Report from the Legislature – May 30, 2019

Saskatchewan’s economy is improving and our province continues to grow after three years of low natural resource prices and fiscal challenges.

Despite the headwinds of a federal carbon tax and trade challenges, Saskatchewan has now seen nine consecutive months of strong job growth.

Another sign of Saskatchewan’s resiliency and strength is our position as a leader in wholesale trade growth – second among the provinces and #1 in Western Canada.

Canada and Saskatchewan can celebrate after attempts by the B.C. NDP government to block the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion and future pipeline projects were recently struck down by the B.C. Court of Appeal.

The unanimous 5-0 decision recognizes and makes clear that B.C. cannot limit oil from another province, and reaffirms that building pipelines and getting our sustainable energy to market is in the national interest.

The B.C. NDP government says it plans to appeal to the Supreme Court. Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan NDP are silent, as they always are when it comes to supporting Saskatchewan’s most important jobs and industries.

The ball is now in the federal government’s court to get Trans Mountain approved right away and send a clear signal that other pipeline projects are possible.

Changes to federal Advance Payment Program to help canola producers announced on May 1st are still not available and producers have been told by federal officials that they may not be in place until months from now. This is way too late for canola producers who are already close to completing seeding.

The federal government needs to make the changes to the Advance Payment Program they committed to. This is critical to agricultural producers who are facing uncertainty in international markets. Your Saskatchewan Party government has reached out and is calling on the federal Agriculture Minister to get this fixed immediately.

Recently, we learned Japan is reopening their doors to Canadian beef over 30 months of age. This restriction has been in place since 2005 with the border closed since 2003. I am pleased to see the government of Japan’s recognition of the quality and safety of Canadian beef of all ages.

We continue to work to open up markets for Saskatchewan products, and will continue to advocate for our Saskatchewan industries at home and around the world.

Here at home, our government has lifted restrictions on bringing alcohol to Saskatchewan for personal use. This simple change is part of our commitment to freer trade within Canada and ending unnecessary trade barriers between provinces.

In just over a decade, Saskatchewan has grown by 160,000 people and created 75,000 new jobs. This kind of activity has allowed us to make strategic investments to:

  • strengthen health care, taking surgical wait times from the longest in Canada to now among the shortest;
  • improve education outcomes, with 46 new or replacement schools and 925 more teachers for our classrooms; and
  • invest in our most vulnerable people, making Saskatchewan the best place in Canada for someone with a disability.

In 2012, your Saskatchewan Party Government launched The Saskatchewan Plan for Growth: Vision 2020 and Beyond. Our government’s Growth Plan was a vision for a growing province, that built on the strength of our people, our resources and innovation, to make Saskatchewan an economic leader.

Despite Saskatchewan’s economic success and record investment in infrastructure and services, we know that there is still more to be done.

In building a plan for 2030, we want to hear from you about your community and your priorities as we look towards the next decade for our province.

Over the coming weeks and months, your Saskatchewan Party MLAs will be reaching out to you. We look forward to hearing your thoughts, suggestions and feedback in terms of how we can build on the growth of our communities and our province.