June 30, 2016

Keeping Promises and Keeping Saskatchewan Strong

Premier Brad Wall said the first sitting of the new Legislative Assembly focused on the government keeping its election promises and on keeping Saskatchewan strong.  The 26 day sitting wrapped up today.

“Our government made just a few promises during the recent election campaign and we have already kept most of those promises, like increased investment in fixing Saskatchewan highways, a new First Home Plan that allows young people to use up to $10,000 of their Graduate Retention Program credits toward the down payment on a new home, and moving forward with the privatization of 40 liquor stores,” Wall said.

“But our main campaign commitment was to keep Saskatchewan strong through the economic challenges caused by low resource prices.  We did that by presenting a budget that kept taxes low, made record investments in infrastructure and controlled government spending.

“Saskatchewan’s population continues to grow and our diversified economy still has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the country.  The economic challenges are still there and there is a lot more work to be done, but Saskatchewan is strong and we are well-positioned to meet those challenges.”

During the spring sitting, the government introduced 37 bills including legislation to:

  • Remove Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) from The Crown Corporations Public Ownership Act to allow the government to convert 40 government-owned liquor stores to private stores and create an additional 12 new private liquor stores;
  • Give Saskatchewan residents the option to privately pay for a CT scan while requiring that another CT scan be provided to a patient on the public list for every one paid for privately;
  • Strengthen The Adoption Act;
  • Extend compassionate care leave from eight weeks to 28 weeks for employees who wish to take time away from work to care for a loved one;
  • Improve auto injury coverage;
  • Provide better protection of personal health information and increased accountability for those responsible for protecting those records; and
  • Strengthen the protection of personal information by government agencies.

Most of the bills will be passed during the fall sitting which begins on October 19.

Wall noted this was the first sitting for 17 new MLAs – 14 government members and three opposition members – who were elected on April 4.

“I think all of the new MLAs on both sides did a good job in their first legislative session,” Wall said.  “I know they all understand that it is both a tremendous honour and a huge responsibility to be chosen to represent your constituents in this Assembly and they are all working hard to live up to that responsibility.”