On March 7th, on the first day of the spring legislative session, a motion was passed in the assembly to support Ukraine and condemn Russia’s actions. Ukraine’s democracy and freedom are under attack. It is our hope the whole world will continue to stand up against this unprovoked aggression.
Saskatchewan and Prince Albert are fortunate to be home to many Ukrainian-Canadians. Ukrainian culture and traditions are embedded deep within Saskatchewan, with approximately 15 per cent of residents tracing all or part of their ancestry to Ukraine. While we support one another here at home, the Government of Saskatchewan is working with ministries, crowns, and agencies with partners in the Saskatchewan Ukrainian community to offer support.
Long-distance and text message charges from Canada to Ukraine and roaming charges for those in Ukraine have been waived for Sasktel customers. Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming are delisting Russian products from its distribution and retail stores. Private retailers are encouraged to do the same.
Our government has donated $100,000 to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine, and if you want to help, please consider donating to https://www.cufoundation.ca/donate/.
And most importantly, we are committed to providing a safe place for those fleeing the brutal attacks. To streamline the process, priority will be given to Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee applications received from Ukraine. Our partnership with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress of Saskatchewan will see $335,000 in funding dedicated to community coordinators who will provide information and assistance to individuals or groups who want to provide help. Coordinators will assist Ukrainians with settlement and language services, along with potential employment opportunities.
As we continue down the path towards truth and reconciliation in Canada, I was honoured to participate in the Reshaping Our Perspectives: Human Trafficking of Indigenous People Conference. The event focused on how human trafficking affects Indigenous people and the work by law enforcement to combat it. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who organized this informative event.
March is BrainLove Month in Saskatchewan, and the Saskatchewan Royal Purple held its kickoff event in Prince Albert on March 1st. I was honoured to attend this special event with MLA for Prince Albert Carlton Joe Hargrave. I want to thank the Saskatchewan Royal Purple for choosing such a worthy cause to support and for helping to bring awareness to the prevention of brain injuries. This year, pledges surpassed the $40,000 mark and brings their six-year total to $150,000. Congratulations to all of the members and volunteers on this tremendous group effort.
March is also Myeloma Awareness Month across Canada. Myeloma is the second most common form of blood cancer. There is no cure, and it can affect people of all ages. I welcomed Prince Albert resident Trevor Ives as my guest to the Legislative Assembly as part of the awareness campaign. Trevor was diagnosed as anemic when he was 53. It took two years before doctors figured out what was impacting his body. After 16 weeks of chemotherapy, Trevor had a successful stem cell transplant and is helping others. He is on the team of directors and staff for Myeloma Canada, providing resources and support for patients facing a shocking diagnosis like he once did.
And congratulations to owner Vikram Sharma and Master Franchiser Utsang Desai on your grand opening of Prince Albert’s newest restaurant, BarBurrito. Along with Ken Cheveldayoff, MLA for Saskatoon Willowgrove, I had the pleasure of meeting Vikram and Utsang as they welcomed our community to the establishment. BarBurrito is a welcome addition to our business community, and I wish them all the best.
If you have questions, comments, concerns or require assistance with provincial government programs or services, I encourage you to contact my constituency office located at #7, 598 15th Street East. We can be reached by telephone at 306-763-7677 or email, email@example.com.
Alana Ross is the Saskatchewan Party MLA for Prince Albert Northcote.