The chair of New North says adequate training for both administrators and councillors continues to be an issue for communities in this part of the province.

Bruce Fidler, who is also the mayor of Creighton, was speaking at the Northern Labour Market Committee meeting in Prince Albert on Thursday.

He says New North is working with other municipalities to ensure greater education is available for those serving more remote communities.

“That’s one of the primary objectives we want to take in the near future is to bring education not only to administrators but the council as well,” he says.

Fidler says New North is currently in the process of developing a circuit rider program that would see more experienced municipal administrators travel to northern communities to assist with any questions they may have.

During his presentation, Fidler also noted northern people continue to struggle to afford adequate housing since the province cancelled the rental supplement.

He says the cancellation of the program has hit northern communities hard.

“There aren’t that many jobs in the north. Income in the north is – it is just few and far between jobs. They don’t have that income to be able to afford good housing, buy a house or anything like that.”

New North continues to lobby the province for some sort of fund for people living in northern Saskatchewan that would replace the rental supplement, Fidler says.

The New North chair says another issue that continues to be a problem for communities is the amalgamation of all health regions in the province into one super region because they feel they don’t have enough input into issues that affect them locally.

The organization is currently working with the provincial government in an effort to set up some sort of northern group that could advise the Saskatchewan Health Authority on such matters.

(PHOTO: New North Chair Bruce Fidler speaks at the Northern Labour Market Committee meeting. Photo by Fraser Needham)