The new session of the Legislature opened today with a Throne Speech focusing on the government’s commitment to stand up for Saskatchewan people.
“While our economy and the province’s finances are showing signs of improvement, we are still facing challenges due to the threat of a damaging federal carbon tax, continued sanctions from the United States on our steel and uranium industries, and a deeply discounted price for our oil caused by a lack of pipelines,” Premier Scott Moe said. “This Throne Speech outlines our commitment to stand up for Saskatchewan by growing our economy and continuing to deliver important programs and services for the people of the province.”
The Throne Speech outlined the government’s plan to:
• Deliver a balanced budget for 2019-20;
• Stand up for Saskatchewan communities, families and businesses by challenging the ineffective and harmful federal carbon tax in court;
• Implement the Prairie Resilience Climate Change Strategy and introduce legislation to establish intensity-based performance standards for large emitters;
• Complete the new 284 bed, state-of-the-art Saskatchewan Hospital North Battleford to help those facing significant mental health needs;
• Continue to improve response times and enhance officer visibility in rural Saskatchewan through the Protection and Response Team (PRT), which has seen conservation officers and highway patrol officers assist with more than 1,300 PRT-related actions since April;
• Become the first province in Canada with Clare’s Law – legislation designed to provide a framework for police services to disclose information about someone’s violent or abusive past to intimate partners who may be at risk;
• Expand interpersonal violence leave to include sexual violence of any kind;
• Amend The Saskatchewan Employment Act to create a new critically ill adult leave to allow family members of critically ill adults to take up to 15 weeks leave to care for their family member;
• Expand parental leave from 37 weeks to 63 weeks and add an additional week of maternity leave;
•Apologize to Sixties Scoop survivors in our province who were impacted by historical government policies of child apprehension and adoption;
• Introduce changes to improve commercial driver training;
• Increase funding to improve intersection safety throughout the province;
• Improve cellular service in 50 rural communities by the spring as part of a plan to increase 4G LTE coverage in 100 Saskatchewan communities;
• Safely regulate the sale and distribution of cannabis through a competitive private model;
• Amend The Police Act to enable rural municipalities and municipalities with populations under 500 to join regional police services;
• Make changes to The Seizure of Criminal Property Act to make it easier for property to be seized if it has been acquired through unlawful activities;
• Introduce legislation on trespassing laws to better address the balance between members of the public and the rights of rural land owners; and
• Offer free hunting and fishing licenses to Canadian military veterans.
Moe also announced that he will lead a Saskatchewan business delegation on a trade mission to India in November, following on his recent trade mission to China.
“I look forward to this next session where our government will advance new initiatives and legislation, while standing firm on the issues that matter to this province,” Moe said.
Moe also thanked Lieutenant Governor W. Thomas Molloy for delivering his first Throne Speech as Saskatchewan’s Lieutenant Governor.