COLUMN: Victoria Jurgens — Nov. 24, 2012

Victoria Jurgens
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An innovative way to address infrastructure needs was announced in our government’s recently released Growth Plan.  The SaskBuilds Fund is a model designed to attract capital investment to our province. Capital investment translates into increased employment opportunities and an increased tax base from which we partially fund our services and projects. 

For example, when repairs were needed to the Diefenbaker Bridge last year, our government sprang into action, providing all the funding needed for the repairs. This demonstrated the importance placed on the partnership with Prince Albert and northern citizens.

Other areas of our city that have seen focused attention are:

• $18.2 million for an addition to Herb Bassett Home to replace Pineview Terrace Lodge;

More than $5 million for the Carlton Comprehensive High School gym addition in January 2011;

• $10.8 million in funding for a replacement school (St. Anne);

• $1.65 million over three years for MAINSTREET Saskatchewan.  Prince Albert was one of only four communities chosen for this project;

More than $9.8 million in funding for Family Addiction Treatment Centre (July 2010);

• $5 million in funding for the Valley Hill Youth Treatment Centre;

• $3.4 million since 2008 for affordable rental accommodation for 36 low income families.;

• $2.3 million in Feb 2009 to fund 12 affordable housing units for seniors.

Seniors and renters will be further protected through updated regulations. These revisions mean seniors living in independent living facilities now have the right to use the Office of Residential Tenancies to resolve disputes, effective April 1, 2013. 

Amendments are also being made to The Residential Tenancies Act, 2007. Under The Residential Tenancies Amendment Act, 2012, landlords will now have to belong to an approved association if they want to increase rent more than once a year for tenancies without a lease. 

For lease tenancies, landlords must give a two-month notice of their intention to renew/not renew the lease and under what terms. The tenant has one month to respond. The new legislation came into effect Nov. 15. These changes provide tenants with additional protection against large rent increases in a short period of time.

Ensuring people have a safe place to work is also addressed priority for our government.  Regulatory changes to improve safety for late night retail workers include:

• Establishing safe cash-handling procedures;

• Installing video cameras;

• Providing good visibility and signage for all late-night retail premises;

• Establishing a check-in system; and

• Providing personal emergency transmitters to all workers working alone in late-night retail establishment.

On Nov. 6, a recognition event was held for the next 83 recipients of the Saskatchewan Scholarship of Honour. The scholarship provides $5,000 to put toward the cost of post-secondary education. To be eligible, you must be:

• A current or former Saskatchewan resident;

• A returning soldier who actively served in designated military operations in the Canadian Forces (Regular or Reserves), after January 2001; or

• The spouse and/or child of permanently disabled or deceased soldiers who served in designated military operations after January 2001; and 

• Be enrolled in a recognized Canadian post-secondary institution.

This scholarship was established to honour our returning soldiers, and the spouses and children of injured or fallen soldiers.  For more information on the Saskatchewan Scholarship of Honour, go to www.aeei.gov.sk.ca/soh.

Both the Prince Albert Grand Council and the Prince Albert Council for the Arts have been announced as pre-approved for year two of funding through artsVest.

The purpose of artsVest Saskatchewan is to assist the province's small to medium-sized arts and culture organizations to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with local businesses. With the confirmation of matching funding in place, the organizations can approach businesses to look for opportunities to build partnerships with cash and in-kind contributions matched dollar for dollar.

It’s another great example of building community partnerships to keep Saskatchewan moving forward in a sustainable way.

 

Victoria Jurgens is the MLA for Prince Albert Northcote. Constituents are always welcome to contact my office by calling 306-922-4220.  You may also visit my website at http://northcotevoice.ca  or email mlanorthcote@sasktel.net   Our office is located at 5A 598 15th St East across from Superstore.

Organizations: Prince Albert, SaskBuilds Fund, Carlton Comprehensive High School Family Addiction Treatment Centre Valley Hill Youth Treatment Centre Saskatchewan Scholarship Office of Residential Tenancies Canadian Forces Prince Albert Grand Council Prince Albert Council for the Arts

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, St East

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