Legislative Report (6 November 2008)
Listening to Saskatchewan's CBOs
Saskatchewan’s CBOs told us that they expect government to listen, take action and help them improve services. We are. Our government has announced measures in response to the five Community-Based Organization (CBOs) Summits held in September. These measures will assist low-income individuals and families. They include:
Our government plans to enter into long-term funding agreements with CBOs beginning in the 2009/10 fiscal year. This announcement is just the beginning. We will be making changes where possible, and will continue to explore those ideas that will require more work.
- Social service recipients who get a 2008 tax return will not have their income tax refunds clawed back.
- Effective October 1, 2008, the mileage rate under the Saskatchewan Assistance Program (SAP) increased five cents per kilometre to address rising fuel costs.
- Also on October 1, clients of the Transitional Employment Allowance (TEA) received a 20 per cent increase to cover the basic monthly charge for home heating.
CANADA’S MOST-AGGRESSIVE YOUTH RETENTION PROGRAM
Your Saskatchewan Party government is making Canada’s best youth retention program even better. Advanced Education, Employment and Labour Minister Rob Norris has announced an expansion of Saskatchewan’s ground-breaking Graduate Retention Program. Graduates who stay in Saskatchewan can access up to $20,000 in rebates. The program will now be available to eligible post-secondary graduates from across the country and around the world that pursue careers in Saskatchewan. This expansion signals to post-secondary graduates from across the country, and beyond, that Saskatchewan is the best place to establish their careers and pursue their goals. The Graduate Retention Program also provides Saskatchewan employers with a valuable recruitment and retention tool. It is one more way your Saskatchewan Party government is helping employers find and attract the qualified and skilled workers our province needs.
OPENING LAND UP FOR FARMERS
Your Saskatchewan Party government has unveiled a new program that will help put Crown Land back in the hands of producers. The Agricultural Crown Land Sale Program will offer Crown land lessees an incentive to purchase their leased agricultural Crown land. The new program offers lessees a sliding scale incentive for purchase, beginning with a ten per cent discount on the sale price of the land in the first year, an eight per cent discount in the second, a six per cent discount in the third year of the program, a four per cent discount in the fourth year and a two per cent discount in the fifth. While agricultural Crown land has been sold to producers since 1947, this type of incentive program has never before been offered in Saskatchewan.
$168.9 MILLION FOR 2009 HIGHWAY CONSTRUCTION SEASON
Your Saskatchewan Party government continues to address the infrastructure deficit created under the NDP. Our government is tendering $168 million dollars worth of highway construction to upgrade 484 km of provincial highways which is the first phase of construction tenders to take place leading up to the 2009 season. This plan represents an important milestone in our government's objective of returning Saskatchewan to its position as a North American leader in building and managing transportation infrastructure. These investments will advance our long term transportation strategy that focuses on supporting economic growth, enhancing traffic safety and developing partnerships with local governments and industry.
$3 MILLION FOR THE CREDIT UNION CENTRE
A $3 million dollar investment by our government in Saskatoon’s Credit Union Centre will ensure Saskatchewan has a world class entertainment venue second to none in Western Canada. The $3 million upgrade will allow the Credit Union Centre to expand capacity for the 2010 World Junior Hockey Championships and allow it to attract world-class music acts and events. The improvements will allow Saskatoon to be a key anchor for sports, entertainment, trade and business in the city and the province. The project is funded by a partnership between our government, Saskatchewan Place Association Inc. (City of Saskatoon) and Hockey Canada, with an estimated total cost of $6.7 million. Through this expansion all Saskatchewan residents will enjoy the benefits of having a provincial facility of the highest quality that will bring more big name acts and events to our province.
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