Approvals for New Shelter FacilitiesJuly 29, 2022
Proposed Changes to Property Tax Model WelcomeAugust 22, 2022
Last week the Chamber together with Downtown Saskatoon hosted a roundtable session with the Minister of Social Services, Gene Makowsky and the Minister of Health, Paul Merriman to discuss the complex housing issues and subsequent criminal activities effecting businesses downtown.
Saskatoon’s businesses and residents continue to struggle with the impacts of provincially funded shelters and supported living facilities in the downtown core. Almost daily, business owners report incidents involving the destruction of property or harassment of their employees and customers at the hands of shelter clients. Worse, the dignity and safety of these clients continue to be compromised because the facilities themselves are inadequate to address their serious and complex needs.
A candid discussion with over 15 downtown business owners and stakeholders highlighted their experiences on the street, and the impact shelters and supported living facilities have had on their operations, customers and employees. Recent developments with a new temporary shelter popping up downtown and the operational failures of a long-standing facility now more than ever emphasize the need for changes to the current shelter model, programming and allocation of funds.
The Chamber continues to work alongside the province, the city and various other stakeholders to find solutions that will address and alleviate downtown pressures while also carefully considering the dignity and well-being of shelter residents.