Entrance issue was solved quickly

July 14, 2020, 10:25 am


It didn’t take long for things to get straightened out once the paper came out last week noting that the entrance to Saskatchewan at the Manitoba border needed some attention.

Things worked exactly as they should work. An individual, Trevor Green, let government officials and us know that there was a problem with maintenance at the entrance sign to Saskatchewan—it was apparent no one was taking care of the site.

We started making calls, so did Moosomin MLA Steven Bonk, and it quickly became apparent what the problem was—three different departments thought a different department was taking care of the site, and one department thought the town of Moosomin had purchased the site and was responsible, since the town purchased the building that was on the site, which is now the clubhouse at Pipestone Hills Golf Club.

The paper came out Monday laying out the responses from the various departments, and by 1 pm that day our MLA, Steven Bonk had spoken with the Highways Minister and was in the World-Spectator office letting us know that the problem had indeed been that each department thought someone else was looking after the site, and that Saskatchewan Highways is taking responsibility for maintaining the site.

That’s exactly how government should work—when there is a problem it takes someone to point it out and raise the issue, in this case Trevor Green, and your government representative should take responsibility and ensure it gets attention.

Thanks to Trevor Green for raising the issue, thanks to our reporter Rob Paul for making the government aware of the issue, and thanks to Steven Bonk for ensuring the government does what it needs to do to get the problem fixed.

Now I can think of a few issues that need to be fixed at the federal level. Hopefully it will be that easy . . .

News tip of the week
Tyler Thorn wins the News Tip of the Week award. He called Thursday to ask about the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy, saying another car dealer told him that companies that qualify for the wage subsidy in one month qualify to receive it in the next.

That was news to him, it was news to me, and the news would be worth tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars to many businesses—millions for larger businesses.

I reached out to Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s office and the Ministry of Finance and was told that yes, that provision is in the legislation. If a company qualified for the wage subsidy in March, when the threshold was a 15 per cent decline in business, it automatically qualifies for April, when the threshold became 30 per cent. If a company qualified for the subsidy in March, April and May, but actually saw an increase over last year in June, it can still receive the subsidy in June—because it qualified in May it automatically qualifies for June whether it meets the criteria for June or not.

A few quick calls confirmed that many, from Members of Parliament to business advocacy groups, were not aware of the “deeming rule”—no reflection on them, but on a government that obviously failed to adequately inform the public and the people who need to know all the details of these programs.

Thanks for the news tip! We will be getting the word out about this feature of the CEWS program, and one of our area MPs may be asking a question about the communication of this provision in the House of Commons shortly.

Elections this fall
Two elections are coming up this fall across Saskatchewan.

There will be a provincial election on October 26. There is not usually much drama over provincial elections. After 13 years in power the Saskatchewan Party is sitting at 57 per cent support in the polls, and in this area their support is much stronger than that. The three Saskatchewan Party MLAs in our area won with massive majorities in the last election. Steven Bonk won the Moosomin riding with 72 per cent of the vote in 2016, Warren Kaeding won the Melville-Saltcoats riding with 72 per cent of the vote, and Dan D’Autremont won the Cannington riding with 84 per cent of the vote. So don’t expect tooooo much drama there.

Municipal and school board elections are coming up November 9 in Saskatchewan. If you care about your community, think about whether you can make a contribution on your local council or school board. We started talking to local mayors this week about whether they plan to run again this fall, and will be speaking to more elected officials in coming weeks, to get people thinking about their local council and whether they can make a difference for their community by letting their name stand. I have been covering council meetings for three decades and I can tell you there is a lot of work and not a lot of glory for those who serve their community on councils, but if you think you have something to contribute, start thinking now about this fall.