The fall sitting of the Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly wrapped up on Wednesday, on a sad note.
Question period was cancelled after the passing of Saskatoon Meewasin MLA Roger Parent. The government had released a statement the previous day announcing Parent’s battle against cancer.
Premier Brad Wall began the final day of the Assembly with his condolences for Parent’s family and his appreciation for Parent’s dedication to his work.
The premier says his government accomplished a fair amount during the session, moving forward with bills on improvements to impaired driving, pipeline regulations and adding PTSD to the coverage provided by the Workers’ Compensation Board.
“We’re keeping the promises we made in the campaign – not withstanding tight financial situations. There weren’t a lot of promises, but we made some and that’s what we’ve been doing since 2007 – we haven’t changed,” said Wall.
The Saskatchewan New Democrats held the government to account on several key issues this session, but pushed hardest on the Global Transportation Hub land deal. The NDP pulled from the provincial auditor Judy Ferguson’s investigation into the transaction.
NDP interim leader Trent Wotherspoon also called on Ferguson to perform a forensic audit, but she declined, due to an ongoing RCMP investigation.
Wall denies any wrongdoing on the part of the government.
Wotherspoon says the SaskParty continues to let down Saskatchewan residents through the province’s billion dollar deficit and cuts to programs.
“The sad reality is that this premier and the SaskParty are making Saskatchewan people pay for that mismanagement and scandal,” said Wotherspoon.
Wall says the government will do whatever it can to improve on the province’s financial situation.
“We’re going to work really, really hard to get back to balance – that’s another promise we made in the campaign – and we’re going to work hard to get back to a balance budget without cuts to important programs,” said Wall.
The premier was also adamant on fighting against the nation-wide carbon tax being imposed on Saskatchewan – even going so far as to put forward a motion in the Assembly to oppose the tax.
Wall will meet with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his fellow premiers at the First Ministers’ meeting in December.
The spring sitting of the Legislative Assembly is set to begin on March 6, 2017.