326 B High Street West Moose Jaw, SK

Moose Jaw Express January 2, 2019

Looking Back at 2018

The end of the year always gives me pause to reflect on the year passed, and anticipate the year ahead. While important and significant progress was made by our government this past year, our local activities, made possible by outstanding Moose Javians, make up a good part of my reflections.

Moose Jaw has a great tradition of starting out our year with the Moose Jaw Citizen and Group of the Year Awards. The Chamber of Commerce is looking for nominations for our next Citizen and Group of the Year to follow the worthy 2017 recipients, Christine Boyzcuk, and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Moose Jaw. There are many outstanding individuals and organizations in Moose Jaw, please consider nominating an individual or group. More information is available from the Chamber of Commerce.

Our community actively supports so many good causes throughout the year, including fundraising events like steak nights, car shows, the Colour Run, Terry Fox Run, the Walk for Life, and initiatives supporting the fight against MS, Cancer and Mental Health. New Habitat for Humanity Homes also continue to be built through donations from local business and groups, and hard work by dedicated volunteers.

Seasonal events like Sidewalk Days, the Hometown Fair, and 15 Wing activities, including Pilot Graduations and the 15 Wing Fellowship Air and Car Show, keep our community strong and our citizens involved. Each summer the Concerts in the Park series always provides quality entertainment in support of the Moose Jaw Health Foundation.   I appreciated the efforts of service clubs and community organizations along with the business community in promoting strong community initiatives.

Sporting events also added interest to the year. The Warriors were a strong team in the Western Hockey League, advancing to the third round of playoffs. The Moose Jaw Miller Express played a season of thrills and disappointments while managing to make the playoffs. We’re looking forward to the next season.

As summer turned to fall, I once again enjoyed the Lindale School Thanksgiving Dinner. It is always a special community event and I appreciate the invitation.

Remembrance Day was very significant this year.  Not only did we recognize 100 years since the end of the First World War, the 2018 Remembrance Day service was the 100th service in Moose Jaw honouring those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. Congratulations to the Army, Navy and Air Force Veterans of Moose Jaw on their 100th Anniversary. They are the oldest ANAVETS club in Canada, chartered on December 16, 1918.

As we closed out the year, the Festival of Trees kicked off the festive season. It might be considered the social event of the year, but more importantly, it raises hundreds of thousands of dollars to enhance health care in Moose Jaw.

From a government aspect, 2018 was most certainly a year of change. Within the first few months, Saskatchewan had a new Premier, a new Leader of the Opposition, a new Speaker of the Legislative Assembly along with three newly-elected MLAs. Premier Scott Moe has successfully led the Saskatchewan Party Government to keep our economy on track in the face of significant challenges.

It is encouraging as your MLA to attend grand openings, notable anniversaries and special announcements. I’m sure many were excited to learn that the Saskatchewan Air Show would return to 15 Wing in 2019. In another event, I was honoured to welcome foreign commodity buyers from Turkey and India who were in Moose Jaw touring our producer crops with Mid-West Grain Ltd.

The fabric of any year will always have its darker moments as well as reasons to be grateful. The federal government’s proposed imposition of a carbon tax, pipeline delays, a drastic oil price differential and poor harvest weather tested even the hardy citizens of Moose Jaw.  The Humboldt Broncos bus crash touched the lives of all of us. The Moose Jaw Generals Player and Alumni game in honour of Evan Thomas, a former Generals player, and casualty of the accident, was a moving event.

Bringing in the New Year is a time of celebration.   We are encouraged to “Wing in the New Year”, by planning a safe ride home after our New Year’s Eve festivities. Please check the City of Moose Jaw website for details on expanded free bus service this New Year’s Eve.

I hope you have many happy memories of 2018.  From my wife Debbie and I, best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2019.