Report from the Legislature – June 3, 2015

Four Year Commitment to Boost Benefits Fulfilled

Our government is committed to ensuring our province leads the nation in quality of life for people with disabilities.  That’s why we created Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID), an income support program for people with significant and enduring disabilities that offers individuals the dignity of greater choice of services and participation in their community.

We believe the benefits of growth should provide everyone in our province the opportunity to realize their full potential.  This month more than 13,000 individuals will see an increase to their monthly benefit, fulfilling our government’s four year commitment to increase program benefits.  This is something we’re able to do because Saskatchewan’s economy remains strong.

This is part of our government’s commitment to make Saskatchewan the best place in Canada for people with disabilities to live.  A Citizen Consultation Team has been working on a comprehensive Disability Strategy, expected to be released at the end of June.  More information about the Strategy can be found at

Saskatchewan’s Agricultural Advantage

The foundation for Saskatchewan’s strong and diversified economy is our expanding agricultural sector. In the past year, Saskatchewan has enjoyed record-high livestock prices and above-average crop production.  Once again, in 2014, our province was also the country’s top agricultural exporter with products worth $13.9 billion shipped to 153 countries.

Our government remains committed to providing programs and services that meet the needs of producers.  This means refining Crop Insurance, encouraging more local processing of agricultural products and continuing to invest in research and development.  With the world’s best producers as the foundation for Saskatchewan’s economic strength, the future is bright.

According to Saskatchewan Agriculture’s latest weekly crop report, we’re off to a good start with dry weather allowing the majority of producers’ an opportunity to complete seeding operations.  As another growing season gets underway, I would like to wish all producers the very best.

More Than 30 Major Highway Projects Underway

Highway crews and road builders are springing into action with more than 30 major highway projects currently underway in Saskatchewan.  Construction on the Regina Bypass – the largest transportation infrastructure project in Saskatchewan’s history – will also begin this summer. The bypass project alone is expected to create an estimated 8,200 construction-related jobs.

The 2015-16 Highways and Infrastructure budget is a record $842 million, including $560 million for capital construction.  The 27 per cent funding increase is a clear indication that our government is committed to meeting the growing demands of our province and advancing our economy.  This means new twinning projects, passing lanes and overpasses.

Throughout the summer and fall, the Government of Saskatchewan will release a weekly construction update to help plan safe travel.  Additional travel information can be found using The Highway Hotline.  Drivers are reminded to slow to 60 km/h and to obey signs and flagpersons when passing through construction zones so work can be done safely.

Saskatchewan Reads Supports Provincial Reading Initiatives

A provincial framework to support student success in reading is now in place and is available to teachers across the province.  Saskatchewan Reads was developed to improve student reading as identified in the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth and the Education Sector Strategic Plan.

Saskatchewan Reads provides guidance for school divisions to build on their own reading initiatives to meet the needs of their unique student population.  It provides practical supports for teachers to ensure their students are successful in achieving their reading goals.

In June 2013, the provincial baseline for reading levels showed that 65 per cent of Grade 3 students were at or above grade level.  As of June 2014, the provincial percentage had increased to 70 per cent – a five per cent increase in the first year.  The goal of the reading priority is for 80 per cent of students to be reading at or above grade level by 2020.

Family Rental Housing Project Opens in Regina

Four Regina families in need of housing will now have an affordable, safe place to call home, with help from the province, Gabriel Housing Corporation and the City of Regina.  Located in the Churchill Downs area, the project consists of two three-bedroom and two four-bedroom units, for a total of four rental homes for large families.  Through Saskatchewan Housing Corporation, the province contributed approximately $859,000 toward the $1.2 million cost.

Our government is pleased to work with Gabriel Housing Corporation and the City of Regina to help provide more housing opportunities for families in need of a safe, quality home.  These homes are an important part of keeping Saskatchewan strong as we work together with our partners to support individuals and families in greatest housing need.

Since November 2007, 548 affordable rental units have been completed in the community, including this project.  An additional 65 rental units are under construction.  There are also 605 University of Regina student residence units currently under construction.