Legislative Updates

Report from the Legislature November 26, 2014

November 26, 2014


Today in the Saskatchewan Legislature, our government passed a motion recognizing the Energy East Pipeline as good for all parts of Canada, from Saskatchewan and Alberta, to Ontario, Quebec and beyond.  The amendment recognizes the National Energy Board (NEB) as the appropriate body to review national pipeline projects, such as Energy East, and that provinces should not invent new conditions such as greenhouse gas emissions as a barrier to approval and trade.

Energy East, like previous national pipeline projects in years past, will be good for economies across Canada, including Ontario and Quebec.  The project will generate billions of dollars of activity, new jobs, manufacturing, and tax revenue, much of which will be in Central Canada.

 

Saskatchewan’s oil sector continues to serve the people here by providing jobs, attracting investment, and generating tax revenue so our government can continue to make investments that benefit Saskatchewan people.  Energy East will extend these benefits across Canada.


The NEB already has a stringent approval process for pipelines in Canada and moving oil by pipeline is safer, more environmentally friendly, and more economical than moving it by rail.  We should be removing barriers to growth between provinces, not inventing new ones.

Saskatchewan’s population is trending a little higher than usual as our province welcomes thousands of visitors from more than 60 countries.  Agribition, Western Canada’s premiere agricultural marketplace, trade show and rodeo, is underway.  The traditional “burning of the brand” kicked off the annual livestock and agribusiness show which brings hundreds of exhibitors, thousands of visitors and the best livestock in North America to Saskatchewan.

The five-day event at Regina’s Evraz Place features a full lineup of entertainment that includes the Junior Roping and Stock Dog competitions, the Canadian Cowboys Association Finals Rodeo and Full Contact Jousting.  Other events include eight National Beef Shows, an Indigenous Agricultural Summit, Grain Expo Conference and, for the first time ever, a Think Ag Career Education Expo for students to learn about careers in agriculture.

Despite excess moisture this past growing season, Saskatchewan’s agriculture sector is as strong as it has ever been. 2013 was our province’s third consecutive year of record exports at $11.7 billion and, in 2014, year-to-date exports are 19 per cent higher.  Cattle prices have also reached record highs and the Western Livestock Price Insurance Program has been well-received with about 15 per cent of our province’s calf crop covered in the first year.

Saskatchewan is well-positioned as an important agricultural trader in the world and expansion of trade relations will help to sustain and build on that. The Premier’s trade mission to India this month is just one example of our government’s work to promote growing these relationships.

By working in partnership with the federal government, Saskatchewan is now poised to receive more than $436 million from the Government of Canada through the new Building Canada Fund.  Over the next 10 years, regional and local communities will benefit from stable, predictable funding to continue to strengthen economic growth through investments in programs and infrastructure.  Thanks in part to this funding, our government can continue to focus on building stronger communities, growing export and trade, ensuring a clean environment, and to keep meeting the opportunities and challenges of growth.

Of the $436.7 million, $196.5 million will go toward provincial projects, while the remaining $240.2 million will go toward all other eligible Provincial Territorial Infrastructure Component applicants.  These projects will be funded one-third each by the federal government, the provincial government and other eligible recipients.  The total federal/provincial funding that will be invested in Saskatchewan infrastructure will be more than $870 million.  This is going to help advance key goals of our Growth Plan as well as contribute to a higher quality of life.

Applications are now being accepted. You can learn more about this program, including information on criteria and eligibility at saskatchewan.ca/government/municipal-administration/funding/programs/nbcf.

Many people across our province, country and the world have dedicated some space on their face for a moustache this Movember.  This is in an effort to start a conversation about men’s cancers and mental health.  Members of the Government Caucus are doing their part by “growing a mo” and, so far, raised over $7,000 for research and support.  If you’re able, you can support their efforts online at http://ca.movember.com/team/1870465.

This year, an estimated 670 Saskatchewan men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and approximately 1,000 Canadian men will receive a testicular cancer diagnosis.  Early detection is vital, which is why it is very important to schedule regular check-ups with your doctor.  I encourage everyone to use Movember as an opportunity to discuss these issues and to encourage the men in their lives to take the appropriate steps toward better health.

As always if you have questions or concerns about this report or any other issues please call my office.

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