May 18th was the final day of session at the Legislative Assembly. As MLA for Saskatchewan Rivers, I raised numerous emerging issues in the house, including some of which the government appeared to not be aware of.
For instance, many rural constituents have become increasingly concerned about government overreach into Community Plans that seem to force federal sustainability goals upon Rural Municipalities. This is paired with concern about federal creep into provincial perviews.
As an example, in March it was announced that the provincial policy school Johnson Shoyama, was awarded $1.75 million through the universities of Regina and Saskatoon, “to strengthen the capacity of municipal governments to move towards a net zero future.” The funding comes from Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre.
The concern is that this is a backhanded way for the federal government to impose its preferred policies on how farmers should farm by bypassing the province and implement them through Rural Municipalities. Taking it a step further, as noted on the Johnson Shoyama website, the desired outcomes track back to the United Nations sustainable development goals as cited here: “Sustainability and Underserved Populations will discuss sustainability development, the United Nations’ sustainable development goals, and their importance for municipalities.” (See Project Outcomes – Information Resources for Municipal Governments tab.)
Not everyone is in agreement with those goals. So much so, It appears the informational meetings that Johnson Shoyama had planned through April and May had to be severely modified due to public pushback. This is definitely an area where the Saskatchewan government needs to clarity if it is safeguarding the agriculture industry or if it will once again, let the UN inspired federal government have its way.
On that vein, I also asked the Moe government to explain why, if it is pursuing autonomy for Saskatchewan, almost every new program it announces, has federal funding with strings attached.
Additionally, Education arose as a top priority for Saskatchewan parents & teachers. I have been asking the government what it will do to facilitate improvement in literacy and math outcomes for students and to explain the lack of consultation with parents in the government’s new education plan.
This government is also demonstrating a pattern of catering to international business at the expense of small and local business owners which are struggling as a result of red tape and bureaucratic overreach. As a province, these businesses are the lifeblood of our society and they are being shut out at our peril.
This government needs to remember they were elected to serve you, the voter. With that comes the responsibility of truly listening.