Report from the Legislature August 22, 2019

Aug 22, 2019

The strength and resilience of Saskatchewan’s economy can be seen in the latest labour force figures from Statistics Canada. July’s numbers show 12,200 new jobs since this time last year, and 12 months of consecutive year-over-year growth.

This strength and resilience can be found in a number of areas, including building permits. In June, Saskatchewan had the second highest growth rate among the provinces.

Despite the external headwinds our province faces, these economic indicators are very encouraging.

Three major credit rating agencies also recently confirmed Saskatchewan’s strong fiscal position. When all three are considered together, Saskatchewan’s ratings are the second-highest of any province in Canada.

Our path to a balanced budget is maintaining and building a strong Saskatchewan for years to come, while a year of consistent job growth helps to ensure our province remains the best place to live, work and raise a family.

Saskatchewan’s Crown sector supports the province’s overall economy by employing 11,200 people with economic spinoffs that benefit businesses, municipalities, and community groups.

As part of our focus to ensure taxpayer dollars are going to the services that Saskatchewan people deserve, executive and senior management compensation in our Crown Corporations is down nearly 18 per cent in the past year. This ensures that nearly $4.4 million are going back into the important services and infrastructure people expect.

Recently, our government announced that walk-in mental health counselling services are expanding to communities across the province.

Free counselling services will be available through Family Service Saskatchewan (FSSask) member agencies for anyone looking for help with a range of issues including stress, depression, anxiety, family conflict and urgent mental health needs.

These walk-in counselling services are free to anyone experiencing a mental health challenge. People will receive local help and will be connected to any ongoing supports they may need to manage their mental health.

These services will be available in 23 communities, some in multiple locations within a community. The Saskatchewan Health Authority is currently working with FSSask to determine the locations of five additional sites.

Funding for these walk-in services is part of a record $402 million investment in mental health and addictions in Saskatchewan’s 2019-20 Provincial Budget. This initiative also supports the province’s Mental Health and Addictions Action Plan.

Community safety is a key priority for the Government of Saskatchewan and continued funding to keep our communities safe is supporting police across the province.

Municipal Police Grants will support 128 front line police positions and policing initiatives across the province this year. This funding helps to address a range of issues from gang violence, habitual offenders and child exploitation to traffic safety, youth education programs and proactive community policing.

From mental health to community safety, your Saskatchewan Party government will continue to balance careful spending with smart investing while strengthening our economy and securing a brighter future for the people of our province.