From the office of Bob Bjornerud
Building a Brighter Future for Saskatchewan Students
The start of a new school year is always an exciting time for students and parents, teachers and support staff. This year, it is also a time of celebration as sod turnings have marked the start of a number of important infrastructure projects in some of Saskatchewan’s fastest-growing communities.
The construction of 18 new, publicly-owned elementary schools is now underway at nine joint-use sites in Saskatoon, Warman, Martensville, and Regina. Ready to welcome students in 2017, each of the nine joint-use sites will include 90 new child care spaces and a community centre.
St. Brieux School is undergoing a renovation that will see a more spacious learning environment by 2017. This includes new classrooms and an Industrial Arts lab, Practical and Applied Arts space, cooking and clothing lab, new washrooms, and the expansion of the library and main entrance.
Just recently, an expansion and renovation at Churchill Community High School in La Ronge was completed. The school, which can now accommodate more than 700 students and 32 child care spaces, has a new gym, multi-purpose room, learning centre, expanded Industrial Arts room, and a dental lab.
These projects are part of our government’s commitment to improving quality of life for students, teachers and communities. We have committed approximately $966 million toward 65 major school capital projects and numerous smaller projects such as preventative maintenance and renewal.
Government Supports New Child Care Centre
I’m happy to see many young families finding opportunity in our province, deciding to put down roots and raise their children here. As a government, we’re proud to have responded to the needs of these families with record investments to expand child care options throughout the province.
The Government of Saskatchewan’s investment in the new Awasis Child Care Centre at the University of Regina, brings the total number of child care spaces on campus to 180, will make a big difference in the lives of university students and families in the community with young children.
Since November 2007, the Government of Saskatchewan has made a record investment in licensed child care, allocating funding for 4,935 new child care spaces to communities across the province. This brings the total commitment of child care spaces in Saskatchewan to more than 14,200.
You can find a list of licensed child care services in our local area online at saskatchewan.ca.
Community Rink Affordability Grants Returns for Another Season
Saskatchewan’s community-owned, indoor skating and curling rinks are hubs for physical activity and community involvement. At the start of another hockey and curling season, we are reminded that these rinks are places where people of all ages come together and enjoy a variety of activities.
Once again, the Government of Saskatchewan is offering the Community Rink Affordability Grant to communities across the province. Over the past three years, the program has granted $4.8 million to support operations and minor capital upgrades to 1,941 recreational ice surfaces in Saskatchewan.
Communities, schools, non-profits and First Nations are now eligible to apply for funding. Successful applicants receive a grant of $2,500 per indoor ice surface.
July Wholesale Trade Reaches New Record
Despite pressures in the energy sector, the latest wholesale trade figures from Statistics Canada confirm that Saskatchewan’s economy is strong.
Wholesale trade in July hit a record $2.17 billion (seasonally adjusted), the highest amount ever for the month. Record high wholesale trade is good news for the Saskatchewan economy. It points to greater demand for goods from business that will help sustain positive growth.
The rise in a number of other areas shows that we have a diversified economy, which is a buffer when it comes to the current state of the global marketplace. This means we have some protection from what’s happening in the resource sector, and gives us confidence that we will be able to move quickly to turn things around once market conditions improve.