326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

From the Desk of Warren Michelson November 30, 2018

November 30, 2018 View this email in your browser
shield FROM THE DESK OF WARREN MICHELSON, MLA

Congratulations, Hunger in Moose Jaw, for 25 years of Helping our Community!

What a wonderful celebration at Hunger in Moose Jaw last week, celebrating 25 years of making lives better.


Think Safety

The weather this week forced drivers to slow down.  Adjusting to driving in the first bad weather of the winter is sometimes challenges.  Giving ourselves extra time to get where we’re going, or delaying travel when it’s dangerous is always wise.


Safety on the ice of water bodies is also important to remember.  
Check the ice thickness before you travel on it.  As a guideline, you need at least 10 cm (four inches) of ice to walk on, 20 cm (eight inches) to drive a snowmobile or ATV on, 30 cm (12 inches) to drive a car or light truck on, and more than 30 cm (12 inches) to support a heavy truck.
Ice thickness depends on the particular waterbody and the local conditions.  It does not freeze at a uniform thickness and ice strength can vary considerably from one area to another.

Be aware that any activity on ice has risks.  Guidelines are provided to help individuals make a decision about whether to venture on to the ice.  Thickness is just one consideration when evaluating ice safety.  Clear, hard ice is the only ice recommended for travel.

Also avoid ice that:

  • looks slushy;
  • has thawed, then frozen again;
  • is near moving water;
  • is layered, caused by sudden temperature changes; or
  • has structures on it, such as pressure ridges.
Roads were treacherous after the freezing rain.

The International Dinner was a Delight

The Moose Jaw Multicultural Council and the Newcomer Welcome Centre hosted their 5th Annual International Dinner last Friday. The meal featured dishes from such countries as India, Ethiopia, and Syria, and entertainment from a number of different cultures.  The food was delicious and it was wonderful to get to know some of our newer neighbors better.


New Day Program Opens In Moose Jaw
Today, Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA Greg Lawrence on behalf of Social Services Minister Paul Merriman, joined community members, dignitaries and day program attendees in Moose Jaw to celebrate the grand opening of the new Kinsmen Inclusion Centre.


The Government of Saskatchewan provided $200,000 to Moose Jaw Families for Change (MJFFC) for the project.  The Kinsmen Inclusion Centre currently supports seven people with intellectual disabilities, with capacity to expand in the near future.  The day program is wheelchair accessible and will offer a range of recreational and life skill activities.


“Day programs play a valuable role in supporting people to be included in their communities,” Lawrence said.  “I want to applaud Moose Jaw Families for Change for being a part of creating an inclusive community right here in Moose Jaw.”


“This truly is an example of the community coming together to create something wonderful,” MJFFC Executive Director Tami Grieve said.  “We have been humbled by the outpouring of support for this project, and we are excited to present these amazing new opportunities for people with varying abilities.”


Since 2000, MJFFC has been supporting people with intellectual disabilities in Moose Jaw.  They currently operate two group homes, one group living home, a supported independent living program and a day program.  The new day program will allow people from the different group homes to come together to interact with one another.

Province Launches Climate Resiliency Framework
Today, Environment Minister Dustin Duncan announced a new Climate Resilience Measurement Framework to help measure resilience in the face of a changing global climate.

The framework is a first of its kind in Canada and a cornerstone commitment in Prairie Resilience, the made-in-Saskatchewan climate change strategy.   This government-wide action plan includes 25 measures to monitor and enhance provincial resilience to climate change.


Resilience is the ability to cope with, adapt to and recover from stress and change.  This includes the ability of natural systems (land, water and forests), physical infrastructure, economic sustainability, community preparedness, and the well-being of people to adapt and thrive in a low-carbon economy and changing environmental conditions, such as extreme weather or flooding.


Examples of specific measures in the framework are:
  • Percentage of agricultural land area with a nutrient stewardship plan, which matches the right source and rate of fertilizer to the right time and place of application;
  • greenhouse gas emissions from government-owned buildings;
  • Provincial forest harvest designs;
  • Floodplain mapping for at-risk communities; and
  • Wildfire fuel management work on Crown land.
The Climate Resilience Measurement Framework marks a significant commitment in the province’s Prairie Resilience strategy, which also includes emissions reductions in electricity, upstream oil and gas, and industrial facilities that emit more than 25,000 tonnes of emissions each year.  These commitments will reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 12 million tonnes by 2030.


The Climate Resilience Measurement Framework and other components of the province’s comprehensive climate change strategy are available at 
www.saskatchewan.ca/climate-change.

 

 

 

FINDING

 

THE BEAUTY

 

IN WINTER


Budget And Economy On Track At Mid-Year
Saskatchewan’s 2018-19 Budget remains on track at mid-year, with a projected deficit of $348.3 million, $17 million less than what was projected on budget day.


“Saskatchewan’s financial and economic outlook have both improved somewhat compared to our original budget projections,” Finance Minister Donna Harpauer said.  “Our government’s plan to return the province to balance by 2019-20 remains on track.”


Higher forecast revenue—up $138.1 million from budget—has helped reduce the projected deficit.  Revenue is forecast to be up due to higher projected resource revenue and higher net income from Government Business Enterprises, federal transfers and other own-source revenue, partially offset by lower personal income tax revenue.


Expense is forecast to be up $121.1 million from budget.  Nearly half of the increase is pension expense, reflecting changes in interest rates and actuarial assumptions.  Increases at mid-year also reflect higher-than-budgeted expense for child and family services, health services and forest-fire operations.


Saskatchewan is showing modest improvement in economic activity in 2018, and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) forecasts remain consistent with budget projections.  The current forecast projects cumulative GDP growth of 2.9 per cent for 2017 and 2018 (2.2 per cent in 2017 and 0.7 per cent in 2018), slightly higher than the budget forecast.


Public Debt at March 31, 2019 is forecast to be $19.78 billion, which is $251.6 million lower than budgeted, primarily due to decreased debt for Government Business Enterprises.


Saskatchewan recently had its triple-A credit rating confirmed by Moody’s Investors Service, and has the second-highest credit rating in Canada when ratings from the three major agencies are combined. Saskatchewan is also forecast to have the third-lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the country.


“While we are on course, there is still work to do,” Harpauer said.  “We continue to manage spending carefully, invest in priorities for Saskatchewan people, shift from our reliance on volatile resource revenue and help keep our economy strong.”

Report from the Legislature

Two years ago, our government prepared a 3-year plan to balance the budget while keeping our investment climate competitive and ensuring long-term economic strength. While we still face challenges, our province is well-positioned to weather them and emerge even stronger.


The mid-year budget update shows that Saskatchewan’s plan to get back to a balanced budget remains on track for next year. Our financial and economic outlook have both improved with this year’s projected deficit $17 million lower than expected.


While we are on course, there is still work to do.


We continue to manage spending carefully, invest in priorities for Saskatchewan people, shift from our reliance on volatile resource revenue and help keep our economy strong.


Saskatchewan’s triple-A credit rating was recently confirmed by Moody’s Investors Service. It is worth noting that when ratings from the three major agencies are combined, our province has the second-highest credit rating in Canada. Saskatchewan is also forecast to have the third-lowest net debt-to-GDP ratio in the country.


Saskatchewan is also seeing its strongest job growth in four years with 2,500 new jobs in October and nearly 10,000 new jobs since last year.


While our economy and finances are improving, we still have 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.


Two years have now passed since the Trudeau government rejected the previously approved Northern Gateway pipeline project and since they announced the approval of the Trans Mountain expansion. Fast-forward to today and we have no progress, no pipelines, a regulatory environment that is full of uncertainty, and an oil differential crisis.


Your Saskatchewan Party government will keep standing up for Saskatchewan workers and jobs by calling on the federal government to build Trans Mountain and withdraw Bill C-69 so we can get Canada’s pipelines built and Saskatchewan’s resources to market.


This week Premier Moe travelled to India to help grow market access for our exports, highlight Saskatchewan’s attractive investment climate, and advance our post-secondary linkages with India – all of which are key to strengthening our economy and the province’s finances.


India is one of our province’s most important trading partners and holds enormous potential for growth. India’s economy and population are booming and Saskatchewan has what India needs to support that growth.


Saskatchewan is a world leading producer of sustainable food, fuel and fertilizer, which gives us the unique ability to work with India to enhance its food and energy security.


Over the past decade, Saskatchewan has exported more than $11 billion worth of goods to India, including $1.15 billion in 2017, more than any other Canadian province or territory. Saskatchewan was India’s largest supplier of lentils and peas. Potash and uranium are other important exports. Approximately 4,550 Saskatchewan jobs rely on exports to India.


At a time when Saskatchewan is on track to achieve a balanced budget in 2019-20, our government’s focus is to continue our work to grow the economy and province, providing the quality programs and services Saskatchewan people expect and deserve.


Winter Weights To Take Effect In Most Of Saskatchewan

Winter Weights Begin Early Monday

During the cold winter months, secondary highways will be allowed to carry primary highway weights.  This will be in effect at 12:01 a.m., Monday, December 3 for all applicable provincial highways, with the exception of southern Saskatchewan which will come into effect when weather permits.


“As a landlocked province dependent on exports we need to be able to get our goods to market,” Highways and Infrastructure Minister Lori Carr said.  “When shippers can travel on secondary highways with primary weight, they are able to move more goods and help our economy grow.”

Secondary weight highways contain the same strength as primary weight highways when the roadbed is frozen.  This helps support the heaviest legal loads on Saskatchewan highways.


When milder weather takes hold, winter weight season can be delayed.


Winter weights are weather-dependent, typically beginning mid-November and being removed on March 15.  Restrictions on the winter weights can be in effect from November 16 to 30 and also from March 1 to 14.  As in the past, when temperatures rise and roadbeds remain soft, the ministry may remove winter weights in some areas.
Commercial truckers and shippers are encouraged to check the status regularly at 
www.saskatchewan.ca/truckingweights

To find the latest road restriction orders online, visit www.saskatchewan.ca, follow us on Twitter @SkGovHwyHotline and look for #skweights or call the Hotline at 511.


For technical and regulatory information, commercial carriers can contact the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Inquiry Line weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 1-866-933-5290.


WHAT’S HAPPENING IN MOOSE JAW
Friday, November 30, 2018

What: Christmas in our Hearts and Homes
Time:  7:00 pm
Place:
Hillcrest Apostolic Church
Tickets: $15  (306) 692-5600 or (306) 631-8238

Saturday, December 1, 2018

What: Christmas Trade and Craft Fair
Time: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Place:
Legion Auditorium
Cost: Donation to the Food Bank

What: Small Business Christmas Party
Time:  5:30 pm
Place:
Heritage Inn
Tickets: $47  (306) 693-7550

Sunday, December 2, 2018
What: Christmas Trade and Craft Fair
Time: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Place:
Legion Auditorium
Cost: Donation to the Food Bank

What: Santa Claus Parade
Time:  6:00 pm
Place:  Main St. from Saskatchewan St. to High St.

Upcoming Events

December 10, 11 & 12, 2018

What: Rotary Carol Festival

December 15 and 22, 2018

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