$100,000 boost for airport expansion
January 27, 2020 7:54 am
Rob Paul - LJI Reporter
In an eﬀort to help with the Moosomin airport expansion, Conexus Credit Union has donated $100,000 to the cause.
The airport expansion plan began in 2018, led by Jeﬀ St. Onge and Dr. Schalk Van Der Merwe with the intent to lengthen and pave the runway, and add lighting and navigation equipment to make it accessible to the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance.
Brandon Carter, Conexus’ Moosomin Branch Manager, said making a contribution to the airport was a priority for Conexus.
“Health services is a basic human need, “said Carter. “This partnership will provide the people in Moosomin and surrounding communities access to emergency air ambulance that links them to life saving care in other centres.”
Carter said that Conexus wanted to be involved to make sure the project goes ahead both for the health aspect—opening up the region to service by the Saskatchewan Air Ambulance—and because of how it will support the community economically.
“The economic spin-oﬀ from something like this is huge,” he said. The airport is projected to provide Moosomin and surrounding communities with approximately $2.4 million worth of economic beneﬁt per year.
Conexus’ Community Investment Program invests a portion of its profits back into the community each year. In 2019, the program invested over $3.1 million through 143 partnerships and initiatives.
“Being part of the community is fundamental to who we are—it’s part of our fabric,” said Carter. “Our purpose at Conexus is to improve the financial well-being of our members and communities and our Community Investment Program is just one way we’re able to do this.”
St. Onge couldn’t be happier with the donation from Conexus. “It’s huge. It sets a standard. It elevates the importance of the project,” he said.
Kendra Lawrence, RM of Moosomin administrator, hopes the support of Conexus will lead to more support from the business sector.
“By their support of it we’re hoping that’s going to show other corporate sponsors that someone as important as Conexus has already shown interest in the project,” said Lawrence. “Every donation is appreciated, every donation helps.”
Moosomin is home to the Southeast Integrated Care Centre, the biggest hospital between Brandon and Regina, but has lacked an airport with the capacity to handle the fixed-wing aircraft operated by Saskatchewan Air Ambulance.
“How do you have a hospital without the ability to do patient transfers by Saskatchewan Air Ambulance?”
“How do you have a hospital without the ability to do patient transfers by Saskatchewan Air Ambulance?” asked St. Onge. “It’s so important. It’s one of those can’t-fail projects. It has to go ahead. I don’t see a pathway forward that doesn’t have a landing strip to help with the medical side of things in this community.”