The annual Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association convention got underway in Regina on Sunday. The event started with some dialogue sessions, as well as education sessions, followed by the welcome reception. This was followed up with the breakfast, official opening and address by the president of SUMA Monday morning.  

Weyburn Mayor Marcel Roy is one of those in attendance at the event. He said some of the happenings in Alberta are becoming a topic of conversation here in Saskatchewan.  

The first thing that has been talked about is a change in how municipal elections are run, or rather, how candidates in municipal elections will run.  

“The Alberta government is talking about changing legislation to allow city councils to become politicized as political parties,” Roy said. Currently, every candidate in municipal elections in Saskatchewan is an independent, with no party affiliation. Roy added this would be a drastic change to how things work in municipal government.  

The other topic of conversation concerns funding from the federal government. Alberta is looking at putting stops into place where the provincial government could stop municipalities from receiving federal funding, and some are wondering if Saskatchewan would do the same.  

Roy said he believed it all has to do with the rules that come with funding municipalities can apply for from the federal government.  

"I know that a lot of times federal money comes with a lot of strings attached,” Roy commented. “You have to sign off if you agree on certain policies, and if they’re going contrary to what the province believes in, and what they’re thinking about, then they’re going to say no, you can’t receive the funding because you’re not agreeing to that.” 

As to whether these ideas could be introduced in Saskatchewan is expected to be answered when Premier Scott Moe addresses the SUMA delegates on Monday afternoon. The delegates will also get the opportunity to ask questions of the provincial cabinet during the bear pit session on Wednesday.