“From Many Peoples, Strength”
The motto on our Saskatchewan coat of arms, “From many peoples, strength”, describes our province so well. This brought to mind all we have to celebrate this upcoming Saskatchewan Day weekend; the diversity not only of our people, but of our geography, our natural resources and our opportunities.
From before recorded history, different First Nations had unique ways of living, creating and celebrating. Each wave of immigrants brought their own culture and talents, which continues today. Our many cultures and backgrounds, and the great variety of skills and abilities, have built a strong and diversified province.
The quality of life in our province is one of the best in the world. We have universal education and health care. Our library system is top notch; with one library card, we can access books, DVDs, videos and more from across the province. People of many faiths and backgrounds can worship according to their beliefs and celebrate their own cultural traditions. Our province has one of the highest volunteer rates in Canada.
Most summers in Saskatchewan are filled with the vibrancy of cultural celebrations. Our museums help keep the engaging stories of our past accessible. I really missed Sidewalk Days and Motif this year, and we’ll have to wait until next year to ride the Western Development Museum Shortline 101 train, or take part in the Sukanen Ship Museum Threshing Bee.
From the prairies with far-reaching vistas to the lakes and forests in the north, the diversity of our geography provides so many opportunities. These opportunities, along with our vibrant cultural attractions, help strengthen our tourism industry. Tourism injects $600 million annually into our local economies. Events like the Scotties last February, and attractions like the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa and the Tunnels of Moose Jaw are important economic drivers. I acknowledge and thank all who work and contribute to our tourism industry.
Saskatchewan’s numerous provincial parks and recreation sites are a big part of the tourism industry. Provincial parks span Saskatchewan; offering camping, hiking, water sports, fishing and seasonal recreation activities.
Saskatchewan has approximately 94,000 lakes that contain around 50,000 fish of 69 different species. Aquatic invasive species has become a disturbing problem in many parts of North America, and our government has taken precautions to prevent it from entering Saskatchewan waters. Over the past few years, fishing and boating enthusiasts have been encouraged to take measures to stop the spread of aquatic invasive species.
Saskatchewan’s Aquatic Invasive Species program focuses on ongoing public education, promoting the Clean, Drain, Dry Program for watercraft, roadside boat inspections, decontaminations and regular monitoring of Saskatchewan’s busy waterbodies. Prevention of zebra and quagga mussels remains a top priority for the province. Efforts have been successful to date, with no invasive mussels found in Saskatchewan waterbodies.
I encourage people to make the most of our incredible Saskatchewan summer, which means keeping safety in mind; on the roads, on the water and around machinery. Also, this summer, please continue to follow the advice and requirements of our medical health authorities to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Enjoy Saskatchewan Day, celebrating the tremendous diversity of our province.