Regina Wascana Plains December 2012 Newsletter

The fall sitting of the legislature concluded last Thursday. Our government made a number of announcements and introduced legislation that followed the direction of the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth. I am pleased to outline some of the key highlights.

Saskatchewan  Only Province With Balanced Budget

The fall session also included the government’s mid-year financial report, which was reflective of the strength of the Saskatchewan economy.   While resource revenues were down, strength in other parts of our economy, including a growing tax base, allowed Saskatchewan to maintain a balanced budget.   We continue to be the only province in the country where the books are balanced.

“This Mid-Year Report shows the benefits of growth,” Finance Minister Ken Krawetz said. “Despite lower than expected resource revenues, our growing population and growing economy means a larger tax base and increased tax revenues to offset the declines in resources.”

Saskatchewan Employment Act

Our government introduced The Saskatchewan Employment Act during the fall sitting of the legislature.   This new act includes changes such as indexing the minimum wage to the rate of inflation, requiring unions to disclose financial statements and the results of votes to members and removing a union’s right to fine workers who cross picket lines.   The Saskatchewan Employment Act also preserves things like the 40-hour work week.


Province Introduces Global Transportation Hub Legislation

A bill introduced in the legislature this session will move the control of the development and operations of the Global Transportation Hub (GTH) from municipal to provincial jurisdiction to further ensure the business success of GTH clients.

The Global Transportation Hub Authority Act establishes the GTH as a Statutory Corporation; as an Agency of the Crown. It streamlines governance and formalizes responsibilities and ownership of infrastructure assets within the GTH footprint.

“Positioning the GTH as a more effective authority will further contribute to the level of success the GTH has achieved to date,” Minister responsible for the GTH Bill Boyd said. “The new legislation will help transition the GTH into a full inland port operation to grow Saskatchewan’s warehousing, transportation and logistics sectors in accordance with the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth.”

To meet the specific needs of its clients and further its vision as a world-class facility, the GTH will become responsible for its own land use planning and development regulations, governance structure, subdivision approvals and building permits.

Funding Increase for High-Growth School Divisions

When the government learned school divisions were facing unexpected pressure due to increased enrolment, we used the benefits of growth to provide more resources to them.  Eight of the province’s fastest-growing school divisions received an additional $6.6 million in mid-year funding to provide education services and find space for new students.   We also committed $800,000 to start a process that will result in 40 to 50 new relocatable classrooms by the start of the 2013-14 school year.

Among the school divisions receiving additional funds were Prairie Valley SD 208 and Regina RCSSD 81.

ISC, Education Savings, Orange Zone Safety

Another significant, exciting change was the announcement of legislation which will allow for a public share offering in the Information Services Corporation (ISC).  This could generate as much as $120 million for the province.   We also introduced and passed the Saskatchewan Advantage Grant for Education Savings to help families save for the children’s post-secondary education.    The needless death of a young woman working on a highway crew this summer led to new legislation to improve safety in the Orange Zone.

Staying in Touch

I appreciate the many opportunities to make a positive difference in our constituency. Your phone calls, letters and emails make a big difference in keeping me informed on the issues that matter to you.

If you would like to recognize anyone or have your event mentioned in this newsletter, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

“Provincial Update” is a monthly message from Christine Tell MLA, Regina Wascana Plains. Your opinions are important. Christine welcomes your letters, emails and phone calls on any issues relating to the provincial government. Contact Christine’s office by calling (306) 205-2126, sending an email message to or letter to Christine Tell MLA Regina Wascana Plains, 2318BAssiniboine Ave. East, Regina, SK  S4V 2P5. To subscribe or be removed from this newsletter, please send an email message.