REGINA - A solemn ceremony was held in Regina as MLAs and the Saskatchewan Ukrainian community paid tribute to lives lost during Holodomor from 1932 and1933. This genocide was the Soviet Union imposed famine that led to the deaths of up to 10 million people.
Despite a record harvest, the Soviet government confiscated crops and imposed regulations preventing people from finding or receiving food. Holodomor means "extermination by hunger" in Ukrainian. Canada has the third-highest population of Ukrainians globally, and the local community honoured Holodomor on Nov. 27.
Nov. 22-26 was proclaimed Saskatchewan Manufacturing Week. This sector makes up over five per cent of our province's gross domestic product and employs 29,000 people. Last year, manufacturing shipments totalled $13.4 billion. According to the 10-year report, Saskatchewan continues to lead the country in several categories.
An overview of the manufacturing sector in Saskatchewan 2010-2020 reported that Saskatchewan led all provinces in manufacturing employment growth from 2019-20. We had the second-highest manufacturing productivity in Canada for 2020; our province ranked second in average weekly earnings in the sector for 2020.
Investing in the next generation of agriculture producers is key to our province's future and the country's future. With that in mind, the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan have partnered for the Next Gen Agriculture Mentorship Program delivered by Canadian Western Agribition.
This program builds leadership through knowledge and first-hand experience as future producers are partnered with mentors. The connections created will pass down knowledge that young producers can use to advance their operations and become industry leaders in the very near future.
For 2022, $100,000 is being provided by the federal and provincial governments to support eight applicants as they venture through an 18-month journey starting in February. Application information can be found online.
An important theme of our Speech from the Throne is building a better educated Saskatchewan. Recent updates on the Saskatchewan stimulus plan show work is underway on school maintenance in 15 communities across the province. This $25.9 million investment to upgrade mechanical and structural components at educational facilities builds stronger schools and creates jobs in local communities.
Another theme from the Throne Speech focuses on building a safer Saskatchewan. To this end, our government has created The Saskatchewan Trafficking Response Team (STRT), a specialized intelligence-led enforcement team dedicated to addressing illegal weapons, drugs and human trafficking. This new policing initiative will target gang-related criminal activity entering the province through trafficking corridors.
The team will include 30 RCMP officers, six municipal police officers, two criminal analysts and three support staff. Offices will be strategically located in Lloydminster, Estevan and Swift Current due to their proximity to the provincial borders and known trafficking corridors. Municipal resources will also be located in Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina.
The initiative will cost $2.1 million for 2021-22, with another $6.4 million allocated for each subsequent fiscal year. This is entirely new funding; no resources have been reallocated from other policing initiatives.
As always, if you have questions, comments, concerns, or require assistance with provincial government programs or services, please get in touch with our Constituency Office.