Premier Scott Moe today said the government has delivered critical support to build the Saskatchewan economy and sustain high-quality services as the province continues to deal with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“During the spring session, we introduced a budget that will ensure our province continues on the path of growth while we manage an unprecedented health care challenge,” Moe said. “The budget includes a two-year $7.5 billion capital plan that will create thousands of jobs while preparing Saskatchewan for the recovery to come. Saskatchewan is well positioned for an economic comeback. We have a strong financial foundation. We have determined and talented people. And we produce what a growing world requires – food, fuel and fertilizer. I believe Saskatchewan will get through the current challenges and emerge even stronger.”
The Provincial Budget, released on June 15, includes a record $5.8 billion investment in health care, including more than $100 million in additional funding to help contain the spread of COVID-19.
Among other initiatives in the budget:
- A record $435 million for mental health and addictions supports and services;
- $20 million investment to reduce surgical wait times;
- $80 million to build new long-term care facilities in Grenfell and La Ronge and to support renewal projects in 51 long-term care facilities across the province;
- Record funding for Saskatchewan schools, including $2.6 billion to support Prekindergarten to Grade 12 classrooms, early learning and child care, libraries and literacy;
- $278 million in no-strings-attached Municipal Revenue Sharing – an 11 per cent increase and the highest amount ever provided under the program;
- $150 million for the Municipal Economic Enhancement Program for municipal infrastructure projects; and
- $715 million to improve highway safety and efficiency, including more than 20 new passing lanes to be constructed in 2020.
During the session, Premier Moe said the government will continue to support the goals outlined in the province’s new Growth Plan, released last fall.
The government will proceed with the establishment of three new trade and investment offices in Japan, India and Singapore.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has not changed the basic fundamentals of the Saskatchewan economy,” Moe said. “Once the crisis passes, the world will continue to grow, and demand for Saskatchewan products will be strong. We need to be in a position to capitalize on that demand. The new trade offices will help us diversify our markets and help Saskatchewan exporters make connections with international buyers, which will mean more jobs here at home.”
During the session, the government also announced the creation of a Nuclear Secretariat to coordinate nuclear policy and programs and plan for the deployment of clean energy small modular reactors in Saskatchewan.
The government introduced amendments to legislation to better protect the rights of legal firearm and handgun owners in the province.
And during the session, the Interpersonal Violence Disclosure Protocol (Clare’s Law) Act came into force in Saskatchewan. “Clare’s Law” authorizes a police protocol to disclose risk information related to someone’s violent or abusive past to intimate partners whose safety may be threatened.
Saskatchewan is the first jurisdiction in Canada to enact Clare’s Law legislation and is encouraging other provinces to follow in its footsteps.
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