Saskatchewan communities come together for annual SUMA convention

The annual Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association Convention (SUMA) is an opportunity for communities across the province to come together and network, focus on new ideas and connect with others.

Over 1,000 representatives from Saskatchewan’s cities, towns, villages, resort villages, and northern municipalities will come together for the 2024 SUMA Convention and Tradeshow at the REAL District in Regina.

SUMA opened its doors Sunday to begin the show.

William Perrin is a councillor for the village of Spy Hill, two and half hours away from Regina. He said this week is an opportunity to improve the lives of those in the community.

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“Small villages and towns have limited resources at times, and coming to SUMA, you get an idea of what your options are for different things like infrastructure,” Perrin said. “That’s one of the main reasons for me to come.”

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Debbie Hunter is a councillor for Candle Lake, Sask. She comes to SUMA looking for options to help fund things in her community, that go beyond raising taxes.

“People don’t like it when you raise taxes, but you know your utilities are going up, food prices are up and if things go up, we have to charge more money and people just don’t like it, but it’s fact of life so, you just have to live with it,” Hunter explained.

Randy Golden is the president of SUMA, and said the association represents up to eighty per cent of the province’s population.

She said this year while there are many issues on the table to discuss, infrastructure is expected to be the biggest talker.

“The deficit that we have in our infrastructure funding and everything that’s needed out our communities, whether it’s roads, sidewalks, safe clear drinking water or wastewater drainage,” Golden said. “Those are the things our communities have to provide so that there’s a high quality of life, and even growth in our province,”

SUMA will run until Wednesday, April 17.

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