The past month has been busy with events in Prince Albert and legislative duties in Regina. I was so happy to host the March 31 Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal ceremony at the Coronet Hotel. Twenty-three deserving Saskatchewan residents were recognized for their volunteer work in service to our community through their organizations, public service, Truth and Reconciliation and Business Excellence. Congratulations to everyone, and thank you. Together we make Saskatchewan strong!
Late last month, our government passed the 2023-24 Provincial Budget, which included investments in our community and the surrounding areas. Along with the continuation of the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital project and several other healthcare initiatives, our government is investing in the protection of people and property.
The Prince Albert Victoria Hospital project, which is currently moving through the Design Early Works phase, will receive an investment of $98.6 million. This phase of the project includes designs for a new acute care tower, renovations to the current facility, and replacement of the existing adult mental health space. In addition to the larger emergency department and enhanced medical imaging services, the number of beds at the hospital will increase from 173 to 242. The hospital will improve patient care access in our community and across northern Saskatchewan. I am so excited to see the project progress throughout the summer months. I will provide updates when they become available.
Our government’s Health Human Resources Action Plan to add 1,000 health care workers to the province’s system receives an investment of $98.8 million in the budget. The enhanced Rural Physician Incentives Program will provide $200,000 for a five-year return-of-service agreement to help attract more family physicians to rural and northern communities. It will be great to see some of these recruits start working in our province in the coming months.
This budget also invests $8.8 million to stabilize emergency medical services (EMS) in rural and remote areas across the province, including Prince Albert. This funding will go towards additional support for contracted EMS operators and upgrading equipment. These investments will help to stabilize and grow our health care workforce to support our province today and into the future.
Another element of the provincial budget that is important to our community is that of public safety. To ensure our communities are safe across the province, our government is investing $1.6 million in a new Warrant Enforcement and Suppression Team (WEST) stationed in Prince Albert. WEST was launched last April to target high-profile offenders who are a significant threat to public safety, such as gang members and violent offenders with outstanding warrants.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact by constituency office by phone at (306) 763-7677 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or stop by our office, located at #7, 598 15th Street East.