|October 18, 2018||View this email in your browser|
|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.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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
What: TGIF Beer & Pizza Curling League
Saturday, October 27, 2018
What: Whistletop Christmas Craft Sale
What: High St. Grand Re-Opening
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
What: South Central ECIP Halloween Bash
Sunday, October 28, 2018
What: St. Joseph Parish Fall Supper
What: Run Ride or Walk for Rwanda ending with a Bake Sale and Hot
Time: 3:00 p.m.
Monday, October 29, 2018
What: Scraps “A Scaredy Cat Halloween” Fundraiser
Thursday, November 1, 2018
What: Celebrating 100 Years of Remembrance in Moose Jaw, Dinner and
November 1, 2 and 3, 2018
What: Fair Trade Festival
Saturday,November 3, 2018
What: St. Andrew’s Church Christmas Market Trade Fair
What: Western Development Museum “In Remembrance”
Sunday,November 4, 2018
What: Mortlach Fall Supper