Continuing Growth in the New Saskatchewan
The fall Legislative Session began October 25 with the Speech from the Throne. Each year, the Throne Speech sets out a new beginning of the legislative calendar.
The Speech from the Throne takes me back to the new beginning after the 2007 election. It was the first time I sat in the Legislature representing the people of Moose Jaw North. With pride and anticipation, both humbled and honoured, I took my seat in this awe-inspiring building.
That was a new beginning for Saskatchewan that would bring about hope and a positive attitude, growth and economic expansion in a province that has since emerge as a national leader, improving the lives of the people who reside within. It was the beginning of the new Saskatchewan.
The new Throne Speech outlines an ambitious agenda that includes several initiatives designed to keep growing stronger in a new Saskatchewan. Of the many discussions that will be considered in this ses- sion, I would like to highlight those that I believe are of significant importance.
Education continues to be a priority. Our Government has made a commitment to ensure that young people can gain the skills they need to be part of Saskatchewan’s growth. The Graduate Retention Program and the Saskatchewan Advantage Scholarship will continue to make post-secondary education accessible and affordable.
The number of First Nations and Métis students enrolled in post-secondary institutions has increased by 34 per cent during the last decade. Improving on this success continues to be a priority for our government. This year nearly $45 million will be allocated to support skills training and employment initiatives for Indigenous students.
In December, our health system will see the 12 regional health authorities consolidated into a single Saskatchewan Health Authority. This change will continue reducing health care administration costs while improving the coordination of care and enhancing the accountability of our health care system. During this session our government will implement a new organ donation program, building on work to increase the rate of organ donation in the province. We will also fulfill a commitment to provide individualized funding to children under the age of six who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
To assist our seniors, we will introduce the Seniors Education Property Tax Deferral Program. This will give seniors with household incomes under $70,000 the option to defer the education portion of the property taxes on their home, keeping more money in their pockets.
We have heard from many Saskatchewan residents who have made it clear that they support the right of parents to choose the school that is best for their child. The Saskatchewan government will uphold this right by introducing legislation to protect a parents’ right of school choice by invoking the notwithstanding clause of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
A digital copy of the Speech from the Throne is available online at Saskatchewan.ca. Paper copies are also available at our constituency office.
I am still humbled and honoured, filled with pride and anticipation, as I begin another session representing the people of Moose Jaw North. The legislature is in session until December 6th. The Constituency Office will remain open, and I encourage you to contact our office with any concerns you may have. We are open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 326-B High Street West. You can contact us by e-mail: email@example.com or by phone at 306-692-8884.
Warren Michelson, MLA