Premier Scott Moe is finishing the spring legislative session today by highlighting the government’s balanced budget that was the right balance for Saskatchewan. The balanced budget featured increased supports for Saskatchewan people, while managing spending to maintain economic growth and continue to provide the services Saskatchewan people expect for years to come.
“The budget fulfills our government’s three-year plan to balance the budget, and provides the right balance for our province with no new taxes or tax increases and a boost in supports for mental health, classrooms and highway safety,” Moe said. “We are also seeing economic strength in Saskatchewan, despite the headwinds of a federal carbon tax and trade challenges, with 18,000 more full-time jobs in the province than one year ago.”
The 2019-20 Budget included:
• A sustainable plan to ensure a balanced budget this year and for the years to come;
• Nearly $30 million more for targeted mental health and addictions funding;
• An increase of $26 million in operating funding for Saskatchewan school divisions;
• New tax credits for volunteer firefighters and first responders;
• Funding to begin a five-year Enhanced Intersection Safety Program for highway intersections; and
• A focus on infrastructure with funding for preconstruction design of a new Victoria Hospital for Prince Albert, planning for a new Weyburn hospital and continued funding for school consolidation projects in Weyburn and Rosthern.
“This session, our government also took important steps in passing legislation to increase maternity leave, expand the number of cancers our firefighters and volunteer firefighters are covered for and bring Clare’s Law to Saskatchewan to help those at risk of intimate partner violence,” Moe said.
The government passed multiple pieces of legislation during the spring sitting, including:
• Changes to The Saskatchewan Employment Act creating a new critically ill adult leave, expanding parental leave and adding an additional week of maternity leave;
• Passing Clare’s Law, which will allow police to release information about someone’s violent or abusive past to intimate partners whose safety may be at risk;
• Increasing the number of occupational diseases firefighters and volunteer firefighters are covered for through changes to The Workers’ Compensation Act;
• Legislation to allow rural municipalities, and other municipalities with populations under 500, to join regional police services;
• Legislation that better balances the rights of rural land owners and members of the public in accessing rural property; and
• Creating a paid job leave option for survivors of interpersonal and sexual violence to take up to five paid days and five unpaid days off to seek supports or services.
During the spring session, Moe also continued to stand up for Saskatchewan on the national stage in the fight against the federal carbon tax and pushing for help for canola farmers facing trade barriers with China.
“The work our government is doing to keep Saskatchewan issues front and centre, both here at home and in Ottawa, will not stop over the coming months,” Moe said. We will always advocate for our industries that provide the means to keep Saskatchewan strong and continue our opposition to the Trudeau Carbon Tax, including fighting the carbon tax in the Supreme Court of Canada.”