Saskatoon

City council to vote on Saskatoon Tribal Council's controversial Montgomery Place preschool plan

A controversial plan for a preschool in Saskatoon's Montgomery Place neighbourhood could get a final stamp of approval Monday night.

Residents had mixed reactions to the Saskatoon Tribal Council plan to build preschool

Saskatoon city council will vote Monday night on a plan by the Saskatoon Tribal Council to convert this detached home along 11th Street W. into a preschool for Indigenous children. (CBC)

A controversial plan for a preschool in Saskatoon's Montgomery Place neighbourhood could get a final stamp of approval Monday night.

Council will vote Monday on the plan proposed by the Saskatoon Tribal Council to convert a detached home along 11th Street W. into a preschool for Indigenous children. 

The Montgomery Place Community Association has opposed the preschool, and according to its website, "a letter was sent to the City advising that the Community Association was opposed due to impact on the community."

Residents told CBC News they were concerned, among other things, about the preschool being located so close to a busy street

STC Tribal Chief Mark Arcand has said the preschool would accommodate a maximum of 32 children per day — 16 in the morning and another 16 in the afternoon.

The children would be bused in from eight other Saskatoon neighbourhoods.

Arcand said previously that he regrets the way the information about the preschool was provided to area residents and that he hopes to work with the community to assuage concerns. 

Notification process needs 'cleaning up': councillor

City Coun. Hilary Gough, who represents Montgomery Place residents, says the controversy around the proposed preschool has "died down" since the fall.

But she says the earlier controversy should be a learning lesson for how the city should handle these types of requests in the future.

"I think there's been a lot of frustration with how the concerns about the proposal have been portrayed, and I think there's been a lot of misunderstanding on all sides with respect to that," Gough said. 

Gough said the city needs to "clean up" the process for informing residents about proposed zoning applications to help fight some of that confusion.

While the city does have control over zoning, she said concerns residents have raised about the preschool being located near a busy roadway or located near a semi-industrial area are concerns for the Saskatoon Tribal Council and the people running the preschool — not necessarily the city. 

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