City Council in Brief - December 2020


In brief, here are four items of public interest that were discussed during the December 2020 City Council meetings. The full agenda for December 21, 2020 can be accessed here.

Please note that in line with the City of Saskatoon’s request for citizens to assist with controlling the spread of COVID-19 we encourage you to email a letter at providing comments or requesting to speak as an alternative to attending the meeting. This meeting of City Council took place through teleconference and was recorded, as per any other City Council meeting.

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Knox United Church Heritage Designation Update

The report before Council this month was to send the discussion regarding amending The Knox United Church Heritage Designation Bylaw to a public hearing. Subdivision and subsequent development of the adjacent parking lot on the Knox United Church site is being pursued to create additional economic opportunities for the congregation. No approval was given at this meeting, rather the amendment will be advertised in accordance with the provisions in The Heritage Property Act, which requires the Notice of Intention to Amend a Bylaw be advertised at least 30 days prior to the public hearing. The Public Hearing will be an opportunity for the proponent and members of the public to present regarding this proposal.

Furthermore, the Standing Policy Committee on Planning, Development and Community Services resolved that the Administration engage with the Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee and report back on how their concerns can be addressed.

One-time Clearing of Secondary Paths

City Council approved the one-time clearing of secondary pathways in parks. The term “secondary pathways” within City-owned parks means any unlit park path surfaced with either asphalt, red shale or crusher dust and having sufficient width to accommodate snow clearing equipment.

This work will likely take place in early January 2021 and will allow for more passive recreation opportunities in our parks. It builds off the work of our one-time clearing and removal of snow city-wide due to the blizzard we experienced in November 2020.

The cost to do this is approximately $14,400.

Change to Governance and Priorities Committee Chair

Direction has been provided to update The Procedures and Committees Bylaw to allow the ability to appoint the Deputy Mayor to chair the Governance and Priorities Committee. Currently this meeting is chaired by the Mayor, and the change in this bylaw would allow the Deputy Mayor to chair this meeting. This is a good opportunity to formalize some of the duties of the Deputy Mayor and to enable opportunities for all members of Council to chair a committee. It is anticipated that the bylaw will be ready for the January 2021 meeting of City Council, which would allow this change the be in effect as early as February 2021.

Cancellation - St. Paul's Hospital Combined Heat and Power Plant Project

In follow up to the approval granted in August 2019 (see previous blog post), the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) has notified Saskatoon Light & Power (SL&P) of their decision to cancel the project. Initially it was agreed upon between SHA and SL&P to co-build a 1.07 MW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Plant at St. Paul's Hospital. 

Combined heat and power plants operate on natural gas to produce both electricity and heat at the same time, with less greenhouse gas emissions than producing each separately. The Federal Government has committed funding to this project, totaling 38.65% of the total project cost. 

Following project approval, the Administration continued to work with SHA to enter into a formal partnership agreement for the construction and operational phases of the project. Work on this agreement was stalled in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic concerns for the SHA. Subsequently, no further work was performed on developing the construction specification or tender documents as the agreement was not yet in place. The Administration was recently informed of SHA’s decision to cancel the project. While the feasibility study identified a viable and cost-effective project, the SHA cited concerns about risk and reliability within the hospital setting as the main reasons for their decision.
The implementation of the CHP plant at St. Paul’s Hospital was identified as one of the top 10 actions with greatest savings per tonne of emissions through the Marginal Abatement Cost analysis in the Low Emissions Community Plan. This project was included in the actions to meet community greenhouse gas emission reduction of 15% in 2023. The Administration will continue to look for opportunities to implement a combined heat and power project with other partners in the future.