A provincial budget that protects, builds and grows Saskatchewan and a Re-Opening Roadmap that charts a course through the end of the pandemic based on high vaccination rates were the highlights of the spring legislative sitting, which wrapped up today in Regina.
Premier Scott Moe said the 2021-22 Budget provides historic investments in health, education, infrastructure and economic recovery, while at the same time continuing work toward the government’s commitment to balance the budget by 2026-27.
“We have a framework in place to ensure Saskatchewan has a strong economic recovery coming out of the pandemic,” Moe said. “We now have a roadmap to lead those reopening efforts, bring back jobs, and get Saskatchewan back on the path of strong economic growth, where we were before the pandemic started.
“We have a plan to get Saskatchewan back to normal, and in Saskatchewan, normal means a growing economy and more jobs.”
A number of companies announced large economic projects during the spring sitting, including:
- Richardson International’s expansion to double capacity of a crush facility near Yorkton;
- Viterra’s intention to develop the world’s largest canola crushing facility;
- Cargill developing a new state-of-the-art canola processing facility;
- North American Helium Inc. opening the largest helium facility in Canada; and
- Saskatchewan Mining and Minerals Inc. significantly upgrading its sodium sulphate plant in Chaplin.
During the spring session, Saskatchewan continued to roll out the strongest vaccination program in Canada.
“Our healthcare workers have done a tremendous job in getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible,” Moe said. “Throughout this session, the number of doses administered doubled from 225 thousand to 550 thousand and as more people become vaccinated and life begins to return to normal, we know that our best days are ahead.”
Highlights from the government’s legislative, budget and policy agenda this session include:
- $3.1 billion to help our economy and create jobs;
- enhancing police oversight and ensuring public trust through the creation of a civilian-led and independent model for police oversight;
- The lowest unemployment rate in Canada and leading the nation in month-to-month job growth; and
- A re-open roadmap with three steps for a gradual, measured approach to easing public health measures with Phase 1 set to begin on May 30.
This legislative session also saw the government fulfill 14 of its campaign commitments including:
- restoring the Active Families Benefit;
- funding to hire new Continuing Care Aides;
- expansion of individualized funding for those on the Autism Spectrum;
- increasing Seniors Income; and
- reducing the financial cost for those living with diabetes.