The three P’s of this election: Policing, pandemic response and public libraries

By in News

With the provincial elections finalized, Saskatoonians are getting ready to participate in the upcoming municipal elections. There are six candidates running for mayor this year: Charlie Clark, Rob Norris, Don Atchison, Mark Zielke, Cary Tarasoff and Zubair Sheikh. 

This election brings forward many key issues.

With increased awareness of police brutality and demands for defunding the police force, candidates are being asked for their opinion on how resources are allocated. A potential new public library in downtown Saskatoon is also a topic of contention as some candidates believe the cost is too high. Lastly, post-pandemic recovery strategies are on everyone’s radar, with each candidate having outlined a plan in their platform. 

Below are the stances the mayoral candidates hold on these topics. 

Charlie Clark, “Moving Saskatoon Forward”

Policing

  • Working on strengthening police and community partnerships
  • Providing more healthcare and addictions workers as first responders in the Police and Crisis Team model
  • Building relationships with Indigenous-led groups to provide more relationship-based policing

Downtown library

  • Supporting the construction of a new downtown library, which Clark says will create new job opportunities and stimulate the downtown community

Post-pandemic recovery

  • Building activity into the winter time for people to support local hotels, restaurants and shops
  • Driving adaptive regulation, similar to allowing restaurants to open up parking lot patios 
  • Growing Indigenous economic development opportunities

Rob Norris, “Affordability, Jobs, Safety”

Policing

  • Supporting police, firefighters and protective services 
  • Advocating for increased funding for the Police and Crisis Team, to better respond to calls that involve mental health 

Public Libraries 

  • Opposing the construction of a new downtown library

Post-pandemic recovery

  • Serving as “chief growth officer,” promoting growth in key private sectors like technology, agriculture, manufacturing, green mining, energy and natural resources
  • Reducing business fees 
  • Supporting capping property tax increases at one per cent

Don Atchison, “Leadership, Experience, Results”

Policing

  • Increasing the police budget using funds saved from other areas

Public libraries 

  • Supporting the construction of a new downtown library 

Post-pandemic recovery

  • No tax increases during 2021
  • Developing foreign relationships to attract foreign direct investment 

Mark Zielke, “Fostering Hope, Dignity & Respect”

Policing

  • Assessing why there is an increase in homelessness, addictions and mental health 
  • Keeping funding for the police force the same

Public Libraries 

  • Opposing the construction of a new downtown library

Post-pandemic recovery

  • Supporting initiatives taken by local businesses to stimulate the economy 

Cary Tarasoff, “Let’s Grow Saskatoon Together”

Policing

  • Keeping the police budget the same

Public libraries 

  • Opposing the construction of a new downtown library

Post-pandemic recovery

  • Stopping unnecessary debt taking affecting civilians and businesses

Zubair Sheikh, “Let’s Change Saskatoon Together”

Policing

  • Continuing to support the current police budget of $110.4 million 
  • Evaluating and considering other ways to combat crime, such as a variety of social programs

Public libraries 

  • Opposing the construction of a new downtown library

Post-pandemic recovery

  • Freezing tax increases for the next four years 
  • Attracting tourism to Saskatoon to bring back business to hotels and restaurants
  • Giving tax breaks for businesses affected by the pandemic
  • Exploring the idea of offering artists and entertainers discounted rates for usage of city facilities

Ammara Syeda | Photo Editor

Graphic: Ammara Syeda | Photo Editor