Legislative Report (28 February 2008)
Busy Time Before Spring Session
KEEPING OUR DRUG PLAN PROMISE
Your Saskatchewan Party government fulfilled another election promise this week by establishing the Children’s Drug Plan. As of July 1, prescriptions for children 14 and under will be capped at $15 per prescription.
That way we take care of the vulnerable, by making what are sometimes very expensive medications affordable for families.
We also extended the Saskatchewan Drug Plan to cover 12 new drugs, including treatments for a crippling form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis. The Drug Plan now covers about 3,700 drugs.
SPRING SITTING ANNOUNCED
The spring sitting of the Legislative Assembly starts March 10. The focus will be on continuing to keep election promises, sustaining our economic momentum, and making sure everyone feels the benefits of a growing economy.
Look for a new tuition rebate program, increased funding for education, and property tax relief. You should also expect vigorous debate on the Essential Services act and changes to the Trade Union Act. According to a poll conducted in January, 67 per cent of Saskatchewan residents support the government's decision to introduce essential services legislation. 20 per cent are opposed. The remainder expressed no opinion.
NO SLOWING DOWN THE SASKATCHEWAN ECONOMY
The numbers are in, and they tell a great story. Statistics Canada has released 2007 numbers on retail and export sales, and wholesale trade. We lead the country in percentage growth for wholesale trade and retail sales, and came in second in export sales growth.
Retail sales were up 12.9 percent last year, eclipsing the national average of 5.8 percent, for a total of $13 billion. That’s twice as high as 2006. International exports increased 25 percent, second highest in Canada, and up to $20.1 billion. It’s the first time the annual value of international exports went over the $20 billion mark.
RECRUITING MORE NURSES
A delegation from Saskatchewan is now in the Philippines, with the goal of recruiting 300 nurses to the province. It’s the first step down the road to keeping a campaign promise to hire 800 nurses in your Saskatchewan Party government’s first term.
FEDERAL BUDGET PROVIDES FOR SASKATCHEWAN
The 2008 federal budget contained $240 million in new funding for one of the first and largest clean coal/carbon capture demonstrations in the world, to be done right here in Saskatchewan. This funding will go towards a proposed $1.4 billion project to rebuild and re-power a coal power plant at Boundary Damn to demonstrate green technology. It means Saskatchewan will continue to be a world leader in reducing harmful emissions.
MR. WALL GOES TO WASHINGTON
Premier Brad Wall hits the road this month to sell Saskatchewan abroad. His first stop is Washington, D.C., for a series of meetings on energy and agriculture.
He will then become the first Saskatchewan premier ever to address a prestigious east coast energy conference. Premier Wall will be in New York City for the East Coast Canadian Energy Conference. He is the keynote speaker.
If you have a question about this Legislative Report or any other matter, just Contact Nadine.
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