I live in Nutana with my wife Sarah Buhler and three kids Simon, Ben and Rachel. I enjoy cycling, food, camping, squash, good books, and more recently, disc golf.
My background – Mediation and Conflict Resolution
Much of my professional work prior to entering politics was in the area of mediation and restorative justice. I worked as a contract consultant and on staff with Mediation Services of Winnipeg and Saskatoon Community Mediation Services after achieving a BA in Conflict Resolution Studies at the University of Winnipeg and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of British Columbia in Surrey.
This experience has laid the foundation for my approach to local politics. This City is complex, and filled with personalities and opinions. I find as a Councillor that listening to understand issues and searching for common ground can be very valuable for overcoming political divides and bringing new ideas to the table. It is not always easy or achievable, but this is what I work towards.
What I’ve learned at City Hall
In my six years on City Council I have learned a lot about how City Hall works, and the role of City Hall in the wider community. I have also developed a network of friends and colleagues in many sectors of Saskatoon: business, First Nations and Metis, arts and culture, community associations, seniors, schools, youth, environment, active transportation, our Universities and Colleges, health, and recent immigrants. This is the foundation I will continue to work from in my third term to get things done.
I have also served on many of the boards and committees of Saskatoon in my time on Council. I sit on the Planning and Operations Committee (past chair) and sit on the Board of Police Commissioners (as well as their Pension Plan, the Audit Committee, Saskatoon Accessibility Advisory Committee I am also the Vice Chair of the Meewasin Valley Authority Board, and sit on the Mendel Art Gallery Board, the Broadway Business Improvement District, the Municipal Heritage Advisory Committee, The Marr Residence Management Board, the Albert Community Center Management Committee, the Cycling Advisory Group.
I’ve Lived in several cities – I chose Saskatoon
I grew up in British Columbia in among the orchards of the village of Naramata and the bustling streets of Vancouver. I spent time in Winnipeg and Toronto working and pursuing education before arriving here. My wife, Sarah Buhler, is from Saskatoon originally, and we met in Winnipeg. When we were deciding to settle down we chose Saskatoon for its size, its people, its atmosphere and its potential. We have lived here since 2002.
While I can’t claim to be born and raised here, my experience living and working in other cities helps shape my work as a city councillor. Many of the challenges facing our city are shared by others. I have also developed a network of contacts and colleagues throughout North America with whom I bounce ideas off of and compare notes, to help broaden my understanding of the issues we face in Saskatoon.
Community Economic Development and capacity building
Along with mediation work, I earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies at York University, which exposed me to the field of planning, local government, and community capacity building. This training has shaped my work in Saskatoon with Quint Development Corporation, the Core Neighbourhood Development Council, Oxfam, the Indigenous Peoples Program and other organizations. I have worked as a project manager and consultant on affordable housing projects, community economic development projects, multi-sectoral poverty reduction initiatives, and environmental campaigns. I continue to work with many of these organizations and am a District 23 delegate with the Affinity Credit Union. All of this has helped deepen my roots in Saskatoon and build an understanding of the dynamics of our city and the opportunities and challenges we face.