City Council in Brief - January 2022


In brief, this post highlights five items of public interest that were discussed during the January 2022 City Council meetings.

Highlights include:

  • City of Saskatoon 2022 - 2025 Strategic Plan
  • Comprehensive COVID-19 Update
  • Discussions on new White Buffalo Youth Lodge/City Centre Recreation Facility
  • River Landing's Hoist the Hoops update
  • Leave of Absence Policy for Members of City Council.

Other items that were discussed during the meeting include:

The full agenda's can be accessed here for January 31, 2022 can he found here. This meeting of City Council took place through teleconference and was recorded, as per any other City Council meeting.  

City of Saskatoon 2022 - 2025 Strategic Plan

The 2022-2025 Strategic Plan is a guiding document that sets direction and priorities for City Council and the Administration over the next four years.

Along with the Official Community Plan and the Multi-Year Business Plan and Budget, the Strategic Plan ensures City programs and services continue to address the changing needs of our community, while keeping within our financial means.

The 2022-2025 Strategic Plan was developed using contributions from the public, Council, and City employees. The following three pillars underline the identified deliverables and the key actions to achieve them:

  1. Advance City Council's Priorities
  2. Deliver Excellence in Core Services and Operational Priorities
  3. Drive Corporate Transformational Change

Certain elements of previous strategic plans remain relevant and are included in this new one, including the Vision, Mission, Values, Purpose and Strategic Goals.

A draft version of the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan was made available for public feedback between Oct. 27 and Nov. 10, 2021. Feedback was captured and changes reflected in the Strategic Plan can be found here.

The City’s newly approved 2022-2025 Strategic Plan is available at

Comprehensive COVID-19 Update

In September 2021, City Council passed a Framework to Mitigate the Transmission of COVID-19 in the community. This framework was used to determine the level of risk in our community and what measures would be recommended by the City of Saskatoon to reduce further transmission. The framework was based around publicly reported data and consultation with the local health experts, including the Medical Health Officers. This information has been reported weekly.

At this month's Council meeting, the recommendation was to no longer use the framework but rather continue consultation with the Saskatchewan Health Authority and local Medical Health Officers around the need for any changes to COVID-19 protocols for the City of Saskatoon. The main reasons for discontinuing use of the framework include:

  • With changes to COVID-19 testing requirements and recommendations, the data used to populate the framework is now impacted. This includes the 7-day average of weekly cases, the test positivity rate, and the 7-day reproduction rate. This change fundamentally affects the foundational elements of the framework.
  • The framework was developed in response to the rapid transmission and health services impact of the Delta variant. The Omicron variant has differences from the Delta variant, some of which would be difficult to translate into a data framework with publicly available data.
  • As each new variant emerges the framework would require fundamental adjustments based on the transmission and health impact of the new variant. Ultimately a new framework would need to be created with each subsequent variant of concern.
  • For these reasons, the recommendation to City Council is to repeal the Framework and continue to comply with all Government of Saskatchewan Public Health Measures and regularly consult with the Saskatchewan Health Authority local Medical Health Officers on COVID-19 transmission mitigation measure.

The City of Saskatoon will still look to aggregate remaining public information pertaining to the City of Saskatoon and share this on our website.

White Buffalo Youth Lodge/City Centre Recreation Facility

The White Buffalo Youth Lodge (WBYL) was founded in 1999 to provide a culturally safe, non-judgmental environment for children, youth and families to gather, learn and participate in sport, culture, recreation, health and social programs. WBYL is governed by way of a partnership agreement between the City of Saskatoon, Saskatoon Tribal Council (STC), Central Urban Métis Federation Inc. (CUMFI) and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA).

In 2013, City Council identified a four-year priority to build a recreation centre located within the core neighbourhoods. A project was put together to develop the business case, engage the community and explore partnership opportunities. The project considered future funding for a city centre recreation facility in partnership with STC and the YMCA of Saskatoon. While the YMCA is no longer seeking to partner in a
city centre recreation facility, the need for a city centre recreation centre remains a priority for the City.

Since the decision by the School Division to build their new city centre school on the site of Princess Alexandra school, STC has had discussions with the School Division to build a new recreation and wellness facility adjoining the new school. The City believes there is an opportunity to invest in a new WBYL, which would also serve as a city centre recreation facility. Approval was provide to enter into formal discussions with STC to develop an Agreement in Principle for investing in a new White Buffalo Youth Lodge/City Centre Recreation Facility at 210 Avenue H South. The agreement in principle will outline a joint understanding of the project and common commitment to the delivery of recreation services in the city centre.

Further reporting on the agreement in principle will be provided. In the interim, further information be found in the Council report.

Hoist the Hoops Update

Hoist the Hoops is a local initiative spearheaded by Michael Linklater, Marcus Storey and Michael Donauer who saw the need for an outdoor basketball facility to serve as both a sports opportunity and a way to bring community together in Saskatoon’s core neighbourhood.

City Council approved the original concept plan that was presented and agreed to provide other supports to the initiative. Since then, Canadian Tire Jumpstart Charities has joined the effort with an updated design that would include:

  • a full-size International Basketball Federation (FIBA) basketball court
  • two regulation 3-on-3 courts, lights
  • a shade shelter, and
  • up to six basketball standards with backboards, rims and nets.

The updated design, in partnership with Jumpstart, was presented and approved at January's City Council meeting. The full details can be found here

Leave of Absence Policy

As previously directed, a Leave of Absence Policy has been drafted for members of City Council. Previous direction was provided in September, August and March 2021.

Leaves of Absence for City Council Members can includes maternity leaves, parental leaves, and medical leaves. The purpose of the policy is to provide supports for members of Council during a leave to ensure the public continues to be represented. The policy outlines authorised leaves of absence, communications with constituency, definitions for each leave, procedures, management of duties, reimbursements etc.

This direction was incorporated into a policy and was approved at this month's Council meeting. The policy can be found here.