Legislative Updates

Report from the Legislature – Dec. 18, 2013

December 18, 2013

Provincial Population Higher Than Ever Before
Saskatchewan is the place to be – just ask the 5,867 new residents who decided to move to the province in July, August and September. Our provincial population has grown by 19,797 over the last year, reaching a record 1,114, 170. Among the provinces, only Alberta had higher population growth.

More and more people see Saskatchewan as one of the best places in Canada to live, work and play. These people are international immigrants as well as those relocating from places like British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, Alberta and Quebec. There are also a lot of babies born in Saskatchewan.

Continued population and economic growth is expected in 2014. Meanwhile, our government remains on track to meet our growth plan goal of 1.2 million people by 2020.

Come See Saskatchewan.ca
It is now easier than ever before to find the information you need. If you're looking to relocate, change careers, learn about government programs, services or simply find something fun to do, you can get it all on the new Government of Saskatchewan website – Saskatchewan.ca.

This user-friendly website, which is compatible with tablets and smartphones, is designed to improve access to information and services. Using the headings "Live," "Work," "Play" and "Government," this website is organized by Saskatchewan people's interests rather than by government ministries. This change also reflects what Saskatchewan has to offer visitors, potential investors and future residents.

Analytics are also used to track and promote frequently visited pages like the Highway Hotline, SaskJobs.ca and where to find day care so the most sought after information can be highlighted and kept current. Over the coming year, government will continue to transition content and services from gov.sk.ca to Saskatchewan.ca. Both will operate until the transition is complete.

Powerful Voices For Change
The health and well-being of Saskatchewan people is vital. With an estimated one in five experiencing a mental health or addictions problem, our government understands it has a role to improve the services currently offered. We are currently seeking feedback to form a Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan. So far, over 2,600 responses have been submitted at www.health.gov.sk.ca/powerful-voice.

Using a confidential questionnaire, we're encouraging Saskatchewan people to share stories, experiences and suggestions for improving mental health or addiction services within the province. These submissions – which take about 15 minutes to complete – will be accepted until December 31st.

These results, as well as results from other consultations including focus groups, in-person interviews and other meetings, will help inform development of an Action Plan for Saskatchewan.

The Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship
Nearly 13,000 Saskatchewan students have now taken advantage of a Saskatchewan-made scholarship. Through the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship, current Grade 12 graduates who enroll at a Saskatchewan post-secondary institution are provided with a scholarship of up to $500 per year to a lifetime maximum of $2,000. Students even have up to 10 years to use the benefit.

To support our province's growth, we need to ensure that more of our students are entering post-secondary education, completing their training and connecting to jobs in the Saskatchewan economy. The Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship helps make post-secondary education more affordable and accessible for students. Since the scholarship was first put into place in 2012, the province has provided more than $6.4 million to help thousands of students pursue post-secondary education.

Since 2008, our government has invested $4.6 billion in our post-secondary institutions and students. This includes the Graduate Retention Program which provides up to a $20,000 refundable and non-refundable tax credit for graduates who live in Saskatchewan.

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

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