Weyburn Mayor Marcel Roy recently returned from the annual SUMA convention held in Regina. This year’s edition of the convention was the first time the delegates from across the province had the opportunity to get together in person after the last two conventions were held virtually due to COVID-19.
"A lot of people enjoyed it, but I was saying I could have done just as well with Zoom,” Roy joked after the convention. “That’s the future of our new world”
One of the key highlights of the convention is the ability to talk about a number of issues various urban municipalities, no matter their size, face. Roy pointed out that one of the issues many share is the help they all receive from the provincial government.
“Less money coming out to the cities than what we would like to see, but we’re going to have to deal with that,” Roy said. “We’ll wait and see what’s going to happen in the future with all the royalties coming in from oil and potash.”
The conversations also turned to healthcare in the province, with the delegates pointing out some of the deficiencies they saw come up during the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically ICU beds.
Then, the day after the SUMA convention wrapped up, the federal budget was released.
We asked Roy some of his thoughts on the federal budget. He first pointed out that it seems like a lot of plans are coming from the budget, which he felt is a little late in the game, and may not necessarily come to fruition in the timeframe the government would like.
Roy also noted the push from the federal government for the adoption of electric vehicles.
“I know that is the push towards the future, but the technology simply isn’t there,” Roy said. “We are still way, way far off of accomplishing anything.”
One part of the federal budget that Roy was pleased to see was an increase in military spending. A former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, Roy said an increase in the military budget should always be a non-partisan issue.
Roy, along with Weyburn city councillors, will now get set for the next meeting of Weyburn City Council, which is scheduled for Monday evening.