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Report from the Legislature

MLA Lyle Stewart's latest column
LyleStewart_MLALumsden-Morse-10
MLA Lyle Stewart

Contact info:

200-99 Diefenbaker Drive
Moose Jaw, Sask. S6J OC2
306.693.3229 (Tel)
lumsdenmorse.mla@sasktel.net


A strong and growing number of people in Saskatchewan are getting vaccinated. This is driving down COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations, and helping to ease public health orders.

Recently, Step 1 of our Re-Opening Roadmap began with household gathering limits expanding up to 10 people and attendance at worship services, public gatherings, and table limits at restaurants all increasing. Youth and adult outdoor sports are now able to resume as well.

Step 2 of our Re-Opening Roadmap is scheduled to begin June 20th. This means no capacity limits on retail, personal care services, bars, and restaurants; further increases to private gathering sizes; and organized indoor sports and recreational activities allowed to resume. 

Step 3 is within reach. Once 70 per cent of all eligible residents ages 12 and older have received their first vaccine and at least three weeks have passed from the start of Step 2, the last two public health orders — event and gathering size limits and indoor masking — will be removed.

Our goal is simple: protect people so we can re-open safely. This could happen as early as July 11 if we meet our vaccination target by June 20. Residents who have not received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine are strongly encouraged to book an appointment and stick it to COVID. Those who have are reminded, once eligible, that it is equally important to follow up that first dose with a second.

As life returns to normal and we focus on our economic recovery, workers and families in our province have a lot to look forward to.

Over the past few months, Saskatchewan has welcomed major investments that will add value to the products we produce, create local jobs and support economic growth.

  • March 22, 2021 – Richardson International announced the doubling of their canola crush capacity in Yorkton to be the largest in Canada;
  • April 22, 2021 – Cargill announced a $350 million investment to build a state-of-the-art canola crush facility in Regina;
  • April 26, 2021 – Viterra announced the building of the world’s largest integrated canola crush plant outside Regina;
  • May 25, 2021 – Ceres announced a $350 million investment to build a canola crush facility in Northgate; and
  • June 1, 2021 – Red Leaf Pulp Ltd. announced a $350 million wheat straw-based pulp mill for Regina, Canada’s first non-wood pulp mill.

Regina-based Brandt Group of Companies also recently announced plans to hire 1,000 new employees with half of those new hires to occur in Saskatchewan.

Saskatchewan’s Targeted Mineral Exploration Incentive (TMEI) Program has attracted $9.8 million of investment over the past year with companies completing drill programs for gold, silver, copper, nickel, cobalt, zinc, and platinum group elements. This is leading to a gold rush and the world's first carbon neutral copper mine.

Saskatchewan's Accelerated Site Closure Program (ASCP) has also seen strong uptake and success during its first year with more than 500 Saskatchewan companies working on inactive oil & gas sites.

With travel to other provinces currently discouraged due to the pandemic, many of us look forward to enjoying provincial parks. Visitors to Rowan's Ravine Provincial Park will notice work has already begun to repave the access road leading to the park, the Underwood campground loops, the boat launch and parking lot. Access roads leading to Good Spirit Lake and Danielson Provincial Park will also be repaved.

Investments in Saskatchewan parks will improve boat launches, parking lots, park roads and pathways as well as campground areas.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Highways is making significant improvements to thin-membrane surface highways, passing lanes, municipal roads, and airports. This is a part of the province's $2 billion stimulus in response to COVID-19.

While construction inevitably causes delays, we can look forward to better, safer roads and highways. Construction and maintenance updates are posted on the Highway Hotline at https://hotline.gov.sk.ca/.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.