Legislative Updates

Legislative Report - September 11, 2013

September 11, 2013

Cam Broten continues to refuse to stand up for Saskatchewan. On the six-month anniversary of his election as NDP leader, Broten addressed the federal NDP Caucus in Saskatoon. In his speech, Broten was silent regarding Thomas Mulcair's opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline project. Broten had a chance to tell Mulcair he's wrong on Keystone and stand up for Saskatchewan, but he didn't, despite the fact. That's in sharp contrast to what Premier Brad Wall did when he met with Mulcair the day before. Premier Wall told the federal NDP leader, in no uncertain terms, that he was wrong. Because of the bottleneck created by limited pipeline capacity, it's estimated that the Saskatchewan government lost up to $300 million revenue last year and oil producers up to $2.5 billion. Keystone would help fix that. Keystone is good for Saskatchewan and, by not telling his federal party that, Cam Broten is potentially losing this province billions of dollars a year.

It's no secret that Saskatchewan is a great place to live, work and raise a family and new figures from Statistics Canada support that. When comparing August 2012 to August 2013, 15,800 new jobs were created in Saskatchewan. Nearly one-third of the new opportunities were filled by First Nation and Metis people. Saskatchewan businesses have also been hiring more of our young people (ages 15 to 24) as the youth unemployment rate was 7.2 per cent in August – the lowest in Canada and well below the national average of 14.1 per cent. For the eighth consecutive month, Saskatchewan also held down the lowest unemployment rate in the nation at 4.2 per cent. The biggest employment gains were found in manufacturing, health care and social assistance. These new opportunities brought Saskatchewan's labour to an all-time high of 564,900, up 800 from July.

As our province grows, our government remains committed to making Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to live for people with disabilities. In keeping with that commitment, grand opening ceremonies were held recently in North Battleford for two new homes for people with intellectual disabilities. These homes will provide services for 11 individuals and allow them to play an active role in their community. Our government has a strong track record when it comes to taking action to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities, including the elimination of the 440 person wait list as well as the introduction of the Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability (SAID) program. This program allows more than 10,000 people with significant and long-term disabilities to live with greater dignity and respect. Our commitment of making Saskatchewan the best place in Canada to live for people with disabilities also includes the development of a comprehensive Disability Strategy. Outlined in the Plan for Growth, the strategy will address accessibility, affordability and availability of housing; transportation; employment; education; support for community inclusion; and support for caregivers. Other priorities may emerge through consultation.

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

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