Windfall from closing Moosomin liquor store would pay for CT Scanner

February 22, 2023, 1:18 pm
Kevin Weedmark


Saskatchewanís provincial government is getting out of the retail liquor business. Part of that process involves selling off the retail liquor permits formerly held by the province, and selling the buildings those government liquor stores operated out of.

Moosominís retail liquor store permit sold for $630,000 on Thursday. The bidding went on for an hour after the official auction close, because two bidders kept bidding against each other.

So if you are a retailer in Moosomin, just think how lucky you areósomeone just paid $630,000 just to get into the retail business in your town. Forget the building, the stock, the equipment, the staffingósomeone paid $630,000 just for the right to set up a retail business. If you didnít have to pay that, consider yourself money ahead.

Soon the building the provincial liquor store operated out of will go on sale through a realtor.

The value of that liquor permit, $630,000, is because of the people of this region who buy liquor. The company that bought the permit knows that there are customers here who will support it enough to make that $630,000 investment worthwhile.

Itís nothing the government has done that makes it worth that investment, itís the people of this area who make the liquor licence worth that kind of money.

That liquor store building thatís about to be sold was paid for by the purchases of local people. The provincial government didnít pay for that building out of the goodness of their hearts, the cost of the building was amortized over many years and the cost was covered by purchases by you and me and everyone else in the Moosomin Region.

So, a question to the province of Saskatchewan, why not take the $630,000 from the liquor permit, and whatever is raised by the sale of the building, and contribute an equivalent amount from the health budget for a CT Scanner for the Southeast Integrated Care Centre?

The amount raised from the liquor permit sale and the amount I would expect will be raised in the liquor store building sale, combined with the $75,000 already raised by the Moosomin and District Health Care Foundation without even officially starting fundraising, should go a long way toward paying for a CT Scanner.

With the $4 million boost to the Moosomin airport fundraising last week, allowing the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance to land in Moosomin, the CT Scanner is the next piece of the puzzle to improve access to health care. This region contributes significantly to provincial coffers thanks to oil and potash royalties and shouldnít be shortchanged on health care.

But in the end, itís not at all about dollars and cents. Thatís not the important thing.

It comes down to one simple question: Do the people of the Moosomin Region deserve the same access to life-saving health care as people in Regina or Saskatoon or Yorkton or Estevan?

I believe they do.

I donít believe there can be any doubt that they do.

Moosominís airport expansion project took a giant step forward last week, and I look forward to the day that the next piece of the puzzle in improving access to health care in southeast Saskatchewan, the CT Scanner for the Southeast Integrated Care Centre, also moves forward.

Working together works
Talking to a few people in the government and at Nutrien following the announcement of $2.7 million in funding from Nutrien and $1.3 million from the government, they seemed to be very impressed with how the entire region was able to work together to bring the airport project together.

Take a look at the centrespread in this section of the World-Spectator. The RM of Moosomin has taken out an ad to thank Nutrien and the province for their contributions, and lists the municipal and private contributors who have brought it to this point.

In all, 14 municipalities contributed to the airport project.

Itís not the first time local governments and local businesses have worked together to move a project forward. Municipalities across the region, including some in Manitoba who had no legal requirement to fund health care in Saskatchewan, came together to raise money for the Southeast Integrated Health Care Centre. There was also a massive fundraising push with support from businesses, organizations, and individuals across the area, and the SEICC opened 15 years ago.

Then seven years ago, municipalities across the region joined forces to purchase the medical clinic in Moosomin. 16 municipalities, including two in Manitoba, formed the Southeast Municipal Healthcare Corporation and purchased the medical clinic. The group leases space to the Moosomin Family Practice Centre.

We have shown again and again in the Moosomin Region that we can work together to move projects forward. The Airport Expansion Project is just the latest example of the region working together. Thanks to the RM of Moosomin for its leadership on the airport expansion, and to everyone who has played a role in moving it forward.