Report from the Legislature – January 21, 2021

Saskatchewan people continue to show strength and resilience through the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic. I want to sincerely thank those who are adhering to public health orders and doing their best to keep themselves and their communities safe. While the rollout of vaccine gives us hope for a return to normal, we must all do our part to reduce transmission by following masking and distancing requirements as well as respecting public health guidelines.

Phase 1 of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine Delivery Plan continues with a focus on long-term and personal care home residents and staff; prioritized health care workers; residents in the 80+ 70-79 age brackets, as well as those 50+ in remote and northern community populations. As expected, there are challenges. Delivering to high-risk populations in remote locations can at times slow the pace of administering the vaccine, and adverse winter weather may cause transportation issues. Recently, our province was notified that Canada will see delays in receiving the Pfizer vaccine. We are now short 50 per cent of doses that were promised by the federal government. Despite this, the Saskatchewan Health Authority continues to work on preparedness and efficiency in delivering the vaccine and will continue to ensure Phase 1 is completed in both a safe and timely manner.

For the most up to date information on the vaccine and its delivery, please visit

The Re-Open Saskatchewan Training Subsidy (RSTS) program has been an important tool to support businesses through the challenging circumstances brought on by COVID-19. This subsidy serves to temporarily assist with financial support, and train employees as businesses adjust to the impacts of the pandemic. The RSTS reimburses eligible private-sector employers 100% of their training costs up to a maximum of $10,000 per business.

With significant uptake to date, we have extended the RSTS program deadline to March 31, 2021. For more information, employers can visit, or email

Prior to the pandemic, our government introduced a 10-year Growth Plan to build a stronger Saskatchewan. This is a roadmap that outlines our goals and the actions we will take to achieve them. Part of the plan is attracting further investment in the province’s world-class mining sector. I am encouraged to see that the 2020 edition of the Mining Journal Intelligence World Risk Report ranks Saskatchewan among the very top jurisdictions globally for doing business in the mining sector. This ranking reaffirms that our stable policy and regulation has fostered one of the strongest investments climates throughout the world.

Export development is another area of focus in our government’s Growth Plan. Saskatchewan has what the world needs and that was reaffirmed in the latest recent merchandise export numbers. Statistics for November 2020 show these exports were up by 12.6 per cent compared to November 2019. This is the highest percentage increase among provinces, and more than doubles the percentage increases of the second closest province.

Growth and expansion of our export sector will be made possible through continued investment in agriculture. Recently, $9.8 million in federal and provincial funding was announced for 39 crop-related research projects through the Saskatchewan Agriculture Development Fund (ADF). This funding will increase our ability to move forward with important research, increase innovation and deliver the most efficient and sustainable products we can.

I am disappointed to learn that U.S. President Joe Biden is cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline expansion. This project is critical for our North American energy sector and has already employed a significant number of workers on both sides of the border. In addition to its positive economic impact, it would also reach net-zero emissions when it first tuns on and would be powered 100% by renewable energy by 2030.

While decision to cancel this project has been welcomed by the NDP, your Saskatchewan Party government is taking a different approach. We are urging the Prime Minister to leverage his relationship with the new U.S. President, and we will continue exercising our contacts in Washington D.C. to advocate for its continuation which clearly benefits both of our nations.