News

Report from the Legislature

June 18, 2014

Report from the Legislature

June 18, 2014

Saskatchewan is home to real growth and real opportunity – opportunity that continues to attract

people from other provinces and around the world. Saskatchewan grew by more than 5,000

people in the first quarter, bringing our total population increase in the past year to more than

21,000. Statistics Canada says Saskatchewan is now home to 1,122,588 people.

This is the start of our eighth consecutive year of strong population growth, a far cry from the

years when our province was actually losing people. We are encouraged that our quarterly and

annual growth rates are second-highest among the provinces, behind only Alberta.

This steady growth is credit to the continued confidence and contributions of our diverse and

growing population. These contributions can be found in the latest labour force figures from

Statistics Canada. Saskatchewan people continue to create jobs and more Saskatchewan

people are working than ever before. With record job numbers and record employment, our

unemployment rate is the lowest in Canada for the seventeenth consecutive month.

One of the keys to supporting a growing province and a growing economy is providing parents

with the tools they need to work, return to work, or study after starting a family. The reality is

that access to quality child care is a necessity and by investing in new spaces our government

is working to alleviate some of the pressures that exist, particularly in growing communities.

As part of our 2014-15 budget, our government has provided funding for more than 500 new

child care spaces in eleven communities. This raises the number of funded licensed child care

spaces in Saskatchewan to more than 14,200 – a 53% increase in the last seven years. You

can visit Saskatchewan.ca to find a full listing of licensed child care services in the province.

Despite recent rainfall, we are seeing great progress on a variety of construction projects across

our province. This is possible because of our government's commitment to build and maintain

transportation infrastructure.

Currently there are several, major multi-million dollar highway projects underway. Projects of

note include new twinning lanes, 300 kilometres of repaving on our busiest highways and 150

kilometres of rural highway upgrades. We're also starting work on supergrid pilot projects and

hundreds of bridge and culvert improvements across the province. Crews are also busy

painting lines and pavement signs on nearly 48,000 kilometres of highway.

As highway workers do their job to improve our safety, we ask that you do your part to improve

theirs. Simplified signage, asking that we reduce our speed in work zones, is now in place

across the province. With photo radar, drivers who don't slow down, run the risk of facing triple

the normal fines for speeding.

As far as road safety is concerned, Saskatchewan will see new traffic safety laws come into

effect June 27th

harsher penalties for impaired driving, distracted driving and excessive speed.

Passenger safety changes include mandatory booster seats for children under 7 years of age

and recommended seats for children less than 4'9" tall and those under 80lbs. The changes,

. The new legislation aims to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries by imposing

which can be found in detail at sgi.sk.ca, are the result of an action plan put together by a

Special Committee on Traffic Safety.

Our province has much to offer our youth, especially in the summer, and STC is giving them a

convenient and affordable way to get out and experience as much as possible.

This summer, youth in Saskatchewan can ride with the Saskatchewan Transportation Company

for just $20 plus tax for a one-way ticket or $40 return. Youth, aged 12 to 25, can purchase

their Youth Seat Sale tickets from any STC agency between July 1st and August 31, 2014.

Wherever your travels take you, have a safe and enjoyable summer!

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