On January 27,  Government Relations Minister Don McMorris announced 15 new municipal projects that will receive a combined provincial investment of more than $500,000 under the Targeted Sector Support (TSS) Initiative.

“Our government is proud of its ongoing work and relationships with Saskatchewan’s municipal associations to make this initiative happen,” McMorris said. “Together, we will help communities better serve their citizens by strengthening local governments across this great province.”

One such grant went to the Mid-Sask Municipal Alliances for its partnership with 7 municipalities and agencies around emergency response preparation. 

“Our members participating in this initiative are going to have an opportunity to update their emergency measures response plans and then connect capacity and resources across the region,” said MSMA Director of Operations and Planning Celine Favreau, “We’re actually hoping to have as many municipalities as possible engaged in connecting.”

Emergency responders, municipalities and industry will be meeting with the MSMA to determine what’s in place currently for disaster response, and the hope is the agencies will be able to build on what already exists. There will also be a risk assessment with local industries to help determine what measures could be needed now and in the future. The review will include a gap analysis in the hopes of bolstering systems to meet any shortfalls. 

“We plan on having open houses and getting some public engagement, as well,” said Favreau. “It will be up to the group to determine how that will happen, but at this point, I suspect those will be live.”

The end result should be establishing recommendations around the development of an MSMA based emergency measures organization. The MSMA is a collective of central and east central municipalities working on partnerships pertaining to regional economic development, tourism, recreation and other fronts. 

The TSS Initiative provides cost-shared grants to support municipalities partnering to enhance their core responsibilities through projects focused on good governance, capacity building and regional cooperation. Funding covers up to 75 per cent of eligible project costs. More details about funding recipients and their approved projects are in the attached backgrounder.

"SARM couldn't be more pleased with the impact the TSS initiative is having in our communities," SARM President Ray Orb said. "We have experienced RMs using their grant to provide municipal governance training to not only their own elected officials, but officials from surrounding municipalities as well."

This is the fourth round of projects approved under the TSS Initiative, which is funded through the Municipal Revenue Sharing Program. SUMA administers this funding on behalf of the TSS Steering Committee.