Con­tin­u­ing Growth in the New Saskatchewan

Moose Jaw Express.com - - News - War­ren Michel­son Moose Jaw North

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: moose­jawnorthmla@shaw.ca or by phone at 306-692-8884.

War­ren Michel­son, MLA

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