The Importance of Planning for the Humboldt Region
Guest Blogger: DonnaLyn Thorsteinson, former Executive Director, Humboldt and District Chamber of Commerce
When the Humboldt Region hosted the Regional Planning Conference in Muenster, SK a few years ago, many municipal, organizational and business representatives joined together to discuss how to move forward together as a region to manage the growth that is forecast, largely due to the BHP Billiton Jansen Potash Mine being developed.
The message of the day was consistent – we need to work together. We are no longer separate entities striving to make our communities viable. We need to PLAN, PLAN, and PLAN some more. And that planning is most effective when done as a region. We have seen significant changes in attitude and the desire to come together and share experiences. There is an engaged group of people in this area that are committed to ensuring that their community grows in a way that is manageable and is able to maintain the standards of living we have become accustom to. These are real people from real communities sitting together at the table to advocate for the issues that are affecting us all. We need to lobby provincial and federal governments to ensure they are aware of these issues and are making policies and partnerships that will assist us in reaching our potential in an effective and responsible manner. In the recently announced provincial growth plan, the current government has stated they will create and implement a properly resourced infrastructure partnership with municipalities that will be completed this term. This is an essential component that is necessary for rural communities such as us.
Our provincial representative, MLA, Donna Harpauer said at our conference, “the world is watching Saskatchewan”. Well, in turn, Saskatchewan is watching the Humboldt Region and in particular, how we work together to manage growth. We need to continue to talk, engage stakeholders and PLAN to ensure the Humboldt Region is the Best Place to Live, Work & Invest.