Report from the Legislature – May 29

An important part of accountability is setting goals and working toward them, as demonstrated by our government’s Growth Plan.  One of the major goals of that plan is to ensure our economy continues to grow is to meet the identified need for 60,000 more workers by 2020.  Recently it was announced our province would receive an additional 450 spaces this year under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program, bringing our total nominee level to 4,450 for 2013.   Effective immigration policies that focus on providing opportunities to skilled workers in hard-to-fill in-demand positions continues to be a important part of our governments growth strategy.

Another part of the Growth Plan is ensuring that we have a safe, reliable, effective transportation throughout the province to meet the challenges of growth.  This year’s $576 million Highway Construction Season, which will result in more than 350 km of major projects throughout Saskatchewan, is now officially underway.  One notable pilot project to improve safety and traffic flow are new passing lanes on Highway 10, between Balgonie and Fort Qu’Appelle.  This $16.9 million investment will provide a significantly improved experience for travelers.   Since 2008, our government has invested $3.7 billion into our transportation system.  Remember to slow down in highway construction zones – fines and enforcement have been increased this year.

A major benefit of a growing economy is the increased services our government can provide for you and your family, such as more child care spaces.  This year, over 500 new child care spaces will be developed in 15 communities throughout Saskatchewan. This increase brings the number of child care spaces to more than 13,700.  Since our government took office in 2007, we have increased the number of licensed child care spaces by 48 per cent or by 4,435 new spaces.

We also continue to make real progress towards our goal of making Saskatchewan the best place to live in Canada for persons with disabilities.  Effective June 1st, benefits under the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program will increase by $50 a month for single people, $60 for couples and the benefit for persons in residential care will rise by $20 per month. There are now more than 10,000 people with significant and long-term disabilities benefiting from SAID, providing them with a dignified income support program separate from the Saskatchewan Assistance Program.