by Joe Hargrave
It has been a very warm and eventful few weeks as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic and do our best to have a great Saskatchewan summer!
All public health orders and restrictions have been lifted, most Saskatchewan residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and it is clear that vaccines are working. They are reducing transmission, keeping people out of hospital, and saving lives.
From get-togethers and public events to shopping and vacations, residents are returning to more normal activities and that is great to see. However, COVID-19 still poses a risk to those who have not been vaccinated. So, if you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to go and get your first shot and then, when it’s time, finish the job and get your second. It takes two weeks from your second dose to achieve optimal protection, so consider looking ahead at where you plan to be for the long weekend, for back to school, and get vaccinated.
For guidance on COVID-19, including the requirements for self-isolation if you have a positive test, expectations around masking, information for businesses and workplaces, and visitation requirements for acute care and care homes, visit www.saskatchewan.ca/living-with-covid.
I recently had the opportunity to join with colleagues, as well as members from the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and Rural Municipality of Buckland, to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for two new sets of passing lanes between Prince Albert and Christopher Lake.
These passing lanes, the first to be completed under our $2.4 billion stimulus program, will greatly improve safety in the area. Studies have shown passing lanes can reduce collisions by as much as 25 per cent and, over the next two years, our government will be constructing 30 new sets of passing lanes, building on the 27 sets constructed in the last four years.
Planning is also underway to twin an eight-kilometre section of Highway 3 from Prince Albert to the Shell River Bridge. This project is planned for a fall 2021 tender. In addition, three sets of passing lanes are being constructed between the Shell River Bridge and Shellbrook as a cost-effective safety improvement on that portion of the corridor.
The Government of Saskatchewan has invested more than $10.6 billion in highways infrastructure since 2008, improving more than 17,100 kilometres of highway. This is in addition to more than 1,350 kilometres of provincial highways constructed this year as part of the 10-year Growth Plan goal to build and upgrade 10,000 kilometres of highway. With this year’s projects, the province is ahead of the pace needed to meet this target.
The recent groundbreaking for Rose Garden Hospice in Prince Albert was an exciting and emotional day. It served as a reminder of the dedication of so many individuals, businesses, and organizations that have supported the project through the years.
The hospice has been a long-time passion project for me and for so many others. I have pushed for it and I’m proud to say that once construction is complete, the province will provide operating funds for a 10-bed facility that will deliver patient-centred, end-of-life care in a home-like environment. The Rose Garden Hospice project is a wonderful initiative that has been embraced by our community and I look forward to its completion.
As always, if you require assistance with government programs or services, or if you wish to provide ideas and feedback for improvement, please visit the Prince Albert Carlton Constituency Office at Bay 4 – South Industrial Drive. You can also reach us by calling 306-922-2828 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.