New Places to Call Home
On November 17, I had the pleasure of attending a sod turning ceremony for Habitat for Humanity at which two Moose Jaw families officially began a journey towards affordable homeownership. Even during an outdoor ceremony on that cold winter day, the joy on their faces was undeniable.
Congratulations to Kathy Brown and her son, as well as Tanya Legare and her daughters, who are now hard at work in the community, laying the foundation for a brighter future and places they can be proud to call home.
The vision of Habitat for Humanity, and the work their volunteers carry out across Saskatchewan, have enhanced the lives of many families and enriched communities throughout the province. Our government is proud to support Habitat’s work. Their projects are a true example of what can be done when individuals, community organizations and all levels of government work together. The sod turning event marked the seventh and eighth Habitat for Humanity projects in Moose Jaw. The province’s overall commitment to Habitat for Humanity totals $9.85 million since March 2009.
On November 22, National Housing Day, the province celebrated the achievements that have been made in addressing the housing needs of Saskatchewan people. During a decade of growth, our government has invested more than $773 million to develop 11,600 new units and repair 4,330 homes around the province. We will continue to do our best to deliver housing and homelessness programs that support Saskatchewan citizens in serious housing need, and keep Saskatchewan growing stronger.
The Government of Saskatchewan, along with its community partners, encourages all Saskatchewan people to contact the Ministry of Social Services, community agencies or 911 if they, or someone else in need, is without shelter this winter. In the Moose Jaw area, if someone is in need of shelter during the cold weather, our local Social Services office should be contacted at 306-694-3647. After business hours, calling 911 will connect those in need of shelter with the appropriate assistance.
An ambitious agenda highlights a fall sitting of the Legislature which continues this week in Regina. In response to a Court of Queen’s Bench ruling that would have forced non-Catholic students out of Catholic schools, our government has introduced legislation to invoke the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms to protect parents’ choice in where they send their children to school. Also, once legislative amendments have been passed, small businesses in Saskatchewan will have increased tax relief. Effective January 1, 2018, the provincial small business income threshold will increase to $600,000 – making it the highest tax threshold in Canada.
This past week a special service was held at the Legislative building recognizing the Holodomor, a man-made famine that killed up to 10 million people in Ukraine in 1932-1933. The touching ceremony remembered the Holodomor victims, and honoured the survivors. I remember as a child, hearing stories from a neighbour from Ukraine who had personally experienced the oppression during that time, and how his dad was taken from their home, and was never heard of again. Having heard those stories, and because of the many people in Saskatchewan of Ukrainian descent who contribute so much to our province, I found this service very meaningful. Recognizing such atrocities will remind us to do all we can to stop oppression in our communities and around the world.