September 24, 2020
The Speech From The Throne
Moreover, there were numerous priorities that were previously announced but shined up to sound new.
The speech contained both positives and negatives.
While not everyone will agree, the federal government has done a good job responding to the pandemic and in some cases an excellent job particularly when they have revised different programs to better meet the needs of business.
Some other positives include more money for COVID testing, renewing a long-standing goal of a national childcare program, improving economic access for women, addressing racism and indicating that more will be done with the TRC Calls to Action.
There will also be significant spending on skills training as well as a focus on the green economy and more.
The Saskatchewan economy is driven by the big three: fuel, fertilizer, and food.
There was virtually nothing within the speech to help the big three grow, particularly the energy sector which has faced significant challenges for several years now.
On the agriculture side there was nothing to help farmers meet the growing global need for food other than net zero emission targets that may or may not mean higher carbon taxes or higher clean fuel standards.
Moreover, while the government touts the green economy as a priority, but it remained totally silent on baseload power for the future which should including nuclear power and in particular small modular reactors.
Another aspect of the speech that we will be watching is the wealth tax which sounds good in theory but in practice could have dire consequences given wealth can be highly mobile.
Clearly there are positives and negatives within the speech.
However, the biggest challenge aside from COVID might be the cost of some of the goals and objectives mentioned in the speech.
According to the experts, Canada can withstand the massive deficits we are running for a year or two, but anything longer is not sustainable and will negatively impact all Canadians.
One of the most critical plans that needs to come out of Ottawa is a sound fiscal plan that will demonstrate how will get come back to balance or at a minimum close to balance.
How will a national pharmacare be funded. What are the particulars related to the wealth tax as well as what the long-term fiscal plan will be.
There is no question that we are at a crossroads in our country.
September 23, 2020
Click below to read the 2020 Speech from the Throne.
City of Regina announces $2 million Economic Recovery Grant for businesses
August 17, 2020
The City of Regina is now accepting applications for its newly announced Economic Recovery Grant to help local businesses hurt by COVID-19.
The city is contributing $2 million to businesses through the grant over the span of two phases.
On Monday morning, Mayor Michael Fougere said businesses are striving to stay open during the pandemic, so council needed to find a way to support them.
“It is to cover immediate short-term measures including PPE and other safety supplies,” he explained. “This support will fill the gap that is not being filled by other programs by the province and the federal government.”
The first phase will go until December 31 of this year and will provide grants valued at $1,000, $2,500 and $5,000 to address immediate short-term needs related to COVID-19 and resuming operations. Phase Two begins in January 2021 and focuses on supporting longer-term diversification initiatives that will support business sustainability.
John Hopkins, chief executive officer with the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, admitted during Monday’s conference that it was not so great at the start since the chamber was asking for a “different type of program”, but added they are very happy to work with the city to develop what he called an important program.
Hopkins said they have been continually surveying their membership during the pandemic to learn what business owners have been struggling with.
“One of the things that came up continually was the fact that there was a gap in terms of PPE in particular. So that needed to be addressed,” mentioned Hopkins.
He continued by sharing there is a lot of concern among local business owners about the impacts of COVID-19.
Hopkins said it will take time to go through the numbers and see the true effects from the pandemic, but Hopkins noted that numbers in the food service and hotel sectors are “not very good.”
“These are very challenging times, I’m not going to try to sugarcoat it at all,” said Hopkins. “That’s why a program like this, along with federal and provincial programs, are needed because these impacts are very, very significant.”
Grant applications are only available online at the city’s website and will be received every Monday beginning at 9:00 a.m. for 24 hours or until 40 have been submitted. Applicants can read eligibility information and grant criteria in order to prepare their submissions
More Sask. businesses making masks mandatory
More local business owners in Regina are making mask use mandatory inside their facilities, despite the measure not being mandated by the provincial government.
Chelsey Legendre, the owner of Excalipurr Cat Cafe, said on Tuesday she made the decision to make masks mandatory inside the cat room at her shop in hopes of keeping both staff and customers safe.
“We just wanted to create an atmosphere that everybody felt safe in because it is a room where you’re spending a period of time,” Legendre said. “We are getting guests from children all the way up to seniors, so ultimately that was my decision maker.”
She said the interaction with the cats also played a role in her decision.
“These cats are roaming free from customer to customer,” she said. “If you’re petting a cat and they go to the next person and they’re petting the cat, we do require sanitizing, hand washing and face masks just to cut down as many germs as possible.”
At Sunshine & Ski, masks have been mandatory since the store reopened in May herunterladen.
Owner Brian Sampson said the decision was made with the health of both staff and customers in mind.
“I myself am immunocompromised and I have another staff member who is in the same situation,” Sampson said. “For us to reopen, and reopen with enthusiasm and support of what we knew we were going to deal with, we thought it was best.”
Sampson said customers have been supportive. He’s hopeful more businesses will take time to learn more about masks.
“It’s all foreign to all of us and we’re all moving ahead as positively as we can, but I do see more businesses going to investigate it and do it properly,” he said.
Mask use in major chain stores
On Wednesday, Walmart stores across Canada made masks mandatory for staff and customers, regardless of varying regulations from city to city.
In a statement, Walmart Canada said the decision came down to safety, as well as keeping things consistent across the network.
“Health Canada has identified that, when worn properly, a person wearing a mask/face covering can reduce the spread of his or her own infectious respiratory droplets. In addition, over 60 per cent of our more than 400 stores are in regions of the country where there is some form of local government mandate on face coverings,” the statement said.
The Regina & District Chamber of Commerce said this move by Walmart has the potential to influence smaller businesses.
“Now that Walmart has taken the lead on this, I think we’ll probably see other businesses, particularly in areas of the country where there are a lot of cases,” CEO John Hopkins said. “If we have more cases in Regina, we’ll probably see that continue to grow.”
The provincial government hasn’t mandated indoor mask use at this point, but Premier Scott Moe has said it could be another measure taken if the COVID-19 situation worsens in Saskatchewan
Council votes to place moratorium on new cannabis dispensaries opening
City council also approved $2 million in relief for Regina businesses adapting to and impacted by COVID-19
July 29, 2020
City council held a contentious debate Wednesday on the future of pot shops in the city, voting to delay the opening of more stores in Regina.
A report slated for release in early 2021 will detail the economic impact of cannabis legalization in the city. The report was due earlier to give details prior to the opening up of the retail cannabis market. The province-wide limit for cannabis retailers set by Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming is to be removed in September
An amendment by Coun. Andrew Stevens (Ward 3) sought to place a moratorium on the city accepting anymore retail applications for cannabis stores until council has had time to review the report on cannabis sales in the city.
“Study first and then make a decision,” said Stevens.
Jill Anderson, owner of Tweed, said the report would do nothing as it would be “too little too late,” if the city went ahead with opening up the market in September. The black market still contributes up to 70 per cent of all cannabis sales in the province, she told council
Right now there are six cannabis stores in the city, but had council not voted to delay the relaxing of rules around pot shops there would be no limit on the number that could open. Anderson said given the size of Regina, and the current number of cannabis retailers in Alberta, the city could see 25 to 30 more stores.
She was concerned about the viability of opening the market up considering it is already growing slower than anticipated.
“We are not asking the city to disallow more stores; we’re simply asking the city to take a thoughtful approach,” said Anderson.
Looking to the future, zoning bylaws were updated for the possible expansion of cannabis retailers in the city.
“It puts the cart before the horse,” said Coun Bob Hawkins (Ward 2). “I think we need to do the market analysis before we open up.”
Coun herunterladen. Jason Mancinelli (Ward 9), who seconded the amendment, said the moratorium would “make sure we’re not overrun with pot shops.” He added that “is probably a smart thing.”
Mayor Michael Fougere asked the administration if the city actually had the authority to delay the opening of new cannabis dispensaries.
Diana Hawryluk, executive director of city planning and community development, said for this to go forward, a new bylaw would need to be introduced which would give out licences to cannabis stores, similar to the taxi industry.
Chris Holden, city manger, said the entire report has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The timing isn’t great but it would be tough for us to get it here before September,” said Holden.
Fougere and Coun. Sharron Bryce (Ward 7) both expressed their concern that this would further facilitate the black market sales of cannabis and felt that letting the free market dictate cannabis in the city would be beneficial.
The amendment placing a moratorium on new dispensaries passed 6 to 4 in council.
$2 million in business relief
There’s also relief on the way for Regina businesses.
Council approved $2 million in relief for Regina businesses adapting to and impacted by COVID-19.
In July executive committee adopted a resolution that the program be administered by the city instead of through the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, as initially proposed.
“While we were prepared to partner with you on this project, we respect the decision made by the executive committee,” said John Hopkins, CEO of the Chamber of Commerce.
Barry Lacey, executive director of financial strategy and sustainability, said the program will have a set number of grants available each week
“Obviously as businesses continue to open and see where their needs are, there’s no need for them to feel they need to rush,” said Lacey.
Lacey gave an example of if 30 applications were received in one week, but only 20 grants were available. He said the 20 applications weighted the highest would get money while the 10 remaining would be eligible in the coming the week.
Any business or organization occupying or operating out of a non-residential property in the boundaries of Regina would qualify, said Lacey.
Stevens asked if businesses paying wages competitive or better than the federal CERB program would receive a higher weight during the application process.
One of the higher ranking criteria relates to how the business intends to get people back to work and create new positions. Salaries however are not part of what the grant can be used for.
Council voted unanimously in favour of providing in relief for Regina businesses.
‘It breaks our hearts:’ Boards n’ Beans closes permanently due to pandemic
Boards n’ Beans announced on its social media on Monday that it was permanently closing its doors, effective immediately.
The family-run business was co-owned by Carole Carman and her daughter Stephanie Smith, with their husbands Ron Carman and Matthew Smith working at the coffee shop bewerbung anschreiben kostenlos herunterladen. Carole and Ron’s daughter-in-law also helped out there
Boards n’ Beans announced on its social media on Monday that it was permanently closing its doors, effective immediately. The cafe had reopened following provincial guidelines with only four tables on July 2, but found many customers were still choosing to stay at home.
“Even with all the assistance that the government was offering, you’re still accumulating debt,” Carole said. “You just find yourself digging deeper and deeper into a hole.”
Carole and Ron fondly recalled how their family’s passion for board games turned into a place where they could pass that passion on to others. Boards n’ Beans first opened on Nov. 19, 2016, and the learning curve was steep at first.
“We never really had done a business before and I remember thinking like, ‘Well, we’re just playing store,’” Ron said with a laugh.
In its short history, the shop has introduced the couple to some of their best friends and brought the community together in unique ways
Ron remembered when a group of foreign exchange students at the University of Regina stopped by, having little knowledge of board games but wanting to learn. He introduced them to the game Jungle Speed.
“They played that and they made a riot,” he said. “One of the guys … he said to me, ‘I’ve been all around the world and this is the funnest time I’ve ever had.’”
One of Carole’s favourite memories is a couple that met at Boards n’ Beans on a blind date. They later got engaged at the cafe and came back to show Carole pictures of their wedding.
“They really kind of made us part of their family,” she said.
The decision as a family to close the cafe came was not an easy one to make, said Ron.
“It breaks our hearts, but we couldn’t really keep the business open and continue to lose money,” he said
It is closures like this that John Hopkins, president and CEO of the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce, is concerned will continue in the city as many businesses suffer through long months of little or no revenue.
“Smaller businesses are the backbone of the economy and we certainly need to have those businesses, and we need to see them continue to recover,” he said.
“What’s unfortunate about it all is not every business is going to make it, and that’s just the reality of COVID-19.
Hopkins proposed a $2-million relief program for local businesses to the City of Regina’s executive committee last week. The committee gave it a thumbs up, but it still needs to be voted on at a city council meeting on July 29. The program would take money from the city’s General Fund Reserve (GFR) and offer grants to businesses.
The criteria established by the executive committee for the grant includes how many jobs are affected, the ability to return to work, ability to transition to online sales and how COVID-19 has impacted sales.
Despite the efforts from all levels of government, Carole said it did not make sense for Boards n’ Beans to remain open when there was no assurance the cafe could return to business as usual anytime soon.
Even in closing, Carole and Ron said they have seen nothing but support from the community, and are grateful for the opportunity the cafe gave them to connect with the community Open office free download full version german windows 10.
Boards n’ Beans will be selling many of its games and furniture pieces. It will be announcing those sales on its Facebook page.
Regina & District Chamber of Commerce
2145 Albert St.
Phone: (306) 757-4658
Fax: (306) 757-4668