326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

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Moose Jaw Express January 16, 2019

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Good Planning for a Good Vacation

 It’s -15 degrees outside with a 50 kph wind as I prepare this column, so a vacation in a warm destination is very attractive. Proper preparations can make the difference between an enjoyable vacation with wonderful memories, or an unpleasant, maybe even tragic, experience.

The most important consideration is to plan well before you leave. Your health concerns should be among your priorities. Travel to some warmer locations may require vaccinations or malaria prevention. This information, as well as any other travel advisories, is available at the Canadian Government travel website, travel.gc.ca/. For vaccinations or prescriptions, Moose Jaw residents need to contact the travel clinic in Regina at 306-766-7600 for an appointment. Your Saskatchewan health coverage provides limited emergency medical care coverage outside Canada and it does not cover prescriptions filled outside of our country, so having additional health insurance is an important option to consider.

There are many different types of travel insurance available. Policies may include coverage for medical-related losses such as hospitalization and ambulance costs, or non-medical coverage such as trip cancellation and lost baggage. It’s important to know what kind of coverage you have so you don’t get caught footing the bill for something you thought was covered.

There are insurance considerations for things like car rentals or personal belongings. In limited cases, rental car coverage is included with your vehicle insurance package policy or your credit card, but not in all cases. Loss of personal belongings taken on vacation can be claimed on tenant or home insurance. For your property back home, unless you have a home monitoring system, most policies require having someone check your vacant home every 24 to 48 hours.

For every type of insurance coverage, it’s best to check with your insurance broker to find out what will be insured, and what extra insurance is needed. Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan urges everyone to make sure they understand coverage options as well as the exclusions and pre-existing condition clauses. They offer the following tips:

  • Purchase the coverage you need – Make sure you know what types of coverage you want.
  • Understand the exclusions and pre-existing conditions clauses.
  • Read your policy – If you have questions, ask the provider before you purchase the insurance.
  • Understand the claims process

For more information about travel insurance, visit fcaa.gov.sk.ca/consumers-investors-pension-plan-members/consumers/insurance-consumers/travel-insurance.

There are some other considerations that are addressed on the Canadian Government travel website. Some countries require that a passport is valid for a number of months after you plan to leave that particular country. It would be a nasty surprise to get off the airplane at your destination only to find out that you are not allowed to enter the country. The Government of Canada’s Registration of Canadians Abroad service is a free service that allows the Government of Canada to notify you of an emergency abroad or at home. It is well worth the time it takes to sign up.

It is advisable to notify your credit card company of your travel plans before you depart. If your credit card company notices different purchases from areas out of your normal shopping patterns, they may suspect fraudulent activity and disable your card. Notifying them with a travel alert before you leave will avoid that situation.

I hope you find value in these insights on appropriate considerations when traveling. To those who may be traveling to warm destinations, Bon Voyage! The rest of us will simply have to look forward to warmer Saskatchewan weather when Spring arrives.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson January 11, 2019

January 11, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

Province Enhancing Public Safety Services In Saskatchewan

Wildfire and Provincial Emergency Services to Become Part of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency

Today Government Relations Minister Warren Kaeding and Environment Minister Dustin Duncan announced that the Government of Saskatchewan will be enhancing and expanding the mandate of the Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency (SPSA).


Wildfire Management Branch from the Ministry of Environment, and the emergency management and fire safety responsibilities from the Ministry of Government Relations will become part of the SPSA.


“Our government’s commitment to public safety and enhancing citizen-centred services is paramount, and over the year’s emergency management, and wildfire response staff have done a tremendous job for the people of Saskatchewan,” Kaeding said.  “Becoming part of the SPSA will allow for greater internal co-ordination and co-operation, while providing a more streamlined provincial response when emergencies strike.  Ultimately this will lead to better service for the people of Saskatchewan.”


Transition to the SPSA, which will begin in 2019, will not impact provincial emergency services for the upcoming spring flood or wildfire seasons.


“Wildfire Management staff provide a vital service that protects our people, communities and infrastructure, especially in northern Saskatchewan,” Duncan said.  “I am confident this outstanding service will continue as we transition existing government resources to the SPSA and improve service delivery to support communities in need.”


The Saskatchewan Public Safety Agency is a Treasury Board Crown that was created in 2017.  It is responsible for managing Saskatchewan’s 911 emergency dispatching services.  Agency head offices will remain in Regina, with additional offices, dispatch and wildfire centres located around Saskatchewan, including Saskatoon and Prince Albert.


For more information on the SPSA, read the Government of Saskatchewan news release announcing its creation on September 28, 2017 at 
http://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/news-and-media/2017/september/28/911-services-under-public-safety-agency.

Zane Buchanan Introduced As The Province’s 2019 Saskatchewanderer

Raised in Saskatchewan, but with experience living and working away from the province, Zane Buchanan will bring a unique perspective to the role as 2019 Saskatchewanderer.  He has a passion for the arts and social media blogging, and looks forward to meeting the people who make the province an inviting destination.

“Along with my travel companion – my trusty dog, Stedman – I’m eager to expand on the legacy left behind by the seven unique and talented wanderers who preceded me,” Buchanan said.  “Aside from exposing the evident natural wonder of Saskatchewan, I’m keen on giving a voice to the many inspiring entrepreneurs, artists and diverse communities that our province has to offer.”


Buchanan grew up on an acreage near White City.  He spent time in eastern Canada and on the west coast, pursuing an education and working in broadcasting, theatre and social media before applying to become the next Saskatchewanderer.  Along with a diploma in broadcasting for web, radio and TV, he earned a bachelor of music theatre performance and completed a comedy writing course.  He nurtures his appetite for knowledge and learning through continuing education courses with Simon Fraser University.

“The Saskatchewanderer has the unique opportunity to encourage travel to and within our province by sharing experiences on social media and the Saskatchewanderer blog,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister and Minister Responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan Gene Makowsky said.  “With nearly 90,000 followers on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, the Saskatchewanderer is an influential ambassador for the province.”


“It is a pleasure to welcome Zane Buchanan as the 2019 Saskatchewanderer,” Tourism Saskatchewan CEO Mary Taylor-Ash said.  “Zane has the right combination of an outgoing personality, creative nature and impressive skills to succeed in the role.  He will carry on the legacy of past Saskatchewanderers with great enthusiasm.  We look forward to the discoveries and stories that Zane will share across social media.”

CAA continues as the official sponsor of the Saskatchewanderer, renewing its support annually since the program launched in 2011.


“CAA Saskatchewan is very pleased to return as the official sponsor of the Saskatchewanderer program,” CAA President and CEO Fred Titanich said.  “With more than 100 years of successful business experience in the travel, insurance, roadside assistance and automotive maintenance sectors, we too, like to promote Saskatchewan as the best place to live, work, and play.  We also want to keep the Wanderer safe behind the wheel, which is why, since the program started in 2011, we have provided a vehicle, a CAA Saskatchewan membership and gas vouchers.  On behalf of our board of directors, staff and valued members, we wish Zane all the best as he starts his journey as the 2019 Saskatchewanderer.”

The Saskatchewanderer program is an inter-ministerial partnership that involves Tourism Saskatchewan and the Ministries of Agriculture, Trade and Export Development and Parks, Culture and Sport.


Follow Zane’s year of wandering the province on Facebook at www.facebook.com/skwanderer, Twitter @skwanderer, Instagram @saskatchewanderer or YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/skwandererofficial.


Read up on his latest adventures by visiting 
www.saskatchewanderer.ca.


Sixties Scoop Apology 

Sixties Scoop Apology – Government Of Saskatchewan

Elder McArthur, thank you for the prayer. 

Elders, survivors, Chiefs, distinguished guests, legislative colleagues, ladies and gentlemen.

Good morning everyone.


Welcome to your legislature.


Welcome to Treaty 4 Territory . . . the traditional lands of the Cree, Saulteaux, Dakota, Nakota and Lakota peoples and the home of the Métis.


And welcome to our Dene friends with us this morning.


Before I begin, I want to recognize members of the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan who are with today.


Honoured guests, thank you so much for your participation in the process that has brought us to this point, on this day.


A process that began more than three years ago, under my predecessor, Premier Brad Wall, who first promised this apology on June 24, 2015.


Friends, we would not be here today if not for your determination, your commitment and your courage.
We are deeply indebted to you.


Ladies and gentlemen, this is an important day in the life of our province.


This is a day for our government to acknowledge with honesty, with humility and with deep regret what happened in Saskatchewan.


The Sixties Scoop refers to a period in Canadian history when Indigenous children were removed from their families and their communities by child welfare services.


Thousands of First Nations, Métis and Inuit children were placed in non-Indigenous foster and adoptive homes in Saskatchewan, and in some cases across Canada and the United States.


In Saskatchewan, at that time, those who managed the foster and adoption programs believed they had a moral and legal obligation to act.


However, during the Sixties Scoop, not nearly enough consideration was given to the fact that Indigenous children come from communities with their own rich traditions, culture and history.


Some Indigenous children were separated from their families and their communities, and as a result those children were cut off from their culture, and they were cut off from their traditions.


Despite the good intentions of many foster and adoptive parents, too many of these children were caught between two worlds.


They were stranded in a sense, with no knowledge of who they were, or where they came from.


The consequences are still being felt by individuals and families to this day.


The children impacted by the Sixties Scoop are adults now, and we have heard their stories during the last few months.


We are humbled and grateful that they agreed to share their stories with us.


In partnership with our government, the Sixties Scoop Indigenous Society of Saskatchewan facilitated sharing circles in six communities – Meadow Lake, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Saskatoon, Fort Qu’Appelle and Regina.
More than 200 survivors participated in the sharing circles or made submissions online, and we are grateful for their candour, and their courage was inspiring.


Thanks to these brave individuals, we know more about what happened during the Sixties Scoop.


We’ve taken an important step in raising public awareness, through this partnership.


And we welcome an on-going dialogue with those affected by the Sixties Scoop and their families . . . as we build on other initiatives underway in government and at our educational institutions . . . such as the introduction of curriculum in this province that provides a deeper understanding of the history, traditions and values of Indigenous people.


Today in Saskatchewan, we are more informed than ever about our history.


There is a growing awareness of mistakes that were made in the past, and why we need to acknowledge those who may have suffered because of those mistakes.


We heard from some survivors who asked for their historical records from the Ministry of Social Services, so they can find out more about who they are and where they came from, and learn more about their families and their communities.


We have worked to fulfill these requests and we are committed to doing the same in the future.


Each of the sharing circles was attended by cabinet ministers as well as MLAs from the Government of Saskatchewan.


In addition, Deputy Premier Gordon Wyant, Social Services Minister Paul Merriman and Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs Warren Kaeding all met with survivors on a number of occasions.


I had the great privilege of meeting with members of the Society as did the entire government caucus.


In those conversations . . . and in the online submissions . . . the effects of the Sixties Scoop were laid out in detail.


One survivor said: “When I was a child I was taken, placed and abused.  That’s probably why I get so angry . . . those things come back in my mind.  I try not to think about it, but it’s still there.  I don’t know how to heal myself.”


Another survivor said she kept running away from foster homes to go back to her family, but each time she was returned to another foster home.


She said: “My sense of security was always temporary.  I didn’t know my siblings.  I met a lot of people who influenced me to start running with the gang lifestyle.”


A third survivor recalled returning to his home community.  He said: “I wasn’t sure if I was a white person or an Indigenous person.  People in my original community didn’t know who I was.  All this time I had thought I was a white boy.”


It is difficult for most of us to comprehend what the individuals of the Sixties Scoop went through.
I certainly can’t pretend to know.


But I do know this.


In our province, we are only as strong as our families, we are only as strong as our communities.


Family and community . . . those are the bedrock institutions . . . the foundation of a strong Saskatchewan.


We failed the survivors we heard from in the sharing circles, and so many others.
We failed their families.


We failed their communities.


We failed.


On behalf of the Government of Saskatchewan . . . on behalf of the people of Saskatchewan . . . I stand before you today to apologize . . . to say sorry.


We are sorry for the pain and sadness you experienced.


We are sorry for the loss of culture and language.


To all those who lost contact with their family, we are so sorry.


There is nothing we can offer that will fully restore what you have lost.


What we can offer is the solemn assurance that government policies have changed.


And they continue to change.

While there are still too many First Nations and Métis children in care, today we work with 17 First Nations Child and Family services agencies to deliver culturally appropriate child welfare services to vulnerable children in more than 60 First Nations communities.

Whenever possible, we keep families together.


We have strengthened supports intended to maintain a connection to family and culture.


When adoptions take place, we strive to keep siblings together.


We’re working actively to recruit First Nations and Métis foster families.


And we’re providing cultural training to non-Indigenous foster families.


Our preference . . . our goal . . . is to have no children in care.


Children should be cared for by their families in their communities.


And that’s why we’re working to support Indigenous people and to strengthen Indigenous families . . .


Through employment, education, health care and cultural programs . . . often delivered in partnership with First Nations and Métis organizations . . .


We’ve increased support for adult basic education programs, delivered on and off reserve.


We’ve increased funding for the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies, and we have strong partnerships with the First Nations University of Canada and the Gabriel Dumont Institute.


In our health care system, cultural support programs for Indigenous people are being expanded, including wider access to Elders and healers.


And this year, we will be strengthening addiction treatment programs in Saskatchewan, adding new treatment beds and expanding training for counsellors.


Ladies and gentlemen, there is an earnest and concerted effort underway in Saskatchewan to support and uplift all those in need, including our friends and neighbours still dealing with the impact of the Sixties Scoop.


Everyone in our province who is struggling . . .


Everyone in our province who is vulnerable . . .


Everyone in our province who is in pain and coping with physical and emotional distress deserves our help, deserves our support.


In Saskatchewan, we are one community, and we must comfort and support one another.


I believe that today, progress is being made in many areas, but we know there is more work to do.


We have many miles to travel.


My sincere hope is that we can travel this road together.


Let me close where I began – with a heartfelt expression of gratitude to the survivors.


We have learned so much from you these past few months and years.


You have lit the path forward, by bravely sharing your stories.


And my pledge to you today is that we will honour and respect your experiences.


We will learn from your experiences.

We will continue to engage with you.

And while we will never right this wrong completely, I believe we can move forward with open hearts and a common purpose.


Together, we can build a more compassionate Saskatchewan.


Together, we can build a more respectful Saskatchewan.


Together, we can build a stronger Saskatchewan . . . for our children . . . and for the generations to come.
Thank you.



WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW

Saturday, January 12, 2019

What: West Park Crossing Open House 
Time:  1:00 p.m.
Place: 
West Park Crossing- 1801 Meier Drive

What: MJ Warriors Home Game
Time:  7:00 p.m.
Place:  Mosaic

UPCOMING

JANUARY 18, 2019
PRISM Award Banquet- Nominee introduction

6:30 p.m.
Temple Gardens
JANUARY 19, 2019
Saskatchewan 2019 Royal Canadian Legion
Provincial Bonspiel Championships
Welcoming and Opening Ceremonies
10:30 am -Mosaic Place

FEBRUARY 2, 2019
Chinese New Year
Uptown Cafe
6:00 p.m.
must purchase tickets

Sports Celebrity Dinner
Heritage Inn
6:00 p.m.
Tickets $150/pp or Table of 8- $1200

Moose Jaw Express January 9, 2019

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Supporting Mental Health

The busy weeks leading up to the Christmas season generally keep us occupied with rewarding activities. While the start of a new year brings renewed hope and optimism, January tends to move at a slower pace and offers limited daylight hours. Many of us will experience what is commonly referred to as the “Winter Blues” or “January Blues”. This may require more effort to maintain good mental health. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and practicing gratitude can help us to maintain a positive outlook.

It is estimated that 1 in 5 Canadians will experience mental health challenges throughout their lifetime. For those who are living with persistent conditions, appropriate supports and services are extremely important. Too often people suffer in silence, fearing a stigma that unfortunately views mental health differently from physical illness.

Our government recognized that better mental health services and treatment were needed. In 2013, consultations on how to improve services began, culminating with the Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan which guides the government in making needed improvements.

Your Saskatchewan Party government has increased funding for mental health services by 60 per cent to approximately $290 million annually. This funding is in addition to the approximately $46 million allocated to addictions services each year.

Recently, additional mental health supports were introduced in Moose Jaw. In November, a new Police and Crisis Team (PACT) became operational. PACTs pair Members of the Moose Jaw Police Service with a mental health professional when responding to individuals who are experiencing a mental health crisis. The goal is to provide the right kind of care to people who are better-served within the community, thereby avoiding emergency department visits or entry into the criminal justice system. Similar units are also now in place in Saskatoon, Regina, Prince Albert, North Battleford and Yorkton.

A little over a year ago, a new housing complex – Wakamow Place II – officially opened to individuals with complex needs. The 12-unit facility is next door to Wakamow Place, where mental health supports are available if needed. Funding has also been invested in a new training program launched last month that will better equip physicians to assess and treat mental health conditions in children and youth.

Thanks to the Canadian Mental Health Association, many local businesses now have Suicide Help Cards with information to assist someone in a crisis. Mental Health First Aid Courses are offered several times a year. Like the regular First Aid courses we are familiar with, Mental Health First Aid equips individuals to respond in a helpful way to assist someone towards getting needed, professional help.

It is encouraging to see local organizations working together to provide mental health services in our community. The Saskatchewan Health Authority, the staff at the Dr. F. H. Wigmore Regional Hospital, the Canadian Mental Health Association, and Thunder Creek Rehabilitation Association all provide supports not only for treatment, but also prevention of mental health-related conditions.

We can do our part by becoming more informed on maintaining our own mental health, knowing the signs of when to seek help, and learning how we can help others.

For mental health support at any time of the day or night, you can pick up the phone and call HealthLine by dialing 8-1-1. HealthLine’s registered Psychiatric Nurses and social workers can offer advice to help you manage your situation, or give you information about resources in the community.

Report from the Legislature January 3, 2019

Summer at the Legislative Building

A new year is a time for optimism and renewal – and here in Saskatchewan we see encouraging signs that our best days are still to come. Despite the challenges facing our energy sector, people continue to see Saskatchewan as a great place to live, work and invest.

In addition to the 16,000 new jobs over the past year, which gave us the best rate of job growth in western Canada, Saskatchewan grew by 3,841 people in the latest quarter. This represents the 50th consecutive quarter of population growth – the longest sustained period of population growth in Saskatchewan since quarterly records started being kept in 1971.

Saskatchewan’s record growth has strengthened our province and allowed your Saskatchewan Party government to make important investments to improve health, education, infrastructure, and the overall quality of life for all people who call Saskatchewan home.

There is always more to do. For example, we have heard that too many rural areas still have poor cellular coverage and slow internet service – so we’re working to fix that.

The Wireless Saskatchewan initiative is our plan to improve wireless services, with Phase 2 of that plan addressing 100 rural communities that had no cellular coverage or fringe service at best. The deployment of small cellular sites will improve the level of service by next year. High-speed internet and cellular connections are incredibly important to all of us, and this initiative will greatly benefit many residents, farms, and businesses who call rural Saskatchewan home.

The first 50 towers will be completed and operating by March 31, 2019 with remaining new small community towers functioning by March 31, 2020.

Meanwhile, major infrastructure investments continue in larger urban centres. The new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford, Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital in Saskatoon, and The Regina Bypass are all on track to be completed later this year.

In addition to these major projects, our government recently announced a $9.6 million investment in major improvements to the Winnipeg Street overpass in Regina. The new overpass will significantly improve connections among the city’s major arterial roads, providing more efficient commutes and supporting the growth and development of our capital city. The investment in the Winnipeg Street overpass is part of more than $37 million in direct provincial infrastructure investments for key City of Regina projects in the last two years alone.

At the end of the holiday season, many of us are starting to plan – or at least think about – our summer getaways. Starting in April, visitors will be able to reserve campsites for in Saskatchewan provincial parks on a new and improved online reservation site. The upgraded site enhances the overall visitor experience and increase online services, such as seasonal bookings.

This year, seasonal campsites will be moved to the online reservation system. Due to high demand for seasonal sites, a queuing system will be used to ensure a fair process. For seasonal campsites, customers will only be able to book for one person in one campsite with one payment. Reservations for seasonal campsites will open Tuesday, April 2 at 7:00 a.m.

Group campsites will also be added to the online reservation system this year. Starting on Thursday, April 4, sites can be booked online year-round or through the call centre up until October.  School and youth groups will continue to book by calling the parks directly.

Nightly reservations for 2019 campsites will open at 7:00 a.m. Monday, April 8.  Staggered launch dates and a queuing system will be implemented again to help provide the best user experience possible during reservations.

For additional details on fees, and seasonal and group campsite reservations, visit www.saskparks.com.

Moose Jaw Express January 2, 2019

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Looking Back at 2018

The end of the year always gives me pause to reflect on the year passed, and anticipate the year ahead. While important and significant progress was made by our government this past year, our local activities, made possible by outstanding Moose Javians, make up a good part of my reflections.

Moose Jaw has a great tradition of starting out our year with the Moose Jaw Citizen and Group of the Year Awards. The Chamber of Commerce is looking for nominations for our next Citizen and Group of the Year to follow the worthy 2017 recipients, Christine Boyzcuk, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Moose Jaw. There are many outstanding individuals and organizations in Moose Jaw, please consider nominating an individual or group. More information is available from the Chamber of Commerce.

Our community actively supports so many good causes throughout the year, including fundraising events like steak nights, car shows, the Colour Run, Terry Fox Run, the Walk for Life, and initiatives supporting the fight against MS, Cancer and Mental Health. New Habitat for Humanity Homes also continue to be built through donations from local business and groups, and hard work by dedicated volunteers.

Seasonal events like Sidewalk Days, the Hometown Fair, and 15 Wing activities, including Pilot Graduations and the 15 Wing Fellowship Air and Car Show, keep our community strong and our citizens involved. Each summer the Concerts in the Park series always provides quality entertainment in support of the Moose Jaw Health Foundation.   I appreciated the efforts of service clubs and community organizations along with the business community in promoting strong community initiatives.

Sporting events also added interest to the year. The Warriors were a strong team in the Western Hockey League, advancing to the third round of playoffs. The Moose Jaw Miller Express played a season of thrills and disappointments while managing to make the playoffs. We’re looking forward to the next season.

As summer turned to fall, I once again enjoyed the Lindale School Thanksgiving Dinner. It is always a special community event and I appreciate the invitation.

Remembrance Day was very significant this year.  Not only did we recognize 100 years since the end of the First World War, the 2018 Remembrance Day service was the 100th service in Moose Jaw honouring those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. Congratulations to the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans of Moose Jaw on their 100th Anniversary. They are the oldest ANAVETS club in Canada, chartered on December 16, 1918.

As we closed out the year, the Festival of Trees kicked off the festive season. It might be considered the social event of the year, but more importantly, it raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to enhance health care in Moose Jaw.

From a government aspect, 2018 was most certainly a year of change. Within the first few months, Saskatchewan had a new Premier, a new Leader of the Opposition, a new Speaker of the Legislative Assembly along with three newly-elected MLAs. Premier Scott Moe has successfully led the Saskatchewan Party Government to keep our economy on track in the face of significant challenges.

It is encouraging as your MLA to attend grand openings, notable anniversaries and special announcements. I’m sure many were excited to learn that the Saskatchewan Air Show would return to 15 Wing in 2019. In another event, I was honoured to welcome foreign commodity buyers from Turkey and India who were in Moose Jaw touring our producer crops with Mid-West Grain Ltd.

The fabric of any year will always have its darker moments as well as reasons to be grateful. The federal government’s proposed imposition of a carbon tax, pipeline delays, a drastic oil price differential and poor harvest weather tested even the hardy citizens of Moose Jaw.  The Humboldt Broncos bus crash touched the lives of all of us. The Moose Jaw Generals Player and Alumni game in honour of Evan Thomas, a former Generals player, and casualty of the accident, was a moving event.

Bringing in the New Year is a time of celebration.   We are encouraged to “Wing in the New Year”, by planning a safe ride home after our New Year’s Eve festivities. Please check the City of Moose Jaw website for details on expanded free bus service this New Year’s Eve.

I hope you have many happy memories of 2018.  From my wife Debbie and I, best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019.

Moose Jaw Express December 26, 2018

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Saskatchewan Begins 2019 in Good Standing

 Saskatchewan people are innovative, adaptable and determined. Entering 2019, we are still facing challenges within our economy. The federal government’s imposition of a damaging carbon tax and a deeply discounted price for our oil caused by a lack of pipelines have created significant challenges, yet Saskatchewan’s economy is showing signs of strength and improvement.

Saskatchewan is leading the country in job growth.  As of November, Saskatchewan has the highest rate of year-over-year job growth in Western Canada at 2.9 per cent, ranking second nationally, behind Prince Edward Island. Full-time employment increased by 10,200 jobs and part-time increased by 6,100 jobs since this time last year. This is the largest job increase since 2013 and marks the fourth consecutive month of strong job gains for the province.  Even with some major infrastructure projects like the construction of 18 new schools now complete, the construction sector saw year-over-year gains of 1,500 jobs and a month-over-month increase of 300 jobs (seasonally adjusted).

Saskatchewan’s 2018-19 Budget remains on track, with a balanced budget this spring within our Government’s financial plan. At mid-year, the projected deficit for 2018-19 was actually $17 million less than anticipated. Higher forecast revenue, up $138.1 million from budget, has helped reduce the projected deficit. Revenue is forecast to be up due to higher projected resource revenue and higher net income from Government Business Enterprises, federal transfers and other own-source revenue, partially offset by lower personal income tax revenue. Expense is forecast to be up $121.1 million from budget. Nearly half of the increase is pension expense, reflecting changes in interest rates and actuarial assumptions. Increases at mid-year also reflect higher-than-budgeted expense for child and family services, health services and forest-fire operations.

Signs of economic improvements are also acknowledged by Saskatchewan’s recently confirmed triple-A credit rating from Moody’s Investors Service. Our province has the second-highest credit rating in Canada when ratings from the three major agencies are combined. Saskatchewan is also forecast to have the third-lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the country.

Saskatchewan ranked first in retail sales growth among Canada’s provinces in September, with a 1.7 per cent increase from the previous month and higher than the national average of 0.2 per cent. Wholesale trade in Saskatchewan jumped 11.4 per cent the same month (seasonally adjusted) when compared to September of 2017, the second highest percentage increase among the provinces.  These statistics reflect confidence in our economy, both from businesses and consumers.

We continue to see improvements in health care. Saskatchewan patients have the shortest total wait times in the country to see a specialist, according to the Fraser Institute’s annual survey of Canadian specialists.

Your Saskatchewan Party government will continue to stand up for Saskatchewan in those areas of significant challenge. We will remain focused on fighting the federal carbon tax, moving forward to mitigate the effects of climate change, and working to get pipelines built so that our economy remains strong to attract business and provide for the services the people of our province expect and deserve.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson December 21, 2018

December 21, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA
PLEASE NOTE:  OUR OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED Monday December 24, 2018 – Monday January 1, 2019.  We will re-open on Wednesday January 2, 2019


A CHRISTMAS MESSAGE FROM WARREN MICHELSON

Merry Christmas!   These words of greeting are spoken through our homes and community during the most festive time of year.   Indeed, they are an expression of compassion here at home and extends all around the world.   It is a gentle greeting of peace and contentment.
Merry Christmas is significant in that it reminds us of the love and giving of Christmas gifts to our family and friends.   It is also a time for charity organizations assisting those who may be less fortunate, and the charitable giving of community citizens who appreciate their abundance and are willing to make donations and share their time with those in need.


Through the planning of all the shopping for gifts, wrapping, meal preparation, traveling to family and friends; the greeting of Merry Christmas brings a calming expression which makes it all worthwhile.


Merry Christmas is a reminder of the love and compassion that was given to the world on that first Christmas morning.  It is a reminder of a baby born in very humble surroundings who came to earth bringing the peace and compassion we share at this time of the year, and attempt to carry those sentiments to everyone all year long.
Thank you to all those who have expressed their compassion through your Merry Christmas greetings, and may you enjoy that same love and compassion with your family and friends during this time and throughout the year.


Merry Christmas.


Saskatchewan Grows By More Than 3,800 People In Third Quarter Of 2018

Saskatchewan’s population continued to grow in the third quarter of 2018.  According to the latest population estimates released today by Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan grew by 3,841 to 1,165,903 people as of October 1, 2018.

This represents the 50th consecutive quarter of population growth – the longest sustained period of population growth in Saskatchewan since quarterly records started being kept in 1971.


“Despite the challenges facing our energy sector, people still see Saskatchewan as a great place to live, and they’re right,” Trade and Export Development Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  “Our government will continue working hard to stand up for Saskatchewan and ensure it’s a great place to live, work and raise a family.”


Saskatchewan’s population growth in the most recent quarter was driven by net international migration of 5,261 and a natural increase (births minus deaths) of 1,762, partially offset by net interprovincial migration of 3,182.

WATCHING THE ZAMBONI

2018 Christmas Message From Premier Scott Moe

Roughly 2000 years ago, a group of people were out on the night shift, somewhere in the countryside.

It was likely the same group of people who worked the day shift.  There was no limit to the hours they put in. And there was no overtime pay either.

Nobody in charge cared about their stress level or their benefits, because they were shepherds.  And shepherds were at the bottom of the Judean social ladder.

The fact that those lowly shepherds were the first ones to hear the Christmas message was unexpected.

But Someone thought they were worthy.  Someone was unconcerned about their social status.  Maybe Someone did it on purpose.

It’s part of the Christmas story that shows us, year after year, that everyone deserves to hear a message of love – no matter their station in life.

Those shepherds must have been filled with total fear and awe.

Imagine, you’re out in the pasture, probably half-asleep.  Nothing around you but the nighttime and the smell of sheep.

And suddenly the sky lights up and angels, yes angels, are singing: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men.”

The fragile little baby in this Christmas story comes to bring us peace and love.  And reminds us every year to spread His love to those around us.

Christmas is a time of joy.  But it’s also a time of sorrow for many, and we all know someone who could use a kind word or a helping hand.

It might be the family who just lost their mother and grandmother in a sudden accident, or a young man waiting desperately for a heart transplant.

It might be a family going through a financial setback, or a young woman fighting addiction, feeling lost and alone.  Or the families of a hockey team who have lost so much but won the hearts of the world.

George Matthew Adams said, “Let us remember that a Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide-open heart that thinks of others first.”

Standing up for Saskatchewan means we look out for each other.

As you go from city, to small town, to countryside in this great province, it amazes me how people do just that – look out for one another.

And they do it in so many ways: through volunteering, fundraising, helping refugee families, and supporting those in crisis.

Saskatchewan people, we reach out to others, always, without question, extending the hand of friendship to those in need.

Around the world and right here at home, our province continues to be a shining example, and I am so proud to call Saskatchewan my home.

So from my wife Krista and I, and our family, and on behalf of my colleagues in the Government of Saskatchewan,

May the wondrous spirit of Christmas fill your heart with peace and love.

And may that same spirit continue to fill you with hope in the New Year.

And may all of you know warmth and joy as you celebrate with those you love.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


MOOSE JAW WARRIORS TEDDY BEAR TOSS

‘Tis The Season Of Gift Cards – Important Things To Know

Gift cards are a very popular way to send some holiday cheer to your friends, family and coworkers.

The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) wishes to make consumers aware of gift card rules in the province, as FCAA sees a rise in calls and complaints about gift cards after the holiday season has concluded.

Consumers often have concerns about usage limits and expiry dates.

Gift Card Tips

  1. Gift cards can’t expire – Gift cards bought and sold in Saskatchewan are not allowed to have an expiry date (with a few exceptions).  An expiry date is only allowed for gift cards that are issued for charitable purposes or where the consumer provides nothing of value for the card (e.g. as part of an advertising promotion).
  2. There can be no additional fees – All fees must be paid up front and no additional monthly or usage fees are allowed after the fact.
  3. Read the fine print on the gift card – It’s important to read the fine print on a card before buying it to understand what limits may exist on its use.
  4. Use your gift card as soon as possible – If a retailer goes out of business, it is unlikely you can recover the value on your card.

For more information, visit http://fcaa.gov.sk.ca/consumers-investors-pension-plan-members/consumers/consumers-of-goods-and-services/gift-cards.

.Contact Consumer Protection Division
.
The Consumer Protection Division may be able to help consumers with gift card disputes.  Consumers can call toll free at 1-877-880-5550 or by email at 
consumerprotection@gov.sk.ca.


Explore The Magic Of Winter In Saskatchewan Provincial Parks

This winter, families and friends can explore the cool side of Saskatchewan’s provincial parks, with a night of enchanting holiday lights, hot cocoa around a toasty-warm campfire or snowshoeing through forests of frost-covered trees.  The Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport is offering a variety of winter events in provincial parks that the whole family can enjoy.


“Saskatchewan Provincial Parks are beautiful destinations to visit every season of the year and winter is truly no exception,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.  “These upcoming events are a unique way to experience winter in our parks while enjoying fresh air and perhaps trying something new.  I am pleased many local communities and organizations are teaming up to provide these wonderful opportunities in our parks for people of all ages.”

To kick off the series of winter events, a Festival of Lights in Sandy Bay Campground at Candle Lake Provincial Park will showcase more than 15 stunning light displays, with hot cocoa and treats.  The festival will run December 22, 28, 29, 30 and 31, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. with each night offering something a little different.  The festival is mainly a drive-thru tour, with the exception of December 28, which will feature a self-guided walking/snowshoeing tour.


On Saturday, January 12, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Echo Valley Provincial Park will once again host a Snowshoe in the Park event, with freshly groomed trails and snowshoes provided.  Guests can also enjoy a campfire cookout with hotdogs, hot cocoa, coffee and tea in the park’s brand new visitor centre.  Fun and educational demonstrations on camping, winter survival and safety will be on site, as well as door prizes and other giveaways.  With more than 200 visitors in attendance at last year’s snowshoeing event, this year is expected to be another success with the help and generosity of local businesses.


Families looking for a unique winter experience can visit Last Mountain House Historic Site on Saturday, January 26 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. for an afternoon of snowshoeing, fiddlers, furs and trapping, crafts, historic characters and fun interactive demonstrations and activities.  Guests can try their hand at baking bannock over an open fire.

In Great Blue Heron Provincial Park, visitors can experience Winter by the Lake on Saturday, February 9 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. where staff and guests will set out on a cross country skiing and/or snowshoeing adventure along the trails at Anglin Lake.  The afternoon will be complete with hot beverages, a campfire and crafts available in the warm-up shelter.


A starry night candle-lit ski, perfect for couples and families, will take place in Moose Mountain Provincial Park on Friday, February 15 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.  Guests can enjoy cross-country skiing on the 3.2 km Riding Academy Trail, lit with soft candle glow, along with hotdogs and hot cocoa around the campfire.


Additional details on these events and more are available at 
www.saskparks.com under Winter Fun.


2018 Christmas Message From Lieutenant Governor W. Thomas Molloy

As we celebrate this special season, I am pleased to extend greetings on behalf of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Queen of Canada.

This has been a remarkable year for me, as I had the honour of becoming Saskatchewan’s 22nd Lieutenant Governor in March.  As I have travelled across our beautiful province, I have been very impressed by our outstanding volunteers.  I am grateful to everyone who donates their time to improve the lives of others.


I also want to thank the many Indigenous communities that have invited me to visit and have given me a warm welcome.  I have had the privilege of taking part in pow wows, treaty gatherings, a sweat lodge, flag-raisings, declaration signings, and many other celebrations.  At each of these meaningful events, I have witnessed both a respect for cultural traditions and creative innovation.  I wish to express my gratitude to everyone who is exploring how we can achieve reconciliation together.


This year I have met many inspiring young people.  The youth of our province are providing leadership in many areas, including mental health, overcoming racism, and welcoming new Canadians.  Our impressive young leaders are reason for great hope for our future.


This has been a year of sadness for many.  2018 will long be remembered as the year of the Humboldt Broncos accident.  The crash claimed the lives of 16 people who were deeply loved and will be greatly missed.  Others in our province have also experienced personal hardship this year.


I have been inspired by those who face challenges with courage and resilience.  Many see adversity as an opportunity not only to find solutions for themselves, but to help others. This is the Saskatchewan way.


For me, this season is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends, and also to give thanks for my many blessings.  I am truly grateful to call Saskatchewan home.  My experiences in this role have filled me with hope for all that we can accomplish together.


Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

Saskatchewan Provincial Parks – Start Planning But Note The Changes

Starting in April, visitors will be able to reserve campsites for the 2019 season in Saskatchewan’s beautiful provincial parks on a new and improved online reservation site.  The upgraded site will enhance the overall visitor experience and increase online services, such as seasonal bookings.

“Visitation continues to increase in Saskatchewan parks and we are already looking forward to welcoming families back for another memorable season,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.  “From guided nature hikes to games on the beach, visitors will once again be able to enjoy the many programs, events and outdoor activities available in each park.”


In 2019, seasonal campsites will be moved to the online reservation system.  Due to high demand for seasonal sites, a queuing system will be used to ensure a fair process.  For seasonal campsites, customers will only be able to book for one person in one campsite with one payment.  Reservations for seasonal campsites will open Tuesday, April 2 at 7 a.m.

Group campsites will also be added to the online reservation system this year.  Starting on Thursday, April 4, sites can be booked online year-round or through the call centre up until October.  School and youth groups will continue to book by calling the parks directly.  Campers should note that fees for reservation cancellations, changes and no-shows will increase for nightly, group and seasonal bookings.

For the first time, there will be a significant discount of $5 per night in the spring season for electric, non-electric and economy sites.


Other changes coming in 2019:
  • Annual park entry permits will increase to $75, weekly permits will increase to $40 and three-day entry permits will no longer be available;
  • Nightly full service and electric sites will increase by $2;
  • Seasonal sites will increase to $2,600 (electric), $1,400 (non-electric) and $1,100 (economy); and
  • Daily entry and non-electric camping rates are not changing.
Nightly reservations for 2019 campsites will open at 7 a.m. from Monday, April 8 to Thursday, April 18, 2019.  Staggered launch dates and a queuing system will be implemented again in 2019 to help provide the best user experience possible during reservations.


The schedule for the nightly reservations is as follows:
  • Monday, April 8: Blackstrap and Pike Lake
  • Wednesday, April 10: Meadow Lake
  • Thursday, April 11: Saskatchewan Landing and The Battlefords
  • Friday, April 12: Buffalo Pound, Douglas and Danielson
  • Monday, April 15: Echo Valley, Rowan’s Ravine, Makwa Lake, Bronson Forest and Lac La Ronge
  • Tuesday, April 16: Cypress Hills
  • Wednesday, April 17: Duck Mountain, Good Spirit and Greenwater
  • Thursday, April 18: Moose Mountain, Crooked Lake, Great Blue Heron, Narrow Hills and Candle Lake
For additional details on fees, and seasonal and group campsite reservations, visit www.saskparks.com.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW

PLEASE NOTE:  OUR OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED: Monday December 24, 2018 – Monday January 1, 2019.  We will re-open on Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Saturday, December 22, 2018

What: School Break Short Films at the WDM
Time:  9:00 a.m.
Place:  Western Development Museum

What: A Christmas Long Ago
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Place: Western Development Museum
Learn about Christmas in Saskatchewan long ago and make an old fashioned craft.  Pre-registration is required.

Kinsmen Inclusion Centre Christmas for a Cause
Gift Wrapping Services
Thursdays from 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Saturdays from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
(306) 693-2271

UPCOMINGChristmas Eve (Monday, December 24) Church Services

Central Lutheran Church
St. Barnabas Traditional Anglican Church (that uses our building) is having
3:30 pm Matins of Christmas Day on the 24th
4:30 pm The Nativity of Our Lord with carols and lessons
7:00 p.m. Traditional candlelight communion service
11:30 pm Holy Communion midnight Candlelight Service

St. Joseph Catholic Church   7:00 pm and 10:00 pm
Church of Our Lady Catholic Church  7:00 pm
St. Aidan Anglican Church  7:00 pm and 11:00 pm
St. Andrew’s Church 8:00 pm
Minto United Church  7:00 pm
Zion United Church  7:00 pm
Church of God  4:00 pm and 6:00 pm
Emmanuel Lutheran Church  7:00 pm
First Free Methodist Church  6:00 pm
Hillcrest Apostolic Church 6:30 pm
Moose Jaw Alliance Church 6:30 pm
strong>Victory Church  7:00 pm

Christmas Day Services
St. Joseph Catholic Church  10:00 am
Church of Our Lady Catholic Church 10:00 a.m
 
December 25, 2018

What: The Christmas Inn Annual Christmas Dinner
Time:  Begins at 3:30 pm
Place:  St. Andrew’s Church

December 31, 2018

What: Winter Wagon Rides
Time: 3:00 – 7:00 pm
Place: Kiwanis River Pavilion, Wakamow Valley

Cost:  Free

What: Cosmo New Year’s Eve Dance with Al & Company
Time: 8:00 pm
Place: Cosmo Seniors’ Centre
Cost: $25 includes turkey lunch

January 18, 19 & 20, 2019

What: 100th Anniversary of WW1- Royal Canadian Legion ask Curling Bonspiel
Time: All Day
Place: MJ RCL- 268 High St. W.
Curling Ice: Mosaic Place
Cost:  Command Fees- $75/Team paid direct to Provincial Command (asap)
Entry Fee:  $300 per team

Moose Jaw Express December 19, 2018

newsprint

Merry Christmas

 Christmas is the most memorable time of the year for many of us. Somehow, memories of celebrating Christmas seem to remain stronger in our minds than other past events. Perhaps it is the deep family connections that are enriched at this time of year. Perhaps it is the anticipation and excitement we had as children waiting for the surprises of Christmas morning. My memories of Christmas span the years from childhood when farm chores had to be done before we made the drive to be with aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, to the excitement of our own children waking up on Christmas morning, to recent years with the squeals of delight of our grandchildren running through our home.

Christmas was first celebrated to remember Almighty God coming to us as Jesus, a tiny baby, born in poverty and sharing our humanity. Jesus showed us how much our Creator loved us, and taught us how to live and love. Christmas reminds us anew to care for others, and to celebrate goodness, love and peace.

Decorating our home to honour the birth of our Saviour is important to me every year. The nativity scene is the focal point of our outdoor decorations. As I start to decorate, I envision how beautiful the tall evergreens in front of our house will look decorated with lights. However, it gets more challenging every year because the trees are taller and I am a year older. Fortunately, I found a way to get the lights up safely again another year.

While busy schedules can take our focus off the task at hand, it is important that we take the time to follow safety measures. Fire safety is especially important. This December, the Ministry of Government Relations will post a holiday safety tip each day on the Government of Saskatchewan’s Facebook and Twitter accounts. I encourage you to take part in their 12 Days of Holiday Safety campaign. A fact sheet listing all 12 topics and their safety tips is also available online. The two minutes it takes to read and follow these important reminders can mean the difference between a happy memory, and a tragedy.

Christmas usually brings out the best in us, motivating us to be more considerate of others. The people of Moose Jaw, and indeed, all of Saskatchewan are generous and caring.  We will never know about most of the individual acts of generosity and kindness. I thank the generous citizens of Moose Jaw, and all the organizations and faith groups who put out a huge effort this time of year. I want to particularly acknowledge the Salvation Army, the Food Bank, the Toy Run, Riverside Mission and generous businesses who ensure that everyone in our community can have a special celebration.

Whatever our faith and cultural background, the message of love, generosity, hope and peace crosses all boundaries. My prayer is that love, generosity, hope and peace will fill your celebrations, bring back special memories, and create precious new memories. My wife, Debbie, and I wish you and your loved ones a blessed, safe and happy Christmas.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson December 14, 2018

December 14, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

The Rotunda of the Legislature
beautifully decorated to celebrate Christmas.

Government House Hosts Saskatchewan Wall Of Honour

The Saskatchewan Wall of Honour will be on display at Government House in Regina from December 10, 2018 to January 6, 2019.


The Wall of Honour depicts the stories and pays tribute to 15 Saskatchewan soldiers awarded the Victoria Cross, the Commonwealth’s highest award for valour in war time.  It was first unveiled during this year’s Day of Remembrance ceremonies at the Saskatchewan Legislative building, as part of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armistice marking the end of the First World War.


Of note is that one of these soldiers being honoured is Lt. Colonel D. V. Currie.  Lt Colonel Currie grew up in Moose Jaw, attending King George School, Central Collegiate, and Moose Jaw Technical School.  Currie was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions as a Major in command of a battle group of tanks during the WW II Battle of Normandy. He want on to become a Lieutenant Colonel.  The armoury in Moose Jaw is named in his honour. 

Creation of the Wall of Honour was a collaborative effort of the Provincial Capital Commission, the Royal United Services Institute of Regina, Canadian Military personnel and employees of the Ministry of Central Services.


The Wall of Honour will be put on permanent display in Room 218 at the Saskatchewan Legislative building following the exhibition at Government House.


Merry Christmas from Moose Jaw North Constituency Office

Toy Days at Canadian Tire
Thank you to Canadian Tire, 800 CHAB, Mix103.9 and all who donated to help make sure everyone in Moose Jaw could have a special Christmas.

Report On Intersection Review Released
A traffic engineering review into safety at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 is complete and the final report is now publicly available.


The purpose of the study was to review the geometric, collision, traffic and human factor characteristics of the intersection, identify any issues that could increase the risk of collisions at the intersection and recommend improvements that may reduce those risks.


The review was commissioned in the aftermath of the tragic accident involving the Humboldt Broncos this past April in which 16 people lost their lives and another 13 were injured.


Government’s standard practice is to conduct an internal traffic engineering review following any fatal collision on the provincial highway system.  Given the seriousness of this collision and the significant attention paid to it, the Ministry of Justice commissioned an independent consulting engineer to conduct the review.


The report made 13 recommendations to improve the overall safety of the intersection.  The Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure will implement all 13 recommendations, reconfirming the previous government commitment to implement all recommendations resulting from the review.


Since this issue is before the courts, the Government of Saskatchewan will not comment further on the report.


In order to inform the public of the report’s review and recommendations, the Government of Saskatchewan waives litigation privilege with respect to the report itself, but reserves all other claims of privilege.


Mosaic Place Ready for Christmas

Make Government House Part
of Your Family’s Christmas Tradition
The ninth annual Old-fashioned Victorian Christmas will be held at Government House, 4607 Dewdney Avenue, on Friday, December 14 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.  Everyone is welcome at this free family event that features an outdoor light display, a carol sing-along, craft-making and a very special appearance from the North Pole’s most famous resident.  Guests can partake in a Christmas-themed scavenger hunt through the Amédée Forget Museum and have a free family photo taken.


“Old-fashioned Victorian Christmas offers something for everyone,” Minister Responsible for the Provincial Capital Commission Ken Cheveldayoff said.  “From the opportunity to see Regina’s best holiday decorations, to partaking in fun family activities and a visit from Santa Claus himself, this event is not to be missed.”


Admission to Old-fashioned Victorian Christmas is free, but visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item for donation to the Regina Food Bank.  There are things to see and do both indoors and out, so remember to dress for the weather.  Government House hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year, and is open for tours Tuesday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information about Government House, please visit 
www.governmenthousesk.ca or follow on Facebook at 
www.facebook.com/governmenthouse

Dear Santa,
This year for Christmas I’d like
peace, joy and prosperity for everyone.

Report from the Legislature

Saskatchewan people are proud of our contributions to Canada.


It is frustrating, however, when provinces like Quebec say there is “no social acceptability” for oil from western Canada when, at the same time, there seems to be a lot of social acceptability for Equalization payments from western Canada.


Quebec is now receiving $13 billion in total Equalization, $1.4 billion more than last year, and 66% of the Equalization pool in Canada. Yet they oppose needed pipeline projects, which support our energy sector, and generate the wealth that helps fund the Equalization program Quebec depends on. It just doesn’t add up.


Equalization is a federal program funded by the taxes you pay through federal income tax and GST. Equalization is calculated based on a complicated formula that is supposed to reflect the relative strength of different provincial economies. So, the “have” provinces get nothing while the “have-not” provinces get billions of dollars.


The problem is, the formula is flawed and doesn’t really reflect what is going on in different provincial economies. For example, while the economies of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland were being hit by a downturn in the resource sector, they continue to get nothing while subsidizing other provinces whose economies are actually doing better.


In Saskatchewan, every man, woman and child contributes on average a little over $500 in federal taxes towards Equalization every year – money that is then handed out to other provinces. In total, Saskatchewan taxpayers pay about $600 million a year towards Equalization, subsidizing programs and services in other provinces. This has to change.


Earlier this year, your Saskatchewan Party government introduced a plan to fix Equalization by making it fairer for provinces that have been particularly hit hard by energy sector challenges. Unfortunately, the Trudeau government quietly renewed the program in its current form, which sees provinces like Quebec get increases to their take while provinces like ours get $0.  Not very equal, is it?


Saskatchewan is proposing a simple change that doesn’t require a complicated revision of the current Equalization formula. We call it the 50/50 formula. Under the 50/50 formula, half of the total Equalization pool would continue to be paid out under the current formula and the other half would be paid out on a per capita basis. This would ensure that every province would receive some money from Equalization while “have-not” provinces continue to receive more.


Under the 50/50 plan, Saskatchewan would still contribute to Equalization but would also receive about $300 million while Quebec would continue to receive about $8 billion a year. That seems more than fair.  The 50/50 plan is a simple, fair solution to fix Equalization and makes it just a little more equal for everyone.


On the jobs front, workers and businesses across Saskatchewan continued to exceed expectations in November. Saskatchewan’s year-over-year employment increased by 16,300 jobs according to Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey. This is the best rate of job growth in western Canada, the largest jobs increase since 2013, and marks the fourth consecutive month of strong job gains for the province.


While Saskatchewan’s economy is showing signs of strength and improvement, we are still facing challenges due to the threat of a damaging federal carbon tax, and a deeply discounted price for our oil caused by a lack of pipelines.


Your Saskatchewan Party government will continue to stand up for our province’s economy and resource sector to ensure further growth in order for Saskatchewan to remain the best place in the nation to invest, work, play and to raise a family.

The Louisiana Hayride Show Christmas Tour

This concert was great Christmas season entertainment.


THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU EMBARK ON YOUR NEXT VACATION
If you are planning a trip and thinking about purchasing travel insurance, the Financial and Consumer Affairs authority (FCAA) wants to make sure you understand coverage options as well as the exclusions and pre-existing condition clauses.
 Here are some tips to consider if purchasing travel insurance:
  •  Purchase the coverage you need – Make sure you know what types of coverage you want.  There are different coverage options available and not all of them may be suitable for your needs.  Carefully read the policy to understand what you are agreeing to.  If your vacation plans are for an extended period of time, make sure your coverage is sufficient for your entire trip.
  • Understand the exclusions and pre-existing conditions clauses – You are required to fill out an application when applying for coverage.  It is your obligation to provide the insurer with an accurate response to the questions.  If you have questions about the application, contact your insurance agent or insurer.  If you have questions about your medical history, contact your doctor.  If you fail to provide the health and medical information requested or provide inaccurate information, your future claim may be denied.
  • Read your policy – Even though insurance policies and documents may be lengthy and complex, make sure you take the time to read these documents so you know what type of coverage you have and what types of exclusions and limitations may apply.  If you have questions, ask the provider before you purchase the insurance.
  • Understand the claims process – Before you purchase insurance make sure you understand the claims process, what is required and who to contact.  Knowing the process before a situation arises can prevent unnecessary stress.
Has your claim been denied?
If your claim was denied by your insurance provider, call them and try to resolve the issue.  If you are still not satisfied with the response, contact the OmbudService for Life and Health Insurance at 
https://www.olhi.ca/ in the case of health claims, or the General Insurance OmbudService at https://www.giocanada.org/, in the case of property claims.


These organizations provide independent complaint resolution and information services for the insurance industry.  Time restrictions might apply, so make sure to ask the OmbudService about limitation periods.


For more information about travel insurance, visit 
http://fcaa.gov.sk.ca/consumers-investors-pension-plan-members/consumers/insurance-consumers/travel-insurance.  

The Children’s Joy Foundation of Canada
fundraising by caroling at local businesses

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW

Friday, December 14, 2018

What: Saskatoon Jazz-Orchestra Holiday Swing and Then Some
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Mae Wilson Theatre
Cost: Adults $30  Students $15

Saturday, December 15, 2018

What: A Christmas Long Ago- also playing Dec. 22
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Place: Western Development Museum
Learn about Christmas in Saskatchewan long ago and make an old fashioned craft.  Pre-registration is required. 

What: Warriors Home Game vs Regina Pats
Time: 7:00 pm
Place: Mosaic Place
Bring a Teddy Bear for the Teddy Bear Toss

What: Cosmo Social Dance with Len Gadica
Time:  8:00 pm
Place:  Cosmo Seniors’ Centre
Cost:  $14 includes lunch

 

Sunday, December 16, 2018
What: Tuxford Pancake Breakfast
Time:  10:00 to 11:00 am
Place: Tuxford Community Hall
Cost: Adults $7, Under 10 years $3, Pre-school free

What: Poor Nameless Boy Indie Folk Artist

Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Mae Wilson Theatre
Cost:  Adults $30  Seniors $25 Students $20

What:  MJ Peewee B Blackhawks Rib Night
Time:  5:00 – 8:00 pm
Place: Rock Creek Tap and Grill
Cost:  Ribs $20  Chicken Fingers $10

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

What: MJ Public Library Movie Night  “The Nightmare before Christmas”

Time: 7:30 pm
Place: Moose Jaw Public Library
Cost:  Free

Upcoming Events
December 1 to 22, 2018Kinsmen Inclusion Centre Christmas for a Cause
Gift Wrapping Services
Thursdays from 6:00 – 8:30 pm
Saturdays from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
(306) 693-2271
December 22, 2018What: A Christmas Long Ago
Time: 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Place: Western Development Museum
Learn about Christmas in Saskatchewan long ago and make an old fashioned craft.  Pre-registration is required.Christmas Eve Church Services
St. Joseph Catholic Church   7:00 pm and 10:00 pm
Church of Our Lady Catholic Church  7:00 pm
St. Aidan Anglican Church  7:00 pm and 11:00 pm
St. Andrew’s Church 8:00 pm
Minto United Church  7:00 pm
Zion United Church  7:00 pm

Church of God 
4:00 pm and 6:00 pm
Emmanuel Lutheran Church  7:00 pm
First Free Methodist Church  6:00 pm
Hillcrest Apostolic Church 6:30 pm
Moose Jaw Alliance Church 6:30 pm
Victory Church  7:00 pm

Christmas Day Service’s
St. Joseph Catholic Church  10:00 am
Church of Our Lady Catholic Church 10:00 am

December 25, 2018

What: The Christmas Inn Annual Christmas Dinner
Time:  Begins at 3:30 pm
Place:  St. Andrew’s Church

December 31, 2018

What: Winter Wagon Rides
Time: 3:00 – 7:00 pm
Place: Kiwanis River Pavilion, Wakamow Valley

Cost:  Free

What: Cosmo New Year’s Eve Dance with Al & Company
Time: 8:00 pm
Place: Cosmo Seniors’ Centre
Cost: $25 includes turkey lunch

Report from the Legislature December 13, 2018

Summer at the Legislative Building

Saskatchewan people are proud of our contributions to Canada.

It is frustrating, however, when provinces like Quebec say there is “no social acceptability” for oil from western Canada when, at the same time, there seems to be a lot of social acceptability for Equalization payments from western Canada.

Quebec is now receiving $13 billion in total Equalization, $1.4 billion more than last year, and 66% of the Equalization pool in Canada. Yet they oppose needed pipeline projects, which support our energy sector, and generate the wealth that helps fund the Equalization program Quebec depends on. It just doesn’t add up.

Equalization is a federal program funded by the taxes you pay through federal income tax and GST. Equalization is calculated based on a complicated formula that is supposed to reflect the relative strength of different provincial economies. So, the “have” provinces get nothing while the “have-not” provinces get billions of dollars.

The problem is, the formula is flawed and doesn’t really reflect what is going on in different provincial economies. For example, while the economies of Saskatchewan, Alberta and Newfoundland were being hit by a downturn in the resource sector, they continue to get nothing while subsidizing other provinces whose economies are actually doing better.

In Saskatchewan, every man, woman and child contributes on average a little over $500 in federal taxes towards Equalization every year – money that is then handed out to other provinces. In total, Saskatchewan taxpayers pay about $600 million a year towards Equalization, subsidizing programs and services in other provinces. This has to change.

Earlier this year, your Saskatchewan Party government introduced a plan to fix Equalization by making it fairer for provinces that have been particularly hit hard by energy sector challenges. Unfortunately, the Trudeau government quietly renewed the program in its current form, which sees provinces like Quebec get increases to their take while provinces like ours get $0.  Not very equal, is it?

Saskatchewan is proposing a simple change that doesn’t require a complicated revision of the current Equalization formula. We call it the 50/50 formula. Under the 50/50 formula, half of the total Equalization pool would continue to be paid out under the current formula and the other half would be paid out on a per capita basis. This would ensure that every province would receive some money from Equalization while “have-not” provinces continue to receive more.

Under the 50/50 plan, Saskatchewan would still contribute to Equalization but would also receive about $300 million while Quebec would continue to receive about $8 billion a year. That seems more than fair.  The 50/50 plan is a simple, fair solution to fix Equalization and makes it just a little more equal for everyone.

On the jobs front, workers and businesses across Saskatchewan continued to exceed expectations in November. Saskatchewan’s year-over-year employment increased by 16,300 jobs according to Statistics Canada’s latest Labour Force Survey. This is the best rate of job growth in western Canada, the largest jobs increase since 2013, and marks the fourth consecutive month of strong job gains for the province.  While Saskatchewan’s economy is showing signs of strength and improvement, we are still facing challenges due to the threat of a damaging federal carbon tax, and a deeply discounted price for our oil caused by a lack of pipelines.

Your Saskatchewan Party government will continue to stand up for our province’s economy and resource sector to ensure further growth in order for Saskatchewan to remain the best place in the nation to invest, work, play and to raise a family.