by Joe Hargrave
The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly taken a toll on all of us which is why I am so encouraged to see so many of you getting vaccinated. Saskatchewan’s plan to gradually lift the public health orders in place to combat COVID-19 recently took a big step forward. This past weekend, Step 1 of our Re-Opening Roadmap began with household gathering limits expanding up to 10 people and attendance at worship services, public gatherings, and table limits at restaurants all increasing. Youth and adult outdoor sports are now able to resume as well.
We recently announced that Step 2 of our Re-Opening Roadmap will begin June 20th. This means no capacity limits on retail, personal care services, bars, and restaurants; further increases to private gathering sizes; and no more restrictions on indoor sports. Most importantly, this means we are one step closer to getting back to normal.
From adapting and adjusting to changing public health guidelines to getting the first and now second vaccinations, the people of our province are doing an amazing job of getting us to this point. People are getting vaccinated, and vaccines are working. They are driving down case numbers and hospitalizations and making Saskatchewan safer.
Once we reach the vaccination threshold for Step 3, we will be a few weeks away from most remaining restrictions being lifted, setting the stage for a great Saskatchewan summer. This is a credit to all those who are rolling up their sleeves and sticking it to COVID.
We are closer than ever to beating this thing and can’t afford to become complacent now. Make sure you get your first shot and, when you’re eligible, follow it up with your second.
I am so encouraged to see so many young people lining up to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Students, particularly those nearing the end of their high school careers, have had to adapt to the pandemic in ways we never imagined. As we approach graduation season, I am reminded of the many students in our community preparing to take the next step in their young lives. Congratulations to the Class of 2021 and best wishes for a bright future!
The 2021 road construction season is underway which means planning ahead and slowing down in construction zones. While construction causes delays, we can look forward to better, safer roads and highways. Work this season includes Highway 2 passing lanes north of Prince Albert and Highway 3 passing lanes west of the city.
Work on the Highway 2 passing lane project is 25 per cent complete and scheduled to finish in October. The contractor started culvert boring in April and culvert installations are ongoing. The north-bound passing lane has been milled and they’re working on the subbase for the south-bound passing lane. The contractor has indicated they plan to work through until the long weekend in July. The contractor has also recently been paving a section of Highway 355 nearby.
As part of the Government of Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan, the Ministry of Highways will be improving 10,000 km of provincial highways and roadways by the end of 2030. This year will see 1,350 km of improvement on top of 1,000 km in 2020, putting the province ahead of schedule in its decade-long target.
Joe Hargrave is the MLA for Prince Albert Carlton