SUMA lobbies in Ottawa

By Michael Joel-Hansen
November 2, 2018 - 1:47pm Updated: November 2, 2018 - 5:04pm

The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) was in Ottawa this week.

The umbrella organization, which represents and lobbies on behalf of the province’s cities, towns and villages met with a number of federal politicians to discuss a variety of issues.

“One of the issue(s) has been wondering if energy east will come back onto the table for discussion, SUMA’s been quite strong in the past with resolutions at the convention on support for piplines in Canada,” SUMA president Gordon Barnhart said.

Along with economic issues like pipelines, Barnhart said environmental issues like climate change were also part of the group’s agenda.

“Secondly we have been talking about climate change, again SUMA has had resolutions supporting the provincial government on opposing a carbon tax, but also wanting to have some help in terms of coping with climate change,” he said.

Other issues included the potential of increased policing costs, as RCMP officers are getting ready to engage in collective bargaining for the first time. Certain federal regulations are on the radar, specifically in regards to landfills where Barnhart said regulations are changing often.

Cannabis legalization is top of discussion on which portion of the tax revenues collected will go to municipalities to help cover the costs of legalization.   

“The federal government originally (agreed) with the provinces to do 50/50 sharing on the execise tax and then they added another 25 per cent to go to the provinces, to go to the municipalities and we are try(ing) to ensure that 25 per cent will come to municipalities,” Barnhart said.

Besides Barnhart, the SUMA delegation included five other people representing villages, towns and cities.

 

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