Report from the Legislature – November 6, 2013

We Will Remember
Often we take for granted our values and institutions, our freedom to participate in cultural and political events and our right to live under a government of our choice.  War is something many of us have only seen on television, in movies and news reports from distant parts of the world.  Its impact, however, is far reaching.  At this time of year, we pause to honour the brave Canadian men and women who have answered the call to protect our country.  By remembering their service, their courage and their sacrifice, we recognize the tradition of freedom these men and women fought hard to preserve.

In recognition of this tremendous sacrifice, our government held its annual Service of Remembrance for the Public Service.  This service, which took place in the rotunda of the Legislative Building, gave special recognition to the final rotation of troops in Afghanistan, to civil servants who have served in that conflict and elsewhere, and to the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice.  Premier Brad Wall also laid a wreath at the Saskatchewan War Memorial, recognizing thousands of citizens who have served nobly and selflessly in conflicts, peacekeeping and reconstruction missions around the world.

We proudly wear the symbolic red poppy close to our heart, as we remember the sacrifices that have allowed us, and all future generations, to live in a land of freedom and peace.  Let us never forget.

Premier Tables Motion To Abolish Canadian Senate
Before the current expense scandals had become front page news, many people in our province and across the country had questioned why Canada had an appointed group of men and women – unelected and unaccountable – who could potentially stand in the way of an elected House of Commons.

Premier Brad Wall believes that most Saskatchewan people feel the Senate no longer serves any useful purpose and is not worth nearly 100 million taxpayers’ dollars each year. Since it has become clear that Senate reform isn’t possible, he introduced a motion in the Saskatchewan Legislature to scrap Canada’s upper chamber.  The government motion reads: “That this Assembly supports the abolition of the Senate of Canada.”

With support from the majority of his colleagues in the legislature, this now serves as a statement of Saskatchewan’s official position on the Senate. The Supreme Court will be ruling on what exactly is required constitutionally to abolish the Senate and the Premier plans to wait for that ruling before considering the introduction of a constitutional amendment that would need the support of other provinces and the federal government.

Spotlight On Skilled Trades & Technologies
These are exciting times in our province.  There are more people living and working in Saskatchewan today than at any other time in our history.  Our neighbourhoods are growing, our economy is growing and while ultimately this growth is good, it does create a number of challenges that our government is working hard to meet.  One such challenge is a shortage of skilled labour.  This is a two part challenge.  First of all, the workforce of tomorrow needs to be aware of the opportunities that exist and that is a big part of what Skilled Trades and Technologies Week (Nov. 4 – Nov. 10, 2013) is all about.  Secondly, we understand these opportunities can’t be realized without timely access to a quality education. This is a priority.

We need a workforce of men and women who can help meet the demands of a growing province and our government is making investments with that goal in mind.  We recently announced $10 million to support the construction of a new Trades and Technology Centre at Parkland Regional College.  Each year, this facility will be able to train 360 full-time students in high-demand fields such as welding, carpentry, machining, and power engineering and will also provide the space to upgrade the skills of 2,000 workers annually.  Working together with stakeholders, it is a goal of our government to continue working with stakeholders to address skilled labour shortages with strategic investments and by promoting the many opportunities out there for our young people.  Together, we can build a better province for all Saskatchewan people – skilled trades and technologies are a key part to that success.

Mind Your Money: November Is Financial Literacy Month
In managing money – whether it’s the finances of the province or our own personal accounts – it is important to have a plan.  Our Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond, highlights the importance of ensuring youth receive information, education and experience needed to gain financial literacy, identify future career paths, and learn how to start a business.  All this month, the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority of Saskatchewan (FCAA) and Saskatchewan credit unions are asking us to mind our money by learning more about personal finance.  This is about gaining the knowledge, skills and self-confidence to make responsible financial decisions.  FCAA has created a Financial Literacy space on their website,, where they are curating trusted, free personal finance information and tools from around the web.

Plan For Growth: Movember Edition
If you look around, you’ll start to notice that the faces of men around the province are changing – this includes many of the Government MLA’s you’ll find inside the Saskatchewan Legislature.  It is their shared vision to use the month of November (a.k.a. Movember) to grow and groom moustaches as part of a global effort to help change the face of men’s health.  Through the power of the moustache, funds and awareness are raised to combat both prostate and testicular cancer as well as mental health challenges.  You’re encouraged to visit to see their progress and support the cause.