Province’s political parties paint different pictures of spring session

The spring sitting of the Legislature concluded with one party highlighting positives and the other showing shortcomings from the ten weeks.

Premier Scott Moe highlighted his government’s commitment to growth that works for everyone.

The Government highlights included:

  • A balanced budget.
  • The passing of the Saskatchewan First Act.
  • The release of a made-in-Saskatchewan plan for electrical generation.
  • Addressing health care staffing shortages.
  • The implementation of $10 per day child care.

“Saskatchewan continues to be the most affordable place in Canada for a family to live,” Moe said. “Strong economic growth continues to create thousands of new jobs and has allowed us to make investments that matter most to people.”

The session also saw the government pass The Saskatchewan First Act. The legislation amended the province’s Constitution to “clearly confirm autonomy and assert the province’s exclusive legislative jurisdiction over the exploration, development and management of non-renewable natural resources, forestry resources and the generation and production of electricity.”

Building on the act, the province also released its plan for electricity generation to 2035 and beyond. The plan commits to achieving net zero by 2050 with an energy mix that includes using existing natural gas plant assets to the end of life and working toward small modular reactors while expanding intermittent power sources, such as wind and solar.

“Our plan will ensure that electrical generation in Saskatchewan is reliable, affordable, sustainable and achievable,” Moe said. “We are not going to drive up SaskPower rates for Saskatchewan families just to reach the federal government’s arbitrary 2035 target.”

On the healthcare side, the government continued its focus on recruiting and retaining healthcare professionals. Over the ten weeks, the province announced a new family physician compensation model option. The Rural Physician Incentive Program was increased to $200,000 over five years, and enhancements were made to the Internationally Educated Nurses’ pathway to accelerate timeframes, with legislation being passed to introduce licensed physician assistants.

The spring session wasn’t without its challenges as the Offical Opposition pointed out how the Government failed to “fix the health system, create good jobs and provide relief to families struggling to pay the bills.”

“Saskatchewan has all the ingredients to boom, but Moe’s out-of-touch Sask. Party is holding us back,” said Offical Opposition Leader Carla Beck. “Hospitals are on bypass. Wait times are through the roof. Two hundred thousand Saskatchewan people don’t have a family doctor. Hardworking families are having to choose between heating and eating. And instead of fixing these issues, the Sask. Party is focused on things that nobody asked for, like an expensive new tax agency that will make people file twice. Moe’s priorities are completely out of whack at a time when we need balanced and serious leadership.”

Beck and the Official Opposition questioned the provincial government over the ten weeks on the cost-of-living crisis and Saskatchewan’s nation-leading rates of financial insecurity.

“When politicians start spending more time playing political games than doing the work they’re paid to do, that’s when it’s time for a change. People don’t feel like they’re getting ahead and are rightfully frustrated by the Sask. Party’s tone-deaf slogans saying everything is A-okay,” said Beck. “I truly believe Saskatchewan’s best days are ahead of us, but it’ll take a balanced government that actually listens and isn’t afraid of rolling up its sleeves.”

The ten weeks also brought change as three seats, Regina Coronation Park (Mark Docherty), Regina Walsh Acres (Derek Meyers), and Lumsden-Morse (Lyle Stewart) are all vacant. By-elections will have to happen before the next session begins. However, there has been no date announced for either of the three empty seats.

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