City Manager's Message
Saskatoon is blessed with many advantages that make our city a great place to live.
It’s a great place to grow your career, family, and future. Our strong and maturing economy, high quality of life, and most importantly, great people who take pride in the health of their community make Saskatoon a city where people want to live.
The 2016 Annual Civic Services Survey results confirmed, once again, that perceptions of the quality of life in Saskatoon remain positive, with 87% of respondents believing the quality of life in our city is good or very good.
Things never stay the same in a growing city; there’s amazing changes that come with rapid growth. I invite you to explore Saskatoon.ca to find out more about what City Council and Administration are doing to further our approach to fiscal prudence, and delivering quality programs and services to our citizens.
Below are examples of how the City of Saskatoon is being innovative and creative in the efficient and effective delivery of public services for the economic, environmental, social, and cultural well-being of the community. Every day, the City of Saskatoon is continuously improving to become the best managed City in Canada.
Striving to be the Best Managed City
Planning for the Future
Guided by our 10 Year Strategic Plan, we’re committed to plan ahead and dedicate resources to new opportunities and challenges that will inevitably come our way.
Our 2016 Business Plan and Budget provides detailed action plans and resource requirements to meet our operational needs, improve our infrastructure and achieve our guiding Strategic Goals.
Measuring Our Performance
Our Performance Dashboard ensures our accountability and gives citizens a look into how we are doing, where we need to improve, where we are making our positive strides, and what strategies need to be identified or developed to help us meet our goals.
Investing in What Matters to Citizens
As part of our efforts to collect additional public input on the annual budgeting process, we invited the public to have their say about budget spending priorities, and the City’s future investment plans through our Shaping our Financial Future public engagement activities and online budget surveys.
For 2016, the City received another AAA/Stable credit rating from Standard & Poor’s, the international bond-rating agency. The City has earned S&P’s highest rating every year for more than a decade.
Perception of Quality of Life in Saskatoon Remains Very Positive
According to the 2016 Annual Civic Services Survey, 87% of Saskatoon citizens (online respondents) rate their quality of life in Saskatoon as good or very good. Quality of life is influenced by many things, including access to jobs, housing, services, opportunities for leisure activities, convenient transportation, and feelings of safety.
Overall Satisfaction with Civic Services Remains High
The 2016 Civic Services Survey also shows that 88% of telephone respondents and 83% of online respondents are satisfied with the overall level of services provided by the City, an increase over last year. (2015 - 86% telephone, 77% online)
Fourth Fastest Population Growth
According to Statistics Canada, the Saskatoon Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) recorded the fourth strongest growth rate among Canadian CMAs in 2015 (2.0%), just behind Calgary and Edmonton. The population within city limits reached a quarter million, while the CMA population reached 300,000.
Second in Overall Cultural Investment
Saskatoon was one of seven mid-sized Canadian cities to participate in a cultural investment study by Hill Strategies Research, a Canadian company specializing in applying social science research methods to the arts sector. Results show Saskatoon ranked first in operating, second in overall investment, fourth in capital investments and sixth in grants.
Service, Savings and Sustainability
In 2015, through the City of Saskatoon’s ongoing commitment to continuous improvement, we identified savings, additional funding, and revenues of over $183 million. We made positive strides toward delivering better services for Saskatoon residents and found and put into place new efficiencies in the way we do our work. Over the last three years, the efficiencies and savings realized through our continuous improvement efforts have kept property taxes lower than anticipated.
2014 marked the start of implementation of the City’s formal Continuous Improvement Strategy, which involves three key elements; Annual Civic Services Reviews to control spending and find savings while determining service levels for City programs and operations, Internal Process Reviews to help identify ways to improve internal efficiency and effectiveness and the addition of Innovation Coaches.
Innovation Coaches are City employees at all levels who’ve gone through Juice Inc.’s Innovation in a Box Practitioner Training to learn how to support a culture of continuous improvement, and make it easier for co-workers to not only accept change but also to suggest change within the Corporation. The City’s Innovation program was profiled in the October 2014 issue of the national Municipal World Magazine. (Page 17)
A Great Place to Work
In 2015, for the fourth year in a row, the City of Saskatoon was named one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, and was also recognized as one of Saskatchewan’s Top 50 Employers.
Award for Energy Efficiency
The City of Saskatoon was recognized for outstanding achievement in renewable and alternative energy with the 2015 Project of the Year, awarded by Saskatchewan Energy Management Task Force.
Saskatoon Transit received the Community Relations Excellence Award from the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), for the 2014 Transit Route Initiative.
Award for Well-Designed Parks
The City received the Premier’s Award for Excellence in Design in the Landscape Architecture category from Stantec for Donna Birkmaier Park and Hyde Park.
Fewest Twentysomethings Living at Home
A Huffington Post article highlighted an interesting 2011 Census statistic. Of Canada’s major cities, Saskatoon had the fewest twentysomethings living with their parents - 27.5%. That’s a little lower than Regina (33.6%), Edmonton (33.1%), or Calgary (34.4%), and a lot lower than Toronto (45%), and Greater Vancouver (46.7%). Some of the factors that influence twentysomethings living at home are cultural traditions, cost of living, post-secondary education costs, housing affordability, and housing availability.
“Congrats to @cityofsaskatoon for having the fewest number of twentysomethings living with their parents in Canada. Huffingtonpost.ca/2014/04/09!”
– via Twitter