Report from the Legislature – November 01, 2018

Members of the Legislative Assembly just wrapped up debate on the 2018 Speech from the Throne. The Speech outlines our government’s commitment to stand up for Saskatchewan, and highlights our plan to balance the budget, grow the economy and invest in infrastructure, programs and services for the people of our province.

In the spirit of Halloween, Opposition members replied to the Throne Speech by disguising themselves as a “government-in-waiting” – and that’s pretty scary, isn’t it? The NDP used their time in the Assembly to speak in support of all sorts of spooky ideas that would kill jobs and put Saskatchewan’s economy on life support.

The NDP supports a carbon tax, higher business taxes, higher resource royalties, and opposition to pipelines. These policies kill jobs and yet they are the economic policies of the NDP and their new Leader, who now serves as their Economy Critic.

The NDP talk about being unafraid to Dream and Deliver. When they say this, what they really mean is dreaming up new ways to spend your money and delivering tax increases to pay for it all. This aligns with all the new spending their leader has dreamt up.

In addition to raising taxes, shutting down our resource sector, and killing jobs, the Opposition is proposing another $2.5 billion in new spending each and every year. If you ask me, Dream and Deliver sounds more like a nightmare.

With their reckless spending and job-killing policies, the NDP aren’t fooling anyone. They may have a different leader but their record of tax hikes, population decline and economic stagnation still haunts them to this day.

A recent trip to Toronto brought benefits back home.

While in Toronto, Premier Moe and Premier Ford discussed their shared commitment to reducing interprovincial trade barriers. The two premiers announced a Memorandum of Understanding to begin discussions on lowering interprovincial barriers.

Saskatchewan also met with the Canada-India Business Council ahead of an important trade mission to India later this month.

India is a significant trade and export destination for a number of Saskatchewan’s key industries. In 2017, Saskatchewan was Canada’s top exporter to India, and India represented Saskatchewan’s third largest export market with a significant trade relationship. Over the past decade we’ve grown our India market by 94 per cent to $1.1 billion exported last year.

Saskatchewan’s exports to India however have taken a direct hit since 2015, declining by 27 per cent. The Prime Minister’s recent trip to India was not successful in achieving the elimination of trade barriers on Saskatchewan pulse crops.

As part of a business delegation, Saskatchewan will work encourage investment and strengthen the relationship with this large trading partner.

Saskatchewan, as an export-driven province, produces many of the products in demand around the world in industries like agriculture, oil and gas, and mining.

Since 2007, Saskatchewan exports have grown by 46 per cent to $28.9 billion exported last year. In fact, Saskatchewan has the highest goods exported per capita of all Canadian provinces.

The largest trading market for our nation and this province is the United States. Our interconnected economies see millions of dollars of goods cross the borders daily, benefitting businesses and consumers, and supporting jobs.

While the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement will ensure continued access to U.S. markets for Saskatchewan products, protectionist threats from the U.S. administration remain.

Our province continues to face the threat of tariffs on Saskatchewan softwood lumber and steel. This is in addition to the United States Department of Commerce’s spurious investigation of Saskatchewan uranium as a threat to U.S. national security, and possible tariffs that may arise from that investigation.

Our government will continue to work with Ottawa to support the Canadian economy and this critical trading relationship, while supporting our own customers and connections in the United States to preserve Saskatchewan’s relationship with our largest trading partner.

The Premier recently completed a trade mission to China. Unfortunately, Saskatchewan remains reliant on our federal government to negotiate international trade agreements, and Canada’s trade relationship with China has stalled as our country has not started formal free trade discussions as expected.

The Government of Canada has also not indicated a willingness to expand uranium exports to China – an initiative that would benefit northern Saskatchewan miners and workers.

Your Saskatchewan Party government will continue to stand up for Saskatchewan by standing up for the industries and jobs that provide a living for individuals and families across our great province. This means continuing to work with our partners and stakeholders at all levels in support of an even stronger, more diversified and globally-connected Saskatchewan.