Legislative Report (26 November 2008)
Assistance for Cattle and Hog Producers
Our government recognizes the challenges cattle and hog producers are facing. We have announced an optional one-year deferral of principal payments owing on the short-term cattle and hog loan programs. Hog producers will now have the option to defer the principal portion of the first payment from May 2009 to May 2010. They will also benefit from the removal of the accelerated repayment required when the weekly pool price exceeds $140 per 100 kilograms. Cattle producers will now have the option to defer their 2009 principal payments for one year. Producers who take part will still have to pay any interest that has accrued on their loans. Our government recognizes cattle and hog producers are under considerable financial pressure and is committed to working with them to ensure their needs are met.
COMBATING VIOLENT AND ORGANIZED CRIME
Protecting the people of Saskatchewan from violent and organized crime is a priority for your Saskatchewan Party government. For too many years under the NDP, Saskatchewan had the highest crime rate in Canada. Our government is taking steps to address that.
We have announced two pieces of legislation to ensure the safety and security of Saskatchewan citizens.
The Seizure of Criminal Property Act, 2008 fulfils another campaign promise. It will allow the Crown to apply directly for forfeiture of property that is either the proceeds of unlawful activity or is being actively used for illegal purposes.
Under The Witness Protection Act, 2008 we will be able to offer witnesses who need extreme protect measures support such as that offered by the RCMP under the federal Witness Protection Program.
This legislation sends a clear signal to criminals: our government takes seriously its responsibility to ensure the safety and security of Saskatchewan citizens.
100% HIGH SPEED INTERNET COVERAGE FOR SASKATCHEWAN
Comparing it to the last spike being driven in the CP Rail Line, Premier Brad Wall has announced that within three years, Saskatchewan will have 100 per cent high speed internet coverage. Our government is providing $90 million to SaskTel for $129 million in rural service improvements, which include 187 more communities receiving basic high speed internet, the addition of 90 new communities to the existing CommunityNet network and 50 new cell towers. The cell towers will increase coverage to 98 percent of the population. Expanding internet and cell coverage is an important investment in rural Saskatchewan that will sustain and solidify economic growth. It is also a great example of our SaskFirst Crowns policy working for Saskatchewan people.
BREATHING EASIER AT WORK
In keeping with our goal of a stronger Saskatcheawn and a better life, our government has introduced amendments to The Occupational Health and Safety Regulations, 1999 which will ban smoking in the workplace. The ban will take effect on May 31, 2009. Smoking will be prohibited in all enclosed places of employment including buildings, vehicles, other enclosed structures and underground mines. There are some exceptions to the ban; for details go to this link. Our government is committed to ensuring workplaces are free from the health risks of second-hand smoke.
ADDRESSING THE HEALTHCARE INFRASTRUCTURE DEFICIT
Your Saskatchewan Party government is taking further steps to ensure safe, quality healthcare, with the announcement of $100 million for structural repairs and upgrades at healthcare facilities. The money will be used for improvements that will enhance patient safety and comfort. It will also be used to repair and improve roofs, cooling systems, fire alarms, nurses call systems, emergency generators, windows and chillers. We are committed to addressing as quickly and safely as possible the $1.2 billion healthcare infrastructure deficit we inherited from the NDP.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Nadine.
Past Legislative Reports