COLUMN: Victoria Jurgens — Sept. 27, 2012

Victoria Jurgens
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One aspect I love about my role as your MLA is the ability to make a real difference in the lives of those I serve.  As your MLA, I am here to listen to you, talk with you and to help you access government programs that can help you achieve your goals. The Saskatchewan Advantage means many things to many people, but an important component is improving the lives of Saskatchewan people. To that end, our government has created and reworked programs to ensure you have the service you need and deserve. 

A recent case gave our office such satisfaction that I would like to share it with you. For obvious reasons I will not discuss particular details; everyone who comes into our office for help remains confidential.

Earlier this month a gentleman came into my office in despair because he couldn’t meet his child support commitments.  He was frustrated. He felt as though he was on a merry-go-round and couldn’t get off. This man wanted to do the right thing, but needed a non-judgmental ear to help him. He needed an advocate to help him access the programs that would get him back on his feet. 

I want to give this man credit for seeking help. Sometimes, people are scared to lay their story out before a stranger fearing they will be judged; that will not happen in my office. 

As we talked, I was able to see the path that would get him where he wanted. Our office was able to suggest options to him. He then decided on a path of action.

I am happy to report this man is living up to his commitments as a father and as a role model for the next generation. 

The reason I’m telling you this story is to let you know you have an advocate in me. My office is there to serve you and, given the opportunity, we will assist you in sharing in the Saskatchewan Advantage.

The Saskatchewan Advantage is people recognizing they can guide their own future! Once an individual realizes the shackles have been removed, they can move forward to achieve success.

• • •

Guiding young people to success is the goal of the newly opened Valley Hill Youth Treatment Center in Prince Albert. The new 15 bed facility will provide a six-week residential treatment program for youth suffering from addictions. The project is entirely funded by the provincial government, with $5.09 million invested to build the facility; $1.88 million per year is also earmarked for annual operating costs.

The province partnered with the Prince Albert Grand Council and the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region to make this vision a reality. It is an excellent example of Saskatchewan people working together.

• • •

Berezowsky School in Prince Albert is inspiring its students to adopt successful lifestyles.

 The school recently won $5,000 in the Mosaic Extreme School Makeover Challenge in recognition of the school’s Healthy Learning Action Plan. This approach was highlighted with a Walk to Breakfast event in which students, staff and dignitaries participated in an early morning walk. I was privileged to congratulate staff and students as one of only two schools in Saskatchewan to win the award.

 

• • •

I have personally noticed motorists being respectful of the many Orange Zones in our city at this time. It is encouraging to see.  Our government is taking action in the wake of the tragic death of an 18-year-old girl killed while working as highways flag person.  Ashley Dawn Richards was struck by a vehicle in an Orange Zone in August – a tragedy Premier Brad Wall described as a senseless loss caused by blatant disregard for the rules.

 The Province of Saskatchewan is partnering with the RCMP to improve safety in the Orange Zone. The RCMP will conduct traffic enforcement blitzes targeting highway construction zones. Our government will announce further measures in the coming weeks. Motorists are required by law to slow to 60 kilometres per hour where Orange Zone signs are up and workers are present.  Fines start at $140 and increase by two dollars for every km/h over the speed limit up to 90 km/h. For speeds in excess of 90 km/h, the fine increases by four dollars for every km/h above the speed limit.

 

Prince Albert Northcote constituents are always welcome to contact my office by calling 922-4220.  You may also visit my website at northcotevoice.ca or email mlanorthcote@sasktel.net. Our office is located at 5A 598 15th St. E. across from Superstore.

 

Organizations: Saskatchewan Advantage, Valley Hill Youth Treatment Center, RCMP Prince Albert Grand Council Berezowsky School Mosaic Extreme School Makeover Challenge

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Prince Albert

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