326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

From the Desk of Warren Michelson February 8, 2019

February 8, 2019 View this email in your browser


Municipal Revenue Sharing To Increase For 2019-20

Today, Premier Scott Moe announced that Saskatchewan municipalities will see an overall funding increase of more than $10 million for 2019-20, bringing the total amount to $251 million next fiscal year for the municipal revenue sharing program.  The announcement was made while Premier Moe addressed the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) at their Annual General Meeting.

The additional $10 million in 2019-20 represents a four per cent increase from the current fiscal year, following a review of the program and consultation with municipal stakeholders that began in 2018 and resulted in a new predictable, sustainable and transparent formula.

“Municipalities across Saskatchewan will continue to have a consistent source of unconditional provincial revenue to invest in their local priorities,” Moe said.  “The adjusted revenue sharing formula recognizes our current fiscal reality, evolves this key provincial program, and retains the fundamental qualities of predictability, sustainability and transparency.”

The municipal revenue sharing formula will now be based on three quarters of one point of the provincial sales tax (PST) revenue collected from the fiscal year two years prior to the current year.

“SUMA is pleased that today Premier Scott Moe announced municipal revenue sharing will increase to $251 million for 2019-20,” Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association President Gordon Barnhart said. “Through extensive consultation with the government, we believe the adjustments to this program will be a benefit to all of our members. We are also happy to see the continued commitment to stable and predictable funding, something that our municipalities appreciate and count on.”

“We appreciated the opportunity to provide input around revenue sharing consultations,” Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities President Ray Orb said.  “Having predictable funding on an annual basis only benefits our members when it comes to planning for the future.”

“New North is happy that the provincial government is increasing municipal revenue sharing this year,” New North Chair Bruce Fidler said. “Our members depend on this program for predictable funding, and we are pleased with the Premier’s announcement today.”

The program will also see $1.5 million from the total Municipal Revenue Sharing amount co-managed with municipal partners to invest in initiatives that support good governance, capacity building and regional planning.

“It just makes sense to cultivate potential innovative ideas that can help improve services at the local level that are so important to everyone’s quality of life,” Government Relations Minister Warren Kaeding said.  “I also want to thank the municipal sector for all of its perspectives and thoughtful contributions, which enhanced the review of the program.”

From 2007-08 to the current fiscal year, Saskatchewan municipalities overall have received more than $2.6 billion in provincial funding through the revenue sharing program.

More details will be available when the provincial budget is released.

Corrections And Policing Funds New Policing Tools Across The Province

The Ministry of Corrections and Policing is providing nearly $330,000 to Saskatchewan municipal police and community-based organizations (CBOs) for new policing tools and programming through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Program.  In accordance with legislation, approximately $280,000, an amount that matches what was provided to municipal police services, will also be deposited from the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund into the Victims’ Fund.

“Government is proud to be able to provide this funding to Saskatchewan’s municipal police forces so they can use it to buy the tools they need to keep our communities safe,” Corrections and Policing Minister Christine Tell said.  “The distribution to the Victims’ Fund will also continue to provide for important victims services in this province such as counselling, medical bills and the replacement of valuables.”

The funding will be used to provide for technology and programming such as:
  • an Avatar III robot, modular cameras and rifle scopes (Regina Police Service);
  • a robotic search stick, a vented drug processing cabinet and an ION scanner (Saskatoon Police Service);
  • lightweight body armor and helmets (Prince Albert Police Service);
  • off-road equipment (File Hills Police Service);
  • a youth cadet corps program (File Hills Board of Police Commissioners); and
  • other tools and programs further described in the backgrounder.
“Municipal police services greatly appreciate the financial support provided by government through the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund,” Chief of the Weyburn Police Service and President of the Saskatchewan Association of Chiefs of Police Marlo Pritchard said.  “These additional, unbudgeted funds allow Saskatchewan police services to acquire additional equipment, which assists in increasing the safety and security of the communities in which we serve.”

Saskatchewan’s Civil Forfeiture Program, through The Seizure of Criminal Property Act, 2009, seeks the forfeiture of property that is considered to be proceeds or an instrument of unlawful activity.  Any cash resulting from the forfeitures is deposited in the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund.

Under The Seizure of Criminal Property Act, 2009, when funding is disbursed to a police service, equivalent funding is deposited from the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund into the Victims’ Fund. This year of the approximately $330,000, nearly $50,000 will be distributed to CBOs and $280,000 will go to police services. This will result in a matching $280,000 to be deposited from the Criminal Property Forfeiture Fund into the Victims’ Fund.

In the spring of 2017, an addition was made to the regulations to allow money from the fund to go to community programs or activities designed to promote public safety.  This is in addition to the support the fund already provides to police operations and the Victims Fund.

February Public Offering Brings 2018-19 Total Revenue To $57.5 Million

Saskatchewan’s February public offering of Crown petroleum and natural gas rights held on Tuesday, which saw attention focused on the Kindersley area, raised a total of $10.2 million for the province.  

This was the sixth and final offering of the 2018-19 fiscal year, bringing the cumulative total to $57.5 million.  The 2018-19 budget forecast in the spring projected $63.9 million in bonus bids for the fiscal year.

Saskatchewan’s final 2018-19 average price per hectare was $596 (up from $316 per hectare in 2017-18), compared to an average of $282 per hectare for similar offerings in Alberta—illustrating the premium being placed by the market on the rights to develop Saskatchewan’s oil and gas resources.

“Saskatchewan’s positive investment climate is based on our accessible resources as well as the priority we place on our stakeholders,” Energy and Resources Minister Bronwyn Eyre said.  “We will continue to work closely with industry for ways to provide as much certainty as we can for investment.”

Two exploration licences in the Estevan area were purchased for a total of $906,166.54.  One licence, located northeast of Estevan, was purchased by BASM Land & Resources Ltd. for $845,777.45.  The other exploration licence, north of Gainsborough, was purchased by Burgess Creek Exploration Inc. for $60,389.09.

Five exploration licences located west of Kerrobert were purchased for $5,653,796.91.  Two exploration licences, northeast of Major, were purchased for $2,172,009.17 by Rockwell Resources Inc. and are prospective for oil in the Mannville Group.  One of these licences was purchased for $2,131,540.27 and was the highest bonus bid for a parcel in this public offering.  Three exploration licences, southwest of Major, were purchased by Millennium Land Ltd. for $3,481,787.74 and are prospective for oil in the Viking Formation.

The highest bonus bid for a lease was $816,771.02 for 258.715 hectares.  This parcel is located northeast of Marengo and was purchased by Millennium Land Ltd.  Two parcels consisting of 64.750 hectares each generated the top dollars per hectare in this public offering; located northeast of Stoughton, they were purchased by Synergy Land Services Ltd. for $3,204.32 per hectare and are prospective for oil in the Bakken Formation.

The scheduled date for the first offering of the 2019-20 fiscal year will be April 9, 2019.

Swift Current Helipad Saves Precious Time For Critically Ill and Injured

Residents in south-west Saskatchewan now have more rapid access to life-saving critical care with a new helipad certified for use, allowing the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS) to land at Cypress Regional Hospital in Swift Current.

“This helipad greatly enhances emergency services for people in rural and remote areas of south-west Saskatchewan,” Rural and Remote Health Minister Greg Ottenbreit said.  “Landing directly at the Cypress Regional Hospital saves valuable time for critically ill patients by eliminating the need for transporting them by road ambulance to the Swift Current airport, 10 kilometers away.” 

“Cypress Regional Hospital’s helipad is an example of what can be accomplished working together with patients, families and health care partners,” Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) CEO Scott Livingstone said.  “The new addition to the Cypress Regional Hospital not only enhances the care received by our patients but also helps physicians and staff in providing timely care to our most critical of patients.”

“It takes a community to save a life, and as the primary end user of this new helipad, we are grateful to all involved in its creation,” STARS Vice President of Operations Mike Lamacchia said.  “Helipads are an important part of helicopter EMS systems, and our crews are pleased at the efficiencies gained by their ability to now land directly at the Cypress Regional Hospital.

The Saskatchewan government provided $342,000 in funding for the new helipad.  Other certified helipads are located at Regina General, Saskatoon’s Royal University (temporary site), Moose Jaw’s Dr. F. W. Wigmore, Estevan’s St. Joseph’s and Lloydminster Hospitals.  A rooftop helipad is also being built at Royal University Hospital site as part of the construction of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital.

The Ministry of Health, SHA, STARS and communities will continue to work collaboratively to assess future helipad construction based on patient service needs. 

With the helicopter air medical program, Saskatchewan continues to enhance access to emergency medical services.  This service, along with the province’s fixed-wing air ambulance program and other emergency medical services, is an essential component of the total patient care system. 

Six Consecutive Months Of Job Growth In Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan’s year-over-year employment increased by 7,700 jobs from January 2018.  This marks the sixth consecutive month of strong job gains for the province.  The job gains were split between full-time and part-time increases, with full-time up 4,400 jobs and part-time up 3,200 jobs. Jobs in the private sector were up 16,200. 

“Saskatchewan has seen strong job growth for six consecutive months now,” Immigration and Career Training Minister Jeremy Harrison said.  “This is an encouraging trend to see in spite of the economic headwinds we have been faced with in recent months.  We will continue to work hard and stand up for our province to ensure this positive economic trend continues.”

The seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 5.5 per cent, down from 5.6 per cent a year ago and below the national average of 5.8 per cent.  Saskatchewan had the third lowest unemployment rate among the provinces.

Other January highlights include: 

  • Saskatchewan had record high labour force, employment, full-time employment, male and female employment for the month of January. 
  • Major year-over-year gains were reported for health care and social assistance up 4,300 jobs; agriculture up 3,500 jobs; educational services up 3,400 jobs. 
  • Youth employment up 1,800 jobs year-over-year.


Saturday, February 9, 2019

What: South Saskatchewan Wrestling Tournament
Time:  9:00 a.m. 
Place:  Peacock School 

What: Ice Fishing Tournament 
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Buffalo Pound Boat Launch
Cost: Tickets are $5 per kid and $15 for people aged 16 yrs old and older. Fishing license required for 16 +. BBQ lunch and fishing hole included.

What: Heritage Day
Time: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Place: Western Development Museum

What: Annual Valentine Tea hosted by Zion Sanctuary Choir
Time:  2:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Place: Zion United Church


FEBRUARY 14, 2019

West Park Crossing

Valentine’s Day Candlelight Dinner

6:00 p.m. – 5 course Candlelight Dinner

7:00 p.m. – Tribute to Elvis featuring Jamie Gass

$20 tickets RSVP by Feb 11th as space is limited

FEBRUARY 16, 2019

Stephan Palmer – New Album dedicated to the memory of his sweetheart “Lorraine Hill’.
7:00 p.m. 
MJ Museum/ Art Gallery
$15 at the door

Freedom to READ week

Feb 24- March 2

Coteau St. Library