Premier Moe shifting focus on provincial autonomy on immigration as fall legislative sitting winds down

The fall legislative session concludes Thursday in Regina.

The provincial government is calling it a successful sitting, with vaping regulations, action against opioid manufacturers and distributors and improvements to the provincial employment act were all introduced during the sitting.

The province also implemented their 10 year growth plan, where the province hopes to see the population grow to 1.4 million people by 2030. Premier Scott Moe said the province is exploring autonomy on immigration to help accomplish this target.

“With our approval mechanisms, we’re about a four-to-six week approval time rate, where the federal government is something closer to six-to-ten months on their approval,” Moe said. “We would be able to expedite the system, we would be able to make the system more responsive, and we feel we’d be able to make the system stronger, not only for the industries in Saskatchewan communities, but also for those that are making Saskatchewan home.”

Moe said more immigration would help meet their target for population growth.

“If we’re going to grow by over 200,000 people over the course of the next decade, that is going to involve more people staying here, it’s going to involve more people moving here from other areas of this nation, and it’s going to involve more people moving here from other areas of this world.”

Opposition leader Ryan Meili believes much more could have been done during the session on health and education fronts, adding talk of provincial autonomy and international trade dodges other important provincial issues.

Meili said he knows members of the Sask Party government care about northern Saskatchewan, but their actions haven’t shown it.

“We’ve seen a series of bills that the majority are at most house-keeping bills, it’s a very minor domestic agenda, a very minor legislative agenda here in the province,” Meili said. “This is a government that’s out of ideas, they don’t know how to deal with the crisis they’ve created, and so they want people to look elsewhere.”

Meili adds while the prospect of seeing more immigrants come to Saskatchewan would be important, but he said following Quebec’s model for immigration would not be ideal.

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