Report from the Legislature – November 12

From the office of Bob Bjornerud

bobbjorn-casual

Support Our Troops License Plate Now Available in Saskatchewan

Saskatchewan residents can now honour and support military members and their families with a Support Our Troops licence plate depicting silhouettes of different branches of the Canadian military.  Customers can order a plate for $55 at a motor licence issuer.

Our government is offering the Support Our Troops licence plate to show respect, and help aid military families who serve our country.  We are grateful for the service of these brave men and women, and want to acknowledge the sacrifices they make for our freedom.

Canadian Forces Morale and Welfare Services (CFMWS) will receive $30 from each plate to support their Saskatchewan operations.  For more information about the Support Our Troops licence plate or other specialty licence plates, visit SGI’s website at http://www.sgi.sk.ca.

Scholarship of Honour Recognizes Armed Forces Members and Families

Our government appreciates the courage and dedication of the many women and men serving in Canada’s Armed Forces and we are pleased to honour their bravery and commitment to Canada.  Because of their sacrifices, we live in a country of freedom and peace.

The Saskatchewan Scholarship of Honour recognizes returning soldiers as well as the spouses and children of injured or fallen members of Canada’s Armed Forces.  18 individuals were recently recognized as recipients of a one-time award of $5,000 toward post-secondary education.

Since 2009 147 scholarships, totalling $735,000, have been awarded.  Twelve of these recipients are family members of injured or fallen soldiers.  Learn more at http://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/education-and-learning/scholarships-bursaries-grants/scholarships/saskatchewan-scholarship-of-honour

Targeted Funding to Protect Neighbourhoods and Families

The Government of Saskatchewan is taking action to ensure the safety of neighbourhoods and families by providing $4.8 million in Municipal Police Grants to the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS).  This funding supports 42 positions and includes support for the Police and Crisis Team, Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit and the Serious Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program.

Municipal Police Grant funding builds on the partnerships between the government and municipal police forces to address key community safety priorities, including:

•    Combatting organized crime and gang activity through the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit (CFSEU).  CFSEU’s mandate is to expose, investigate, disrupt, dismantle and prosecute organized crime.  It includes members from Regina Police Service (RPS), SPS, Prince Albert Police Service (PAPS) and the RCMP.

•    Holding chronic habitual offenders to account through the Serious and Habitual Offender Comprehensive Action Program (SHOCAP).  SHOCAP provides intensive supervision and interagency case planning for designated habitual chronic offenders.

•    Reducing the victimization and sexual exploitation of children through the Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) unit.  ICE members identify victimized children, investigate cases of possession, production, and distribution of child pornography and internet luring, and help prosecute sexual offenders.  ICE includes members from RPS, SPS, PAPS and the RCMP.

The provincial government annually provides funds for 125 municipal police positions and policing initiatives across the province.  This grant fulfills the government’s commitment for 120 new police officers and is part of the ministry’s ongoing commitment to supporting municipal policing services.

New Schools, New Community Childcare Spaces, and New Jobs

Our government pledged to continue investing in infrastructure and we’re seeing that in new schools, new community and childcare spaces, and new jobs.  Just recently, the new Hudson Bay Community School held its grand opening.  This PreK-12 school includes a 36 space child care centre.

Currently, twenty-seven Saskatchewan companies are working on the largest schools build in our province’s history.  The $374 million project will see 18 new elementary schools and more than 800 child care spaces built to serve Saskatchewan’s fastest-growing communities by September 2017.

This is part of our plan to build 40 new schools and provide major renovations to another 25.  Since 2007, we have committed approximately $966 million toward 65 major school capital projects and numerous smaller projects such as portable classrooms and preventative maintenance and renewal.

Province Announces Incentive Program to Sell Agricultural Crown Land

A new incentive program has been announced to encourage the sale of eligible agriculture crown land to lessees.  All agricultural Crown land, including cultivated, grazing and hay land that is deemed to have no public and low environmental benefit, will be eligible.  Our priority is administering land that has a higher public good from an ecological, environmental, heritage or economic perspective.

From now until March 31, 2016, a 15% discount will be applied to all sales.  The incentive drops to 10% on April 1, 2016 and 5% on January 1, 2017. Approximately 600,000 acres of land may be sold under this program.

If a lessee does not purchase the land, they may continue leasing.  However, rental rates on eligible cultivated lands and previously cultivated lands will increase for the 2016 cropping season by approximately 15 per cent over the formula rate and by 30 per cent over the formula rate for the 2017 cropping year.

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