(17 August 2011)
Helping Flood Victims
With many communities across the province struggling to recover from another year of devastating flooding, our government is committed to doing everything it can to ensure they get back on their feet as quickly as possible. To that end we have announced rural and urban municipalities, towns, villages and First Nations can receive an advance payment of 60 per cent of their total claim through the Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP). Once the engineering report on their PDAP claim is received and approved, eligible municipalities can see their 60 per cent advance in a matter of days. Municipal claims are subject to a deductible equal to one-tenth of a community's most recent tax assessment, but that deductible is charged only once per year, even though a community might have experienced more than one natural disaster in that year. The unprecedented flooding experienced by communities across Saskatchewan should not stifle our ability to continue to grow and prosper as a province, which is why our government is working to ensure communities can receive timely financial support through PDAP.
New Agriculture Satellite Offices
Addressing the needs of farmers and ranchers is also a priority for our government. To that end, this week the Ministry of Agriculture officially opened new satellite offices in Assiniboia, Shaunavon and Moosomin, where producers can access crops, livestock forage and farm business management information and advice. In total, our government has opened seven new Saskatchewan Agriculture satellite offices this year to better serve farmers and ranchers - the others are located in Lloydminster, Meadow Lake, Wadena and Estevan. The seven new satellite offices are in addition to the 10 existing regional offices in Tisdale, Watrous, Yorkton, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Kindersley, North Battleford, Prince Albert, Weyburn and Outlook. The previous government closed 22 rural services centres in 2004 and told producers to use a toll-free line and website to access information. Unlike the NDP, the Saskatchewan Party believes producers should have access to local, hands-on, one-on-one extension services.
Our government continues to not only keep, but in some cases go above and beyond, the promises we made in the 2007 election campaign. Case in point is the recent announcement we had met and exceeded our promise to provide regional parks with $2.4 million dollars over four years. At $3.15 million, that is more than six times the amount spent by the previous government in their last four years in power. Because of this investment, campers in Saskatchewan’s Regional Parks are enjoying about 500 brand new campsites in addition to numerous other capital upgrades such as new washroom facilities or power upgrades.
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