COLUMN: Victoria Jurgens — June 24, 2014

Victoria Jurgens
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My heartfelt congratulations to all 2014 graduates in Prince Albert!  Enjoy the celebration of this milestone in your life. You richly deserve it.

I am so proud to be part of a government that has made Saskatchewan simply the best place in the country to graduate.

Opportunities for those wishing to continue to post-secondary education have never been brighter in Saskatchewan. The Class of 2014 can join the thousands of students who have already benefited from the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship (SAS).

The SAS reduces tuition up to $500 per year, to a lifetime maximum of $2,000 for new Saskatchewan Grade 12 graduates who enroll at a Saskatchewan post-secondary institution. 

Since the program began in 2012, nearly 13,000 students have received the scholarship, totalling more than $6.4 million in support.  Students have up to 10 years from graduation to access the scholarship.

Post-secondary educational institutions apply on the student’s behalf. Eligible students will have their tuition reduced by the scholarship amount.  Information on the scholarship is posted on the Ministry of Advanced Education's website at www.aeei.gov.sk.ca/scholarship-sas.

 

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We are working to build a better province for our kids and grandkids.  One of the ways we are doing that is with the Graduate Retention Program.  After completing their post-secondary training, our government offers grads up to $20,000 in tax credits, over seven years, as long as they live in Saskatchewan.

By providing this tuition fee refund, the Graduate Retention Program encourages students to stay and start their careers.  More than 55,000 grads have already taken advantage of the program, choosing to stay and build a life in Saskatchewan.

To be eligible, you have to live in Saskatchewan and file a Saskatchewan income tax return.  More information may be found here:  http://ae.gov.sk.ca/grp-questions-and-answers

 

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Saskatchewan graduates are entering one of the most vibrant economies in Canada, and the best Saskatchewan has seen since the province’s founding.

An excellent indicator of this is a recent Statistics Canada report which shows Saskatchewan’s population continues to grow.  In fact, since January of this year alone, over 5,000 people have chosen Saskatchewan to live and work.

As of April 1, there were 1,122,588 people living in Saskatchewan. This is an increase of 5,085 people since January 1, and an increase of 21,180 people in the past year.  Our annual and quarterly growth rates are both second-highest among the provinces, behind only Alberta.  This is now the eighth consecutive year of strong population growth.

There are more jobs and opportunities in Saskatchewan than ever before. That is why today, more people than ever before are calling Saskatchewan home.  Further information may be found at http://mlajurgens.ca/2014/06/saskatchewan-grows-another-5000-people-first-quarter-2014/

 

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In 2013 a Special Committee on Traffic Safety was created in response to consultation with the people of Saskatchewan. An action plan was created to help address fatalities on Saskatchewan roads. Our government acted on that plan.

Effective June 27, 2014, traffic safety laws will change.

There will be zero drug and alcohol tolerance for drivers under 19 years of age, and for all drivers in the Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program and Motorcycle GDL program.

 Drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs will face the same punishments, beginning with immediate seizure of their vehicles. Ignition interlock systems become mandatory for convicted drivers.  These are only a few of the changes.  

Your Saskatchewan Party government created this new legislation in an effort to prevent deaths, serious injuries and property damage on Saskatchewan roads.

Infographics and details may be found at http://www.sgi.sk.ca/about/articles/2014/trafficsafetychanges.html 

 

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Canadians celebrate National Aboriginal Day every June 21.  It is a time to recognize how First Nations, Métis and Inuit have helped build and shape our country and province. 

In Saskatchewan, National Aboriginal Day is more than just a celebration of the province’s native heritage. It’s about diverse communities coming together to share in Aboriginal culture and to build a stronger, brighter future. It is a great way to enjoy the Summer Solstice!

 

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Saskatchewan youth can travel the province this summer for only $20 one way with the Saskatchewan Transportation

Company (STC).  This offer is in effect from July 1 to Aug. 31 for ages 12 to 25. Sale tickets can be purchased from STC

agencies across Saskatchewan.

STC busses offer a stress free way to travel and include free Wi-Fi on all routes. It is an enjoyable, convenient and

affordableway for our youth to experience the many adventures our province offers. Visit STC’s website

at stcbus.com/youthsale or facebook.com/STCbus.

Enjoy your summer!

 

Victoria Jurgens is the MLA for Prince Albert Northcote. Constituents are always welcome to contact her office by calling 306-922-4220.  You may also visit her website at http://mlajurgens.ca or email mlajurgens@sasktel.net.  Her office is located at 5A 598 15th St. E. across from Superstore.

Organizations: Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan Grade 12 Ministry of Advanced Education Statistics Canada Special Committee on Traffic Safety Saskatchewan Party First Nations Saskatchewan Transportation

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Canada, Alberta

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