The Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce is putting forth some new resolutions this year which include photo speed enforcement on the Saskatchewan side, a dangerous goods route through town, Saskatchewan funding for policing and equitable funding and timely implementation of health care services.
“We have the four resolutions that we brought forward for 2015 and photo speed enforcement in Saskatchewan is one of them,” said John Winter, vice-president of the Lloydminster Chamber of Commerce.
“Some of the members of the chamber would like to see it on both sides of the border so that’s one thing that we’re advocating for our members to the Saskatchewan government to try and get in Lloydminster.”
At present, photo speed enforcement is limited to the Alberta side of the city, but getting it on both sides of the border could take a few years. Winter said it all depends on how well the Saskatchewan government reacts to the idea and if it makes sense for them to go ahead with it.
As for the dangerous goods route, right now goods like gasoline, varsol and oilfield waste are travelling through the core of town and in high traffic areas, and Winter said that can be dangerous.
The chamber feels that finding alternate routes to use for trucks hauling dangerous chemicals is a good idea for public safety.
“It could mean something as easy as putting signage up (saying) that we do have a dangerous goods route,” said Winters. “Just different ways that are (preventing) people from going down the main areas. Especially, if all they’re doing is trying to get on the other side of town.”
Though using signage to reroute trucks is the simplest approach, there have been talks in their 10-year plan about building a new road specifically for this purpose. Winter said a lot can happen between now and then, though, and using specific routes, enforced by fines for noncompliance, can be done sooner than later.
Third on the list of new policies is Saskatchewan funding for Lloydminster policing. Winter said when the Saskatchewan government heard the city’s police headquarters was moving across town to the Alberta side, they completely pulled their funding, leaving it up to the city to pick up their share of the tab.
Being that almost half of the calls to the Lloyd - minster RCMP come from the Saskatchewan part of town, the chamber feels this needs to be rectified.
“Forty per cent of the calls that the Lloydminster detachment gets are from Saskatchewan residents, so the city kind of had to pull up the socks to pay it,” Winters explained.
“Alberta, they’re based on a per capita funding system, so they just pay for their Alberta residents like normal, and that’s all they should be. But we feel that Saskatchewan should be doing something too.”
Saskatchewan residents are, of course, paying taxes, there’s a question of where the portion supposed to be dedicated to policing has been going.
“We don’t know, that’s what we’re trying to find out. It’s totally unfair,” said Winter.
The fourth resolution is around fair and equitable funding and timely implementation of health-care services. Winter said this has been an issue for a long time, and although there have been some advancements in the last few years that he considers “wins for the city,” there is still more that needs to be done.
Some consider Lloydminster to be under-funded in terms of health care when compared to other towns of similar size and the chamber wants to make sure there aren’t more health care cuts from the provinces to compensate for the current dip in the economy.
“We’re saying no, it can’t be cut. We’re trying to get back to normal with people so we have nothing to take away from anymore, that’s kind of what the gist of this one is,” said Winter.
“That’s why it’s worded ‘fair and equitable funding,” so that we’re just trying to be fair with everyone else. We’re not trying to ask for more or anything special, we’re just trying to get to the standard that we should be at.”