326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

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Moose Jaw Express November 14, 2018

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Serving the Community

It is a tremendous honour to serve you as the Member for Moose Jaw North in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly.

Under the leadership of Premier Scott Moe, our government is standing up for Saskatchewan by working to protect and grow our economy, by carefully managing taxpayer dollars, and by delivering important programs and services to the people of Moose Jaw and Saskatchewan.  Our three-year plan to reduce the province’s dependence on resource revenues and return the budget to balance is on track.

After a $1.2 billion budget deficit in 2016-17, our government made difficult but necessary decisions to significantly reduce the deficit the following year. This past spring, we delivered the 2018-19 budget which kept our three-year plan on track, while also making important investments for Saskatchewan people.  During this session of the legislature, our government will deliver the 2019-20 budget – and it will be a balanced budget.

Moody’s recently reconfirmed a triple-A credit rating score for Saskatchewan, making our province one of only two Canadian provinces to achieve Moody’s highest credit rating.  Strong financial management provides a solid foundation for the province’s economy, and this year, Saskatchewan has seen clear signs of an improving economy.

Our population continues to grow, reaching 1,162,000 people – an increase of more than 11,000 in the past year and 160,000 in the past 11 years. During that time, Saskatchewan has enjoyed the second-fastest rate of job growth in the country, with 62,700 more people now working in our province. Saskatchewan is experiencing strong job growth in spite of trade and transportation challenges, world resource prices, and the threat of a federally-imposed carbon tax.  Statistics Canada figures show 2,500 new jobs last month, nearly 10,000 new jobs since last year, and the best job growth our province has seen in the past four years.  The population and number of jobs has grown because our economy has grown.

Saskatchewan’s gross domestic product increased by 22 per cent in a decade. During that time, public and private capital investment grew at five times the national rate. The Fraser Institute’s 2017 survey for mining investment ranked Saskatchewan second out of 91 jurisdictions in the world for mining investment attractiveness.

To encourage further growth, the new four-year Mineral Development Strategy announced this spring creates an incentive program to encourage mineral exploration and will increase the amount of geophysical data available. Our government will continue exploring ways to maintain and improve the competitiveness of our oil and gas industry. This will be done by expanding existing incentives and introducing new oil well drilling and petroleum incentives.

Technology and innovation play a critical role in growing Saskatchewan’s economy. This includes the new Saskatchewan Technology Startup Incentive, which is a non-refundable tax credit designed to encourage investment in early-stage technology companies.  Innovation Saskatchewan will also continue to invest in the technology incubator Co.Labs, which has helped more than 50 companies receive programming support and mentorship, resulting in more than $5 million in private investment for those companies.

A growing economy and strong financial management has allowed our government to make important investments that improve quality of life and make life more affordable for those living in Moose Jaw and all across Saskatchewan.

This includes the creation and enhancement of the Saskatchewan Low-Income Tax Credit, tripling the Seniors Income Plan benefit for low-income seniors and increasing personal, spousal and child tax exemptions to the point that 112,000 more people no longer pay any provincial income tax.

We will continue to stand up for Saskatchewan’s interests, for our economy and, and most importantly, for our people. I look forward to continue advancing these interests and advocating on your behalf.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson November 9, 2018

November 9, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

PLEASE NOTE:  OUR OFFICE WILL BE CLOSED ON MONDAY, NOVEMBER 12th  IN OBSERVANCE OF REMEMBRANCE DAY.

Province Honours Those Awarded The Victoria Cross
At The Service Of Remembrance

Premier Scott Moe, dignitaries, veterans and members of the Saskatchewan public service gathered in the rotunda of the Legislative Building to mark 100 years since the end of the First World War.  The service pays tribute to all the men and women who gave their lives serving Canada in conflicts around the world and to those who continue to serve our country today.


“One hundred years ago, Saskatchewan men and women sacrificed their lives to fight for peace and freedom in the First World War,” Moe said.  “It is through remembrance that their stories of bravery live on through us.  As we mark a century of remembrance, may we never forget those who have fallen.”

As part of the centennial services, a Wall of Honour recognizing Saskatchewan’s 15 recipients of the Victoria Cross was displayed at the service.  One of the first Victoria Cross recipients, George Mullin, returned from the Great War and went on to become the Legislature’s Sergeant-at-Arms in 1934.


The Wall of Honour will move to the Cumberland Gallery and be on display from November 8 to December 2, before becoming a permanent display in Room 218 of the Legislative Building.

There is an online commemoration of those from Saskatchewan who lost their lives in war.  The Saskatchewan Virtual War Memorial features more than 11,000 war casualties and their stories.  Find out more by visiting 
www.svwm.ca.  The website, managed by the Saskatchewan War Memorial Committee, accompanies the physical war memorial located west of the Legislative Building.

 


Thank You to the Bentley for helping all of us to remember. 

Province Announces
New Legion And Anavets Support Program

Today, Premier Scott Moe announced the creation of the new Legion and ANAVETS Support Program that will provide funding grants to Royal Canadian Legion branches and Army, Navy, Air Force Veterans (ANAVETS) units in Saskatchewan.  This grant program will assist with the important work of supporting veterans and keeping the memory of our fallen heroes.

“Past and present members of the Canadian Forces have taken it upon themselves to safeguard our freedoms and give back greatly to their communities,” Moe said.  “Now it’s our turn to support our veterans who have served and put everything on the line.  Today, our government is announcing a $100,000 Legion and ANAVETS Support Program that will provide funding grants to Legion branches and ANAVETS units across Saskatchewan.”


The $100,000 Legion and ANAVETS Support Program will be implemented as part of the 2019-20 budget and will offer support to Legion branches and ANAVETS units in their efforts to serve veterans and community members throughout Saskatchewan.


As not-for-profit member-based organizations, legions advocate for and serve veterans, active members of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP, and their families.  Their members provide vital services in their communities, free of charge.  Legions honour veterans and fallen heroes through various remembrance initiatives including Remembrance Day ceremonies and the Poppy Campaign.  Additionally, Canadian Legions act as one of the largest community volunteer groups nationwide.


In addition to providing fraternity for veterans, ANAVETS units in Canada are also mandated to maintain and operate clubs, museums, homes and meeting places for the benefit of veterans and Canada’s war history.


The provincial government will be working with the Legion and ANAVETS to determine where this funding will be most impactful, and release details on the application process in the coming months.



Saskatchewan Soldier Honoured Through Province’s Geomemorial Program

A beautiful coulee along Pipestone Creek, south of the Town of Whitewood, has been named after Lance Corporal Wilfred Jordens, a Saskatchewan son and brave fallen Canadian solider of the First World War.

“Through the GeoMemorial Commemorative Naming Program, the Government of Saskatchewan is pleased to announce the naming of Jordens Coulee,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Gene Makowsky said.  “Jordens Coulee will honour the legacy of Lance Corporal Wilfred Jordens, who left our province to serve and ultimately, sacrificed his life for our freedom.”

Jordens was born in Lebret on January 16, 1896.  He was farming near Whitewood when he enlisted in 1915.  He served with the 28th Battalion, Canadian Infantry – Saskatchewan Regiment and was killed in action on August 21, 1917 at the age of 21.  His body was never found and likely remains interred on the battlefield with more than 11,000 fallen Canadians, who along with Lance Corporal Wilfred Jordens are remembered with honour on the Vimy Memorial at Arras, Pas De Calais, France.


“We know that Wilfred Jordens will rest eternally in the soil of Europe alongside the other Canadians with whom he so gallantly fought,” nephew and nominator Thomas Jordens Sr. said.  “Through the GeoMemorial program, the official naming of this coulee enables the story of Wilfred’s service and sacrifice to live on in the area of Saskatchewan he called home.”


The GeoMemorial Commemorative Naming Program was established in 1947 and is designed to honour Saskatchewan military personnel, police officers, emergency responders and others killed while serving our country or province.  Since its inception, nearly 4,000 geographical features, such as lakes, hills, and valleys, have been named across Saskatchewan.


To learn more about the province’s GeoMemorial Commemorative Naming Program, including nomination instructions, visit 
www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/parks-recreation-heritage-and-arts/heritage/propose-a-new-geographic-place-name.


Moose Jaw Family And Habitat For Humanity Complete Home With Support From Governments Of Canada And Saskatchewan

The Government of Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan and Habitat for Humanity (Habitat) have partnered to help a Moose Jaw family realize their dream of homeownership.

Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, on behalf of Jean-Yves Duclos, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson, on behalf of Social Services Minister and Minister Responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC) Paul Merriman, made the announcement today.


“Our government is dedicated to working in partnership with organizations like Habitat to build the sort of safe, appropriate, affordable housing necessary for healthy, sustainable communities,” said Goodale.  “The investments in this new home will make a real difference for a hard-working Moose Jaw family, a place they can proudly call their own.”


“Our government is pleased to stand with our partners today to welcome a Moose Jaw family to their new home,” Michelson said.  “Having a safe, comfortable and affordable home is important for all Saskatchewan people and their communities.  This home marks an important step forward for this family and demonstrates our commitment to helping more families achieve strength, stability and self-reliance, beginning with a home to call their own.”

Crop Report For The Period October 30 To November 5, 2018

Warm and sunny weather in mid-to-late October allowed producers to return to the field and finish combining.  Harvest has all but wrapped up, as 99 per cent of the crop is now combined, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Final Crop Report of 2018.

Snow and rain in early November is delaying the harvest of the remaining crops such as flax and oats; however, producers hope to be back combining once the weather improves.  Aeration bins and grain dryers have been in continuous operation on many farms for well over a month.


Although harvest conditions were less than ideal for most of the fall, producers were able to pull off average to above-average crop quality overall.  Crops that came off prior to the rain and snow in September have been grading in the top two grades, while some crops that have recently come off have been downgraded due to weather-related factors such as sprouting, bleaching, staining and frost.  There have been limited reports of diseases such as fusarium head blight and ergot affecting crop production this year.


Crop yields vary greatly across the province, mainly due to the amount of moisture received throughout the season.  Overall provincial yields are about par with the 10-year average, although many areas are reporting higher-than-expected yields thanks to timely rain.  Yields in many southern and central areas were significantly affected by the hot and dry conditions this summer.  Average provincial yields at this time are being reported as 43 bushels per acre for hard red spring wheat, 38 bushels per acre for canola, 22 bushels per acre for soybeans, 35 bushels per acre for field peas, 61 bushels per acre for barley, 1,236 lb. per acre for lentils and 1,153 lb. per acre for chickpeas.

While topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions remain a concern in much of the province, they have drastically improved with the recent snow and rain.  Significant moisture will still be needed heading into winter to replenish what has been lost throughout the growing season.  Many producers have indicated that the subsoil is very dry and that growing conditions may be affected next year if conditions do not improve.  Heading into winter, topsoil moisture on cropland is rated as five per cent surplus, 64 per cent adequate, 24 per cent short and seven per cent very short.  Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 52 per cent adequate, 36 per cent short and 10 per cent very short.


Average hay yields on dry land are reported as 1.0 ton per acre (alfalfa and alfalfa/brome), 0.9 ton per acre (other tame hay), 0.7 ton per acre (wild hay) and 1.7 tons per acre (greenfeed).  Hay quality going into winter is rated as one per cent excellent, 85 per cent good, 13 per cent fair and one per cent poor.


At this time, most livestock producers have indicated that they will have adequate supplies of hay, straw, greenfeed and feed grain heading into winter; however, producers in drier areas of the province are reporting that they will have inadequate winter feed supplies and that shortages are likely if the winter season is extended.


With the drier-than-normal field conditions at fall seeding time, the number of acres seeded to winter cereals is below average in most areas; however, rain in September allowed the winter cereal crops to germinate and establish in many areas.  When time and weather permit, producers hope to continue with fall work such as working and cleaning up fields, picking rocks, hauling grain and bales, moving cattle and putting down fertilizer.


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


Follow the 2018 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKAgriculture.


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW

Saturday, November 10, 2018

What: Unity Float Spa Open House 
Time:  9:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m. 
Place:  49 High St. W.

Sunday,November 11, 2018

What: 100th Annual Remembrance Day Parade & Services   
Time:  10:30 a.m.
Place:  Mosaic Place

What: Army, Navy, and Airforce Veterans Club Open House
Time:  12:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. 
Place:  279 High St. W.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The office is CLOSED in observance of Remembrance Day.
 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Saturday, November 17,2018 

What: Festival of Trees
Time: 
5:00 cocktails, 6:00 dinner, 8:00 Grand Auction
Place: Heritage Inn

Report from the Legislature November 8, 2018

Summer at the Legislative Building

Saskatchewan is experiencing strong job growth in spite of trade and transportation challenges, world resource prices, and the threat of a federally-imposed carbon tax.  Statistics Canada figures show 2,500 new jobs last month, nearly 10,000 new jobs since last year, and the best job growth our province has seen in the past four years.

Your Saskatchewan Party government will keep standing up for Saskatchewan workers and jobs. We will promote our province and the goods produced and manufactured by our residents to new and existing trade markets in order to create more jobs and opportunity here at home.

Saskatchewan homeowners and businesses will see a reduction in their natural gas rates starting this month – the lowest offered to customers since 1999 – but the savings may be temporary if the federal government decides to force a carbon tax on SaskEnergy customers.  SaskEnergy has also applied to the Rate Review Panel for an even lower rate which would come into effect on April 1, 2019.  The total SaskEnergy rate reduction is designed to save customers about $80/year, while the federal carbon tax will see a $1/GJ increase April 1, 2019. This would increase an average residential natural gas bill by approximately 12 per cent or $100-$120 annually.  One of the largest commodity rate reductions in SaskEnergy’s 30-year history could be short-lived due to the Trudeau government’s plan to impose a fuel levy on every home, farm, and business served by natural gas. While SaskEnergy will pass along savings this winter, it could be forced into several years of large, uncalled-for increases due to the federal carbon tax.

As our constitutional court challenge of the federal carbon tax continues, we are repeating our call for the federal government to respect our legal challenge and forget about trying to force this costly, ineffective tax on the people of our province.  Our government is moving ahead with Prairie Resilience, the province’s climate change strategy. This will take action on emissions without a carbon tax on our families and job creators.  Bill 132, The Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Amendment Act, provides the regulatory framework for performance standards to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, a provincial technology fund, performance credits and offset credits.

These amendments are an important step in fulfilling our promise to reduce emissions and make Saskatchewan more resilient to the impacts of climate change. We already have an effective plan, and we are proceeding with industrial performance standards and compliance options in 2019 – especially with the federal government’s recognition of Prairie Resilience.  In addition to performance standards and compliance options, these amendments require large emitters to register with the province, provide for administrative efficiencies in governance of the technology fund, and enable associated regulations and standards. Stakeholders, including industry and associations, provided input into the regulatory framework and indicated support for the amendments throughout summer and fall 2018.

I am also proud to say that our government recently introduced Clare’s Law: the first provincial law in Canada that allows police to release information about someone’s violent or abusive past to intimate partners who may be at risk.  Police services will be able to proactively disclose information to people at risk through the “right to know” process and people who are concerned their partner may potentially have a violent past will be able to ask for information through the “right to ask” process.  We have seen too many cases of interpersonal, domestic and sexual violence in our province. If we are able to identify risk and inform those at risk, we hope to help protect people in Saskatchewan from violent and abusive behaviour by a partner.  Clare’s Law originates in the UK, and is named in honour of Clare Wood, whose father advocated for more disclosure by police after she was murdered by her partner and unaware of his violent past.  Clare’s Law stands alongside existing work with police services and organizations helping domestic violence survivors in our province.

Moose Jaw Express November 7, 2018

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100 Years of Remembrance

Remembrance Day is very significant this year, as we recognize 100 years since the end of the First World War and 100 years of services honouring those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. Remembrance Day was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth. It was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the armistice agreement that ended the First World War on Monday, November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m.— on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Moose Jaw’s involvement in World War I was significant. The 46th Battalion, recruited throughout Saskatchewan, was mobilized out of Moose Jaw to fight in France and Flanders. The First World War was brutal and bloody, with an extremely high casualty rate. The unit came to be known as “The Suicide Battalion”. The 46th Battalion lost 1,433 with 3,484 wounded – a casualty rate of 91.5 percent. Sergeant Hugh Cairns, a member of this battalion, was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross. The 46th Battalion was eventually incorporated into what is now the Saskatchewan Dragoons, headquartered in our D.V. Currie VC Armoury. The former Ross School was converted from an elementary school into a military hospital for returning injured soldiers during the War.

In Moose Jaw, the first Services of Remembrance began in 1919. Individual churches held their own services, followed by veterans parading to the Cross of Sacrifice in Crescent Park for a wreath laying ceremony. In 1959, a smaller replica of the Cross of Sacrifice was created, and the ceremony, coordinated by the Royal Canadian Legion, was held in the Civic Centre for the first time. I am very grateful to the Royal Canadian Legion for organizing the service every year since.

There will be a special World War I display outside the Legion lounge to commemorate the ending of World War I. It will include photos of military activity in Moose Jaw at the time, such as troops marching to the train station from the Armoury. Thank you to Sharon from the Legion office for passing on this information and setting up the display.

As individuals and as a government, it is important to recognize the invaluable contributions and

sacrifices our nation’s veterans have made protecting Canada. It is a debt we can never fully repay. In the recent Throne Speech it was announced that, as a small act to show our appreciation to these brave men and women, free fishing and hunting licenses will be offered to all Canadian veterans.

We will also make moving to Saskatchewan easier for military personnel and their families. Members of the military and their immediate family members will be eligible for an exemption for a first-time registered vehicle inspection for a vehicle brought to Saskatchewan from another jurisdiction.

Our current veterans, those who served, those who sacrificed their lives, and their families, gave so much for us. We can all be grateful and make an honest effort to honour and remember them in some way.  You can wear a poppy. Stop by the Legion to see the display. And I encourage everyone, especially on this 100th Anniversary, to attend our Remembrance Day Service at Mosaic Place on November 11th.  The public is encouraged to be seated by 10:30 for the service.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson November 2, 2018

November 2, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

 SITTING EVENING UNTIL 10:30 P.M. 

Home Care Individualized Funding In Saskatchewan Gets A $1.2 Million Boost

More Saskatchewan residents will now have access to Home Care Individualized Funding.  The province is investing an additional $1.2 million annually to expand the Individualized Funding option.  This will reduce wait lists and assist with creating capacity within the existing home care program.


“Individualized Funding allows home care clients more choice and flexibility,” Health Minister Jim Reiter said.  “The additional funding will give more people more choice for what best suits their individual needs.”


Home Care Individualized Funding provides funding directly to home care clients (or their caregivers) to arrange and manage their own supportive care services, including hiring their own staff and scheduling their staff when they want service.  The Home Care Individualized Funding option for Home Care currently serves 128 individuals across the province.


For more information, including eligibility and how to apply for Home Care Individualized Funding, visit 
https://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/health/accessing-health-care-services/care-at-home-and-outside-the-hospital/individualized-funding-for-home-care.


The funding for this investment is coming from the Canada-Saskatchewan Bilateral Funding Agreement.  Announced in January 2017, the federal government is providing Saskatchewan with close to $350 million over 10 years for targeted incremental investments in home and community care and mental health and addiction services.  Of the $348.8 million, an estimated $190 million will support improved home and community care services
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CELEBRATING THE GRAND RE-OPENING OF HIGH STREET

Report from the Legislature

Members of the Legislative Assembly just wrapped up debate on the 2018 Speech from the Throne. The Speech outlines our government’s commitment to stand up for Saskatchewan, and highlights our plan to balance the budget, grow the economy and invest in infrastructure, programs and services for the people of our province.


In the spirit of Halloween, Opposition members replied to the Throne Speech by disguising themselves as a “government-in-waiting” – and that’s pretty scary, isn’t it? The NDP used their time in the Assembly to speak in support of all sorts of spooky ideas that would kill jobs and put Saskatchewan’s economy on life support.


The NDP supports a carbon tax, higher business taxes, higher resource royalties, and opposition to pipelines. These policies kill jobs and yet they are the economic policies of the NDP and their new Leader, who now serves as their Economy Critic.


The NDP talk about being unafraid to Dream and Deliver. When they say this, what they really mean is dreaming up new ways to spend your money and delivering tax increases to pay for it all. This aligns with all the new spending their leader has dreamt up.


In addition to raising taxes, shutting down our resource sector, and killing jobs, the Opposition is proposing another $2.5 billion in new spending each and every year. If you ask me, Dream and Deliver sounds more like a nightmare.


With their reckless spending and job-killing policies, the NDP aren’t fooling anyone. They may have a different leader but their record of tax hikes, population decline and economic stagnation still haunts them to this day.


A recent trip to Toronto brought benefits back home.


While in Toronto, Premier Moe and Premier Ford discussed their shared commitment to reducing interprovincial trade barriers. The two premiers announced a Memorandum of Understanding to begin discussions on lowering interprovincial barriers.


Saskatchewan also met with the Canada-India Business Council ahead of an important trade mission to India later this month.


India is a significant trade and export destination for a number of Saskatchewan’s key industries. In 2017, Saskatchewan was Canada’s top exporter to India, and India represented Saskatchewan’s third largest export market with a significant trade relationship. Over the past decade we’ve grown our India market by 94 per cent to $1.1 billion exported last year.


Saskatchewan’s exports to India however have taken a direct hit since 2015, declining by 27 per cent. The Prime Minister’s recent trip to India was not successful in achieving the elimination of trade barriers on Saskatchewan pulse crops.


As part of a business delegation, Saskatchewan will work encourage investment and strengthen the relationship with this large trading partner.


Saskatchewan, as an export-driven province, produces many of the products in demand around the world in industries like agriculture, oil and gas, and mining.


Since 2007, Saskatchewan exports have grown by 46 per cent to $28.9 billion exported last year. In fact, Saskatchewan has the highest goods exported per capita of all Canadian provinces.


The largest trading market for our nation and this province is the United States. Our interconnected economies see millions of dollars of goods cross the borders daily, benefitting businesses and consumers, and supporting jobs.


While the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will ensure continued access to U.S. markets for Saskatchewan products, protectionist threats from the U.S. administration remain.


Our province continues to face the threat of tariffs on Saskatchewan softwood lumber and steel. This is in addition to the United States Department of Commerce’s spurious investigation of Saskatchewan uranium as a threat to U.S. national security, and possible tariffs that may arise from that investigation.


Our government will continue to work with Ottawa to support the Canadian economy and this critical trading relationship, while supporting our own customers and connections in the United States to preserve Saskatchewan’s relationship with our largest trading partner.


The Premier recently completed a trade mission to China. Unfortunately, Saskatchewan remains reliant on our federal government to negotiate international trade agreements, and Canada’s trade relationship with China has stalled as our country has not started formal free trade discussions as expected.


The Government of Canada has also not indicated a willingness to expand uranium exports to China – an initiative that would benefit northern Saskatchewan miners and workers.


Your Saskatchewan Party government will continue to stand up for Saskatchewan by standing up for the industries and jobs that provide a living for individuals and families across our great province. This means continuing to work with our partners and stakeholders at all levels in support of an even stronger, more diversified and globally-connected Saskatchewan.


SaskEnergy Rate Reduction To Lowest Level In 19 Years Could Be Wiped Out By Federal Carbon Tax

Starting November 1, 2018, Saskatchewan homeowners and businesses will see their natural gas rates reduced.  However, the savings may be only temporary if the federal carbon tax is imposed on SaskEnergy customers.

SaskEnergy’s commodity rate drops from $3.65/Gigajoule (GJ) to $2.95/Gigajoule (GJ) today, which is the lowest rate offered to customers since 1999.  SaskEnergy has applied to the Saskatchewan Rate Review Panel for an even lower rate of $2.65/GJ, which would come into effect on April 1, 2019.  The Government of Saskatchewan approved SaskEnergy’s request for an interim November 1 rate to allow customers to take advantage of lower rates during the peak winter heating season.


“One of the largest commodity rate reductions in SaskEnergy’s 30-year history could be short-lived, due to the Trudeau government’s plan to impose a fuel levy this spring on every home, farm, and business served by natural gas,” Minister responsible for SaskEnergy Bronwyn Eyre said.  “While SaskEnergy has been able to pass along savings this winter, the corporation could be forced into several years of large, uncalled-for increases due to the federal carbon tax.”


Eyre said the total SaskEnergy rate reduction is designed to save customers about $80/year, while the federal carbon tax will see a $1/GJ increase April 1, 2019.  This would increase an average residential natural gas bill by approximately 12 per cent or $100-$120 annually.


SaskEnergy’s rate application includes both the commodity rate reduction to $2.65/GJ, as well as a modest delivery service rate increase of 3.7 per cent, which will fund safety and system integrity programs.


SaskEnergy is currently analyzing the impact of the federal carbon tax on its internal operations to determine whether it will need to amend its delivery service rate application.
BETTER TOGETHER FOOD DRIVE for the Moose Jaw and District Food Bank


Over 54,000 LBS of food collected from our community to help those less fortunate during the winter months.  I am proud of our community and how everyone comes together to help others in need.  Good job Moose Jaw!

Provincial And Municipal Election Dates To Be Adjusted

Premier Scott Moe, Justice Minister Don Morgan and Government Relations Minister Warren Kaeding today announced that the 2020 provincial, municipal and school board election dates will be adjusted slightly to provide more separation between the two dates.

Under the existing election laws, the 2020 provincial election would have been held five days after municipal elections.  Those laws will be amended so the provincial election is held on October 26, 2020, with municipal and school board elections held two weeks later on November 9, 2020.  The updates to the legislation will outline that following 2020 on a four-year schedule, future provincial elections will be held on the last Monday in October and future municipal elections will occur on the second Wednesday in November, unless it falls on Remembrance Day.


“After consulting extensively with both rural and urban municipalities, it was clear they wanted to keep their elections in the fall of 2020,” Moe said.  “We believe we have reached a reasonable compromise that will allow local officials time to prepare for these changes.”


“Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) is pleased that voters in Saskatchewan’s hometowns will continue to head to the polls every four years to elect their municipal government,” SUMA President Gordon Barnhart said.  “Our hometown governments are the order of government closest to the people and established election dates promote accountability and transparency.”


“Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) is generally satisfied with the municipal election date being moved to November 9, 2020,” SARM President Ray Orb said.  “Our members did not want to postpone municipal elections by one year and although a date change was not our preferred option, the current option will allow time for our farmers to complete harvest and will not interfere with SARM’s Midterm Convention 2020.”


“We are pleased the dates have been chosen and we respect the Government of Saskatchewan’s authority to make this decision,” Saskatchewan School Boards Association President Dr. Shawn Davidson said.  “We believe that this change will be less challenging than other options that were considered and we look forward to ongoing partnership and collaboration.  Locally elected boards will continue to work hard to represent the families and communities that elect us.”


Moe noted that in 1991 and 2003, the municipal and provincial elections were held about two weeks apart.  He said the government decided to flip the order (putting the provincial election before the municipal election) because moving the provincial election back would make it difficult, if not impossible, to hold a legislative session before Christmas.


“Fall provincial elections make sense because they don’t disrupt the legislative calendar,” Moe said.  “The government can still introduce the Throne Speech in the fall and a budget at the usual time in the spring.”


Prior to the 2016 provincial election, the previous four elections had been held in the fall.  The 2016 election was in April, due to a fall 2015 federal election, which delayed the provincial budget until June.


Legislation Introduced To Support Prairie Resilience

Environment Minister Dustin Duncan introduced legislation in the Saskatchewan Legislature today that will facilitate key components of, and further advance, Prairie Resilience, the province’s climate change strategy.


Bill 132, The Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Amendment Act, provides the regulatory framework for performance standards to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, a provincial technology fund, performance credits and offset credits.


“These amendments are an important step in fulfilling our government’s promise to reduce emissions and make Saskatchewan more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” Duncan said.  “We already have an effective plan, and we are proceeding with industrial performance standards and compliance options in 2019 – especially with the federal government’s recognition of Prairie Resilience.”


In addition to performance standards and compliance options, these amendments require large emitters to register with the province, provide for administrative efficiencies in governance of the technology fund, and enable associated regulations and standards.  Stakeholders, including industry and associations, provided input into the regulatory framework and indicated support for the amendments throughout summer and fall 2018.


Prairie Resilience, the province’s made-in-Saskatchewan climate change strategy, is designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for changing conditions, and protect people and communities through resilience and readiness.  The strategy, available at 
www.saskatchewan.ca, proposes action in key areas including natural systems, physical infrastructure, economic sustainability and community preparedness.

  • Completing the new 284-bed state-of-the-art Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford to help those facing significant mental health needs;
  • Continuing to improve response times and enhance officer visibility in rural Saskatchewan through the Protection and Response Team;
  • Becoming the first province in Canada with Clare’s Law – legislation designed to provide a framework for police services to disclose information about someone’s violent or abusive past to intimate partners who may be at risk;
  • Expanding interpersonal violence leave to include sexual violence of any kind;
  • Amending The Saskatchewan Employment Act to create a new critically ill adult leave to allow family members of critically ill adults to take up to 15 weeks leave to care for their family member;
  • Expanding parental leave from 37 weeks to 63 weeks and adding an additional week of maternity leave;
  • Apologizing to Sixties Scoop survivors in our province who were impacted by historical government policies of child apprehension and adoption;
  • Introducing changes to improve commercial driver training;
  • Increasing funding to improve intersection safety throughout the province;
  • Safely regulating the sale and distribution of cannabis through a competitive private model;
  • Amending The Police Act to enable rural municipalities and municipalities with populations under 500 to join regional police services;
  • Making changes to The Seizure of Criminal Property Act to make it easier for property to be seized if it has been acquired through unlawful activities;
  • Introducing legislation on trespassing laws to better address the balance between members of the public and the rights of rural landowners; and
  • Offering free hunting and fishing licenses to Canadian military veterans.
Our Throne Speech outlines our commitment to growing our economy and delivering important programs and services for the people of the province. While we face many challenges, Saskatchewan people are determined, resilient, resourceful and tenacious. Our government will always reflect those qualities as it stands up for our province and works to build a stronger Saskatchewan.
MIGRATING BIRDS

Strongest Job Growth In Saskatchewan In Four Years

Statistics Canada reported today that in October Saskatchewan’s year-over-year employment increased by 9,400 jobs.  This is the largest gain in jobs for the province since October 2014.

Full-time employment increased by 5,700 jobs and part-time employment increased by 3,700 jobs compared to a year ago.  On a monthly basis, seasonally adjusted employment increased by 2,500 jobs from September 2018.

“These job numbers are unequivocally positive news for our provincial economy,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  “Saskatchewan job creators are showing confidence in our province in spite of the headwinds our economy faces in the areas of transportation, trade and the threat of a federally imposed carbon tax.  We will continue to promote our province and the goods produced and manufactured by our residents to new and existing trade markets in order to create jobs and opportunity for Saskatchewan people right here at home.”


October’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.2 per cent, down from 6.4 per cent in September.


Other October highlights include:

  • Major year-over-year gains were reported for educational services up 5,900 jobs; health care and social assistance up 4,700 jobs; agriculture up 3,000 jobs.
  • Female employment up 5,400 jobs (+2.1 per cent) and male employment up 3,900 jobs (+1.3 per cent).
  • Solid job growth in the private sector with 11,800 more jobs from a year ago (+3.6 per cent). 

New Resource Coming To Saskatchewan Classrooms

In celebration of the 10-year anniversary of the Treaty resource kit, a new Treaty resource is being rolled out for Kindergarten to Grade 9 classrooms across the province.  The new teacher resource builds upon the success of the original Treaty resource kit and was created in collaboration with the Office of the Treaty Commissioner, First Nations Elders and educators.

“We are proud that our government was the first province to make Treaty education mandatory for all students,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said.  “We are happy to be able to work with our wonderful partners to provide these resources to teachers who are supporting our students.”


“Our Inherent and Treaty rights are who we are as First Nations, our relationship with the lands and waters is vital to our First Nations,” Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations Chief Bobby Cameron said.  “We must remind all those of Treaty through every educational opportunity possible.”


The new Kindergarten to Grade 9 Treaty Education Learning Resource is easy to use and includes suggestions for integrating Treaty education into a range of subject areas at each grade.  It provides sample learning activities and links to related resources and ensures First Nations and Métis content, perspectives and ways of knowing continue to be a priority within Saskatchewan classrooms.

“Creating this resource supports all students in learning the true story of Canada’s history with Indigenous Peoples and shares the important perspectives that surround the making of the Treaties,” Treaty Commissioner Mary Culbertson said.  “We are proud to have worked with our First Nations Elders and educators with the assistance of the Ministry of Education to make these additional Treaty resources a reality for use in the classroom.  This resource supports reconciliation and while others may be slow to the call, our team is moving forward.  We have a lot of work to do and we look forward to more work with this ministry on ensuring education in our classrooms will be meaningfully enhanced.”


The release of the supplemental Treaty resource supports the Ministry of Education’s overarching vision of ensuring equitable outcomes and improved student achievement for our First Nations and Métis students.


This vision is supported by the ministry’s policy called Inspiring Success: First Nations and Métis PreK-12 Education Policy Framework.  Inspiring Success has also recently been renewed by the Ministry of Education and educational stakeholders, including First Nations and Métis organizations.  The policy, that was initiated in 2009, acts as an overarching framework that guides the development of First Nations and Métis education plans provincially and at the school division level.


A gathering was held this fall to celebrate more than two years of collaboration and the contributions of more than a dozen organizations, individuals and Elders who participated in the renewal of this overarching policy that guides the development of curriculum and resources for classrooms, including Treaty resources, across the province.


The Kindergarten to Grade 9 Treaty Education Learning Resource is available in both official languages by visiting the K-9 Treaty Education Learning Resource link on the Saskatchewan curriculum website.  Inspiring Success can also be viewed online at 
http://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/education-and-learning/first-nations-and-metis-education.


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW
Friday, November 2, 2018What: Fair Trade Festival
Time:  9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Place: Central Lutheran Church
Saturday, November 3, 2018What: Trinkets and Treasures Craft & Trade Show

Time:  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Place:  Sunningdale School Gym
What: Fair Trade Festival
Time:  9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Place:  Central Lutheran Church

What: World Christmas Market 
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Place:  St. Andrew’s Church

What: Wakamow Valley Christmas Craft and Bake Sale

Time:  10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Place: 
Sportsman Centre
Cost:   $3
What:  Hope Summit
Time:   1:00 p.m. 
Place:   MJ Library Theatre

Tickets are $20 and must be bought before the event. Available at
* Rainbow Retro Thrift Shop
* Jones Funeral Home
* or by contacting 
della.ferguson@hopesummit.caWhat: Western Development Museum “In Remembrance”
Presentation by Author, Mark Cote, on his book “That Lucky Old Son”

Time:  2:00 p.m.
Place:  Western Development Museum
Cost:  Regular Admission

Sunday,November 4, 2018

What: Mortlach Fall Supper
Time:  4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Place:  Mortlach Hall
Cost:  $15 for adults, $8 for children  Preschoolers Free.  Family ticket $45
Tickets sold at the door.

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Sunday,November 11, 2018

What: 100th Annual Remembrance Day Parade & Services   
Time:  10:30 a.m.
Place:  Mosaic Place

Saturday, November 17,2018 

What: Festival of Trees
Time: 
5:00 cocktails, 6:00 dinner, 8:00 Grand Auction
Place: Heritage Inn

Report from the Legislature November 1, 2018

Summer at the Legislative Building

Members of the Legislative Assembly just wrapped up debate on the 2018 Speech from the Throne. The Speech outlines our government’s commitment to stand up for Saskatchewan, and highlights our plan to balance the budget, grow the economy and invest in infrastructure, programs and services for the people of our province.

In the spirit of Halloween, Opposition members replied to the Throne Speech by disguising themselves as a “government-in-waiting” – and that’s pretty scary, isn’t it? The NDP used their time in the Assembly to speak in support of all sorts of spooky ideas that would kill jobs and put Saskatchewan’s economy on life support.

The NDP supports a carbon tax, higher business taxes, higher resource royalties, and opposition to pipelines. These policies kill jobs and yet they are the economic policies of the NDP and their new Leader, who now serves as their Economy Critic.

The NDP talk about being unafraid to Dream and Deliver. When they say this, what they really mean is dreaming up new ways to spend your money and delivering tax increases to pay for it all. This aligns with all the new spending their leader has dreamt up.

In addition to raising taxes, shutting down our resource sector, and killing jobs, the Opposition is proposing another $2.5 billion in new spending each and every year. If you ask me, Dream and Deliver sounds more like a nightmare.

With their reckless spending and job-killing policies, the NDP aren’t fooling anyone. They may have a different leader but their record of tax hikes, population decline and economic stagnation still haunts them to this day.

A recent trip to Toronto brought benefits back home.  While in Toronto, Premier Moe and Premier Ford discussed their shared commitment to reducing interprovincial trade barriers. The two premiers announced a Memorandum of Understanding to begin discussions on lowering interprovincial barriers.

Saskatchewan also met with the Canada-India Business Council ahead of an important trade mission to India later this month.  India is a significant trade and export destination for a number of Saskatchewan’s key industries. In 2017, Saskatchewan was Canada’s top exporter to India, and India represented Saskatchewan’s third largest export market with a significant trade relationship. Over the past decade we’ve grown our India market by 94 per cent to $1.1 billion exported last year.

Saskatchewan’s exports to India however have taken a direct hit since 2015, declining by 27 per cent. The Prime Minister’s recent trip to India was not successful in achieving the elimination of trade barriers on Saskatchewan pulse crops.  As part of a business delegation, Saskatchewan will work encourage investment and strengthen the relationship with this large trading partner.

Saskatchewan, as an export-driven province, produces many of the products in demand around the world in industries like agriculture, oil and gas, and mining.  Since 2007, Saskatchewan exports have grown by 46 per cent to $28.9 billion exported last year. In fact, Saskatchewan has the highest goods exported per capita of all Canadian provinces.

The largest trading market for our nation and this province is the United States. Our interconnected economies see millions of dollars of goods cross the borders daily, benefitting businesses and consumers, and supporting jobs.  While the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will ensure continued access to U.S. markets for Saskatchewan products, protectionist threats from the U.S. administration remain.

Our province continues to face the threat of tariffs on Saskatchewan softwood lumber and steel. This is in addition to the United States Department of Commerce’s spurious investigation of Saskatchewan uranium as a threat to U.S. national security, and possible tariffs that may arise from that investigation.

Our government will continue to work with Ottawa to support the Canadian economy and this critical trading relationship, while supporting our own customers and connections in the United States to preserve Saskatchewan’s relationship with our largest trading partner.

The Premier recently completed a trade mission to China. Unfortunately, Saskatchewan remains reliant on our federal government to negotiate international trade agreements, and Canada’s trade relationship with China has stalled as our country has not started formal free trade discussions as expected.  The Government of Canada has also not indicated a willingness to expand uranium exports to China – an initiative that would benefit northern Saskatchewan miners and workers.

Your Saskatchewan Party government will continue to stand up for Saskatchewan by standing up for the industries and jobs that provide a living for individuals and families across our great province. This means continuing to work with our partners and stakeholders at all levels in support of an even stronger, more diversified and globally-connected Saskatchewan.

Moose Jaw Express October 31, 2018

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Standing up for Saskatchewan

Standing up for Saskatchewan is the commitment made in the Throne Speech to open the Fall Sitting of the Legislature. Last Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor W. Thomas Molloy delivered the speech which referenced both growth and challenges in our province. I was pleased that several Moose Jaw North constituents were able to attend the ceremony.

Our economy and our provincial finances are showing signs of improvement. However, many challenges remain, coming from international jurisdictions, and even from our own federal government. The Saskatchewan Party government will continue to meet these challenges by working to protect and grow our economy, and by carefully managing taxpayers’ dollars while delivering important programs and services needed by the people of our province.

We will stand up for Saskatchewan against the carbon tax that Prime Minister Trudeau is imposing on us. We will reduce our environmental impact with our Prairie Resilience Strategy. We will stand up for our people and our province. We will stand up against higher costs for families to get to work and to heat their homes. We will stand up against higher costs for municipalities, schools and hospitals. We will move ahead with the constitutional reference case to challenge the federal government’s ability to impose a carbon tax on our province. We will continue to stand up for our industries.

Safety, health and education, important to everyone in our province, were all addressed in the Throne Speech. There will be increased funding to improve highway intersection safety throughout the province. Changes will be made to improve commercial driver training. By the spring, cellular service in 50 rural communities will be improved as part of a plan to increase 4G LTE coverage in 100 Saskatchewan communities. We will introduce legislation on trespassing laws to better address the balance between members of the public and the rights of rural land owners.

The Throne Speech reaffirmed our commitment to reduce emergency room wait times. Improving access to mental health services continues, as crisis teams pairing a police officer with a mental health professional will be fully operational this winter here in Moose Jaw, as well as in North Battleford and Prince Albert.

Our education system must continually adapt to prepare our students for a fast-changing workforce and personal life. New curricula will be piloted in 2019 to improve students’ understanding and skills in financial literacy. Opportunities in coding and robotics will be incorporated into middle years and high school classrooms to help prepare our students for careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

Lieutenant Governor Molloy reflected in the Throne Speech that “strength is built as challenges are faced head on”. Locally, our businesses on High Street faced a significant challenge for several months in 2017 and 2018. In facing the challenge, these businesses and the Moose Jaw Chamber of Commerce have banded together to celebrate the re-opening of High Street with a BBQ Party, this Saturday, October 27, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There will be free food, music, and entertainment for the kids. Please come down and join the fun. I hope to see you there.

From the Desk of Warren Michelson October 26, 2018

October 18, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

The Snowbirds Year End Show with Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada in attendance. 

Premier Moe’s First Throne Speech Outlines Government’s Commitments To Stand Up For Saskatchewan

The new session of the Legislature opened today with a Throne Speech focusing on the government’s commitment to stand up for Saskatchewan people.


“While our economy and the province’s finances are showing signs of improvement, we are still facing challenges due to the threat of a damaging federal carbon tax, continued sanctions from the United States on our steel and uranium industries, and a deeply discounted price for our oil caused by a lack of pipelines,” Premier Scott Moe said.  “This Throne Speech outlines our commitment to stand up for Saskatchewan by growing our economy and continuing to deliver important programs and services for the people of the province.”


The Throne Speech outlined the government’s plan to:

  • Deliver a balanced budget for 2019-20;
  • Stand up for Saskatchewan communities, families and businesses by challenging the ineffective and harmful federal carbon tax in court;
  • Implement the Prairie Resilience Climate Change Strategy and introduce legislation to establish intensity-based performance standards for large emitters;
  • Complete the new 284 bed, state-of-the-art Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford to help those facing significant mental health needs;
  • Continue to improve response times and enhance officer visibility in rural Saskatchewan through the Protection and Response Team (PRT), which has seen conservation officers and highway patrol officers assist with more than 1,300 PRT-related actions since April;
  • Become the first province in Canada with Clare’s Law – legislation designed to provide a framework for police services to disclose information about someone’s violent or abusive past to intimate partners who may be at risk;
  • Expand interpersonal violence leave to include sexual violence of any kind;
  • Amend The Saskatchewan Employment Act to create a new critically ill adult leave to allow family members of critically ill adults to take up to 15 weeks leave to care for their family member;
  • Expand parental leave from 37 weeks to 63 weeks and add an additional week of maternity leave;
  • Apologize to Sixties Scoop survivors in our province who were impacted by historical government policies of child apprehension and adoption;
  • Introduce changes to improve commercial driver training;
  • Increase funding to improve intersection safety throughout the province;
  • Improve cellular service in 50 rural communities by the spring as part of a plan to increase 4G LTE coverage in 100 Saskatchewan communities;
  • Safely regulate the sale and distribution of cannabis through a competitive private model;
  • Amend The Police Act to enable rural municipalities and municipalities with populations under 500 to join regional police services;
  • Make changes to The Seizure of Criminal Property Act to make it easier for property to be seized if it has been acquired through unlawful activities;
  • Introduce legislation on trespassing laws to better address the balance between members of the public and the rights of rural land owners; and
  • Offer free hunting and fishing licenses to Canadian military veterans.
Moe also announced that he will lead a Saskatchewan business delegation on a trade mission to India in November, following on his recent trade mission to China.


“I look forward to this next session where our government will advance new initiatives and legislation, while standing firm on the issues that matter to this province,” Moe said.


Moe also thanked Lieutenant Governor W. Thomas Molloy for delivering his first Throne Speech as Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant Governor.

Announcing Moose Jaw as Host of 2020 Scotties Tournament of Champions

Resby Coutts – Curling Canada’s Board of Governors

Kevin Dedelley – 2020 Scotties Organizing committee

Greg Lawrence – MLA MJ Wakamow

Jim Puffalt – MJ City Manager

Dawn Luhning – MJ City Councilor

Gene Makowsky – Minister Culture & Sport

Warren Michelson – MLA MJ North

Star-Orion South Diamond Mine Receives Environmental Assessment Approval

Environment Minister Dustin Duncan announced approval for the Star-Orion South Diamond Mine Project under The Environmental Assessment Act.  The Star Diamond Corporation can now proceed with the next steps of the project, which will be located approximately 65 kilometres east of Prince Albert in the Fort à la Corne Forest.

“The Star-Orion South Diamond Mine is a major development with the potential to bring jobs to the area and diversify Saskatchewan’s economy,” Duncan said.  “The Government of Saskatchewan has an obligation to ensure that developments undergo comprehensive assessment and proceed with appropriate environmental safeguards in place.  I am confident this project has met these requirements and the conditions of approval will mitigate environmental and community impacts.”


The diamond mine is expected to employ 700 people during full operation.  When developed, the mine will contribute to the local and provincial economies through taxes, royalties and business opportunities.


The Ministry of Environment oversees Saskatchewan’s environmental assessment process, which includes a comprehensive cross-government review, as well as a public review period.  The environmental assessment process focuses on the potential environmental impacts of a project and relies on professional and unbiased expertise to help reach objective and science-based conclusions.  The public participation process provides the general public the opportunity to prepare and submit meaningful input so all views on a project are considered before a final decision is made.


The ministry conducted a thorough environmental assessment for the Star Diamond Mine project, including a detailed environmental impact statement, and carried out in-depth consultation prior to the decision to approve the project.  This includes fulfilling the province’s duty to consult responsibility.  The environmental assessment included a technical review by government experts as well as an extended 60-day public review period.


The Government of Saskatchewan consulted with local First Nations and Métis communities and has developed accommodations that will address potential adverse impacts to Treaty rights and traditional uses.  These accommodations are part of 11 conditions of the project approval requiring Star Diamond to incorporate mitigation measures over the life of the project to address environmental and community impacts.


These include:
  • preparing a fish habitat compensation plan and monitoring the quality of the air, surface water and groundwater for the life of the project;
  • involving James Smith Cree Nation in environmental monitoring programs for the project;
  • providing funding to James Smith Cree Nation to support community participation in a stewardship committee, a community harvest support program and community cultural programs;
  • providing funding for moose and elk population surveys;
  • entering into an agreement to provide training, jobs and business opportunities for James Smith Cree Nation and other local communities; and
  • preparing an access management plan for the Fort à la Corne Forest to facilitate use and/or protection of preferred areas for carrying out Treaty and Aboriginal rights and traditional uses.
In addition, unique to this project, a conservation area is being set aside elsewhere in the Fort á la Corne Forest to provide continued opportunity for the exercise of Treaty and Aboriginal rights.


Prior to proceeding with the project, Star Diamond will be required to obtain further provincial and municipal permits and approvals.  These include a surface lease, an environmental protection plan, an aquatic habitat protection permit, a water rights licence and provincial highway access permits.


A copy of the Star-Orion South Diamond Mine Project decision can be found at 
www.publications.gov.sk.ca/deplist.cfm?d=66&c=4428.


Further information on the environmental assessment process can be found at 
www.saskatchewan.ca/environmentalassessment.
WEST PARK CROSSING VISIT


Often I like to set aside some time to visit our local retirement/ senior homes in Moose Jaw North.  I enjoy engaging in intelligent conversations with the residents and discuss their views on our province and our community.  I thank the kind staff who help coordinate our visits and often join us for a cup of coffee and conversation.

NEW OVERPASSES IN MARTENSVILLE AND WARMAN OPEN AHEAD OF SCHEDULE

The Government of Saskatchewan announced the overpass project at Martensville and Warman will open to traffic this fall, nearly one year ahead of schedule.


“Martensville and Warman are two of Saskatchewan’s fastest-growing communities and we are thrilled to see the opening of these overpasses to traffic,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Lori Carr said.  “This project will get families to work and home safely by improving traffic flow.”


The opening of the overpasses allows drivers to safely travel over the highway on a bridge, and also provides safer access onto the highway in both directions.


Finishing touches will be completed during the next construction season and will include lighting, signage and landscaping.


The Highway 11 project near Warman comprises construction of a new two-lane overpass for Highway 305, on and off ramps, and about 5 km of new four-lane divided highway as well as improvements to the rail crossing and safety upgrades at the Highway 11 and Ferry Road/Central Street intersection.


It also includes construction of about 3 km of new four-lane divided roadway for Highway 12 at Martensville and the new two-lane overpass for Township Road 384 with on and off ramps, which are open to traffic.  Further improvements include the reconfiguration of the Centennial Drive and Main Street intersection, and a new Highway 12 exit ramp and signalized intersection at Centennial Drive and Fourth Street.

The Government of Canada is contributing up to 50 per cent of eligible costs through the Provincial-Territorial Infrastructure Component – National and Regional Projects, and the Government of Saskatchewan will be responsible for all remaining costs of the project.


“I’m thrilled that the Martensville and Warman Overpass project is on track to be completed so far ahead of schedule,” said Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.  “Easing traffic congestion and improving safety along Canada’s major trade routes is a priority for our government.  We’re proud to have funded these important improvements to Highway 11 and 12, which will help bring new economic opportunities to the region.”


The $60.6 million project in Martensville and Warman is being overseen by Peter Kiewit Sons ULC.


During the remainder of construction, motorists are reminded to obey signs, be alert and slow down when slower speeds are posted in the work zone.


The Government of Saskatchewan has invested $8.4 billion in highways and infrastructure since 2008, improving more than 13,000 kilometres of provincial highways.

YMCA AGM
Approximately 200 people showed up for the AGM. Some took the opportunity to voice their concern and ideas, others just listened.

Report from the Legislature


The new session of the legislature opened this week with a Throne Speech focused on our government’s commitment to stand up for Saskatchewan people. This includes our plans to implement our Prairie Resilience Climate Change strategy, improve cellular coverage in rural communities, and deliver a balanced budget for 2019-20.


While our economy and the province’s finances are showing signs of improvement, we are still facing challenges due to the threat of a damaging federal carbon tax, continued sanctions from the United States on our steel and uranium industries, and a deeply discounted price for our oil caused by a lack of pipelines.


The day before our Throne Speech, politicians from Ottawa made headlines with a new plan to hit Saskatchewan with a carbon tax. This scheme is a shell game where we would all be forced to pay more for basic necessities like fuel, heat and power.


Promising a new rebate for families to offset all of these increasing costs, The Trudeau Liberals are now desperately trying to convince us that we will actually be better off by paying more to gas up our vehicles, heat our homes and keep the lights on.


Most of us here in Saskatchewan have to drive a lot for work, and for our kids. We also have to heat our homes on some very cold days. The Trudeau carbon tax means that all of these things are going to cost a lot more – and those are just the direct costs.


Hockey rinks, rec centres, school divisions, and municipalities are all going to be paying a lot of carbon tax and, at the end of the day, that cost is going to get passed along to us.


Our agriculture sector will be hit hard as well, despite the federal government claiming otherwise. Producers will still pay on inputs such as road and rail transport, as well as natural gas and propane consumption in shops, barns and grain dryers.


Saskatchewan people won’t be fooled. The new Trudeau carbon tax plan is a cynical attempt to buy your vote with your money.


Saskatchewan people know the Trudeau carbon tax is not good environmental or economic policy. An analysis from the University of Regina earlier this year estimated the federal carbon tax would hurt Saskatchewan’s economy by almost $16 billion, with little effect on emissions.


Our government has a plan for the environment and reducing emissions – our Prairie Resilience strategy – which has been accepted by the federal government. The feds, however, are still choosing to put this punishing tax on Saskatchewan.


Prairie Resilience will apply new performance standards for Saskatchewan industry heavy-emitters and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector, while SaskPower continues to increase our renewable-energy generation.


We do not believe a carbon tax will be effective in tackling climate change. It will hurt Saskatchewan’s economy and it will hurt Saskatchewan families’ finances.


We will stand up for Saskatchewan people, fight the carbon tax, and this new federal Liberal vote-buying scheme.


Our constitutional court challenge continues and we are repeating our call for the federal government to respect our legal challenge and hold off imposing the carbon tax in Saskatchewan at least until the courts have decided.


In addition to standing up for Saskatchewan communities, families and businesses by challenging the Trudeau carbon tax in court, we will be advancing a number of new initiatives and legislation during the fall sitting. This includes:
  • Completing the new 284-bed state-of-the-art Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford to help those facing significant mental health needs;
  • Continuing to improve response times and enhance officer visibility in rural Saskatchewan through the Protection and Response Team;
  • Becoming the first province in Canada with Clare’s Law – legislation designed to provide a framework for police services to disclose information about someone’s violent or abusive past to intimate partners who may be at risk;
  • Expanding interpersonal violence leave to include sexual violence of any kind;
  • Amending The Saskatchewan Employment Act to create a new critically ill adult leave to allow family members of critically ill adults to take up to 15 weeks leave to care for their family member;
  • Expanding parental leave from 37 weeks to 63 weeks and adding an additional week of maternity leave;
  • Apologizing to Sixties Scoop survivors in our province who were impacted by historical government policies of child apprehension and adoption;
  • Introducing changes to improve commercial driver training;
  • Increasing funding to improve intersection safety throughout the province;
  • Safely regulating the sale and distribution of cannabis through a competitive private model;
  • Amending The Police Act to enable rural municipalities and municipalities with populations under 500 to join regional police services;
  • Making changes to The Seizure of Criminal Property Act to make it easier for property to be seized if it has been acquired through unlawful activities;
  • Introducing legislation on trespassing laws to better address the balance between members of the public and the rights of rural landowners; and
  • Offering free hunting and fishing licenses to Canadian military veterans.
Our Throne Speech outlines our commitment to growing our economy and delivering important programs and services for the people of the province. While we face many challenges, Saskatchewan people are determined, resilient, resourceful and tenacious. Our government will always reflect those qualities as it stands up for our province and works to build a stronger Saskatchewan.

Travel Spending Drops $2.1 Million In 2017-18

The Government of Saskatchewan managed expenses carefully in 2017-18, reducing spending on ministry travel by $2.1 million, or 5.6 per cent, compared to the previous year.  The reduction is included in detailed information in Volume 2 of Public Accounts, released today.


Total travel expense among ministries was $35.0 million last year, compared to $37.1 million in 2016-17.  Ministers’ travel costs, were $265,000, a decrease of $46,000 or 14.8 per cent from the previous year.  Ministers’ travel expense is down 73 per cent from 2006-07.


“Our Public Accounts show that our financial outlook is strengthening,” Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said.  “We’re managing spending closely, while continuing to invest in priorities for Saskatchewan people.”


Communications costs across government have been managed closely and were $6.7 million in 2017-18, up $39,000 or 0.6 per cent from the previous year, still the second lowest communications expense total in the past 12 years and down $9.1 million or 58 per cent compared to 2006-07.


“A summary deficit of $303 million is in our books for 2017-18, which is a $393 million improvement over the deficit projected in the budget,” Harpauer said.  “While there is still work to do, our government’s plan to return to balance by 2019-20 remains on track.”

Public Accounts Volume 2 provides details of ministry expense and revenue for the 2017-18 fiscal year.  To view Volume 2, visit http://www.publications.gov.sk.ca/deplist.cfm?d=15&c=5826.

Volume 1 of the 2017-18 Public Accounts, which reports on the Summary Financial Statements, was released on July 19, 2018.

Crop Report For The Period October 16 To October 22, 2018

After multiple weeks of delay, many producers were able to return to the field and complete harvest.  Thanks to warm and dry weather last week, producers now have 92 per cent of the 2018 crop harvested, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s Weekly Crop Report. This is up from 82 per cent last week, but slightly behind the five-year (2013-17) average of 94 per cent for this time of year.

While many producers have wrapped up harvest or expect to in the coming days, the rest will need at least another week or more of warm and dry weather.


Harvest is most advanced in the southwestern region, where 97 per cent of the crop is now combined.  The southeastern and northeastern regions have 95 per cent combined, the west-central region 90 per cent and the east-central region 89 per cent.  The northwest has made tremendous progress this past week and now has 82 per cent combined.


Ninety-six per cent of barley and mustard, 94 per cent of durum, 92 per cent of spring wheat, 90 per cent of canola, 80 per cent of flax and 73 per cent of soybeans have now been combined.  Crops continue to come off tough in many areas and are being placed in dryers when available.


Little to no rainfall was reported across the province.  Topsoil moisture conditions are relatively unchanged over the last few weeks.  Cropland topsoil moisture is rated as two per cent surplus, 65 per cent adequate, 28 per cent short and five per cent very short.  Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 56 per cent adequate, 35 per cent short and eight per cent very short.


The majority of crop damage this past week was due to lodging, bleaching and sprouting.  Geese and other wildlife continue to feed on swathed crops, while some standing crops have shelled out.  Producers are completing fall work such as putting down fertilizer, working fields, fixing fences and hauling bales.

This is the last weekly Crop Report for the season.  There will be a final Crop Report released on November 8, 2018, to capture any additional harvest progress and to summarize the crop year.


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


Follow the 2018 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKAgriculture.


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW
Friday, October 26, 2018What: Whistletop Christmas Craft Sale
Time:  2:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. 
Place:  MJ Exhibition Convention Centre
Cost:  $5

What: TGIF Beer & Pizza Curling League
Time:  7:00 p.m.
Place: 
MJ Ford Curling Centre
Cost:   $245

Saturday, October 27, 2018

What: Whistletop Christmas Craft Sale
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Place:  MJ Exhibition Convention Centre

What: High St. Grand Re-Opening
Time:  11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m
Place:  High St. from 2nd Ave NW – 9th Ave NW
Free BBQ and Entertainment at 432 High St. W.
Ribbon Cutting at 12:00 p.m.

What: Ghostly Games
Time: 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. 
Place: Western Development Museum
Cost:  Regular Admission
What: “Spooktacular” Legion Potluck Supper and Halloween Party
Time:  6:00 p.m.
Place:  Royal Canadian Legion Lounge
           Everyone Welcome

What: South Central ECIP Halloween Bash
Time:  8:00 p.m.
Place:  Masonic Temple
Cost:  $25 in Advance  (306) 692-2616, $30 at the door

Sunday, October 28, 2018

What: St. Joseph Parish Fall Supper
Time:  4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Place: St. Joseph’s Church Hall
Cost:  $15 for adults, $8 for children, Preschoolers free.
Tickets available at the parish office, or contact Cody at publicity@gmail.com

What: Run Ride or Walk for Rwanda ending with a Bake Sale and Hot
Chocolate

Time:  3:00 p.m.
Place: 
Victory Church Plaza

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

Monday, October 29, 2018

What: Scraps “A Scaredy Cat Halloween” Fundraiser
Time:  4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Place:  Pizza Hut
Cost:  $22 for adults, $10 for children  Call DDK Pets or (306) 684-9048

Thursday, November 1, 2018

What: Celebrating 100 Years of Remembrance in Moose Jaw, Dinner and
Movie 
An Evening with Canadian Military Veterans
Time:  5:30 p.m.
Place:  Redpath Lounge  474 Hochelaga St. W.
Cost:  $20  Call Roy at (306) 631-0737

November 1, 2  and 3, 2018

What: Fair Trade Festival
Time:  9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Place: Central Lutheran Church

Saturday,November 3, 2018

What: St. Andrew’s Church Christmas Market Trade Fair
Time:  10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Place:  St. Andrew’s Church

What: Western Development Museum “In Remembrance”
Presentation by Author, Mark Cote, on his book “That Lucky Old Son”

Time:  2:00 p.m.
Place:  Western Development Museum
Cost:  Regular Admission

Sunday,November 4, 2018

What: Mortlach Fall Supper
Time:  4:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Place:  Mortlach Hall
Cost:  $15 for adults, $8 for children  Preschoolers Free.  Family ticket $45


Tickets sold at the door.

Report from the Legislature October 25, 2018

Summer at the Legislative Building

The new session of the legislature opened this week with a Throne Speech focused on our government’s commitment to stand up for Saskatchewan people. This includes our plans to implement our Prairie Resilience Climate Change strategy, improve cellular coverage in rural communities, and deliver a balanced budget for 2019-20.

While our economy and the province’s finances are showing signs of improvement, we are still facing challenges due to the threat of a damaging federal carbon tax, continued sanctions from the United States on our steel and uranium industries, and a deeply discounted price for our oil caused by a lack of pipelines.

The day before our Throne Speech, politicians from Ottawa made headlines with a new plan to hit Saskatchewan with a carbon tax. This scheme is a shell game where we would all be forced to pay more for basic necessities like fuel, heat and power.

Promising a new rebate for families to offset all of these increasing costs, The Trudeau Liberals are now desperately trying to convince us that we will actually be better off by paying more to gas up our vehicles, heat our homes and keep the lights on.

Most of us here in Saskatchewan have to drive a lot for work, and for our kids. We also have to heat our homes on some very cold days. The Trudeau carbon tax means that all of these things are going to cost a lot more – and those are just the direct costs.

Hockey rinks, rec centres, school divisions, and municipalities are all going to be paying a lot of carbon tax and, at the end of the day, that cost is going to get passed along to us.

Our agriculture sector will be hit hard as well, despite the federal government claiming otherwise. Producers will still pay on inputs such as road and rail transport, as well as natural gas and propane consumption in shops, barns and grain dryers.

Saskatchewan people won’t be fooled. The new Trudeau carbon tax plan is a cynical attempt to buy your vote with your money.

Saskatchewan people know the Trudeau carbon tax is not good environmental or economic policy. An analysis from the University of Regina earlier this year estimated the federal carbon tax would hurt Saskatchewan’s economy by almost $16 billion, with little effect on emissions.

Our government has a plan for the environment and reducing emissions – our Prairie Resilience strategy – which has been accepted by the federal government. The feds, however, are still choosing to put this punishing tax on Saskatchewan.

Prairie Resilience will apply new performance standards for Saskatchewan industry heavy-emitters and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the oil and gas sector, while SaskPower continues to increase our renewable-energy generation.

We do not believe a carbon tax will be effective in tackling climate change. It will hurt Saskatchewan’s economy and it will hurt Saskatchewan families’ finances.

We will stand up for Saskatchewan people, fight the carbon tax, and this new federal Liberal vote-buying scheme.

Our constitutional court challenge continues and we are repeating our call for the federal government to respect our legal challenge and hold off imposing the carbon tax in Saskatchewan at least until the courts have decided.

In addition to standing up for Saskatchewan communities, families and businesses by challenging the Trudeau carbon tax in court, we will be advancing a number of new initiatives and legislation during the fall sitting. This includes:

  • Completing the new 284-bed state-of-the-art Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford to help those facing significant mental health needs;
  • Continuing to improve response times and enhance officer visibility in rural Saskatchewan through the Protection and Response Team;
  • Becoming the first province in Canada with Clare’s Law – legislation designed to provide a framework for police services to disclose information about someone’s violent or abusive past to intimate partners who may be at risk;
  • Expanding interpersonal violence leave to include sexual violence of any kind;
  • Amending The Saskatchewan Employment Act to create a new critically ill adult leave to allow family members of critically ill adults to take up to 15 weeks leave to care for their family member;
  • Expanding parental leave from 37 weeks to 63 weeks and adding an additional week of maternity leave;
  • Apologizing to Sixties Scoop survivors in our province who were impacted by historical government policies of child apprehension and adoption;
  • Introducing changes to improve commercial driver training;
  • Increasing funding to improve intersection safety throughout the province;
  • Safely regulating the sale and distribution of cannabis through a competitive private model;
  • Amending The Police Act to enable rural municipalities and municipalities with populations under 500 to join regional police services;
  • Making changes to The Seizure of Criminal Property Act to make it easier for property to be seized if it has been acquired through unlawful activities;
  • Introducing legislation on trespassing laws to better address the balance between members of the public and the rights of rural landowners; and
  • Offering free hunting and fishing licenses to Canadian military veterans.

Our Throne Speech outlines our commitment to growing our economy and delivering important programs and services for the people of the province. While we face many challenges, Saskatchewan people are determined, resilient, resourceful and tenacious. Our government will always reflect those qualities as it stands up for our province and works to build a stronger Saskatchewan.

Moose Jaw Express October 24, 2018

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Small Businesses Make a Big Impact

 The Government of Saskatchewan recognized the positive impact of small businesses to the province during the Business Development Bank of Canada Small Business Week. The week in October is set aside every year to celebrate entrepreneurship across Canada.

The impact of small businesses is quite incredible. In 2017, small businesses in Saskatchewan employed 31.2 per cent of the province’s workforce, paying $6.3 billion in wages and salaries and accounting for 25.6 per cent of total payroll. They also contributed almost a third of the province’s gross domestic product at 27 per cent.

Saskatchewan has Canada’s second highest rate of small businesses—about 130 for every 1,000 people, compared to about 111 nationally. These organizations, which have fewer than 50 employees, made up 99 per cent of all businesses in the province in 2017.

The Moose Jaw Chamber of Commerce has over 500 small businesses in their membership. This goes to show that small businesses contribute in a big way to our local economy.

We want to see this kind of success continue to grow. The Government of Saskatchewan has invested in initiatives, services and programs that support small businesses in the province.

Some of these include:

  • The Saskatchewan Commercial Innovation Incentive, the first “patent box” style incentive of its kind in North America;
  • The Saskatchewan Technology Start-Up Incentive, which offers a 45 per cent non-refundable tax credit for individual and corporate equity investments in eligible technology start-up businesses;
  • The Product2Market: Value Added incentive which helps support small-and-medium-sized agri-businesses, from product development through to marketing activities;
  • The Canada-Saskatchewan Job Grant, an employer-driven program which helps employers train new or existing workers to meet their specific workforce needs;
  • A small business income tax rate, at two per cent, for Canadian-controlled private corporations. The rate applies to the first $600,000 of business income and is among the lowest in the country;
  • A highly competitive tax structure which includes tax credits for research and development, as well as for manufacturing and processing equipment expenditures;
  • The proclamation of the Regulatory Modernization and Accountability Act in 2013, to remove red tape that could be a road block to business, and to remove some of the barriers to growth.

Small business owners are encouraged to access the supports that apply to them. There is useful information online at Saskatchewan.ca.

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business and the Fraser Institute consistently rank Saskatchewan near the top of the nation for its business environment. In spite of the downturn in the resource sector, Saskatchewan’s business-friendly policies have generally been reflected in a growing small business sector. Nationally, the largest increase in average weekly earnings for small businesses between 2006 and 2016 occurred in Saskatchewan.

Small business owners are a hard-working and innovative group. Their determination and enterprising spirit built our province, and continues to keep Saskatchewan growing stronger. We salute our valuable Saskatchewan small businesses for investing, employing and growing our economy, making Saskatchewan a great place to live, work and raise our families.