Throne speech emphasizes Sask. strength
Premier Brad Wall said his government will focus on keeping Saskatchewan strong during the 2014-15 legislative session which opened today with the Speech from the Throne.
“Saskatchewan is strong,” Wall said. “In just the past few months, Saskatchewan hit an all-time high for population and job creation and an all-time low for unemployment. This is very good news, especially with the amount of uncertainty today in the global economy.
“While there are certainly some challenges ahead with the falling oil prices, this session will focus on keeping Saskatchewan strong.”
Wall said the provincial government will carefully manage the province’s finances while continuing to make important investments.
“We know there is more work to be done, which is why we continue to fix highways, build new schools and hospitals and invest in programs that make life more affordable for all Saskatchewan people,” Wall said. “For instance, we are continuing to increase the Seniors Income Plan benefit, which will have tripled by the end of this term. We have introduced other programs to make life more affordable for students, for families and for people with disabilities and we have cut taxes to make life more affordable for everyone in Saskatchewan.”
Specific measures in outlined in the Throne Speech include:
• An options paper and public consultation process on private liquor retailing in Saskatchewan;
• A new growth tax incentive for manufacturers who create new jobs, including new head office jobs, in Saskatchewan;
• Continued promotion of Saskatchewan to international markets;
• Continued reduction of interprovincial trade barriers;
• Increases in the number of Adult Basic Education seats and apprenticeship training seats;
• Reintroduction of the Saskatchewan Infrastructure Growth Initiative to assist municipal infrastructure development and expansion of the program to First Nations;
• Legislation to better protect patients’ privacy and medical records;
• Legislation to help reduce wait times for organ transplants;
• Legislation to increase the scope of services that can be provided by pharmacists;
• Upgrades to internet access and speed at regional colleges throughout the province;
• Improvements to high speed internet and cell phone service in hundreds of Saskatchewan communities;
• Legislative changes to help police officers and the justice system better protect victims of domestic violence;
• Expansion of the HUB crime reduction model;
• A comprehensive review of child welfare legislation that will lead to improvements in laws that protect children;
• Development of a Poverty Reduction Strategy that builds on the government’s significant efforts to reduce poverty;
• Increased penalties for those who commit hunting violations; and
• A special licence plate for the loved ones of Canadian Armed Forces personnel who died in service.
“Though a discussion on the potential of direct pay MRIs in Saskatchewan is not in the Throne Speech, I would expect there to be some further debate in the Legislature on that issue,” Wall said. “We should remain open to discussing, examining and innovating in our health care system in a drive to improve patient outcomes.
“I look forward to a good debate on this and many other issues as our government continues working to keep Saskatchewan strong.”
via SW Sask News – Prairie Post – Prairie Post http://ift.tt/10podoj