Report from the Legislature- May 26, 2016

First Home Plan Open for Application

A promise to let post-secondary graduates use up to $10,000 of their Graduate Retention Program (GRP) credits towards the down payment on their first home, is a promise kept.  The Government of Saskatchewan is now taking applications for the First Home Plan.

The First Home Plan will help recent grads who have the income to qualify for a mortgage, but may be having challenges saving for a down payment.  This plan is part of our commitment to make Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to go to school, find a job, buy a home and start a family.  The plan will also help employers to recruit grads from inside and outside the province.

First-time homebuyers and those who have not owned a home in the last five years may be eligible for the First Home Plan. Those who took possession of their home on or after May 1, 2016, are eligible for the program.

To learn more, you can call Saskatchewan Housing Corporation at 306-787-4177 or toll-free at 1-800-667-7567, or visit

Provincial Parks Open for the Season

Saskatchewan’s provincial parks are places where people go to make memories, enjoy recreational activities and connect with nature. Last year was a record year with nearly 3.9 million visits.

With stunning natural features, fantastic amenities and quality programming, it’s no surprise that the popularity of our parks is growing.  Many people made it a priority to visit a Saskatchewan Provincial Park this past weekend and, with another successful launch, we expect this will be another great camping season.

There is still a lot of availability for anyone who may still want to book a campsite and there are several different ways to book; online at, via the mobile site at or through the Call Centre at 1-855-737-7275.

In some cases, fire restrictions may be in place, prohibiting all open fires. Check for a complete list of all fire restrictions.

New this year, campers will be able to make online reservations in seven provincial parks for dates after the Labour Day long weekend.  The parks that are piloting fall camping reservations are: The Battlefords, Blackstrap, Cypress Hills, Danielson, Douglas, Narrow Hills and Rowan’s Ravine.

Learn to Camp, a new program in 2015, will take place in three parks this year: Echo Valley, Good Spirit Lake and Pike Lake. This guided program allows people who are new to nature the opportunity to experience camping in a provincial park. All camping equipment is provided and participants only need to bring their own food, clothes and bedding. Learn more at

Based on the success of Learn to Camp last year, a new program will pilot this summer: Learn to Fish. Details on this program, including dates and locations will be announced soon.

The Government of Saskatchewan is investing more than $1.2 million into campsite electrical expansion and upgrades in three parks this year: Good Spirit Lake, Lac La Ronge and Meadow Lake. Nearly 300 campsites across these three parks will receive either new or improved electrical service.

Total funding for the provincial parks system since 2007 is more than $200 million.  This funding includes capital expenditures and investment, operational funding, and parks programming.

I invite you to visit a provincial park this summer. Take time to make memories with your family and friends in a provincial park this year.

Work Zone Safety Shouldn’t Take A Holiday

Planning your visit to a provincial park should include a quick check at The Highway Hotline for the latest updates on construction, emergency road closures, the status of ferries, barges or other road activities.  Nearly 270 kilometres of highway projects are currently underway across the province.

Reducing your speed to 60 km/hr is most commonly associated with active work zones where workers present but, at times, it is necessary to slow down because of hazards such as loose stones and sharp drop-offs. I encourage you to drive with caution, even in the absence of workers.

Starting this year and over the next three years, our government will fix more highways through a $70 million surge in highway repair and maintenance.  This is part of a new Highways 2020 Plan to invest $2.7 billion in highways and transportation capital over the next four years.

Over the past eight years, our government has made record investments in highways and infrastructure, repairing and rebuilding over 10,000 kilometres of Saskatchewan roads. This is nearly 700 kilometres longer than the width of Canada from the east to west coasts.