Report from the Legislature – November 09, 2023

Recently the Trudeau government announced a three-year exemption on the carbon tax for home heating oil. This exemption will primarily benefit families in Atlantic Canada, where a greater percentage of households use heating oil compared to the rest of the country; 40 per cent of households in Atlantic Canada heat their homes with heating oil compared to just 0.4 per cent here in Saskatchewan. Natural gas is our primary source of home heating, with 85 per cent of Saskatchewan households having natural gas furnaces.

With this decision, the federal government has chosen to make life more affordable for families in one part of the country, while leaving Saskatchewan families out in the cold. We are calling on the federal government to offer this same carbon tax exemption to Saskatchewan families by extending it to all forms of home heating, including natural gas.

If they do not, then, effective January 1, 2024, SaskEnergy will stop collecting and remitting the carbon tax on natural gas. This will effectively provide Saskatchewan people with the same exemption that the federal government is giving Atlantic Canadians who use heating oil.

Early in this fall sitting of the Legislature and in advance of Remembrance Day on November 11, our government passed Bill 139 The Saskatchewan Remembrance Observance Act. This bill ensures employees are able to wear a poppy at work if they choose, unless it poses a danger to health, safety or welfare of the workers or others. Our veterans, current and past, have fought for our freedom and peace in Canada, and providing the right for workers to wear a poppy while in the workplace is a way to honour the sacrifice veterans and their families have made.

Our government also recently introduced amendments to The Workers’ Compensation Act to provide increased cancer coverage for firefighters. Coverage will now include six additional types of cancers: penile, pancreatic, thyroid, soft tissue sarcoma, mesothelioma, and laryngeal. This brings the total presumptive coverage to 22 types of cancer, the most of any Canadian jurisdiction. The additional coverage is an important way we can help support firefighters and their families, who face risks and hazards every day as they work to keep us safe.

Saskatchewan recently recognized Aviation and Aerospace Week from October 29 to November 4, a time to recognize the important role this transportation sector plays in the province. Aviation supports various economic sectors in our province, including tourism, natural resources and agriculture.

Quality of life in our province is impacted by aviation as well, by connecting air ambulances to communities to move patients, providing air services for policing to protect communities, and supporting evacuations during emergencies.

Our government invests in improvements at regional, community-owned airports in Saskatchewan through the Community Airport Partnership (CAP) program. The $850,000 infrastructure program will provide cost-shared grants of up to $275,000 per eligible airport project. Since 2008, our government has invested over $10 million to support 43 community airports through the CAP program.

Our government also continues to invest in the four-point Health Human Resources Action Plan to recruit, train, incentivize and retain health care workers. As a part of this program, a new two-year Physician Assistant (PA) Master’s program will begin at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Medicine in the fall of 2025. PAs practice medicine under a physician, often within a multidisciplinary health team. Saskatchewan recently announced the addition of PAs to our health care system, helping to provide enhanced care and strengthen the health care system.

Nominations are now open for the 2024 Saskatchewan Order of Merit. Established in 1985, the Order of Merit allows us to honour outstanding citizens who have truly made our province a better place to live. Nominations will be accepted until November 30, 2023 by mail, courier or in-person; to learn more, visit

As the fall sitting of the Legislature continues, I look forward to hearing from you. Your questions, concerns or comments help government shape policy as we continue to build and protect Saskatchewan.