October 31, 2005
2005 SARM Midterm Convention
Plan to attend the 2005 Midterm Convention to be held at the Centre of the Arts in Regina on November 8 and 9. Presentations will be made on the New Deal funding program, the education tax issue, the Clearing the Path initiative, agriculture issues, the Province’s proposed new Crown Land Policy, the Farm Stress Line, Action Southwest economic development initiative, legislative changes and the Primary Weight Study. Government Relations Minister Len Taylor will be addressing the delegates. Wayne Easter, Parliamentary Secretary to the Federal Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food with special emphasis on Rural Development, will also be giving an address. The complete agenda and resolutions to be debated at the convention can be found on our website at http://www.sarm.ca/. Please read over the resolutions prior to the convention. The resolutions passed at the convention determine the policy of SARM. (Lunch will be available each day at the Centre of the Arts with tickets on sale until 11:00 am)
Saskatchewan Municipal Board Approval
Under The Municipalities Act, Section 23 requires that all rates, charges, tolls or rents set by a council for the use of water or sewer services are subject to the approval of the Saskatchewan Municipal Board (SMB). Effective January 1, 2006, all rural municipalities that provide water and sewer to their residents will require the rates to be approved by SMB. Affected rural municipalities are encouraged to contact Marilyn Turanich, SMB, Tel. No. 787-6227.
Farmer Rail Car Coalition
Sinclair Harrison-President of the Farmer Rail Car Coalition (former Reeve of RM of Moosomin No. 121 and past president of SARM) reports that all signals point toward a November 2005 Federal Cabinet decision on the sale of the Federal Hopper Car Fleet. If you have questions for Sinc, he will be at the SARM Midterm convention.
Education Tax Issue
It is time for the government to take action to reduce the burden that high levels of education tax place on property owners. SARM, in a coalition with four other organizations, has given the government a plan to reduce education taxes on property by increasing the provincial share of education funding to at least 60 per cent of the total cost of education over the next three years, beginning in next year’s budget. By 2008, property should fund no more than 40 per cent of the total cost of education. We have advised government that we fully expect to see some positive announcement in the Throne Speech on November 7th.
Western Economic DiversificationCanada Celebrates Saskatchewan Initiative Project ClaimsThe folks at WED asked us to pass along the following reminder regarding claims for grants under the Canada Celebrates Saskatchewan program:In order to ensure quick response to claims please ensure that they include:
SARM staff met with Sask Ag and Food to discuss the raising, housing and sale of rats for commercial purposes (pets, labs and reptile food). While RMs have the authority under legislation to prohibit or control the raising of rats and to establish rules regarding their housing, it would be beneficial to have province-wide regulations in place.
Clearing the Path
The Clearing the Path Committee met in Regina on October 20th. The committee heard a report from Gordon Sparks, a consultant hired through funding to SARM from Prairie Grain Roads Program (PGRP) and Sask Highways, on the feasibility of a network of rural primary weight roads (primary corridor). This report will be presented at the SARM Midterm Convention. The committee also had a presentation from Sask Pork regarding difficulties encountered by firms attempting to construct large hog operations.
The committee gave their approval to expanding the committee to bring SUMA into the CTP program as partners. You will hear more on this at the Midterm Convention.
2006 SARM Calendars
Each municipality will receive two free copies of the 2006 SARM desktop calendar. If your RM would like additional copies they are available at a cost of $6.00 each plus taxes and shipping (if applicable.) If you wish to order additional calendars, please e-mail Kristina Lang at firstname.lastname@example.org. Orders must be received in our office by November 4, 2005. Both the pocket and desktop calendars will be available for pickup at the Midterm Convention. Stop by the SARM Convention Office and pick up your supply.
If you think you’re too small to make a difference, you haven’t been in bed with a mosquito.
– Ann Roddick