October 8, 2014
Saskatchewan people can be proud that our province is strong and moving forward. Our population is growing, our economy is leading the nation and our future is brighter than ever as our young people are choosing to stay, start their careers and raise their families.
This is a time of year when many of us reflect on the things for which we are thankful – our health, our families, our friends and quality of life. Our government’s pursuit of growth gives us a greater ability to invest in these things and take care of one another a little better than we could before. We see this in many ways, including the construction of a Children’s Hospital.
After years of planning, fundraising and design, our government is fulfilling a promise to build a state-of-the-art maternal and children’s hospital in Saskatoon. With the support of our $235.5 million investment, this will be a hospital made in Saskatchewan, for Saskatchewan.
Starting in 2017, the 176-bed facility next to Royal University Hospital will provide medical services for children and expectant moms. The hospital will offer state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care and will include Saskatchewan’s first dedicated pediatric surgical suite. It will help recruit and retain the best pediatric and maternal health care specialists and give our families the safe, efficient and effective Children’s Hospital they have long deserved.
We are thankful for all those who have given their time, talents and financial contributions to breathe life into this project and we thank those who continue to work tirelessly to see it through to completion. They are a testament to the Saskatchewan spirit and their contributions are a shining example of our provincial motto Multis e gentibus vires: “From Many People’s Strength.”
Saskatchewan is blessed with wide open spaces and many rural and remote areas where people live, work and enjoy our province’s natural beauty. With this in mind, it is essential that we continue to make emergency medical services even more responsive than they’ve been in the past. We have been able to do this through STARS helicopter air emergency service.
Our government and the people of our province have believed in and supported STARS from the beginning. Thanks to the continued support of our people and community partners, this emergency service continues to save lives. Just recently, PotashCorp provided $27 million to fund a new AW139 STARS Helicopter, medical equipment and new home base. We thank them for their continued support of the work STARS Air Ambulance does in Saskatchewan.
Saskatchewan is home to 26,000 kilometres of provincial highway that is key to connecting our people with the places they need to go and our products with markets around the world. Our highways are busier than ever and, as another construction season winds down, a number of paving projects are nearing completion. By the end of the season we anticipate more than 300 kilometres of repaving on our busiest highways, including 1, 2, 6, 11, 16, 39 and 48, will be completed along with upgrades to 150 kilometres of rural highways across the province.
Our government is preparing for further grading, paving, repaving and road repair in 2015. We are also committed to new passing lanes, the twinning of highways and the construction of new bridges, culverts, and bypasses. We understand there is more to do which is why, since 2008, we have invested $4.3 billion in transportation infrastructure – $2 billion more than the previous government invested between 2001 and 2007.
Although some highway projects have wrapped up, contractors and crews will continue working as long as weather permits. If travel is part of Thanksgiving plans, please remember to exercise care and caution, obey the signs and slow down to 60km/hr in work zones to ensure that we all get home safely.