326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

From the Desk of Warren Michelson May 4, 2018

May 4, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

LINDALE SCHOOL VISIT


I was pleased to welcome 50 grade 5 students: their teaching staff and chaperones to the Legislature this past week.   It’s always a pleasure to welcome constituents and especially school groups from the Moose Jaw North constituency to the Legislative Building.


12th ANNUAL 800 CHAB FAMILY FIRST RADIOTHON

The goal for the 36 hour radiothon is to try to raise $125,000 for new equipment and access to more than one piece of the same equipment for the hospital, staff and patients. 

SASKATCHEWAN HEALTH A PRIORITY

The ability to see a doctor, whether they are a specialist or a general practitioner, is one of the most important aspects of our health care system.


Our government prioritized physician recruitment and retention upon coming to office in 2007, and since then we’ve seen nearly 900 more doctors – a 51% increase. This includes significant increases in general practitioners (43%), specialists (62%), and pediatricians (98%).


The number of psychiatrists has increased by 37%.


The number of pediatricians practicing in Saskatchewan has increased from 62 to 123 since 2007, with more on the way before the opening of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in 2019.


A number of physician recruitment and retention initiatives have resulted in more than 2,600 physicians licensed to practice in the province, including:

  • one of the best physician compensation rates in the country;
  • training more doctors in Saskatchewan by increasing the College of Medicine’s undergraduate seats from 60 to 100, and doubling the number of medical residency positions to 120;
  • establishing more family medicine resident training sites outside of Regina and Saskatoon, including sites in Prince Albert, Swift Current, La Ronge, North Battleford and Moose Jaw, which has led to a 79% retention rate for family physicians; and
  • recruiting more than 200 internationally trained physicians, 77% of whom are working in rural or regional communities.

We have made huge strides over the past decade which means better care that can be accessed closer to home for many of Saskatchewan’s rural residents. While we are pleased with this level of growth, we continue to work with health sector partners to recruit for vacant positions across the province.


Our government is also committed to taking steps to improve Saskatchewan’s organ and tissue donation rates. In addition to establishing a leadership model for organ and tissue donation, including donor physicians and Registered Nurse donor coordinators, we recently launched an advertising campaign to remind Saskatchewan residents that agreeing to be an organ donor saves lives.


This year, our awareness campaign is highlighting three Saskatchewan families whose prayers for an organ transplant were answered. These stories describe the pressing need for a matching donor, and the relief that came when a matching organ became available.


You can visit
www.saskatchewan.ca to learn more about organ and tissue donation in Saskatchewan, and view the powerful, real-life experiences of three Saskatchewan families.


NEW TAX BREAK FOR SENIORS

A new tax deferral program has been created to help Saskatchewan seniors.


The Seniors Education Property Tax Deferral Program, which opened on April 10, will give Saskatchewan seniors with household incomes under $70,000 the option to defer the education portion of the property taxes on their home through a repayable loan.


“This program will provide low-to-moderate-income seniors with greater financial flexibility, and help them stay in their homes longer,” Social Services Minister and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Paul Merriman said.  “We are following through on an election promise and supporting our government’s priorities and strategies, including The Poverty Reduction Strategy.”

Seniors are eligible for the program if they:

  • are 65 years of age or older;
  • own and live in their home as their main residence in Saskatchewan;
  • have total household income below $70,000; and
  • maintain a minimum of 25 per cent equity in their home.

Seniors can apply at any point in the year to defer their education property taxes.  Approved applicants will be enrolled in the program for 10 years with the option to opt out at any point.  At the end of the 10-year enrollment period, seniors who would like to continue to defer future education property taxes can reapply to the program.  Seniors remain responsible for the direct and full payment of their property taxes.


Repayment of the loans must occur when the program clients sell, transfer, or no longer reside in their homes or when they no longer meet the conditions of the loan.  Clients may also repay the loan at any time without penalty.


This program is only available for the education property taxes that are charged for a principal residence.  If the senior has a secondary residence, farmland, or commercial property in addition to the principal residence, they may only defer the portion of education property taxes for the principal residence.  Only the education property taxes for the current calendar year may be deferred.


People interested in the program can call 306-787-4177 or 1-800-667-7567 or email 
repairstaff@gov.sk.ca.  For more information, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/taxes-and-investments/property-taxes/seniors-education-property-tax-deferral-program.


ECHO VALLEY AND SASKATCHEWAN LANDING PARKS OPEN EARLY FOR CAMPERS

Got the camping bug and can’t wait until summer to enjoy nature?


Two provincial parks will open early for campers who want to get a jump on this year’s camping season.  Two campgrounds in Echo Valley Provincial Park and one campground in Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park will open on Thursday, May 10, a week earlier than the scheduled provincial park opening.


“The opportunity to open early for campers was just too good to pass up,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.  “After a long winter, many campers are looking forward to getting out to the parks.  I am pleased we will be able to lengthen the season for our dedicated campers so they can take advantage of the beautiful spring weather we are finally seeing and make the most of this year’s season.”


Registration for early camping is on a first-come, first-serve self-registration basis.  Guests can enjoy reduced nightly fees and free park entry up until Thursday, May 17.


“Early season camping gives visitors a chance to experience the park at one of the most beautiful times of the year,” Saskatchewan Landing Park Manager Tricia Bacon said.  “To be on the safe side, campers should come prepared for changing conditions so they can enjoy the experience no matter what nature provides for weather.”


Visitors should note that there will be reduced services with some facilities not open during this week.


Once the parks open for regular nightly camping on May 17, campers will need to reserve their site online at 
www.saskparks.goingtocamp.com if they wish to extend their stay.


The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport continues to invest in facilities and infrastructure at Echo Valley and Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Parks as part of a commitment to improve the park experience for visitors.


PROGRAM PROVIDES ALTERNATIVE FOR UPDATING CHILD SUPPORT

The province is providing parents with an alternative way to update their child support amounts through the recently-launched Saskatchewan Child Support Recalculation Service.


The program will provide eligible parents who apply with a faster and less costly way to update their income information for child support payments.  Rather than going through the courts, parents who apply to the Saskatchewan Child Support Recalculation Service will have their payments calculated by program staff based on their most recent income information.  Either parent can apply to the program.


“The government understands that issues around child support payments can create unnecessary stress for parents,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Don Morgan said.  “This pilot will take a lot of the strain out of that process, ensuring payments are accurate for both parents.”


Justice Canada is providing Saskatchewan with a total amount of $695,755 over four years for this pilot project through the Canadian Family Justice Fund, which supports innovative services.


“We are committed to helping alleviate child poverty, including by helping to ensure that child support amounts are fair and up-to-date,” said Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.  “We are also committed to making family justice more accessible and less stressful for families experiencing a separation or divorce.  This project will help to achieve those goals, and for that reason, we are happy to support it, and support families.”


Parents have an obligation to disclose changes in their income to ensure child support amounts are kept up-to-date.  The Child Support Recalculation Service will require the parent paying child support to send updated financial information so that child support amounts can be updated accordingly.  In instances where the parent does not provide the requested financial information, the amount may be increased as set out in The Family Maintenance Regulations, 1998.


The pilot will initially be focused on the Regina area.  Parents who wish to take part in the pilot can call 1-833-825-1445 or apply online at 
www.saskatchewan.ca/child-support-recalculation.


The Ministry of Justice’s Maintenance Enforcement Office collected and distributed $42.7 million in child support payments in 2016-17. 


CROP REPORT FOR THE PERIOD APRIL 24 TO 30, 2018

A cool and late spring has delayed field work across the province.  However, seeding has started in the southern areas.  In most other areas, harrowing and pre-seeding herbicide and fertilizer applications are taking place.  Many producers will be seeding within the week.


Field conditions vary greatly across the province.  The southern regions are dry and the northern and eastern regions are dealing with high field moisture.  Topsoil moisture on crop land is rated six per cent surplus, 64 per cent adequate, 20 per cent short and 10 per cent very short.  Topsoil moisture on hay land and pasture is rated as three per cent surplus, 63 per cent adequate, 28 per cent short and six per cent very short.  High winds are drying up the soil quickly.  The soil is slow to warm up and there is still snow and ice in some sloughs and ditches in the north.


Due to a low-yielding hay crop in 2017, an extended cold winter, and a slow start to spring, many livestock producers have turned to alternative feed sources and feed grains while they wait for the pastures to green up.


Spring runoff in the south was below normal in many areas, leaving some livestock producers looking at how to sustain water supplies throughout the upcoming grazing season.


Rainfall was recorded in the southern and eastern regions during the past week, ranging from trace amounts to 24 mm in the Big Beaver area.


Winter wheat survival is being monitored as it is too early to make an accurate assessment.


SaskPower reports four cases of farm machinery coming into contact with electrical equipment over the last week.  The majority of farming-related incidents happen during seeding.  SaskPower reminds producers to take an extra moment to check for overhead lines before beginning work.  More safety information is available at www.saskpower.com/safety.


A complete, printable version of the Crop Report is available online at 
www.saskatchewan.ca/crop-report.


Follow the 2018 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKAgriculture.


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW

Friday, May 4, 2018

What:  Fair Trade Festival

Time:   9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. 
Place:  Central Lutheran Church

 

What: MJ Health Foundation Hot Dog fundraiser 
Time:  11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. 
Place:  Wigmore Hospital

What: MJ Right to Life Annual Giant Garage Sale

Time:   1:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Place:  Church of Our Lady Community Centre

What:  Just One Drop Film and Fundraiser

Time:   7:00 p.m
Place:  MJ Public Library

Saturday, May 5, 2018

What: MJ Right to Life Annual Giant Garage Sale

Time:   9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. 
Place:  Church of Our Lady Community Centre

What:  Cystic Fibrosis Charitable Endeavour

Time:   7:00 p.m. 
Place:  MJ Municipal Airport

What:  Spring Home and Garden Show

Time:   10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 
Place: The Sportsman’s Centre, 276 Home St. E,
Cost:  $3.00 UPCOMING EVENTS:

Zion’s Annual Salad Buffet
Wednesday, May 9
11:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m.
$10/ ticket @ Zion office

Mother’s Day Plant Day
Saturday, May 12
2:00 p.m.
Western Development Museum
$60/ per person – includes supplies
12 years and older.