Report from the Legislature

April 25, 2013

Report from the Legislature, April 24, 2013

Economic growth is not a means unto itself. If you don't do something with that growth, then it might
as well have never happened. This is why our government continues to keep its commitment to ensure
we use our province's growth to improve the quality of life for all Saskatchewan people. To that end,
we were humbled to announce this week that the wait list for programming for people with intellectual
disabilities had been eliminated.

In 2008, we inherited a 440 person waitlist for specialized, residential and/or day programs to
provide needed service for those with intellectual disabilities. That year, we committed to providing
programming to everyone on that list and we have kept that promise. This was accomplished through
the good work of the Community Living Waitlist Initiative, which represents the largest investment
- $62.5 million - in Saskatchewan's history in support of people with intellectual disabilities. The
funding allowed for new, expanded or existing services in 41 communities and 500 new staff positions
in community-based organizations. One of our government's goals is to make Saskatchewan the
best place for people with disabilities to live in Canada. Through the expansion of this specialized
programming we are now closer than ever.

Another way we're using the benefits of growth to improve the quality of life for you and your family is
through our ongoing commitment to reduce surgical wait times. Waiting in pain for surgery for months
or years was not acceptable. After announcing a $10 million funding increase for the Saskatchewan
Surgical Initiative (SKSI) in this year's budget, surgical wait times continue to improve. Right now,
90 per cent of people are receiving surgery within six months and 78 per cent of people within three
months. There's still more work to do, but we are on the right track. Our government made it a priority
to put the patient first and improve surgical wait times and, we will continue to work towards that
goal. To find out more information about wait times, go to the newly re-designed Surgical Initiative at

We are also using the benefits of growth to improve the quality of life for people battling cancer by
increasing funding for the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency (SCA). This $12 million funding increase brings
the SCA's total budget to $150.7 million. This important agency provides front line care, services and
information to those diagnosed with cancer. This increase of funding will allow for:


-Improved access to early detection through programs like the Screening Program for Colorectal
Cancer which was extended province-wide in February;
-Shorter waits for patients needing chemotherapy, radiation therapy and mammograms;
-Expansion of an integrated hematology program providing in-province service for patients
needing stem cell transplants, reducing the need to send patients to other provinces;
-Meet the rising demand for diagnostic and treatment services, especially cancer drugs; and
-Recruitment and retention of oncologists and other care providers.

With warmer weather on its way, spring runoff potential in much of the province is well above normal
for this time of year, and may result in flooding situations. The Ministry of Government Relations
continues to work with other government ministries, agencies, Crown corporations and stakeholders to
prepare as much as possible.

To date, the Water Security Agency has received 207 applications for the Emergency Flood Damage
Reduction Program. Staff and consultants are assisting the applicants.

The Ministry of Government Relations has also met with First Nations leaders from the File Hills
Qu'Appelle Tribal Council and has agreed to monitor and work together on the flood response.
The Highway Hotline will continue to be staffed on a 24 hour basis until the threat of flooding subsides.
For more Information about flood preparedness and keeping you and your family safe, go to

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