The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association held it east central regional meeting in Yorkton today, (Wednesday).
The event attracted Municipal administration and elected officials from as far afield as Esterhazy and Lemberg to Endeavour and Invermay.
Yorkton Councillor, and SUMA’s East Central Director Randy Goulden who acted as the event’s facilitator. She said the regional meetings are important because it is an opportunity for local elected officials to discuss common issues of concern, and to share best practices with each other.
In terms of issues, Goulden said urban communities vary greatly in terms of population, those attending ranged from under 100, to the city of Yorkton, but there are many common issues, such as providing water and sewer to fire protection.
“There are challenges we all face,” she said, adding the annual regional meetings help keep everyone informed on what is happening in terms of municipal issues. “ ... We all share the same concerns.”
One of the concerns is safety as it relates to rail lines, which Goulden reminded are a joint responsibility between municipalities and rail companies.
Goulden said rail lines are obviously important noting Yorkton moved in its earliest days to be on the rail line, and today having two lines serving the city were a crucial element in attracting two canola crushing plants since the lines provide opportunities to move product.
With that in mind the keynote speaker at the meeting was Marc Brazeau, President and Chief Executive Officer with the Rail Association of Canada.
The East Central Regional Meeting is the last of seven regional meetings hosted by SUMA between October 1 to October 9.
“Regional meetings are a chance for municipal officials to share ideas and discuss challenges with fellow leaders from their region,” said SUMA President Gordon Barnhart in a release.