326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

From the Desk of Warren Michelson March 2, 2018

March 2, 2018 View this email in your browser

Noticed a flock of geese North of Moose Jaw.
Could this be a sign of spring?

This week our government moved to reinstate the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) exemption for agriculture, life and health insurance premiums.

We made the commitment after listening to Saskatchewan people.  And we will keep it while maintaining our 3-year plan to balance the budget.

The change, retroactive to August 1, 2017, includes crop, livestock and hail insurance premiums as well as disability, accident and sickness insurance.

The Ministry of Finance will be working with the insurance industry to determine the best way to refund individuals and businesses that have paid PST on these premiums.  More information about how refunds will be administered will be available soon.

Reinstating the aforementioned PST exemptions is part of our commitment to help families and small businesses save money, invest and help our province grow.

Saskatchewan is a great place to invest and a new report shows just how great it is.

The Fraser Institute’s Annual Survey of Mining Companies ranks Saskatchewan 1st in Canada and 2nd on earth for mining investment attractiveness.

Our government works to encourage investment by ensuring that the right policies, and competitive royalty taxation structures are in place.  We also want our interactions with industry to be streamlined and efficient, which is why we work to modernize regulations and reduce red tape wherever possible.

Our government is committed to ensuring Saskatchewan remains one of the most attractive places in the world to invest and create jobs and opportunity for Saskatchewan people.  Our ranking in the Annual Survey of Mining Companies is a reflection of how we do business in Saskatchewan.

Strong growth in weekly earnings will help retain and attract workers to Saskatchewan.

Average weekly earnings were on the rise in December, up 2.7 per cent year-over-year.  This was the second highest percentage increase among the provinces.  Month-to-month, Saskatchewan led the country in growth with an increase of 1.6 per cent.

Saskatchewan’s average weekly earnings were $1,033.57 in December, third highest in the nation and above the national average of $992.87.  Industries with the highest year-over-year growth rate were management of companies and enterprises, accommodation and food services and construction.

This is good news not only for our economy, but for the hard-working women and men in our province.

I want to congratulate Saskatchewan’s 
Protein Industries Canada, a major recipient of the federal government’s superclusters initiative, supporting crop breeding, production, value-added processing, and export development.  This funding will create $700 million in new commercial activity, billions in new GDP, and 4,700 new jobs from our agriculture & value-added food processing sectors.

In a world with a growing population, especially in Asia, Saskatchewan and Canada have great potential to advance our role as a dominant secure supplier of quality high-protein food to many regions seeking these healthy improvements to their diet.

Thank you to the federal government for this important investment, and congratulations to the 120 private-sector companies, academic institutions, and stakeholders across western Canada on this key step forward.


 Police Chief Rick Bourassa, Mayor FraserTolmie and Glenn Haug of Moose Jaw Express were among some of the participants at the Polar Plunge.

The Government of Saskatchewan proclaimed March to be Rural Women’s Month in Saskatchewan.

“Thousands of rural women choose to make agriculture their career and they make great contributions to their communities and to our province,” Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart said.  “By proclaiming Rural Women’s Month, we join in celebrating the achievements that help to make Saskatchewan the strong province that it is.”

According to the 2016 Canadian Agriculture Census, one in four farm operators in Saskatchewan is a women.  These women are part of a growing trend across the country.  In Canada, nearly 78,000 women are farm operators, accounting for 28.7 per cent of producers, up from 27.4 per cent in 2011.  Rural Women’s Month is a time to recognize the impact women make on agriculture and our economy as a whole.

“Increasingly, women in agriculture are shaping and driving the important conversations we are having in our rural communities,” Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Tina Beaudry-Mellor said.  “Rural Women’s Month acknowledges the significant role women play every day across our province.”

The province has recognized women in the agriculture industry for many years by annually proclaiming March as Rural Women’s Month.  The month is observed by women’s groups across Saskatchewan as they celebrate and recognize the contributions rural women make to the province.

 Riverside Mission raised $16,087 with the help of Moose Jaw locals.  Coldest Night of the Year is an event that takes place Canada wide. Money raised helps shelters such as Riverside Mission continue services to the less fortunate. 

Saskatchewan’s finances continue to be on track in 2017-18, confirmed by a smaller deficit forecast in the province’s third quarter financial report released today.

“While we are seeing progress, there is more to accomplish,” Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said.  “Our economy is performing well and is expected to post positive growth for the first time in two years.  We will meet our fiscal challenges by controlling spending and ensuring we do what we can to help keep our economy strong.  We continue to listen to Saskatchewan people.  While staying on course we made adjustments in-year, including fulfilling Premier Moe’s commitment to exempt PST on premiums for agriculture, life and health insurance, and restoring needed funding to K-12 education and the College of Medicine.”

At third quarter, the 2017-18 deficit projection is $595 million, $101 million lower than the forecast deficit of $696 million at budget.  Revenue is projected to be $13.9 billion at third quarter, down $222 million (1.6 per cent) from budget.  The decrease largely reflects lower than expected 2016 assessments for personal and corporate income taxes, offset by increases in government business enterprise net income and other own source revenue.

Expense is projected to be $14.5 billion at third quarter, $273 million (1.8 per cent) less than the budget forecast.  A large reduction in crop insurance claims as well as inclusion of pension accrual adjustments were offset somewhat by utilization-driven spending increases for medical services, income assistance, child and family services, forest fire-fighting costs, and higher custody counts.

The budget and third quarter expense forecast now reflect pension adjustments, aligned with audited financial statements which appear in Public Accounts at year-end.

“Our fiscal plan is focused on returning the budget to balance in 2019-20,” Harpauer said.  “Our work is far from done but we are following our plan and continuing on our path of growth, to provide services, programs and infrastructure Saskatchewan people value, today and into the future.”

Saskatchewan Hockey Hall of Fame Inductees Announced for 2018

Jason Fitzsimmons, Toby Tobias (builder) and Rob Reimer.


Today Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced details of the 2018 Crop Insurance Program.  Saskatchewan producers will have access to very high coverage as the Crop Insurance Program continues to improve, as a result of the success of Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers.

“Risk management is more important than ever for Saskatchewan producers,” Stewart said.  “The Crop Insurance Program is more responsive than ever and will be extremely valuable this year as we come off of one of the driest years in the province’s history.”

On average, Crop Insurance coverage levels are $216 per acre, compared to $217 per acre in 2017.  The slightly lower coverage is a result of lower insured crop prices in 2018; however, coverage levels remain very high thanks to the success of Saskatchewan producers as average yields continue to move higher.  The average premium for 2018 is $8.41 per acre, down slightly from $8.51 per acre in 2017.

There are a number of enhancements for the Crop Insurance Program in 2018.  Fire insurance for pastureland, more crops to be insured under the Contract Price Option and increased compensation rates for cattle lost due to predators are a part of today’s announcement.  More information about the changes for 2018 and how coverage is individualized for each farm can be found at www.saskcropinsurance.com/ci.

“We are pleased to see these changes to forage insurance, the corn program, flooded hay land and the predation rate compensation formula,” Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association Chair Rick Toney said.  “Compensating producers at a rate more in line with the expected value of the animal is important in treating livestock similar to crop loss.  These changes, including adding wildfire coverage to pasture insurance, are all things we discussed with Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation and are glad to see the positive response to industry suggestions.”

“Malting barley is a high-value crop for Saskatchewan producers, so establishing an effective insurance program for this crop is a priority for SaskBarley,” SaskBarley Director Keith Rueve said.  “We are happy the Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation enhanced the Contract Price Option as it makes malt barley a more appealing crop choice for Saskatchewan producers.”

March 31, 2018, is the deadline for producers to apply for, renew or make changes to their Crop Insurance contract.  The Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation has 21 offices across the province with experts who can help producers review the range of features and options available to customize coverage to the needs of their operation.

“There are many benefits to producers in the program announcement today,” SARM Division 4 Director Harvey Malanowich said.  “We have been working with Saskatchewan Crop Insurance Corporation to develop these beneficial options and I encourage producers to see if they work for their farm.”

Crop Insurance is a Business Risk Management program supported through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.  Under Crop Insurance, premiums for most programs are shared 40 per cent by participating producers, 36 per cent by the Government of Canada and 24 per cent by the Government of Saskatchewan.  Administrative expenses are fully funded by governments, 60 per cent by Canada and 40 per cent by Saskatchewan.

Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit on behalf of Social Services Minister Paul Merriman, joined community members, dignitaries and group home residents to celebrate the grand opening of Yorkton Adult Independent Living (YAIL) Harbor’s new group home.

This home will provide care to four residents, three of which are former residents of Valley View Centre who have transitioned into community-based living.   The government provided $43,283 to set up and furnish the home, on top of providing annual funding.  YAIL Harbor operates four group homes, a day program and a supported independent living program.

“I am pleased to officially welcome these four people to their beautiful new home that will support their inclusion into the City of Yorkton,” Ottenbreit said.  “I thank YAIL Harbor for their valuable contributions to the province through their work with individuals with intellectual disabilities in our community.”

“I’d like to thank the Government of Saskatchewan for their continued support,” YAIL Harbor Executive Director Sonya Reviczky said.  “This home will provide housing for four people to call their own in Yorkton.  We are so thankful to our partners for helping us make a difference in the lives of our residents.”

Friday, March 2, 2018

What: MS fundraiser – raffle
Time:   3:00 – 9:00 p.m. 
Golden Nugget Centre, Moose Jaw Exhibition Grounds

Saturday March 3 — 9am – 9pm
Sunday March 4 — 9am – 11am
Draws will be made on Sunday at 1pm

What: Search and Rescue Steak Fundraiser
Time:   5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 
Place:  Crushed Can
Cost:  $20.00
Funds go toward the cost of courses for volunteer searchers as well as equipment. 

What: MJ Health Foundation Gala A Night in Nashville
Time:   6:00 p.m. 
Place:  MJ Cultural Centre
Unlimited complementary beverages, gourmet hors d’ oeuvre and signature desserts.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

What: PRISM Awards  
Time:   6:30 – 11:00 p.m.
Place:  Saskpolytechnic