Report from the Legislature
April 27, 2017
As our government works to meet the challenge of persistently low commodity prices, our economy is growing stronger. This week we learned that Saskatchewan’s diversified economy has produced the strongest wholesale sales growth in all of Canada.
Saskatchewan’s wholesale trade numbers for February build on two consecutive months of job growth, as well as strong manufacturing, retail and new vehicle sales, increased building permits, housing starts, capital investment, and continued population growth.
You can learn more about our three-year plan to balance the budget, maintain the Saskatchewan Advantage and keep our economy strong at saskatchewan.ca/budget.
Saskatchewan parents and students expressed concern after a recent court ruling that stated the government can no longer provide funding for non-Catholics to attend a Catholic school.
Our government is focused on students and families and will be examining all legal and legislative options to reverse this serious and potentially damaging ruling.
The 12-year case that led to this ruling started when a public-school board took a catholic school board to court, costing Saskatchewan taxpayers millions of dollars. These resources belong in the classroom and it is unfortunate they wound up in the courtroom.
We have always said that we would be the kind of government that admits its mistakes and works to fix them. There were many necessary, difficult decisions taken in this year’s budget, but the changes to library funding without giving libraries the tools to meet the new challenge was a mistake.
This week we announced the restoration of library funding as well as a consultative review with libraries and municipalities to determine the way forward in terms of what is sustainable for library users and communities while maintaining a commitment to fiscal responsibility.
This week our government also had the opportunity to say thank you to the all of the volunteers, staff and supporters of the Shock Trauma Air Rescue Service (STARS). STARS has served Saskatchewan well by providing safe and reliable emergency care and transportation services for the past five years.
Since 2012, STARS has transported or provided care to nearly 3,000 patients in more than 500 locations, consistently operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The life-saving care and transport service plays an incredibly valuable role in our emergency medical services system.
Our government has been a proud partner of STARS over the past half-decade. In 2017-18, $10.5 million in funding is being provided by the Ministry of Health. An additional $10 million has been committed by Saskatchewan’s Crown corporations over the next five years.
We look forward to STARS flying in Saskatchewan for many years to come.
From the air to the ground, we recently celebrated the start of construction on two new interchanges in Warman and Martensville. The priority of this project is to address safety concerns, but it will also alleviate commuter traffic and improve driving conditions.
We will continue to fix the infrastructure deficit we inherited from the NDP. With significant support from the Government of Canada, this project is another example of how our government is working hard to make Saskatchewan the best place in the country to work, live, and invest.