Friday Funny kind of

Taken from a the blog “Lost Girls Guide”

According to Andrew’s experiences, here are just 10 things (of many!) that are different from Eastern Canada.

1. Taking the Grids
We’ve a lot of land, and not too many people to fill it. That’s why you’ll find roads of varying construction around Saskatchewan. With 26,000 kilometres of paved road, but 134,000 kilometres of grid roads you often need to ‘take the grids’ to get to your destination. What we simply mean is that you need to drive on graveled, unpaved or unsealed roads designed in grids to get to where you’re going.

2. Bleeding Green
This isn’t so much a term as a way of life. In Saskatchewan we both wear and bleed green in the form of the Saskatchewan Roughriders gear and pride. If, for some odd reason you aren’t familiar, the Riders are our local CFL football team that we’re pretty passionate about. So passionate in fact, we like to carve out watermelons and wear them on our heads at games in support of the team.

Saskatchewan Roughrider Fans

3. Sloughs
Spelling slough is almost as tricky as figuring out what one is. In Saskatchewan, they’re the equivalent of a small wetland, swamp or pond. Considering the province has over 100,000 lakes and rivers, you’ll find quite a few sloughs, especially on farmland.

4. The R.M.
Saskatchewan is known for some strange town names: Moose Jaw, Elbow and Eyebrow to list a few. That’s why it wasn’t surprising when Andrew was uncertain where “the arm” was located in Saskatchewan. What he was really hearing were people talking about the RM – or rural municipality – our version of counties or townships.

5. Heading to the Cabin
Most families in Saskatchewan own a cabin on one of the thousands of lakes I mentioned earlier. In our short summer season, you’ll often hear people comment they’re heading to the cabin for the weekend. Out east, people refer to cabins as cottages, and understand cabins to be a basic shed, often without indoor plumbing. If you’ve seen the cabins-that-are-essentially-homes on our lake shores, you’ll understand why Andrew was a bit confused by this terminology.

6. Bush League
A bush league call by a ref in a hockey or football game will leave fans upset and fired-up. Since we’re pretty passionate about sports, it’s no surprise we have a variety of terms dedicated to voicing our opinions when we disagree with what’s happening on the field or on the ice.

Saskatchewan Junior Hockey

7. “In the rhubarb”
Most people are familiar with rhubarb in the form of a plant used in crumbles, crisps, and pies. But in Saskatchewan, it also means hitting the ditch. Keeping it out of the rhubarb isn’t always easy in our icy winter driving conditions.

8. Gotch
I couldn’t help but giggle when he told me, but Andrew wasn’t quite sure what people meant when they were talking about gotch. Out east, men’s underwear are simply referred to as boxers or briefs and not ‘gotch’ or ‘gitch’.

9. Ordering a Pil
No, it’s not a shady drug deal going down in your local bar, it’s actually someone ordering one of Saskatchewan’s favourite beers: a pilsner. Molson is one of the most popular and also happens to be the beer brand of choice that sponsors the Saskatchewan Roughriders. We also love the Great Western Brewing Company pilsners brewed right here in Saskatoon and popular across western Canada.

10. Politeness of the Prairies: The Small Town Wave
Once you leave the city behind, you enter a different world of friendly people and country charm. When you pass another vehicle on the grids, you automatically give them a hand wave or a nod as you go by. We’re also guilty of smiling and saying ‘hi’ to strangers, something that might be deemed as peculiar in a big city.

Thinking of Running for Council (Part 2)

Understanding the Role, Time Commitment and Powers of Municipal Council

As a member of council, you will have the opportunity to shape the future of your municipality.  Any ideas or proposed changes you have in mind cannot be achieved without the support of other council members.


Responsibilities

A common role of municipal council is to provide essential core services to the community such as:

  • Roads and transportation;
  • Water treatment and sewer facilities;
  • Snow and garbage removal;
  • Recreation facilities and programs;
  • Land use planning and economic development;
  • Building code regulations;
  • Crime prevention;
  • Fire prevention;
  • Animal control; and
  • Emergency planning.

While all of the above responsibilities are important aspects of municipal responsibility, council members are not directly responsible for providing these services.  Council members’ individual responsibilities can be broken as follows:

  • Representation and Accountability
    • A councillor’s responsibility is to serve the people who elected them to office.  A councillor should engage regularly with the public to take into account the views and concerns of all members of a community when voting on matters of concern.
  • Governance
    • Municipal council is responsible for shaping the future of the municipality by implementing new policy, by-laws and community goals.  Many decisions that council makes are the result of extensive community consultation, research and advice from community members and groups.  It is important for council to remember that they must represent the people who voted them to office.  Failure to do so may result in a limited term in office.
  • Management
    • Members of council are generally responsible for ensuring that municipal staff follows through on the policies, priorities and direction that council has set forth.  Council members should also expect to be active members of committees and boards in the community to ensure that they possess the required knowledge to pass on to council.

When you take office, you will not be starting off from scratch.  There will be local legislation existing in the form of bylaws, which will remain in effect until they are amended or repealed.  It would be a good idea to contact your municipality and become familiar with local legislation prior to running for council so that you have a good idea of what policies exist in your community, and what kind of changes you might want to consider.

Time Commitment

Many, if not most, council members have full-time jobs outside of municipal council.  It’s important not to underestimate the amount of time and dedication required to be an effective member or council.

You will either be elected to a four year term of office and expected to participate in monthly (sometimes bi-weekly) council meetings.  Being a member of council, your responsibilities are not restricted to attending regular council meetings.  In addition, you will be expected to attend and participate in:

  • Council committee meetings;
  • Meetings of boards and agencies in which you are appointed as council’s representative;
  • Learning workshops, training seminars and conferences; and
  • Cultural, social and public events promoting or representing your municipality.

You may also need to spend a significant amount of time talking to the public, business, colleagues in other municipalities, municipal staff and your administrator.  Continuing interaction with these groups is an essential part of making an informed decision as a council member.

Municipal council derives their authority from The Municipalities ActThe Cities Act or The Northern Municipalities Act, 2010.  Individual members of council are not permitted to make decisions on their own on behalf of the municipality.  Any election promise you made during your campaign can only be carried out if you can convince a majority of council that it is in the best interest of the municipality.

While all of the above responsibilities are important aspects of municipal responsibility, council members are not directly responsible for providing these services.  Council members’ individual responsibilities can be broken as follows:

  • Representation and Accountability
    • A councillor’s responsibility is to serve the people who elected them to office.  A councillor should engage regularly with the public to take into account the views and concerns of all members of a community when voting on matters of concern.
  • Governance
    • Municipal council is responsible for shaping the future of the municipality by implementing new policy, by-laws and community goals.  Many decisions that council makes are the result of extensive community consultation, research and advice from community members and groups.  It is important for council to remember that they must represent the people who voted them to office.  Failure to do so may result in a limited term in office.
  • Management
    • Members of council are generally responsible for ensuring that municipal staff follows through on the policies, priorities and direction that council has set forth.  Council members should also expect to be active members of committees and boards in the community to ensure that they possess the required knowledge to pass on to council.

When you take office, you will not be starting off from scratch.  There will be local legislation existing in the form of bylaws, which will remain in effect until they are amended or repealed.  It would be a good idea to contact your municipality and become familiar with local legislation prior to running for council so that you have a good idea of what policies exist in your community, and what kind of changes you might want to consider.

Thinking of Running for Council? Part 1

1. Running for Municipal Office

For governments to be representative of, and responsive to, the needs of their constituents, their make-up should reflect the demographics of the constituency. As an elected official, you will

  • bring the perspectives of your demographic to the decision-making table
  • influence changes that benefit your community and ensure its sustainability
  • put forward new ideas for debate and possible implementation and change
  • make a positive difference in the quality of life in your community
  • provide a voice for your community with other levels of government
  • be part of a team that makes decisions that affect all aspects of community life

Qualifications

It’s not crucial to have education or experience in a government setting to run as a candidate. You likely have skills, knowledge and abilities that are transferable to the elected official’s role.

You may want to undertake a self-assessment of your skills prior to running for elected office.

Think about your:

  • volunteer experience
  • community involvement
  • work experience
  • membership in different organizations
  • family life

Often your experiences have taught you how to:

  • work as part of a team
  • organize and prioritize
  • make decisions
  • debate
  • lead

The Local Government Election Act, 2015 (LGEA) provides the requirements for candidates in municipal elections.

In the case of a rural municipality (RM)

  • on the day of election is 18 years of age, and
  • a Canadian citizen
  • a resident of Saskatchewan
  • is eligible to vote in the RM

SARM Round Table

On Thursday August 18, 2016 the Federal Minister of Agriculture, Lawrence MacAulay, the Federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Ralph Goodale, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport, Kate Young, and the Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture, Lyle Stewart, all attended a roundtable in Regina, SK that featured a number of agriculture industry representatives from Saskatchewan and Alberta.  Below is a summary of the discussion.

Grain Roundtable August 2016

RM of Cupar response to the Yancoal EIS

As part of the application for development for a Potash mine in Saskatchewan and environmental impact statement is prepared.  As you can see, it is an extensive document.  The stakeholders were given 45 days to review the documents and make comment on areas that could be deficient.  The RM of Cupar joined with the RM of McKillop and hired Urban Systems to assist us in the review.  Please find below the review that was submitted to the Ministry of Environment.    2016-04-25 12.41.06

2016-06-06-MASTER-Final-EISReview