Highlights from Day 2 – 2007 SARM Midterm Convention

Thursday, November 8 – Highlights

 SAMA Election 

Neal Hardy and John Wagner were elected as Rural Representatives to the SAMA board. 

Communities in Transition 

Kyle Toffan of Government relations gave an overview of the Communities in Transition program which includes funding for infrastructure assistance for RMs which have had a village dissolve into the RM.  He encouraged RMs to apply as this program will cover 100% of costs up to $50,000 for things such as drinking water treatment and systems and sewage treatment systems.  More information on this program can be found at: https://www.saskatchewan.ca/government/municipal-administration/funding-finances-and-asset-management/funding/funding-for-communities-in-transition

Wendy Crumley, Senior Financial Analyst – Government Relations, gave an overview of the requirements for accounting and reporting for tangible assets.  This can provide total economic resources of the government and whether those economic resources are being maintained over time.  As well as information on:  the cost of goods and services, future revenue requirements, performance and sustainability of existing services and affordability of future activities 

Ground Squirrel (Gopher) Control 

Cam Wilk, Inspection and Regulatory Management Branch, SAF gave an overview of the current ground squirrel situation and areas that currently have access to the 2% liquid strychnine.  He also discussed the ongoing research in managing this pest including these suggested components;
►      increase number (per quarter section) and effectiveness of raptor platforms,
►      use of bait stations (for rodenticides),
►      cultivation / tillage (to destroy burrows – i.e. Have farming practises and the change to min / zero tillage affected RGS populations?),
►      trap or guard strips that would deter RGS encroachment into a field. 

Health Care Services for Rural Communities 

Delegates had an excellent discussion on options for healthcare in rural communities with presentations from:  Maureen Klenk, Nurse Practitioner; Dr, Martin Vogel, Dr. Dennis Kendel, Registrar of the College of Physicians and Surgeons; and Donna Brunskill, RN, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses’ Association.   Each speaker explained the challenges that they see health care in rural Saskatchewan facing and offered solutions. 

They all agreed that many of the work physicians are currently doing could be managed by other health care provides, and that rural communities must work together to find solutions.  The team approach would work best with a centrally located team which would include 3 -5 physicians, nurses and other health care provides that are mobile. 

We need to adapt and find new ways for health professionals to work together.   

Address by Premier-elect Brad Wall 

Premier-elect Wall talked about revenue sharing, education tax on property and the need to work with SARM on agricultural issues such as Crop Insurance.  Wall stressed that we need to prepare for the challenges the come withgrowth and the need to re-invest back into rural Saskatchewan. 

Control of Wild Boar 
Brad Tokorak, Wildlife Technician explained the challenges in controlling wild boars in Saskatchewan.  He explained that escapes are common partly due to their  natural instinct to dig and root and in most cases the escapees are recaptured or shot, but escaped boar soon locate suitable habitat with food sources and escape cover.  They are very intelligent, readily adapting to change and will quickly adjust to living in the wild.  At last count free ranging wild boars were present in over 60 RMs across the Province. Feral wild boar are not  part of the SK ecosystem. In other jurisdictions wild boar have caused extensive damage to tree plantations, rare plants communities and field crops. Their persistent rooting has caused serious damage to whole plant communities. 

Federal Minister of Agriculture 

Ritz reiterated that his government is committed to a renewed suite of business risk management programs, science and innovation, environmental farm plans and the next generation of agriculture policy framework. In addition, Ritz addressed concerns on rail transportation, including the recently tabled Bill C-8.    


Saskatchewan Government Relations  

1-07M   Term of Office – defeated
2-07M   Heavy Haul Program – carried
3-07M   Tax Assessment– carried
4-07M   Organized Hamlet Status– carried
5-07M   Designated Road Regravelling Program– carried
6-07M   Capitalization of Fixed Assets– carried
7-07M  Dust Control– carried
8- 07M  Grant in Lieu Payments (amended)– carried 

Saskatchewan Environment  

9-07M  Recycling Fees- defeated
10-07M Beaver Bounty– carried
11-07M Plastic Grocery Bags– carried
12-07M Dumping of Garbage– carried
13-07M  Deer Populations – defeated 

Saskatchewan Highways and Transportation 

14-07M Highway Ditch Mowing– carried 

Saskatchewan Justice 

15-07M ATV Operator Permission– carried
16-07M Cell Phone Use– carried 

Saskatchewan Agriculture, Food and Rural Revitalization 

17-07M Common Ragwort (amended) – carried  

Saskatchewan Protection and public safety 

18-07M Municipal Rescue Service fund– carried 

Saskatchewan health 

19-07M Inter-Hospital Transfers (amended) – carried 

saskpower and saskenergy 

20-07M Utility Costs for Recreation Facilities– carried 

health canada – pmra

 21-07M Gopher Control – Strychnine– carried
22-07M  Gopher Control – Strychnine– carried
23-07M  Gopher Control – Strychnine– carried 

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada 

24-07M Agriculture Research– carried 

Canadian Cattle Identification Agency (CCIA) 

25-07M Ear Tags– carried 

transport canada 

26-07M Review of the Navigable Waters Act– carried 


27-07M Claim Adjustment– carried 

POP Resolutions 

POP 1- 07M  Stray Animals Act– carried
POP 2 – 07M  Occupational Health and Safety Regulations– carried
POP 4 – 07M  Bridge Repair and Maintenance– carried