Final Phase of Diefenbaker Bridge Repair
By MLA Victoria Jurgens Prince Albert Northcote
Prince Albert will soon see the completion of repairs to the Diefenbaker Bridge.
Your Saskatchewan Party government will pay 100 per cent of the costs, estimated at $3 million dollars. This commitment was made last fall when the City of Prince Albert unexpectedly faced a major repair project when a cracked girder was discovered.
Regarding a second river crossing for the Prince Albert area, the province is encouraging public input including destinations; frequency of use/crossings on Diefenbaker Bridge; purpose of trips; impact of bridge restrictions if any; possible alternate routes; and any additional comments.
The data will be compiled and assessed by an engineering consultant hired by The City of Prince Albert, Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure, RM of Buckland and RM of Prince Albert. Information for the Prince Albert Area Second River Crossing Study may be submitted by emailing PABridge2@stantec.com.
My focus this summer has been to gather public input on this and all other topics from the constituents of Northcote. I have been working diligently to meet with individuals and focus groups to obtain all points of view and identify the most pressing issues. You can submit your opinions and suggestions by filling out the online form at www.mlajurgens.ca.
On July 1st, I brought greetings from the provincial government at the Canada Day celebration held at Dave Stewart Park in Northcote. This date was also when important changes to assist seniors came into effect.
Under the new Personal Care Home Benefit (PCHB), eligible seniors will receive monthly financial assistance to help cover the cost of living in licensed personal care home. Also on July 1st, seniors started receiving up to $50 more each month under the Seniors Income Plan (SIP), These changes fulfilled two more campaign promises, and reflect our government’s ongoing commitment to improving the quality of life for Saskatchewan’s seniors.
Another promise by the government to reduce surgical wait times is being fulfilled with nearly nine out of 10 patients getting surgery within six months.
That shows progress toward the goal of no one waiting more than six months for surgery by March 31, 2013. A further objective is that no one will wait more than three months by the end of March 2014.
Ten Prince Albert families in need of housing now have an affordable, safe place to call home, with assistance from the province and Northern Spruce Housing Corporation (Northern Spruce). The province contributed approximately $2 million toward the $2.9 million housing project, with the funding balance being provided by Northern Spruce and Prince Albert Grand Council (PAGC).
Our government has also announced some program changes that will assist those in need of social housing.
The revisions mean most tenants will now be charged rents at 30 per cent of adjusted household income, which is consistent with the CMHC National Affordability Standard. This change, along with removal of an $800 rent cap, mean more units could become available to lower income earners, and people in crisis.
With the highest number of social housing units per capita, the Saskatchewan government has taken action to make public housing accessible to those who need it most.
New population growth numbers reveal Saskatchewan grew by almost 20,000 people last year. Other positive statistics include record high building permits and retail sales and a new all-time high of 548,900 people working in the province.
Once again, the numbers show our efforts to keep Saskatchewan moving forward, are yielding a clear advantage for our province!
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