Report from the Legislature – May 7, 2014

The Saskatchewan Plan for Growth sets out our vision for a province of 1.2 million people by 2020.  This is a plan for economic growth that builds on the strength of our residents, resources and innovation in order to secure a better quality of life for all Saskatchewan people.

The population and economic growth we’re experiencing gives our government the ability to invest in schools, hospitals and transportation projects – one such example is the Regina Bypass.  Earlier this week the Government of Canada committed up to $200 million to support the construction of what will be the biggest infrastructure project in the history of our province.

The Regina Bypass plan features new roads, service roads and overpasses that will make travelling around Regina faster and safer.  By using a P3 (public private partnership) model, a plan the opposition NDP supports, the bypass is expected to be open to traffic years earlier than it would under a traditional delivery model.  The P3 model also encourages innovations which improve cost effectiveness, service and safety standards, trip times and overall distances.

The contractor, once selected, will design, build, finance, operate and maintain the project over a 30-year period.  The Regina Bypass will be owned by the Province of Saskatchewan.

The benefits of a growing province are also being used to improve health care in order to build a better quality of life for Saskatchewan seniors.   One of the ways our government is working to do this is through the replacement of 13 long-term care facilities across the province.  Just recently, the community of Rosetown celebrated the grand opening of Rose Villa – a 54 bed home that offers a comprehensive range of health services, larger private rooms, and state-of-the-art equipment.

Earlier this week, the Saskatchewan Legislative Building was home to an Olympic-sized celebration as we welcomed and congratulated the athletes, coaches and officials who proudly represented our province and country at the 2014 Winter and Paralympic Games in Sochi.  This contingent of ambassadors inspired our patriotism and represented us with enthusiasm and class.

While we are proud of each of our athletes’ individual accomplishments, we also recognize a select group of those from our province who appeared on the podium.  Mark McMorris, Hayley Wickenheiser, Ryan Getzlaf, Chris Kunitz and Patrick Marleau each earned medals in their respective snowboarding and hockey events.  We thank them for inspiring performances and extend our thanks to their coaches, friends and families for supporting them.

Many of our province’s younger athletes also made their mark recently as Prince Albert played host to the Saskatchewan Winter Games.  These games build pride, inspire dreams and develop future Olympic champions.  They also serve as an excellent reminder of our growing province and the benefits gained through physical activity and friendly competition.  To all of the athletes, coaches, parents, volunteers and fans, thank you for contributing to a wonderful event.

Through athletics, at all levels, we benefit from greater physical fitness, personal development and the ability to achieve our goals by working together.  The success of our athletes, coaches and officials is a testament to our amateur sport system and the thousands of volunteers who support opportunities for Saskatchewan participants to reach their personal goals and dreams.