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Moose Jaw Express October 9, 2019

Thankfulness All Year Long

For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful – David Steindl-Rast

Happy Thanksgiving. Celebrating with family and friends and enjoying a long weekend can do much to renew and revitalize us; but research shows that developing a consistent “attitude of gratitude” can improve our lives in many ways; mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Thanksgiving began to celebrate the end of a successful growing season. Recent rain and snow have certainly dampened optimism for a bountiful harvest. My thoughts and prayers are with our agriculture producers in a year where both drought and excessive moisture has challenged even the hardiest of farmers. I encourage them to call the confidential Farm Stress Line, 1-800-667-4442, for stress related help in facing those difficulties and for support.

I am grateful to live in a province where people come together to assist others. Our province grew with communities coming together to help their neighbours when times were tough.  Our government knows that the people of our province expect services and assistance to be there for those who need support.

The recent grand opening of the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital is evidence of support for the vulnerable. Because many contributed to make this happen, the hospital will play an integral role in providing world-class excellence in health care for Saskatchewan’s children and expectant mothers.

Together with Inclusion Saskatchewan, the Government of Saskatchewan has proclaimed October as Inclusion Month in our province. Inclusion Month is an opportunity to celebrate the positive difference inclusion has made in the lives of people with disabilities and the contributions people with disabilities make in their communities. For more than 60 years, Inclusion Saskatchewan, formerly the Saskatchewan Association for Community Living, has aimed to ensure people with intellectual disabilities are valued, supported and included, and have opportunities and choices in all aspects of life.

It was a very significant day in September when the last residents of Valley View Centre officially moved out of the building, marking the end of institutionalized-style living for people with intellectual disabilities in Saskatchewan. Inclusion Saskatchewan has advocated for community-based living for the residents of Valley View Centre. Since the closure of Valley View Centre was announced in 2012, the Government of Saskatchewan, Inclusion Saskatchewan and the Valley View Legacy Network have worked together to ensure the success and well-being of residents as they move into communities of their choice.

From around the world, many recognize that Saskatchewan is a great place to live, work, go to school and raise a family.  This is evident in our population, which has grown by more than 183,000 in 53 consecutive quarters to 1,174,462.  The people who recently immigrated to Saskatchewan appreciate the opportunity to live here, and would have a long list of things for which people in our province can be grateful.

Thanksgiving is an opportunity to recognize the quality of life we have and be grateful.  This Thanksgiving weekend, I will especially thank God for my family. As always, I am grateful for the wonderful people of our province that have a heart for the needs of others. May gratefulness enrich your lives every day of the year.