Saskatoon is a great place to live. Much can be done to make it even better. In putting my name forward for City Council, I want to first and foremost represent your concerns. I will be readily accessible to meet with your or visit by phone.
Charlie Clark has done an excellent job of working with our community leaders and in representing the priorities of our neighbourhoods. In standing for City Council, it is my intent to build on his work and to serve as a progressive voice for our neighbourhoods.
I am pleased to share with our residents some of the key priorities I plan to advocate for as your City Councillor in Ward 6. These are issues that I have worked towards as a member of our community over the last decade and which I have enjoyed discussing with you, our neighbours and residents, on your doorsteps and at the year’s many community events. They are part of our team’s vision to make Saskatoon a more livable, environmentally sustainable, progressive and inclusive city – one with better transit, creative housing solutions, an innovative economy, and vibrant neighbourhoods that all residents share and are supported in.
Our campaign will be announcing new policies and priorities between now and election day on October 26th, 2016. We invite you to follow and share in our campaign from now until then. If I can be of service in any way, please don’t hesitate to reach me.
Enhancing our communities and building the Saskatoon we envisage is a collective process. Our team and I would value your input and a chance to hear your concerns.
Candidate for Ward 6 Council
Mark Prebble & the Ward 6 Vision Team
Preserving Neighbourhood Identity, Enhancing Livability & Advancing Sustainability
Protecting our River Valley
The river valley is the centerpiece of our city and must be protected. I am a strong supporter of the Meewasin Valley Authority (MVA) and its conservation, trail development and educational work. If elected as your Ward 6 representative, I’ll seek expanded City funding to the MVA and will steadfastly oppose threatened provincial government cuts to the agency.
The Husky Energy oil spill on the North Saskatchewan River illustrates the risks that can be posed to Saskatoon by aging pipeline infrastructure that crosses the South Saskatchewan River. If elected as your Ward 6 councillor, I’ll press for better safety measures to be put in place wherever pipelines cross our river. Our water quality must be protected.
A Strong Push to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Pollution and to Adapt to Climate Change
Saskatoon needs to become part of the worldwide effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to curb climate change. Canada has made a commitment to the United Nations to achieve a 30% national reduction in emissions when compared to 2005 emission levels. Saskatoon should commit to the same goal. We need to do our part to tackle this very urgent environmental and social justice issue.
Preserving Neighbourhood Identity and Livability
Infill is occurring across our Ward 6 neighbourhoods. It needs to be done carefully and in ways that preserve neighbourhood character, livability and identity, as well as everyone’s solar access. Infill must also be done in ways that minimize parking problems for nearby residents.
Street Repair and Water Line Renewal should be Accelerated
The City has done well to invest in more road repair of late, but many Ward 6 residential streets are still perennially filled with potholes. I’ll press to accelerate street repair work.
Our City needs to advance renewal of our aging water and sewer lines in our established neighbourhoods. This work should be performed in concert with regular road improvements and repairs to improve efficiencies in spending in these areas.
A Greater Role for Solar Power in our City’s Future
Saskatoon is fortunate to have an excellent sunlight resource – one of the best on the North American continent. The price of solar power technology is dropping rapidly, making for investments in solar to be economical and fiscally prudent. I’ll press for new city policies and programs that will help homeowners and small businesses more readily install solar power systems. The City should be among the first to demonstrate the success of such installs on our public buildings.
Steps to Make our Neighbourhoods Safer
I support a 40km/hr speed limit in our residential neighbourhoods, while retaining 50km/hr on all regular arterial roads. We need to protect our children and reduce vehicle collisions.
Neighbourhood safety should be a planning priority that informs development in old and new areas alike, including in the use of public lighting, the development of pedestrian and cyclist corridors, and the design of street fronts (i.e. environmental design).
I will be a strong supporter of continued investments in our Police Service, but as our Police Chief has emphasized, bringing down Saskatoon’s crime rate also requires investments in the root causes of crime: alleviating poverty, eliminating hunger and homelessness, and making sure everyone has decent shelter. These will also be high priorities for me.
Downtown Grocery Store
Saskatoon’s downtown cannot continue to be left without a grocery store, a real inconvenience for those living in the downtown and a barrier to growth of our core residential population. I’ll work hard to facilitate the opening of a new urban market in the downtown.
Working Closely with Ward 6 Community Associations and Local Businesses
Our Ward is fortunate to have active community associations and strong local leadership. I want to work closely with each community association to ensure their priorities are reflected in City Council decisions.
I will regularly consult with the Broadway Business District and with downtown merchants. We want to continue to have a thriving business community, one that has contributed greatly to the vibrancy and identity of our neighbourhoods and enables quality ‘shop/buy local’ options. A coordinated plan should be delivered to maintain the long-term success of these commercial areas.
Improved Transit, Better Sidewalk Maintenance, Thoughtful Bike Paths
I will actively support more frequent bus service on key arterials like 8th Street, College Drive and Preston Avenue and transit-oriented community design of our new neighbourhoods. I will push strongly to see that major investments in improving frequency and quality of a modern bus service does not come at a cost to accessibility.
I’ll be a strong supporter on Council for more investments in bike lanes and boulevards, sidewalk maintenance, snow removal around bus shelters and other measures that make it easier for people to use active transit modes more efficiently. Active transit grid expansion should not compromise efficiencies in car use. More congested streets and bottlenecks will only frustrate drivers and result in greater vehicle emissions.
In addition to improving road repair, we need to work to build more complete streets with proper sidewalks and thoughtful placement of priority bike boulevards to allow for pedestrian, bicycle and vehicle use alike and ensure connectivity within and between neighbourhoods.
A Strong and Sensible Adoption of SMART Growth Planning
Our City’s philosophy for urban developed has for too long been informed by planning around personal vehicle use, short term horizons and ease of access to land (i.e. perceived disincentives for urban densification). It has lacked in regional perspective, understanding of environmental sustainability and failed to reflect best practices of modern global cities. The same principles that applied 30 years ago can no longer be sensibly applied today for Saskatoon to grow in a way that is responsible for its taxpayers and sustainable for our planet. Given expected rates of urbanization, anticipated demands on our transit grid, aging core infrastructure and shifting demographics, it is imperative that we adopt a SMART Growth Planning philosophy that reflects the success of other city’s that have modeled these practices and our unique landscape, climate and needs.
More Spaces to Connect and Expanded Urban Agriculture
People value places to gather, visit and stay connected. Some of these spaces need to be planned more intentionally or enhanced, with a better understanding of why people like to come together in these spaces. This should include more community gardens to support opportunities for increased local food production.
Quality Affordable Housing and Energy Efficiency Standards for New Buildings
I will bring my experience in working with our construction industry to bring creative and high quality affordable housing options to our city, with emphasis on accessibility and walkability.
It’s long overdue for Saskatoon to have an energy efficiency standard for new building construction. I support all new homes in Saskatoon being built to a minimum of Energy Star standards. It’s time we improve the minimum quality benchmarks of residential and commercial construction in our city and reduce building energy consumption.
Protecting our Urban Forest
It’s important that Dutch Elm disease not establish a foothold in our city. I therefore support investing in preventive measures to guard against the spread of the disease, including regular tree pruning and expanded funding of our Urban Forestry department.
Enhancing our communities and building the Saskatoon we envisage is a collective process. My team and I would value your input and a chance to hear your concerns.