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Throne Speech ceremony begins fall legislative session

MLA Warren Michelson's column for the week of Oct. 30, 2019
Moose Jaw North MLA Warren Michelson

The Throne Speech for the Fall Legislative session was presented last Wednesday by Saskatchewan’s newly-appointed Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Russ Mirasty. The Throne Speech Ceremony is always a special formality, celebrating our valued democratic tradition and is a reminder of the important job we have as your elected representatives.

I remember the first Throne Speech I attended as a newly-elected MLA. I was struck by the huge honour of the trust constituents had placed in me, and I became even more determined to live up to that honour and responsibility. Last week’s Throne Speech was bittersweet; while it laid out the Government’s plan of a new decade of growth, it was my final Throne Speech as your elected representative for Moose Jaw North. 

The work of the Legislature was outlined in the Speech from the Throne, entitled “A New Decade of Growth.” During this session, the new Saskatchewan Plan for Growth will be released, ensuring that the strong growth seen in the past 12 years continues through the next decade.  

Legislation that will be implemented during this session includes Clare’s Law, which allows police to disclose information that could help protect potential victims of interpersonal violence.  In all, about 30 pieces of legislation will be introduced and debated, to be implemented in the Spring Session.

This includes:

  • regulation of vaping and vaping products;
  • tougher penalties for cell phone usage while driving;
  • introducing a new Fisheries Act to provide greater protection against invasive aquatic species;
  • 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 fall session will see the opening of the Regina Bypass, the biggest transportation project in Saskatchewan’s history. Other elements of the fall session will include: 

  • continuing the constitutional challenge to the federal carbon tax in the Supreme Court;
  • introducing and funding of a plan to reduce surgical wait times;
  • taking measures to improve the safety and well-being of First Nations children; and
  • continuing to explore the potential for small modular reactors to produce emissions-free electricity using Saskatchewan uranium.

The Throne Speech renewed our government’s commitment to mental health and addiction services, and to increased support for mental health services provided by Community Based Organizations and the Canadian Mental Health Association.

To ensure the growth of our agriculture industry, measures to increase agricultural value-added exports to $10 billion by 2030 will also be outlined in the new Growth Plan. 

Our Constituency Office will be open during the Legislative Session. Please contact us if we can be of any assistance. I appreciate your trust in me to represent you it the Legislature and I will endeavour to live up to that trust during the coming weeks.

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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