Report from the Legislature – April 08, 2015

Province Continues Support for Victims of Violence and Abuse

Programs that help Saskatchewan victims of interpersonal violence and abuse will receive more than $11 million this fiscal year.  The funding is provided to 33 community-based organizations for 43 programs supported by Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Justice, including:

  • Family-violence outreach programs, which offer direct services and public education on interpersonal violence and abuse;
  • Transition houses, which provide around-the-clock emergency shelter for women and children who are leaving violent relationships;
  • Sexual assault services, which provide support for sexual assault victims such as a twenty-four hour crisis line, crisis counselling, and help getting to and from medical, legal, and social services appointments;
  • Enhanced residential services that offer shelter for women and children whose issues extend beyond family violence to include mental health concerns and addiction; and
  • Associations that co-ordinate these services across the province.

The organizations providing these programs and services make a vital contribution to the safety of Saskatchewan’s citizens and families.  We are pleased to continue funding these community-based programs that offer support to Saskatchewan residents who need it the most.

Saskatchewan to Restrict Tanning Bed Use By Minors

Saskatchewan plans to develop regulations that will prohibit the use of indoor tanning beds by youth under 18 years of age.  Our young people are particularly vulnerable to the effects of indoor tanning, and this is one way we can help them lower their risk of melanoma.

In addition to these regulations – expected to be finalized and implemented this summer – the province will continue to support public education efforts that are aimed at raising awareness of the risks of indoor tanning, and encouraging people to make healthy lifestyle choices.

New Lifesaving Hepatitis C Drug Coverage Available for Patients

Our government is committed to providing patients with better access to new and effective medications.  This is why Saskatchewan is now providing coverage of two new lifesaving drugs for treating hepatitis C – a viral disease that affects the liver.  Harvoni and Sovaldi are better tolerated by patients and have the advantage of being a once daily tablet.

Over the next three years, the ministry expects to provide coverage for about 1,100 Saskatchewan patients who will meet the Exception Drug Status criteria for these therapies.   For more information on the approval process and income assisted programs, contact the Drug Plan and Extended Benefits Branch in Regina at 1-800-667-7581 or 306-787-3317.

Enhancements to Environmental Programs for Farmers and Ranchers

Saskatchewan’s farmers and ranchers are committed to environmental sustainability and our government is proud to support their efforts with a new web portal for the Saskatchewan Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) program.  This allows farm owners to create, review and update their EFPs online and at their own pace.  Enhancements have also been to Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) available through the Farm Stewardship Program.

The EFP program and Farm Stewardship Program are funded through Growing Forward 2, a cost-shared partnership between federal, provincial and territorial governments.  Through EFPs and the implementation of Beneficial Management Practices, our province is better positioned to improve the quality of our soil, water, air and the biodiversity of our resources.

Strength in Saskatchewan Export Numbers

Every day Saskatchewan’s thriving export market is distributing a wide-range of products all over the globe.  In the first two months of 2015, exports in the province were $5.4 billion, up 10.5 per cent over the same period last year.  This year-over-year rise is good news.

Saskatchewan’s export sector is very diverse with successful businesses able to showcase quality products in a very competitive market.  It is contributing to our strong and diversified economy by creating jobs and opening up new opportunities in growth markets.