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Spring session comes to a close

MLA Warren Michelson's column for the week of May 22, 2019
Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson

The transition from spring to summer is starting to take shape in our daily lives, and the same is true at the legislative building in Regina. The Spring Sitting came to a close this past week, sending Members of the Legislative Assembly back home to their constituencies to serve constituents and gather feedback for the fall session. I look forward to spending time with Moose Jaw North constituents; welcoming their comments and suggestions on continuing to build a strong Saskatchewan.

The Spring Sitting was an opportunity to serve and speak on behalf of constituents inside and outside the Legislative Assembly. It also served as time to engage in debate and wherever possible, work together with Members of the Opposition to pass important legislation that will improve the lives of Saskatchewan people. 

One example of this came last week when we were happy to join with the Opposition to bring forward and expedite the passing of Bill 172 – the paid interpersonal violence and sexual violence leave amendment act. This provides survivors of interpersonal and sexual violence with five paid days and five unpaid days of job-protected leave. 

It is important that we do everything we can to help survivors of interpersonal and sexual violence access the services and supports they need. Interpersonal and sexual violence has no place in Saskatchewan, and we will support those seeking safety.

The government passed multiple pieces of legislation during the spring sitting, including:

  • Changes to The Saskatchewan Employment Act creating a new critically ill adult leave, expanding parental leave and adding an additional week of maternity leave;
  • Passing Clare’s Law which will allow police to release information about someone’s violent or abusive past to intimate partners whose safety may be at risk;
  • Increasing the number of occupational diseases firefighters and volunteer firefighters are covered for through changes to The Workers’ Compensation Act.

The highlight of these past few months, for me personally, was the announcement of a new joint-use school for Moose Jaw. The proposed new school will combine St. Mary and Sacred Heart schools of the Holy Trinity School Division, with Empire and Westmount schools of the Prairie South School Division. Our two school divisions continue to work together to bring about a new facility that will replace aging buildings, and enhance learning for students in our Catholic and Public schools.

Budget 2019 is a document of strength and growth, striking the right balance between keeping taxes low and providing quality services for children, families, and seniors; for important investments in urban and rural Saskatchewan; and for building our economy and creating jobs. 

At the close of the spring legislative session we are encouraged to see Saskatchewan’s economy growing stronger. New employment figures from Statistics Canada show 18,000 more full-time jobs in Saskatchewan over the past year. There are 4,100 more people working in agriculture; 2,500 more jobs in education; 2,500 more jobs in health care; 2,500 more jobs in the hospitality industry; 2,400 more manufacturing jobs; and 1,800 more tech jobs.

Your Saskatchewan Party Government will keep our economy strong and will keep standing up for Saskatchewan.

In the weeks and months ahead I look forward to connecting with as many constituents as possible in an effort to gather feedback and to keep our community growing now and into the future.

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