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Report from the Legislature

MLA Lyle Stewart's column from this week's edition of The Moose Jaw Express
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MLA Lyle Stewart

Over the past 12 years, Saskatchewan has enjoyed a remarkable period of strong and sustained growth we hadn’t seen in a long time. As we prepare to enter the 2020s, our goal is to keep growing so all Saskatchewan people continue to benefit.

In the coming weeks, we will release a new Growth Plan with specific targets and a roadmap of how we will achieve them. These targets include 1.4 million people living in Saskatchewan and 100,000 more people working in Saskatchewan by 2030.

The fall sitting of the legislature is now underway and our government has introduced our vision for a new decade of growth. We have outlined a number of measures the government will be taking during the upcoming legislative session, including:

  • Creating a fund of up to $10 million to assist Estevan, Coronach and surrounding areas transition to new economic development opportunities for workers affected by the federally-mandated phase out of coal-fired electricity by 2030;
  • Introducing and funding a plan to reduce surgical wait times;
  • Introducing legislation for the regulation of vaping and vaping products;
  • Taking measures to improve the safety and well-being of First Nations children and reduce the number of children that need to come under the province’s care;
  • Opening the new Regina Bypass;
  • Introducing tougher penalties for cell phone usage while driving;
  • Continuing the constitutional challenge to the federal carbon tax in the Supreme Court;
  • Continuing to explore the potential for small modular reactors to produce emissions-free electricity using Saskatchewan uranium;
  • Implementing Clare’s Law, which allows police to disclose information that could help protect potential victims of interpersonal violence;
  • Introducing a new Fisheries Act to provide greater protection against invasive aquatic species;
  • Amending The Lobbyists Act to address recommendations made by the Registrar of Lobbyists in his recent annual reports;
  • Strengthening the enforcement of maintenance orders for child support payments; and
  • Amending The Saskatchewan Employment Act to increase parental leave by eight weeks to ensure that employees who are entitled to the new shared parental Employment Insurance benefit have job protection while using the new leave benefit and to extend employment leave to individuals who are running for election to a First Nations Band Council.

The government plans to introduce about 30 pieces of legislation during the fall sitting and will table a budget during the spring sitting that is expected to make significant investments in infrastructure.

Our government will continue to plan for a growing province by keeping our economy strong, investing in important government services and ensuring everyone in Saskatchewan continues to enjoy the benefits of growth.

The recent federal election results show that the path and policies of the federal government these past few years has divided our nation. The growing sense of frustration and western alienation is now undeniable.

Canada now has a Liberal minority government that did not receive the popular vote, has no clear mandate and will be supported by either a 4th place party that has never governed, or a party that does not want to be part of this nation. This government also has no representation from Saskatchewan or Alberta.

In his election night address, Prime Minister Trudeau stated to Saskatchewan and Alberta: “I’ve heard your frustration. I want to be there to support you.”

Saskatchewan has made it clear: if the Prime Minister is serious about acting on his words, he can cancel the federal carbon tax; commit to negotiating a new equalization formula that is fair to Saskatchewan and Alberta; and commit to developing a plan to build pipelines and get our exports to international markets.

It’s time for a new deal with Canada.

The Prime Minister says he’s heard our frustration and wants to support us –  Saskatchewan stands ready to meet with him so he can prove it.

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




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