The City of Flin Flon has called its economic shot for the next five years through the release of a strategic plan.
A final 26-page report was published and released to the public on April 16 before the regularly scheduled meeting of Flin Flon’s city council. The plan was created after a public consultation process in which 337 people took part, each prioritizing goals and ideas for the future of Flin Flon.
In total, the plan covers 10 separate “pillars” and more than 40 more specific key action items (abbreviated to “KAIs”) ranging from infrastructure, health, seniors’ living, economic development, tourism and others. The concept was spearheaded by the Regional Economic Development Committee (REDC), a group consisting of representatives from Flin Flon, Creighton and Denare Beach. Both other communities are finalizing their own strategic plans.
“These were all identified through input from various stakeholders and citizens in our community,” said Mayor Cal Huntley, who presented the plan to an assembled crowd of about three dozen people.
“The plan provides a focus. It provides a tool to allow council and administration to be on the same page.”
Many of the priorities and KAIs outlined in the plan dovetail with pre-existing goals for council, including emphasizing tourism, creating a plan for recruiting medical personnel and attempts to establish a seniors’ living area in Flin Flon. However, some of the goals are new, including developing city-wide Wi-Fi, encouraging partnerships with Indigenous communities, rules put in place to aid financial transparency and a plan to tackle the city’s ongoing issues with access for people with disabilities. Huntley said receiving public feedback shaped the new plan and how it will be implemented.
“It confirmed for us that was what the community wanted us to do as well. That was the big change there. Capturing all the activity in a strategic plan with KAIs where we’re going to be able to track our progress, this gives us a structure to work within,” he said.
“I know there’s been times when there’s been a lot of frustration around the table because even though we may be taking ground, people around the table aren’t feeling it. They’re so close to the fire that they don’t realize that their work really is paying off and that there are good things happening.”
Dianne Russell, the past-president of the Flin Flon and District Chamber of Commerce, attended the plan’s release, saying that the new report provides a clearer picture of the goals of city council.
“One of the questions I’ve always asked is, ‘What are you guys working towards?’ I’ve always struggled with ever getting an answer. I used to ask councillors, ‘How do you know if you’re spending your time properly if you don’t know what your goals are?’ I’m just really impressed that there are goals now and there are goals, written down, that came from the community,” she said.
“I’m hoping that councillors feel more confident in the choices they’re making and what they’re focusing on when they can look at a document like this that says, ‘Here’s what the community wants us to work towards.’”
Councillors were clear that the new plan is meant to be seen as a living document and may change going forward. What changes may be considered are unknown. Council will be provided with yearly updates on how the city is progressing towards the plan’s goals, along with other semi-regular updates if pressing matters are identified.
“If something in the community becomes more important than where its sitting in the activity around it, then we’ll pool more resources into that. We’ll adjust as times suggest. If, all of a sudden, there’s a new mine and we’ve got three new businesses and we suddenly don’t have enough homes and we need more residential, that becomes an issue,” said Huntley.
Here is a complete list of the 10 pillars and the key action items (KAIs) identified in the recently released City of Flin Flon strategic plan:
1. Health and wellbeing
• Identification and reassessment of services
provided to the community
• Promote and implement alternative healthcare
• Promote more active and healthier living
• Develop a medical practitioner recruitment
2. Infrastructure renewal and
• Ensuring that the municipal landfill is
sustainable and meets the requirements of
• To become the hub for provision of highly
qualified and technical expertise for waste
and water treatment services to the
• The development of city-wide high-speed WiFi
• The development of an asset management plan
3. Economic development
• Land planning
• Investment and industry attraction
• Implementation of a business retention and expansion program
• Creation of an economic transitioning strategy
• Continuous collaboration for regional economic development
4. Effective government
• Continuous education and training for elected officials
• The creation of a policy development team
• Ensure fiscal accountability for the municipality
• Create more awareness and education on effective partnerships with the surrounding Indigenous communities
• The development of a municipal City of Flin Flon communications strategy
5. Comprehensive seniors programs
• Complete a feasibility study for seniors housing
• Identification and reassessment of services provided to the community
• Development of an active living program for seniors
• Assess current accessibility and provide a long term action plan for continuous accessibility improvements
6. Youth engagement and retention
• Enhance and deliver a sustainable youth program and facilities
• Incorporation of youth engagement with municipal boards and committees
• Increased focus and future planning for youth retention
• Creation of more innovative recreational activities for youth to be more engaged
• Development of an educational piece on municipal tax assessments
• Create a community-wide cleanup and pride program
• Main Street revitalization
• Ensure existing and future public spaces promote friendly positive interactions among community members
8. Workforce management
• Scheduled labour management dialogues
• Performance management system
• Implementation of organization values into everyday operations
• Continuous staff engagements
• Professional development
9. Recreation and leisure
• Enhance and utilize the recreation parks in the community
• Realign the needs of a recreational facility to the needs of the community
• Increase outdoor activities and recreation programs and activities
• Enhance, assess and utilize the lakes within the community
• Develop a regional tourism strategy
• Continue the promotion of the Flin Flon Water and Wild branding