Today, the Government of Saskatchewan opened the last full session of the Legislature before next year’s provincial election with a Throne Speech entitled, “Build and Protect.” The Lieutenant Governor, the Honourable Russ Mirasty, delivered the Speech that outlines the Government’s legislative agenda over the coming months. Premier Moe had signaled that there would be specific attention paid to housing affordability, healthcare issues and continued investment in infrastructure in this upcoming session. Related to those issues, the Throne Speech outlined the government plans to:
- Institute a Provincial Sales Tax Rebate for New Home Construction, effective retroactive to April 1st of this year.
- Introduce a Secondary Suite Program to increase rental availability.
- Implement the new Action Plan for Mental Health and Addictions, which includes the creation of 500 new addictions treatment spaces across the province.
- Create 30 new Complex Needs Emergency Shelter spaces in Regina and Saskatoon.
- Continue to build a number of important hospital and health facility projects in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Weyburn, La Ronge, Grenfell and other communities.
- Expand the Nursing Loan Forgiveness Program to include Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, Swift Current, Yorkton and The Battlefords.
- Continue to build new schools in Regina, Saskatoon, Lanigan, Moose Jaw and La Loche.
The Throne Speech also identified several Bills expected to be tabled in the Legislative Assembly this fall, including:
- The Workers’ Compensation (Extending Firefighter Coverage) Amendment Act to expand presumptive cancer coverage for firefighters to include six additional types of cancer;
- The Tobacco and Vapour Products Control Amendment Act to raise the legal age for smoking and vaping from 18 to 19, consistent with the age for alcohol and cannabis consumption;
- The Protection from Human Trafficking (Coerced Debts) Amendment Act to relieve human trafficking victims of negative credit factors incurred through coercion; and
- The Saskatchewan Remembrance Day Observance Act to protect individuals’ right to wear a poppy in all Saskatchewan workplaces.
The Fall sitting will conclude in early December and then resume again in March of 2024. The next provincial election in Saskatchewan is expected in October 2024. Please find attached the news release associated with the Throne Speech and a copy of the Speech in its entirety.
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For more information and insights about what these developments mean for the political landscape in Saskatchewan, please reach out to our experts:
Theo Bryson – Senior Strategy Advisor
Kevin Doherty – Vice President
Tom Lukiwski – Senior Strategy Advisor
Bronte Prosser – Strategy Advisor
To learn more about Prairie Sky Strategy, please visit our website.