A great day for the Moosomin Region

February 17, 2023, 11:31 am
Kevin Weedmark

Nutrien Executive Vice President and President of Potash Chris Reynolds, left, and Saskatchewan Highways Minister Jeremy Cockrill, right, both announced new funding for Moosomin’s airport expansion project Wednesday. Nutrien has donated $2.7 million, and the province provided $1.3 million in new funding, bringing their total commitment to about $2.7 million.

February 8 was a great day for the Moosomin Region.

The Moosomin Airport Expansion Project took a huge step forward with the announcement from Nutrien that it will provide more than $2.7 million for the project.

The provincial government followed that up with an announcement of $1.3 million in addition to the funds the province has already given under the Community Airport Partnership Program.

In total that’s $4 million in new funding for the airport in one day, on top of the approximately $2 million that has already been raised through local municipalities, fundraising, donations, and CAP funding.

That moves this project from the first third of the race to within sight of the finish line. From $2 million to $6 million raised on a project with an estimated total cost of $6.5 million.

I cannot emphasize enough how amazing that contribution from Nutrien is.

What an amazing commitment to the area.

What an amazing investment in this project.

What an amazing vote of confidence in the future of the Moosomin region.

I am very thankful to Nutrien for the announcement and for taking such a large role in moving this project forward!

It was also great to see the provincial government announce their $1.3 million top-up to the funds they have provided under the Community Airport Partnership.

And I’m so thankful to everyone who got us to this point.

I hope Jeff St. Onge and Dr. Van aren’t upset if I share that they became very emotional when we spoke after the announcement. They were overcome with emotion seeing something they had worked so hard for, for so long, come close to reality.

It was the two of them who started raising awareness of the need for an expanded airport for Moosomin back in 2018, primarily so that the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance can land at Moosomin. Dr. Van says it could make the difference between life and death for some patients.

I understand the depth of their commitment to this project, and I understand why they shed tears to see the project move forward in such a big way.

They were working on the project five years ago, and they are still working on it. 
The day of the Nutrien announcement, there was Jeff down at the Conexus MCC Centre in the morning, setting up renderings of the airport plans and drone shots of construction.

But this project would not have got to the point it is without many, many people working for it and pushing for it.

The project has gone from expanding the runway and adding lights to basically a whole new airport—something we haven’t seen in Canada in a couple of decades.

The RM of Moosomin council, Reeve David Moffatt and CAO Kendra Lawrence have taken a leadership role in making the expanded airport a reality.

The town of Moosomin, Mayor Larry Tomlinson and council have worked hard to move the project forward, and the mayor indicated Wednesday that the town would consider an additional $150,000 to the project.

And all the other local municipalities that have committed funding to this project are absolutely vital to its success.

Our MLA for Moosomin, Steven Bonk, has worked hard to make the airport a reality.

Those who made contributions big and small also brought the project to this point, from Conexus Credit Union with its $100,000 donation to the anonymous donor who came through last year with $50,000 to Whitewood high school student Ricayla Gawryluk, who undertook her own fundraiser for the project because she knows how important it is—she lost valuable time having to be driven all the way to Virden to get on the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance to Saskatoon in a medical emergency. Her fundraiser brought a lot of attention to one of the main reasons for the project.

The Community Builders Alliance has pushed hard for this in the last year, under the leadership of President Tyler Thorn, and with Kristjan Hebert quietly moving mountains in the background. Their involvement brought the government and Nutrien to the table.

Everyone I spoke with from the government and Nutrien last week said that what impresses them is how our entire community and entire region work together to make projects like this a reality.

So if you’re one of the people who has worked to move this project forward who I haven’t had space to mention, give yourself a pat on the back.

There are so many good things going on in our region right now.

The new partnership and collaboration in economic development.

The new businesses coming to our area.

The new seniors housing coming online with Cobblestone House and the new apartment buildings planned for this year.

The initial work on a new multiplex.

The progress on the new water plant.

And the airport project—which ties in with some of our other priorities, and has involved so many groups and local governments—has now taken a huge step forward.

What a great day Wednesday was for the Moosomin Region—which will lead to many more great days!