326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

From the Desk of Warren Michelson April 13, 2018

March 29, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

The tragedy of the Humboldt Bronco’s bus has affected us all.  Our thoughts and prayers are especially with the families, and the community of Humboldt; realizing there will always be an emptiness that thoughts and prayers will not fill, but through the power of the almighty, our prayers may provide some comfort.



In my past career my family lived in that area.   I was employed with a broadcast company serving the entire area.  I experienced the warm, welcoming hospitality of the city of Humboldt.  They are a gracious community of good people.



During that career, I also became familiar with the town of Nipawin and the many communities in the north east area.  They are all genuine good community people who care for each other with the utmost respect and dignity.



The loss will remain a mark on our hearts forever.


 

Finance Minister
Donna Harpauer 

Balance ensures long-term sustainability and continued investments in infrastructure. Improved revenue stability, diversified economy, less dependence on resource revenue. This supports our Government’s vision to ensure that Saskatchewan is the best place in Canada – to live, work, start a business, to get an education and raise a family, and to build a life.



Our government’s plan to keep Saskatchewan on track includes controlling spending, delivering high quality services for Saskatchewan people, no tax rate increases, and measures to keep our economy strong to return our province to balance in 2019-20.
Our Government has a plan to return Saskatchewan to a balanced budget by next year, and that plan is on track.



The Government of Saskatchewan continues to control and carefully manage spending in the 2018-19 Provincial Budget. Many ministries are forecasting lower spending than in the previous fiscal year, while continuing to provide valued core services that are sustainable into the future.



Expenses are forecast to be down 1.4 per cent from last year’s budget. Government has also realized $5 million in savings by reducing the number of government-owned vehicles and $19 million in savings from amalgamation into one health region, while improving front-line care.



While working to control spending, we continue to invest in the priorities of Saskatchewan people – health care, education and social services in particular. Investment in these three areas is $10.4 billion, an increase of $4 billion, or more than 64%, since 2007-08.



This year’s budget provides $700,000 for universal 100% coverage for HIV drugs and other supports; over $520,000 for a new program to screen babies born in Saskatchewan hospitals for hearing loss; and $2.8 million to individualized funding for children under six with Autism Spectrum Disorder.



Our government’s commitment to increase education operating funding for the 2018-19 school year was also delivered in this budget, as was nearly $77 million in child care funding.



More than $10 million in funding will support those who provide direct daily care to adults with intellectual disabilities, children in need of protection, plus supports for families. This includes foster families and CBOs that deliver day programs and residential services to people with intellectual disabilities and provide family-focused services.



With continued funding in this year’s budget, two new major hospitals – Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford and Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital – are on track to be open by the end of next year.



In this budget, there are no increases to tax rates. Low personal and corporate income tax rates remain the same with no increases to Education Property Tax or Provincial Sales Tax rates.



We understand how competitive taxes help to attract people, businesses and investment to Saskatchewan. Saskatchewan is projected to have the fourth highest growth in the country in 2018 and third highest in 2019, according to private sector forecasts. Competitive taxes and targeted incentives support continued diversification and growth in Saskatchewan’s economy.



The 2018-19 Saskatchewan Budget includes $413 million of direct support to municipalities and $123 million for municipal infrastructure; increases funding to STEP – the Saskatchewan Trade and Export Program to expand the province’s export markets; and provides $2.7 million for infrastructure, including Crown corporations, to support the growing province.



This year’s budget also includes new growth tax incentives – the Saskatchewan Value-added Agriculture Incentive and the Saskatchewan Technology Start-up Incentive – to encourage investment, diversify the economy and create jobs.



Faced with significant challenges, including resource revenue decline of more than $1 billion due in large part to low oil and potash prices, our Government initiated a three-year plan to control and carefully manage spending and achieve a balanced budget in 2019-20.



One of the main goals of our three-year budget plan is to reduce Saskatchewan’s reliance on resource revenue, and that plan is on track. Non-renewable resource revenue now accounts for just 10% of the province’s total revenue, down from a high of 32% in 2008-09.



This year’s budgeted deficit is $365 million in 2018-19. A return to balance is forecast for 2019-20 with a modest surplus of $6 million. Higher surpluses of $108 million and $212 million respectively are projected for 2020-21 and 2021-22.

Health Foundation Healthcare Celebration

AUTOMATIC PST REFUNDS ON CERTAIN TYPES OF INSURANCE

Policy holders of crop, livestock, hail, margin/income, life and health insurance in Saskatchewan will soon receive a sales tax refund or credit from their insurance provider.  Refunds and credits are automatic, meaning no action is required of policy holders.

As announced February 26, 2018, Provincial Sales Tax (PST) no longer applies to the following types of insurance:

  • Individual and group life, health, disability, accident and sickness insurance; and
  • Crop, livestock, hail and margin/income insurance.
The PST exemption on these insurance products is retroactive to August 1, 2017, the date certain insurance premiums became taxable in Saskatchewan.



Insurance providers who collected and remitted the PST will calculate all refunds payable and either credit each policy holder’s account or provide a refund.



Policy holders do not have to request or submit a claim to their insurance provider or to the government to receive a refund or credit.  Most refunds or credits will be paid by June 30, 2018.



If you do not receive a refund or credit by that date, or have questions about the process, please contact your insurance provider.


PROVINCE ANNOUNCES 2018 SASKATCHEWAN ORDER OF MERIT RECIPIENTS 
Six outstanding Saskatchewan citizens have been selected to be invested with the Saskatchewan Order of Merit, the province’s highest honour, during a ceremony in May.



“Saskatchewan’s motto is, ‘from many peoples, strength,’ and these six exceptional individuals exemplify the strength our province derives from its citizens,” Lieutenant Governor W. Thomas Molloy said.  “Whether it’s been through their leadership, the arts, activism or philanthropy, these men and women have enhanced their communities and Saskatchewan as a whole.  I offer my sincere congratulations to each of them and thank them for their contributions to our province.

The 2018 recipients are:

  • National Chief Perry Bellegarde, Assembly of First Nations, Little Black Bear First Nation;
  • Gail Bowen, Author, Regina;
  • Dr. Robert Calder, Professor Emeritus and Author, Saskatoon;
  • Maurice Delage, President of Delage Farms Ltd., Indian Head;
  • Thelma Pepper, Photographic Artist, Saskatoon; and
  • Neil Richards, LGBT Archivist and Activist, Saskatoon (posthumous).

This year’s investees into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit will join the 229 individuals who have previously been invested.

The Saskatchewan Order of Merit was established in 1985 to recognize excellence and achievements from outstanding citizens.  It is recognized in the national sequence of orders by the federal government.

For more information about the Saskatchewan Order of Merit or to nominate someone, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/honoursawards.


FIRST PUBLIC OFFERING FOR 2018-19 FISCAL YEAR NETS $2.9 MILLION

The first public offering of Crown petroleum and natural gas rights for the 2018-19 fiscal year raised $2.9 million in revenue for the province on Tuesday, which is approximately double the amount raised in the April public offering in 2017.



“There are clear indicators of renewed activity taking place in Saskatchewan’s oilpatch, which is home to some of the most cost-effective plays in North America,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said.  “Predictable policies and accessible resources make this province an attractive destination for the oil and gas industry, and we intend to keep working to make it even better.”



Saskatchewan’s petroleum sector continues to demonstrate clear signs of growth.  The value of the province’s total oil production for 2017 significantly increased over the value for 2016, rising from $6.9 billion to $9.2 billion.  As well, there was an estimated $4 billion of investment in new exploration and development by the oil industry for 2017.  This was up 42 per cent from the previous year’s figure—an indicator of sustained interest and confidence from the industry, as well as market optimism.



Year-over-year employment in the sector has also grown: there were almost 34,000 direct and indirect person-years of employment in the upstream oil and gas industry forecast for 2017, up seven per cent from 2016.



In the Fraser Institute’s Annual Global Petroleum Survey in 2017, Saskatchewan ranked seventh out of 97 jurisdictions in the world, and second in Canada, in terms of overall attractiveness for oil and gas investment, and has consistently been among the top 10 over the past six surveys.



The oil and gas industry is responsible for an estimated 15 per cent of Saskatchewan’s gross domestic product.  One lease north of St. Walburg received a bonus bid of $1,111,916.78 for 129.500 hectares.  This lease was purchased by STOMP Energy Ltd. and is prospective for oil in the Mannville Group.  One of the exploration licences, located north of Shaunavon, was prospective for oil in the Upper Shaunavon while the other, located near Consul was prospective for gas in the Second White Specks.  Both exploration licences in southwest Saskatchewan received bonus bids totalling $540,831.52.



The next public offering of petroleum and natural gas rights will be held on June 5, 2018.


REGINA TO HOST 20TH ANNUAL SKILLS CANADA SASKATCHEWAN COMPETITION

More than 450 secondary and post-secondary students and apprentices from across the province will showcase their talents in the skilled trades and technologies at the 20th annual provincial skills competition hosted by Skills Canada Saskatchewan.



Events take place Friday, April 13 in Regina at Evraz Place Canada Centre and the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Regina Campus.  The competitions cover a wide array of skillsets: from robotics and website development to automotive technology and cabinetmaking.

“The Skills Canada Saskatchewan Competition gives our province’s young people the opportunity to demonstrate their remarkable abilities in the skilled trades and technologies,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  “To participate in this competition takes hard work and dedication, and I am confident these competitors will excel in whichever careers they choose.”



Gold medal winners may qualify to represent Saskatchewan at the Skills Canada National Competition in Edmonton in June.  This is an important year for competitors, since it is a qualifying year for the World Skills Competition to be held in Kazan, Russia in 2019.  World Skills Competitions are held only once every two years.



While taking in the competition, visitors can also attend the Try-a-Trade and Career Fair Expo, where they will be able to speak with industry experts and participate in hands-on activities to learn about the benefits of pursuing a career in the skilled trades and technologies.



“These skillsets open up so many career opportunities for our competitors,” Skills Canada Saskatchewan Executive Director Al Gabert said.  “While this competition gives young people a chance to show off what they’ve learned to their family members, mentors and potential employers, it also promotes a variety of rewarding careers to the public.”

“The provincial Skills Canada Saskatchewan competition showcases a broad range of fulfilling and rewarding careers that are available through a polytechnic education,” Saskatchewan Polytech President and CEO Dr. Larry Rosia said.  “The talent that will be on display at this event will be incredible.  Contestants will have the opportunity to demonstrate skills that equip them for rewarding careers, they’ll have the chance to advance and compete with the best skills talent in the country, and perhaps the world, and they’ll have the chance to build lasting relationships with leaders and peers from across the province.”



“Many of these competitors will become our province’s next generation of skilled tradespeople,” Skills Canada Saskatchewan Chair and Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission Chief Operating Officer Loreena Spilsted said.  “Events like this provide participants with lifelong skills and also shine a spotlight on the value of careers in the skilled trades.”



Friday, April 13: Competition & Try-a-Trade Expo held from 9 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.

  • Evraz Place, 1700 Elphinstone Street
  • Saskatchewan Polytechnic Regina Campus, 4500 Wascana Parkway

For competition details, visit https://www.skillscanadasask.com.

MOOSE JAW BUSINESS EXPO

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW

Saturday, April 14, 2018

What: Shop For A Cure! Charity Trade Show Fundraiser Event

Time:  8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Place: Minto United Church Hall
Free entry, cash donation at the door. 

What: Cobra Cheer – Year End Showcase

Time:  1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
Place: Vanier Collegiate Gym 
Open to the public. Tickets are available at the door, while they last. $5 per ticket, Children 5 & Under are Free.  Doors open at 12:30.

What: Historical Fiction Workshop with Local Author David Richards 
Time:  1:00  p.m. – 4:00  p.m. 
Place:  Western Development Museum 

What: Heartland Hospice BBQ fundraiser
Time:   5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 
Place:  Bugsy’s Bar & Grill 
On behalf of Lena Hartman, President of Heartland Hospice Moose Jaw and the HHMJ Board, I invite all friends (and friends of friends) to join us at a Barbecue Chicken Dinner Fundraiser  All ages are welcome. Families with underage children are invited to dine at the adjoining Smitty’s Restaurant from 5:00 to 7:00 pm., but must call ahead to reserve. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

What: Paint Nite Fundraiser – WDM Short Line 101 Track Repair
Time:   2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Place:  Western Development Museum
Admission:  $45