Report from the Legislature – June 25, 2020

Despite economic turmoil, Saskatchewan has remained on track to recover from the affects of the COVID-19 pandemic. S&P Global Ratings has affirmed Saskatchewan’s AA credit rating, proving that despite the effects of COVID-19, Saskatchewan is well-positioned for growth as we re-open our economy and recover from the pandemic.

Re-Open Saskatchewan

Soon our province will begin the second part of Phase 4 of Re-Open Saskatchewan, allowing libraries, museums, galleries, movie theatres and live theatres to re-open. Plans to re-open indoor pools, indoor rinks, indoor sports and activities, casinos and bingo halls will be announced over the coming weeks. Event theatres may operate at 30 per cent capacity, and up to 150 people.

Over the weekend, parks and campgrounds will be able to open to 100 per cent capacity for overnight stays and limited-term campsites. Access can now be provided to washroom and shower facilities. Please be patient as there will be increased cleaning and disinfection protocols and expectations.

We understand that many residents are getting excited to be back outside and be active. In this phase, outdoor sports can continue to resume with some revisions. Outdoor sporting events where physical distancing can be maintained can resume. For sports that include full contact play, mini-leagues with modified player participation should be formed to allow teams to safely return to playing games, while helping mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Education Infrastructure

The 2020-21 Budget provides record investment into our schools. It will provide $2.6 billion for the Ministry of Education, an increase of $123.3 million to support Prekindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms, early learning and childcare, libraries and literacy.

As part of our $7.5 billion two-year capital plan to build a strong Saskatchewan and stimulate our economic recovery, the Minister of Education will receive $110.5 million for six new school projects to support our growing population.

The new projects include:

  • A new Francophone elementary school in Regina;
  • A new elementary school to replace Durcharme Elementary School in La Loche;
  • A new k-12 school to replace Blaine Lake Composite School;
  • A new K-12 school to consolidate the elementary school and high school in Lanigan;
  • Renovations and addition to Holy Rosary High School in Lloydminster; and
  • Renovations and addition to Lloydminster Comprehensive High School.

These projects are in addition to the funding announced as part of the Budget 2020-21 to build seven new schools and renovate three existing schools. Since 2008, 85 projects have been approved including 57 new schools, and 28 major renovation projects.

Our Education Minister also announced a $25.9 million stimulus funding for school maintenance projects in 15 communities. These projects are part of our government’s $7.5 billion two-year capital plan.


Clare’s Law

On June 29, Clare’s Law will come into force, enabling Saskatchewan residents to apply to police for information regarding their partner’s past behaviour. If applicable, police will be able to disclose of their partners information which may help protect potential victims of interpersonal violence. We believe an individual has the right to ask and the right to know if they are in danger.

Our government has consulted with municipal police services and the Provincial Association of Transition Houses to provide necessary training for police to process Clare’s Law applications in accordance with the legislation.

All municipal police services will be participating in this new protocol. The RCMP has indicated they will not participate. We will continue to reach out to our Prime Minister’s cabinet members and ask for this decision to be reconsidered.

Municipal Economic Program

55 projects with more than $7.4 million of provincial investment have been approved and are moving forward under the Municipal Economic Enhancement Program. This investment will be significant in our economics recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Each project and its schedule will be managed by the municipality who received the funding. We look forward to seeing Saskatchewan people get back to work this summer with these projects.

As our government moves into the remaining days of this session, we will continue our work in being transparent and accountable to our constituents. We will pass our 2020-21 Budget and continue to build a strong Saskatchewan. I wish everyone a Happy Canada Day, and remind you all to continue to socially-distance and respect the direction of our health professionals.