Report from the Legislature – June 18, 2014

Saskatchewan is home to real growth and real opportunity – opportunity that continues to attract people from other provinces and around the world.  Saskatchewan grew by more than 5,000 people in the first quarter, bringing our total population increase in the past year to more than 21,000.  Statistics Canada says Saskatchewan is now home to 1,122,588 people.

This is the start of our eighth consecutive year of strong population growth, a far cry from the years when our province was actually losing people.  We are encouraged that our quarterly and annual growth rates are second-highest among the provinces, behind only Alberta.

This steady growth is credit to the continued confidence and contributions of our diverse and growing population.  These contributions can be found in the latest labour force figures from Statistics Canada.  Saskatchewan people continue to create jobs and more Saskatchewan people are working than ever before.  With record job numbers and record employment, our unemployment rate is the lowest in Canada for the seventeenth consecutive month.

One of the keys to supporting a growing province and a growing economy is providing parents with the tools they need to work, return to work, or study after starting a family. The reality is that access to quality child care is a necessity and by investing in new
spaces our government is working to alleviate some of the pressures that exist, particularly in growing communities.

As part of our 2014-15 budget, our government has provided funding for more than 500 new child care spaces in eleven communities.  This raises the number of funded licensed child care spaces in Saskatchewan to more than 14,200 – a 53% increase in the last seven years.  You can visit to find a full listing of licensed child care services in the province.

Despite recent rainfall, we are seeing great progress on a variety of construction projects across our province.  This is possible because of our government’s commitment to build and maintain transportation infrastructure.

Currently there are several, major multi-million dollar highway projects underway.  Projects of note include new twinning lanes, 300 kilometres of repaving on our busiest highways and 150 kilometres of rural highway upgrades.  We’re also starting work on supergrid pilot projects and hundreds of bridge and culvert improvements across the province.  Crews are also busy painting lines and pavement signs on nearly 48,000 kilometres of highway.

As highway workers do their job to improve our safety, we ask that you do your part to improve theirs.  Simplified signage, asking that we reduce our speed in work zones, is now in place across the province.  With photo radar, drivers who don’t slow down, run the risk of facing triple the normal fines for speeding.

As far as road safety is concerned, Saskatchewan will see new traffic safety laws come into effect June 27th.  The new legislation aims to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries by imposing harsher penalties for impaired driving, distracted driving and excessive speed.

Passenger safety changes include mandatory booster seats for children under 7 years of age and recommended seats for children less than 4’9” tall and those under 80lbs.  The changes, which can be found in detail at, are the result of an action plan put together by a Special Committee on Traffic Safety.

Our province has much to offer our youth, especially in the summer, and STC is giving them a convenient and affordable way to get out and experience as much as possible.

This summer, youth in Saskatchewan can ride with the Saskatchewan Transportation Company for just $20 plus tax for a one-way ticket or $40 return.  Youth, aged 12 to 25, can purchase their Youth Seat Sale tickets from any STC agency between July 1st and
August 31, 2014.

Wherever your travels take you, have a safe and enjoyable summer!