Report from the Legislature

June 6, 2012

The Saskatchewan Advantage is about more than just growth for growth’s sake – it’s about using the benefits of growth to improve the quality of life for you and your family. It’s about things like improving access to healthcare; to this end, we have announced the new Plains Surgery and Outpatient Care Centre as part of our ongoing response to the 2009 Patient First Review. This new centre, approved in principle, will provide a full range of outpatient services including surgery, diagnostic imaging, pharmacy, rehabilitation, outpatient cancer care and other related services that do not require an overnight hospital stay. The centre will be built in partnership with the Hospitals of Regina Foundation, the Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region and the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency. It will be constructed on Crown-owned land opposite the Regina SIAST campus, with design expected to take six to twelve months to complete, followed by two years for construction. The closure of the Plains Health Centre in the 1990s put pressure on Regina’s existing hospitals – this new facility will help relieve that pressure and improve access to healthcare for patients and families across southern Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Party government is delivering on its commitment to improve childcare with the opening of another 51 child care spaces in Saskatoon. Our government is proud to be working with the Spadina Early Learning and Childcare Co-operative to provide high-quality, licensed childcare to the Riversdale community and Saskatoon Princess Alexander Community School. Through partnership like this we can provide more secure and effective childcare and early learning opportunities across the province. In fact since 2007, we have made a record investment in licensed childcare, by providing funding for almost 4,000 new spaces. That’s a 42 per cent increase. This is another way we are ensuring that everyone share in the benefits of growth.

Another promise our government made and is working hard to keep is to make Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to live for people with disabilities. One of the ways we’re doing that is by making further improvements to the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disabilities (SAID) program. Over the next four years, SAID benefits will increase significantly and the program is being restructured in a way that combines several allowances under the Saskatchewan Assistance Plan into a single “Living Income” – further distinguishing SAID as a non-welfare support. It is important that people with disabilities live with dignity and independence and we feel these changes are a good start down that road.