Tag Archives: Government of Saskatchewan

Governments Invest in Crop Research | News and Media | Government of Saskatchewan

Photo by: Blake Campbell

Photo by: Blake Campbell

Today Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Lyle Stewart announced nearly $7.7 million in funding for 46 crop-related research projects through the province’s Agriculture Development Fund (ADF).

“Research in agriculture is the key to maintaining a competitive edge, and that’s why the federal government, in partnership with provinces and agriculture organizations, invests in research,” MacAulay said. “These millions of dollars invested into crops research in Saskatchewan over the years will help create growth and put more money in the pockets of farmers within the sector.”

“Ongoing investments into research and development provide Saskatchewan farmers and ranchers the ability to be competitive in the global marketplace, while producing food sustainably,” Stewart said.  “Continual innovation through the ADF leads to improved crop varieties, more value-added processing and cutting edge farming practices and knowledge, keeping our agriculture industry strong.”

The 46 projects receiving funding this year are diverse and include research on: improving plant breeding technology specifically to test for DON toxins that are the result of fusarium head blight infection in wheat; optimizing loss-sensing technology on farm equipment to minimize losses at harvest; and the development of a pulse-based replacement for shortening that can be used in baked goods, to name a few.

Today’s ADF announcement leverages significant funding from industry partners, on top of government funding.  A total of almost $3.7 million is being committed from partner organizations that include Western Grains Research Foundation, SaskPulse, SaskCanola, SaskFlax, Sask Wheat and Alberta Wheat Commission.

“We are appreciative of the funding provided through ADF that enables collaboration and the ability to make advancements across the Saskatchewan agriculture sector,” Saskatchewan Pulse Growers Executive Director Carl Potts said. “Amongst the funded projects are ones looking to address key priority areas for pulse growers such as weed control and pest management in pulse crops.”

“We welcome governments’ continued commitment to agricultural innovation,” Managing Director of the Crop Development Centre (CDC) at the University of Saskatchewan Kofi Agblor said.  “The CDC has released more than 450 new varieties of crops since its inception, varieties that today account for significant acreage across the prairies, illustrating just how significant an economic contribution research makes to the agricultural economy.  We look forward to continuing this important work.”

ADF funding is part of the $26.8 million the Government of Saskatchewan committed to agriculture research for 2016-17.  Funding for ADF projects is provided under Growing Forward 2, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative.

For more information, and to see a complete list of funded projects, visit www.saskatchewan.ca and search “Agriculture Development Fund.”

Source: Governments Invest in Crop Research | News and Media | Government of Saskatchewan

Government Announces Move to Single Provincial Health Authority | News and Media | Government of Saskatchewan

Change Will Reduce Administration While Improving Co-ordination of Health Services

Today, Health Minister Jim Reiter accepted all of the recommendations of the Saskatchewan Advisory Panel on Health System Structure, and announced the province will consolidate the 12 existing Regional Health Authorities (RHAs) into one single Provincial Health Authority.

“One Provincial Health Authority that is focussed on better co-ordination of health services across the province will improve the quality of care patients receive,” Reiter said.  “It will also reduce administration and duplication across the health system.

“This change represents a consolidation of administration, not a centralization of services.  Our government remains committed to providing high-quality health services in every part of the province.  Our goal is better co-ordination between the health services provided in different areas of the province.”

Along with the recommendation to move to a single Provincial Health Authority, the Advisory Panel recommends the appointment of a single Board of Directors to govern the new Authority.  The report also recommends system-wide improvements that include consolidation of health system administrative support functions and some clinical services such as laboratory and diagnostic imaging, and the planning, dispatch and delivery of Emergency Medical Services (EMS).

“We recognize the changes we are recommending are significant,” Advisory Panel member Dr. Dennis Kendel said.  “The Advisory Panel encourages the provincial government and senior leaders within the health system to take the time required to ensure a smooth transition.”

This is a significant change, and it will take time to create a new Provincial Health Authority.  Work on implementation planning has already begun at the Ministry of Health.  A comprehensive plan is being developed that will work through critical implementation details, including legislation, governance, financial and change management considerations.  While the date the new Provincial Health Authority will come into being is still to be determined, it is anticipated to occur in fall 2017.

“We want to do this quickly, but it is important to do this right,” Reiter said.  “The priority will be planning for a smooth transition and ensuring patients are always the focus.  Throughout the transition to the new Provincial Health Authority, our number one goal will be to ensure patients receive the same or better care.

“I thank the Advisory Panel for its thoughtful report,” Reiter said.  “I am confident that implementing these recommendations will result in the most effective and efficient health care structure for Saskatchewan.”

Optimizing and Integrating Patient-Centred Care: Saskatchewan Advisory Panel on Health System Structure is available online at www.saskatchewan.ca.

Source: Government Announces Move to Single Provincial Health Authority | News and Media | Government of Saskatchewan

SASKATCHEWAN PROVINCIAL PARKS ANNOUNCE NIGHTLY CAMPING LAUNCH SCHEDULE AND FEES FOR 2017 | News and Media | Government of Saskatchewan

Though it may be the middle of winter, the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport is already looking ahead to summertime.  Planning is underway for the 2017 park season and campers will be able to book their provincial park campsites beginning Tuesday, April 4.

“Saskatchewan’s provincial parks continue to grow in popularity, setting a new visitation record of nearly four million visits in 2016,” Parks, Culture and Sport Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said.  “We know that families are excited to plan their next visit and we look forward to providing them with the high quality experience they have come to expect.”

As in past years, the launch will be staggered over a 10 day period, with different parks becoming available for reservations on different days.  A queuing system will also be in place again this year to manage the high volume of traffic on the reservation website.

The 10 day launch and queuing system has been very effective at managing demand and ensuring the stability of the reservation system over the past three seasons.  Additional information on reservations is available at www.saskparks.net/Reserve-a-Site.

The schedule for reservation launch is as follows:

  • Tuesday, April 4: Blackstrap, Pike Lake
  • Wednesday, April 5: Buffalo Pound, Danielson, Douglas
  • Thursday, April 6: Echo Valley, Rowan’s Ravine
  • Friday, April 7: Duck Mountain, Good Spirit Lake, Greenwater Lake
  • Saturday, April 8: Crooked Lake, Moose Mountain
  • Sunday, April 9: Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
  • Monday, April 10: The Battlefords, Saskatchewan Landing
  • Tuesday, April 11: Meadow Lake
  • Wednesday, April 12: Bronson Forest Recreation Site, Chitek Lake Recreation Site, Lac La Ronge, Makwa Lake
  • Thursday, April 13: Candle Lake, Great Blue Heron, Narrow Hills

Reservations will open at 7 a.m. each day and the queuing system will begin each morning at 6:40 a.m.  As customers attempt to access the reservation website between 6:40 and 7 a.m., they will be moved to the queue waiting area.

Beginning at 7 a.m., customers in the queue waiting area will receive a random number and will be admitted to the reservation website based on their unique number.  As new people attempt to access the reservation website after 7 a.m., they will be placed at the end of the line.

Applications for seasonal camping are now available online at www.saskparks.net.  This very popular program is available at 20 provincial parks and offers the opportunity to secure a campsite from May to September at most locations.  The deadline for applications is Thursday, February 2, 2017.  Seasonal campsites are allocated by a lottery system and will be awarded on Monday, February 6, 2017.

There have been small increases to nightly camping, seasonal camping, group camping, reservation/change/cancellation fees and vehicle entry permits for 2017.  Costs to operate the provincial parks continue to increase, and in order to provide a high level of service to an increasing number of visitors, adjustments to fees have been made.

Price adjustments are as follows: $2-$4 for nightly camping, $2-$10 for entry permits, $8-$16 for group camping, $113-$125 for seasonal camping; and $2-$5 for reservation fees.  Fees for swimming lessons and organized youth group camping trips have not changed.  A full description of the new fees is available at www.saskparks.net/fees.

Saskatchewan continues to be one of the most affordable places in Canada to camp.  For example, a three-night non-electric camping trip for a family of four is less expensive in Saskatchewan than anywhere else in the country.

Saskatchewan provincial parks also offer great value-added services, like firewood and hot showers, for no additional charge.  Provincial parks remain highly subsidized and, even with these increases, user fees still cover less than 70 per cent of the cost to operate the parks.

Total funding for the provincial parks system since 2007 is more than $200 million.  This funding includes capital expenditures and investment, operational funding, and parks programming, such as the popular new programs Learn to Camp and Learn to Fish.

Source: SASKATCHEWAN PROVINCIAL PARKS ANNOUNCE NIGHTLY CAMPING LAUNCH SCHEDULE AND FEES FOR 2017 | News and Media | Government of Saskatchewan