Chamber pushing for reform

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January 22, 2015 9:00 AM

Progress was announced and old resolutions were reinstated at the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce (LCC) annual policy development roundtable, held on Jan. 13.

Chamber executive director Pat Tenney says that a number of initiatives are moving forward, while others have yet to come to fruition.

“In our letter to NAV Canada (the organization that owns and manages the civil air navigation services in Canada) we were able to get new procedures for Lloydminster approved,” said Tenney, referring to the resolution to expand the city’s airline services.

Tenney said that promising progress is underway for a number of other resolutions in the areas of education, crime prevention and health care. The Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce has adopted a resolution the LCC pushed to fund Lakeland College and a steering committee has been formed to develop a crime prevention society.

Tenney says health care can be a complicated issue due to Lloydminster’s two-province status.

“There’s no other jurisdiction in Canada in the same situation as we are in terms of how were funded for health care and what services we have,” she said.

“That’s unique to Lloydminster and it’s why we have the bi-provincial working committee finally working on this. But our job as the chamber now is to keep updated on that and to continue to be vigilant and to continue to ensure that the work of that committee is moving forward.”

The LCC says support from both provinces is a promising development for its “fair and equitable funding for health care” resolution. The LCC also managed to secure funding for the primary health-care centre in the Co-op Plaza and the College of Physicians and Surgeons will be coming to town as the LCC hopes that doctors will become licensed in both provinces, in order to better serve the city.

Resolutions that the LCC is still championing include Highway 17 infrastructure improvements, repurposing the Dr. Cook Extended Care facility and 24-hour crossing to increase trade from the United States at the Wild Horse border crossing, south of Medicine Hat.

After three years, a policy is dropped unless it is reinstated by the chamber. The LCC chose to maintain two resolutions from 2012. It will be pushing for photographic speed limit enforcement and a dangerous goods route to make sure that hazardous materials are not transported through the city.

“There’s a lot of people who are speeding and we know that speeding (enforcement) can cut down on traffic accidents. So we are going to again reinstate that one and be asking the Saskatchewan government to make sure that it’s enforced in all of Saskatchewan, not just in a few designated spots,” she said.

“Anyone can go down the middle of downtown … and we have no idea what are in some of those vehicles that are passing through. So we need to have a dangerous goods route to make sure those dangerous goods are not going through heavily populated areas.”

Tenney encourages people to participate in LCC discussions so it can better serve the community in the future.

“It’s important for people to get involved because if we don’t know what the issues are, then it’s difficult for us to advocate for them,” she said.

Tenney says that people who are interested in getting involved can do so by attending the LCC’s upcoming policy debate on Feb. 3.

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