Herb Sutton was at Tuesday’s North Battleford city council meeting with his monthly report, and in that presentation voiced support for the recently-signed Sacichawasich Relationship Agreement.
That is the agreement signed in June between North Battleford, Battleford and five area First Nation governments, which recently received a first-place Saskatchewan Municipal Award. Sutton had been a driving force behind the entire multi-government steering coalition effort.
Sutton, community safety co-ordinator for the City of North Battleford, reiterated the purpose of the coalition was to “set a strong foundation for all the parties to establish and maintain co-operative government to government relations and develop a forum for meaningful, effective and transparent communication on all issues of mutual interest.”
Since signing the agreement in June the parties have met twice, Sutton said, and “made several key decisions and given direction about some strategies.” The next meeting of the regional leaders is slated for Dec. 13.
Sutton expressed optimism about the ability of the coalition to address the root causes that impact safety.
“Getting at those root causes has to be a major focus for us,” said Sutton.
Now that First Nations and municipal leaders have signed on, the next step is to create a process to engage the province, said Sutton, and enter into a relationship agreement with them. Once the province is engaged, the next step will be to create a process to engage the federal government as well.
“We’re building a stool with four legs, we have two legs now, municipal and First Nations,” said Sutton. “We need the provincial and federal government to finish it off.”
Sutton also provided an update on the Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design committee efforts. Those include: implementing key recommendations in the Community Perceptions survey conducted this summer, with CPTED working with the downtown BID to implement those; completion of another community safety audit and implementing recommendations, and; creation of a budget for 2020 that will be considered by council.
Finally, Sutton expressed confidence in the multi-pronged approach the city was taking in community safety efforts, with enforcement, CPTED and efforts to get at root causes.
I think we just need to stay the course,” said Sutton.