Local Organizations Creating Positive Change
There are good news stories and encouraging events in Moose Jaw these days. Many Moose Javians, including myself, are excited about the announcement of an Air Show at 15 Wing next summer.
I am always pleased and proud to introduce school groups from Moose Jaw at the Legislature. A Social Studies 30 class from Vanier Collegiate visited the Legislative Building last week, and a class from Peacock Collegiate will be there this week. I appreciate the keen interest the students have in our democratic process, and their participation during their visit.
Several local events highlight the dedication of individuals and organizations in responding to the needs of others. More than $120,000 was raised at the Moose Jaw Health Foundation Festival of Trees, bringing the total to well over $4 million over the history of the event. Proceeds from Festival will help to purchase a C-Arm imaging unit that will be used extensively for Orthopedic Surgery.
In partnership with the Moose Jaw Kinsmen Club, Moose Jaw Families for Change announced the grand opening of the Kinsmen Inclusion Centre. Their newly-opened facility will allow them to expand the services they offer to individuals facing mental and physical challenges, and their families.
Last week was Restorative Justice Week, a significant time for the Moose Jaw John Howard Society as they assist individuals who are involved in the criminal justice system. They strive to bring about a positive life change for those individuals as well as justice for victims. This year the Moose Jaw John Howard Society celebrated their 60th Anniversary as part of their annual Restorative Justice Week lunch.
Hunger in Moose Jaw marked its 25th Anniversary on November 23rd. In the beginning, the local organization provided school lunches for local students in need. Their programs have expanded beyond providing food, to making long-term improvements in many lives.
A new Police and Crisis Team (PACT) in Moose Jaw will improve how front-line policing services respond to people in mental health crisis situations. PACTs are a collaborative effort between the Saskatchewan Health Authority and local police services. Members of the Moose Jaw Police Service are paired with a mental health professional to respond to individuals experiencing a mental health crisis. The goal is to provide the right kind of care to people who are better-served within the community, thereby avoiding emergency department visits and entry into the criminal justice system.
Funding for PACT is in partnership with the federal government, as is funding to improve access to treatment for people with problematic substance use. An agreement with the federal government matches $7.4 million the Province of Saskatchewan has already invested in expanding access to opioid substitution therapy. The agreement will support initiatives to recruit and train health care providers and increase access to treatment for people with opioid or crystal meth dependency.
We are thankful that there are individuals in our community, organizations and other partners, who are passionate about improving the lives of others. Together, we continue to see the work that needs to be done, and come together to make positive change happen. To all who do that, thank you.