Regina, Saskatchewan, June 29 – Today, Provincial and Territorial (P/T) Ministers Responsible for Local Government wrapped up their annual meeting in Regina, after discussing a wide array of issues concerning communities.
The meeting provided an opportunity to outline common priorities for the coming year, and to focus on important issues such as infrastructure, the potential impact of cannabis legalization on local governments, along with the duty to consult Indigenous peoples at the local level.
"I am pleased to host the annual conference of Ministers Responsible for Local Government while celebrating 150 years of our Confederation," said Donna Harpauer, Saskatchewan Minister of Government Relations and Minister for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs. "The spirit of 150 years of Confederation is present at conferences like this where we share knowledge and provide a national perspective on local government issues. We learn from each other and apply those lessons locally and regionally."
Infrastructure remains a top priority for Ministers Responsible for Local Government. As the federal government moves ahead to implement phase two of their Investing in Canada long term infrastructure plan and to establish the Canada Infrastructure Bank (CIB), ministers held a roundtable discussion about the rollout of federal programs and potential opportunities to fund projects through the CIB.
Ministers held a dialogue on the implications of the upcoming federal legalization of cannabis to ensure local governments are fully engaged on the issue.
"Ministers discussed the potential role of municipalities in the regulation of the production, distribution, possession, and sale of cannabis. They also discussed what tools municipalities currently have, and what additional tools may be required to help with regulation in their communities," said Harpauer.
Priorities for the coming year include: further discussions regarding the implications of cannabis legalization to local governments, disaster risk management and mitigation, and the implications of the federal government's new approach to Indigenous communities.
The next conference is scheduled for summer 2018 with Nunavut as chair and host.
Government of Saskatchewan
Senior Communications Consultant
Ministry of Government Relations