Report from the Legislature – May 09, 2019

For myself and my colleagues, the Spring Sitting of the Legislature has been a busy season of representing our constituents and constituencies, proposing ideas, engaging in debate and passing legislation to improve the lives of Saskatchewan people.

The Government of Saskatchewan is passing legislation that better balances the rights of rural land owners and members of the public. Most notably, it moves the onus of responsibility from rural land owners to individuals seeking to access their property.
Under the new legislation, those wishing to access a rural land owner’s property for recreational purposes will need to first gain access from the land owner. Land owners will be able to provide consent for activities on their land through posted signs.

We believe this will promote communication with rural land owners, while still giving Saskatchewan people the opportunity to take advantage of our rural landscapes for outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and hiking.

The legislation will come into force after the necessary regulations are developed.

Innovation Saskatchewan is working with the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities to develop a technological solution to promote contact between land owners and those seeking access to private property. The Innovation Challenge will select a successful applicant to develop their solution over a 16-week residency period.

One of the highlights of the 2019 Provincial Budget is our government’s record investment in mental health and addictions services.

Recently, we announced that Saskatchewan paramedics and other first responders will benefit from $250,000 in funding for mental health and addictions programming.

EMS providers and volunteer medical first responders are on the frontlines of medical care and are exposed to a high number of stressful situations. This funding will help to set up supports that best address their mental health needs.

From market access and equalization to pipelines and the carbon tax, your Saskatchewan Party government is standing up for Saskatchewan.

We are standing up to protect and open market access for Saskatchewan exports; to fix Canada’s flawed Equalization program; and against harmful federal government policies, like Bills C-48 and C-69, which threaten industries and families in our province.

While we are disappointed with the recent ruling at the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, we will continue to stand up on behalf of the people across our province who are opposed to the federal government’s ineffective, job-killing carbon tax.

The Court of Appeal ruling was a 3-2 split decision. Two judges provided a detailed, dissenting opinion that the carbon tax is unconstitutional. There are strong grounds for an appeal and we look to appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada.

We are grateful for all of the organizations and the provinces that intervened in this case on Saskatchewan’s side, and we are grateful for Saskatchewan Justice and our two outstanding constitutional lawyers who presented Saskatchewan’s case.

Meanwhile, other provinces are also proceeding with their own court challenges. Saskatchewan plans to intervene in each of these cases.

The Trudeau carbon tax is bad economic policy; it is bad environmental policy; and our government’s fight against it will continue.

Our province already has a plan – a Prairie Resilience plan – to fight climate change; to reduce emissions; and to do it without a carbon tax.

The NDP has called our fight against the carbon tax “a pointless crusade”. Their leader even said they “applaud” the Trudeau carbon tax. These comments prove that the NDP is out of touch with Saskatchewan.

I want to thank small business owners, farmers, energy sector workers, and all hard-working families for their support as we continue this fight.