326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

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.