Report from the Legislature – December 05, 2019

Our government’s plan for a strong and growing province highlighted the fall session of the Saskatchewan Legislature. Our plan for the next decade of growth will serve as our roadmap to growing a strong economy, strong communities and strong families.

Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan includes 20 actions for the 2020s and 30 goals for 2030, which include a population of 1.4 million people, 100,000 new jobs, increasing our exports by 50 per cent and increasing agriculture value-added revenue to $10 billion.

During the fall session, our government also outlined steps we are taking to advance our economic future, and to assert provincial autonomy over our own affairs. This includes an announcement that we will be aggressively advancing our own trade interests by establishing trade offices in Japan, India and Singapore.

We will continue to look for ways to assert more autonomy over Saskatchewan’s interests, including examining increased autonomy over areas like taxation, immigration, trade and climate change policy.

The government’s legislative agenda in the fall session included a number of measures that will strengthen Saskatchewan:

  • Bill 182 – The Tobacco Control Amendment Act, 2019, which brings vaping products in line with existing tobacco legislation.
  • Bill 199 – The Opioid Damages and Health Care Costs Recovery Act, giving Saskatchewan the ability to have direct action against opioid manufacturers and distributors.
  • Bill 203 – The Financial Planners and Financial Advisors Act, regulating who can use the titles of “financial planner” and “financial advisor.”
  • Bill 174 – The Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Amendment Act, 2019, amending The Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act, 1997 and clarifying that the Maintenance Enforcement Office can collect financial information, including banking information.
  • Bill 183 – The Fisheries (Saskatchewan) Act, 2019, improving the province’s ability to respond to threats posed by prohibited and aquatic invasive species and providing additional protection for aquatic species at risk.
  • Bill 200 – The Saskatchewan Employment Amendment Act, 2019, increasing parental leave by eight weeks to ensure that employees who are entitled to the new shared parental Employment Insurance benefit have job protection while accessing benefits, and expanding candidate-public office leave to include employees who are running for election to a Band Council.
  • Bill 175 – The Marriage Amendment Act, 2019, allowing for an interested person, such as a family member, to ask the court to have a marriage nullified in situations where the person getting married did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage.
  • Bill 195 – The Lobbyists Amendment Act, 2019, promoting transparency and enhancing accountability among provincially-elected officials.

Our government took action during the fall legislative sitting to deliver on key commitments including the opening of the Regina Bypass, a project that is enhancing safety on our roads, while enhancing the flow of goods in and out of our capital city.

The mid-year financial report, released prior to the conclusion of the fall legislative session, shows that Saskatchewan remains on track with a balanced budget.

The 2019-20 provincial budget continues to be the right balance for Saskatchewan. There are no new taxes or tax increases and we continue to invest in important social programs, while continuing to keep the budget balanced.

Meanwhile, the NDP continues to demonstrate weak leadership with no commitment to balance the budget. In fact, their Finance critic recently admitted that the NDP would run deficit budgets if they were in government.

As we look toward the next year and the next decade, our government will continue working to strengthen our economy, communities and families. This starts with balanced budgets and lower taxes to ensure Saskatchewan remains strong for many years to come.