Carnie's Comments - UKRAINE
Ukrainians. Good people. Strong people. Ukrainian men and women played a large role in developing our country into the wonderful place it is today. Decades ago they brought the skills and the work ethic that helped lay a foundation that we continue to build on here on the prairies.
Those Ukrainian-Canadians are worried about their friends and family these days as tension between Russia and Ukraine remains strong.
I saw the worry and the passion in the eyes of 86 year old Steve Galczyk this week. Steve, who came to Canada from Ukraine over 60 years ago and still speaks with a thick Ukrainian accent, told me there have been some 30 million marriages involving both Russian and Ukrainian people.
Mr. Galczyk says if there is war there's no way to avoid the fact that brothers will kill brothers and cousins will kill cousins. He also told me, ordinary people in Russia and Ukraine don't want war.
If only we could arrange a meeting between him and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Carnie's Comments - FEDS / WEB POLL
It's good news for our local Members of Parliament who belong to the Conservative Party of Canada. Of course, all but one of our Saskatchewan MP's are Conservatives. Liberal Ralph Goodale is the only one who doesn't sit in government.
The results I'm talking about come from a recent Community Web Poll on DiscoverMooseJaw.com. The question was; "Which of the major political parties would you support if you were voting today?"
40% said Conservative. 27% Liberal. 24% said NDP and over 9% said Green Party.
One could draw all sorts of conclusions from those results. I think Liberal leader Justin Trudeau is appealing to a lot of local people. I think the NDP has lost a lot of momentum since Jack Layton died. I think the Green Party continues to grow in popularity.
And, I think...the more things change the more they'll stay the same. The Conservative Party of Canada, under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, will continue to govern our country for the foreseeable future. Like it or...not.
Carnie's Comments - UKRAINE
A number of elders have been here for many years but still have family there. You know, Moose Jaw and other Saskatchewan communities have a number of local people who just recently arrived from Ukraine.
They are watching their home country closely these days. Political unrest leading to Russia increasing military presence in Ukraine despite warnings from around the world.
The most recent Census showed over 129,000 Ukrainians in Saskatchewan and 1.2 million people of full or partial Ukrainian origin living in Canada. You know, the only countries in the world with more Ukrainian people are Russia and Ukraine itself.
One can't help but watch and wonder how political differences can lead to such dissension and violence and the threat of more to come. How, in this day and age? How, when we just got together to celebrate excellence in athletics at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia! How, when the local and newly formed Russian Association is planning a luncheon to showcase its strengths to the local business community. How could this be happening...to us.
MLA Musing March 3, 2014
From the desk of Greg Lawrence, Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA...
WEIGHT RESTRICTIONS ON SASKATCHEWAN HIGHWAYS START MARCH 1
Winter weight season ends on some Saskatchewan highways as of March 1.
Winter weights have been in effect since December. These will start being removed at 12:01 a.m. March 1. Weight restriction orders around winter weights are published online at www.saskatchewan.ca under the "New Winter Order" link. Regularly scheduled updates of the winter restriction orders will be provided every Tuesday and Friday by 12:30 p.m. until March 15 when winter weights are no longer in effect.
The freeze period during winter strengthens the road and supports heavier truck loads, providing shippers an opportunity to transport heavier loads during the colder winter months. Typically, these winter weights run from mid-November through mid-March.
Shippers should also be aware of upcoming spring road bans and follow weight limits on secondary roads during this most fragile six-week thaw period.
Truckers can see the latest road restriction orders and related information online at www.saskatchewan.ca or by calling the Highway Hotline across Canada at 1-888-335-7623. Technical and regulatory information is also available from Commercial Vehicle Enforcement at 1-866-933-5290, weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., except stat holidays.
STUDENT FIRST ONLINE ENGAGEMENT TOOL LAUNCHED
Today, the Government of Saskatchewan launched the Student First online engagement tool to assist in collecting input and feedback on the education sector in Saskatchewan. The tool, which is available to the public, includes the opportunity to provide written submissions and take part in surveys.
Over the past three months, Student First advisors Russ Mirasty and Patricia Prowse have been travelling across the province. To date, they have taken part in 54 engagement forums, heard from more than 400 students, parents/caregivers and teachers, held 10 sessions with key educational organization representatives, and will continue these engagements over the coming months.
Emerging themes include the importance of relationships between schools, families and communities; supporting each student by their individual need to ensure their success; a shared responsibility for student well-being between schools, families and communities; and a need for healthy, culturally-affirming learning environments that are free of bullying and violence.
The need for additional teacher supports such as curriculum and teaching resources, technology and professional development, have also been raised.
Student First is about unifying and reorienting the education system on what matters most - the student. The engagements, both in-person and online, focus on what’s going well, what’s not, and how the education sector can better support students and ensure they have the tools they need to succeed.
To use the online engagement tool and provide feedback, please visit www.studentfirstsk.ca.
Carnie's Comments - DESTINATION FEE
She says "...we have an awful lot to give with all the amenities of a bigger city", and she may have hit the nail on the head when she said we have "character".
Mayor Deb Higgins was speaking to the fact a number of local businesses have joined together to make a plan for the long term. Their first step was to announce they will now be charging a "destination marketing fee" to their customers.
Temple Gardens Mineral Spa, the Grant Hall, Heritage Inn, Comfort Inn and Mosaic Place are the businesses coming together. The destination marketing fee will be a 1% charge on hotel room and meeting room rentals. That funding will be dedicated to attracting more visitors and business to our city.
Oh, the tourists are already enjoying our city. However, we've learned we have room for more. Thanks to forward thinking business people, we're about to invite more.
They'll come. You watch.