Report from the Legislature – April 25, 2019

From fighting the federal carbon tax and fixing Canada’s flawed Equalization program to protecting jobs and ensuring programs and services are sustainable for years to come, your Saskatchewan Party government is standing up for Saskatchewan.

This week we sent a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, reiterating our concerns regarding the escalating trade restrictions China has placed on Canadian canola. Saskatchewan has proposed changes to the federally-administered Advance Payments Program to limit the effects of drastic changes in seeding intentions and to cushion producers from a need to sell into an artificially depressed market.

While the federal government seemed prepared to act quickly on this proposal, we are no further along today than we were nearly a month ago when it was first proposed. This lack of action from the federal government is concerning when canola producers are facing unprecedented uncertainty ahead of spring seeding.

We are repeating our request that changes be made immediately to mitigate the risk to our canola producers in Saskatchewan while the federal government seeks to resolve its issues with China. We have also expressed a willingness to participate in a mission to China to resolve this issue through scientific or diplomatic means. In fact, we have offered any and all assistance to the federal government to resolve this matter.

Large fires and extremely dry conditions continue to be a concern across the province. In these conditions, cigarette butts, hot ATV exhaust, and even bonfires can easily trigger grassfires that quickly burn out of control.

Thank you to all Saskatchewan firefighters and emergency personnel for their response so far. Please pay attention and follow any fire bans issued by your municipality, as they are put in place for everyone’s protection.

Our province is grateful for the volunteer and professional firefighters and first responders who keep our people, property and communities safe.

Recently, we announced that Saskatchewan’s 6,500 volunteer firefighters will soon have easier access to Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) benefits. Volunteer firefighters will have access to the same presumptive coverage as professional firefighters.

Expanded presumptive coverage was first introduced for professional firefighters through an amendment to the legislation introduced this past December, which includes six additional cancers – prostate, skin, breast, cervical and ovarian cancer as well as multiple myeloma.

Our government recently announced the expansion of the Rural Crime Advisory Network. Initially launched in southern Saskatchewan earlier this year, the program is a partnership with the RCMP that allows detachment commanders to send text messages, emails or phone calls to residents with information about criminal activity in their area.

Since the program was rolled out, people across the province have expressed interest and we’re now proud to announce its expansion to include central and northern Saskatchewan. This allows the RCMP to get information to the residents directly and encourages them to contact police when they see similar, suspicious activity.

People are the eyes and ears of a community and every new person who signs up for this program boosts the reach of the network, allowing the RCMP to more effectively communicate with rural residents about crime in their area.

You can sign up today at

Investments into Crime Reduction Teams, Protection and Response Teams, and Community Safety Officers have all helped in addressing rural crime. Part of these efforts include making sure that police and communities are able to communicate and work with each other.

The expansion of the Rural Crime Advisory Network is all about connecting people and it is part of our government’s commitment to make sure our communities are safer so that Saskatchewan remains the best place in Canada to live, work and raise a family.