Concern over Saskatoon's 1M population growth plan

CBC News July 12, 2013 - Reeves and mayors outside Saskatoon are expressing concerns about the city's long-term plan to grow to 1 million people — partly through absorbing their territory. The 50-year growth plan unveiled earlier this week would see Saskatoon expanding beyond the rural municipality of Corman Park to include Martensville, Warman and Osler.

Sheryl Spence, the mayor of Warman, said there could be some positives, but she has some questions about that plan.

"Warman is over 100 years old, and the things that we have done in Warman are sacred to us and important to us," she said.

"We wouldn't want to lose that by just becoming another part of the city."

Until a partnership is formed, Saskatoon wants limits on development in the area.

A report going to city council Monday night says "inside this [Long Term Urban Growth Boundary], the city is requesting that land remain as unfragmented as possible until such time as a new Saskatoon Regional Partnership and Planning District can be established."

That proposal does not sit well with Corman Park Reeve Judy Harwood.

"I certainly couldn't support that," Harwood said. "I think we have to still be able to develop but we develop in such a manner that it's not going to impact growth of the city. So I think we have to sit down and discuss this."

There will be an opportunity for more discussion at a regional planning summit in November.

Saskatoon's population grew by about 10,000 people in 2012, but many of the surrounding communities are growing fast as well.

According to the last census, Martenville's population increased by 55 per cent from 2006 to 2011, while Warman grew 49 per cent over the same period.