Confab discussed economy transformation

By Geoff Lee

December 19, 2016 1:58 PM

CH-CH-CHANGES TransformSK brought its travelling brainstorming session on how to improve the economy to Lloydminster on Dec. 15. Two sessions were led by Meagan Jane, executive coorination for Saskatchewan Association, left, and Curtis Hemming, director of government relations for the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce. The 1 p.m. session drew about a dozen community leaders to the city's operations centre. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO

Lloyd and Regina final consultation stops

Lloydminster, along with Regina, had the final community say in how to transform the economy of Saskatchewan for the better.
The two cities were the last stops in a series of community consultations in a pan industry project called #TransformSK to brainstorm ideas focused on improving the government, the economy, infrastructure and education.
The first of two Lloydminster sessions held on Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the city’s Operations Centre drew about 12 community leaders.
The local sessions were led by Curtis Hemming, director of government relations for the Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce.
“We’ve invited people from the education sector, the health care sector, labour unions—and all sorts of people come out to these meetings,” said Hemming.
In attendance was Robert King, a surveyor from McElhanney, representing the Saskatchewan Land Surveyors Association with some ideas in mind.
“We’re going to talk about removing some of the barriers involved with planning development,” he said prior to the session.
King also had some ideas to share under the Saskatchewan Common Ground Alliance, to improve mapping, locating and easements that are required for SaskPower and SaskEnergy.
A final report and recommendations from consultations held in 15 communities with be presented to the government in March.
“We’ve being trying to get feedback from all sorts of people because when we go and present these ideas to the government early next spring, it will be useful for us to be to able to say we consulted with a variety of people,“said Hemming.
Hemming said his organization picked up the ball on transformation change after the province spoke about the need for it with the release of its $434 million budget deficit in June.
“They said in order to eliminate the deficit, but also to identify the priorities where they do want to be spending money, that some transformational changes might need to be made,” he said.
The transform Saskatchewan project is also run by the Saskatchewan Construction Association, Saskatchewan Mining Association, Saskatchewan Manufacturing Council and the Agricultural Producers Association of Saskatchewan.
David Thompson, chair of Lloydminster Public School Division was ready to raise his hand on how to transform the education sector that he represents.
“We want to be able to influence the discussion to particularly support the initiatives started in the (provincial) educational sector plan, the goals that have been agreed upon by 28 school divisions,” said Thompson.
“We want whatever process goes forward to actually support those rather than to hinder their receipt.”
Megan Jane, the executive coordinator of the Saskatchewan Construction Association has taken on that role for #TranformSK and has recorded a flood of ideas during 45 day and evening sessions held throughout the province.
“We’ve talked about carbon tax, we’ve talked about opportunities in agriculture and clean energy— it’s really all over the map,” she said.
Additional ideas can be sent by email to input@transformsk.ca or by uploading a video to YouTube or Vimeo with a deadline on Dec. 31.

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