Saskatchewan’s population continues to grow because our economy is strong and continues to create new jobs and opportunities. One of the benefits of a growing population is a larger tax base, which helps us to increase our investments in infrastructure and people. In the past seven years, we have seen our population grow by more than 123,000 people.
This growth is a complete reversal from when Saskatchewan was losing people, jobs and opportunities. Fortunately, we have moved past the vicious cycle of decline. We are investing in the infrastructure that will continue to support Saskatchewan’s growth.
In addition to sharing record Provincial Sales Tax revenues with urban and rural municipalities, we have also brought back the Community Rink Affordability Grant (CRAG) to offset the cost of maintenance and minor capital upgrades at indoor skating and curling rinks.
Prince Albert and area communities have benefited from the Community Rink Affordability Grant in each of the last two years. Communities, schools, non-profits and First Nations are all eligible to apply online at spra.sk.ca/funding/crag. These rinks are the heart of our community in the fall and winter recreation season and are a great investment in healthier communities.
Another important investment our government is making in our communities is through Saskatchewan’s Child and Family Agenda, which provides funding to young children and families in Prince Albert and Northern Saskatchewan through KidsFirst. This innovative cross-government approach ensures kids get a good start in life, youth are prepared for their future and that families are strong and supported.
This year, KidsFirst programs in Prince Albert and Northern Saskatchewan will receive more than $3.8 million. You can learn more about the program at www.education.gov.sk.ca/kidsfirst
Our government is also taking steps to connect people with the skills they need to succeed in our dynamic labour market. In Prince Albert, we recently celebrated the proclamation of The Saskatchewan Polytechnic Act. The Act gives SIAST the authority to operate as a polytechnic institution and officially change its name to Saskatchewan Polytechnic. This evolution is important as it creates even more training opportunities, including four-year bachelor degrees. Over time, this will result in a stronger economy and continued growth. Approximately 26,000 students receive training annually in programs on campuses across the province.
While we have come a long way, there is still more work to do. We will continue our work to keep taxes low and make responsible investments that enhance our quality of life and ensure young people have opportunities and reason to stay, start their careers and raise their families right here in Saskatchewan. Together, we can keep Prince Albert and the rest of Saskatchewan strong and moving forward.
Your voice matters – I want to know what is important and would like to hear your thoughts and ideas to keep our province moving forward in a way that is a benefit to all Saskatchewan residents. Please feel free to contact me or drop by my constituency office.
Prince Albert Northcote constituents are always welcome. Call 306-922-4220, visit my website at http://mlajurgens.ca or email [email protected]. My office is located at 5A 598 15 St. East across from Superstore.
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