Fall session will see a fight against the carbon tax continue, work to improve emergency response times in the rural part of the province and continued effort to balance the budget.
Those are just some of the highlights from Wednesday’s Throne Speech delivered by Lieutenant-Governor W. Thomas Molloy in the house, the first one from Scott Moe since he became Premier.
Premier Moe said Saskatchewan will benefit from a new children’s hospital that will open in Saskatoon.
“In this calendar year, we will be opening the Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital, which is not only a benefit for the City of Saskatoon, but I would put forward a benefit to all of the families in the province of Saskatchewan,” Moe said. “I would put forward even a larger benefit when you look into how it integrates with the college of medicine at the University of Saskatchewan.”
Moe’s speech also included work to improve cellular phone service this session.
“The improved cellular service across the province, some of that is actually in rural communities where we are enhancing the 4G and LTE service,” Moe said. “Some of it is also on some of our highway corridors throughout the province, which again are a benefit to all of the people who are traveling our highways, whether you live in a rural or urban community.”
Moe also said after consultation and sharing circles, the government will be issuing an apology to 60’s scoop survivors, as well as improvements to commercial driver training in light of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
— David Boles (@DavidJBoles) October 24, 2018
Amongst other initiatives announced during Wednesday’s throne speech include:
- 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.
(with files from David Boles)