326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

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Moose Jaw Express February 21, 2018

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Tackling the Debt

I recently received a call from a constituent inquiring about the provincial debt. He had been in discussion with someone, and they had different opinions of what it might be.  This conversation got me thinking that others may also be curious about our provincial debt.

Sometimes we think of deficit and debt as one and the same. A budget deficit is the difference between what a government spends and what it receives in revenue during a given time period.  The public debt is the amount owed by the government to cover years of budget deficits and capital requirements in our crown corporations.

When the Saskatchewan Party government was first elected, it inherited a debt that was almost two generations old.  Our government made the largest debt repayment, while making significant income tax cuts and the largest property tax cut in Saskatchewan history.  Under our government, the provincial operating debt has been reduced by over $1 billion. This amounts to $1.5 billion in interest payment savings.  These savings have been invested in people and a better quality of life for all in Saskatchewan.

In 2012, the Government of Saskatchewan released the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond; a roadmap for the growth of our province in all economic sectors that prioritizes fiscal responsibility, needed infrastructure investments, and improved health and social supports.

The decline in resource revenue has required the government to realign tax revenue so as to reduce our reliance on resource revenue.  Difficult decisions were made in the 2017-2018 budget.  That said; in the province’s November mid-year financial report, the 2017-18 deficit projection is $679 million, $6 million less than last year’s budget estimate of $685 million. We are moving in the right direction and the economic forecast for the province is positive.

As in household budgeting, there are times when borrowing is a sound decision – so it is with the province.

  • Investing in infrastructure supports the growth of the Province and secures a better quality of life for Saskatchewan people.
  • By modernizing and expanding the tax base, controlling and reducing spending and investing in much needed infrastructure projects like highways, schools and hospitals, we will help ensure Saskatchewan’s economy remains strong.
  • Current low interest rates, combined with the Province’s Aaa credit rating, and sound repayment plan make borrowing for the purposes of infrastructure cost-effective.
  • Our borrowing is being managed responsibly as is evident by our best possible credit rating from one of the world’s leading credit rating agencies. Saskatchewan is one of only two provinces that have Aaa credit ratings with Moody’s.

In answer to the question asked of me, Saskatchewan’s public debt is projected to be $17.9 billion by March 31, 2018 – that includes $5.8 billion in operating debt, $2.8 billion in the SaskBuilds Plan, and $8.9 billion in Crown infrastructure debt.  This is one of the lowest per-capita debts compared to every other Canadian province.  Our province has the second-best debt to GDP ratio in Canada.  We have continued to invest in Saskatchewan’s growth and, for the first time in two years, the economy is projected to post positive growth. Saskatchewan’s real GDP is forecast to grow and lead the nation this year and next.  As our economy improves, our government will continue to look for ways to reduce our debt while investing in people to continue making this the best province in Canada to live, work and raise our families.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson February 16, 2018

February 16, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR!
Thank You to all Education Staff

The Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed February 11-17, 2018 as Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week in the province.



“This week is an opportunity for Saskatchewan residents to recognize and celebrate our teachers and school staff,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “Education professionals in our province work tirelessly to educate and inspire students to reach their full potential and engage in lifelong learning.” 

Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week is acknowledged annually across Canada to highlight the invaluable work of education professionals in our schools. This year, the Saskatchewan Association of School Councils (SASC) has chosen the theme Inspiration Through Learning. 

“Teachers and staff inspire and motivate learners when they provide students with opportunities to understand, develop and practice positive attitudes and actions that will result in the achievements of their goals and dreams,” SASC Director Joy Bastness said. “They inspire new understanding and skills, initiate new experiences, spark students’ interest and enthusiasm, while infusing learning with life and a desire to learn.” 

This marks the 31st year that Teacher/Staff Appreciation Week will be celebrated in Saskatchewan. 

 

Celebrate Family Day Weekend with Free Fishing, February 17 to 19

Saskatchewan’s annual winter free fishing weekend once again coincides with the province’s Family Day holiday weekend on February 17, 18 and 19.



Saskatchewan’s public waters are open one weekend each winter to encourage participation in ice fishing. Both residents and visitors may fish in any waterbody that has an open sport fishing season, without purchasing a fishing license.



“Ice fishing is an excellent way to enjoy nature with family and friends during the winter,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. “Our lakes attract more than 250,000 anglers each year and the free fishing weekend is the perfect opportunity for both new and experienced anglers.”



Anglers are reminded to use caution and common sense, and always put safety first when going out on frozen lakes. This includes testing the ice thickness before travelling on it. A minimum of 10 cm of good ice is required for walking and 30 cm for light vehicle travel. Wear warm clothing.



Anyone planning to take advantage of free fishing weekend is reminded that all other fishing regulations, including possession limits and reduced limits on some lakes and rivers remain in effect.



Free fishing weekend does not apply in national parks and anyone planning to take fish out of the province must purchase a license.



More information about fishing in Saskatchewan can be found in the Anglers’ Guide, available wherever fishing licenses are sold, or online at 
www.saskatchewan.ca/fishing.

A VISION FOR A GROWING PROVINCE

Moving forward we must ensure the province’s financial foundation remains strong while continuing to invest in the infrastructure, programs and services Saskatchewan people expect and deserve. In doing this, we will continue to ensure that hope and opportunity are found here in our province.



There is more work to do as our economy recovers, but it is encouraging to see confidence in our economy in both the short and long-term with jobs and investment.



Saskatchewan was home to the fastest job growth in Canada last month with 1,100 new jobs dropping the unemployment rate by a full 1%.

Building permits were up considerably in December, rising nearly 70% year over year (seasonally adjusted), the second highest percentage increase among the provinces, and the highest percentage increase in western Canada.

Saskatchewan’s home building industry is starting off the new year in great shape. Urban housing starts were up 123.5% last month when compared with January 2017, the highest percentage increase among the provinces.

Employment is up, our unemployment rate is the second lowest in the nation, and with recent good news on building permits and urban housing starts, 2018 is looking to be a good year for our province.  Our government will stand with individuals and industry to keep building on Saskatchewan’s success.


TIPS FOR TRAVEL INSURANCE

If you are planning a trip and thinking about purchasing travel insurance, the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) wants you to understand the coverage before you pay for it.



“We’ve all heard the horror stories of people who went away on vacation, something happened and they thought they had medical coverage, but didn’t,” Insurance and Real Estate Director Ian McIntosh said. “We want to make sure people understand their coverage before they get on the plane.” 

Here are some tips to consider when purchasing travel insurance:

  • Purchase the coverage you need – make sure you know what types of coverage you want. There are different coverage options available and not all of them may be suitable for your needs. Carefully read the policy to understand what you are agreeing to.
  • Understand the exclusions and pre-existing conditions clauses – you are required to fill out an application when applying for coverage. It is your obligation to provide the insurer with an accurate response to the questions. If you have questions about the application, contact your insurance agent or insurer. If you have questions about your medical history, contact your doctor. If you fail to provide the health and medical information requested or provide inaccurate information, your future claim may be denied.
  • Read your policy – even though insurance policies and documents may be lengthy and complex, make sure you take the time to read these documents so you know what type of coverage you have and what types of exclusions may apply. If you have questions, ask the provider before you purchase the insurance.
  • Understand the claims process – before you purchase insurance make sure you understand the claims process, what is required and who to contact.

Dispute a claim

Knowing the process before a situation arises can prevent unnecessary stress.  If your claim was denied by your insurance provider, call them and try and resolve the issue. If you are still not satisfied with the response, contact the OmbudService for Life and Health Insurance in the case of health claims, or the General Insurance Ombudservice in the case of property claims. These organizations provide independent complaint resolution and information services for the insurance industry. Time restrictions might apply, so make sure to ask the OmbudService about limitation periods. 

For more information about travel insurance, visit http://www.fcaa.gov.sk.ca/travelinsurance

NEW EDUCATIONAL KIDS PROGRAM AT GOVERNMENT HOUSE

Children aged four through 10 are invited to join in the fun at Government (Club) House — a brand new, magical learning adventure that kicks off this Saturday, February 17 during the Family Day long weekend. 

“Government (Club) House is a great way to teach our children about Saskatchewan history and heritage, as they make new friends in a National Historic Site,” Minister Responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission Ken Cheveldayoff said. “It’s important to teach the next generation about our province in a fun and engaging way, and I think this program accomplishes that.”



There’s no cost to take part in the program, held on the third Saturday of every month from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. It offers children physical activity as they take part in a scavenger hunt in the museum, hands-on crafting, and interactive story time featuring tales by Saskatchewan authors and illustrators.



“We’re launching Government (Club) House this weekend to kick off the start of Heritage Week, February 18 – 24,” Government House Manager Monique Goffinet-Miller said. “There is so much history and magic preserved here at Government House. We wanted to ensure that the little ones have a way to experience that magic as they read, play, and learn together.”



Due to overwhelming community support, registration for the first Government (Club) House is full. Registration for the next Government (Club) House on March 17 opens on March 1. To register, email 
government.house@gov.sk.ca

2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games to Celebrate Winter’s Best

Young Saskatchewan athletes from nine districts will represent hundreds of communities at the 2018 Saskatchewan Winter Games kicking off in the City of North Battleford on Sunday.



From February 18-24  athletes from across the province will compete as individuals and teams, gaining lifelong values like dedication and teamwork that participation in sport instills. The games will also leave a significant legacy in the host community and surrounding area through investment in infrastructure and equipment and through economic impact with North Battleford expecting an estimated visitor expenditure of more than $4M.



“The Saskatchewan Games serve as an important stepping stone for our athletes,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said. “Many of those participating in North Battleford over the next week will one day compete in the Western Canada Games, the Canada Games and even the Olympics. The Saskatchewan Games highlights the power of sport to bring communities together for our young athletes to develop important skills, promote fitness, and create lifelong friendships.”



“The Government of Saskatchewan extends our thanks to the City of North Battleford and the 1,200 volunteers who have contributed hundreds of hours to put on an inclusive and exciting event. Best of luck to the 2,000 Saskatchewan athletes, coaches and mission staff who will surely ‘Celebrate Winter’s Best!’”



On Sunday, the opening ceremonies will feature a performance by world-acclaimed hoop dancer Lawrence Roy Jr., the Lighting of the Flame, and the swearing of the Athletes’ Official Oaths. Dignitaries attending the ceremonies include hockey player Fred Saskamoose, curler Amber Holland, and Elder Mary Kahpeaysewat.



Since 2016, the Saskatchewan Games Legacy Program has provided matched funding support of up to $250,000 toward facility upgrades and major equipment purchases. Half a million dollars in investments will benefit the City of North Battleford and its residents for years to come. Notable upgrades include:



• Ski/snow-cross starting gate at Table Mountain
• A new wrestling mat that will be used by the North Battleford Comprehensive High School after the games; and,
• Overhead curling cameras at the Northland Power Curling Centre which will allow spectators to have a bird’s eye view of the curling sheet.



The Government of Saskatchewan supports sport, culture and recreation organizations through the Saskatchewan Lotteries agreement.  The Saskatchewan Games receives support from Saskatchewan Lotteries Trust Fund for Sport, Culture and Recreation through the Saskatchewan Games Council which provides a hosting grant and the Saskatchewan Games Legacy Program in addition to ongoing games consulting and assistance.

CONGRATULATIONS TO
EVAN’S FLORIST
ON CELEBRATING 100 YEARS OF BUSINESS! 

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW

Please note:  Our office will be closed Monday, February 19 for Family Day.

Friday, February 16, 2018

What: All You Need is Love…presented by RuBarb Productions
Time:  7:30 p.m. 
Place: Mae Wilson Theatre

Saturday, February 17, 2018

What: Chinese New Year Celebration
Time:   6:00 p.m.
Place:  Uptown Cafe
Cost:  $5.00

What: Heritage Day at the WDM
Time:  1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Place:  WDM

Sunday, February 18, 2018

What: Chinese New Year Celebration
Time:   6:00 p.m.
Place:  Uptown Cafe
Cost:  $5.00

Monday, February 19, 2018

What: RBC Family Day
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Place: Yara Centre

What: G 4 G Sign Painting Class Fundraiser
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
Place: Anavets 
Proceeds will help AIDS Orphans & their caregivers in Africa. Handicapped friendly building!
Please register online.

What: Sportsplex family free skating
Time:  2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. / public skate 3:15-4:15 p.m. 
Place: Sportsplex
Cost:  Free

What: Extended Swim Hours all week
Place: Kinsmen

What: Outdoor Rinks
Time: Open pending on weather

What: Wakamow Speed Skating Oval
Time:  Always open – Skate room closed at -25 degrees

MOOSE JAW – The City of Moose Jaw is pleased to announce that a Crokicurl rink has been built in Elgin Park.
Crokicurl combines the sport of curling with the game of Crokinole to create a fun, family-friendly experience.
A few things to know if you want to book the Crokinole rink:

  • All bookings are handled through the Parks & Recreation office @ 306-694-4447
  • A refundable damage deposit of $100.00 is required
  • You may book the ice for a maximum of two (2) hours

Report from the Legislature February 15, 2018

Summer at the Legislative Building

Your Saskatchewan Party MLAs have a vision for a growing province where our children and their children can build a life. We are committed to ensuring this vision is realized and are closer than ever to achieving it thanks to an unprecedented decade of prosperity and achievement.

We have heard from parents and educators that additional funding is essential to ensure that our children receive the highest quality education possible. This is why our government has moved to provide Saskatchewan school divisions with mid-year funding of $7.5 million.

This funding will address front line pressures by helping school divisions hire education professionals immediately and is in addition to a 2018-19 budget commitment to provide another $30 million to hire 400 in-school educational professionals and address school board priorities.

Our government is committed to ensuring Saskatchewan students have the supports they need to succeed, and this announcement is just the beginning of a renewed and respectful relationship with our teachers and education partners.

Moving forward we must ensure the province’s financial foundation remains strong while continuing to invest in the infrastructure, programs and services Saskatchewan people expect and deserve. In doing this, we will continue to ensure that hope and opportunity are found here in our province.

There is more work to do as our economy recovers, but it is encouraging to see confidence in our economy in both the short and long-term with jobs and investment.

Saskatchewan was home to the fastest job growth in Canada last month with 1,100 new jobs dropping the unemployment rate by a full 1%.

Building permits were up considerably in December, rising nearly 70% year over year (seasonally adjusted), the second highest percentage increase among the provinces, and the highest percentage increase in western Canada.

Saskatchewan’s home building industry is starting off the new year in great shape. Urban housing starts were up 123.5% last month when compared with January 2017, the highest percentage increase among the provinces.

Employment is up, our unemployment rate is the second lowest in the nation, and with recent good news on building permits and urban housing starts, 2018 is looking to be a good year for our province. Our government will stand with individuals and industry to keep building on Saskatchewan’s success.

Family Day is fast approaching and if you’re looking for a fun activity to enjoy, you may want to consider ice fishing.

Saskatchewan’s free fishing weekend is February 17, 18 and 19, which means you can fish in any waterbody that has an open sport fishing season, without purchasing a fishing license.

If you do take advantage of Free Fishing Weekend, remember to dress warm and use caution and common sense when going out on frozen lakes.

If you have any questions, visit Saskatchewan.ca/fishing.

Moose Jaw Express February 14, 2018

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Supporting Saskatchewan Families

Family Day is a welcome long weekend break between New Year’s Day and Easter weekend.  It is a reminder to reflect on and appreciate the gift of family.  Creating a strong family helps us as individuals and as a society.  Pope St. John Paul II wisely said that “As the family goes, so goes the nation and so goes the world in which we live.”

Our Saskatchewan government is committed to supporting families and assisting in improving family life.

Starting in 2008 our government continues to lower personal income taxes, which has had a significant impact for many families.  In fact, Saskatchewan now has the second-highest personal tax credit amounts in Canada, and the highest combined credit amounts for a family of four.  Individual taxpayers pay no Saskatchewan income tax on their first $20,545 of income while a family of four pays no Saskatchewan income tax on their first $51,600 of income— this is the highest tax-free income threshold for a family of four in Canada.  A family of four with $50,000 annual income, and deducting $3,000 in child care expenses, has seen their provincial income tax cut by 100 per cent since 2008—from an annual tax cost of about $2,300; now reduced to zero provincial income tax in 2018.

Ensuring families have access to affordable, safe, secure and stable housing is another key component to addressing poverty and family support.  Since 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan has invested more than $770 million to develop or repair almost 16,000 housing units across our province. The province of Saskatchewan partners with the Government of Canada and Habitat for Humanity to help lower-income families achieve homeownership.  The province’s overall commitment to Habitat for Humanity totals $9.85 million since March 2009.  Work on the seventh and eighth Habitat for Humanity homes in Moose Jaw began last November and are progressing on time.

During our last sitting in the Legislature we addressed issues for families experiencing interpersonal violence.  Over the past year, Ministries engaged in consultations to determine what supports are needed to combat the issue in Saskatchewan.  Now, The Saskatchewan Employment (Interpersonal Violence Leave) Amendment Act, 2017, provides survivors of interpersonal violence with 10 days of job-protected, unpaid leave to access services or to relocate.  An employee, employee’s child or a person for whom an employee is a caregiver who is the victim of interpersonal violence, may take time off work for medical attention, victim services, legal matters, psychological or other professional services, or relocation.  The 10 days of leave can be taken in shorter blocks of a few hours or a few days as needed.

Our government has also worked together with families of children with Autism, families with unique needs, to fulfill our commitment to provide individualized funding to children under six with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Families come in many different shapes and sizes with different concerns and needs. Having a personal connection with a family unit where we can feel unconditionally loved makes us better persons and contributes to a content community.  Spending time to foster family relationships on Family Day weekend just might make the world a better place.  We encourage you to enjoy Family Day with many of the family programs available in Moose Jaw this weekend, including those offered at YaraCentre, the Western Development Museum, and others.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson February 9, 2018

 

February 9, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

Premier Moe Addressing the SUMA Convention

PREMIER SCOTT MOE ANNOUNCES IMMEDIATE EDUCATION FUNDING OF $7.5 MILLION FOR SASKATCHEWAN CLASSROOMS

Premier Scott Moe announced immediate mid-school year funding of $7.5 million that will be provided to school divisions to assist in dealing with front line pressures.


The funding will allow school divisions to hire education professionals immediately.  This funding comes earlier than committed and will increase to $30 million directed to hiring 400 in-school education professionals and other school board priorities once annualized in the 2018-19 budget.


“Over the last several months, I have heard from parents and educators that additional funding is essential to ensure that our children receive the highest quality education possible,” Premier Moe said. “This $7.5 million in immediate funding will put essential classroom supports in place before we introduce the full amount of $30 million in the 2018-19 budget.”


“I fundamentally believe that not a wheel turns in our economy without quality education and that societies that prosper and succeed are those that invest in education,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “Premier Moe and I are committed to ensuring Saskatchewan students have the supports they need to succeed and today’s announcement is just the beginning of a renewed and respectful relationship with our teachers and education partners.”


“Saskatchewan’s school boards greatly appreciate increased funding to support the students in our province’s education system,” President of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) Dr. Shawn Davidson said. “We hope this announcement signals that the 2018-19 provincial budget will provide the restored and renewed investment that is critically needed in school division operating budgets.”


The funding will be distributed through the Ministry of Education by way of the current education funding formula using the components that directly provide supports for the classroom. The Ministry will work closely with school divisions to ensure the mid-school year funding increase is distributed as quickly as possible. 

Celebrate Family Day Weekend with Free Fishing, February 17 to 19

Saskatchewan’s annual winter free fishing weekend once again coincides with the province’s Family Day holiday weekend on February 17, 18 and 19.


Saskatchewan’s public waters are open one weekend each winter to encourage participation in ice fishing. Both residents and visitors may fish in any waterbody that has an open sport fishing season, without purchasing a fishing license.


“Ice fishing is an excellent way to enjoy nature with family and friends during the winter,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. “Our lakes attract more than 250,000 anglers each year and the free fishing weekend is the perfect opportunity for both new and experienced anglers.”


Anglers are reminded to use caution and common sense, and always put safety first when going out on frozen lakes. This includes testing the ice thickness before travelling on it. A minimum of 10 cm of good ice is required for walking and 30 cm for light vehicle travel. Wear warm clothing.


Anyone planning to take advantage of free fishing weekend is reminded that all other fishing regulations, including possession limits and reduced limits on some lakes and rivers remain in effect.


Free fishing weekend does not apply in national parks and anyone planning to take fish out of the province must purchase a license.


More information about fishing in Saskatchewan can be found in the Anglers’ Guide, available wherever fishing licenses are sold, or online at 
www.saskatchewan.ca/fishing.

 Lanny McDonald at the Sports Celebrity Dinner 

DECEMBER BUILDING PERMIT GROWTH LEADS THE WEST

According to Statistics Canada, December 2017 building permits were up considerably in Saskatchewan, rising 69.7 per cent year over year (seasonally adjusted), the second highest percentage increase among the provinces, and the highest percentage increase in western Canada.  Nationally, permits were up only 11.5 per cent.


The total value of building permits in Saskatchewan was $242 million.


“Saskatchewan’s building permit growth rate in December was significantly higher than the national average,” Export and Trade Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  “This shows confidence in our economy in both the short and long term with jobs and investment.”

Building permits were also up 31.5 per cent month over month, the second highest percentage increase in the nation, and the highest in western Canada, well ahead of the 4.8 per cent growth recorded nationally. 

The major increase was in non-residential construction which improved by 86.5 per cent over December 2016, the second highest among the provinces. Residential construction had a 56.9 per cent increase over this period.


Saskatchewan’s
“In Motion”
kid ambassador Sydney, makes a presentation at SUMA.

Police Chief Rick Bourassa shares a presentation at the Crime Stoppers AGM.

SPRING RUNOFF EXPECTED TO BE BELOW NORMAL

The Water Security Agency (WSA) released the preliminary spring runoff outlook for 2018.

With the dry conditions in the summer and fall of 2017 combined with below normal winter precipitation so far, a below normal spring runoff is expected across southern Saskatchewan this year.

Conditions are near normal across northern areas of the province. Meadow Lake and the Upper Churchill River Basin is the exception with this region receiving extremely high rainfall in 2017 which created a wetter than normal landscape at freeze-up. This area is expected to experience normal to slightly above normal spring runoff in 2018.

The summer of 2017 saw extremely low rainfall across a large portion of southern Saskatchewan with record dry conditions in some locations. These conditions continued into the fall where precipitation was also below normal. As a result, soil moisture conditions were dry at freeze-up and significant wetland storage was available in many areas.

The runoff potential could change as there is potentially another 8-10 weeks of winter remaining.  However, with dry fall conditions and below average winter precipitation to date, it would take well above average precipitation in February, March and April to produce an above average spring runoff within southern areas of the province.

After spring 2017, most surface water lakes and reservoirs were full or near full; however after extremely low rainfall throughout the summer and fall of 2017, many are now at below average levels. 

Some agricultural water supply issues began to emerge in late summer 2017, primarily in the south central areas of the province. With below or well below normal runoff expected, it is anticipated that these water supply shortages will intensify and expand across southern Saskatchewan. This could create some water supply issues for municipalities and irrigators if conditions remain dry into the summer months.

As conditions change and get closer to spring runoff WSA will issue another updated forecast in March.

SECOND LOWEST UNEMPLOYMENT RATE IN CANADA

Saskatchewan’s unemployment rate was 5.4 per cent (seasonally adjusted) in January – tied for the second lowest rate among the provinces and below the national rate of 5.9 per cent according to Statistics Canada.


There were 560,100 people employed, 1,500 more jobs compared to January 2017, including an increase of 4,900 full-time jobs.


Employment in Saskatchewan was up 1,100 from the previous month (0.2 per cent), the highest percentage increase among the provinces (seasonally adjusted).  There were 6,200 full-time jobs created month-over-month. 

“This is definitely a positive indicator that Saskatchewan’s economy is on the rebound,” Minister of Immigration and Career Training Jeremy Harrison said.  “With our unemployment rate being second lowest in the nation and employment up, in addition to recent good news on building permits and urban housing starts, 2018 is looking to be a good year for our province.”

Major year-over-year gains were reported for accommodation and food services up 2,300; public administration up 2,000; business, building and other support services up 1,700.


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW

Friday, February 9, 2018

What: All You Need is Love…presented by RuBarb Productions
Time:  7:30 p.m. 
Place: Mae Wilson Theatre

Saturday, February 10, 2018

What: Zion’s Annual Valentine Tea
Time:   2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Place:  Zion United Church Social Hall
Cost:  $5.00

What: Heritage Day at the WDM
Time:  1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Place:  WDM

Sunday, February 11, 2018

What: Winterfest
Time:   3:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. 
Place:  Kiwanis River Park Pavilion
FREE family event, wagon rides, crafts, skating, bonfire, winter activities, concession.

Upcoming Events

Please note:  Our office will be closed Monday, February 19 for Family Day. 

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What: Valentine Luncheon 
Time:  11:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m.
Place: Cosmo Senior Centre
Cost:  $12

Monday, February 19, 2018

What: RBC Family Day
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Place: Yara Centre

What: G 4 G Sign Painting Class Fundraiser
Time: 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
Place: Anavets 
Proceeds will help AIDS Orphans & their caregivers in Africa. Handicapped friendly building!
Please register online.

What: Sportsplex family free skating
Time:  2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. / public skate 3:15-4:15 p.m. 
Place: Sportsplex
Cost:  Free

What: Extended Swim Hours all week
Place: Kinsmen

What: Outdoor Rinks
Time: Open pending on weather

What: Wakamow Speed Skating Oval
Time:  Always open – Skate room closed at -25 degrees

MOOSE JAW – The City of Moose Jaw is pleased to announce that a Crokicurl rink has been built in Elgin Park.
Crokicurl combines the sport of curling with the game of Crokinole to create a fun, family-friendly experience.
A few things to know if you want to book the Crokinole rink:

  • All bookings are handled through the Parks & Recreation office @ 306-694-4447
  • A refundable damage deposit of $100.00 is required
  • You may book the ice for a maximum of two (2) hours

Moose Jaw Express February 7, 2018

newsprint

Congratulations Premier Scott Moe; Thank You Premier Brad Wall

Premier Scott Moe is taking over after a decade of growth under Brad Wall’s leadership.  The Saskatchewan Party Caucus is ready to come together under new direction to keep Saskatchewan growing stronger for the benefit of all our citizens.

Premier Moe is the MLA for the constituency of Rosthern-Shellbrook, first elected in 2011.  His involvement on legislative committees and in Cabinet has given him solid experience to stand on as Premier.  He has served as Minister of Environment and Advanced Education, as well as Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Water Corporation and Saskatchewan Water Security Agency.

On election night in 2007, when Brad Wall gave his now well-known, “Hope Beats Fear” victory speech, and for the next decade, Saskatchewan was chartered on a positive new direction.  Along with the people of Saskatchewan and his team of Saskatchewan Party MLAs behind him, Saskatchewan experienced growth unprecedented since the 1920s.  It was no wonder Brad Wall was consistently Canada’s most popular premier.  He was a man of humility, but with a bold vision.  He was an articulate, entertaining speaker.  Brad Wall would have us laughing one minute, and deeply inspired the next.  It was heartwarming to watch him at functions such as the barbecues he attended in Moose Jaw, as he interacted with a genuine personal touch and listening ear.

Jobs, exports, agriculture, manufacturing, wholesale trade, retail sales; all these sectors and more saw Saskatchewan lead Canada.  Our population grew by nearly 164,000 people.  Premier Wall operated under the premise that the purpose of growth was to improve the quality of life for all the people of Saskatchewan.  The SAID (Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability) program was introduced and the Seniors Income Plan funding was tripled after 16 years of no increase.  In health care, we went from having the longest surgical wait times in Canada to among the shortest.  Young people were staying in our province to find employment and start their careers.  Personal income tax has been lowered so that more people kept more of their hard-earned money.  Highway infrastructure has improved, along with new senior care homes, new schools and new hospitals.  Attending the opening of the Dr. F. H. Wigmore Regional Hospital is a highlight of my time as your MLA.

Brad Wall always gave credit to the spirit of the people of Saskatchewan for the growth that happened.  He knew that it could only happen because we came together with hope, ingenuity and hard work.  That spirit of Saskatchewan will keep our province growing stronger under Premier Moe.

One of Premier Moe’s first duties will be to address those attending the SUMA convention happening this week.  Mayor Tolmie and several of our city councillors will be there along with city council representatives from cities and towns across Saskatchewan.  This is an important event for urban municipalities to collaborate and work together for the betterment of our towns and cities and our province.

Thank you to former Premier Brad Wall for his leadership and passion in bringing about a decade of growth in Saskatchewan.  Congratulations to Premier Scott Moe.  We look forward to working with the new Premier and the people of Saskatchewan to keep our province growing stronger.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson February 2, 2018

February 2, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

Saskatchewan’s new Premier, Scott Moe, recently chaired his first Caucus meeting at the legislative building.  Under his leadership, our entire team is united, strong, and ready to get work, stand with Saskatchewan, and secure a second decade of growth.



Over the last 10 years, Saskatchewan welcomed over 160,000 new people.  This era of hope, optimism and hard work brought over 60,000 new jobs to our province with our economy, on per capita basis, growing more than anywhere else in the country.



Saskatchewan is consistently the number one or number two Agri-food exporter among the provinces and the recent grand opening of the new Agri-Food Innovation Centre in Saskatoon will help expand development and commercialization of even more Saskatchewan-made products.



Saskatchewan’s unique
“patent box” incentive – a first of its kind in North America –recently secured its first successful investment. The incentive is designed to strengthen our economy by positioning the province as an attractive location for the development and launch of innovative products.



New statistics show Saskatchewan manufacturing grew by 13.5% last year – second best in the nation.  This sector continues to produce high-value goods which are shipped to markets across the world, strengthening an economy that is projected to lead Canada in growth over the next two years.



Once the place to be from, Saskatchewan is the place be.



As we look to the future with optimism, we are reminded of how far we’ve come and the reasons why we pursue growth in the first place.  We don’t pursue growth for the sake of growth, we pursue it because it allows us to invest in people and a better quality of life for all in Saskatchewan.



When Saskatchewan had good financial fortune, our government chose to make the largest debt repayment, income tax cut and property tax cut in Saskatchewan history.  Families have saved thousands and taxpayers have saved over $1.5 billion in interest payments.



Today we have a Aaa credit rating, the highest rating possible, the second-best debt to GDP ratio in Canada and $1 billion less operating debt since 2007.



The dividends of growth have given us the ability to create and enhance new income supports for low-income seniors and those living with disabilities; to build a new hospital to support those with mental health needs; and to finally build a dedicated Children’s Hospital for Saskatchewan.



Growth has helped build new schools and health facilities and has supported front-line workers by hiring 750 more doctors and 3,400 more nurses.  It has also helped us take surgical wait times in Saskatchewan from the longest in Canada to now among the shortest.



In 2012, our government along with community partners, helped bring STARS Air Ambulance to the province.  This critical investment was made possible thanks to a strong and growing province that Saskatchewan people have worked hard to build.



We want to thank Brad Wall for his vision, strong leadership and passionate advocacy for Saskatchewan and its people during a decade of growth.  Our Caucus team from across the province stands ready to get to work building on that legacy under the leadership of Premier Scott Moe.

SCOTT MOE SWORN IN AS PREMIER OF SASKATCHEWAN, APPOINTS FIRST CABINET 

Scott Moe was formally sworn in as Premier of Saskatchewan and President of Executive Council by Her Honour, the Honourable Vaughn Solomon Schofield, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan.



“I am honoured to be sworn in as the Premier of Saskatchewan and commit to serve on behalf of all Saskatchewan people,” Moe said. “As Premier, I will always stand with the people of our great Province.”



Premier Moe also announced the appointment of his first cabinet.



Five MLAs are entering cabinet, including one who becomes a minister for the first time:
• Gordon Wyant becomes Deputy Premier and Minister of Education;
• Jeremy Harrison becomes Minister of Export and Trade Development and Minister of Immigration and Careers Training;
• Tina Beaudry-Mellor becomes Minister of Advanced Education and Minister responsible for Innovation Saskatchewan, and Status of Women;
• Ken Cheveldayoff becomes Minister of Central Services and Minister responsible for the Public Service Commission and the Provincial Capital Commission;
• Warren Kaeding, becomes Minister of Government Relations and Minister of First Nations, Metis and Northern Affairs.

Two ministers remain in cabinet but change portfolios:
• Bronwyn Eyre becomes Minister of Energy and Resources and Minister responsible for SaskWater and SaskEnergy;
• Christine Tell becomes Minister of Corrections and Policing, and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation.

Ten ministers retain their current cabinet responsibilities:
• Don Morgan remains Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and Minister responsible for Labour Relations and Workplace Safety and Workers’ Compensation Board while adding responsibility for the Global Transportation Hub and SaskTel;
• Donna Harpauer remains Minister of Finance;
• Lyle Stewart remains Minister of Agriculture and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Crop Insurance;
• Jim Reiter remains Minister of Health;
• Dustin Duncan remains Minister of Environment and Minister responsible for the Water Security Agency and SaskPower;
• Greg Ottenbreit remains Minister of Rural and Remote Health;
• David Marit remains Minister of Highways and Infrastructure, and Minister responsible for SaskBuilds and Priority Saskatchewan;
• Joe Hargrave remains Minister of Crown Investments Corporation, and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Government Insurance;
• Paul Merriman remains Minister of Social Services;
• Gene Makowsky remains Minister of Parks, Culture and Sport, and Minister responsible for the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority while adding responsibility for Tourism Saskatchewan.



“This team of 17 women and men represent many of the qualities that make our province great,” Moe said. “As cabinet, we will set targets and continue to strive to reach them. As a team, we will stand with the people of our province. As a team, we will stand with Saskatchewan.”

PREMIER SCOTT MOE CALLS THREE BY-ELECTIONS

Immediately after being sworn in as Saskatchewan’s 15th Premier, Premier Scott Moe called three byelections to fill the vacant seats in Kindersley, Melfort and Swift Current.



All three by-elections will be held on March 1.



“I want to ensure every resident of Saskatchewan is represented when the Legislature begins sitting again in March,” Moe said. “Voters in Melfort, Kindersley and Swift Current will decide who is best to represent their constituency and who is best to stand up for Saskatchewan in dealing with the federal government on issues like the carbon tax.”



“I look forward to strongly contested campaigns by all parties and candidates.”

CAMP OUT WITH A BOOK

A dozen tents were set up in the Lindale Elementary School gym to enjoy the “Camp Out With a Book” evening. I enjoyed being a part of the community leaders including CHAB celebrity Barrie Vice, along with parents and students to read books aloud in promoting literacy.
PROVINCE TO CELEBRATE ARCHIVES WEEK

The Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan, in partnership with the Saskatchewan Council for Archives and Archivists (SCAA), is pleased to celebrate Archives Week from February 4 to 10, 2018.



“Archives week provides an excellent opportunity to look back on the rich history of our province,” Minister Responsible for the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan Christine Tell said. “The important work of our archivists connects us to the legacy of past generations, as well as to those who will shape the future of our province.”



Bushwakker Brewpub is hosting an event in the capital city on February 7. “The Regina that Never Was,” guest speakers will discuss building projects and plans that never came to fruition, highlighting interesting archival resources from the Provincial Archives and other collections.



In Saskatoon, the “Night at the Roxy: Archival Variety Show” will feature readings and archival film from several Saskatoon archives, and a special presentation of the fourth film in the Provincial Archives’ First World War video series, “From the Prairies to the Trenches.” The show takes place on the evening of February 8 at 320- 20th Street West.



“My colleagues and I at the Provincial Archives are delighted to partner with other archives during this week,” Provincial Archivist Linda McIntyre said. “The records featured in these events are only a snapshot of all that archives have to offer to the people of Saskatchewan.”



“We are especially excited this year to see so many events planned for Archives Week, and to support archival institutions in promoting our province’s history,” Jeremy Mohr, President of the SCAA said.



In addition to the events in Regina various archival organizations are holding events in the communities of Humboldt, Air Ronge, Lloydminster, Melfort, Moose Jaw, North Battleford, Bellevue and Whitewood.



To learn more about all Archives Week activities offered this year, please visit 
www.scaa.sk.ca/public-awareness/archives-week


Government of Saskatchewan to Co-Host National Recreation Forum

The Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) are excited to announce the first ever Framework for Recreation in Canada Forum.



From May 8-10, in Regina, this national event will contribute to achieving the values and goals of the Framework for Recreation in Canada.  Gathering Strength: Framework for Recreation in Canada Forum will focus on creating dialog and building relationships across the country.



“Recreation is essential in the lives of all Canadians no matter one’s age or physical ability,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.  “Events like this help to answer the Framework’s call to address the challenges and showcase the benefits recreation has in our province and in our country.”



Recreation professionals, academics, educators, students and innovative leaders will come together for this three day forum.  The Forum will include networking to share successful strategies related to the five Framework goals of: Active Living, Inclusion and Access, Connecting People and Nature, Supportive Environments and Recreation Capacity.



“Communities across Saskatchewan have embraced the Framework and are actively working to achieve its goals,” SPRA President Coralie Bueckert said.  “This Forum represents the diverse array of initiatives that are underway and recreation’s contribution to quality of life in Canada.”



Registration for the forum is open.  The early bird deadline is March 29, 2018 and registration closes on April 24, 2018.  Student rates are also available.  Learn more information or register at www.gatheringstrength.ca.



Gathering Strength: Framework for Recreation in Canada Forum is endorsed by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, Provincial and Territorial Parks and Recreation Associations and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Marie Wright is a local Paralympic preparing for the Paralympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The Olympic ceremonies begin March 9th, 2018 and conclude March 18, 2018.

I was honored to attend Marie’s sendoff, I wish her all the best.

Good Luck!

New Agri-Food Innovation Centre Officially Opens in Saskatchewan



Saskatchewan’s agri-food industry celebrated the grand opening of the new Agri-Food Innovation Centre (AFIC), a 43,000-square foot facility that will diversify the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre’s (Food Centre) capacity to develop and process products from concept to commercialization.



Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, and Premier Brad Wall joined representatives of the Food Centre in officially opening the $17.5 million facility in Saskatoon.



The Food Centre is the primary source of food product development and commercialization for the Saskatchewan food industry.  The creation of the AFIC supports the expansion of Saskatchewan’s agri-food processing sector and introduces a dedicated multi-tenant food processing incubator, extrusion line, expanded drying capabilities and fermentation technologies.  It will also house new labs, a pilot plant for product and process development, and expanded capacity for pulse and cereal processing.  The Food Centre will continue to operate the federally inspected pilot plant housed on the University of Saskatchewan campus.



“The Government of Canada is committed to growing a strong economy,” said Goodale.  “Centres of innovation, like this one in Saskatoon, will play a key role in creating jobs and new opportunities for Canadian farmers and agri-businesses, growing the economy and the middle class.”



“Over the last decade, Saskatchewan has been either the number one or number two Agri-food exporter among the provinces, and the Food Centre helps us diversify what we export,” Wall said.  “The Centre already produces “meat” products made from plants, like ginger beef and chicken fingers, and through the years has helped Saskatchewan companies like Three Farmers and Zak Organics commercialize their products.  This expansion will mean the development of even more products, the creation of more jobs and the further diversification of our economy.”



Saskatchewan’s value-added food processing sector has grown tremendously in the last decade and now includes 300 companies that export $4 billion worth of goods annually and employ 5,000 people.



“The new Agri-Food Innovation Centre will broaden the capabilities of the current Food Centre and open new opportunities for Saskatchewan’s agri-food sector,” Food Centre President Dan Prefontaine said.  “It will assist Saskatchewan producers and processors to bridge the gap from development to commercialization and introduce higher value-added agricultural products into the global marketplace.  With support from our industry and these enhanced services, the Agri-Food Innovation Centre will position our industry to be strong leaders in innovation and technology for the food processing sector.”



Construction of the AFIC was made possible with $9 million through Growing Forward 2, the federal-provincial agricultural policy framework, and $4.35 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada.  Additional support came from SaskPulse, SaskCanola and other industry organizations and the Food Centre’s capital reserve.  Since its inception in 1997 as a not-for-profit organization, the Food Centre has worked with clients representing various sectors of the food industry and developed more than 800 products.



More than 300 food processing companies in Saskatchewan produce a wide range of cereal, meat, dairy and bakery products, and food ingredients.  These processors ship goods valued at approximately $4.3 billion annually.

DRUG PRICING INITIATIVE TO PROVIDE MILLIONS IN SAVINGS FOR SASKATCHEWAN

Saskatchewan residents will soon benefit from lower prices on generic drugs. A new national generic drug initiative will result in $6 million in savings in the first year and up to $50 million in savings over the next five years for the Saskatchewan Drug Plan.



Savings for patients and employers are expected to match or exceed those achieved by the provincial government.



Through the pan-Canadian Pharmaceutical Alliance (pCPA), provinces and territories have developed a new initiative with the Canadian Generic Pharmaceutical Association (CGPA) to significantly reduce the price of some of Canada’s most commonly prescribed generic drugs.



“We know medicine is expensive, and our government is committed to providing Saskatchewan residents with the best value for the important drugs they rely on,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said.  “In addition to benefitting the public, it benefits the province as well.  The savings we realize will help our public drug plan provide coverage for new and innovative drugs, and increase the plan’s sustainability.”



As of April 1, 2018, the prices of nearly 70 generic drugs will be reduced by 25 to 40 per cent, resulting in overall discounts of up to 90 per cent off the price of their brand-name equivalents. Generic drugs included in the initiative are used to treat a variety of conditions, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol and depression.



The initiative also includes a commitment from generic drug manufacturers to continue bringing new generic drugs to the Canadian market and ensure a stable supply of generic drugs across the country.



Saskatchewan served as a co-lead, along with British Columbia and Ontario, in developing this initiative. For more information about the generic drugs covered by this initiative, visit 
http://formulary.drugplan.ehealthsask.ca/PanCanadian.aspx


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW
Saturday, February 3, 2018

What: WACA Annual Round Dance
Time:  5:00 pm
Place: Prince Arthur School
for more information see
https://www.facebook.com/pg/WACAInc.
or call (306) 537-6167

What: Optimist Club “Rock the Night Away”
50’s and 60’s Music with the Bromantics

Time:  8:00 pm
Place: Church of our Lady Community Centre
Cost:  $30 pp
For tickets call (306) 693-6517 or (306) 631-4129

What: Funnyfest Comedy Tour 
Time:  8:00 p.m.
Place:  Grant Hall
Cost:  Tickets $15

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

What: K J Quilters and Friday Flo’s Quilt Show
Time:  2:00 – 4:30 pm
Place: St. Andrew’s Church
Silver Collection for the Mission and Service Fund

Thursday, February 8, 2018

What: Dog Guides Valentine Fundraising Dinner and Silent Auction
Time:  6:00 – 9;00 pm
Place: Bugsy’s Irish Pub
Cost:  $16 pp
For tickets call (306) 630-4997 or (306) 694-4121 or email DGfundraiser@me .com

Upcoming Events
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What: Wounded Warriors”Elvis Elvis” Tribute
Time:  7:30 pm
Place: Royal Canadian Legion
Cost:  $25 pp in advance  $30 pp at the door
Tickets available at the Legion  (306) 692-5453

Saturday, February 17, 2018

What: Mortlach Recreation Board and Museum Fundraiser
Time:  6:30 pm
Place: Mortlach Memorial Hall

Report from the Legislature February 1, 2018

Summer at the Legislative Building

Saskatchewan’s new Premier, Scott Moe, recently chaired his first Caucus meeting at the legislative building.  Under his leadership, our entire team is united, strong, and ready to get work, stand with Saskatchewan, and secure a second decade of growth.

Over the last 10 years, Saskatchewan welcomed over 160,000 new people.  This era of hope, optimism and hard work brought over 60,000 new jobs to our province with our economy, on per capita basis, growing more than anywhere else in the country.

Saskatchewan is consistently the number one or number two Agri-food exporter among the provinces and the recent grand opening of the new Agri-Food Innovation Centre in Saskatoon will help expand development and commercialization of even more Saskatchewan-made products.

Saskatchewan’s unique “patent box” incentive – a first of its kind in North America –recently secured its first successful investment. The incentive is designed to strengthen our economy by positioning the province as an attractive location for the development and launch of innovative products.

New statistics show Saskatchewan manufacturing grew by 13.5% last year – second best in the nation.  This sector continues to produce high-value goods which are shipped to markets across the world, strengthening an economy that is projected to lead Canada in growth over the next two years.

Once the place to be from, Saskatchewan is the place be.

As we look to the future with optimism, we are reminded of how far we’ve come and the reasons why we pursue growth in the first place.  We don’t pursue growth for the sake of growth, we pursue it because it allows us to invest in people and a better quality of life for all in Saskatchewan.

When Saskatchewan had good financial fortune, our government chose to make the largest debt repayment, income tax cut and property tax cut in Saskatchewan history.  Families have saved thousands and taxpayers have saved over $1.5 billion in interest payments.

Today we have a Aaa credit rating, the highest rating possible, the second-best debt to GDP ratio in Canada and $1 billion less operating debt since 2007.

The dividends of growth have given us the ability to create and enhance new income supports for low-income seniors and those living with disabilities; to build a new hospital to support those with mental health needs; and to finally build a dedicated Children’s Hospital for Saskatchewan.

Growth has helped build new schools and health facilities and has supported front-line workers by hiring 750 more doctors and 3,400 more nurses.  It has also helped us take surgical wait times in Saskatchewan from the longest in Canada to now among the shortest.

In 2012, our government along with community partners, helped bring STARS Air Ambulance to the province.  This critical investment was made possible thanks to a strong and growing province that Saskatchewan people have worked hard to build.

We want to thank Brad Wall for his vision, strong leadership and passionate advocacy for Saskatchewan and its people during a decade of growth.  Our Caucus team from across the province stands ready to get to work building on that legacy under the leadership of Premier Scott Moe.

Moose Jaw Express January 31, 2018

newsprint

Celebrating Successes in Red Tape Reduction

The Government of Saskatchewan recently recognized Red Tape Awareness Week.  Promoted by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), Red Tape Awareness Week encourages decision makers to remove unnecessary regulations and highlights the importance of regulatory modernization.

Red Tape Awareness Week also celebrates the ongoing effort of provinces to reduce red tape for businesses and consumers.  In my role as legislative secretary to the Minister of the Economy for Manufacturing, I heard how irrelevant, cumbersome and unnecessary policies were costing businesses, and the government, time and money.  In my time on the Saskatchewan Red Tape Reduction Committee, it was encouraging to see outdated policies removed and replaced with common sense policies that help businesses grow.

The Government’s 2016-17 Regulatory Modernization Progress Report identified $72.6 million in red tape cost savings as part of its Red Tape Reduction Action Plan.  This includes activities from across government ministries, agencies and crown corporations.  The aim is to achieve better regulation with efficient compliance, and maintain regulatory integrity, without any compromise to the environment, public safety or worker protection measures.

In its 2018 Red Tape Report Card, the CFIB recognized Saskatchewan’s significant progress with completing its count of all legislated compliance requirements.  The CFIB also recognized Saskatchewan as a “Red Tape Warrior” for leadership in reducing red tape for small businesses.  Specifically noted is the drastically reduced wait times for oversized trucking permits that do not include bridges; and being one of the first provinces to implement the mandatory use of the Direct Cost Estimator for all regulatory decision items for government ministries, agencies and crown corporations.

There are 148,533 registered businesses operating in Saskatchewan, 98.8% of which are small businesses (under 25 employees).  Setting the right investment climate to help businesses grow is critical, as we know a strong economy improves the quality of life for Saskatchewan citizens.

Starting a business in our province is made easier with streamlined processes.  As soon as a new business name is registered online with Information Services Corporation (ISC), the business automatically receives its CRA business number and is registered with the Ministry of Finance for PST purposes.  The business is provided with information about applying and collecting the PST, Workers’ Compensation Board coverage and contact information for obtaining a municipal business licence.

SaskJobs.ca recently partnered with Canada’s largest job search website, the National Job Bank, to improve how employers and job seekers can advertise, recruit and search for Saskatchewan jobs.  This partnership is part of the Government of Saskatchewan’s commitment to help attract and retain the skilled workers needed for businesses to grow.

We are seeing the results of the Saskatchewan Party government’s policies to help businesses thrive.  Our economic statistics have shown consistent growth over the last decade.  Most recently, Saskatchewan recorded the strongest manufacturing sales growth in Western Canada with an increase of 13.5 per cent compared to the previous year.  This was the second highest percentage growth among the provinces and stronger than a national increase of 6.0 per cent.

Thank you to all the innovative businesses who keep Saskatchewan growing stronger.  If you have ideas of more ways to reduce red tape, please contact me.  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson January 26, 2018

 

January 26, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

CAMP OUT WITH A BOOK

A dozen tents were set up in the Lindale Elementary School gym to enjoy the “camp out with a book” evening. I enjoyed being a part of the community leaders including CHAB celebrity Barrie Vice, along with parents and students to read books aloud in promoting literacy.
SASKATCHEWAN CELEBRATES FAMILY LITERACY DAY ON JANUARY 27

The Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed Saturday, January 27, 2018 as Family Literacy Day in Saskatchewan.



Family Literacy Day is a national initiative held every year to raise awareness of the importance of reading and engaging in literacy-related activities as a family.  This will be the 20th year Family Literacy Day is proclaimed in Saskatchewan.



“Family Literacy Day is an opportunity for families to learn and grow together,” Education Minister Bronwyn Eyre said.  “By taking the time every day to read or play with their children, parents can improve a child’s literacy skills dramatically.  I encourage everyone to celebrate by taking some time to read together.”



The Government of Saskatchewan continues to support the literacy development of children and families by funding 20 literacy camps every summer.  Eight family literacy hubs across the province are funded to provide family literacy services, training and resources in their communities.




The government also partners with the Saskatchewan Literacy Network (SLN) to support the literacy sector and deliver family literacy practitioner training and resources throughout the province.



“Family Literacy Day is the perfect time to highlight the importance of learning together as a family!” SLN Executive Director Phaedra Hitchings said.  “Families use literacy to grow, learn, strengthen relationships, and participate in their communities.  Activities such as reading, playing games, visiting the library, grocery shopping, and cooking together are excellent opportunities for parents and extended family to prepare children with a solid foundation for school success and lifelong learning.”



Various literacy events will be held across the province to mark this day.  For example, the West Central Literacy Committee will be launching one of their new free mini libraries at the Rosetown Civic Centre.  Prince Albert Literacy Network will organize a Read, Move, Share! event in the Gateway Mall.  The Regina Public Library will present an afternoon of stories and fun activities, sharing new ways to make story time a part of family time.



For more events, please visit 
http://saskliteracy.ca/literacy-home-2/family-literacy-day.  For more information about Family Literacy Day, family literacy resources and literacy initiatives in Saskatchewan, visit the SLN website at http://saskliteracy.ca.


Government of Saskatchewan to Co-Host National Recreation Forum

The Government of Saskatchewan and the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association (SPRA) are excited to announce the first ever Framework for Recreation in Canada Forum.



From May 8-10, in Regina, this national event will contribute to achieving the values and goals of the Framework for Recreation in Canada.  Gathering Strength: Framework for Recreation in Canada Forum will focus on creating dialog and building relationships across the country.



“Recreation is essential in the lives of all Canadians no matter one’s age or physical ability,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.  “Events like this help to answer the Framework’s call to address the challenges and showcase the benefits recreation has in our province and in our country.”



Recreation professionals, academics, educators, students and innovative leaders will come together for this three day forum.  The Forum will include networking to share successful strategies related to the five Framework goals of: Active Living, Inclusion and Access, Connecting People and Nature, Supportive Environments and Recreation Capacity.



“Communities across Saskatchewan have embraced the Framework and are actively working to achieve its goals,” SPRA President Coralie Bueckert said.  “This Forum represents the diverse array of initiatives that are underway and recreation’s contribution to quality of life in Canada.”



Registration for the forum opens today.  The early bird deadline is March 29, 2018 and registration closes on April 24, 2018.  Student rates are also available.  Learn more information or register at www.gatheringstrength.ca.



Gathering Strength: Framework for Recreation in Canada Forum is endorsed by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association, Provincial and Territorial Parks and Recreation Associations and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

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CHRISTIAN HORIZONS

 

New Agri-Food Innovation Centre Officially Opens in Saskatchewan



Saskatchewan’s agri-food industry celebrated the grand opening of the new Agri-Food Innovation Centre (AFIC), a 43,000-square foot facility that will diversify the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre’s (Food Centre) capacity to develop and process products from concept to commercialization.



Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale, on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Navdeep Bains, and Premier Brad Wall joined representatives of the Food Centre in officially opening the $17.5 million facility in Saskatoon.



The Food Centre is the primary source of food product development and commercialization for the Saskatchewan food industry.  The creation of the AFIC supports the expansion of Saskatchewan’s agri-food processing sector and introduces a dedicated multi-tenant food processing incubator, extrusion line, expanded drying capabilities and fermentation technologies.  It will also house new labs, a pilot plant for product and process development, and expanded capacity for pulse and cereal processing.  The Food Centre will continue to operate the federally inspected pilot plant housed on the University of Saskatchewan campus.



“The Government of Canada is committed to growing a strong economy,” said Goodale.  “Centres of innovation, like this one in Saskatoon, will play a key role in creating jobs and new opportunities for Canadian farmers and agri-businesses, growing the economy and the middle class.”



“Over the last decade, Saskatchewan has been either the number one or number two Agri-food exporter among the provinces, and the Food Centre helps us diversify what we export,” Wall said.  “The Centre already produces “meat” products made from plants, like ginger beef and chicken fingers, and through the years has helped Saskatchewan companies like Three Farmers and Zak Organics commercialize their products.  This expansion will mean the development of even more products, the creation of more jobs and the further diversification of our economy.”



Saskatchewan’s value-added food processing sector has grown tremendously in the last decade and now includes 300 companies that export $4 billion worth of goods annually and employ 5,000 people.



“The new Agri-Food Innovation Centre will broaden the capabilities of the current Food Centre and open new opportunities for Saskatchewan’s agri-food sector,” Food Centre President Dan Prefontaine said.  “It will assist Saskatchewan producers and processors to bridge the gap from development to commercialization and introduce higher value-added agricultural products into the global marketplace.  With support from our industry and these enhanced services, the Agri-Food Innovation Centre will position our industry to be strong leaders in innovation and technology for the food processing sector.”



Construction of the AFIC was made possible with $9 million through Growing Forward 2, the federal-provincial agricultural policy framework, and $4.35 million from Western Economic Diversification Canada.  Additional support came from SaskPulse, SaskCanola and other industry organizations and the Food Centre’s capital reserve.  Since its inception in 1997 as a not-for-profit organization, the Food Centre has worked with clients representing various sectors of the food industry and developed more than 800 products.



More than 300 food processing companies in Saskatchewan produce a wide range of cereal, meat, dairy and bakery products, and food ingredients.  These processors ship goods valued at approximately $4.3 billion annually.


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW
Saturday January 27, 2018

What:  Leadership Convention 
Time:  12:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 
Place: Prairieland Park Convention Centre – Saskatoon

What: Optimist Club Children’s Day
Time:  1:00 p.m. -3:30 p.m.  
Place: William Grayson School Gym

What:  Based on Books • YA Book & Movie Club at the Library • Holes by Louis Sachar
Time:  1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Place:  Moose Jaw Public Library 
See Discover MJ – Community Events for further information.