Mayor Greg Dionne laid out the City of Prince Albert’s plans for 2023 during his State of the City Address on Thursday afternoon.
His keynote speech was the event highlight, alongside a lunch hosted by the Prince Albert Chamber of Commerce inside the Art Hauser Centre. The stage was surrounded by current and former City Councillors, First Nation dignitaries, local MLAs, community leaders and business owners all gathered to support the future of the City.
Special guests included Metis Nation-Saskatchewan President Glen McCallum, Order of Canada recipient Dr. Lalita Malhotra, and Gary Brar, who is overseeing the development of the new Holiday Inn being built in The Yard District.
“Gary’s hotel development in The Yard is well under construction and will be followed by a fleury of construction this spring as all the other sold lots start development,” said Dionne, who mentioned that Prince Albert’s newest district is already over 70 per cent sold.
“That shows you the need and demand in our City,” he added.
The Yard District is also home to the City’s new Aquatic and Arenas Recreation Centre. Besides being already 11 per cent completed is $2.6 million under budget too, said Dionne.
“Some people look at it as a debt, I look at it as an investment in our community,” he continued. “You need these investments into your community to attract good professional people.”
Recreation was a hot topic during Dionne’s speech. He thanked all who were involved with building the new baseball diamonds, as they will be bringing in some exciting events in the future thanks to their construction. Prince Albert hosted the 2018 Junior Men’s World Softball Championship, and Dionne said that helped set the stage for bigger and better things in 2024, when Prince Albert will put on the Men’s American Qualifier, and in 2025, when they host the Men’s World Cup.
“We believe that you build it and they will come,” Dionne said. “Prince Albert is making it happen, it’s left a legacy.”
Other topics covered by Dionne include new developments from the Fire Department and the Police Service, the 2022 budget deliberations, and what the construction of the new multi-level acute care tower at the Victoria Hospital with bring to the area.
The Prince Albert Fire Department purchased a new fire engine in 2022 with another on its way. Dionne said the department will also hire three new firefighters, and them to have two fully staffed engines available 24 hours a day.
The Prince Albert Police Service won an international award for innovation and formed a Women’s Commission led by Elder Liz Settee in 2022. The service will be undergoing a complete weapons replacement this coming year.
Dionne’s speech lasted 49 minutes. He did not take questions from the audience afterwards.