Moose Jaw investments 'no surprise' for local MLAs

Justin Crann
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Sask Party government 'walks the walk': Lawrence

The Sask. Party government does what it says it's going to do, according to MLA Greg Lawrence.

Moose Jaw Wakamow MLA Greg Lawrence

"That's what attracted me to the Sask. Party — it's a government that follows through on its commitment and does what it says it's going to do," he said. "It's not just talk, we walk the walk."

Lawrence and fellow Moose Jaw MLA Warren Michelson spoke with the Times-Herald Wednesday about the investments their party has made in the Friendly City within the 2014/2015 provincial budget.

Highlights are the fulfillment of the province's commitment to the new regional hospital, some money for a "major renovation project" for Sacred Heart Community School, and continued pursuance of the transition of Valley View residents.

Michelson said he is "quite pleased" with the $16 million allocated to the new regional hospital.

"This is something that I originally pushed for back in 2007, and this $16 million in one respect is not a surprise," he said. "When we said we'd build a hospital, we planned to build a hospital. This is the final stage to make sure the hospital will be completed."

Lawrence said the investment in Sacred Heart Community School is "not a major surprise."

"We put the money where it's needed. Sacred Heart is a school that is crowded and needs more space," he said. "South Hill is growing quite rapidly now with Westheath and the new buildings going up just south of my place … having money there to do a renovation is great for the school."

Lawrence stressed that the project is a renovation, not the construction of a new school, and as such he doesn't expect it to be a P3 arrangement.

On the Valley View project, he reiterated the Sask. Party is a government that lives up to its commitments.

Michelson added the government also wants to do what's right.

"If the Valley View project takes a few more months than we anticipate, it certainly can," he said. "We want to make sure the people are looked after … That's part of good government, and that's what we want to be."

Municipal revenue sharing for Moose Jaw is down roughly $200,000 or two per cent over last year, but Lawrence said that has to do with the way revenue sharing scales with consumption across the province and the PST, and highlighted the almost three-fold increase in revenue sharing since 2007/2008.

Both Lawrence and Michelson said they were happy to see what they call another balanced budget.

"It was well put-together and is a balanced budget. When I'm thinking balanced, I'm not just thinking from a financial standpoint," Michelson said. "I think the programs that were brought forward in the budget today are well-balanced throughout the province with different (focuses)."

The Times-Herald will have further reaction to the provincial budget, including the NDP's response, tomorrow.

You can follow Justin Crann on Twitter or like him on Facebook.

Organizations: Sask. Party, Sacred Heart Community School, Times-Herald

Geographic location: Valley View, Friendly, South Hill

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