The spring sitting of the Legislature concluded on May 18, 2023.
Our government passed several bills that will continue our work, creating growth that works for everyone in our province. This spring, the Government of Saskatchewan passed The Saskatchewan First Act. This legislation reaffirms Saskatchewan’s constitutional autonomy and asserts our province's exclusive jurisdiction over the exploration, development and management of non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources and the generation and production of electricity.
The federal government, which is a coalition between Justin Trudeau’s Liberals and Jagmeet Singh’s NDP, has made several attempts to restrict, or outright ignore, the rights and jurisdiction of each province in this regard. Our Saskatchewan government will continue standing up for our citizens and we will refuse to allow that federal coalition government to infringe upon our province’s right to explore, develop, and manage our own natural resources.
Our government also announced Saskatchewan's plan for electricity generation to 2035 and beyond. This plan commits to achieving net-zero by 2050 with an energy mix that ensures reliable baseload power and affordable customer rates. This will use existing natural gas plant assets, including the Great Plains Power Station in Moose Jaw, to the end of life and working toward small modular reactors, while continuing to expand intermittent power sources, such as wind and solar. This plan will ensure Saskatchewan's electrical generation is reliable, affordable, sustainable and achievable. Our government will not drive up SaskPower rates for Saskatchewan families to reach the federal government's arbitrary 2035 target.
As we move into the summer, you will see work continue on several projects laid out in this year's record $3.7 billion capital budget. These projects will ensure we have the schools, hospitals and highways our growing province needs. Ground was recently broken on the new joint-use school in Moose Jaw. I was excited and honoured to participate in that ceremony. The new school represents a $69 million dollar investment from the Government of Saskatchewan. It will accommodate 900 students from Prairie South and Holy Trinity Catholic school divisions and will offer capacity for 51 regulated child care spaces. The new school is expected to open in 2025. With regard to healthcare, we are increasing the number of doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers in our province with the four-point Health Human Resources Action Plan.
The Government of Saskatchewan also recently introduced a new compensation model for family doctors in our province. This new model will further support ongoing recruitment and retention efforts in family medicine. In the coming weeks, the ground will be broken on the Weyburn General Hospital project, and site preparation will continue on the Prince Albert Victoria Hospital project. The Urgent Care Centre in Regina is halfway complete and will open early next year, and a location has been chosen for the Saskatoon Urgent Care Centre in partnership with Ahtahkakoop Cree Developments.
Construction on our provincial highways is also in full swing; travellers are reminded to keep an eye out for construction zones and slow down to ensure everyone's safety. Our government has plans to improve 1,000 kilometres (km) of highways this year, for a total of 4,600 km of highways improved over the last four years. Investments in this year's budget will lay the foundation for further growth throughout the province.
Now that the spring sitting of the Legislature is complete, I look forward to connecting with you around the constituency at events throughout the summer. Your thoughts, suggestions and feedback are valuable to me as we continue to build on Saskatchewan's growth.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.