Report from the Legislature – July 7, 2016

Hundreds of Applications Already Approved for First Home Plan


Summer marks the start of a new chapter in the lives of recent graduates.  Our government understands the importance of encouraging these grads to stay and start a career in Saskatchewan.  The Graduate Retention Program (GRP) – First Home Plan is part of our plan to do just that.


The plan helps recent post-secondary graduates who have the income to qualify for a mortgage but may be unable to save for a down payment.  Eligible grads can borrow up to $10,000 of unused GRP tax credits as an interest-free loan to put toward the down payment on their first home.


The first application for the First Home Plan was received 17 minutes after the initiative launched earlier this spring.  More than $2.3 million has been approved in support of 251 successful applications. You can learn more about the program at


Government Removes Barriers on Homebased Food Business


The Government of Saskatchewan has amended The Food Safety Regulations to remove barriers in order to allow home-processed foods to be sold directly to consumers and retailers. The amendments will be the first in Canada to specifically address the operation of home-based food businesses.


Effective August 1, 2016, home-based food processors in Saskatchewan can prepare low-risk foods in their own homes for direct sale more broadly to the public or for re-sale by retail stores. Currently, this occurs only through venues such as farmers’ markets, bake sales and fall suppers.


Low-risk foods are non-perishable foods that would normally not require refrigeration such as breads, biscuits, cookies, pastries, fruit pies, jams, jellies and candies. Meat or dairy products are considered higher risk and are not included in the items allowed for sale by home food processors.


Province Releases New Public Emergency Alerting App and Website


In an emergency situation, every second counts.  SaskAlert, the Government of Saskatchewan’s emergency public alerting program, is designed to protect people and property by connecting you with customizable, real-time information about emergencies as they unfold.


Alerts may be issued for tornadoes, plow winds, blizzards, wildfires, hazardous material spills, train derailments, drinking water advisories, evacuations, or local emergency declarations.


The SaskAlert app will put crucial emergency information directly into residents’ hands. Once the app is installed, iPhone and android smartphone users will be alerted to emergencies via a tone and notification on the home screen.  Alerts provide instructions for you to stay safe, and advise you once the incident is over.
Close to one-third of communities in the province have signed up to use SaskAlert to issue emergency alerts on behalf of their residents.  The Government of Saskatchewan is inviting all communities to participate in this free and vital service and all residents to download the app today. You can learn more at


Enjoy Saskatchewan’s Free Fishing Weekend


A Saskatchewan summer wouldn’t be complete without the annual free fishing weekend.  July 9th and 10th residents and visitors can fish in Saskatchewan waters without an angling licence.  This is an excellent opportunity for people of all ages to experience summer fishing in Saskatchewan.


Regular angling limits and all other sport fishing laws remain in effect. Free fishing weekend does not apply in national parks, and anyone planning to take fish out of the province must purchase a licence.  You can learn more about fishing in Saskatchewan at