Non-profit daycare centres in the Queen City will continue to benefit from a tax break as Regina city council unanimously voted in favour of continuing for another three years a 40-per cent tax exemption, which will now carry through to 2025.
The exemption was originally pitched to provide relief to daycare centres while the federal government worked on the supports it could offer. Council said due to the government’s latest legislation not meeting the needs of the city, they plan on offering the exemption until the federal program is more suitable.
When asked if the city would consider making the exemption long-term, Mayor Sandra Masters said the new daycare program that the provincial government agreed to is great but is missing the mark on increases in operating and capital expenses.
“Does it need to become long-term? Not if the program is designed correctly. Then the municipal government does not have to give up revenue for a federal or provincial program,” Masters said.
She added that the design of the federal daycare program could be improved and that the city has provided feedback to the federal and provincial governments.
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City administration will report back to council in 2025 once provincial and federal child-care plans are fully implemented and a new model has been established.
Motion of confidence in city manager Niki Anderson
Nine council members unanimously passed a motion of confidence in the city manager Niki Andeson.
Councillors Andrew Stevens and Dan LeBlanc stepped away from the meeting during the vote due to a conflict of interest. Niki Anderson also stepped out while the motion was discussed.
The motion stems from legal action against Anderson alleging that city administration did not follow council’s instructions to include full operational funding to end homelessness in the 2023-24 draft budget.
The motion of confidence stated, “affirm and convey its continued confidence in City Manager Niki Anderson and Express its disappointment over the negative impact on City Council’s operational integrity and oversight that the initiated court action has created.”
“This is a step backwards, I’m embarrassed to be a council member at this time,” said Ward 7 councillor Terina Nelson.
“We were fortunate to have Niki accept our offer to come here. She uprooted her family, she left a daughter that just had a baby in Edmonton to take on a huge ask on what she has been required to do. I hope we can put this behind us and learn from this and move forward.”
Anderson also received high praise from both councillor Bob Hawkins and Lore Breschiani.
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