Report from the Legislature – April 3, 2013

Spring is slow arriving in Saskatchewan and with that comes the annual spring melt.  This winter we saw heavy snow fall across much of the province, which has created the potential for significant spring flooding.  Our government is preparing for the impact of the spring melt through the creation of the 2013 Emergency Flood Damage Reduction Program. This program will provide engineering and technical assistance to municipalities while sharing the cost of permanent and temporary flood prevention projects.  For more details, go to

To prepare for the spring melt, our government is working with stakeholders to create a multifaceted plan.  The Ministry of Government Relations and the Water Security Agency will continue the provide assistance to communities throughout the province.  Emergency Management and Fire Safety have deployed emergency equipment to the south of the province in areas likely to be affected by flooding.  Provincial Disaster Assistance Program (PDAP) Response Teams are ready to assist communities that have been severely impacted by flooding.  The Water Security Agency will release the next run-off forecast update during the week of April 8th.

Another excellent resource for preparing for the spring melt is the Spring Runoff Preparedness website.  It has information on:

  • Snowpack Update
  • Municipality and Band Office Contacts
  • Mitigate Actions
  • Preparing for a Flood – Homeowner’s Guide
  • How to Build a Sandbag Wall
  • SaskPower Flood Hazards
  • Electrical Safety
  • Gas Safety

This information can be found at

Another sign of spring in Saskatchewan is the start of highway construction. This year, signs in the highway work zone are changing to ensure that speed limits are “black and white.”  Speed limits in highway work zones will be clearly marked with regulatory black and white speed signs of 60 km/h.  As per all other speed signs, the driver must legally slow to the speed indicated or face increased penalties in the work zone.  A driver will know they are approaching a construction zone by the orange sign with an image of a worker on it, the new speed sign will be approximately 150 metres behind.  When leaving the construction area you will see a black and white regulatory sign with the new speed limit.

This change in signage also comes with increased penalties for those who break the law.  Fines for drivers caught speeding in work zones will start at $210 and will increase by $3 per every kilometer over the speed limit, up to a speed of 90 km/h and $5 for every kilometer over 90 km/h.  Drivers who speed through a work zone at 100 km/h will receive a fine of $450 plus a victim surcharge of $80 for a total of $530.  Photo radar will also be used in some work zone beginning this year.  These changes were first conceived following the tragic death last summer of a young highways worker.