COLUMN: Victoria Jurgens — Oct. 20, 2012

Victoria Jurgens
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The McKenna, Rabut and Pocha families in Prince Albert are the faces of the Saskatchewan Advantage.  It is not just a catch phrase.  It is creating a place where real people improve their lives, by taking advantage of the opportunities solid community partnerships have created in Saskatchewan.

I brought greetings from the government when Crystal, Heaven and Ayden McKenna were given the ‘official’ keys to their Habitat for Humanity home this month.

Tracy, London and Lachlan Rabut will soon take possession of their new Habitat RTM home when delivered through construction partner, CORCAN (Correctional Services Canada). And Delores Pocha’s family is about to witness construction of their new Habitat Home with assistance from the Carlton Carpentry Program students.

Each of these families has worked hard to meet the stringent requirements of the Habitat for Humanity program. Sharing their joy was a privilege and honour.

Since March 2009, the Government of Saskatchewan has assigned $4.5 million to assist Habitat for Humanity Saskatchewan affiliates in providing a total of 90 homes for low to moderate-income families across the province. To date, $3.05 million has been used for 61 homes.

It is one part of an eight year Housing Strategy for Saskatchewan announced last August. This strategy puts forth a vision to move forward together with Saskatchewan housing stakeholders.  It will serve as a roadmap that we can all use to address Saskatchewan’s housing needs.

The pace of October has quickened as I prepare for the fall sitting of the Legislature.  A number of exciting events and announcements have occurred including:

• The new Senior Home Security Program offering qualified seniors free home safety assessments and home security assistance. Visit http://www.seniorsecurity.gov.sk.ca for details.

 

• An increase in the minimum wage to $10.00 per hour effective December 1, 2012. Combined with recent tax cuts, low income earners in Saskatchewan will have one of the highest rates of take-home pay in Canada.

• Elimination of Licence Plate Stickers allowing an estimated $100,000 per year to be directed to more effective Automatic Licence Plate Recognition technology.

• New Veteran licence plates for motorcycles, a very swift response by a government actively listening to Saskatchewan people. 

• Updated Saskatchewan population figure of 1,079,958, up by 22,000 in one year. This is the fastest year over year growth in over 90 years.

• The Sisters in Spirit Walk, calling all cultures to move forward to break the cycle of violence against women. As I participated in this event in Prince Albert, I found it to be a heart wrenching, yet empowering experience.

• The significance and meaning of the intricate regalia designs was shared with me at the Northern Lights Casino Thanksgiving Powwow. I was also pleased to meet many of the thousands of visitors, who came to our city for the occasion.

• I brought greetings on behalf of the Province of Saskatchewan, to His Excellency the Right Honorable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. Prince Albert was his first stop in a three day Saskatchewan visit. It culminated with the 100th Anniversary of the Legislative Building celebrations in Regina.

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 East across from Superstore.

Organizations: Prince Albert, Habitat for Humanity, Saskatchewan Advantage Correctional Services Canada Housing Strategy for Saskatchewan Northern Lights Casino Thanksgiving Powwow

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, London, Canada Regina St East

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