by Alana Ross
First and foremost, thank you to the constituents of Prince Albert Northcote for the honour of serving as your representative in the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly. I find that I’m still learning a lot and growing into the role every day. Every step of the journey, particularly promoting and advocating for our community, has been very rewarding.
Thank you all for being patient, understanding, and for observing public health orders to keep our province moving and keep our friends, families, and communities safe in response to COVID-19. Protecting lives and livelihoods is our #1 priority and we know that the only way for the people of our province to return to our pre-pandemic lives is to get vaccinated.
The vaccines are safe, they work and, as the rollout continues, I strongly encourage you to roll up your sleeve and stick it to COVID when it is your turn to do so. Thank you to the dedicated staff at vaccination clinics and to all residents who are making the responsible decision to get vaccinated.
Let’s keep protecting ourselves and those around us by following the public health orders currently in place. We are making great progress on the road to recovery.
Our government recently unveiled a re-opening roadmap that will gradually lift the current public health orders as Saskatchewan reaches significant vaccination levels. We reached Step 1 of re-opening at the end of May.
Household gatherings expanded up to 10 people, attendance at worship services and other public gatherings increases, and table limits at restaurants increases.
Step 2 is expected to begin at the third week in June, lifting capacity limits in retail, personal care services, restaurants, and bars. Public and household gathering sizes will expand and remaining restrictions on youth and adult sports will be removed.
Finally, Step 3 is expected to begin in the second week of July, when most remaining restrictions will be lifted.
How quickly we can move forward with this plan depends on more people getting vaccinated when it’s their turn.
As Saskatchewan travels through its roadmap to reopen, this year’s provincial budget has been designed to protect, build and grow our province.
Our government’s budget protects lives and livelihoods by providing direct funding to fight COVID-19 while investing record levels of funding into health care, education, social services and protection of people and property.
This budget builds with a capital investment of $3.1 billion to help recover our economy and create jobs. There is new funding for new schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities, highways and municipal infrastructure.
The growth of our economy and our communities continues to be a key focus of our government.
This budget provides key investments and incentives to achieve that growth while keeping life affordable for families.
Our province has fared better than most through the global pandemic and this budget charts a clear course forward for our province that ensures a strong recovery, and a strong Saskatchewan.
Earlier this month I was very pleased to see the next steps in the Victoria Hospital renewal as Stantec was selected as the design firm for this important project. Their team of local architects and engineers have a proud history of infrastructure project delivery throughout Saskatchewan.
Victoria Hospital is the major hub for essential health care services across northern Saskatchewan and our government is pleased to see this redevelopment project moving ahead. We look forward to working with the local community and our Indigenous partners to ensure it includes all the services and amenities they require.
We are investing more than $300 million in the redesigned hospital for a new acute care tower, the replacement of the existing mental health space and renovations to the current facility.
Upon completion, the total number of beds available is expected to increase by about 40 per cent, with space to expand further as needed.
Victoria Hospital is a critical component of our province’s health infrastructure and this significant investment will serve not only the people of Prince Albert, but the entire northern half of the province for years to come.
If you have questions, comments, concerns or require assistance with provincial government programs or services, I encourage you to contact our Constituency Office located at 7 – 598 15th St. E. We can be reached by telephone at 306-763-7677 or by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Alana Ross is the MLA for Prince Albert Northcote.