TRC and land development issues discussed at the Jan. 18 Executive Committee meeting

Here's a summary of two issues council members discussed at the January 18, 2017 Executive Committee meeting. You can find a PDF of the public agenda here.

The "Option to Govern the Development of City-Owned Lands Referral" was scheduled to be removed from Council's Outstanding Items List (EX17-1). Things got interesting when Councillor O'Donnell proposed that Council revisit the possibility of the City launching its own Municipal Land Development Corporation, a proposal I supported. In my mind this is something Regina should consider as a means of opening up new sources of revenue generation. It's normal for municipalities across Canada to be in the land development game, Saskatoon being one of them. Currently, Regina owns only about 7% of lands in the City, but the intention of the proposal was to make us a bigger player. There was also a motion to push the discussion to the January Council meeting, but this amendment was rejected in a split vote. After we returned to the discussion, many returning Council members reiterated their opposition to the creation of the Land Development Corporation. In a 5-4 vote, the Executive Committee voted to remove the issue from the Outstanding Items List, killing the proposal. Bad move, I say. But, I respect the will of the majority. 

Executive Committee also reviewed the Administration's report, "Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action" (EX17-2). As the report reads, 

"City Administration has taken a three-pronged approach in responding to the Calls to Action, as follows: (1) actions taken by the City of Regina, as an organization; (2) facilitating actions of the community, as a whole, through “Reconciliation Regina”; and (3) public engagement on reconciliation."

I encourage everyone to read the report and the extensive list of proposals. It's important to note that many actions have already commenced, with much more to come in the year ahead. My question focused on employment and labour relations practices, and the extent to which these particular TRC recommendations have been instituted. Steps have been taken to improve inclusivity training. I suggested that success be measured, in part, by employee surveys so that the City has an grasp of the effectiveness of these changes. As I said to the Executive Director of HR, Regina be recognized as a model employer in Saskatchewan when it comes to implementing TRC recommendations.

Is what the City outlines in the report enough? Let me know.