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Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association

At the turn of the 20th century, the local city, town and village governments of the day believed it was necessary to have an organization through which they could, on a collective basis, express to the provincial government their needs and desires for legislative and financial services. In 1906 the Union of Saskatchewan Municipalities was formed, under the leadership of Regina mayor Peter McAra Jr. The name would later change to the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA).

Delegates to the founding convention identified the reason why working collectively would benefit individual municipalities. They felt individual municipalities were too small to lobby the provincial government alone. They also recognized that different municipalities wanted different things and would present a multiplicity of requests to the government, thereby effectively paralyzing the province. The inaugural convention boldly stated: “Municipal organization will be the mouthpiece of the province.”

Today SUMA represents 13 cities, 145 towns, 252 villages, 31 resort villages, and 33 northern municipalities. SUMA remains the provincial voice of urban municipal governments; through strength in unity it advocates, negotiates and initiates improvements in local provincial and federal legislation, as well as providing programs and services to enhance urban life in Saskatchewan.

Andrew Rathwell

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