The spring session of the Saskatchewan Legislature begins Tuesday, with Finance Minister Donna Harpauer bringing down a new provincial budget.
That budget will be a deficit one which will likely exceed the record $2.4-billion deficit budget that was delivered one year ago, with Harpauer saying the slower than expected economic recovery likely means the deficit won’t be eliminated by 2024 as the province had campaigned on.
While the budget does highlight day one of this 30-day session, it is a session that will once again see protocols in place to keep people safe.
There will once again be a two-metre gap between desks which a Plexiglas shield installed at all of them. While all cabinet ministers are expected in the chamber, it is believed that only 50 percent of MLA’s will be in the chamber at one time.
Government House Leader Jeremy Harrison adds that an event of historical significance will happen this weekend.
“We will be sitting five days a week including this Saturday which will be one of the first Saturday house sittings in any point of time that people can remember.” Harrison said. “To get 30 full session days in which is what the rules require and not having a Monday sitting this week, we are basically sitting on Saturday so that it’s a five-day week.”
During the last couple of sessions, there have been some nastiness expressed. Harrison says there might be some nastiness, but the two sides are quite civil with one another when it comes to the day-to-day business that is done.
“We have a productive working relationship with the opposition and while there is a perception that the relationship between the government and opposition is defined by question period, but it’s not. “Harrison said. “Outside of question period, I think you would find a lot of collaboration between the two sides when it comes to committee work and other things. Its not all the fire and light of question period. The vast majority of the work happens outside of Question Period and that the tone is quite a lot different than what the general public may see.”
620 CKRM will have coverage of Tuesday’s budget starting at 3 o’clock. Jim Smalley and 620 CKRM financial analyst Brian Golly will break down the numbers along with getting reaction from the government, opposition and business leaders.