Legislative Updates

Legislative Report - July 24, 2013

July 24, 2013

Keeping you and your family safe while you're getting from point A to point B this summer is a priority for our government. To that end, we recently announced that photo radar is now being deployed in selected highway work zones. The state-of-the-art cameras will be taking pictures of the licence plates of drivers exceeding the 60 kilometre-an-hour work zone speed limit. The amount of the ticket is based on how fast the vehicle is going. Fines start at $210 and increase by $3 to $6 per kilometre over the speed limit. For example, the driver of a vehicle travelling at 100 km/h would be fined $530. The Ministries of Highways and Justice along with SGI, the RCMP, the Saskatchewan Heavy Construction Association and other partners have been working diligently to improve safety in work zones following the tragic death last summer of flag person Ashley Richards.

With more than $260 million in grading, paving, bridge building and other projects underway this summer, there are some online resources you can use before heading out on the highway. Go to www.highways.gov.sk.ca/workzone for the weekly construction update as well as information about what do in the work zone and links to the major projects underway this year.

Investing in highways is just one example of how our government is using the benefits of growth to improve the quality of life for all Saskatchewan people. Another way is our continued investment in the Saskatchewan Surgical Initiative (SKSI) to reduce surgical waiting lists. The latest information shows that 78 per cent of patients receive surgery within three months of their consultation with a surgeon and 90 per cent within six months. Thanks to the $70.5 million invested in the SKSI in this year's provincial budget, 89,000 surgeries will be performed in Saskatchewan this year, an increase of 7,000 over last year. All health regions, except Regina Qu'Appelle, are on track to meet the three-month goal by April 2014. Regina Qu'Appelle is expected to meet the goal by April 2015. While there's still work to do, our government has made significant progress toward reducing what at one time were the longest surgical wait times in Canada.

Saskatchewan's strong economy shows no signs of slowing down. Retail sales in May totaled $1.6 billion, the highest ever for the month, and an increase of 5 percent from April. That's the largest percentage increase in Canada. Even more impressive are the latest wholesale trade numbers. At $2.14 billion in May, wholesale trade figures in Saskatchewan are ten times the national average and our manufacturing sales continue to lead the nation. Shipments totaled $1.29 billion in May, an increase of 16.7 per cent over the same time last year and number one in Canada for year-over-year growth for the second straight month. Our government will continue to take action to ensure Saskatchewan's economy remains strong by balancing the challenges of growth with the needs of families.

With back to school only six weeks away, Saskatchewan Party MLAs have been spending the summer consulting with constituents in regards to their priorities. That information will be used to chart our government's course into this fall's legislative session and beyond. If you haven't had a chance to tell your MLA what your priorities are, there's still time. Stop by the constituency office for a coffee, or give us a call. By working together, we can continue to move Saskatchewan forward.

If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just contact Scott.

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