The City of Moose Jaw will be putting forward two resolutions for the upcoming Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) convention in Regina.  

Coun. Dawn Luhning sits on the SUMA resolutions committee and she explained how it worked. She said the committee will look at the resolutions put forward by the municipalities and decide which ones will go forward to be voted on by the SUMA membership.  

She said there are times that the committee will bring a resolution back to the municipality because it needs to be reworded before moving forward.  

“I've not seen very many resolutions be turned away by the committee. Most of them go through to the SUMA floor and then it's up to the membership to decide whether they want them to go forward to the province or not,” Luhning explained.  

The following resolution was put forward by city manager Jim Puffalt:  

Whereas the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its final report and the call to action on December 15th, 2015, and where SUMA adopted its Truth and Reconciliation Policy on December 1st, 2017. Over 4 years have passed since that date and progress towards reconciliation continues to be required.  

And whereas the City of Moose Jaw wishes to continue building its relationship with First Nations and Indigenous groups to seek advice and guidance, and on how we can help advance reconciliation, create opportunities and encourage full inclusion.  

And whereas the City of Moose Jaw wishes to encourage every Saskatchewan urban municipality to take action to create relationships and inclusions, and the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association is the voice of the urban municipalities and can develop a consistent program and training available to all those who wish to participate.  

Therefore, be it resolved that the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association update its Truth and Reconciliation Policy and develop concrete projects and programs to support Truth and Reconciliation.  

Coun. Crystal Froese also brought forward the following resolution:  

Increase the provincial wide resources for Internet Child Exploitation Saskatchewan, whereas from 2016 to 2020 inclusive, 2,321 incidents of sexual violence against children are recorded in Saskatchewan including 304 incidents of possessing or accessing child pornography and an additional 552 incidents of making or distributing child pornography.   

Whereas, there has been 88 per cent increase in online child exploitation reports to Cybertip Canada since the pandemic began and nearly one in four parents in Canada have come across inappropriate online behavior aimed at their child.   

Whereas in the Province of Saskatchewan child sexual exploitation, as reported on December 21st, 2020, has seen a tripling of the cases with very limited resources to respond.   

Therefore, be it resolved that the provincial government of Saskatchewan provide additional funding to police services in cities that are currently working in this area so that they can increase unit investigators and expand resources undertaking child sexual exploitation. Also, that the provincial government undertakes an initiative to expand into other communities across the province and that this urgent initiative includes cross agency stakeholder engagement, a provincial wide public awareness and education campaign focusing on prevention, support, and reporting.  

Concerns were raised by Luhning about the optics of Froese’s resolution. City police services have a board of commissioners that are independent of city council and Luhning was concerned that it would look like elected officials are trying to dictate how the police spend their funding.  

Froese explained that wasn’t the intent of the resolution. She said SUMA has passed resolutions in regards to the RCMP in the past, which municipalities for no control over. She also made sure to word her resolution carefully. 

“There is a portion in here that does ask specifically that the province undertakes the initiative to expand into other communities across the province,” Froese said. “So, I'm not trying to indicate to the provincial government how they would fund this or who they would fund this.”  

Both resolutions passed unanimously through city council on Jan. 24 with Coun. Kim Robinson absent.  

The 2022 annual SUMA convention takes place April 3 to 6 in Regina. Municipalities have until the middle of February to submit resolutions.