I am pleased that thousands of students have benefitted from the new Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship in its first year. More than 4,500 students benefited from the new Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship in 2012-13. The program provided more than $2.2 million in scholarships to assist students with their post-secondary education.
The Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship reduces tuition up to $500 per year to a lifetime maximum of $2,000 for new Saskatchewan Grade 12 graduates who enroll at a Saskatchewan post-secondary institution. Students have up to 10 years from graduation to access the scholarship.
The percentage breakdown by institution is:
• University of Saskatchewan: 44 per cent
• University of Regina: 30 per cent
• SIAST: 13 per cent
• Regional Colleges: eight per cent
• Private Vocational Schools: five per cent
Students do not need to apply for the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship as the post-secondary educational institution will apply on the student’s behalf. Eligible students will have their tuition reduced by the scholarship amount. While the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship is reducing tuition fees for students, those same students can also get all of their tuition back, up to $20,000, if they stay and work in Saskatchewan after they finish their post-secondary education.
Close to $52 million in Graduate Retention Program benefits were provided to 50,000 graduates for the 2012 taxation year. This means more young people are choosing to live and work in Saskatchewan after finishing their education and that's one of the reasons our province is growing at its fastest pace in decades.
Updated information on the scholarship is posted on the Ministry of Advanced Education's website at www.aeei.gov.sk.ca/scholarship-sas.
Promoting Our heritage
Featured on a popular television series in August, Canadians had a peek into the strict standards of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Depot in Regina. The show also featured the RCMP Heritage Center which has recently been allocated a one-time grant of $100,000 by the Government of Saskatchewan. The funding, along with a matching $100,000 in financial support and tax abatement by the City of Regina, will help the centre maintain and enhance its core operations while working to establish sustainable funding.
Working in partnership with the City of Regina, the Government of Saskatchewan is supporting the RCMP Heritage Centre as they continue to implement their business plan. As Saskatchewan’s population grows, we believe this showcase of our national police force’s history can play an increasingly important role in both education and tourism for the province.
Conditions of the agreement aim to increase access to the RCMP Heritage Centre for school-aged children and groups, build capacity within the centre and expand outreach to include guided tours of the RCMP Academy “Depot” Division. The one-time funding agreement will assist with operating costs in the 2013-14 fiscal year.
A fundraiser gala in Prince Albert also promoted its’ heritage this summer. Hosted by Prince Albert Tourism, it focused on the history and legacy of the three Canadian Prime Ministers from this city. Proceeds are for the restoration of Diefenbaker House.
Resilient Economy Keeps Provincial Revenue Up
The province’s economy is resilient and continues to perform well in 2013, with stronger-than-expected employment growth and higher oil prices. Saskatchewan remains on track to balance its books in 2013-14, with a pre-transfer surplus of $33.0 million forecast for the General Revenue Fund (GRF). The First Quarter Financial Report shows revenue is up $11.8 million (0.1 per cent) from budget, primarily due to higher oil revenue.
Our potash revenue forecast has been revised by $21.3 million, largely to reflect uncertainty stemming from recent global potash market developments. Expense is up $43.6 million (0.4 per cent) from budget primarily for the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program. Flooding expense has reduced the projected GRF surplus somewhat, but overall spending continues to be managed effectively.
Saskatchewan continues to welcome newcomers to our province who have chosen Prince Albert as the place where they will live, work, and often raise a family. This month, agencies supporting Saskatchewan newcomers were authorized for $160,959 in funding for the 2013-14 fiscal year through the Saskatchewan Immigration Settlement Assistance Grant program. This includes the Prince Albert Multicultural Council which delivers integral immigration settlement and support services.
Thanks to the help of settlement agencies, immigrants and refugees can access the services they need to make the transition to life in Saskatchewan both easy and comfortable. Our government appreciates and continues to support the valuable services and assistance these agencies provide.
Seniors Ride for $10
Saskatchewan youth have enjoyed travel for only $45 per month with the Saskatchewan Transportation Company Youth Bus Pass this summer. Now, STC will once again offer seniors the opportunity to explore Saskatchewan at a great price. Throughout the month of September, seniors 60+ will be able to ride anywhere along STC’s network for only $10 one-way. This program has been extremely popular and is a great way to keep Saskatchewan families and friends connected.
Wi-Fi and other great amenities including power outlets, increased leg room, and wheel chair access, make travel by bus convenient and comfortable. In 2012, STC reported a 93 per cent customer satisfaction rating from customers that rated the company’s service as “good” or “excellent”. In 2012, more than 30,000 seniors took advantage of seat sale months.
Saskatchewan Party MLAs have been spending the summer consulting with constituents in regards to their priorities. That information has been assimilated and reviewed at our caucus retreat and will be used to chart our government’s course into this fall’s legislative session and beyond. By working together, we will continue to move Saskatchewan forward.
Victoria Jurgens is the MLA for Prince Albert Northcote Prince Albert Northcote constituents are always welcome to contact her office by calling 306-922-4220. You may also visit her website at http://mlajurgens.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Her office is located at 5A 598 15th St East across from Superstore.