Lobbying and Advocacy Recap, August/September 2017
Posted on October 2, 2017 in Business
As always, the past two months has seen the NSBA be very busy on the lobbying and advocacy front to ensure that businesses in Saskatoon are well represented to all levels of government. Some highlights include work on a number of City of Saskatoon files, including the Land Bank Audit and the 2018 City Budget.
- Land Bank Audit: The NSBA presented to the City’s Standing Policy Committee on Finance in favour of the Auditor’s recommendations and proposed further recommendations regarding financial reporting and a Municipal Development Corporation. The Committee – and subsequently Council – made the following recommendations, which allow the business community to ensure that the auditor’s recommendations are followed:
- That the Administration further explore what opportunities and options could exist for the City of Saskatoon to create a Municipal Land Development Corporation including the possibility of including infill development;
- That a report be provided to the Standing Policy Committee on Finance no later than December 31, 2017 on any appropriate recommendations for a potential new governance model for land development by the City of Saskatoon;
- That the Administration implement the auditor’s recommendations and bring an update in one year with a progress report;
- That the Administration adhere to approved policy in the administration of Saskatoon Land, and bring forth recommendations for policy changes when necessary; and
- That the Administration develop a communications strategy to make the findings of the audit available to stakeholders in online format and as presentation to stakeholders upon request to be in as plain language as possible.
- Office Space Policy: City Council approved a number of incentives to infill and City Centre development, following the NSBA’s letter regarding the City’s Office Space paper submitted in the spring. A breakdown of the recommendations approved by the City can be viewed here: https://apps2.saskatoon.ca/tpapp/eamm_public/filestream.ashx?DocumentId=38925. The NSBA is also committed to meeting with the Provincial Minister of Government Relations to discuss the recommendations made in the aforementioned letter.
- 2018 City Budget: The NSBA was invited to submit comments to the City’s Governance and Priorities Committee regarding changes to the City’s presentation of the annual budget, specifically regarding the non-policy recommendations that the NSBA made in its submission to the City regarding the proposed 2017 budget. The NSBA presented to the Committee and the Committee tasked City Administration with pursuing the NSBA’s recommendations and consulting with the NSBA on the implementation thereof. To date, the Administration has already indicated implementation of some of the recommendations for the 2018 Budget.
- Federal Tax Changes: The NSBA has been very active in trying to raise awareness of and campaign against the proposed changes to the federal corporate income tax system. The NSBA has strongly encouraged its members to submit letters to the federal government, working with Thomson Jaspar to provide tools and education for this purpose. The NSBA also hosted a very successful rally in opposition to these changes which gained a large amount of media coverage. The NSBA submitted its own letter in opposition to the tax changes.
- WCB & Labour Relations: The NSBA has been working with the WCB Board on issues of customer service and satisfaction, including bringing specific examples to the attention of WCB leadership to help WCB adapt and provide better service in the future.
To view any of the letters mentioned above, please view our Correspondence page.