Report from the Legislature – November 18, 2021

Investing in the future was a major topic of debate this week as our government works to ensure Saskatchewan continues to lead the country in investment potential. Already, companies have announced billions of dollars for projects that will create more jobs and draw more talent to the province.


The work already done has led to major announcements such as the $12 billion BHP Jansen Potash Mine, Viterra and Cargill have each started on canola processing facilities for Regina, Ceres Global Ag has invested in a canola plant of their own at Northgate and Richardson International is doubling their processing capacity.


One of the newest opportunities was the Speech from the Throne announcement that will create the Saskatchewan Indigenous Investment Finance Corporation. Our government is providing $75 million in financing to Indigenous communities and organizations interested in making equity investments in resource development projects.


Working to become a world leader in helium production, our government has initiated a plan that will see Saskatchewan supply ten per cent of the global helium market by 2030.


The Helium Action Plan released this week, outlines that goal by providing policy and program commitments to support and grow the value chain. The plan is focused on exploration, production, innovation, processing and export infrastructure.


The economic benefits are numerous with more than 500 new permanent jobs expected, thousands of construction and service sector positions, an addition of 150-plus helium wells and 15 production facilities that will combine to generate more than $500 million in annual helium exports.


Continuing to build on the Speech from the Throne announcements of wage increases and new training opportunities for Early Childhood Educators (ECEs), we have taken steps towards making child care more affordable for Saskatchewan families.


Through a partnership with the federal government, funding will be provided to licensed facilities to reduce parents’ out-of-pocket expenses for child care fees for children five years of age and younger.


Grants will be retroactive to July 1, 2021 and licensed facilities will pass that funding onto eligible families. After that, grants will be provided to facilities in order for them to provide service at significantly reduced fees.


These changes will also create a need for more ECEs, therefore, investments are being made to support the labour market by increasing wages for ECEs and developing new partnerships for training opportunities.


Collège Mathieu, Saskatchewan Polytechnic and the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies are already on board with accelerated training opportunities for both new and current ECEs.


All told, the Canada-Saskatchewan Canada-Wide Early Learning and Child Care Agreement will increase licensed child care spaces by 28,000 by 2025-26.


Building on our commitment earlier this year to provide multi-year funding that encourages long-term financial sustainability and support to post-secondary institutions, new legislation was introduced this week to ensure a consistent level of oversight and accountability.


The Post-Secondary Education and Skills Training Act, 2021 will apply more broadly to all post-secondary institutions that receive funding from government, update responsibilities and powers of the Minister to improve oversight, centralize grant-making authority and reflect current accountability practices.


As always, if you have questions, comments, concerns, or require assistance with provincial government programs or services, please get in touch with our constituency office at 306-205-2126.