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Report from the Legislature

June 3, 2015

Report from the Legislature

June 3, 2015

Four Year Commitment to Boost Benefits Fulfilled

Our government is committed to ensuring our province leads the nation in quality of life for

people with disabilities. That's why we created Saskatchewan Assured Income for Disability

(SAID), an income support program for people with significant and enduring disabilities that

offers individuals the dignity of greater choice of services and participation in their community.

We believe the benefits of growth should provide everyone in our province the opportunity to

realize their full potential. This month more than 13,000 individuals will see an increase to their

monthly benefit, fulfilling our government's four year commitment to increase program benefits.

This is something we're able to do because Saskatchewan's economy remains strong.

This is part of our government's commitment to make Saskatchewan the best place in Canada

for people with disabilities to live. A Citizen Consultation Team has been working on a

comprehensive Disability Strategy, expected to be released at the end of June. More

information about the Strategy can be found at saskatchewan.ca/disabilitystrategy.

Saskatchewan's Agricultural Advantage

The foundation for Saskatchewan's strong and diversified economy is our expanding agricultural

sector. In the past year, Saskatchewan has enjoyed record-high livestock prices and above-

average crop production. Once again, in 2014, our province was also the country's top

agricultural exporter with products worth $13.9 billion shipped to 153 countries.

Our government remains committed to providing programs and services that meet the needs of

producers. This means refining Crop Insurance, encouraging more local processing of

agricultural products and continuing to invest in research and development. With the world's

best producers as the foundation for Saskatchewan's economic strength, the future is bright.

According to Saskatchewan Agriculture's latest weekly crop report, we're off to a good start with

dry weather allowing the majority of producers' an opportunity to complete seeding operations.

As another growing season gets underway, I would like to wish all producers the very best.

More Than 30 Major Highway Projects Underway

Highway crews and road builders are springing into action with more than 30 major highway

projects currently underway in Saskatchewan. Construction on the Regina Bypass – the largest

transportation infrastructure project in Saskatchewan's history – will also begin this summer.

The bypass project alone is expected to create an estimated 8,200 construction-related jobs.

The 2015-16 Highways and Infrastructure budget is a record $842 million, including $560 million

for capital construction. The 27 per cent funding increase is a clear indication that our

government is committed to meeting the growing demands of our province and advancing our

economy. This means new twinning projects, passing lanes and overpasses.

Throughout the summer and fall, the Government of Saskatchewan will release a weekly

construction update to help plan safe travel. Additional travel information can be found using

The Highway Hotline. Drivers are reminded to slow to 60 km/h and to obey signs and

flagpersons when passing through construction zones so work can be done safely.

Saskatchewan Reads Supports Provincial Reading Initiatives

A provincial framework to support student success in reading is now in place and is available to

teachers across the province. Saskatchewan Reads was developed to improve student reading

as identified in the Saskatchewan Plan for Growth and the Education Sector Strategic Plan.

Saskatchewan Reads provides guidance for school divisions to build on their own reading

initiatives to meet the needs of their unique student population. It provides practical supports for

teachers to ensure their students are successful in achieving their reading goals.

In June 2013, the provincial baseline for reading levels showed that 65 per cent of Grade 3

students were at or above grade level. As of June 2014, the provincial percentage had

increased to 70 per cent – a five per cent increase in the first year. The goal of the reading

priority is for 80 per cent of students to be reading at or above grade level by 2020.

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