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Report from the Legislature

October 31, 2013

Report from the Legislature – October 30th, 2013

Continued Commitment to Students & Schools
The benefits of growth are many but so too are the challenges that come with it. One such example is the added pressure our growing population is having on our schools. In response to this particular challenge, our government has a plan to build 9 new joint-use schools in areas that have seen significant growth. These schools will be built using a Public Private Partnership (P3) that will allow us to build more schools in less time. This puts students first, provides them with the best learning environments, and does so much quicker than government could by building schools the conventional way.

As part of a growing province, there is more diversity in the classroom than ever before. With this in mind, the definition of success can look different for each student and means we should move toward a student first approach that is focused on personalizing the experience and support for each student by name, strength and need. Then, by celebrating their achievements, we can help to inspire confidence and encourage lifelong learning and success. To that end, our government is conducting a consultation process to gather feedback from students, teachers, parents and the broader education sector. Through this province-wide consultation, it is our goal to enhance our education system by putting students first.

Help On Our Highways
Saskatchewan has seen its first snowflakes of the season and after a record year of traffic and inquiries, The Highway Hotline is once again staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Since conditions can change from one moment to the next, this service has become a trusted and reliable source for those who need to venture out and aren't sure whether or not it's safe. The Highway Hotline website - hotline.gov.sk.ca - received more than 3.4 million visits last year (April 2012 – March 2013) while staff answered more than 600,000 phone calls. When you need to know if you should go, you can call 1-888-335-7623 for the latest conditions across the province. You can also receive updates on road closures and travel advisories on Twitter @SKGovHwyHotline or by searching Saskatchewan Highway Hotline on Facebook.

As we prepare for winter road conditions, highway workers are doing their best to finish up a number of construction projects around the province. As an example, the much-anticipated twinning of Highway 11 between Saskatoon and Prince Albert was just recently completed. This project in particular will have long-lasting economic benefits and also makes driving in the region much safer. While projects like this will only continue until the ground is frozen, bridge work will carry on throughout the winter so it is important to watch for workers and to slow to 60km/h when passing through work zones.

Living, Working, Playing In New Saskatchewan
From geo-caching and astronomy to canoeing and hiking, there were a record 3.7 million visits to Saskatchewan's 35 provincial parks in 2013. That's up 21 per cent since 2007. Our government recognizes that these parks are among our most popular attractions and we'll continue making capital investments to ensure they not only meet demand but enhance our visitors experience for years to come. Online reservations for the 2014 camping season will launch in early March.

There is seemingly a never-ending list of things to see and do in Saskatchewan each and every summer – something that has been well-documented by the "Saskatchewanderer" in 2011, 2012 and 2013. However, starting in 2014, the role traditionally filled by a summer student becomes a full-time gig. The successful applicant will be tasked with discovering not only what makes Saskatchewan a great place to play in the summertime, but what makes the province a great place to live, work and play all year round. The Saskatchewanderer will shoot and edit YouTube video blogs, write blogs and upload content to Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, showing off Saskatchewan not only to potential visitors, but potential residents. Those who are interested in the position can apply online at www.saskatchewanderer.ca.

Bumper Crop In The Bin
Saskatchewan Agriculture has issued its final crop report for the 2013 growing season. Harvest weather was favourable for most of the province, allowing producers to pull off well-above average yields. The majority of crops are rating average to above average in quality and are reported as falling within the top two quality grades. Most regions have the majority of the crop in the bin and producers are said to be busy finishing fall field work, hauling bales and bringing cattle home from pastures.

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