326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

Author:

Moose Jaw Express January 17, 2018

newsprint

Innovation to Improve Health Care in Saskatchewan

For more than a decade, the Saskatchewan Party Government has been looking for innovative and creative ways to improve health care in Saskatchewan. We have seen progress in many areas. Since 2007 our province has successfully recruited more than 750 new doctors and 3,400 nurses of every designation; we are building new hospitals, opening long-term care facilities and we have gone from having the longest surgical wait times in Canada to among the very shortest.

According to the latest Fraser Institute survey of doctors, patients in our province are receiving elective health services sooner than patients in most other provinces. The results rank Saskatchewan as having the second-shortest waits in Canada for those seeking medically-necessary elective treatment when the time waiting to see a specialist and the time waiting for treatment are combined. The Ministry of Health has been working with physicians and patients to develop innovative approaches for reducing the amount of time patients wait from referral to seeing a specialist.

We have been working to improve mental health and addiction treatment following the public consultation that shaped our Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan. Provincial Government spending on mental health and addictions services increased 44 per cent from 2007-08 to 2016-17.

Accountable Care Units were established in 2016 at the Pasqua Hospital in Regina and in 2017 at St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon. Accountable Care Units create a unique team environment in which health professionals from many disciplines work closely together to provide prompt, effective care for patients. Patients with complex care needs are receiving more timely and effective care. In the coming year, more Accountable Care Units will be created in Regina and Saskatoon.

The Ministry of Health is reminding Saskatchewan residents who have not yet received health card renewal stickers in the mail to contact eHealth Saskatchewan. Most health cards expired on December 31, 2017. Health card renewal packages were mailed to all residents with provincial health coverage in early autumn. These included updated stickers that will renew health cards until December 31, 2020. Please contact Saskatchewan Health at 1-800-667-7551 or email Change@eHealthSask.ca if you did not receive your renewal stickers.

Many are wondering what impact the change from regional health authorities, including the Five Hills Health Region, to the single Saskatchewan Health Authority will have on our health care. The official launch of the Saskatchewan Health Authority happened on December 4, however there has been no change to the services available. The local phone numbers and the way we access services in our area will not change. The transformation will be a multi-year change that will reduce senior administrative staff positions by 86 per cent and reduce senior administrative staff salaries by 80 per cent; amounting to $9 million annually.

Maintaining community engagement and local relationships is a priority for the Saskatchewan Health Authority. A framework for Community Advisory Networks is being developed to respond to unique needs of communities. In the meantime, current Community Advisory Networks will continue to operate as usual. This transition is another innovative way to improve health care and better meet the needs of the people of Saskatchewan.

Improvements to our health care system is an ongoing priority. Many suggestions have been made by constituents through our Constituency office. Thank you to those who have suggested ideas of improving care in our community. Please contact the constituency office at 326 High St. W with ideas for improving healthcare in our communities.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson January 12, 2018

January 12, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

KEVIN DUNN ANNOUNCED AS PROVINCE’S NEXT SASKATCHEWANDERER

While growing up, Kevin Dunn spent much of his time travelling the province with his family and often found himself longing to make little stops along the way so he could jump out and explore.

Named the 2018 Saskatchewanderer, Dunn will finally get the chance to fulfill that childhood desire as he gears up for 365 days of pure exploration and adventure.

Dunn has a degree in Human Geography and has been working for the City of Saskatoon for the past five years.  As a volunteer photographer and videographer in his community, he gained valuable experience that will serve him well as he focuses his lens on promoting Saskatchewan as the best place to live, work and play.

“I love creating inspiring work through videos and photos,” Dunn said.  “My goal is to motivate and excite others to try something new, explore their own backyard and witness a side of Saskatchewan they have not seen before.”
“The Saskatchewanderer brings widespread attention to the many reasons why Saskatchewan is a remarkable place,” Minister responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan Steven Bonk said.  “It is a pleasure to welcome Kevin Dunn to his role as the 2018 Saskatchewanderer, and we all look forward to the discoveries and stories he will share from his journey.”



“The Saskatchewanderer program continues to exceed expectations,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.  “I trust that the program’s eighth year will be no exception.  Each Wanderer has come to the table with a fresh perspective, a passion to explore and a desire to share all that Saskatchewan has to offer with residents and tourists alike.”



CAA continues as the official sponsor of the Saskatchewanderer program, renewing their support annually since the program launched in 2011.



“For seven years, CAA has been the official sponsor of the Saskatchewanderer program,” CAA Saskatchewan President and CEO Fred Titanich said.  “Since the program started, we have provided a vehicle, a CAA Saskatchewan membership and gas vouchers to assist the Wanderer in promoting our province as the best place to live, work and play.  Having just celebrated 100 years of dedicated service, and also earning the 2017 ABEX Service Award and the ABEX Business of the Year Award, I have to admit, Saskatchewan is indeed a great place to live, work, and play.  On behalf of CAA Saskatchewan and our valued members, we wish Kevin all the best as he starts his journey as the 2018 Saskatchewanderer.”



DirectWest, the official search partner of the Saskatchewanderer program since 2017, has also renewed their support for 2018.

“We are proud to once again partner with the Saskatchewanderer to find and highlight the many special places and businesses across our province,” DirectWest President and CEO Keith Jeannot said.  “DirectWest, through Mysask411, has been connecting people in Saskatchewan to local businesses for many years.  We are eager to see what Kevin’s new perspective reveals through his adventures across our great province and his use of our Mysask411 mobile app to help him.”



The Saskatchewanderer program is also supported by a partnership between Tourism Saskatchewan, the Ministries of Agriculture, Economy and Parks, Culture and Sport.



To follow Kevin’s year of wandering the land of the living skies, check out the Wanderer’s Facebook at 
www.facebook.com/skwanderer, Twitter @SkWanderer, Instagram @saskatchewanderer or YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/skwandererofficial.  You can also read up on his latest adventures by visiting www.saskatchewanderer.ca.


BUILDING PERMITS MAKE YEAR-TO-YEAR GAINS

November building permits in Saskatchewan were up 17.3 per cent (seasonally adjusted) over November 2016, the third highest percentage increase among the provinces.  That’s well ahead of the 1.3 per cent posted nationally.



The total value of building permits issued in Saskatchewan in November was $181 million.



“Stronger building permit numbers is a good sign for the province’s construction sector and overall economy,” Economy Minister Steven Bonk said.  “Compared to the national average of only 1.3 per cent, Saskatchewan is showing it’s continued strength at 17.3 per cent.”



The majority of the growth was in non-residential permits which increased by 49.3 per cent. 

Cannabis To Be Sold by Private Retailers, Regulated by SLGA


The Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) will issue approximately 60 cannabis retail permits to private operators in as many as 40 Saskatchewan municipalities and First Nation communities.



“The federal government has established very aggressive timelines for the legalization of cannabis,” Minister Responsible for SLGA Gene Makowsky said.  “Our government is being diligent to ensure the sale and regulation of cannabis in Saskatchewan strikes a balance between public safety and access for consumers.  It’s also important to our government that the 40 municipalities and First Nations selected for retail locations have the opportunity to decide whether they want cannabis retail stores in their community.”



The initial allocation of retail store permits will be in municipalities and First Nations with populations of at least 2,500, with larger communities being allocated additional permits.  Eligible First Nations and municipalities will have the option to opt out of having a retail cannabis store in their community if they choose.  The final number of retail permits will depend on the number of community leaders that decide to opt out.



Both wholesaling and retailing of cannabis will be conducted by the private sector and regulated by SLGA.  Cannabis retailers will be required to establish a standalone storefront operation, with the option to also operate an online store.  Stores will be limited to selling cannabis, cannabis accessories and ancillary items.  Stores must also have the ability to track and report cannabis inventory to help ensure consumers only have access to safe, legal product from regulated wholesalers.



An independent third party will be engaged to assist SLGA with selecting retail operators using a two-phase process.  The first phase will be initial screening for financial capacity and the ability for proponents to track and report inventory.  Phase two will be a random selection (lottery) of the qualified applicants.  Successful proponents will be required to meet ‘good character’ criteria as part of the permitting process.



Specific details regarding application criteria, permit licensing fees, application timelines and other associated details will be finalized over the coming weeks.  A decision on the minimum age for cannabis consumption will be made later this spring.

DON’T POCKET DIAL


Don’t pocket dial!


In an emergency, smart phones can save lives. But accidental calls to 911 caused by pocket dialing or testing your phone’s emergency features can tie up valuable resources.
To avoid accidentally dialing 911, do not preprogram this number into your phone.

If you do accidentally phone 911, stay on the line so you can tell the operator that there isn’t a real emergency.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW

Sunday January 14, 2018

What:   Roast Beef Fundraiser
Time:    5:00 p.m. 
Place:  Timothy Eatons 
Cost:     $20
Home cooked roast beef dinner…including Yorkshire pudding! Bring the whole family! Proceeds go towards expenses of Moose Jaw & District Seniors Association.

UPCOMING EVENTS

Moose Jaw Community Choir
Jan. 15, 2018
MJ Central Collegiate School Choral Room
All singers, male and female are welcome to join regearsal every Monday.
call Diane Rhodes 306-691-0091

Cosmo Pancake Breakfast
Jan. 16, 2018
Cosmo Senior Centre
8:00 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.
$6.00

Business Women of Moose Jaw- Jewelry Award Unveiling for Prism Awards
Jan. 19, 2018
Temple Gardens Mineral Spa
Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Program at 7:00 p.m.
Tickets $10 each

Chef Jason Chow

Jan. 21, 2018
MJ  Masonic Building Corp. Building at 1755 Main St.N.
Ticket Deadline Jan. 17
Lynn or Ray 306-693-2726

Moose Jaw Express January 10, 2018

newsprint

Looking Ahead to Warmer Days

Is there any other place on earth where plans are being made for the summer when it’s -35 degrees outside? That’s exactly what we do in Saskatchewan. Even as we experienced a recent cold spell, the agriculture industry was gearing up for Crop Production Week and the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport is was encouraging camping enthusiasts to start planning for the 2018 camping season.

Crop Production Week runs January 5th to 11th. The Government of Saskatchewan sponsors this annual event to highlight and promote advancements in the grain industry. The Western Canada Crop Production Show and CropSphere are key parts of Crop Production Week.

For 35 years, the Crop Production Show has been a premiere showcase of the latest crop production technology, services, and products. All of the exhibits and presentations, which are directly related to the grain industry, return to Prarieland Park in Saskatoon January 8th to 11th. The feature event – Drones in Agriculture, Present and Future – will look at the use of drones today and moving forward.

The fifth annual CropSphere agricultural conference takes place at TCU Place in Saskatoon, coordinating with the Crop Production Show during Crop Week. The conference features sessions on market outlook, research, and agronomy, along with sessions specific to canola, flax, barley, wheat, oats and pulse crops. CropSphere also provides the opportunity for specific grower organizations like SaskCanola, Saskatchewan Pulse Growers and Sask Wheat to hold their annual meetings.

When I hear about all the technology and planning that goes into crop production, I can only imagine what farmers of the past might think of these advancements. Indeed, they laid the foundation for much of this progress through their ingenuity and determination. Those involved in the agriculture industry today continue to keep our province growing through their own innovation, which has helped to increase Saskatchewan’s agricultural exports by 225 per cent since 2007.

For those looking ahead to the recreation side of the summer season, applications for seasonal sites in provincial parks became available last week. Due to the popularity of the program, seasonal sites are allocated by a lottery system. The deadline for applications is Thursday, February 1, 2018 with the draw to award campsites taking place on Monday, February 5, 2018. Successful applicants will be contacted by phone or email.

Online nightly campsite reservations will be available beginning April 9th, with a staggered launch over 12 days. Nightly reservations for Buffalo Pound Provincial Park will begin on April 10th. It is recommended that anyone wanting to make a reservation familiarize themselves with the website in advance of the day they plan to register. The launch dates for specific parks, the application form for seasonal camping, and general provincial park information can be found at www.saskparks.com.

As we look forward to the rewards of summertime work and play, may the spirit of hope and kindness celebrated this past Christmas season guide us through the cold days of January.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson January 5, 2018

January 5, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA


Premier Brad Wall, “Other provinces are experiencing fuel tax and carbon tax increases effective January 1.  Here in Saskatchewan, we are lowering small business taxes and personal taxes.  Also, no carbon tax.”

OPTIMISM AND RENEWAL 



The start of a new year is a time of optimism and renewal – and here in Saskatchewan we see encouraging signs that our best days are still to come.



Saskatchewan’s population for example has now grown to more than 1,168,000.



According to the latest Statistics Canada figures, Saskatchewan grew by 4,132 people in the past quarter, 14,467 in the past year and 160,781 in the past decade.



This is the most growth our province has seen in any 10-year period since the 1920s.



A decade of growth has strengthened our province and allowed our government to make important investments in health, education, infrastructure and quality of life for all Saskatchewan people.



For the past 10 years, our government has been focused on a vision for a strong and diverse Saskatchewan economy that can be a national leader.  Our growth plan includes competitive taxes and regulations, innovation, infrastructure and engagement with markets around the world.



Saskatchewan people have built a resilient economy, and RBC is now predicting that our province will lead Canada in economic growth over the next two years.  Recovering energy, potash, ag investment and key contracts in China and India are among the reasons for this growth.



Through trade missions and engagement, we’ll continue working to open up markets for Saskatchewan products to help build on a strong, diversified and growing economy.



I’m encouraged by new statistics that show Saskatchewan exporters are leading the nation. Our wholesale trade grew 21% last year, the best in Canada.  And thanks to our outstanding entrepreneurs, our wholesale trade is up more than 75% over the past 10 years.



The new year brings new incentive for small businesses to hire more workers and invest new capital here in Saskatchewan.  Effective January 1, the amount of income up to which small businesses pay tax at the much lower two per cent small business tax rate moved from $500,000 to $600,000.



Meanwhile, Saskatchewan’s 12 per cent corporate income tax rate continues to be competitive and among the lowest in the country, further enhancing our province’s significant advantages when attracting new investment and jobs.



Also in 2018, Saskatchewan residents will benefit for an entire calendar year from lower provincial Personal Income Tax rates, which dropped half a percentage point effective July 1, 2017. Saskatchewan Personal Income Tax rates will drop by another half point on July 1, 2019.



A bitterly cold holiday season had many of us looking forward to warmer days.  Here in Saskatchewan, many of those days are spent visiting our Provincial Parks.



Seasonal camping – which is offered at a discount from the regular nightly camping – provides an opportunity to secure a campsite from mid-May to the end of August, and even into September at some locations.  Due to its popularity, sites are allocated via a lottery system.



You can visit
www.saskparks.net to apply for a seasonal site by Thursday, February 1, 2018.  The draw to award campsites taking place on Monday, February 5, 2018.



Those who are interested in making nightly reservations can do so starting Monday, April 9.  As has been the process for several years now, nightly campsite reservations will be staggered with a registration launch taking place over 12 days.



During a decade of growth, the Government of Saskatchewan invested more than $100 million in upgrades and improvements to provincial park infrastructure.



Projects undertaken include the development of two new campgrounds, upgrading or replacement of service centres, extensive campsite electrical expansion and upgrading, water and wastewater system upgrades, new and enhanced boat launches and new campsite furnishings.

The Government of Saskatchewan is encouraging campers to start planning for the 2018 camping season.  On Monday, April 9, campers will be able to begin booking sites in their favourite provincial parks.



“Saskatchewan’s provincial parks offer outdoor fun and relaxation,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.  “These provincial treasures contribute to the enviable quality of life we enjoy, while preserving that same gift for future generations.”

 

SaskParks has been testing and fine-tuning the online Saskatchewan provincial park registration system, getting it ready for the rush of 2018 bookings.  As has been the process for several years now, campsite reservations will be staggered.  Starting Monday, April 9, registration launch will take place over 12 days.  Go to www.saskparks.com to familiarize yourself with the process in advance of these dates.

Registration Opens

Provincial Parks Open for Registration

Monday, April 9

Blackstrap, Pike Lake

Tuesday, April 10

Buffalo Pound, Douglas, Danielson

Wednesday, April 11

Echo Valley, Rowan’s Ravine

Thursday, April 12

Duck Mountain, Good Spirit Lake, Greenwater Lake

Friday, April 13

Crooked Lake, Moose Mountain

Monday, April 16

Cypress Hills

Tuesday, April 17

Saskatchewan Landing, The Battlefords

Wednesday, April 18

Meadow Lake

Thursday, April, 19

Bronson Forest, Lac La Ronge, Makwa Lake

Friday, April 20

Candle Lake, Great Blue Heron, Narrow Hills

 

Campers interested in a seasonal site are reminded that starting tomorrow, January 3, they can apply for seasonal summer campsites for the 2018 season.  Seasonal campsites are in high demand and are allocated via a lottery system.  The deadline to submit completed applications is Thursday, February 1,  and the draw to award campsites will take place on Monday, February 5.  Successful applicants will be contacted by phone or email.



Park program planning is well underway in preparation for the 2018 camping season.  Follow SaskParks on Facebook to stay up to date with events and to learn more about winter and summer activities available in parks throughout the province.

PREMIER CAUTIOUSLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT NUTRIEN MERGER BASED ON COMMITMENTS TO SASKATCHEWAN

Premier Brad Wall today said he is cautiously optimistic about the recently approved merger of Agrium and PotashCorp into a new company called Nutrien, based on commitments made in recent meetings with the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) and Board Chairs of the two merging corporations.



Those commitments include:

  • Nutrien’s registered head office and global potash operations will be located in Saskatoon;
  • corporate office positions in Saskatchewan will increase by at least 15 per cent, to approximately 300;
  • approximately 4,500 of Nutrien’s 20,000 employees worldwide will be located in Saskatchewan;
  • two new business functions will relocate to Saskatchewan; and
  • CEO and/or Executive Chair of the Nutrien Board and the President of Nutrien’s potash operations will live and work in Saskatchewan.

“This is a strong commitment to Saskatchewan, which will ensure that the merger results in a net benefit for our province,” Wall said.  “All of these commitments remain subject to approval of the new Nutrien board.  Our government will be closely monitoring future developments, but I have every expectation that Nutrien will follow through on their commitments to Saskatchewan.”


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW

Saturday January 6, 2018

What:  School Break Short Films 
Time:   9:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. 
Place:  WDM

Report from the Legislature January 4, 2018

Summer at the Legislative Building

The start of a new year is a time of optimism and renewal – and here in Saskatchewan we see encouraging signs that our best days are still to come. Saskatchewan’s population for example has now grown to more than 1,168,000.  According to the latest Statistics Canada figures, Saskatchewan grew by 4,132 people in the past quarter, 14,467 in the past year and 160,781 in the past decade. This is the most growth our province has seen in any 10-year period since the 1920s.

A decade of growth has strengthened our province and allowed our government to make important investments in health, education, infrastructure and quality of life for all Saskatchewan people.  For the past 10 years, our government has been focused on a vision for a strong and diverse Saskatchewan economy that can be a national leader. Our growth plan includes competitive taxes and regulations, innovation, infrastructure and engagement with markets around the world.

Saskatchewan people have built a resilient economy, and RBC is now predicting that our province will lead Canada in economic growth over the next two years. Recovering energy, potash, ag investment and key contracts in China and India are among the reasons for this growth.  Through trade missions and engagement, we’ll continue working to open up markets for Saskatchewan products to help build on a strong, diversified and growing economy.

I’m encouraged by new statistics that show Saskatchewan exporters are leading the nation. Our wholesale trade grew 21% last year, the best in Canada. And thanks to our outstanding entrepreneurs, our wholesale trade is up more than 75% over the past 10 years.

The new year brings new incentive for small businesses to hire more workers and invest new capital here in Saskatchewan. Effective January 1, the amount of income up to which small businesses pay tax at the much lower two per cent small business tax rate moved from $500,000 to $600,000. Meanwhile, Saskatchewan’s 12 per cent corporate income tax rate continues to be competitive and among the lowest in the country, further enhancing our province’s significant advantages when attracting new investment and jobs.

Also in 2018, Saskatchewan residents will benefit for an entire calendar year from lower provincial Personal Income Tax rates, which dropped half a percentage point effective July 1, 2017. Saskatchewan Personal Income Tax rates will drop by another half point on July 1, 2019.

A bitterly cold holiday season had many of us looking forward to warmer days. Here in Saskatchewan, many of those days are spent visiting our Provincial Parks. Seasonal camping – which is offered at a discount from the regular nightly camping – provides an opportunity to secure a campsite from mid-May to the end of August, and even into September at some locations. Due to its popularity, sites are allocated via a lottery system.

You can visit www.saskparks.net to apply for a seasonal site by Thursday, February 1, 2018. The draw to award campsites taking place on Monday, February 5, 2018. Those who are interested in making nightly reservations can do so starting Monday, April 9. As has been the process for several years now, nightly campsite reservations will be staggered with a registration launch taking place over 12 days.

During a decade of growth, the Government of Saskatchewan invested more than $100 million in upgrades and improvements to provincial park infrastructure. Projects undertaken include the development of two new campgrounds, upgrading or replacement of service centres, extensive campsite electrical expansion and upgrading, water and wastewater system upgrades, new and enhanced boat launches and new campsite furnishings.

Moose Jaw Express January 3, 2018

newsprint

Welcoming in the New Year

The beginning of the New Year is welcomed with joyous celebration and the anticipation of a year that will be filled with happiness and good fortune. It is also a time to reflect on the past year, the advancements and achievements, and also the determination exercised in meeting challenges.

It is an opportunity to reflect on this community we call home, and a time to appreciate all that is available to us in the Moose Jaw area through services, organizations, businesses, churches, museums, parks, cultural events and entertainment.

2017 started with national recognition during the Rogers Hometown Hockey event.  We can recall how cold the temperature was, however, the warmth created by the hospitality of our community was a landmark portrayed across Canada.

Our community of Moose Jaw is a special place to call home with the number of events that build civic pride and concern for our fellow citizens.  I am reminded of the ‘Coldest Night of the Year’ and the ‘Better Together’ Food Drive in support of the local Food Bank.   There is also tremendous community assistance through the many churches and service organizations; the Kinsmen, Lions, Elks, Kiwanis, Eagles, Rotary, Legion, ANAVETS, Knights of Columbus and Shriners.   We have special youth organizations such as the swim club, figure skating, dancing, theatre, minor sports, along with the Navy League and the Air, Army, and Sea Cadets.

Moose Jaw hosts numerous events throughout the year like the Moose Jaw and District Sports Hall of Fame and the Warriors & Legends Hall of Fame, which last year inducted two former players and NHL greats; Ryan and Kevin Smyth.   We have great organizations and volunteers that present the Saskatchewan Festival of Words, Moose Jaw Sidewalk Days, the Hometown Fair, and MOTIF.

Outstanding businesses and individuals are recognized through the Chamber of Commerce MJBEX Awards, Citizen and Group of the Year, and Prism Awards, each with their unique way of promoting good will achievement in our community.  In 2017 we welcomed new developments like the Civic Centre Plaza, and, sadly, lost some historic community icons such as the Times-Herald.

Perhaps the largest and most unique event of 2017 was the ‘One Horse Town’ concert that placed Moose Jaw as the most inimitable community in Canada.  It was indeed a concert that highlighted our community spirit.   So many other events also make Moose Jaw special; like the number of classic car shows throughout the summer, Concerts in the Park, annual events that take place in Wakamow Valley and Crescent Park, and sports events like Miller Express baseball and Moose Jaw Warriors hockey.

Moose Jaw‘s colourful and historic past is portrayed in the Western Development Museum, Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery, and the Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village & Museum.  Part of this infamous past is relived in the tunnel tours and by browsing through the unique shops in our downtown core.

Our community has a uniqueness that can be experienced at the Moose Jaw Cultural Centre, and in our first class Yara Centre for fitness, with its walking track and artificial turf field for frolic and fun with the whole family.   Other community assets include the three golf courses within our City and the pride of our Moose Jaw;  Mosaic Place, home of the Moose Jaw Ford Curling Centre and the Warriors.

It is heartwarming to reminisce on the events that took place in 2017 as we look forward with anticipation to a new and exciting year in Moose Jaw.  Happy 2018!

Moose Jaw Express December 27, 2017

newsprint

Ending the Year on a Positive Note

More people will call Saskatchewan home this Christmas, as the province’s population grew by 4,132 people in the past quarter and 14,467 in the past year. It is encouraging to finish the calendar year on a positive note.  Important, positive progress was accomplished during the Fall Sitting of the Legislative Session and we have received good news regarding an upswing in the economy.

According to the most recent RBC Economics Provincial Outlook, Saskatchewan will lead Canada in economic growth in 2018 and 2019. The report projects Saskatchewan growth of 2.7 per cent for both years, compared to the Canadian projection of 1.9 per cent in 2018 and 1.6 per cent in 2019.

The provincial economy will benefit from recovery in the energy sector, as well as rising investment spending and expected rebounds in the agricultural and mining sectors.  The report notes key potash contracts secured in China and India as contributing factors to some of the growth.  The growth in the mining sector is expected to have a positive effect on capital spending and on the construction sector in Saskatchewan.  The report also projects growth of 0.5 per cent in employment and a lower unemployment rate of 5.7 per cent for 2018.  This is all encouraging news.

To promote the strength of our economy, our government passed a bill allowing small businesses to pay less tax on more income. The bill extends the lower 2% tax rate and gives employers greater incentive to invest in new capital projects and to hire more workers here in Saskatchewan.  We also introduced an Agriculture Value Added New Growth Incentive to attract more investment.

The Fall Sitting reflected the efforts to strengthen the economy, and to support the vulnerable in our province. A part of our government’s larger effort was to address the issue of interpersonal violence in Saskatchewan. We worked together with the Opposition on legislation to provide 10 days of unpaid job protected leave to access services or relocate.  We recognize that interpersonal violence continues to be a serious problem for Saskatchewan families.  We will continue to work with our partners, other jurisdictions, and other levels of government to develop long-term solutions. In addition to legislation, we need to develop measures to identify and prevent abusive relationships.

Our government has moved to fulfill its commitment to provide individualized funding to children under six with Autism Spectrum Disorder. We have also taken steps to improve the rate of organ donation in the province through a new program led by donor physicians.

It has been a privilege to represent the constituents of Moose Jaw North in 2017.  Thank you for your support, your input and your suggestions over the year.  Please enjoy the New Year’s festivities and remember to plan a safe ride home.  To assist in your safety and the safety of others, Moose Jaw Transit will provide free bus service from 7:55 p.m. through 3:15 a.m on New Year’s Eve. All regular bus routes will be in effect, so no matter where you’re celebrating within the city, a free, safe ride home will be available.

Debbie and I wish you an enjoyable New Year’s celebration, and good health and happiness in 2018.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson December 22, 2017

December 22, 2017 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA
PLEASE NOTE: OUR CONSTITUENCY OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED Monday Dec. 25, 2017 – Monday Jan. 1, 2018.   We will re-open Tuesday Jan. 2, 2018.


At a time of year when many of us gather to reconnect with family and friends, consider our blessings and reflect on the past year, I want to say Merry Christmas to you and yours, Happy Holidays and best wishes for good health, happiness and prosperity in 2018!

‘TIS THE SEASON

Both Riverside Mission and the Salvation Army are recipients of turkey donations.  

On his last day in the Legislative Assembly, Premier Brad Wall reflected on service to the province and its people by asking the question: “did you leave things better than you found them?”


While there will always be more work to do, I believe that if you can answer that question with a “yes”, then you have done your part to leave a legacy that is worthy of this province.


Health care is one area in which I am proud of our government’s record.  For the past decade, we have worked to reverse the NDP’s record of decline that forced health care professionals to leave the province and put Saskatchewan patients on the longest wait lists for surgery in Canada.


Since 2007 our province has successfully recruited more than 750 new doctors and 3,400 nurses of every designation; we are building new hospitals, opening long-term care facilities and we have gone from having the longest surgical wait times in Canada to among the very shortest.

According to the latest Fraser Institute survey of doctors, patients in our province are receiving elective health services sooner than patients in most other provinces.  The results rank Saskatchewan as having the second-shortest waits in Canada for those seeking medically-necessary elective treatment when the time waiting to see a specialist and the time waiting for treatment are combined.


Based on estimates from physicians across the country, Saskatchewan is tied for first in the country for wait times for CT scans and ultrasounds.  While the survey ranked Saskatchewan fifth for MRI wait times, the capacity for MRI services in Saskatchewan has more than doubled in the past decade to meet demand.  CT capacity is also up 48 per cent.


The Ministry of Health has been working with physicians and patients to develop innovative approaches for reducing the amount of time patients wait from referral to seeing a specialist.


Physician groups that have adopted the new referral model have seen significant reductions in wait times and an increase in the level of patient and physician satisfaction.  The number of specialists in Saskatchewan increased 18 per cent from March 2014 to March 2017.


Based on the Fraser Institute’s survey results, the report estimates that Saskatchewan’s wait times for psychiatric services are the fourth-shortest in Canada.  Provincial government spending on mental health and addictions services increased 44 per cent from 2007-08 to 2016-17.


This year, as part of an effort to improve service, Accountable Care Units were established at Pasqua Hospital in Regina and St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.

Accountable Care Units create a unique team environment in which physicians, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, social workers and dieticians work closely together to provide prompt, effective care for patients.  Patients with complex care needs are receiving more timely and effective care.  Planning is also underway on improvements to ensure coordinated care for those with complex needs who may need to transition from the community to the hospital and back again.


These units are part of our Connected Care Strategy, to transform the health system and improve the way care is delivered for patients who have complex care needs.  The changes in care are part of the health system’s effort to reduce hospital congestion, thereby shortening emergency department wait times and improving timely access to health care for patients.


In the coming year, more Accountable Care Units will be created in Regina and Saskatoon which means we’re making good progress toward our government’s goal of helping patients come home from a hospital stay sooner, healthier, and with less chance of a return visit.


Just a reminder – Saskatchewan residents with provincial health coverage who have not yet received health card renewal stickers in the mail, should contact eHealth Saskatchewan (eHealth).


Health card renewal packages were mailed to all residents with provincial health coverage earlier this fall.  These included updated stickers that will renew health cards for a three-year period.


The most common reason why people do not receive their renewal stickers is because they have moved and not updated their address with eHealth Saskatchewan.


Most health cards expire on December 31, 2017.  Residents can update their address, as well as personal and family information, online at 
www.eHealthSask.ca.

KEEPING AN EYE OUT FOR SNOWPLOWS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

Highways and Infrastructure Minister David Marit kicked off the annual provincial Snow Zone campaign in Moose Jaw, aimed to remind travelers to slow down and stay back when approaching snowplows.


Please be patient and use caution, it is illegal to pass a snow plow at a speed any greater than 60 km/hr when both blue and amber lights are flashing, regardless of whether travelling on a two or four lane highway. Snow plow operators will pull over roughly every 10 km, or when it is safe to do so, to allow traffic to pass. 

SASKATCHEWANDERER PROGRAM REACHES NEW HEIGHTS IN 2017


Saskatchewan offers 651,900 square kilometres of adventure and, in 2017, Saskatchewanderer Andrew Hiltz drove, hiked, climbed and paddled his way across much of the province, taking nearly 75,000 devoted “followanderers” along for the journey of a lifetime.


In what could be easily described as the best job ever, Hiltz reflects fondly on his experiences this past year as he prepares to hand over the GoPro to the next wanderer.

“It has been an honour and a privilege to work with and meet so many incredible people this year, and I will forever cherish the opportunities that this job has provided me,” Hiltz said.  “Saskatchewan has exceeded every expectation I could have possibly imagined.  I have literally had a smile on my face for 365 days straight.”


Andrew travelled more than 43,000 kilometres, produced 70 videos that received more than 1.8 million views on Facebook and grew the program’s follower base by more than 33 per cent in 2017.


“Our government supports the Saskatchewanderer and the widespread profile the program brings to our province,” Minister Responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan Steven Bonk said.  “The tremendous engagement on social media is evidence that people welcome the invitation to experience what Saskatchewan has to offer.”

CAA Saskatchewan returns as the official program sponsor for 2018, having partnered with the program since 2011 when the program began.


“We are very pleased to support a program that not only showcases our province as the best place to live, work and play, but also profiles our people and our businesses,” CAA Saskatchewan President and CEO Fred Titanich said.  “2017 was a special year as we celebrated 100 years of dedicated service to our valued members, clients and customers.  Andrew Hiltz joined in the celebrations by attending several of the CAA Saskatchewan Celebrate 100 Year parties held at our CAA stores.  We look forward to meeting the 2018 Saskatchewanderer who will be provided with a vehicle, gas vouchers, and a CAA Saskatchewan membership for safety and security.”


DirectWest is continuing their partnership into the new year as well, serving as the official search partner of the 2018 Saskatchewanderer for a second year.

“We are extremely proud to continue helping the Saskatchewanderer and Saskatchewanians everywhere search and find what they’re looking for with the Mysask411 Mobile App,” DirectWest President and CEO Keith Jeannot said.  “Celebrating our shared local pride, the team at DirectWest looks forward to another year of discovering Saskatchewan through the eyes of a new explorer, showcasing local businesses on Mysask411 from all corners of our diverse province.”


The program is also powered by the partnership between Tourism Saskatchewan and the Ministries of Agriculture, Economy and Parks, Culture and Sport.  In January, the new Saskatchewanderer will depart on a year-long tour to showcase the land of the living skies through a fresh lens.


To see first-hand why Saskatchewan is the best place to live, work and play, follow the Saskatchewanderer accounts on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Twitter, or visit the website at 
www.saskatchewanderer.ca

Reservations for Saskatchewan Parks 2018 Seasonal Camping Set to Launch Soon

This holiday season, as Saskatchewan residents enjoy time with family and share in the hopeful anticipation of the New Year, many are already starting to plan their summer getaway in Saskatchewan’s provincial parks.


“For many people, visiting our provincial parks is a valued summer tradition that contributes to our great quality of life,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.  “Booking a site for the full season is a popular choice that allows for the best camping deal around and an entire summer spent making lifelong memories.”


The seasonal camping program offers the opportunity to secure a campsite from mid-May to the end of August, and into September at some locations.  Seasonal bookings are offered at a discount from the regular nightly camping rates.


There are 19 provincial parks and recreation sites that offer the seasonal camping program, and the seasonal sites are always in high demand.  Due to the popularity of the program, sites are allocated via a lottery system.


Application forms for seasonal sites will be available at 
www.saskparks.net starting Wednesday, January 3, 2018.  The deadline for applications is Thursday, February 1, 2018 with the draw to award campsites taking place on Monday, February 5, 2018.  Successful applicants will be contacted by phone or email. Details for nightly camping reservations will be available in early January.


Since 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested more than $100 million in upgrades and improvements to the provincial park infrastructure.


Projects undertaken include the development of two new campgrounds, upgrading or replacement of service centres, extensive campsite electrical expansion and upgrading, water and wastewater system upgrades, new and enhanced boat launches and new campsite furnishings.


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW

PLEASE NOTE: OUR CONSTITUENCY OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED Friday Dec. 22 at noon – Monday Jan. 1, 2018.   We will re-open Tuesday Jan. 2, 2018.

Saturday December 23, 2017

What:  A Christmas Long Ago
Time:   10:00 A.M. 
Place:  WDM

Sunday December 24, 2017

What: Christmas Eve Service 
Time:  10:30 a.m. 
Place: St. Andrew’s United Church Moose Jaw, Moose Jaw

What: Candlelight Christmas Eve Service
Time:  6:30 p.m. 
Place: Alliance Church

What: Christmas Eve Service
Time:  8:00 p.m. 
Place: St. Andrews Church

Monday December 25, 2017

What: The Christmas Inn
Time:  3:30 p.m. 
Place: St. Andrews Church

UPCOMING EVENTS

Veterans morning coffee Mon-Sat @ 10:00 a.m. -Legion

Rotary 2017 Carol Festival
Zion United Church
Mon- Weds 11-13th

7:00 p.m. 

Blood Donor Clinic
Moose Jaw Exhibition
2:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Free Holiday Public Skating
Mosaic Place
Dec 26- Dec. 30, 2017
Various times

Teen Lounge: Drop in, hang out
Public Library- Ages 10 and up
Dec. 27, 2017
6-8:30 p.m. 

 New Year’s Eve Dance
Cosmo Senior Centre
Dec. 31, 2017
8:00 p.m.
$25
Band:  Al & Company
Turkey Lunch to be served

West Park Crossing New Year’s Eve Celebration 
West Park Crossing – seniors 70+
Dec. 31, 2017
3:30 p.m. 

Cosmo Senior Centre New Year’s Eve Dance
Cosmo Centre
Dec. 31, 2017
8:00 p.m.
$25

Royal Canadian Legion New Year’s Levee
Legion Lounge
Dec. 31, 2017
12:00 p.m.
Light lunch and Moose Milk will be served

West Park Crossing Ukrainian Christmas
West Park Crossing
Jan. 7, 2018
Must RSVP by Jan. 2, 2018
306-694-4744

Report from the Legislature December 21, 2017

Summer at the Legislative Building

On his last day in the Legislative Assembly, Premier Brad Wall reflected on service to the province and its people by asking the question: “did you leave things better than you found them?”

While there will always be more work to do, I believe that if you can answer that question with a “yes”, then you have done your part to leave a legacy that is worthy of this province.

Health care is one area in which I am proud of our government’s record. For the past decade, we have worked to reverse the NDP’s record of decline that forced health care professionals to leave the province and put Saskatchewan patients on the longest wait lists for surgery in Canada.

Since 2007 our province has successfully recruited more than 750 new doctors and 3,400 nurses of every designation; we are building new hospitals, opening long-term care facilities and we have gone from having the longest surgical wait times in Canada to among the very shortest.

According to the latest Fraser Institute survey of doctors, patients in our province are receiving elective health services sooner than patients in most other provinces. The results rank Saskatchewan as having the second-shortest waits in Canada for those seeking medically-necessary elective treatment when the time waiting to see a specialist and the time waiting for treatment are combined.

Based on estimates from physicians across the country, Saskatchewan is tied for first in the country for wait times for CT scans and ultrasounds.  While the survey ranked Saskatchewan fifth for MRI wait times, the capacity for MRI services in Saskatchewan has more than doubled in the past decade to meet demand. CT capacity is also up 48 per cent.

The Ministry of Health has been working with physicians and patients to develop innovative approaches for reducing the amount of time patients wait from referral to seeing a specialist.

Physician groups that have adopted the new referral model have seen significant reductions in wait times and an increase in the level of patient and physician satisfaction. The number of specialists in Saskatchewan increased 18 per cent from March 2014 to March 2017.

Based on the Fraser Institute’s survey results, the report estimates that Saskatchewan’s wait times for psychiatric services are the fourth-shortest in Canada. Provincial government spending on mental health and addictions services increased 44 per cent from 2007-08 to 2016-17.

This year, as part of an effort to improve service, Accountable Care Units were established at Pasqua Hospital in Regina and St. Paul’s Hospital in Saskatoon.

Accountable Care Units create a unique team environment in which physicians, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, social workers and dieticians work closely together to provide prompt, effective care for patients. Patients with complex care needs are receiving more timely and effective care. Planning is also underway on improvements to ensure coordinated care for those with complex needs who may need to transition from the community to the hospital and back again.

These units are part of our Connected Care Strategy, to transform the health system and improve the way care is delivered for patients who have complex care needs. The changes in care are part of the health system’s effort to reduce hospital congestion, thereby shortening emergency department wait times and improving timely access to health care for patients.

In the coming year, more Accountable Care Units will be created in Regina and Saskatoon which means we’re making good progress toward our government’s goal of helping patients come home from a hospital stay sooner, healthier, and with less chance of a return visit.

Just a reminder – Saskatchewan residents with provincial health coverage who have not yet received health card renewal stickers in the mail, should contact eHealth Saskatchewan (eHealth).

Health card renewal packages were mailed to all residents with provincial health coverage earlier this fall. These included updated stickers that will renew health cards for a three-year period.

The most common reason why people do not receive their renewal stickers is because they have moved and not updated their address with eHealth Saskatchewan.

Most health cards expire on December 31, 2017. Residents can update their address, as well as personal and family information, online at www.eHealthSask.ca.

At a time of year when many of us gather to reconnect with family and friends, consider our blessings and reflect on the past year, I want to say Merry Christmas to you and yours, Happy Holidays and best wishes for good health, happiness and prosperity in 2018!

Moose Jaw Express December 20, 2017

newsprint

Have a Blessed and Safe Christmas Season

The excitement of the season is upon us with Christmas parties, receptions and socials.   Families are busy with last minute shopping and the children are anxiously awaiting Santa’s arrival. Looking forward to the new year is exciting. To assist with safe traveling the “Ding in the New Year” program will be implemented again this year as a sobering reminder of the tragic consequences of impaired driving.

“Ding in the New Year” is a great partnership with SGI, Moose Jaw Police Service, the City of Moose Jaw, Golden West Radio, Moose Jaw Express, and Moose Jaw & District Chamber of Commerce to prevent impaired driving, particularly on New Year’s Eve. For nearly 30 years, Ding in the New Year has provided free bus service in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw on New Year’s Eve.

 

More needs to be done to prevent impaired driving. Impaired driving is 100 per cent preventable. Last year 57 people died in Saskatchewan in collisions involving alcohol, including three fatalities during the holiday season. In January of 2017, our government strengthened penalties for impaired driving. Saskatchewan now have the toughest laws in Canada. The good news is that attitudes around impaired driving are starting to change with people planning for a safe ride home.

In addition to free transit service on New Year’s Eve, citizens can also call a cab or arrange for a designated driver. During the Christmas season the local Kinsmen Club also launches a program that offers safe rides home from parties. The service club is typically hired by the host of the event and will provide transportation for everyone at the venue. Kinsmen Club members will take guests and their vehicle home safely. The safe ride efforts of the Kinsmen Club are a great service to our community.

Strict penalties will also be enforced in preventing drug impaired driving once federal legislation legalizes recreational use of marijuana. It is currently and will continue to be illegal to drive while impaired, whether by drugs or alcohol. Legislation has been introduced to give police the authority to use federally-approved roadside drug screening devices to check for impaired driving, if they have reasonable grounds to suspect a driver is impaired.

Our government recognizes that additional steps can be taken to reduce impaired driving in Saskatchewan. For example, Saskatchewan people have told us that ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft would provide them with another option for them to get home safely. These are services that would provide a vehicle and driver for pre-arranged transportation through a digital platform or app.

This fall, we introduced legislation to allow for Ridesharing Services to operate in Saskatchewan. This establishes a framework for licensing and insurance, sets out appropriate safeguards for the public, and gives municipalities authority to determine the right public transportation mix for their communities.

In his Christmas message, Premier Brad Wall reflected that Christmas is the ultimate story of hope because that’s what God gave to us all.  God sent His son Jesus, to bring hope and peace to all, and invites us to share that hope and peace with others, especially with those in need. Debbie and I wish you and your loved ones a blessed Christmas season, filled with peace and hope.

Merry Christmas!