Report from the Legislature – September 4, 2013

As summer winds down and students head back to school, many of us return to our routines with fond memories of time spent with friends and families at Saskatchewan Provincial Parks.  With more than 3.5 million visits last year, our government recognizes that these parks are among our most popular attractions and we’re making capital investments to ensure that they not only meet demand but enhance our visitors experience in the parks for years to come.

We recently proclaimed the 35th Provincial Park in Saskatchewan, Great Blue Heron Provincial Park, giving us one more summer destination to enjoy. Our government has also started work on many projects to improve our provincial parks.  Some of these improvements include upgrades to the potable water system at Pike Lake to meet current drinking water standards, as well as the main boat launch at Good Spirit Lake Provincial Park will be upgraded.  These enhancements are part of a four year, $10 million investment to bolster an already enhanced provincial parks capital budget.  Since 2008, our government has invested almost $44 million to improve provincial parks.

As people explore all there is to see and do in our province, traffic safety should always be top of mind.  In an effort to make our roads and highways safer, a Special Committee on Traffic Safety has made 26 recommendations after closely examining factors such as impaired and distracted driving, excessive speed, intersection safety, collisions with wildlife and as well as education and public awareness.

Recommendations, which include permanent photo radar zones and tougher penalties for drinking and driving, focus on additional enforcement, deterrence through stronger punitive measures such as fines and administrative sanctions and more public awareness.  The recommendations, included in a special report, will be considered during the upcoming session of the Legislative Assembly.

As many of us get busy again at work, post-summer vacation, figures from Statistics Canada show that, in Saskatchewan, we’re earning more than ever before.  Both average earnings and retail sales are up, while the number of EI claims is down from June of last year.  Average weekly earnings were above the national average at $952.63 in June while, at the same time, Saskatchewan recorded $1.6 billion in retail sales.  There was also a 3.0 per cent drop in employment insurance claims.  This means more Saskatchewan families are earning more, contributing more to a thriving economy and enjoying more financial security than ever before.

Looking for their 9th win in 10 games this Sunday, you’ll notice a new logo on the chests of our Saskatchewan Roughriders.  The logo, which reads, is actually a partnership between the team and our government that highlights Saskatchewan’s unprecedented growth and opportunities to a national audience on a weekly basis. was launched as part of our government’s Real Growth.  Real Opportunity campaign that encourages people from across the country to live, work and do business in Saskatchewan.  We believe that this  partnership will be beneficial in “getting the word out” about our quality of life as well as ample employment, education and investment opportunities leading up to the 101st Grey Cup in Regina November 24th.