Community Columns

MLA Musing October 31, 2014

alt From the desk of Greg Lawrence, Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA...



Construction of a fifth Habitat for Humanity home for Moose Jaw was officially launched at a special ceremony today! Located at 517 Home Street West, the single family bi-level home received $65,000 in funding from the province through the Saskatchewan Housing Corporation (SHC). The home is also supported in part by Mosaic Potash Corporation and the City of Moose Jaw.

“We are proud to support the fifth Habitat for Humanity home in Moose Jaw,” Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA Greg Lawrence said on behalf of Social Services Minister and Minister responsible for Saskatchewan Housing Corporation Donna Harpauer. “The true strength of our province is found in the compassion and generosity of its people, and this is certainly true of Habitat for Humanity and its many partners. Together, we are working to keep Saskatchewan strong and to help make life more affordable for families in greatest housing need.”

In the 2014-15 Budget, the province committed a further $750,000 delivered through the SHC to help build an additional 12 new Habitat for Humanity homes throughout Saskatchewan. This brings the government’s commitment to Habitat for Humanity to a total of $7.85 million since March 2009. This total includes $600,000 from the province’s Summit Action Fund.

Saskatchewan Housing Corporation now provides $65,000 per home in funding for homes starting construction. This is up from the $50,000 per home which was provided up to March 2014.

Habitat is one of the few organizations whose distinct delivery model continues to provide viable homeownership opportunities for low- to moderate-income families. Each Habitat partner family contributes 500 partnering hours to build their home and other Habitat for Humanity homes, and participates in training and preparation sessions.

To learn more about Habitat for Humanity and their work across Saskatchewan, visit



Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant introduced amendments this week to The Victims of Domestic Violence Act. The changes will expand the Act’s scope and the ability of police and the justice system to protect victims of violence and abuse. “In 1994, Saskatchewan was the first province in Canada to introduce this kind of legislation,” Wyant said. “These are the first significant amendments since that time, ensuring Saskatchewan remains at the forefront when it comes to legislating protections for victims of violence.”


The amendments include:

  • A name change, to The Victims of Interpersonal Violence Act;
  • Extending non-contact provisions to prohibit contact at the victim’s schools and workplaces in the case of an emergency intervention order;
  • Harassment and deprivation of necessities as prohibited interpersonal violence;
  • Direction for a Justice of the Peace on certain matters that should or should not be taken into account when deciding whether to grant an emergency intervention order;
  • Extending the scope of the Act to include care giving relationships regardless of cohabitation; and
  • Modernizing the Act to include prohibitions on electronic contacts between parties. 

Today’s announcement coincides with Violence Prevention Week, proclaimed Monday.

Carnie's Comments - Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween.


It's still a lot of fun for kids of ALL ages.  It gives all a chance to be creative with costume and character.


There has been local controversy in the past. City council was under pressure years ago to officially switch Halloween from Sunday to Saturday, rememer that?  Just a few years ago there was outrage over a "seance" at a local museum.  It was cancelled.


Here in Moose Jaw, we've taken this controversial day and turned it into a positive.  The good people at the Hillcrest Church took the lead several years ago and started "The Better Together Food Drive".  No tricks, just treats...for the Moose Jaw and District Food Bank.


The brown paper bags have been delivered to local homes.  We are being asked to fill those bags with non-perishable food for those less fortunate than us.  As a community we took a day many found troubling and turned it into the BEST day of the year for the local food bank and those who need it.


That's the way we do it in The Friendly City!  Happy Halloween.

Carnie's Comments - CHILD ABUSE PROTOCOL

It gets brushed under the carpet and the kids fall through the cracks.  It happens every day.  It's up to us to change it.


Our provincial government has done what they can do to help protect our children.  This week, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Social Services announced changes that will simplify the process and approach to child abuse investigations.


The new protocol clarifies a number of topics, making it clear that teachers no longer have to report suspected abuse to the principal.  They can now go straight to the police.  That's just one of a number of changes.


Under the new rules, privacy concerns get "brushed under the carpet".  Justice Minister Gordon Wyant says "Your duty to report suspected child abuse overrides any duty to protect the privacy of clients, patients or students."  He also said "No action for damages may be brought against a person who reports child abuse."


Now, it's up to us.  You and report suspected abuse or neglect.  Don't be afraid to get involved.  Your actions could save a life.

Carnie's Comments - CITY TRANSIT

Perhaps we were ahead of our time.  Perhaps we were reacting to growth before we were big enough.  Maybe that's not a bad thing.


We gave it a try.  It isn't working like we thought it might and we admit the mistake and re-group.


Moose Jaw Transit made a move recently to expand evening service and cut back daytime service. The changes came after consultation with a number of local people...people who were calling for change.


Post secondary students at Sask Polytechnic and those attending night time classes and activities at our multicultural centre said they'd take advantage of the expanded night time service and some did...but only a few.


So, it will be back to the way we were with buses running every half hour during the day and evening service will include an extra hour on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings.

Eventually, as we continue to grow, I think we'll need that expanded service from City Transit. Probably when this SaskaBOOM is over not every 16 year old kid in town has a new car....maybe then we'll need expanded bus service.  Time will tell.

Carnie's Comments - FLU SHOTS

It was busy.  The facilitators were hustling, providing service that was fast and friendly...efficient to say the least.


And, there I was, in a room full of people...all awaiting that little prick...from the needle that will deliver the influenza vaccine.


This year's concoction is said to be a good one with protection against a number of flu strains. Still, fewer than half of Canadians get the flu shot.


Many, perhaps someone you know, say the flu shot made them sick the last time they got it. I've talked to medical experts who tell me THAT is almost impossible.


You see, the vaccine they give us is tested for safety.  It contains preservatives and stabilizers and immune-boosting agents and none of them have been proven to be toxic. 


Vaccination works.  We discovered it in 1796.  Vaccine for influenza has been around for over 60 years.  


Not sold yet?  Consider this;  Health officials estimate some 20,000 Canadians will need hospital care due to complications from influenza this winter and between 2000 and 8000 Canadians will die 


I'm thinking...those will be people who do not get the influenza vaccine.

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