326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

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