that local companies are competitive and able to participate in spending
- Coordinate a Retrofit Roundtable to drive jobs in construction and energy- efficient initiatives
Long Term - Drive economic recovery by leveraging our strengths and positioning Saskatoon to succeed in the global economy
I will work to implement Saskatoon’s First every Economic Growth Strategy that was developed with SREDA, Chamber of Commerce, NSBA, Tourism Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Trade and Export Partnership, educational institutions and dozens of local businesses. We took the first step earlier this year, now we need to focus on outcomes. My priority areas below build on this strategy.
1. Add value to our resources
Build a food and ingredients food processing hub in the region working with Corman Park, SREDA, University of Saskatchewan, and Industry partners.
2. Expand our booming tech economy
- Build a center for excellence in Ag and Tech
- Work with U of S, Province and Industry to build a tech accelerator to help companies drive growth
Market our opportunities to the world with a coordinated campaign between City, Province, Federal and Industry leaders
3. Plan for a sustainable and resilient future
- Promote an ambitious plan for retrofitting homes and offices - to create jobs, reduce bills, improve buildings and reduce emissions
- Prepare our transportation system for the future - create an electric charging network, expand the electric bus network, builds the BRT, create smart transportation grid
- Expand solar energy in Saskatoon
4. Build an inclusive economy
Indigenous Economic Development
- Continue to innovate in Indigenous Procurement
- Expand partnerships with First Nations who are investing in the region through Urban Reserve development
- Explore further partnerships for renewable energy development opportunities with First Nations
- Support Social Enterprise expansion creating opportunities for youth and under-employed people to re-enter the workforce
- Work with Local Immigration Partnership to build supports that ensure local newcomer businesses succeed.
- Create a Mayor’s Roundtable to address systemic barriers to employment and participation in Saskatoon
- Support implementation of the recommendations made by Women Entrepreneurs Saskatchewan (WESK) to level the playing field for women entrepreneurs and support scaling up of women-owned businesses.