326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

From the Desk of Warren Michelson July 27, 2018

July 27, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

PLEASE NOTE:  Our office will be close Friday August 3 – Monday August 6.  We will re-open on Tuesday August 7.

SASKATCHEWAN ECONOMIC SUMMIT

I represented Saskatchewan at an Economic Summit held last week. The delegates included business leaders, company owners, elected officials, and economic administrators from a variety of sectors throughout the western provinces and north western states.  

The summit exchanged ideas of common interest in both countries including; energy, transportation, trade, carbon policies, tourism, infrastructure resilience, health innovation, mining, livestock, security and environment.  It was an exceptional event with delegates from both sides of the boarder sharing common concerns and a keen willingness to work toward the economic betterment of the entire region. 

I appreciated the friendly and cooperative attitude of our neighboring provinces and leaders from the United States who are dedicated to Canada / USA trade without limitations.  This was unique in the face of the uncertainty and rhetoric of what has become common in the leadership status we hear on the daily news. 

Summer Literacy Camps Teach a Life-long Love of Reading in Students

Summer literacy camps are well underway for more than 1,200 students across the province.  These camps encourage students to continue reading over the summer months while having fun and interactive learning experiences.
“These camps instill a life-long love of reading in children with a focus on First Nations and Métis students,” Deputy Premier and Minister of Education Gordon Wyant said.  “The camps maintain and enhance the literacy skills students learned during the school year and help prepare them for classes in the fall.”
The camps are meant to be culturally relevant and have visits from parents and Elders to lead activities and support a community-based approach to learning.  At the end of the camp, students are encouraged to further develop their literacy skills by taking home the books they read to continue building a love of reading.
“Literacy camps are an integral part of our communities.  They provide free books and fun for campers in communities where there are often few alternatives; in addition to this the camps create employment for community members,” Saskatchewan Summer Literacy Camp Facilitator for the Northern Lights School Division Robert Dolan said.  “Literacy Camps also prevent summer reading loss, which supports the Education Sector Strategic Plan outcome of 80 per cent of students reading at or above grade level by 2020.”
The camps offer First Nations content and have presentations with Elders.  At least 65 First Nations content books were purchased for each location.
“I like the books, and the games; I like everything!” Camp participant Etienne Divinagracia said.
There are 20 camps for students aged five to 15 throughout July and August across the province.  Northern Lights School Division hosts 14 of the 20 camps.  The other camps are run by Prince Albert Roman Catholic, Saskatchewan Rivers, Creighton, Ile-à-la Crosse, Light of Christ, Living Sky, Northern Lights and Prairie Valley school divisions.
The Government of Saskatchewan is providing $500,000 to run these camps for a total investment of more than $4.5 million over the past nine years the camps have been running.  The ministry also provided $45,000 to Frontier College to support summer literacy camps delivered on Ahtahkakoop and Beardy’s and Okemasis Cree Nations.


REPORT FROM THE LEGISLATURE


One of the reasons we pursue economic growth is so we can help support families and those most vulnerable in our communities. One of the ways our government is working to do this is through individualized funding for children under the age of six with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).


The Autism Individualized Funding program is designed to provide parents with funding for therapeutic interventions and family supports that make the most sense for their needs. This year, $2.8 million has been allocated to provide $4,000 per child with ASD under the age of six.


In addition to autism services that will continue to be provided in the public system, it is estimated that approximately 700 children will be eligible for individualized funding this year. An application form and eligible services list have been posted at 
www.saskatchewan.ca/autism. Families who have applied and meet the program criteria will begin receiving funding in August 2018.


The Autism Individualized Funding program supports the 10-year Saskatchewan Disability Strategy and its vision of making Saskatchewan a more welcoming, inclusive, and accessible province for people who experience disabilities. The program also supports Saskatchewan’s Early Years Plan and its goal of finding better ways to support children experiencing disabilities.


After experiencing a $1.3 billion drop in resource revenues, getting the province’s finances back on track was key to ensuring the services our people expect are sustainable for generations to come. I am pleased to say our plan to get to a balanced budget by next year is on track as finances are continuing to improve. In fact, last year’s deficit improved by nearly $400 million.


There are encouraging signs in our economy with Stats Canada figures showing Saskatchewan recently had the highest month-to-month job increase in six years. At the same time, manufacturing shipments in Saskatchewan are seeing the highest year-over-year growth out of all the provinces.


We need to do what we can to ensure our province’s job creators can keep producing what the world needs, despite competitive challenges our nation faces like a forced federal carbon tax, limited market access for our manufactured goods, and a US tax and regulatory advantage.


Market access, trade between provinces and Canadian competitiveness were among the priorities discussed as Canada’s Premiers gathered for meetings recently. It was there where our province gained a strong ally in Ontario as we stand against the Trudeau carbon tax in court.


We understand that taxing our families, jobs, and businesses is the wrong way to tackle what is a global climate challenge. The federal government’s “one size fits all” approach to climate action is deeply out of touch with what provinces want. In our province, we have a made-in-Saskatchewan climate plan that will actually reduce emissions – and does so without a carbon tax.


We don’t need taxes that drive opportunities for businesses out of Canada. As more and more Canadians realize that, we are seeing provinces like Ontario and Prince Edward Island join Saskatchewan in standing up for their citizens and saying no to an ineffective tax from Ottawa.

Stats Canada Numbers Show Strong Tourism Growth in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan’s tourism sector made significant gains in 2017.

Visits to and within the province by Canadians increased by 9.4 per cent from 2016, placing Saskatchewan well ahead of Canada’s overall growth rate of 2.1 per cent.  Visitor expenditures showed even higher growth, with a jump of 10.4 per cent. Canadian visitors, including Saskatchewan residents travelling within the province, spent $1.88 billion in 2017.

“We are delighted by the growth in the province’s tourism sector in the domestic market,” Minister Responsible for Tourism Saskatchewan Gene Makowsky said.  “Saskatchewan has an abundance of attractions and beautiful natural scenery, and it is good to see visitors from Canada discovering what we in Saskatchewan have always known.”

       

To further increase engagement and drive visitation to the province, Tourism Saskatchewan has introduced new technologies and online capabilities over the last year. Engagement on Tourism Saskatchewan’s consumer website has grown significantly between 2017 and 2018, with a 99.5 per cent increase in page views and average time spent on the site up by 85 per cent.

“Tourism Saskatchewan made a shift to focus on digital marketing strategies in recent years, and this move is paying dividends in visitor engagement and spending,” Tourism Saskatchewan CEO Mary Taylor-Ash said.  “It is gratifying to see that visitors are coming to the province in ever-greater numbers to enjoy our diverse and unique tourism experiences.”

Improvements to the consumer website, TourismSaskatchewan.com, include a new interactive map, advanced search capability, re-categorized and revised tourism operator listings, and a new approach to vacation offerings.  Further enhancements to the website will be introduced in the coming months.


Review Your Pension Investments

The Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) wants to remind people who contribute to a defined contribution (DC) pension plan to review their pension investments.
In a DC plan, employees typically decide how their money is invested, so it’s important to stay informed and make suitable investment choices.
“Be comfortable with your investment decisions and the level of risk involved,” Director of FCAA’s Pensions Division Leah Fichter said.  “Choose the investment strategy that is best for you, since retirement income is impacted by how well your investments perform.”
Pension Investment Tips:

1. Review your pension investments periodically.  Your pension statement will let you know which funds your money is invested in and how well they are doing through investment earnings.
2. Make sure they are the right fit for you.  Make sure you are comfortable with your pension investments.  Many plans offer a selection of funds, so it’s important to know your options.  Consider the length of time to your retirement to choose the most suitable investment option for you.  Some plans have funds which automatically adjust investments to safer investments as you age; this option might be ideal for some people.


3. Talk to your pension plan administrator. If you are unsure and have questions, contact your plan administrator who will help you find the resources you need.
For more pension information, visit:
www.fcaa.gov.sk.ca/consumers-investors-pension-plan-members/pension-plan-members.


Crop Report for the Period July 17 to July 23, 2018

Crops continue to develop quickly in the province, according to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s weekly Crop Report.
Many pulse and winter cereal fields in drier areas are rapidly drying down and producers have begun desiccation in some areas.  Some producers expect harvest to get underway in the next few weeks.  The majority of crops remain in fair to excellent condition, depending on moisture received over the past few weeks.
Some areas received rainfall last week that will replenish the topsoil moisture and help crops fill.  Rainfall in the province ranged from nothing to 71 mm in the Craik area.  Many southern and central areas remain very dry, and are in need of significant rain to help later-seeded crops fill heads and pods.
Topsoil moisture conditions remain relatively unchanged from last week.  Provincial topsoil moisture conditions on cropland are rated as two per cent surplus, 51 per cent adequate, 35 per cent short and 12 per cent very short.  Hay land and pasture topsoil moisture is rated as one per cent surplus, 44 per cent adequate, 36 per cent short and 19 per cent very short.
Livestock producers are continuing to hay, and 63 per cent of the hay crop has now been baled or put into silage.  An additional 19 per cent is cut and ready for baling.  Hay quality at this time is rated as four per cent excellent, 65 per cent good, 25 per cent fair and six per cent poor.  Hay yields are significantly lower than normal for many producers and hay will be in short supply this year in some areas.  Most producers have indicated that there will not be a second cut of hay this year.
The majority of crop damage this past week is attributed to hot temperatures, strong wind, hail, localized flooding and lack of rain.  There have been some reports of grasshoppers in some areas as well as diseases such as root rot and leaf spots.  Producers continue to scout for pests and prepare equipment for harvest.
A complete, printable version of the Crop Report is available online –http://www.saskatchewan.ca/crop-report.
Follow the 2018 Crop Report on Twitter at @SKAgriculture.


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW
Saturday, July 28, 2018

What: 1st Annual Riverhurst Bean Festival
Time:  8:00 A.M. 
Place:  Riverhurst Community Hall and Riverhurst Arena, Main St.

What: BRICKSPO

Time:  11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Place:  Western Development Museum

What: 2018 Mankota Show & Shine / Village Birthday
Time:  11:00 a.m.  
Place:  Makota’s 90th Birthday, 101 SK-18, Mankota, SK

What: Ruhbarb-SUNSHINE SKETCHES OF A LITTLE TOWN –
the musical

Time:  2:00 p.m.  
Place:  Mae Wilson Theatre

What: RuBarb presents MARY POPPINS
Time:  7:30 p.m. 
Place:  Mae Wilson Theatre

Sunday, July 29, 2018

What: BRICKSPO

Time:  9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. 
Place: Western Development Museum

What: Splash ‘n Dash 2k or 5k Walk or Run

Time:  10:00 a.m. 
Place:  Crescent Park, Langdon Crescent

Registration individuals is $50
5 and under free (donations accepted)
6 to 17 – $15
Individuals – $50
Teams of 6 or more – $20/person
We also encourage Individuals and teams to collect pledges in lieu of registration – $100 minimum (more info: visit Discover Moose Jaw Local Events)

What: RuBarb presents MARY POPPINS

Time:  2:00 p.m. 
Place:  Mae Wilson Theatre

What: Millers vs Melville

Time:  7:00 p.m. 
Place:  Ross Wells Park

 

UPCOMING EVENTS:

 

Yoga in the Park

Every Monday @ 7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Amphitheatre- Crescent Park- By donation- in support of Hunger in MJ

 
Concert in the Park

Every Wednesday @ 7:00 p.m. 

Crescent Park

Downtown Moose Jaw Guided Walking Tours

Every Saturday @ 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Leaving hourly

Call to book 306-691-2015

Souvenir Shop

Summer Art Programs

MJ Museum & Art Gallery

July and Aug. 
To register 306-692-4471

Ages 3-5, 6-8, 9-11, 12 and up.

All programs include materials and snacks

Western Development Museum Summer Heritage Club

July and August. 
Ages 5-18.
more info/ register www.wdm.ca/mj