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Burning Questions for the Prime Minister in Saskatchewan PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Friday, 24 July 2015 15:29

Prime Minister Stephen Harper says it is up to the premiers to decide if the Senate should be reformed or abolished -- but in the meantime, he will not appoint any new members.

Harper made the comments in the Saskatchewan legislative building this afternoon after touring the forest fire zone in La Ronge this morning.

There are currently 22 vacancies on the Senate and Harper has not made any appointments in the past two-and-a-half years.  He says he will keep it that way unless the premiers agree to meaningful change.

”But look, they have got a chance, the ball is in their court, they can now propose reform," he says.  "In the meantime, the membership of the Senate is going to continue to shrink and Canadians are going to the ask the question, 'If you don’t have a program of reform and we're not missing the senators, then why not just abolish it'?"

Premier Brad Wall says there is no chance the premiers will reach agreement.  He says that is why his position is to get rid of it, one way or the other.

"If we can't come to an agreement on how this thing could be meaningfully reformed then surely we must be able to decide that in 2015 that this country, being the modern democracy that it is, ought not to provide decision-making authority to an appointed body," he says.

The premier did get a favourable response from the Prime Minister on his proposal for a national forest fire strategy that would involve an emergency supply of equipment, additional training for the military and better coordination among the provinces during years of severe fire threats.

Harper held private meetings this morning with the mayors of La Ronge and Air Ronge, as well as the chief of the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.

He personally thanked them for their hard work and professionalism during an extremely difficult and stressful time.

Harper also met with some of the local firefighters who were on the front lines.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 July 2015 14:16
The Prime Minister and Premier Visit La Ronge PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Smith   
Friday, 24 July 2015 14:00

Prime Minister Stephen Harper in La Ronge.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Premier Brad Wall along with Members of Parliament Rob Clarke and Randy Hoback and community leaders met in La Ronge this morning.

La Ronge Mayor Thomas Sierzycki, Air Ronge Mayor Gordon Stomp were in attendance, along with Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson.

Cook-Searson says she spoke with the Prime Minister and reiterated her concerns about fire fighting in the north.

"Having more of our local fire fighters trained and on the ground and having more of our people trained and ready to go and then also enhancing out First Nations agreements that we have."

Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Kimberly Jonathan was also at the meeting in La Ronge.

Jonathan says a meeting has been requested on the development of a comprehensive First Nations Emergency Measures Management Plan and Funding Agreement.

The FSIN also wants a settlement reached on funding for damage to homes, properties and infrastructure in First Nations communities and traditional territories caused by fires in Saskatchewan.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 July 2015 14:15
High Speed Internet Service Announced for More Northern Communities PDF Print E-mail
Written by Manfred Joehnck   
Friday, 24 July 2015 13:36

More than 2,700 homes in a number of small northern Saskatchewan communities will be getting high speed internet service over the next couple of years.

The federal government announced today it is providing $7.4 million for the broadband project which should be complete by 2017.

SaskTel is also a partner.

More than two dozen communities will be affected.

They include Bear Creek, Black Lake, Brabant Lake, Canoe Narrows, Clearwater River Dene Nation, Dore Lake, Fond du Lac, Grandmother’s Bay, Jans Bay, Missinipe, Patuanak, Red Earth, Shoal Lake, Southend, Stanley Mission, St. George’s Hill, Stony Rapids, Sucker River, Turnor Lake, Wadin Bay, Wahpeton, Waterhen Lake and Wollaston Lake.

The announcement was made this morning by Rob Clarke, the Conservative MP for Desnethe-Missinippi-Churchill River.

Last Updated on Monday, 27 July 2015 11:09
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