Report from the Legislature – March 14, 2019

From the Trudeau carbon tax and troublesome federal legislation such as Bill C-69, to the challenge of Canadian canola shipments being turned away at port in China, the spring sitting of the legislature is about standing up for Saskatchewan.

We will keep standing up for Saskatchewan families and work hard to ensure our province and economy remain strong. Despite economic headwinds facing our province, our industries continue to drive positive job growth. New figures from Statistics Canada  are showing seven consecutive months of strong job gains in Saskatchewan.

The spring sitting of the legislature has also seen the launch of some important initiatives including a new provincial crime watch system which can send text messages, emails and place phone calls to residents about criminal activity in their area.

Efforts to improve wireless services in rural communities continues with the announcement of 8 more small cell site towers to help improve coverage. Better coverage in our communities helps connect everyone from the farm to the city, and we’re going to keep working to improve our wireless network in Saskatchewan.

Our focus on mental health is delivering services directly to those who need them most through Police and Crisis Teams, Community Recovery Teams, and our new Mental Capacity Building pilot projects in Saskatchewan schools.

The grand opening of the new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford is a landmark achievement in mental health for our province. It takes a unique approach to mental health and will allow us to better treat and care for people with mental illness.

Representing the single largest investment in mental health in the history of our province, and the cumulative efforts and vision of many people, the new Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford is now among the most advanced mental health treatment centres in Canada.

Our government’s commitment to early years education and child care can be seen in funding for the creation of seven new family resource centres, as well as hundreds more affordable child care spaces in communities across the province.

We also have a new agreement to expand access to dental services for Saskatchewan people. This includes cleft lip and palate treatment for infants, children, and adolescents, better coverage for dental extractions for cancer patients, and specialized dental consultations for medical patients.

These and other investments are possible because of a strong and growing Saskatchewan economy. This is why our government is focused on standing up for Saskatchewan families and jobs at a time when the NDP is more concerned with defending their weak leadership and reckless, ideological economic policies.

Saskatchewan’s Trade Export Minister Jeremy Harrison has been on a trade mission to southeast Asia. He’s been there promoting our agri-food strengths as there is a huge opportunity for increased trade between our province and this part of the world.

Right now, we are seeing a concerning trend with the federal government as it relates to trade. Instead of working to remove U.S. tariffs on steel & aluminum, we see the ambassador helping the Prime Minister with his crisis control; we have no permanent ambassador to China, where we just had a shipment of canola turned away at port; and we have seen a deterioration in trade relations with the nation of India.

The U.S., China, and India are Saskatchewan’s top 3 trading partners. While our province has the food, fuel and fertilizer the world needs, we need the federal government to treat our trading relationships with the seriousness that they deserve.

On March 20th your Saskatchewan Party government will deliver the 2019-20 Saskatchewan Budget. We are on track to deliver on our 3-year plan to balance while maintaining a competitive tax and business environment, and focusing on important government programs and services that are sustainable today and for the long-term.