Strong potash markets were a highlight for Humboldt–Watrous MLA Donna Harpauer in 2022, as it adds good paying jobs, high level of sales, and less layoffs in her area.
The Deputy Premier said on the infrastructure side, locals are quite excited to get the passing lanes completed on Highway 5 west of the junction of Highway 2 but that work on highway for the rest of way to Saskatoon is still in construction and should be complete next summer. She also said the new announcement of a new K-12 school in Lanigan that will replace two aging older schools is a project that community is excited about.
In her constituency, drought played a role in the struggling agriculture industry, although it wasn’t the worst felt area in Saskatchewan but the affects trickled into many areas of the economy in Saskatchewan. Affordability has affected everyone, with the price of gas, groceries affecting many working families. Harpauer agrees with what other MLAs have said, that healthcare professionals have been scarce and hard to replace and keep. Harpauer said that the government is looking into ways to maximize the scope of practices and maximize services.
The MLA said in 2023, she looked forward to continued growth and, of course, construction of the next phase of the BHP potash mine near LeRoy, adding that it will be significant investment into our province. She said she always is looking forward to a bumper crop and continued strength in potash without it being dependent on sanctions placed on Russia and Belarus.
Harpauer also said that the newly acquired crown corporation for online distance learning will be a centre of excellence that all kids will be able to have access too. Students will be able to take specialty classes, whether it be one, two or all of their studies, she said, adding it will be a great opportunity for students. It provides an avenue to students to have consistent and equal opportunity. She recognized that in talking with parents that there were concerns and inequities in online learning throughout the province and this will ensure online learning will be for everyone if they choose.
Her final thoughts moving into 2023 are positive, and looking forward to a very productive year in primary potash industry but the service industry as well. The government will continue to encourage workers to come to the province to live and work as we are one of the most affordable places to live. The provincial government plans to keep taxes low, provide training in industries that need it and continue to keep making Saskatchewan a place where people want to be. She also plans to enjoy her family. She is looking forward to her grandchildren who are now getting active in sports.
Nicole Goldsworthy, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal