The third session of the 29th Saskatchewan Legislature has kicked off and Moose Jaw’s two MLAs are eager for the next 10 weeks of activities, including the budget and various bills.
The spring sitting started on March 6 and is expected to conclude early May. One big item on the Sask. Party government’s agenda is to bring down a budget on March 22.
Budget Day is one item that Moose Jaw-Wakamow MLA Greg Lawrence is looking forward to, he told the Express. He explained that that document sets out the priorities for the next year and helps the government fulfill its goals and objectives.
Tim McLeod, MLA for Moose Jaw-North, said that there are many pieces of legislation already on the floor. He was excited to continue working on those items — especially the Saskatchewan First Act — and fulfilling the government’s budget objectives.
The act aims to confirm Saskatchewan’s autonomy and exclusive jurisdiction over its natural resources. It would amend the province’s constitution to confirm its sovereignty and assert Saskatchewan’s exclusive legislative jurisdiction under the Constitution of Canada over several areas.
Some areas include exploring non-renewable natural resources, developing, conserving, and managing non-renewable natural and forestry resources, and operating sites for generating and producing electrical energy.
McLeod has served more than two years as MLA after being elected in the fall 2020 provincial election. He initially faced a steep learning curve upon arriving at the Legislature but appreciated the support from more experienced colleagues who became his mentor.
“I feel like now I have my feet under me and can do my job more effectively than when I first arrived,” he added.
McLeod is currently the provincial secretary and legislative secretary to Premier Scott Moe and is responsible for provincial honours and awards.
“I’ve really enjoyed it. I’ve been truly honoured to fill that role since May 31 (is) when that appointment happened,” he said.
During the past year, the first-term MLA has been heavily involved in handing out the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medals to hundreds of Saskatchewanians across the province. He has attended many “happy and exciting events” to honour people doing great things in the province.
“They’re often surprised and humbled by any recognition for what they’re doing. And it’s great to be able to put these people in the spotlight just for a moment to show just what wonderful work is being done across this province,” McLeod added.
The province created the medals to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.
Lawrence has been MLA for 12 years — since 2011 — and still remembers his first day in the Legislature. He recalled walking between Ken Krawetz — a “giant in government” — and Gene Makowsky — “a giant on the football field” — during the swearing-in ceremony.
It didn’t take long for Sask. Party MLAs to become close and consider each other family, he continued. Their closeness has extended to checking in with each other and ensuring everyone is doing well.
Lawrence added that the spring session would see the implementation of $10-a-day daycare, years ahead of when it was expected to arrive.